Julaybib: A Companion Of Rasulullah (SAW)

Julaybib: A Companion Of Rasulullah (SAW)

 His name was unusual and incomplete. Julaybib means “small grown” being the diminutive form of the word “Jalbab “. The name is an indication that Julaybib was small and short, even of dwarf-like stature. More than that, he is described as being “damim” which means ugly, deformed, or of repulsive appearance.
Even more disturbing, for the society in which he lived, Julaybib’s lineage was not known. There is no record of who his mother or his father was or to what tribe he belonged. This was a grave disability in the society in which he lived. Julaybib could not expect any compassion or help, any protection or support from a society that placed a great deal of importance on family and tribal connections. In this regard, all that was known of him was that he was an Arab and that, as far as the new community of Islam was concerned, he was one of the Ansar. Perhaps he belonged to one of the outlying tribes beyond Medina and had drifted into the city or he could even have been from among the Ansar of the city itself. The disabilities under which Julaybib lived would have been enough to have him ridiculed and shunned in any society and in fact he was prohibited by one person, a certain Abu Barzah of the Aslam tribe, from entering his home. He once told his wife: “Do not let Julaybib enter among you. If he does, I shall certainly do (something terrible to him).”

 Probably because he was teased and scoffed at in the company of men, Julaybib used to take refuge in the company of women. Was there any hope of Julaybib being treated with respect and consideration? Was there any hope of his finding emotional satisfaction as an individual and as a man? Was there any hope of his enjoying the relationships which others take for granted? And in the new society emerging under the guidance of the Prophet, was he so insignificant as to be overlooked in the preoccupation with the great affairs of state and in the supreme issues of life and survival which constantly engaged the attention of the Prophet?
Just as he was aware of the great issues of life and destiny, the Prophet of Mercy Rasulullah (SAW) was also aware of the needs and sensibilities of his most humble companions. With Julaybib in mind, Rasulullah (SAW) went to one of the Ansar and said: “I want to have your daughter married.” “How wonderful and blessed, O Messenger of Allah and what a delight to the eye (this would be),” replied the Ansari man with obvious joy and happiness. “I do not want her for myself,” added Rasulullah (SAW). “Then for whom, O Messenger of Allah?” asked the man, obviously somewhat let down. “For Julaybib,” said Rasulullah (SAW).
The Ansari must have been too shocked to give his own reaction and he merely said: “I will consult with her mother.” And off he went to his wife. “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) wants to have your daughter married,” he said to her. She too was thrilled. “What a wonderful idea and what a delight to the eye (this would be).” she said. “He doesn’t want to marry her himself but he wants to marry her to Julaybib,” he added. She was flabbergasted.
“To Julaybib! No, never to Julaybib! No, by the living Allah we shall not marry (her) to him.” she protested.
As the Ansari was about to return to Rasulullah (SAW) to inform him of what his wife had said, the daughter who had heard her mother’s protestations, asked: “Who has asked you to marry me?” Her mother told her of Rasulullah (SAW) request for her hand in marriage to Julaybib. When she heard that the request had come from Rasulullah (SAW) and that her mother was absolutely opposed to the idea, she was greatly perturbed and said: “Do you refuse the request of the Messenger of Alllah? Send me to him for he shall certainly not bring ruin to me.”

This was the reply of a truly great person who had a clear understanding of what was required of her as a Muslim. What greater satisfaction and fulfillment can a Muslim find than in responding willingly to the requests and commands of the Messenger of Allah! No doubt, this companion of Rasulullah (SAW) whose name we do not even know had heard the verse of the Quran:

وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلاَ مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُمْ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ وَمَنْ يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلاَلاً مُبِينًا

 “Now whenever Allah and His Apostle have decided a matter, it is not for a believing man or believing woman to claim freedom of choice in so far as they themselves are concerned. And he who disobeys Allah and His Prophet has already, most obviously, gone astray.” (Surah al-Ahzaab 33:36).
This verse was revealed in connection with the marriage of Zainab bint Jahsh and Zayd ibn al-Haritha which was arranged by Rasulullah (SAW) to show the egalitarian spirit of Islam. Zainab at first was highly offended at the thought of marrying Zayd a former slave and refused to do so. Rasulullah (SAW) prevailed upon them both and they were married. The marriage however ended in divorce and Zainab was eventually married to Rasulullah (SAW) himself. It is said that the Ansari girl read the verse to her parents and said: “I am satisfied and submit myself to whatever the Messenger of Allah deems good for me.” When Rasulullah (SAW) heard of her reaction and prayed for her: “O Lord, bestow good on her in abundance and make not her life one of toil and trouble.”
Among the Ansar, it is said there was not a more eligible bride than she. She was married by Rasulullah (SAW) to Julaybib and they lived together until he was killed.
How was Julaybib killed? He went on an expedition with rasulullah (SAW) and an encounter with some mushrikeen ensued. When the battle was over, Rasulullah (SAW) asked his companions: “Have you lost anyone?” They replied giving the names of their relatives of close friends who were killed. He put the same questions to other companions and they also named the ones they had lost in the battle. Another group answered that they had lost no close relative whereupon Rasulullah (SAW) said: “But I have lost Julaybib. Search for him in the battlefield.”  They searched and found him beside seven mushrikeen whom he had struck before meeting his end. Rasulullah (SAW) stood up and went to the spot where Julaybib, his short and deformed companion, lay. He stood over him and said: “He killed seven and then was killed? This (man) is of me and I am of him.”
He repeated this two or three times. Rasulullah (SAW) then took him in his arms and it is said that he had no better bed besides the forearms of the Messenger of Allah. Rasulullah (SAW) then dug for him a grave and himself placed him in it. He did not wash him for martyrs are not washed before burial.
Julaybib and his wife are not usually among the companions of Rasulullah (SAW) whose deeds are sung and whose exploits are recounted with reverence and admiration as they should be. But in the meager facts that are known about them and which have here been recounted we see how humble human beings were given hope and dignity by Rasulullah (SAW) where once there was only despair and self-debasement. The attitude of the unknown and unnamed Ansari girl who readily agreed to be the wife of a physically unattractive man was an attitude which reflected a profound understanding of Islam. It reflected on her part the effacement of personal desires and preferences even when she could have counted on the support of her parents. It reflected on her part a total disregard for social pressures. It reflected above all a ready and implicit confidence in the wisdom and authority of Rasulullah (SAW) in submitting herself to whatever he deemed good. This is the attitude of the true believer.
In Julaybib, there is the example of a person who was almost regarded as a social outcast because of his appearance. Given help, confidence and encouragement by the noble Rasulullah (SAW), he was able to perform acts of courage and make the supreme sacrifice and deserve the commendation of
Rasulullah (SAW): “He is of me and I am of him.”

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3 comments on “Julaybib: A Companion Of Rasulullah (SAW)

  1. Sid Ban says:

    I really got lost on what this article was about. I think the point is that if a woman is asked to marry someone she does not wish to, that she should not argue about it because the authority of the man is considered superior to the need for compatibility that the woman desires. Actually, I am a citizen of the U.S. and have no idea about the people you are talking about. Are you writing to Moslems in other countries who are familiar with what you are writing about? Could you enlighten me on this?

    • muslimah says:

      As sala’amu alaikum

      As I had high lighted the following part:
      “It reflected on her part the effacement of personal desires and preferences even when she could have counted on the support of her parents. It reflected on her part a total disregard for social pressures. It reflected above all a ready and implicit confidence in the wisdom and authority of Rasulullah (SAW) in submitting herself to whatever he deemed good. This is the attitude of the true believer.”
      Her trust in the suggestion of Rasulullah (SAW) that the man he thought was good match for her, was enough for her to agree on the match, yes she could have declined the proposal, as in Islam a women or a man do have the right IN AGREEING or NOT AGREEING to a marriage match who they think is not suitable or compatible enough.

      Julaybib was a Companion of Rasulullah (SAW) and Muslims should be familiar on what I am writing about.

      Walaikum as salaam
      “O Allah, make my love for You the most beloved thing to me, and Your displeasure with me the most fearful thing to me, and instill in me a passion for meeting You & when you have given the people of the world the pleasures of their world, make the coolness of my eyes (pleasure) in worshipping You. Aameen Thuma Aameen”

      • Nafisa says:

        Slms Sis Muslimah
        All I want to say is , shukran for sharing this post with us, and for answering the question you received so good, I’m from the USA and I am familiar with your writtings, May Allah keep you writting as you inspire us to do good and to better ourselves as Muslims.
        Nafisa

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