Companions of the Prophet: Julaybib

Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured, Life & Society Topics: Companions (Sahabah) Values: Peace Views: 8309

His name was unusual and incomplete. Julaybib "small gown" 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 and 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 Madinah 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, peace be upon him, 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, peace be upon him?

Just as he was aware of the great issues of life and destiny, the Prophet of Mercy, peace be upon him, was also aware of the needs and sensibilities of his most humble companions. With Julaybib in mind, the Prophet, peace be upon him, went to one of the Ansar and said:

"I want to have your daughter married."

"How wonderful and blessed, O Messenger of God 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 the Prophet, peace be upon him.

"Then for whom, O Messenger of God?" asked the man, obviously somewhat let down.

"For Julaybib," said the Prophet, peace be upon him.

The Ansari man 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 God, may God bless him and grant him peace, 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 God, we shall not marry (her) to him," she protested.

As the Ansari was about to return to the Prophet, peace be upon him, 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 the Prophet's request, peace be upon him, for her hand in marriage to Julaybib. When she heard that the request had come from the Prophet, peace be upon him, 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 God? 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 God! No doubt, this companion of the Prophet, whose name we do not even know had heard the verse of the Quran:

"Now whenever God and His Apostle have decided a matter, it is not for a believing man or a believing woman to claim freedom of choice in so far as they themselves are concerned. And he who disobeys God and His Prophet has already, most obviously, gone astray." (The Quran, Surah al-Ahzab, 33:36)

This verse was revealed in connection with the marriage of Zaynab bint Jahsh and Zayd ibn al-Harithah which was arranged by the Prophet, peace be upon him, to show the egalitarian spirit of Islam. Zaynab at first was highly offended at the thought of her marrying Zayd, a former slave, and refused to do so. The Prophet, peace be upon him, prevailed upon them both and they were married. The marriage however ended in divorce and Zaynab was eventually married to the Prophet himself, peace be upon him.

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 God deems good for me."

The Prophet, peace be upon him, 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 that there was not a more eligible bride than she. She was married by the Prophet, peace be upon him, to Julaybib and they lived together until he died.

And how did Julaybib die? He went on an expedition with the Prophet, peace be upon him, and an encounter with some mushrikin ensued. When the battle was over, the Prophet, peace be upon him, asked his companions:

"Have you lost anyone?"

They replied giving the names of their relatives or close friends who were killed. He put the same question to other companions and they also named the ones they lost in the battle. Another group answered that they had lost no close relative whereupon the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

"But I have lost Julaybib. Search for him in the battlefield."

They searched and found him beside seven mushrikin whom he had struck before meeting his end. The Prophet, peace be upon him, stood up and went to the spot where Julaybib, his short and deformed companion, lay. He stood over him and said:

"This (man) is of me and I am of him."

He repeated this two or three times. The Prophet, peace be upon him, then took him in his arms and it is said that he had no better bed than the forearms of the Messenger of God, peace be upon him. He 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 the Prophet, peace be upon him, whose deeds are sung and whose exploits are recounted with reverence and admiration as they should be. But in the meagre facts that are known about them and which have here been recounted we see how humble human beings were given hope and dignity by the Prophet, peace be upon him, 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 the Prophet, peace be upon him, 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 Prophet, peace be upon him, he was able to perform acts of courage and make the supreme sacrifice and deserve the commendation of the Prophet, peace be upon him:

"He is of me and I am of him."

Excerpted from Companions of the Prophet by Abdul Wahid Hamid

Companions of the Prophet - 2 Vol. SetBy Abdul Wahid Hamid
(554 pages - 2 volumes)

Price: $19.95
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This set of 2 volumes with 60 life stories of the Sahabah (Companions) of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) will bring tears to your eyes and at the same time inspire you. This set highlights aspects of the lives of 60 Companions of the Prophet, some famous, others almost completely unknown.


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  12 Comments   Comment

  1. Sarah from uk

    SubhanAllah. this story always makes me cry. Allah guide us all.Ameen. jazakumuAllahu khairan.

    one thing i agree with from a comment made before...is that i dont think there is need for the picture .

    BarakAllahufeekum.

  2. Raja from India

    I strongly oppose about the dipiction of a photo of someome described as Companion

  3. Khadijah U. Bilal from USA Gainesville,Florida

    Alhamdullilah. all Praise be to Allah ta ala for yet another beautiful example of reminding how we should be. Allah(swt) and his Messenger(saw) know best.

    There is a trend of this type of "focus on the exterior " prevalent in many our of communities today. When brothers and sisters describe the ideal candidate for marriage. The writings in magazines, the internet and through the words expressed by some believers: " the brother must be handsome, slim, light brown, white,rich,established, etc. or "the sister must be thin, athletic, fare-skinned, white, light, no dark -skinned sisters please, must be slender, and the list goes on. We see the similarities of the parents reactions or the believers reaction when the sister or brother that has been described to be a strong believer, that prays the required prays, fasts, made Hajj, but she is a little thick around the mid section, dark-skinned, or may even say emphatically, only white, cream colored, light-brown or have the nerve to say,no African -American sisters,or he is African-American.

    We see similar reactions of the sister's parents when learning the request of the Prophet (SAW) for Julaybib. InshaAllah, this hadith will remind believers in search of a marriage candidate of the reasons one should marry; according to Allah's swt Messenger (saw)described characteristics. I have witnessed ugly rejection behavior of many believers . Some have even reached old age and have not chosen the available, widowed, single sisters or beautiful-in-all-regards, brothers because they lack some physical attribute, maybe even more pounds than someone would like.

    May Allah forgive us and bless the believers that want marriage for the best reason..,piety. May the liberty that some believers take, not take them away from Islam. Ameen. For Allah swt forgives and rewards whom He please.

    Jazaka Allah khair for this beautiful reminder.

  4. Jameel Haniffa from Sri Lanka

    Alhamdulillah

    Its indeed a great response from a Mu'minath to the call of Prophet Muhammed Sallallahu Alihi wasallim.

    May almighty Allah shower his blessings to us.

  5. Om Mohamed from USA

    I too was both touched and yet saddened by the behavior of some (society towards Julaybib) and the outstanding character and conviction of the young woman whom the Propeht (pbuh) had chosen as Julaybib's wife. This article is definitely worth passing on. Jazakalah khairum for the writer's efforts and lessons.

  6. Muibi Ade Salami from USA

    For so many reasons I read this story with tears gathering in my eyes (ofcourse I have to fight that because I am at work - sort of public place). With all the points made I like to add another point which my deepest respect for the wife of Julaybib. ALLAH has blessed her through her OBEDIENCE TO ALLAH AND' THE PROPHET (SAW). Also since she will eventually join her Husband in whatever part of JANNAH he belongs, see what else she had scored - She will be at THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF JANNAH - FARDUS JANNAH - the one the Prophet (SAW) asked us to pray for when we pray for Jannah. The Track of OBEDIENCE TO ALLAH has catapulted her to the BEST END ANY ONE CAN ASK FOR - for the SHUADAHS are at the same level in Jannah with the Prophets of ALLAH. Every Muslim and MUSLIMA must read this and keep it in mind.

    Jazakunmu'LLAH Khairan for bringing this to our notice. We need more of it - So I have decided to buy the two books and SPREAD the WORDS insha'ALLAH.

  7. Ali from USA

    Upon reading this article, I was interested to view the responses from our sisters, and find it interesting that their commments are conspicuously missing. Any comments sisters?

  8. Hassan from Australia

    It just affirms the mercy and compassion our noble prophet brought to this world.He was a light and an inspiration to the orphan,the sick,the destitute,the hungry,the homeless,the widow,the weak and the opressed.

    Woe to the pope who doesnt know a single aspect of our prophet.I hope this article reaches his ears.

  9. Amu Latif from United Kingdom

    Mashallah a very good article that was beautifully written, showing the true equal and compassionate face of islam. This should be a reminder to all those who place family lineage and physical appearance at the highest level that what originates from within one's breasts is what counts.

  10. Samir

    I'm surprised that there is only one comment ! Those looking with their hearts we'll see how great is The Prophet Mohamed (pbuh) and how much great was the society he built. Did he need the sword when the hearts opened to him and His companions like that? of coarse not. Great article, for gerat history, the one of The Prophet and his companions ...these lights in the darkness of this modern life.

    May Allah give peace and His blessings to him and his companions.

  11. Aussie Mahdi from Australia

    I am deeply touched by this article.I am in great melancholy because I'd be never be able to meet my beloved Muhammad or feel him ever in this world.

    The Holy prophet was a beacon of light for the Orphan,the helpless widow,the oppressed and the weak.

    In word and in deed he was a mercy upon mercy to all mankind and jinn.

    I love you infinetly Rasool e Akram.

  12. Faisal Sheikh from India

    Alhamdulillah. It was a great article. It really brought tears in my eyes. I was not knowing about Julaybib (RA) until i read this article. Indeed, the prophet(peace be upon him) was a Mercy to mankind.