Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
This article discusses the treatment of young girls, using the story of the Companions of the Prophet, Jabir and his sisters.
Jabir was young when his father was martyred in the Battle of Uhud. On his shoulders fell the responsibility of being an adult to fend for himself and cater for his young sisters.
His father’s martyrdom was sudden as it was shocking, not only because he was mistakenly killed by Muslims during the confusion at the battle, but also because he left behind an enormous amount of debt.
The creditors had to be paid from the meagre yield of the date palm produce, which was minimal in relation to the debt. Until the creditors were settled neither Jabir’s father nor his surviving family was at peace.
The merits of his father’s bravery were in suspense so long as the debt remained unpaid; in essence, Jabir’s father was indebted even in his grave, a symbol of the delicacy of fulfilling one’s responsibility to others, in this case, his creditors.
Jabir and his sisters will have to endure creditors constantly knocking at the door to retrieve their investments. This was sufficient embarrassment.
To rectify the situation, regain some peace of mind and settle his father’s debt, Jabir consulted the Messenger of Allah who agreed to be present during the repayment, as Jabir was reluctant to meet the creditors alone.
All the creditors were invited. My Prophet went around the piles of dates from Jabir’s harvest, sat on one pile and gave Jabir permission to proceed to calculate and apportion the repayment to each creditor.
At the end of the repayment process, Jabir admitted that the piles of dates were still untouched. His father’s debt had been paid in full and the same quantity of dates from the year’s harvest was still available for him and his sisters.
We all have episodes in our life which are just too much for us to overcome alone. An excellent move is to delegate the power of authority to trusted and skilled individuals who will settle the case on our behalf.
It is worth noting that unlike common trends in some Muslim communities, Jabir did not pawn his sisters to his father’s creditors.
There was no forced marriage of the girls to the creditors in exchange for the dissolution of the debt nor was there a cash sale – forced marriage – of the girls to the wealthy men in the community.
Jabir did not forcefully marry his sisters to some ugly cousins in order to rid himself of his siblings and of the responsibility of showering them with love.
Jabir did not order or require his sisters to earn an income to pay off the debt nor did he perceive his sisters as a burden.
Rather, Jabir was a big and caring brother to his siblings to the extent that he considered them in his choice of spouse.
Although his nuptial life was his to decide without reflection to the life of any other individual, Jabir instead of marrying a young and virgin girl, opted for a previously married woman.
His libido might have desired a young girl, however he was aware his sisters needed a mother figure. His thought processes won over testosterone. His intellect was indeed located in his brain and not in his balls.
By marrying an experienced woman, Jabir ensured his sisters were well nurtured. Their emotional, psychological and social needs were fulfilled.
Jabir’s spouse became a mother to the orphan girls. She attended to the girls, played with them and gave them a new life worth living.