The Women Majlis – by Ustadha Eman AL Obaid ( HafidhhaAllah)
The Women Majlis
Ale Imran 103
وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنتُمْ عَلَىٰ شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ فَأَنقَذَكُم مِّنْهَا كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ
And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited, and remember the favor of Allah on you when you were enemies, then He united your hearts so by His favor you became brethren; and you were on the brink of a pit of fire, then He saved you from it, thus does Allah make clear to you His communications that you may follow the right way.
Surah Hujurrat Ayah 10
إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ
The believers are but brethren, therefore make peace between your brethren and be careful of (your duty to) Allah that mercy may be had on you.
You have to be responsible of your action and the Mercy of Allah (سبحان الله وتعالى) will descend on you .
Surah Hujurrat Ayah 13
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ
O you men! surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other; surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty); surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.
Allah (swt) created male and female , men and women are important , everyone has a power ,strength in their own way . From male and female ,you have nations and nations and tribes . With only one word people get marriage , it’s divine . Allah (swt) made you together to each other and know how Allah (swt) created human being , and the most honorable to Allah (swt) is not your rank,color, family , it’s about the one who have Taqwa.
Surah Nisaa Ayah 1
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا
O people! be careful of (your duty to) your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind) and spread from these two, many men and women; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, by Whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship; surely Allah ever watches over you.
The start of this Surah is start for the lady . There is a boundary , don’t violate the boundaries . You can make your house Paradise and your house miserable. That’s why Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) made special khutbah for women . Women need it more . Allah (سبحان الله وتعالى) created you from a single soul , and from that soul Allah (swt) created his wife . Allah (swt) created Adam then he couldn’t survive then Allah (swt) created from his back . That’s why man are straight and women bend and that’s why the man need to provide and protect the women.
Even Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) said be gently with the vessel . Women are like vessel. Ladies are very precious .
What’s a typical women Majlis ? Gossip ! About their husbands ,
Hadith Um Zara3
The word of Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) is only one line . Imagine once upon a time , in a majlis with a coffee and in a Tent .
Aisha (ra) virgin and youngest , was engaged at 6 and married at 9 years . And she lives with Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) till he passed away and was 18 and teaching men as well . See Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) has different wives and dealing with them differently . Aisha (ra) was young and he used to play with her .
One day she came to Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) and he was busy , because revelation , and so much work . Though he was very busy , she want to have some fun and not to be bored . She want to start an interesting topic , she started the conversation .
11 women sitting in a Majlis and all agreed , to not hide any secret about your husband . There were elite ladies from the city so their talk goes accordingly .
There were eloquent and then were saying every details of their husband .
Their husbands were all away for their needs. They were alone and began talking of things to keep themselves occupied and happy. They subsequently made an agreement that each one of them would describe their husbands.
عَنْ عَائِشَةَ – رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهَا – قَالَتْ: “جلست إحدى عشر امرأة، فتعاهَدْنَ وتعاقدن أن لا يكتمن من أخبار أزواجهن شيئاً
Aisha radiyallahu anha reports, “Once eleven women assembled and made an agreement, that each of them would describe the true state of their husbands, without hiding any fact.”
فقالت الأولى: زوجي لحم جَملٍ غَثّ، على رأس جبل وعر، لا سهلٌ فيرتقى، ولا سمينٌ فينتقل
THE FIRST WOMAN said, “My husband is like the meat of a useless camel. (As if he is a piece of meat that has no life left in it, and also like the meat of a camel that is generally not preferred). And the meat also put on top of a mountain which is difficult to climb. The road to the top is not easy, so that it may be possible to climb it, nor is the meat of much value, that because of it one should separate it into a hundred lots and carry it down.
Commentary : my husband is like old camel meat , she is the most angry that’s why she started it . And not everyone is familiar to the camel’s meat . And no one has desire for camel’s meat. It’s as if you say anyone want the camel meat ,take it . He’s an unwanted man ,rotten , thin , and this camel is not easy to approached he’s above the mountain , as if you climbing the mountain . Whatever you do he’s not happy with . You can’t even say a word . I can’t get anything for him .
(قالت الثانية): زوجي لا أثير خبره، إني أخاف أن لا أذَرَهُ، إن أذكره أذكرْ عُجَره وبُجَره.
THE SECOND WOMAN said, “(If I do describe my husband what can I describe about him. I have nothing to say about him). I fear if I begin to describe his faults, there will be no end to it. If I begin I will have to mention all his inner and outer faults.”
She says I will not talk about his news , because it’s so much that I will not end . And she say I’m afraid he I speak about him he will divorce her because she still loves him . If I talk about him I will remember 3ujjarah ,Bujjarah .
عجره ujjarah is the vein in the neck , the one which showned when you get angry . As if his faults is so apparent like the ujjarah.
بجره means Bujjarah is the inflated navel when it’s big like his full of faults , and evil attitudes .
قالت الثالثة: زوجي العَشَنّق، إن أنْطِقْ أُطلَّق، وإن أسكت أُعَلَّق.
THE THIRD WOMAN said, “My husband is an ‘A-shannaq’ which means he is a very tall man .If I do comment on anything he will immediately give talaaq (divorce), and if I keep silent, I just hang around.” Meaning I’m not married women neither I’m divorce . He’s just ignoring me .
My husband is A Shannaq meaning he’s very tall with small Brain , mind and heart are separated. He’s narrow minded. It is a dispraise attributes but she is putting it nicely . She’s not satisfy with him . May be she loves him and she’s being patient . If I do comment on anything he will immediately give talaaq (divorce), and if I keep silent, I just hang around.” Meaning I’m not married women neither I’m divorce . He’s just ignoring me .
The lady has a need for man and vice versa . It is said before a lady ask for divorce she will think 1000 times. Even Surah Talaaq tells you about how to solve the problem . Always look at the good side . Don’t try to test the husband . Marriage is half of the Deen . A man doesn’t need another man in front of him .
قالت الرابعة): زوجي كَلَيْلِ تهامةَ، لا حَرَّ ولا قَرَّ، ولا مخافة ولا سآمة.
THE FOURTH WOMAN said.. “My husband is mild mannered, like nights of Tihaamah. He is not hot nor cold, nor is there anything to fear of him, nor any displeasure”.
My husband is like night ,very pleasant . Not too much angry ,severe and aggressive and at the same Time he’s not cold . He has little feeling ,He is mild natured and is not very cunning or dull. One does not fear to live with him, nor do the nerves and mind become dull or tired. I’m not afraid of him , I can be open , tell my opinion and I can do anything and he won’t say anything .as if he always give excuse . He will not be bored from me and I will not be bored from him .
Imagine Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) sitting will all the ladies and all complain and he will solve their problem . The wife’s of Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) are not Angels they are human .
In Sahih Bukhari Aisha narrated that : from all the wife of Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) ,I couldn’t find any one better cooker like Safiyyah. She confess . One day she felt jealous , one day Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) was in Aisha house then Safiyyah (ra) sent food for Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) . Then Aisha took the food from Safiyyah (ra) then Aisha throw it and break the vessel . Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) heard the noise , and smile and keep his conversation . He said your mother became jealous . Then he said bring me one of your food with the vessel and you will send to Safiyyah. Anger and stubbornness can’t go together . One should be cool to handle let other .
Another incident happened in time if Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) . He didn’t have lot of money but all wives used to have his own Hujurrat . The Sahaba (ra) want to give gift .and they know Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) loves Aisha (ra) the most of the tine the Sahaba (ra) used to bring gift in the day of Aisha (ra)…. The other wives made a meeting and said its not fair and say Aisha (ra) taking all the gift though it’s for Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) . They want the gift to be distributed. They said Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) never refused anything to his daughter Fatima (ra) . They went to her and complain . Fatima (ra) came to Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) , and she has the same way of walking (footsteps) and they were sleeping under the cover . He saw Fatima (ra) he said welcome my daughter , and she said Ya Rasulullaah , your wives asked you justice with the daughter of Abu Bakr AsSiddiq (ra) . Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) responded : you love me ? She said of course I love you . He said : you love this ( meaning Aisha (ra) ) . She knew it means don’t talk about her , you need to love her too . And you will see a good daughter won’t argue .
So she goes back to them ( the wives ) . And told her the answer of Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) . They think and said lets go to Zaynab( ra) as Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) loves her after Aisha (ra)
Zaynab (ra) went and spoke heavy word . And someone talked bad about you and insult you . Aisha (ra) said I wanted to answer her but before but my eyes look at Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) and I want to see if he agree I will answer or ignore it .she said I knew from his face I can answer . So I answer her the same .
It is said the strength of the lady is when she feel weak and need the husband to solve her problem . That’s why Allah (سبحان الله وتعالى) said the men have power over the women .That show I can’t do anything without taking his permission .
Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) said nothing can melt the head of the men except the women . Man are very weak in front the lady . The men weakness is the women and vice versa .
قالت الخامسة : زوجي إن دخل فَهِدَ، وإن خرج أسَِدَ، ولا يسأل عما عَهِدَ.
THE FIFTH WOMAN said: “When my husband comes into the house, he becomes a cheetah, and when he goes out, he becomes a lion. He does not care to investigate what happens in the house”.
If it is taken to be criticism it will then mean that, when he comes into the house he becomes vicious like a cheetah. He’s impatient to have relation with his wife . He does not say anything, nor does he have anything to do with the household affairs. When he goes out he is like a gentleman. If any difficulty arises in the house, he has nothing to do with it, he does not inquire , nor is it his worry. And he will not talk about the details , If this is taken to be praise, then it shall mean, that when he enters the house he becomes quiet, he does not know of anything and does not utter a complaint on any word. He sleep too much and heedless .He does not become angry. He is so unaware, it is as if he is sleeping. Whatever we cook or eat, he does not interfere in anything, nor does he investigate anything, that, why was such a thing done, or why did this happen? When he goes out he is like a lion between he man . Whatever there is in the house for eating etc. he does not care, nor inquires that how and why was this spent .
The 5th is good husband , he overlooked mistakes . When you overlook you live in paradise . Asking question and be picky distract you from the main purpose of the life .
One incident Happened with Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) . One time Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) was in the house of Aisha (ra) . One man had permission to enter the house . Before the man came they ask who is that man , they said so and so . Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) said : worst is his man .
It shows that man is very aggressive and bad man . When this man came , Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) talked nicely with him . No one could bear him though . Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) made him enter and welcome him . And the man left . So Aisha (ra) said how come , he come and you were nice to him . Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) said : one of the worst people with Allah (سبحان الله وتعالى) in the Day of Judgement , are those being avoided because of their bad tongue , those with their tongue , Meaning they don’t let you go easily .
Even if you see anything bad , leave it ,ignore , conceal people sins and Allah (سبحان الله وتعالى) will conceal your in the Day of Judgement . It’s a way of saying you talk good to them to avoid their tongue . You will see Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) didn’t treat his wives gently not like he is the boss . Him and his wives has huge difference , different age as well .
Another incident , Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) is the best worshipper , one time there was a battle and told the army , you go forward , when they went front , him and Aisha (Ra). Then she said lets race no one is here . Then he raced with her and won and she was happy . After years passed she forgot this incident . With years she became heavier … One time again same incident happen , and he said lets race . Then this time he won and laughed .
Women need the man, to come down . Not being above the man . You need to deal with your man . He’s the man ! Give him the trust . You are the crowed on the on my head . Tell him : انت تاج راس ( you are the crow on my head ).your opinion if is mine ,your wish is my command…. And so and if you do that he will be serving you . Allah (سبحان الله وتعالى) created man like that . He need to feel good , he will really protect you and take care . Hit the other way around can’t work . Don’t make him feel m he don’t know anything and you know all, you don’t understand , everyone cheat you , as if you exclude him . Allah (سبحان الله وتعالى) say : the man is powerful than the women .
قالت السادسة : زوجي إن أكل لَف، وإن شَرِبَ اشْتَفَّ، وإن اضطجع التفَّ، ولا يولجُ الكفَّ لِيَعلمَ البَثَّ
THE SIXH WOMAN said: “When my husband eats, he eats everything. When he drinks, he does not leave anything. And it shows the wife is very good cleaner .it can also mean he only think about food .When he sleeps, he sleeps in his own sheet,giving his back . It also said the way husband sleep he show you the love and so, He does not even touch me, she want that love , appreciation at least . so that he can know the disturbance in my mind, at least I could say my feeling . She want a caring husband .she didn’t want so much , but only love and appreciation .
That’s how when anyone does anything for you , then appreciate . There is no reward for Ihsaan than Ihsaan.
Our faults won’t be reformed unless I have husband who suit us . Appreciate people , it will make him feel happy and this is reward to make people feel happy . And it negates the Sunnah , you must eat in front of you .
Imagine you are the host , make easy for your guest . It’s form the etiquette to spread all , make easy and accessible for them to eat . Help them make the Sunnah .
قالت السابعة : زوجي عَياياءُ (أو غياياءُ) طباقاء، كلُّ داءٍ له داء، شَجَّكِ أو فَلَّكِ،أو جمع كُلاً لَكِ.
THE SEVENTH WOMAN said: “My husband is عَياياءُ misguided ,impotent and on the top is mind is locked , closed minded . He cannot even speak, ask me anything . Whatever sickness a person has in this world I can think about , he possess it. And on t
he top of it he beat her . She didn’t say he beat me , but he beat her , as if it not her . His manners are such that he may شَجَّكِ make a cut the face , فَلَّكِ break the bones,or do both together .
In islam she could ask divorce but she doing Taqwa ,she is being patient . Sometimes people,with small reason they ask for divorce . Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) said if lady ask divorce for any desire she will not smell paradise .
In the Jahileeyah it was an habit to beat their wives . They was beating without reason. When they came to Madinah , Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) said it’s forbidden to beat the women . After couple times , Umar Bin Khattab, said and ask Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) what’s happen . The women became like lion , they roaring , no control , they want to do bad things and we can’t beat them cause you forbid us . So he gave permission , next day all women were beaten . Then the women 70 houses went to complain to Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) that our husband beating them . Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) said : those who beating the women are not the good among you . In Surah Nisaa, it’s mentioned to beat just for reforming and it’s the 3rd level . It’s even called the beat of the lover . There is a beating but there is restriction , it should be. Loving beat …. In the Surah it mentioned if the lady deviating , talk to her , nicely advise a bit firm . If she doesn’t listen . Separate them from the bed . But since msn can’t live without her they skip the second level . If they follow the second level they might solve the problem .
Even your children and maid do not beat them as in the Day of Judgement they will take your Hassanat, you want a tranquil and relax house .
One time AISHA (ra) narrated : one day it was my night and he supposed to sleep in my house , I was in bed awake waiting for him . I saw him coming slowly and lay down lowly and just wake up , and took his slipper and walk slowly slowly and open the door slowly slowly . I tried to follow him and I saw he went to the graveyard . And make Dua 3 times , when he return and turn she also turn and she follow him, and she went quickly home and on bed , then he came and saw she’s breathing strongly . Then he ask what did you do , she said nothing then he said tell me or Allah (سبحان الله وتعالى) will tell me . Then she said all the truth . And said do you hind Allah (سبحان الله وتعالى) or is ill be unjust , he put his hand on her chest . So gently . Even Ayyub (ra) beat with Siwwak . Then he said Jibril (as) called me outside because you were wearing light and I didn’t want to wake u up so you be afraid . So Jibril (as) told me that Allah (سبحان الله وتعالى) command me to make Istighfar for the Baqi . Look at now what Aisha did . What a good wife do .
Straight away she change the topic , don’t go again and again when there is a problem
قالت الثامنة : زوجي المسُّ مسُّ أرنب، والريح ريح زَرْنَ.
THE EIGHTH WOMAN said: “My husband is soft like a rabbit when I touch him, it’s gently smooth, His scent is like smell is like one plant with very nice . His smell is always nice . This is man how about women ? Islam recommend purity . One advise the mother tells to their Daughter always smell perfumes for you .
And women can’t put perfumes in front man as it is considered as she did Zinah. Also Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) said the most beautiful things is women and perfumes . When he used to go out of his wife he used to use Siwwak . He always smell nice , even his sweet smell good fragrance .
قالت التاسعة: زوجي رفيعُ العماد، طويل النِّجاد، عظيمُ الرِّماد، قريبُ البيت من الناد
THE NINTH WOMAN said: “My husband is Tall like a pillar . It’s praise attribute for the man . Handsome appearance . As if he’s brave and he’s hospitable, owner of a high dwelling. He has a lot of ashes. He is tall built. His home is near the club (majlis) of the man . He’s welcome all . And he is very easy to approach . That’s why for the marriage look at the advantage of the other.
قالت العاشرة : زوجي مالكٌ، وما مالِك؟ مالكٌ خير من ذلك، له إبلٌ كثيراتُ المبارك، قليلات المسارح،
إذا سمعن صوت المِزْهَر أيقنَّ أنهنَّ هَوالك.
THE TENTH WOMAN said: “My husband is Maalik,( name of her husband ) and what can I describe about Maalik? She’s happy to talk about him . He is better than all those who have been praised. He owns many herds of camels, those camels are pampered ,kept in the house , very few of them we can take them around . The camels are expensive also . If a guest come ,he can slaughter for them ,he can stand by for the guest . If the camels hear the sound of the mizhar, ( sound of the guest coming ) they are sure that their end is near, and they will be dead .
قالت الحادية عشر : زوجي أبو زَرْع، وما أبو زَرْع؟ أناسَ من حُليِّ أُذُنَيَّ، وملأ من شَحْمٍ عَضُديَّ، وبَجَّحَني فبَجَحْتُ إليَّ نفسي، وجدني في أهل غُنيمةٍ بَشَقٍ، فجعلني في أهل صَهيلٍ وأَطيطٍ، ودائِسٍ ومُنَقٍّ، فعنده أقولُ فلا أُقَبَّحُ، وأرقدُ فأتصبّحُ، وأشربُ فأتقَمَّحُ،
THE ELEVENTH WOMAN Umm Zar-a,( she loves her husband so much ,if you love someone ,you will love all those who they love as well ) said: “My husband was Abu Zar-a’, and how can I praise Abu Zar-a'(his kunya) . She’s being so grateful . She said ,before I got married I didn’t have gold now , which even moving . He showered her with gold . She talked first about what he did to her . Because gold is more beloved to the lady .before marriage I was very thin and poor ,He filled the fat if my arms by feeding me . The arms because it’s sign of wealth . He’s always admire and praising her showering her with nice words , till I believe him and I ask myself I’m jamila ? She’s very confident, and contented, that due to self admiration and haughtiness I thought virtuous . He found me from such a poor family that lived with hardship, owning only a few goats for a living. From there he brought me into such a luxurious live and family who owned horses, sound of camels being loaded and those loaded camels walked it make that sound . We have so much agriculture that different plant , it will even be stepped on . Refine food . She is appreciating her husband so much . The good wife always appreciate your husband .
Besides whatever she say , no one will complain or reject my words . When I sleep they let me sleep till late in the morning, and no one was allowed to wake me up. That’s how how wealthy he is . He has many workers in the house. Food was so abundant that after filling myself I just left it (and it never got finished). I drink for the pleasure .
The mother of Abu Zar-a’ ( mother-in-law), in what manner can I praise her? She also appreciate her mother in law , and praising her . Her huge utensils were always full I’m the bag ready to give people ,generous ,Her house was very big spacious .
If you encourage your husband to be good to his mother , and you encourage your mother in law to be good with his mother , all will be in your balance in the day of judgement . There is no competition with daughter in law and mother .
The son of Abu Zar-a’, in what manner can I praise him? He was also a easy man, He was so thin and skinny, the sleeping part of his body thin like sword. He doesn’t eat a lot and small lamb
was enough to fill his stomach.
The daughter of Abu Zar-a’, how can she be praised? She’s very obedient to her mother and father. She is (filled her dress )fat and healthy, and a jealousy for the second wife(Jaar in Arabic is co-wife) ,The second wife feels jealous on her excellence. Among the Arabs it is desirable that a man be thin and tall, and a woman fat a healthy).
And how can I praise the slave girl of Abu Zar-a’? She even talk about the maid because she love him so much . She never gossiped about our house affairs to anyone outside . She is not even waste the foodstuffs. She did not let the house become dirty , but kept it clean.
This is a perfect live , living like a queen , the household all fine and good . There is no trace of bad .
One time Abu Zar-a came out of the house in the spring time , He found a woman, with two cheetah like children playing with pomegranates. (The similarity of cheetah is with playing, and the pomegranates are the breasts of the women are intended here). He loved her so much, that he divorced me, and married her. (I was divorced because as a second wife, she would become heartsore, and by divorcing me the new wife would have greater regard for him). And that’s show he didn’t want to married two . And the lady didn’t talk bad about him though he divorced her .
She married again another gentlemen , none of the others women didn’t divorce though the husband wasn’t good , that’s show life is never perfect . She married a very rich husband more than Abu Zar-a , even his ride is the most expensive type of horses , and very brave .
He showered on me many gifts. he presented me food and say ‘Eat as much as you want yourself, send to your parents as much as you wish’. Still she remember Abu Zar-a and said : if I add up all his good qualities etc. then too he will not excel the little thing that abu Zar-a’ bestowed upon me”. It shows that Abu Zar-a gave warmness along with the wealth . That show you can’t buy the women heart with money .
“After Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallain completed this story, he ( Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سلام) said to me. ‘I am also to you as Abu Zar-a, had been to Umm Zar-a’