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Section 3: Moses Weds Laban’s Daughter

Surah Al-Qasas - Verse 22

وَلَمَّا تَوَجَّهَ تِلْقَآءَ مَدْيَنَ قَالَ عَسَي رَبّـِي أَن يَهْدِيَنِي سَوَآءَ السَّبِيلِ

22. “And when he turned his face towards Madyan, he said: ‘I do hope that my Lord will guide me in the right path’.”

Change of residence, migration, and application of various tactics are usually the means of a revolution. That is why it is necessary that at first we move and then we utter invocate and be hopeful.

Hadrat Moses (as) decided to go toward Madyan, a city in the south of Syria and the North of Arabia, which was out of the domain of Egypt and the government of Pharaoh.

But a youth, who has grown up in a comfortable and bountiful environment, and goes on a trip for the first time in his life, neither has any provision, nor a companion and guide with him, his situation is clear, in particular that he always fears that the informers arrive and capture him in order to kill him.

Yes, Moses must tolerate hardships and difficulties, and come out from the webs that the castle of Pharaoh had twisted around his personality, live beside the oppressed, feel their pain with all his entity, and become prepared for a godly raise in their favour and against the oppressors.

Therefore, when he started to go toward Madyan, he said he hoped that the Lord would guide him in the right path.

The verse says:

“And when he turned his face towards Madyan he said: ‘I do hope that my Lord will guide me in the right path’.”

The Arabic word /tilqa’/ here means: ‘direction’.

Surah Al-Qasas - Verses 23-24

وَلَمَّا وَرَدَ مَآءَ مَدْيَنَ وَجَدَ عَلَيْهِ اُمَّةً مِنَ النَّاسِ يَسْقُونَ وَوَجَدَ مِن دُونِهِمُ امْرَأَتَيْنِ تَذُودَانِ قَالَ مَا خَطْبُكُمَا قَالَتَا لاَنَسْقِي حَتَّي يُصْدِرَ الرّ‌ِعَآءُ وَأَبُونَا شَيْخٌ كَبِيرٌ

فَسَقَي لَهُمَا ثُمَّ تَوَلَّي إِلَي الظّـِلّ‌ِ فَقَالَ رَبّ‌ِ إِنّـِي لِمَآ أَنزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ

23. “And when he arrived at the watering (place) in Madyan, he found on it a group of men watering (their flocks), and besides them he found two women keeping back (their flocks). He said: ‘What is the matter with you?’ They said: ‘We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take away (their sheep from the water), and our father is a very old man’.”
24. “So he watered (their flocks) for them, then he turned back to the shade, and said: ‘My Lord! Verily I stand in need of whatever good You may send down to me’.”

We must not misuse the modesty and weakness of women. If a system of law does not interfere, many men ignore the rights of women. The enclosure between man and woman is a value, so the daughters of Shu‘ayb observed this enclosure when watering their sheep.

Here we are confronted the fifth scene of this story. It is the arrival scene of Moses into Madyan.

This pure youth was paving the way to this city for several days, a way which he had never seen before and was not acquainted with it. As some commentators say, he had to walk the way in barefoot. It has been said that he was in the way for eight days, and he walked so much so that his feet was wounded.

To remove his hunger, he (as) consumed the plants of the desert and the leaves of the trees; and alongside all of these difficulties he had only one satisfaction and it was that, by the grace of Allah, he had been delivered from the unjust grips of the people of Pharaoh.

Little by little the landscape of Madyan appeared in the horizon and his heart got calm. When Moses reached the city, a crowd of people attracted his attention. Before long, he understood that they were some shepherds who had crowded around a well in order to give water to their flocks.

The verse says:

“And when he arrived at the watering (place) in Madyan, he found on it a group of men watering (their flocks)…”

Then the verse continues stating about two women who were taking care of their sheep but did not approach the well.

It says:

“…and besides them he found two women keeping back (their flocks)…”

The Arabic term/ tazudan/ is derived from the word /zawd/ which means: ‘to hinder, to prevent’.

The condition of those chaste girls who were standing in a corner and none was there to help them, where there were some rude shepherds who thought only about their own flocks and did not give turn to anyone, attracted the attention of Moses. He went to them and asked them why they did not go forth for watering their sheep.

The verse says:

“…He said: ‘What is the matter with you?’…”

This discrimination, injustice, cruelty, and this absence of observing the right of the oppressed, which was seen at the threshold of that city, Madyan, was not tolerable for Moses. He was the defender of the oppressed people, and because of it, Moses left the castle of Pharaoh and its favours and went vagrant of his home. He could not abandon his custom and be silent in the face of injustices.

Now, here is the answer of the girls, as the Qur’an says:

“…They said: ‘We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take away (their sheep from the water)…”

In order that this question would not remain without any answer for Moses that why the father of these chaste girls sent them after this action, they added:

“…and our father is a very old man’.”

They implied that their father was very old and he was not able water the sheep, nor did they have a brother to undertake that action, and in order not to be a burden over the shoulder of others, they could not be helped but they did it themselves.

When Moses heard this word from them, he became very inconvenient and said to himself that how unjust were those people that they all thought of their own affairs and did not do the least support for the oppressed ones?

He came forth and, taking the heavy bucket, threw it into the well. It was so heavy that, as it is said, several persons had to bring it out from the well, hut Moses, by his strong hands, brought it out by himself and watered the sheep of those two.

The verse says:

“So he watered (their flocks) for them…”

It is said that when he approached the crowd, he told them what kind of people they were that they thought not for any one other than them. Then the crowd went aside and gave the bucket to him. They told him to come and if he could he would rinse.

They knew that the bucket was so heavy that it needed ten persons to be brought out from the well. They let Moses (as) be alone, but the power of Faith came to help him and increased his bodily strength. Though he was tired, hungry, and inconvenient, he watered completely all the sheep of those two girls by pulling out only one bucket of water from the well.

The verse continues saying:

“…then he turned back to the shade, and said: ‘My Lord! Verily I stand in need of whatever good You may send down to me’.”

Yes, Moses was tired and hungry. He was a stranger in that city and had no place to refuge.

But, in the meanwhile, he was not impatient, and he was so polite that even at the time of supplication he did not say: ‘O Lord! Do so and so’, but he said:

“…‘My Lord! Verily I stand in need of whatever good You may send down to me’.”

That is, he mentioned only his need and left the rest of it to the grace of Allah.

Through a divine utterance, Allah said:

“O Moses! Ask Me for whatever you are in need of, even if it is the grass for your sheep and the salt of your bread.”1

Surah Al-Qasas - Verse 25

فَجآءَتْهُ إِحْدَاهُمَا تَمْشِي عَلَي اسْتِحْيَآءٍ قَالَتْ إِنَّ أَبِي يَدْعُوكَ لِيَجْزِيَكَ أَجْرَ مَا سَقَيْتَ لَنَا فَلَمَّا جَآءَهُ وَقَصَّ عَلَيْهِ الْقَصَصَ قَالَ لاَ تَخَفْ نَجَوْتَ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ

25. “Afterwards one of the two (damsels) came to him walking bashfully. She said: ‘Verily my father invites you that he may give you the reward of your having watered for us’. So when he came to him and narrated unto him his story, (the old man) said: ‘Be not afraid; you are secure from the unjust people’.”

According to the holy Qur’an, modesty is one of the most distinguished accomplishments of a chaste woman. Therefore, a woman must ply outside of the house with modesty and chastity. Father must be aware of the conduct of his children and show a suitable reaction for their actions.

(When Shu‘ayb noticed that his daughters came back sooner than other days, he asked them its reason and decided to thank Moses.)

Now, look that how significant a deed of benevolence is! And how much marvellous bounties it has!

Doing a single action for Allah, and bringing one bucket of water out of a well in order to support an unknown oppressed person, causes a new chapter to appear in the life of Moses, and brings so much material and spiritual bounties for him. He obtained a gift, his wife, for which he had probably to search for many years.

It began as follows:

“Afterwards one of the two (damsels) came to him walking bashfully. She said: ‘Verily my father invites you that he may give you the reward of your having watered for us’…”

A special light of hope appeared in his heart, as if Moses (as) felt that an important event was going to happen, and he would meet a great man, a gratitude man who did not agree that even the labour of a person, even as much as driving a bucket of water from the well, remained without being rewarded. He must be a particular man, a godly man. O my Lord! What a precious chance!

Yes, that old man was Shu‘ayb, the Divine prophet, who had been inviting people to Allah in that city for many years. He was an example of ‘gratitude’ and devotion to truth and justice, and when he was informed of the subject, he decided to pay his debt to this unacquainted young man, whoever he might be.

Moses started going towards Shu‘ayb’s house. According to some Islamic narrations, in order to show the way, the girl went ahead and Moses walked behind her. The wind was blowing to the girls’ clothing so hard that the clothes might be removed from her body.

The modesty and chastity of Moses (as) did not let him be so. Then he told the girl that he would go ahead and on the crossroads she could guide him.2

Moses entered Shu‘ayb’s house. It was a house in which the light of prophethood and spirituality was seen everywhere. An old man, with majesty and dignity, having white hair on his head, said welcome to Moses.

He said to Moses:

“Where do you come from? What is your business? What do you do in this city? What is your purpose here? Why are you alone?”

And some other questions like them.

Moses told his own story for Shu‘ayb.

The Qur’an says:

“…So when he came to him and narrated unto him his story, (the old man) said: ‘Be not afraid; you are secure from the unjust people’.”

Our region is out of their realm, and they do not dominate here. Let no horror be in your heart. You are in a secure land, and you may not suffer from loneliness and strangerhood, because everything will be solved by the Grace of Allah.

Soon Moses (as) realized that he had found a great teacher, Shu‘ayb, in whose entity there were pure springs of knowledge, gnosis, piety, and spirituality, and he could satiate him well.

Shu‘ayb also felt that he had got a worthy, receptive and qualified learner to whom he could transfer the science, knowledge and experiences of his whole life. Yes, as much as that a learner gets gratification from finding a great teacher, the teacher is also happy for finding a worthy student.

Surah Al-Qasas - Verse 26

قَالَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا يَآ أَبَتِ اسْتَأْجِرْهُ إِنَّ خَيْرَ مَنِ اسْتَأْجَرْتَ الْقَوِيُّ الأَمِينُ

26. “One of the two (damsels) said: ‘O my father! Employ him. Verily the best of those that you can employ is the strong man, the faithful one’.”

Hadrat Imam Rida (as) once said:

“Hadrat Shu‘ayb asked her daughter: ‘How did you recognize the trustworthiness of this youth that you called him faithful?’ She said: ‘When I conveyed your invitation to him, he told me to guide him from his behind in order that he might not look at my stature.”3

The girls of a family have the right of suggestion based upon logic and wisdom, too; and good relations between parents and children, and freedom of exposition and declaration in the family is a value.

This is the sixth scene from the life of Moses (as) in this great event.

Moses (as) entered the house of Shu‘ayb; it was a simple rural house, a pure house full of spirituality. When he explained his story life for Shu‘ayb, one of his daughters began speaking and by a short but expressive expression suggested her father to employ him for protecting their sheep, because he had taken the examination of his power and purity and faithfulness both.

The verse says:

“One of the two (damsels) said: ‘O my father! Employ him. Verily the best of those that you can employ is the strong man, the faithful one’.”

A girl who has been grown up in the house of a great prophet must speak like this, so politely and accurately, and she utters the Truth with the least words and in some short sentences.

How did this girl know that this young man was both strong and trustworthy, notwithstanding it was the first time that she had seen him beside the well and his background was not clear for her?

The answer to this question is evident. She found out his strength when he went toward the well and put the shepherds aside for getting the right of these oppressed girls, and driving the bucket out of well by himself. His trustworthiness and honesty was proved when, on the way to the house, he did not agree that a young girl walks in front of him and the wind might displace her clothes.

Moreover, through the truthful explanation of his life story that he stated for Shu‘ayb both his strength became clear, because he struggled against the Coptic, and his trustworthiness and honesty, because he did not collude with the tyrants.

Surah Al-Qasas - Verse 27

قَالَ إِنّـِي أُرِيدُ أَنْ اُنكِحَكَ إِحْدَي ابْنَتَيَّ هَاتَيْنِ عَلَي أَن تَأْجُرَنِي ثَمَانِيَ حِجَجٍ فَإِنْ اَتْمَمْتَ عَشْراً فَمِنْ عِندِكَ وَمَآ أُرِيدُ أَنْ أَشُقَّ عَلَيْكَ سَتَجِدُنِي إِن شَآءَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ

27. “He said: ‘Verily I intend to wed one of these two daughters of mine to you on condition that you serve me for eight years, but if you complete ten, it will be of your own free will, and I do not wish to be hard to you, if Allah wills, you will find me one the righteous ones.”

Here Shu‘ayb welcomed the suggestion of her daughter, as it is mentioned in the translation of the verse. But there are a few questions in this regard.

Firstly, doubt in marrying one of these two girls is meaningless, since both husband and wife must be specified. Secondly, doubt in the length of time, where eight years or ten years, is not correct either. Thirdly, the contract of hire is on behalf of Shu‘ayb, whereas the wife is the possessor of the wedding gift.

The answers to these questions are as follows:

A, doubt here means that each of the girls that both parties agree is defined at the time of marriage.

B, the contract of hire is based on eight years, but at last, if Moses desires, he can add two years.

C, it does not matter that the wife appoints her dower on benefit of someone else. For example, she may say that her dower is one hundred dollars which will be given to the poor as charity.

Some Islamic narrations indicate that at the time of the Messenger of Allah (S) many people married with the dower of teaching a Surah of the Qur’an, or one derham, or a pound of wheat given to the poor.

However, Moses (as) accepted to be at the service of Shu‘ayb. In the mead-time, Shu‘ayb (as) said he did not want that during that time (eight or ten years) to be strict and severe to Moses and put on his shoulder some labours other than protecting their sheep.

The verse says:

“He said: ‘Verily I intend to wed one of these two daughters of mine to you on condition that you serve me for eight years, but if you complete ten, it will be of your own free will, and I do not wish to be hard to you, if Allah wills, you will find me one the righteous ones.”

The last sentence of the verse means: if Allah lets him (Moses) be alive, they will find righteousness and competency in him; otherwise, Allah may take his life from him and He does not give him the success of offering righteousness and competency from him.

Yahy-ibn-Salam says:

“Shu‘ayb told Moses that every new born lamb whose colour was not like that of its mother would belong to Moses. Then all the new born lambs had a colour different from their mothers.”

Some other commentators have said that Shu‘ayb promised Moses that in that year every lamb whose head was black and its body was white it would belong to Moses. Then all the children of the sheep were born in the same colour.

Some Points

1- There are two main conditions for correct administration.

In the short sentence which was mentioned in the above verses from the tongue of Shu‘ayb’s daughter about employing Moses, the Most important and the most methodical conditions of administration were stated in a summarized and general form: power and trustworthiness.

It is evident that the purpose of power is not only the bodily strength, but the objective is the power and ability of performing the responsibility. A powerful and trustworthy physician is the one who is acknowledged enough of his job and has a full dominance on it.

A strong administrator is a person who knows his realm of mission well, is rather aware of the ‘motives’, is mastered in planning, has enough share of originative faculty, and has the necessary skill in ‘arranging the affairs’. He must make the aims clear, and mobilize the powers for reaching the aim. In the meantime, he must be kind, sympathetic, benevolent, trustworthy and honest.

Those who suffice to only trustworthiness and honesty for giving the responsibilities and jobs to someone are in fault as much as they consider that, for accepting responsibility, having expertness is enough. The treacherous specialists and evil conversant factors are as harmful as the unaware honest persons.

If we decide to destroy a country, we must give the affairs to one of these two groups: the treacherous administrators, and the honest ones who are not administrator, and the fruit of both is the same.

The logic of Islam is that every affair should be given to some powerful, capable, and trustworthy persons so that the system of the society ends properly. If we study the causes of the defection of governments in the length of history, we will see that the main factor has been giving the affairs to one of the abovementioned two groups.

It is interesting that everywhere in Islamic programs often ‘knowledge’ and ‘piety’ have come beside each other. An authority of imitation must be just and expert in the Islamic jurisprudence. A judge and a leader must be both expert in Islamic jurisprudence and also be just.

(Besides these two conditions there are also some other conditions, but these two are the basic ones: ‘knowledge’ and cognizance accompanied with justice and piety).

The second subject is the answer to a few questions about the marriage of Shu‘ayb’s daughter with Moses.

We said that the above noble verses have caused a lot of questions to come forth all of which must be answered in a condensed way:

A: Is it correct that a girl who wants to be married with a person may not be precisely distinguished, and at the time of reciting the marriage contract it is said to the bridegroom that one of these two girls is married with you?

Answer: It is not definite that the above expression has been said at the time of the recitation of marriage contract, but the apparent is that at first there is the primary debate and agreement, and after the agreement of Moses, the two parties choose each other and then the formula of marriage contract is executed.

B: Can dower be set ambiguously, and between a small and a large sum?

Answer: From the tone of the verse, it is clearly understood that the real dower had been serving for eight years, and the other two years depended on the will and desire of Moses.

C: In principal, can ‘working and service’ be set as dower? And how this spouse can be touched and associated with while the time of the payment of the dower has not come yet, and he is not even able to pay all of it at once?

Answer: There is no evidence for the lack of permission of such a dower, but in our religion, everything which has value is also included for dower. It is not compulsory that the entire of the dower must be paid in a lamp.

It is enough that all of it is in protective covenant of the husband and the wife owns it. The principle of health and ‘authorizing the previous state’ also judges that this husband will remain alive and will have the ability of doing this service.

D: In principal, how can serving to the father be the dower of the daughter? Is the girl a material that may be sold for a service?

Answer: No doubt Shu‘ayb had got the agreement of his daughter about this issue, and he had a representation and authority to execute the formula of such a marriage contract.

In other words, the main owner of Moses’ protective covenant was that very daughter of Shu‘ayb, but in view of the fact that the living of all of them was passing in a common form with utmost serenity, and purity so that there was not any separation between them, (as even now in many old or rural families it is seen that the living of a family is completely mixed), it was no problem that how that debt ought to be paid.

Shortly speaking, the owner of the dower was only the daughter, not the father, and the service of Moses (as) was also in this way.

E: The dower of Shu‘ayb’s daughter had been a rather heavy dower, because if we count the work of an ordinary worker in a month and in a year and then multiply it to eight, it will be a considerable sum.

Answer: Firstly, this marriage was not a simple marriage, but it was a preliminary cause for Moses to remain in the school of Shu‘ayb. It was a preparation for Moses to study in a great university during that long term, and only Allah knows how many things Moses learnt from the learned old man of Madyan.

Moreover, if Moses worked for Shu‘ayb during this term, instead of it Shu‘ayb would safeguard all the living of Moses and his wife from the same way. Therefore, if we decrease the expenditure of Moses and his wife from the wage of this labour, there will not remain so considerable sum, and we ‘will attest that it was a simple and light dower’.

The third matter is that it is understood from this story that our nowadays custom that we consider the suggestion of the father and relations of the girl for marriage with a youth as a blemish, is not correct.

There is no impediment that the close relatives of the girl find a person who is appropriate for marrying their child and suggest him, as Shu‘ayb did. Similar to this action has been seen among some of the notables of Islam.

The fourth matter is that the names of Shu‘ayb’s daughters have been recorded ‘Safurah’ (or Safura) and ‘Laya’, that the former married Moses.4

The fifth matter: Labour and labourer: Allah has desired people to work and make the earth habitable, which will not obtain unless with effort and endeavour.

The Qur’an says:

“…It is He Who produced you from the earth and settled you therein…”5

The Qur’an thoroughly emphasized on righteous deed which has a very vast meaning. Many prophets of Allah have been farmer, shepherd, tailor, and carpenter. In Islam working is worship and it is considered as Holy Struggle,6 and the invocation of a jobless person is not accepted.

Work is a means of training both body and spirit, filling the hours of leisure, a hindrance of mischief and disturbance. It is a factor of growth, genius, originative faculty, economic development, honour, self-sufficiency, and helping others.

The Qur’an says:

“It is He Who has made the earth manageable for you, so traverse you through its tracts and enjoy of the sustenance which He furnishes…”7

Islam has considered a special value and respect for labour, and has advised that the right of labourer must be observed, his consent be gained, his wage be paid quickly with some addition to the appointed one, and respecting him in all instances. In Islam, satiating the trees by a farmer deserves the satiating believers.

Hadrat Ali (as) advised one of his governor-generals that the farmers might not be done unjustly, and they should be favoured when taking tax from them.8

In Islam mental activities are also valued highly, so much that a useful hour of contemplation is better than some hours of worship. Laziness and carelessness in work is criticized.

The Messenger of Allah (S) said:

“Allah likes that whoever does a thing, he does it well.”9

The Qur’an advises that after finishing an important action another action should begin. Therefore, laziness is forbidden.

The Qur’an says:

“So when you have finished (with your immediate task), still strive hard, (then toil).”10

Yes, idleness causes fatigue, laziness, weariness, and a chance for Satan to penetrate, creation of corruption, and spread of vice.

Islam, of course, has assigned some hours and wages for working, and those who work during holidays are entitled ‘oppressors’.11

Hadrat Imam Rida (as) said:

“A believer must divide his busy time into four parts: a part for working, a part for worship, a part for friends and dealing with social affairs. Otherwise, man will turn to be a greedy person who deserves all critics which are about greed.”12

Islam has a special attention to the quality of the work, not its quantity.

The Qur’an says:

“…which of you is the best in conduct…”13

However, Islam attaches importance to work, so much that we read in Islamic traditions:

“Allah takes the one who sleeps too much and an idle, jobless (disengaged) person as an enemy.”14

Imam Baqir (as) said:

“He who is lazy in his worldly work, is also lazy in his hereafter work.”15

A tradition indicates that once a poor jobless man came to the Prophet (S) and asked help. The Prophet asked the companions whether there was anyone who had an ax in his home. Someone answered he had.

He fetched it and the Prophet (S) equipped it with a steak and gave it to that jobless man and said:

“Here is the tool of job, but you must strive yourself.”16

We can understand several points from this tradition, as follows:

1- The Divine prophets take the life of people under consideration, too.

2- The weakest person of the society can meet the first personality of the society.

3- Society is in need of help and cooperation. One gives an ax, another person provides its stick, and the Prophet (S) arranges them and makes an ax.

4- For struggling against poverty, the implements of production must be given to the active factors of the society. However, for employing persons, they necessarily must have two elements of: ability (expertness) and trustworthiness.

The abilities and trustworthiness of persons of course, must be made known and defined in ordinary conditions and without the attention of the concerning person. (Many persons cover their reality artificially, flatteringly and hypocritically. But Hadrat Moses, in a natural scene, showed himself by a supporting action and a modestly meeting.)

Once Imam Sadiq (as) was asked which girl went after Moses (as). He answered:

“The one who became his wife.”

They asked him which term of the two terms Moses finished. Imam answered the longer and more complete one, (that is, ten years). They asked whether Moses wedded his wife before ten years or after it.

He answered:

“Before ten years”.

They asked him whether a man can marry a woman and makes a condition with her father to be hired for two months for him.

He answered:

“Moses knew that he would finish this condition.”

They asked:

“How did he know it?”

Imam (as) said:

“He knew that he would remain alive and act according to the condition.”17

The Importance of Marriage

Some Islamic narrations indicate that marriage causes half of the person’s religion to be protected. Two units prayer of the person who has spouse is better than seventy units prayer of those who are not married. The sleep of the married persons is better than the fast of the wakeful unmarried ones.18

Yes, in spite of those who think of marriage as the factor of poverty, the Messenger of Allah (S) said:

“Marriage causes the sustenance to be increased.”

Also he said:

“He who abandons marriage because of the fear of poverty is not of us, and has thought ill of Allah.”19

Some Islamic narrations denote: he, who takes an action on the marriage of his brethren, will be favoured by a special favour of Allah on the Day of Hereafter.20

Regarding the ‘formation of a family’ and taking an action for marriage, the Holy Qur’an has seriously ordered and recommended not to be afraid of poverty. If you are poor, Allah will enrich you out of His grace.21

Marriage is a means of peace22. By marriage families approach each other and the hearts will become kind, then the suitable ground of training a pure generation with a spirit of cooperation will be prepared.

We read in Islamic narrations to hasten for marriage. The girl whose term of marriage has come is like a ripe fruit that if it does not be separated from the tree, it will decay.23

Choosing a Spouse

The criterions of choosing a good spouse among people are: wealth, beauty, linage and nobility, while an Islamic tradition indicates that you must pay attention to belief, kind of thought and insight.24

Another tradition indicates that there had been many beauties that caused destruction, and wealth that caused disobedience.25

The Messenger of Allah (S) said:

“If a person came to solicit your daughter in marriage and you approved his religion and trustworthiness, you should not refuse him, else you will get into a great disturbance and decadence.”26

Hadrat Imam Hassan (as) told the one who was consulting him (as) for the marriage of his daughter:

“Choose a pious bridegroom so that if he loves your daughter, he will respect her, and if he does not love her, because of his piety he will not do unjustly to her.”27

Some Islamic narrations indicate that daughters must not be married to men who drink alcoholic liquors, are ill-tempered, and have not a safe line of thought, and those who have grown up in corruptive families.28

Once the Messenger of Allah (S), addressing people, said:

“Avoid the plants grown in ruins.”

He was asked:

“What are the plants grown in ruins?”

He said:

“A beautiful lady who has been grown up in a corrupt family.”29

The Holy Prophet (S) said:

“The best women of my Ummah are the most beautiful ones and have the least dower.”30

It should also be mentioned that marriage is of two kinds: permanent marriage and temporary marriage about both of which there are special commandments and recommendations in the Qur’an and Islamic narrations.

Unfortunately, because of some incorrect customs and pretexts and undue expectations of some of the members of the family of bride or bridegroom and having vain desires, the permanent marriage has appeared in the form of a difficult, puzzle or an impracticable pass; and the temporary marriage has also been counted so ugly and reprobated that indecency has occupied its place.

Surah Al-Qasas - Verse 28

قَالَ ذَلِكَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكَ أَيَّمَا الاَجَلَيْنِ قَضَيْتُ فَلاَ عُدْوَانَ عَلَيَّ وَاللَّهُ عَلَي مَا نَقُولُ وَكِيلٌ

28. “(Moses accepted Shu‘ayb’s suggestion and) said: ‘This shall be (an agreement) between me and you, whichever of the two terms I fulfil, there shall be no injustice unto me, and Allah is a witness of what we say’.”

In marriage contracts, faith in Allah guarantees the safety of contracts.

Here is the statement of Moses as the acceptance of this contract:

“(Moses accepted Shu‘ayb’s suggestion and) said: ‘This shall be (an agreement) between me and you, whichever of the two terms I fulfil, there shall be no injustice unto me…”

Then, in order to fasten it and getting help from the Name of Allah, he added:

“…and Allah is a witness of what we say’.”

So simply and easily Moses (as) became the son-in-law of Shu‘ayb (as).

In all his affairs, even in his own voluntary deeds, man is not independent; he is under the will of Allah and Divine providence.

Whatever Allah desires, it ‘will Be’, and whatever Allah does not desire, it ‘will not Be’; and also ‘there is neither might nor strength but in Allah’. In any circumstance man’s reliance must be to Allah; and reliance and trust is one of the concerns of unity of Divine Acts. Absolutely, man must set the tools aside and be in an entire submission. This is a particular Unity.

By the way, some commentators have said that Moses asked for a stick from Shu‘ayb in order to drive the sheep. Shu‘ayb had several sticks and he told Moses to take one of them. He took the stick, which Gabriel had brought from Heaven for Adam. That stick had a light at night.

Imam Baqir (as) said:

“A stick was brought from Heaven for Adam, then it came to Shu‘ayb. Then, it was given to Moses and now that stick is with us. It spoke whenever it was spoken to, and it accomplished whatever it was ordered to do.”31

  • 1. Wasa’il-ush-Shi‘ah, Vol. 4, P. 1090
  • 2. The Commentary of Abul-Futuh Razi, following the verse
  • 3. Bihar-ul-Anwar, Vol. 13, P. 44
  • 4. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, Vol. 7, P. 249
  • 5. Surah Hud, No. 11, verse 61
  • 6. Wasa’il-ush-Shi‘ah, Vol. 12, P. 43
  • 7. Surah Al-Mulk, No. 67, verse 15
  • 8. Tafsir-i-Nur, No. 9, P. 4
  • 9. Ibid
  • 10. Surah ’Inshirah, No. 94, verse 7
  • 11. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 65
  • 12. Tafsir-i-Nur, Vol. 2, P. 41
  • 13. Surah Hud, No. 11, verse 7
  • 14. Wasa’il-ush-Shi‘ah, Vol. 11, P. 37
  • 15. Ibid
  • 16. Tafsir-i-Nur, Vol. 9, P. 42
  • 17. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, following the verse
  • 18. Mizan-ul-Hikam, narrated from Bihar-ul-’Anwar, Vol. 103, P. 25/221
  • 19. Kanz-ul-‘Ummal, No. 44460
  • 20. Kafi, Vol. 5, P. 331
  • 21. Surah An-Nur, No. 24, verse 32
  • 22. the Holy Qur’an, Surah Ar-Room, verse 21
  • 23. Wasa’il-Ush-Shi‘ah, Vol. 14, chapter 33 and 38
  • 24. Kanz-ul-‘Ummal, No. 46602
  • 25. Sunan Ibn-Majeh, No. 1859, and Mizan-ul-Hikam, Vol. 5, P. 2256
  • 26. Bihar, Vol. 103, P. 372
  • 27. Makarim-ul-Akhlagh, Vol. 1, P. 446
  • 28. Bihar-ul-’Anwar, Vol. 79, P. 142 and Mizan-ul-Hikam, Vol. 5, P. 2558
  • 29. Bihar, Vol. 103, P. 232
  • 30. Bihar, Vol. 103, P. 237
  • 31. ’Atyab-ul-Bayan, Manhaj-us.Sadiqin, Majma‘-ul-Bayan, Safi, Burhan, following the verse

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