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Julaybib sahaba stories biography, sahabah, sahaabah, companion of prophet muhammad saw, sahabi, sahabi's
|Julaybib R.A Sahaba
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
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
Madinah and had drifted into the city or he could even have been from among the Ansar of the city
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 Prop het?
Just as he was aware of the great issues of life and destiny, the Prophet of Mercy was also aware of the
needs and sensibilities of his most humble companions. With Julaybib in mind, the Prophet went to one
of the Ansar and said: "I want to have your daug hter 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. "Then for whom, O Messenger of
God?" as ked the man, obviously somewhat let down. "For Julaybib," said the Prophet.
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 God, may God bless him and grant him
peace, wants to have your daughter married," he said t o 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
As the Ansari was about to return to the Prophet 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 for her hand in marriage to Julaybib. When she heard that
the request had come from the Prophet 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 an d 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 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 to show the egalitarian spirit of Islam. Zaynab at first was highly
offended at the thought of marrying Zayd a former s lave and refused to do so. The Prophet prevailed
upon them both and they were married. The marriage however ended in divorce and Zaynab was
eventually married to the Prophet himself. It is said that the Ansari girl read the verse to her parents and
"I am satisfied and submit myself to whatever the Messenger of God deems good for me." The Prophet
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 the Prophet
to Julaybib and they lived together until he was killed.
And how was Julaybib killed? He went on an expedition with the Prophet, peace be on him, and an
encounter with some mushrikin ensued. When the battle was over, the Prophet asked his companions:
"Have you lost anyone?" They replied giving the names of thei r 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 the Prophet 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 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. The Prophet then took him in his arms and it is said that he had no
better bed besides the forearms of the messenger of God. The Prophet 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 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 re counted we see how humble human beings were
given hope and dignity by the Prophet 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 prefe rences 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 in submitting herse lf 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, he was able to perform
acts of courage and make the supreme sacrifice and d eserve the commendation of the Prophet: "He is of
me and I am of him."
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