One of our pious predecessors, Thabit Bin Numan, was hungry and tired as he was passing through a garden that bordered a river. He was so hungry that he could hear his stomach growling, and so his eyes became fixed on the fruits he saw on the various trees of the garden. In a fit of desperation, he forgot himself and extended his hand to an apple that was within reach. He ate half of it and then drank water from the river. But then he became overcome with guilt, despite the fact that he had only eaten because of dire need.
He said to himself,
Woe unto me! How can I eat someone elses fruits without his permission? I make it binding upon myself not to leave this place until I find the owner of this garden and ask him to forgive me for having eaten one of his apples.
After a brief search, he found the owners house. He knocked on the door and the owner of the garden came out and asked him what he wanted.
Thabit Bin Numan said,
I entered your garden that borders the river, and I took this apple and ate half of it. Then I remembered it does not belong to me, and so I ask you now to excuse me for having eaten it and to forgive me for my mistake.
The man said,
On one condition only I will forgive you for your mistake.
Thabit Bin Numan asked,
And what is that condition?
That you marry my daughter.
Thabit Bin Numan said,
I will marry her.
The man said,
But heed you this; indeed my daughter is blind, she does not see; mute, she does not speak;deaf, she does not hear.
Thabit Bin Numan began to ponder over his situation; a difficult predicament indeed did he find himself in now; what should he do? Not get out of it, thought Thabit, for he realised that to be tested by such a woman, to take care of her, and to serve her, are all better than to eat from the foul matter of the Hellfire as a reward for the apple that he ate. And after all, the days of this world are limited.
And so he accepted the condition to mary the girl, seeking his reward from Allah, Lord of all that exists. He was nonetheless somewhat anxious in the days prior to the marriage.
How can I have sexual relations with a woman who neither speaks nor sees nor hears?
So miserable did he become that he almost wished for the earth to swallow him up before the appointed date.
Yet despite such apprehensions, he placed his complete trust upon Allah and he said,
There is neither might nor power except with Allah. Indeed to Allah do we belong and indeed to Him shall we al return.
On the day of the marriage he saw her for the first time. She stood up before him and said,
Peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you.
When he saw her grace and beauty, he was reminded of what he would see when he would imagine the fair maidens of paradise (i.e., the gorgeous hoor al-ayn). After a brief pause he said,
What is this? She indeed speaks, hears and sees. He then told her what her father said earlier.
My father has spoken the truth. He said I was mute because I do not speak any forbidden word, and I have never spoken to any man who is not lawful to me (i.e., she has never spoken to any ghair mahrams)! And I am indeed deaf in the sense that I have never sat in a gathering in which there is backbiting, slander, or false and vain speech! And I am indeed blind, in the sense that I have never looked upon a man who is not permissible for me!
Noble reader, reflect on and learn a lesson from this story!
My brothers in Islaam, see how much he feared Allah, and how much he had his trust in Allah, and where this got him!
My sisters in Islaam, see how this woman kept herself chaste, pious, in her hijaab, so much so, she was considered mute (not speaking to any man), deaf (avoiding places of backbiting) and blind (not seeing any man). Allahu Akbar, isnt it these qualities that pious men love to see in their wives? Nay; arent these qualities all men (Muslim and non-Muslims) wish to see in their wives? Isnt it these qualities that give men the crave and yearn to meet their hoor al-ayn in jannah?
The fruit of this marriage was the birth of a child who grew up to be known as Imaam Abu Haneefah.
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Source: Pure Matrimony