This is the love story between Zainab bint Muhammad and her husband, Abu El'Ass ibn Rabee'. The story is told about the struggle, patience, and sacrifice of Prophet’s oldest daughter, in guiding her husband to find the truth. Zainab is the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and Khadejaa (RA). While Abu Al’Ass ibn Rabee’ is Khadeeja’s nephew. He was one of the nobles of Quraish at the time. This story began before Muhammad (SAW) received the mission of Prophet Hood.
One day, Abu El’Ass proposed Zainab to Prophet Muhammad SAW. Then, he asked to Zainab whether she wanted to be married by Abu El Ass or not. Zainab could not refuse the proposal and then Abu El’Ass and Zainab were married and had two sons, namely Ali and Omama. They lived happily along the time.
The conflict between Zainab and her husband arouse when she became a Muslim because her father had become the messenger of Allah (SWT). But, her husband did not know about it. Her husband went away far from Makkah when her father became a Prophet. After going back to Makkah, Abu El’Ass found his wife was a muslim. He was very angry because Zainab never told to him first before she became a Muslim. It became a big problem for him, the problem of religion and belief. Abu Ell Ass kept on his belief and remained unbeliever of Muhammad’s prophethood. Zainab was not angry anymore; even she promise that she would be patiently to accompany her husband until he could find the truth. She kept her promise for about 20 years.
The migration came; Muhammad and his companion went away from Makkah to Madina. But, Zainab asked permission to her father to follow her husband. Prophet Muhammad agreed it. He permitted Zainab to stay in Makkah with her husband. Zainab stayed in Makkah until the Badr war occurred. Zainab was very sad because the war was the fighting between a Muslim and Quraish. It meant that her husband would fight her father. She worried if one of her lovely family would be a victim in the war.
The war ended. The Muslims won the war and Abu El’Ass captured by Muslim’s army. After knowing her husband was captured by the Muslims, Zainab gave her necklace as the payment to free her husband. It was given to the prophet Muhammad SAW. When saw the necklace, the prophet was very surprised. He was sure that it was her wife’s necklace. He asked to his companion about whom the necklace belongs to. The companion told that the necklace was a payment to free Abu El’Ass. Then, Prophet Muhammad realized that Abu El’Ass was his son in law. He permitted to the companion to free Abu El’Ass without payment and asked to return the necklace to her daughter. Prophet Muhammad asked Abu El’Ass to speak privately. He gave the necklace to him to be returned to Zainab. And he also asked Abu El’Ass to return her daughter to him. Abu El’ Ass agreed it.
Zainab waited for her husband’s arrival. As arrived in Makkah, Abu El’Ass directly told to Zainab to go back to her father because he knew that the Muslim and disbeliever could not be gathered. Zainab obeyed her husband. She agreed to back to her father. She brought her two sons with him. But, she still hoped that one day her lovely husband will be back to her because Zainab really loved her husband. She kept on waiting for about 6 years and did not want to remarry.
After 6 years, Abu El'Ass was traveling in a caravan from Makkah to Syria. During the journey, he was intercepted by some of the Prophet's companions. He escaped and asked for Zainab's home. He knocked on her door shortly before the dawn prayer. Zainab opened the door and asked him whether he had become a Muslim or not. But, Abu El’Ass answered negatively. Zainab was disappointed, but she still respected Abu El’Ass as her cousin and father of her two sons. Then, she granted Abu El Ass for his freedom. Prophet Muhammad knew it and declared that Abu El’Ass was a good son-in law. Then, he returned his money as a payment of war to Abu El’Ass. Abu El’ Ass then went back to Makkah and gave the money to his companion there. After that, he directly declared his Islam by reading syahadat.
Then, after being a Muslim, Abu El’Ass went back to Madina and permitted to Prophet Muhammad to remarry Zainab. Both of them were back together again. That was very happy moment for Zainab after waiting patiently for about 26 years. But, a year after this incident, Zainab was died. Abu El'Ass was very deep sad. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) came with eyes full of tears and a heart full of sorrow. Zainab's death reminded him of the death of his wife, Khadeejah. Abu El’ Ass then prayed to Allah and said that he could not stand life without Zainab. Then, Allah accepted his pray, Abu El’Ass died one year after Zainab’s death.
THE ANALYSIS OF “STORIES OF SHAHABAH: LOVE STORY”
Every story must have the value. There are four common values can be found in the literary work. They are religious, philosophical, ethical, and esthetical. Religious is the value related to the religion and belief. Philosophical is related to the life and love deep thinking. Ethical is related to the good behavior to everything. While esthetical is related to the beauty of thing. This paper will analyze about ethical values of the short story entitled “Stories of Shahabah: Love Story”. This is the love story between Zainab bint Muhammad and her husband, Abu El'Ass ibn Rabee'. The story is told about the struggle, patience, and sacrifice of Prophet’s oldest daughter, in guiding her husband to find the truth. Zainab is the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and Khadejaa (RA). While Abu Al’Ass ibn Rabee’ is Khadeeja’s nephew. There are 10 data contain ethical value consists of Ethic to God, ethic to people, and ethic to ourselves. The data are explained as follows:
1. So she prayed to Allah, thanking Him.
Word “She” here refers to Zainab. Zainab shows her thankfulness to Allah. She did it when she knows that the Muslim won in war. Her act indicates ethic to God because the thankfulness is one of the good ways to respect all given by Allah. Allah as the God has given anything best to His creature. And it is a must for people as his creature to say thanks to Allah in every condition and situation. It is the obligation to keep thanking to Allah. Everyone who always expresses gratitude to Allah, Allah will increase the blessing to her/him. As stated on holy Quran, “keep your gratitude, I will increase your honor”. It is Allah promise and never be betrayed.
2. After the Prophet (SAW) prayed the dawn prayer in congregation with the people, they heard a voice from the back of the mosque.
Prophet Muhammad does dawn prayer here. Activity prayed dawn prayer here indicates ethic to God. As a Muslim, we have obligation to do prayer five times everyday. It shows the obedience to Allah SWT as the King of this world. By doing prayer, the people also show the thankfulness to Allah. Allah promises if the people always keep thanking to Him for all graces they have, He will give more for the people. But if they never say thank to Him, adzab will be very horrible. (QS. Ibrahim: 7).
3. “One day Abu El'Ass went to the Prophet (SAW) before he had received his mission of Prophet Hood and said: "I want to marry your eldest daughter".”
This statement indicates ethic to people. Before boy intends to marry a girl, he must go to her parents to propose her. It shows that the boy is brave and serious to marry the girl. In Islam, it is a must for the boy who wants to marry a girl to ask permission to the girl’s parents. That indicates that the boy is respect to the girl and her parents. After getting the permission, the boy can marry the girl suited to the rule existing in the society. It has become the norm in the society, including Indonesia.
4. “So the Prophet replied: "I must ask her first".”
The prophet said that statement after Abu El’ Ass was telling his intention to marry his daughter. That statement indicates ethic to people. It shows the parents’ reverence for their daughter. If there is someone propose their daughter, the parents better asking the daughter first before decide whether accept or deny the married proposal from the boy. It will make the daughter feels comfort and be respected by the parent.
5. “Then he said, "So will you excuse me and understand?"
This event here happened after Abu El’Ass knew that his wife, Zainab, has followed her father to become a Muslim, but he did not want to follow his wife’s religion. Then, he said to the Zainab whether she can understand him although they have different belief. Abu El’ Ass does not want to force her wife to follow his religion. He frees Zainab to choose what she wants. The statement indicates ethic to people. Abu El’Ass still respects his wife although actually he does not like this condition. He is still able to control his emotional condition to his wife.
6. She replied, "Who will excuse and understand you if I don't? I will stay beside you and help you until you reach the truth." And she kept her word for 20 years.”
It indicates ethic to herself and other people. Zainab answers her husband question bravely. She promises to be beside her husband until he finds the truth about the true religion. She really keeps her promise for 20 years. It shows the strength of her heart to guide her husband to the true way. Zainab decision to keep beside her husband is the way to show her dedication for her husband. Then, someone who can keep the promise means that he or she is an honest people. So, she or he will be trusted by the other people. It will increase her value of life in the society.
7. “Zainab went to her father and asked him for the permission to stay with her husband.”
Zainab decides to stay with her husband when her father invites her to move to Medina. It shows the ethic to people. Surah An-Nisa: 34 states that the man is a chief for a woman. Man here means the husband. As the wife, it is a must to respect and obey the husband as her chief in a house. Zainab has implemented the surah in her life. She decides to live with her own family than follow her father to Medina. It means that she respect her husband very much.
8. She said, "I'll send a payment to release him". She didn't own anything of much value, so she took off her mother's necklace, and sent it with Abu El'Ass's brother to the Prophet.
As the woman, Zainab has become a good wife. She shows her caring and loving to her husband. She is willing to give payment to release her husband. She shows her dedication to her husband although they both are in different belief and religion. It means that she has ethic to people, especially to the husband.
9. He knocked on her door shortly before the dawn prayer.
Activity knocked the door shows ethic to people. The guest has to spread salaam and knock on the door before enter someone’s house. It shows the respect to the house owner. The activity shows the norm of visiting someone in Islam.
10. They replied, "No, Abu El'Ass, there is nothing left, thanks a lot."
The word thanks a lot here indicates ethic to people. As a good person, we have to say thanks to other when we are given something either thing or merit/service. Saying thanks shows the respect for someone who gives us help. It is good habit that must be conserved to keep the respectful feeling to each other. It will keep the harmony and comfort in the environment.
After reading the story, the reader must be able to get the lesson from the story. The lesson can be taken from the character’s experience. There are good and bad experience. So, there are some lessons that can be learned from a story. “Story of Shahabah” has some lessons that can be learned. They are:
- Keep patient and strength when face the problem.
Don’t rush when we face the problem. Every problem can be solved if we think deeply and patiently. If we try to solve a problem in a hurry, maybe it will become new problem for us. We have to show our strength to face and solve the problem. As Zainab did in the story, she shows her patience and strength when face the problem in her life even the problem is so complex. But, Zainab proofs that all of her problems can be solved well because of her patience and strength.
- Never give up! Everything will be wonderful in the right time
As a people, sometimes we experience a failure in our life. But, it is not the end of everything. The failure is a start of a success. We have to keep our spirit to struggle in our life. Never give up reaching our dream and keep praying to Allah as the King of everything. We have to make sure that everything will be wonderful in the right time. As Zainab did in this story, she patiently waits for her husband to stay on the right way. She never give up to stay beside her husband and give him valuable advice to follow the right religion namely Islam although her husband avoid and reject her advice. But, long by long, because of her tough and praying, her husband finally finds the truth and returns to her. And finally she and her husband live happily ever after until she died.
Mustofa, Mutmainnah. 2014. Literary Works – Life and Love: Student’s Book English Literature and Its Teaching. Malang: Islamic University of Malang Press
Written by: Pritantinta YL. Students of Islamic University of Malang