Story No. 312 – Imam Hussain (pbuh) Made Muawiya’s Scheme Fail in Marrying Urainab to Yazid
Yazid son of Muawiya came to know about the beauty of Urainab, daughter of Ishaq who was the wife of the Qurayshite Abdullah bin Salam. Urainab, was the most beautiful and accomplished woman of her time and possessed enormous wealth. Yazid son of Muawiya fell in love with her without having seen her. He lost all patience and mentioned the matter to Muawiya’s favorite slave named Rafig. The slave informed Muawiya about this love and told him that his son was very keen to marry Urainab, daughter of Ishaq. Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan called Yazid and enquired from him about the matter. Yazid admitted that whatever Muawiya had been told was correct. Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan said: “Be calm and patient. Something will be done in this behalf”. Yazid ibn Muawiya said: It is no use consoling me now because the matter is already finished. She has already been married. Muawiya said: My dear son! Keep the secret to yourself, because if it is divulged it will do you no good. God completes what He ordains and what has already happened cannot be helped.
Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan began thinking of solving the problem and meeting the wish of Yazid to marry Urainab. Abdullah son of Salam, the husband of Urainab was at that time the Governor of Iraq. Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan wrote a letter to him saying: “I have an urgent business with you. Please come and see me as early as possible. The matter is beneficial to you.”
On receiving Muawiya’s letter Abdullah son of Salam proceeded to Syria at once and met Muawiya. The latter received him with great honor and respect. At that time Abu Darda and Abu Huraira, two companions (Sahabah) of Holy Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) were also available in Damacus. Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan called for them and said to them: “Such and such daughter of mine is now of age and I am anxious to give away her hand in marriage. I think Abdullah son of Salam is a good man and I wish that she may marry him.”
Both of them praised Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan for his intelligence and devoutness and said that whatever he had thought of was absolutely proper.
Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan said to them: “Both of you should meet Abdullah son of Salam and mention the matter to him and find out his opinion about it. Although I have authorized my daughter to marry a man of her choice, but I am sure that she will like Abdullah son of Salam and will not refuse to marry him.”
Abu Darda and Abu Huraira went to see Abdullah son of Salam. In the meantime Muawiya went into his palace and said to his daughter: “Dear daughter! Just hear what I have to say. When Abu Darda and Abu Huraira come to you and tell you that I want to get you married to Abdullah son of Salam, you should say: “Of course, Abdullah son of Salam is a good man and a near relative and of equal status with us. However, he has already married Urainab, daughter of Ishaq and I am afraid that if I marry him I may also become jealous of her like all other women. If, in that event, I say something unbecoming about Abdullah son of Salam I am afraid that I may invite the wrath of Allah (SWT) by doing so. However, if Abdullah son of Salam divorces Urainab I am agreeable to marry him”.
When Abu Darda and Abu Huraira conveyed the Message of Muawiya to Abdullah son of Salam he was over joyed and told them to inform Muawiya that the proposal was acceptable to him. When they informed Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan of the developments he said to them: “As I have already told you I would like this marriage. However, I have authorized my daughter to marry a man of her own choice. You should, therefore, go to her and ask her whether she is ready to marry Abdullah son of Salam”.
When they approached the girl she gave them the same reply, which Muawiya had taught her to give. They then conveyed her reply to Abdullah son of Salam.
When Abdullah son of Salam came to know that it was not possible to marry Muawiya’s daughter unless he divorced his wife he was overpowered by avarice and divorced Urainab. He said to Abu Darda and Abu Huraira: “Bear witness to the fact that I have divorced Urainab. You should inform Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan about this and also convey my proposal to him”.
When they came to Muawiya and told him what had happened he said: “Oh! What has Abdullah son of Salam done? Why has he divorced his wife? He should not have been so hasty. Had he waited for a few days might have arranged his marriage with my daughter without allowing things to come to such a pass? Anyhow, you should go now and ask my daughter whether she is agreeable to this marriage”.
Yazid ibn Muawiya marrying UrainabAbu Darda and Abu Huraira approached Muawiya’s daughter once again and told her that Abdullah son of Salam had divorced his wife. They also stated that Abdullah son of Salam was a very noble-minded and competent person and enquired from her whether she was prepared to marry him.
Muawiya’s daughter replied: “Abdullah son of Salam no doubt enjoys a high position amongst the Quraysh. However, as you are aware marriage is not something trivial so that one may agree to it without seriously pondering over the matter. It is a contract for one’s whole life. You gentlemen may, therefore go now. I shall think over the matter and give you a reply later.”
Both of them blessed her and departed. They then went to Abdullah son of Salam and informed him about what the girl had said. Abdullah son of Salam said: “All right. Let us wait. If it is not settled today, it will be settled tomorrow.”
It was the talk of the town that Abdullah son of Salam had divorced his wife and had proposed to Muawiya’s daughter. As all were aware of the cunning of Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan and the loose character of Yazid ibn Muawiya they blamed and censured Abdullah son of Salam for having divorced his wife without first winning the consent of Muawiya’s daughter.
After a few days Abdullah son of Salam sent Abu Darda and Abu Huraira again to the daughter of Muawiya. They advised her to give a final reply where upon she said: “I am sure Allah (SWT) has decided well for me, because He does not forsake one who relies upon Him. I have pondered over the matter and have come to the conclusion that my marrying Abdullah son of Salam will not be a successful one. I have also consulted my well-wishers in the matter. Some of them have approved the marriage but others have opposed it”.
When Abdullah son of Salam came to know about the reply, which had been given by Muawiya’s daughter he became sure that he had been duped. This grieved him very much. The news spread was the talk of the town. The people blamed Muawiya for having defrauded Abdullah son of Salam and making him divorces his wife so that she might later marry Yazid ibn Muawiya.
Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan was successful at the first stage of his scheme to fulfill the desire of his son but eventually the divine will frustrated his program. His plan failed owing to the interference by Imam Hussain (pbuh) who had grown up on the pattern of life of his illustrious father Imam Ali (pbuh). Helping the oppressed had become his second nature.
When the waiting period (Idda) of Urainab, daughter of Ishaq expired Muawiya sent Abu Darda companion (Sahabi) of Holy Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) to her to convey to her proposal for marriage on behalf of Yazid ibn Muawiya. Abu Darda left Damascus and reached Kufa. It so happened that Imam Hussain (pbuh) son of Imam Ali (pbuh) was also in Kufa at that time. Abu Darda considered it proper to pay his respects to the son of Holy Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) in the first instance. He, therefore, presented himself before the Imam Hussain (pbuh). Imam Hussain (pbuh) enquired from him the reason for his visiting Kufa. Abu Darda informed him that he had been sent by Muawiya to propose to Urainab daughter of Ishaq on behalf of his son Yazid. He then related to the Imam Hussain (pbuh) in detail the events, which had already taken place. Imam Hussain (pbuh) said: “I also thought that Urainab would marry some other person and intended to propose to her after her “Idda” ended. Now that you have arrived here it will be better if you convey my proposal to her. She may choose whomsoever she likes. However, I am prepared to give her dower equal to that which Yazid ibn Muawiya has promised her.”
Abu Darda promised to convey the Imam Hussain’s (pbuh) message to Urainab. Then he took leave of Imam Hussain (pbuh) and reached her house. He said to her: “Madam! It was destined that Abdullah son of Salam should divorce you. You are not going to be a loser on this account. Yazid son of Muawiya and Imam Hussain (pbuh) son of Imam Ali (pbuh) wish to marry you. Both of them have conveyed their proposals to you through me. You may choose whomever you like.”
Urainab kept quiet for some time and then said: “If some other person had brought these two proposals to me I would have called you for consultation and would have acted according to your suggestion. Now that you yourself have brought these proposals I leave the final decision to you.”
Abu Darda replied: “It was my duty to convey the proposals to you, but you are yourself the best judge in the matter.” Urainab said: “No; that is not so. I am your niece and cannot act in this matter without your advice.”
Imam Hussain (pbuh) son of Imam Ali (pbuh)When Abu Darda saw that she was bent upon obtaining his opinion he said: “I feel that the son of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) is a better choice.” Urainab said: “I agree with you. Also I like him.”
Imam Hussain (pbuh) then married Urainab and paid her the stipulated amount of dower.
When Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan came to know what had happened he was very angry and abused Abu Darda. Then he said to himself: “Abu Darda has not been at fault. It was my own mistake. If a person entrusts such a difficult task to a simpleton he must fail.”
At the time of his departure for Damascus, Abdullah son of Salam had entrusted a large sum of money to Urainab. Later when he divorced her and Muawiya’s daughter also refused to marry him it became known to the people that Abdullah son of Salam had been deceived by Muawiya and made to divorce his wife. This was a matter of disgrace for Muawiya and he held Abdullah son of Salam responsible for it. He, therefore, dismissed him from service and stopped his stipend. Abdullah son of Salam became penniless. He, therefore, returned to Iraq with the hope that he might get back from Urainab the money, which he had left with her. He was, however, afraid that she might decline to return the money on account of his misbehavior and for his divorcing her without a just cause.
After his return to Iraq he met Imam Hussain (pbuh) and said: “As you must be aware I was duped and made to divorce Urainab. While leaving for Damascus I left some money with her as a trust.”
Then he praised Urainab much and said: “I shall be grateful if you speak to her and ask her to return that money to me. It is possible that with that amount in hand I may be saved from indigence.”
Imam Hussain (pbuh) went to Urainab and said: “Abdullah son of Salam came to see me. He praised you very much for your honesty, which pleased me much. He also told me that he entrusted some money to you at the time of his departure for Damascus. It will be only proper that you should return that money to him because I think that what he has stated is correct.”
Urainab replied: “It is true that he left some bags with me, but I don’t know what they contain. They are still lying sealed as they were. I shall bring them to you and you may return the same to him.”
Imam Hussain (pbuh) praised Urainab on hearing this and said: “Will it not be better if I call him here so that you may return the bags to him yourself?” Then he met Abdullah son of Salam and said to him: I have conveyed your message to Urainab. She admits your having left some bags with her; they are still lying sealed, as they were. It will be better if you come to Urainab and take back the bags from her.
Abdullah son of Salam felt very much ashamed and said: “I would request you to make arrangements for the return of money to me.” (i.e. I feel ashamed to face Urainab). Imam Hussain (pbuh) replied: “No. That cannot be. You should take back the money from her in the same manner in which you gave it to her.”
Imam Hussain (pbuh), therefore, brought Abdullah son of Salam to his house and then said to Urainab: “Abdullah son of Salam has come and demands the things which he entrusted to you. Return the same to him in the same manner in which you took them from him.”
Urainab brought the bags and placing them outside the curtain said to him: “Here it is what you entrusted to me.” Abdullah son of Salam thanked Urainab and praised her for her honesty. Imam Hussain (pbuh) then left the place leaving them alone. Abdullah son of Salam broke the seal of the bag, took out some dinars from it and presented them to her requesting her to accept the same from him. Thereupon tears trickled from their eyes and they began to cry loudly. Imam Hussain (pbuh) heard the sound of their crying. Imam Hussain (pbuh) then re-entered the room and said with great kindness: “Just hear me. I call Allah (SWT) to witness that I have divorced Urainab just now. I call Allah (SWT) to witness that I did not marry her for the sake of her beauty or wealth. What I had desired was that it might become lawful for her to re-marry her first husband.
Thus Urainab became the wife of Abdullah son of Salam once again and Muawiya’s scheme failed.
After re-marrying Urainab Abdullah son of Salam said to her: “You should return the amount of dower which Imam Hussain (pbuh) gave you.” She brought the money and gave it to Abdullah son of Salam to give it to the Imam Hussain (pbuh). However, Imam Hussain (pbuh) declined to accept the money and said: “The spiritual reward which I shall get in the Hereafter for this good deed is much better than worldly wealth.”