Quran 28:27 says it: The Prophet Musa was offered a wife without him expressing a desire to marry her.
Don’t get it confused, he was neither rich nor popular; he hadn’t become a Prophet then, and in fact, what is apparent from verses 21 downward is that Muusa had left his town in fear, and could not have had the time to pack even his belongings. (if he had any)
Here is a man who arrived in his ‘prospective in-laws’ town as a stranger and with nothing but left with a wife.
How did he go about it?
Quran 28:15: After The Prophet Muusa had mistakenly killed a man from the people of Fir’aun, he was informed that the eminent ones in the city were planning to kill him in reprisal of the man he had killed, so Muusa left the city in fear and headed towards the town of ‘Madyan’. When Muusa arrived at Madyan’s well, he found a crowd of people watering their flocks, and surprisingly found two women who had flocks too, but stayed far away from where the people were mixing freely and watering their flocks, so Muusa asked them why they had done that. The two women replied him saying that they only watered their flocks after all the shepherds had dispatched their flocks so as not to mix with, and struggle with men, then they explained that their father was an old man who was too weak to water the flocks, and so, Muusa helped them water their flocks. Later, one of the women would come back walking shyly to tell Muusa that her father had called for Muusa so that he may reward Muusa for helping the women. To cut the story short, Muusa was offered the opportunity to marry one of the women.
Before accusing fathers of nowadays of being overly materialistic, one should remember that Muusa’s father-in-law had the whole men in his town at his disposal, yet, he only offered his daughter to a stranger who had nothing – not even a house.
Apparently, it couldn’t have been simply because Muusa was poor, for if it had been that, the father could have found poorer men in his town, therefore, poorness was not Muusa’s ‘selling point’, and there must have been an attribute that made Muusa stand out.
And the attribute was mentioned in verse 26.
When the father called Muusa, one of the women adviced her father to hire Muusa and put him in charge of his precious wealth. She cited two qualities as reason, but poorness was not one of them.
She said “O father, hire him, for verily the best of those you hire are the STRONG and HONEST ones.”
The father understood these two attributes to be so valuable that not only did he hire Muusa as a worker, but he also offered him the chance to be in charge of his precious daughter who was so upright she wouldn’t mix with men even in a situation a lot of us would easily dubb “necessities”.
Now comes the beautiful part: HOW DID MUSA DISPLAY HIS STRENGTH? In beating women? Apparently not.
The women were attracted to Muusa – as poor as he was – because of how he displayed his strength in helping, caring for and protecting them.
Muusa displayed his strength by protecting the women from mixing with men; and this occasion was enough to earn him the trust of his father-in-law despite what would have been his poor financial status.
More than fame, more than riches, Muusa exemplified an attribute which women – and fathers who really care for their daughters – cherish dearly: the art of how you display your strength.
It is unbecoming of a responsible Muslim man to be unable to protect himself, talk less of his family; it is shameful to be a Muslim man and be vibrating like a refurbished Lagata when thieves come around. You cannot be poor and hence, unable to hire security guards and still be unable to stand up to protect the women in your household. If you were a woman, would you even marry yourself?
At the same time, it is not ‘un-manly’ to care for and protect women, especially in situations where their religion might be at stake.
Don’t be the brother who would say “the sisters would find their way” while waiting for a bus at the park after Maghrib.
Had Muusa thought that way…well….
Don’t be the man who watches his wife pounding yam in public, her jlbaab, juggling up and down, and then you would come to the Masjid to tell us not to bother hiring outsiders to dig the well as you alone can handle it. Dear brother, use your strength, first and foremost in helping and protecting your family.
You cannot just be poor for nothing. Be poor and caring, especially, in cases which would protect the women’s religion.
Muusa was strong, but he used his strength, with regard to his family, in protecting them. And a final lesson for married men is that Muusa would go on to vilify the trust of his father-in-law even after marriage, as he never stopped using his strength to care for and protect his family.
“[Mention] when Moses said to his family, “Indeed, I have perceived a fire. I will bring you from there information or will bring you a burning torch that you may warm yourselves.”
– Sura An-Naml, Ayah 7
Even after he had married and raised a family, he continued being protective and caring for his family so much that when he spotted a fire, he told them to stay behind in a safe place, then he advanced and told them he would bring them something to keep them warm.
At all times, a man should be largely concerned with ensuring that his family are safe and protected. A sensitive, caring and responsible man would attract women better than a rich one who lacks these attributes. Use your strength wisely. Be poor and proud! But, if you have a choice, don’t be poor at all.
Lan Rey Hasan (For Knowislam.com.ng)