A Mistake Worth its Weight in Gold
From the Original Arabic Piece by Adel bin Muhammad al-Abdul
One of the Salaf entered a field, hungry and tired, so he wanted to eat, and his stomach was 'rumbling'. He saw an apple tree, and picked an apple to eat. He ate half of it under the protection of Allah, then he drank from the river near the field. After that, he suddenly realised that he was not aware of what he did due to his hunger, and thought to himself: Woe to you! How can you eat someone else's provision without permission. In remorse he was determined not to leave the place until he found the owner of the garden, and confess to him that he had eaten his provision without his permission. He looked around and saw a house and went up to the door and knocked on it.
The owner came out and asked him what he wanted.
The Salaf said: "I was hungry and entered your garden and took this apple and ate half of it, then I remembered it was not mine, and I came to beg you to forgive me for this mistake."
The man replied, "I will not forgive you except on one condition?"
So the Salaf asked (and he is Thaabit bin Nu'maan), "What is your condition?"
The owner of the garden said: "I want you to marry my daughter."
The honourable Salaf without hesitation said: "yes, I will marry her". The father of the girl then said: "I want you to know that my daughter is blind and cannot see, dumb and cannot speak, deaf and cannot hear."
The revelation shocked Thaabit bin Nu'maan and thoughts flashed through his mind - what a disaster - what's he going to do? Then he remembered that the trials and tribulation he has to endure by accepting this woman as his wife, and taking care of her and serving her is better for him than to eat the food (sadeed) of hellfire due to the fact that he had eaten the apple without permission. He also realised that if he did not make amends, his days in the dunya are numbered. So he promised to marry the girl, and prayed for forgiveness and reward from Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
The day of marriage came, and the man was nervous and very worried: "How will I enter upon a woman who does not speak, see, or hear?!" What a dilemma, and he wished the earth would swallow him before that happened (i.e. going the wedding ceremony), but he remembered Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala and said: "Laa Hawla wa laa quwata illa billah, wa inna lilah wa inna ilayhi raji'oon." He went off to the wedding ceremony and when he arrived, his future bride stood up and greeted him, saying, "Assalamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu."
When he saw her, it took his breath away and remembered what he had imagined of the hoor il-'ayn in paradise. Gaining his composure, he blurted out: "What is this? So you speak, see, and hear." Thaabit bin Nu'maan then informed her what her father had to told him.
She gave him the most beautiful smile and said: "My father spoke the truth and he didn't lie."
"But why did he tell me things about you which are untrue?
She replied, "My father said I am dumb, because I have never said a word which displeases Allah, nor have I ever spoken to a man whom it is not permissable to speak to. [He said] I am deaf, because I have never sat it in a place where malicious backbiting, gossip or tale-telling takes place. [He said] I am blind because I have never looked at a man who was not permissable for me to look."
So ponder how Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala united this pious woman to this pious man.