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A Story of Love & Separation at the Prophet’s Time

Creative Writing

A Story of Love & Separation at the Prophet’s Time
How does one describe the bone-deep heartache of missing the person you left? How does one describe the bitterness of loving someone whom you never even really liked?

This is a fictional piece of creative writing, inspired by the story of the Prophet’s Companions, Barirah and Mughith. Their story is famously quoted in books of hadith, and resonates with human experiences that are not often discussed amongst Muslims – that of love, both passionate and unrequited, of heartbreak, and of the tumultuous nature of the human heart.

As demonstrated by Barirah and Mughith, even the best of Muslims go through deeply emotional moments in life, and it is not something that we need to be ashamed of.

Barirah and Mughith

How does one describe the bone-deep heartache of missing the person you left? How does one describe the bitterness of loving someone whom you never even really liked?

No one knows what Barirah felt when she left Mughith.

Sometimes, I think I know.

Other times, I wonder.

When she turned her face, refusing to acknowledge his broken hearted weeping, did she feel her own heart break just a little?

When she rejected the intervention of the prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) himself, did her heart grieve as much as it celebrated its freedom?

When she left, once and for all, never to return… did she leave a little bit of her heart with him, too?

No one knows what happened to Mughith after Barirah left him.

Did his weeping ever cease?

Did his beard ever dry?

Did his heart ever heal?

Did he ever forgive her?

Did he always love her just a little bit?

Did he ever fall in love again?

Sometimes, I think I know.

Other times, I wonder.

Did Barirah know?

Did she watch and wonder about the woman who replaced her in Mughith’s heart?

Did she worry that he would have his heart broken again?

Did she feel just the tiniest bit possessive over the man whom she had rejected so vehemently, and ache from the knowledge of what she had done to him?

Did she even care?

No one knows what happened to Barirah or Mughith.

Sometimes, I think I know.

Other times, I wonder.

Did he ever make himself forget about her?

Did she ever manage to ignore the bitterness of realizing that she loved the one whom she had so loathed?

Did they ever pray for each others’ true love?

Sometimes, I think I know.

Other times, I wonder.

Because I was his Barirah, and he was my Mughith.

Ibn ‘Abbas narrated:

Barirah’s husband was a slave, who was known as Mughith. I can almost see him, running after her and weeping, with tears running down onto his beard.

The Prophet said to `Abbas: `O `Abbas, do you not find it strange, how much Mugith loves Barirah, and how much Barirah hates Mughith?’

The Prophet said (to Barirah), `Why do you not go back to him?’

She said, `O Messenger of Allah, are you commanding me to do so?’

He said, `I am merely trying to intervene on his behalf.’

She said, `I have no need of him.'”

(Sahih Bukhari)

 

First published: October 2015

 


About Zainab bint Younus

Zainab bint Younus is a young woman who finds constant inspiration in the lives of the Sahabiyaat and other great women in Islamic history. She hopes that every Muslimah is able to identify with the struggles of these inspirational women and follow in their footsteps to become a part of a new generation of powerful Muslim women. She blogs at http://www.thesalafifeminist.blogspot.com

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