Imam Al-Bukhaari, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: Sulaymaan ibn ‘Abdur-Rahmaan and ‘Ali ibn Hajar reported from ‘Isa ibn Yoonus from Hishaam ibn ‘Urwah from ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Urwah from ‘Urwah that ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, said: "Eleven women sat (at a place) and promised and contracted that they would not conceal anything of the news of their husbands. The first one said, "My husband is like the meat of a lean weak camel which is kept on the top of a mountain which is neither easy to climb, nor is the meat fat, so that one might put up with the trouble of fetching it." The second one said, "I shall not relate my husband's news, for I fear that I may not be able to finish his story, for if I describe him, I will mention all his defects and bad traits." The third one said, "My husband is a tall man; if I describe him (and he hears of that) he will divorce me, and if I keep quiet, he will neither divorce me nor treat me as a wife." The fourth one said, "My husband is a moderate person like the night of Tihaamah which is neither hot nor cold. I am neither afraid of him, nor am I discontented with him." The fifth one said, "My husband, when entering (the house) is a leopard, and when going out, is a lion. He does not ask about whatever is in the house." The sixth one said, "If my husband eats. he eats too much (leaving the dishes empty), and if he drinks he leaves nothing, and if he sleeps he sleeps alone (away from me) covered in garments and does not stretch his hands here and there so as to know how I fare (get along)." The seventh one said, "My husband is a wrong-doer or weak and foolish. All the defects are present in him. He may injure your head or your body or may do both." The eighth one said, "My husband is soft to touch like a rabbit and smells like a Zar‘nab (a kind of good smelling grass)." The ninth one said, "My husband is a tall generous man wearing a long strap for carrying his sword. His ashes are abundant and his house is near to the people who would easily consult him." The tenth one said, "My husband is Maalik, and what is Maalik? Maalik is greater than whatever I say about him. (He is beyond and above all praises which can come to my mind). Most of his camels are kept at home (ready to be slaughtered for the guests) and only a few are taken to the pastures. When the camels hear the sound of the lute (or the tambourine) they realize that they are going to be slaughtered for the guests." The eleventh one said, "My husband is Abu Zar‘ and what is Abu Zar‘ (i.e., what should I say about him)? He has given me many ornaments and my ears are heavily loaded with them and my arms have become fat (i.e., I have become fat). And he has pleased me, and I have become so happy that I feel proud of myself. He found me with my family who were mere owners of sheep and living in poverty, and brought me to a respected family having horses and camels and threshing and purifying grain. Whatever I say, he does not rebuke or insult me. When I sleep, I sleep till late in the morning, and when I drink water (or milk), I drink my fill. The mother of Abu Zar‘ and what may one say in praise of the mother of Abu Zar‘? Her saddle bags were always full of provision and her house was spacious. As for the son of Abu Zar‘, what may one say of the son of Abu Zar‘? His bed is as narrow as an unsheathed sword and an arm of a kid (of four months) satisfies his hunger. As for the daughter of Abu Zar‘, she is obedient to her father and to her mother. She has a fat well-built body and that arouses the jealousy of her husband's other wife. As for the (maid) slave girl of Abu Zar‘, what may one say of the (maid) slave girl of Abu Zar‘? She does not uncover our secrets but keeps them, and does not waste our provisions and does not leave the rubbish scattered everywhere in our house." The eleventh lady added, "One day it so happened that Abu Zar‘ went out at the time when the milk was being milked from the animals, and he saw a woman who had two sons like two leopards playing with her two breasts. (On seeing her) he divorced me and married her. Thereafter I married a noble man who used to ride a fast tireless horse and keep a spear in his hand. He gave me many things, and also a pair of every kind of livestock and said, 'Eat (of this), O Umm Zar‘, and give provision to your relatives." She added, "Yet, all those things which my second husband gave me could not fill the smallest utensil of Abu Zar‘'s." ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, said: "The Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said to me, "I am to you as Abu Zar‘ was to his wife Umm Zar‘."
Amongst the lessons drawn from the above-mentioned Hadeeth:
Muslim scholars said this Hadeeth implies many fruits. Amongst them are:
1- Treating one's wife in a kind and reasonable manner is something recommended.
2- It is permissible to report the news of the past nations.
3- Simile can be conducted between two things that are not exactly the same in all aspects.
4- The Hadeeth indicates that metaphors for divorce do not indicate divorce and they depend on the intention of the husband that is because the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said to ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, "I am to you as Abu Zar‘ was to his wife Umm Zar‘ and amongst the actions that Abu Zar‘ did is that he divorced his wife Umm Zar‘ while no divorce occurred from Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, by assimilation for he did not have the intention of divorce.
5- Al-Maaziri, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: Some scholars said, In this Hadeeth, some women mentioned some of their husbands with what they dislike and this implies no backbiting for they did not mention their names while the prohibited backbiting is to mention a specific person or a group with something they dislike.
Reported in Saheeh Al-Bukhaari No. (5189) and Saheeh Muslim No. (2448).