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[I told the Messenger of Allah (SWT) this parable:] Eleven women sat together and promised each other that they would not conceal from each other anything about their husbands. The first one said: My husband is like the meat of a lean camel which is kept on the top of a rocky mountain. This mountain is not easy to climb, nor is the meat (that you get from it) fleshy, so that one might put up with the trouble of fetching it. The second one said: I shall not relate my husband's qualities, for I fear that I may not be able to finish his story, for if I try to think of him, all that comes to mind is his facial and abdominal veins: The third one said: My husband is a tall man;9 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 sort of night which is neither hot nor cold, I am neither afraid of him, nor am I discontented (or bored) with him.10 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 what is in the house.11 The sixth one said: When my husband eats, he eats too much, and when he drinks, he leaves nothing, and if he sleeps, he sleeps curled up and does not stretch his hands here and there so as to know how I fare.12 The seventh one said: My husband is a fool13 or a eunuch,14 and at the height of idiocy.15 All the defects are present in him. If you talk to him, you may end up injuring your head, your body, or both.16 The eighth one said: My husband is as soft to touch as a rabbit and smells like sweet herbs.17
The ninth one said: My husband has tall pillars,18 and has a long sheath (for his sword).19 His ashes are abundant and his house is open to the people.20 The tenth one said: My husband is Malik, and what is Malik? Malik is better than that.21 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)22 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' (that is to say, what should I say about him?). My ears jingled with earrings,23 and my arms grew plump. He honoured me, increasing me in self-confidence, and made me 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, who owned horses, camels, cattle and poultry, and threshed and purified grain.24 Whatever I said, he did not rebuke me.25
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To read the previous part, click here5. Consultation: Decision-Making after a difference of opinion:What happens when opinions differ on a certain matter? Would it be decided on the contemporary parliamentary...