Betrayal, Love, & Death

In the Tafsir of Suratun-Nisaa; Imaam Ibn Katheer (rahimahullaah) mentioned a story about:

A servant who used to serve a people.

So at a time when her employer was pregnant and was getting her labour pains; he saw a dream and therein a person said to him: ‘Your master shall give birth to a daughter – and this daughter will commit fornication for about a hundred times-  and then after; you will marry her, and she will die from a spider!’ 

And [of course] he does not want to marry [such] a fornicator.  So what happened?

[Time passed and] when his mistress gave birth, it was said to him: ‘get a knife so that we cut the umbilical cord’, so he went…

[and caught the opportunity] and instead he stabbed the stomach of the young child, and then fled to a far land. 

He stayed there for twenty years and started therein trading; and became amongst the rich and the famous.

Then he returned back to the land knowing that the child had died and the whole thing has been forgotten. So he returned, and sought to get married.

Thus he requested from an [old] woman; that she find for him the most beautiful young woman in the land.

And she replied : ‘I know this young woman and she is the most beautiful in this land.’

So she proposed for him this woman, and he got married to her, and loved her greatly and became attached to her – and so did she.

Once upon a time she asked her about who he was, and where he is from?

And he informed him of his story and what happened;

Amazed, she replied to him : ‘Indeed I am that girl !!!’

He says : ‘You are her!? ’

She says: ‘Yes.’

So he said: ‘Well then there has to be a confirmation of that….’

Thus she showed him the scar of the knife, and indeed he realized it !!

So he said to her: ‘And you have committed zinaa  a hundred times!?’

She replied: ‘Something like that happened, but I don’t know the exact number.’ [ In another narration she said : ‘I have left off what I used to do. And I am not going back to it.]

And as it happened that he had became attached to her, and loved her greatly;  he did not seek to separate from her.

So he informed her: ‘All has happened, and I also saw that your demise would be through a spider.’

Thus because of his love for her; he built for her – on the suburbs of the city- a great palace with complete security so that he can protect her from that.

And they lived for the period they were destined to; until one day when they were sitting together, when he showed her a spider on the ceiling and said: ‘By Allaah I see a spider on the ceiling!! ’

So she got up and said to him [belittling the spider]: ‘this is the one you say will be the reason for my death [while knowing how weak and frail the spider is !!] , indeed I will kill it before it kills me.’

So the man [for his love] got up and took off the spider from the ceiling; wanting to kill it, but she got up and said: ‘By Allaah there is no one who will kill it except me.’ 

And so she stepped on it. But it happened that when she crushed it; some of the poison of the spider entered between her toe nail and her flesh.

So this resulted into a wound, and slowly, and slowly it grew; it continued until eventually  it caused her death !!’ [1]


Imaam Ibn Katheer (rahimahullaah) mentioned this story while explaining this verse: “Wherever you may be, death will reach you; even if you may be in fortresses built up high and strong.”



[1] Also mentioned in Tafseer of Imaam Ibn Jareer at-Tabari , and Ad-Durr al-Manthoor of Suyootee. With variant wordings.

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