Gheerah

Gheerah is an Arabic word which means protectiveness or jealousy. It is a good type of jealousy, like when a man feels jealous or protective over his wife or sisters or daughters and other-womenfolk and doesn't like other men to look at them. It is a natural inbuilt feeling Allah has given men and women. The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) had the most Gheerah for his wives and all of the companions were known for their Gheerah.

Muslim men should have a collective sense of protectiveness for Muslim women as Allah says in the Qur'an, the meaning of which is:

"The Men are the protectors and maintainers of women…"

(Surah An-Nisaa, Ayah 34)

"There are three at whom Allaah will not look at (with Mercy) on the day of Resurrection:

the one who disobeys his parents,the woman who imitates men, andthe duyooth (a man who has no protective jealousy towards his womenfolk)."

[Saheeh Al-Jaami' As-Sagheer 3/74, hadith no. 3066]

To further understand the quality of Gheerah, we can look at an incident that Asmaa' radi allahu anha the daughter of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq radi allahu anhu and sister of Aisha radi allahu anha relates about herself. Abu Bakr was a wealthy merchant and he married his daughter Asmaa' to the great companion Az-Zubayr ibn al-'Awwam radi allahu anhu who was a very poor man but a man of great piety and one of the companions who were promised Paradise. Asmaa' relates:

When az-Zubayr married me, he had neither land nor wealth nor slave…", so Asmaa' had to work very hard kneading dough, going far off to get water. "And I used to carry on my head," she continues, "the date stones from the land of az-Zubair which Allah's Messenger sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam had endowed him and it was a distance of two miles from Madeenah. One day, as I was carrying the date-stones upon my head, I happened to meet Allah's Messenger sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam, along with a group of his Companions. He called me and told the camel to sit down so that he could make me ride behind him. I felt shy to go with men and I remembered az-Zubair and his Gheerah and he was a man having the most Gheerah. The Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam understood my shyness and left. I came to az-Zubair and said: "The Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam met me as I was carrying date-stones upon my head and there was with him a group of his Companions. He told the camel to kneel so that I could mount it, but I felt shy and I remembered your Gheerah." So Asmaa' declined the offer made by the Prophet sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam. Upon this az-Zubair said: "By Allah, the thought of you carrying date-stones upon your head is more severe a burden on me than you riding with him." (related in Sahih Bukhari)