We all love. Sometimes we love too much, sometimes too little and sometimes not at all. How do we know how to love? Is it an innate knowledge embedded deep in some obscure region of our brain; is it something that we mimic from society’s notion of it all or does there exist another reason for this overwhelming, heart-bursting emotion we inadequately call love?
Love, too, is inherited
“Love, too, is inherited”, our Prophet (SAW) taught. (Al Adab Al Mufrad)
And so it is that love, and the way we love, is the legacy of those who came before us. For a believer, the honour of Iman decrees that we follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah until it becomes our actual way of life. The way of our Prophet (SAW), his manners, his habits, his speech, his acts and his lifestyle map the way forward so that we may travel through this world as closely aligned to the fitrah as possible. Of love between a husband and wife, what then has our Prophet (SAW) bequeathed to us?
A great love story
Due to our overpowering love for our Prophet (SAW) and his Companions (RA), we tend to forget that he, as well as his wives, were human too. Just like you and me. They too shared their moments with each other, sometimes happy and sometimes not. Very much like you and your spouse. One of the greatest love stories of Islam belongs to ‘A’isha and Muhammed (SAW).
A dream come true
Narrated ‘A’isha (RA): That the Prophet (SAW) said to her: “ You have been shown to me twice in my dream. I saw you pictured on a piece of silk and someone said (to me): “This is your wife.” When I uncovered (it), I saw that the picture was yours. I said: “ If this is from Allah, it will be done.”” (Bukhari)
We all sigh over our mythical knight in shining armour that will one day set our heart aflutter. Whilst these dreams are nothing but yummy cotton candy puffs to satisfy our emotional cravings, know that, in Islam, true love will find you if it has been prescribed by Allah (SWT).
Adorable endearments help us channel the love and warmth we feel into our everyday speech. Whispering sweet promises to our spouses and lovingly shaping their names with our mouths all serve to solidify the bond of mahabbah that already exists.
‘A’isha (RA) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to lie down upon her lap and recite the Qur’an whilst she was in her state of menses. (Muslim)
Spending quality time with your partner helps you to relax and to be content with each other’s company. Love blossoms when the garden it is sowed in is showered with contentment and care. Be it a romantic weekend away, a serene walk through the park or something as simple as laying next to each other and just being happy to lie there is time well spent.
Bukhari narrates that the Prophet (SAW) and ‘A’isha (RA) used to go walking together at night while talking to each other.
Help each other
Marriage revolves around compromise and selflessness. Knowing when to meet your partner halfway or when to forgo your needs for theirs helps make a happy couple.
‘A’isha (RA) was asked: “What did the Prophet do in his house? She replied: “He kept himself busy serving his family.”” (Bukhari)
Be of service to your partner. Anticipate their needs; be kind and be considerate. ‘A’isha (RA) said that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) served his family. No matter his station and nobility, the love he felt for his family dictated that they come first.
Remember Allah (SWT)
Couples who remember Allah together stay together. There is nothing more personal than the time you share with your Lord in the early hours. To share this private and intimate time with your partner, to beg and plead together before Allah (SWT), to cry together and to pray together can only serve to increase your love for each other. For the love that you share with your Creator can only increase the love that exists between you.
‘A’isha (RA) narrates that she used to read Tahajjud with Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and she remained punctual with its reading after his death.
Know your partner
Pay attention to the small details. Memorise the likes, dislikes and quirks that make your partner unique. It’s the small things that make us who we are. Invest the time and energy into learning about the tiny building blocks that create the foundation upon which the personality of your spouse rests.
The Prophet (SAW) said to his wife ‘A’isha (RA): “I know when you are angry with me or not. If you are content and happy, you say “By the God of Muhammed”. And if you are angry with me, you say “By the God of Ibrahim.” (Muslim)
Create moments of intimacy
Life gets in the way of love – that’s the plain and honest truth. We have jobs, children and extended families that all demand a separate and substantial amount of our time, effort and love.
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) himself of course was a busy man. He was a teacher, a leader, a soldier, an Imam, a friend, a father and a husband amongst many other roles. Yet he made each person he met feel loved, valued and important.
With ‘A’isha (RA), they created bubbles of intimacy that preserved their special love.
‘A’isha reported: “ I would drink and then I would hand the vessel to the Prophet (SAW). He would put his mouth where mine had been and drink. I would eat meat and he would put his mouth where mine had been.” (Muslim)
She also narrates: “When the Messenger of Allah was in the mosque, he would put his head through the curtain and I would wash and comb his hair for him.” (Muslim)
Sing their praises
A common pastime is for women to complain to their besties about their husbands and vice versa. We justify this by explaining to ourselves that we are only telling one person whom we trust; that it is not healthy to bottle things up inside and that besides, every marriage has its minor issues.The sunnah is in fact, quite the opposite. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) openly praised ‘A’isha (RA) as shown in the following hadith: ‘The value of ‘A’isha amongst women was like the value of thareed compared to other foods.” (Muslim)
Go on… Express your love!
Tell your spouse how very much you love them – don’t be shy. Our beloved (SAW) and his beloved would express their love beautifully to each other:
Once, the Prophet (SAW) was sitting in a room with ‘A’isha (RA) and he was fixing his shoes. It was very warm and ‘A’isha looked at his blessed forehead and noticed beads of sweat. She became overwhelmed by the majesty of that sight and began staring.
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) noticed this and asked: “What is the matter?”
She replied: “ If the poet Abu Bukair saw you now, he would know that he was speaking about you. He said that if you looked to the majesty of the moon it twinkles and lights up the world to see.”
So Prophet Muhammad (SAW) got up, walked to her and kissed her between the eyes and said, “Ya ‘Aish! Wallahi, you are like that to me and more.”
Sigh… go on and make your halal love story as beautiful as this one insha Allah!
Raeesa Patel is a mummy, teacher and writer whose life is filled with rainbows and sunshine because of the first, challenges and joy because of the second and a dream come true because of the third.