Hijab, as in the the way Muslims conduct themselves, is meant as a rightful barrier between the sexes to prevent sexuality from pervading our society without bounds. However, that same familiarity which is forbidden with just any man, is encouraged with your own husband. Hijab is not a blanket restriction on women in all times and places. Many married Muslim women who uphold the values of modesty in the outside world, often fall into the trap of becoming overly modest within their own homes. Allah I has given each woman a beautiful feminine nature that is meant to be explored and enhanced in front of her husband. It may be that it is time to awaken those intrinsic charms that you, as a woman, possessed at the time of marriage but have forgotten or suppressed as the daily routines of life took over.
You must understand that the most beautiful thing about a woman is precisely that she is not a man. Many women today are so afraid of being inferior to men that they lose their feminine charms for the sake of pleasing society and are ashamed to exhibit them.
A knife of the finest tempering can be used as a decoration on the wall, but then it is not being used for its intended purpose – to cut. In the same way, Allah (SWT) has created a certain nature in a woman. She can choose to suppress it, but she will be failing to use her nature for its original purpose.
Marriage is a place where we can be vulnerable, where we can be ourselves, exposed with all our faults, yet still be accepted. Every man longs for the safety and security a wife provides and will adore and cherish the woman who becomes that haven for him. His job is to keep her secure in the world; her job is to keep his heart secure. When she becomes that haven for him, he will always return to her as his first place for comfort, solace and advice. When the revelation first descended on the Prophet r, he felt vulnerable and scared. So where did he go? To his uncle? To his cousin? No, he went straight into the arms of Khadijah (RA) and she consoled and comforted him. She was the receiver of his secrets, and they had such a beautiful bond that the Prophet (SAW) never forgot her.
When a woman chooses a man to be her husband, she lets him explore not only her outer beauty but her inner beauty as well. A woman’s intelligence, her mind, her empathy, her softness, her ability to bear secrets, and yes, her physical beauty – these all comprise her feminine charms. A man wants to be charmed by his wife; he loves it in fact. Every man wants to feel powerless before the woman he’s given his heart to. So with that, let’s explore the hijab, in terms of behaviour, that you are meant to remove before your husband.
The worth of a smile
A woman’s smile is a magical experience for a man. When you smile, your face lights up and it is immensely attractive. After all, who wants to be around a frowning person all day? To your husband, a smile is a huge gift – it means that you are happy, and that he is doing something right. It makes him feel like he is taking care of his family properly. You can tell a man countless times that you are happy, but if you are not smiling, he will never believe you. So, smile. Smile when he comes home from work. Let him see that there is someone in this world who is sincerely overjoyed to see him. If a man feels like he can make you happy, he will go out of his to make you happy again and again. But if he feels like nothing makes you smile, then he will stop trying.
Happiness is your job, not his
It’s hard to smile if you are in a dark place. That’s why it’s immensely important that you take care of yourself and include things in your life that make you happy. As a complete person, there’s more to you than just your husband or your relationship. You have a duty to do those things daily that make you happy, even if it’s just for 20 minutes. For me, that’s reading a book. For my sister, it’s talking to my mom. For my best friend, it’s taking an art class. When you take responsibility for your happiness, you will begin to see that Allah (SWT) will place more opportunities for happiness in your life.
Your undivided attention matters
When you first got married, it was easy to give your husband your full attention. Everything was new and unexplored. But now, you may feel like you’ve heard and seen everything about your husband. The truth is that he needs your undivided attention now more than ever. If you are only half paying attention to him, he will turn away from you and find someone else to share his successes and failures with. When he talks, stop what you are doing, face him and just listen. Listen without giving advice or commenting. When he is done, check to make sure you understood him and only then offer your perspective. These few moments that you spend just listening are gold nuggets for your relationship. They secure the image in your husband’s mind that you are his haven and companion.
The lost art of flirting
You may think your husband is unromantic, but that could be stemming from you as well. If you flirt with him, he will flirt back. But what is flirting? Think back to the beginning of your marriage. When he told jokes, you used to laugh and get a sparkle in your eye. You would lean forward so he could smell your perfume and touch his arm as you shared a joke or a story. You would lilt your voice so that it sounded sexy. And yes, you would dress up to look your very best. You knew how to flirt then and you need to reawaken those charms now. It’s understandable that after three kids, you may no longer be a size 4, but you still need to look your best (that includes little things like shaving your legs!). These small changes will make a huge difference to how you see yourself and how your husband sees you. When a woman pampers herself and dresses up, she feels good. And when she feels good, flirting will come more naturally.
Allah Is All-Loving – He (SWT) loves us and has made us creatures of love. If nothing else, you must ask Allah (SWT) to put love and beauty in your life, especially in your marriage. Ask Him to help you observe hijab properly outside your home and to give you the strength, creativity, and enjoyment to explore your relationship fully with your spouse within the home.
Avid writer and mother of a rambunctious toddler, Zahra Hussain is fascinated by the differences in the way men and women think, act and interact with each other and the world. She enjoys blogging in her free time on www.marriedandmuslim.com and writes about the intricacies of married relationships, especially in an Islamic context.