In Islam, the relation between husband and wife is a strong bond to be nurtured with kindness, love and mercy. It is so significant that Almighty Allah mentions it as one of his great ‘Signs’: “And of His signs is that he created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them, and He placed between your affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought” (Surah Ar Rum, 30:21).
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is the role model for every Muslim in all aspects of life. When we read about the Prophet’s (SAW) treatment to his wives one is amazed to see/ know the great level of care, gentleness, love and compassion he(SAW) showed them. Ibn Abbas(May Allah’s peace be upon him) narrated that the Prophet (SAW) Said: “The best among you is the best towards his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives” (Ibn Majah); My love is obligatory for those who love each other for my sake, who sit together for my sake, who visit each other for my sake, who spend on each other for my sake” (Musnad Ahmad).
Marriage is a sacred bond entered into by two people who are committed in their goal to fulfill the Sunnah and attain the pleasure of their Creator. It is also a natural human impulse to want to share your life with someone special and create a family. The bond between a husband and wife in Islam is something that needs to be grown and cultivated with equal effort from both sides.
The genuine love between a husband and his wife stems from a seed of love that is planted by Allah in the hearts of those who are true in submission to the dispenser of love and comfort. The Sunnah of love is built on mutual acceptance of the decree of the divine in search of comfort, repose and peace of mind. It is reported in the Hadith books that the Prophet (SAW), with his wife Aisha (RA) would use code language with for denoting their love. She once asked the Prophet (SAW) how he would describe his love for her. The Prophet (SAW) answered: “like a strong binding knot”: the more you tug, the stronger it gets. And Aisha (RA) would often playfully ask Prophet (SAW): “How is the knot?” And the answer from the Prophet (SAW) would be like this: “As strong as the first day (you asked)”.
Allah has indeed created man and woman to be natural counterparts of each other. They are natural companions, both physically and mentally; and it is indeed among the signs of the Creator. The noble Qur’an says: “they (your wives) are your garment and you are a garment for them” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 187).
Islam enjoins that a wife and husband should have the most intimate and loving relationship. Each should cover, protect and safeguard the interests of the other partner. As the garment covers the body in such a way there is nothing between the garment and the body, the husband and wife should be so close and intimate to each other that there should be no secrets between them.
Both should confide fully in each other and share their joys and secrets without any hesitation. But, when we look at our society we observe that that it so hard to speak frankly of love between husband and wife. The Prophet (SAW) would kiss his wife when he would leave his home, to lead the Muslims in prayer but what we observe in our society is that a husband finds it awkward to even talk to his wife (in front of family member) or even pass a smile. The Prophet (SAW) could mend his clothes and look after the domestic affairs of his household, but what our society reflects is not its reflection but is its reverse and opposite.
The need of the hour is to follow the Sunnah of Prophet (SAW) in our daily lives—be it the acts of worship or one’s personal affairs. He is, indeed, a role model (Uswah al-Hassnah) for all Muslims, and to emulate it, in word and spirit, is the need of the hour.
*Neelofar Rafeeq holds PG in Islamic Studies from Islamic University of Science & Technology (IUST), Awantipora; Feedback at Email: email@example.com