Five Moments to say ‘I Love You’ to Your Wife

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  1. When she feels wronged or has committed wrong.

Due to our human nature, most of us tend to move into a reactive mode in two phases of our life: a) when someone has been unjust to us and we are looking for allies and evidences to prove our innocence, and b) when we have perpetuated injustice upon others and try to evade responsibility, either out of ignorance or guilt. In both cases, a spouse’s relationship is tested. It is not recommended to encourage incorrect behaviour but it is best to first reassure your wife that you love her, in spite of her being the victim or the victimizer. Once your emotional account is loaded and she appreciates your sincerity, she will normalize faster and overcome the emotional disturbance within her.

  1. When she falls ill.

Today, nobody welcomes sickness, unlike the Sahabah and our predecessors who got worried when Allah (swt) did not send them ailments. They would think that perhaps He (swt) wanted to grant everything to them in this world and, hence, hold back any chances for repentance. Yes, one should never pray for illness, but when it arrives, it is advised to exercise patience. Help your wife to do that by spending some extra time with her. If that is not possible, ask her what will comfort her. Perhaps employing some reliable help for the house for cleaning or cooking, or maybe letting her spend time with her own family would help. Inform her that her recovery means a lot to you. A bouquet of flowers or something she loves will always cheer her up, too.

  1. When PMS arrives.

This is a state that men most misunderstand because they are not educated about it.  Biologically, a woman becomes very vulnerable during her menstruation period. Due to her hormones, she may become moody, depressed, unnecessarily angry, and at times weepy, too. And you may or may not even be the reason for a battle she decides to pick. It is best to exercise patience with her and not demand things she would not be able to deliver in such a volatile state of mind. The Prophet (sa) is known to rest his head in Aisha’s (rtam) lap while she was menstruating. He handled her very gently and fondly. In the absence of intimate relations between spouses, some women also feel unwanted and under-valued. Hence, a reassurance of your love for her will bring back her sense of belonging.

  1. When your baby is on the way.

Most women are pampered when the first baby is on the way. However, they do experience a mixture of emotions ranging from elation to fear of labour and the upcoming responsibilities. They still need your support every now and then, especially if you live in a joint family setup and do not get sufficient time together. If the pregnancy is a difficult one, where the woman experiences severe nausea and vomiting, and is prescribed bed rest, it is even more challenging for the mother-to-be. For women who are expecting a child and who already have kids to worry about and care for, you can provide trusted help for the house, occasional retreats to her family’s care, if that comforts her, and your tender understanding.

  1. After your baby has arrived.

Amidst the joy of a new baby and postpartum pain of delivery, a new mother is literally besieged with emotions and responsibilities. She has sleepless nights, emotional and physical distress of establishing breast feeding, postpartum bleeding causing weakness, biological developments in the body, influx of guests and family wanting to greet the newly-arrived baby, and in case where she has older children, the guilt of not being able to take care of them. On top of that, she is not able to offer Salah, which makes her spiritually vulnerable. Also, after the arrival of the new baby, the husband and wife sometimes don’t get sufficient time together to talk and share. Hence, make the additional effort to fulfill her needs and spend time with her, facilitating her in her efforts to re-build emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Quranic recitations can be played for the mom and baby to protect them from Satan’s attack.

In times of happiness, one is emotionally self-sufficient and might not need to hear terms of endearment so often.  “I love you” should therefore be said and felt more often in times of distress and misery.

 

O Ameer! Lead Your Family!

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“Men are the protectors and maintainers (Qawwam) of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands), and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband’s property, etc.)…” (An Nisa 4:34)

 

Allah (swt) says that men are the Qawwam of women. The word Qawwam is derived from the Arabic verb Qama/Uqeemu, which means ‘to stand’. Qawwam is an exaggerated/excessive form, which indicates constant standing. Just as a bodyguard continuously stands guarding a VIP, the man of the family is supposed to watch over and protect the women of the household. The verse above explains that he is given this function because he is required to spend his wealth on them for their maintenance. When one spends on someone continuously, it is natural that he will protect them from all dangers. He will empathize with them and will be inclined to manage their affairs with their best interest in mind.

The applied meaning of Qawwam thus encompasses a range of responsibilities of the man, which include financially providing for his family, protecting them, empathizing with them, understanding them, managing their affairs, making decisions that affect them after proper consultation with them, providing the space and opportunities for the constant learning and growth as well as catering to their every physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, educational, and financial need. In short, his role is that of an enabler of success of all members of the household. In order for him to carry out all these responsibilities successfully, he has been granted the leadership role of an Ameer of the family.

Abdullah bin Umar (rtam) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of the people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects; a man is the guardian of his family and is responsible for his subjects; a woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and of his children and is responsible for them; and the slave of a man is a guardian of his master’s property and is responsible for it. Surely, every one of you is a shepherd and responsible for his flock.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

It is apparent from the above Hadeeth that every group of people should have a leader for its proper function. It is not possible for a group to have two leaders or else chaos will ensue. Thus, for a family unit, Allah (swt) in His infinite wisdom has chosen the men to lead. It does not matter how weak the man is or whether he earns less than his wife; he is supposed to be ultimately responsible for all family members.

This does not mean that the man of the house is a dictator, who does not consider in his decisions the Shoora (consultation) of all his family members. It does not mean that he is to be feared by those under him, or that he can enforce decadent cultural restrictions, which have little to do with Islam. Rather, the husband should study the Prophet’s (sa) Seerah deeply for improving his leadership skills. For supporting the husband, the wife is required to be obedient to the husband, as stated in the above verse. However, it is worth noting here that the wife’s obedience is first to Allah (swt), then to the Prophet (sa), and only then to the husband. Thus, if the husband makes demands against the commands of Allah (swt) and His Prophet (sa), she should decline to be obedient.

Part of the responsibility of the Ameer is to engender leadership skills in those under him. The primary manner to do so is to be good role models themselves. Children may be trained to accept more responsibilities at a young age, for example, they can be asked to take care of their pets, be the captain of their school cricket team, be the imam at home leading their siblings and cousins in Salah, or babysit their siblings while the parents are away. Leadership skills can formally be learned in a Boy Scouts / Girl Guides troop. The key element in making the next generation future Ameers of their families and societies is to make them feel empathic towards others. This can be done by engaging them in charitable services for those less fortunate than them. Lastly, by providing them with comprehensive Islamic knowledge, parents would help them understand their roles as young adults. The guidance from the examples of the Prophet (sa) and his companions are invaluable in this respect.

Men are made responsible for a gamut of their family’s needs and, hence, are given leadership roles by Islam. Like everyone under a leader, the wife is required to help the leader by being obedient to him, provided nothing is being demanded against Islamic principles. The man of the family should consult with his family members and do everything that is in their best interest. He should use his position responsibly to help all the family members develop themselves. He should not misuse the privilege of leadership he is given. He is responsible to pass on good leadership skills to their offspring, so that they become exemplary future Ameers.

 

Time: An Amanah at the Workplace

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“To live means to work. Work is the life of a person.” (Voltaire)

We spend the largest portion of our life at the workplace. In fact, our entire life is aimed at earning what we would spend on our livelihood. Eight to twelve hours at work, eight hours for sleep, two hours in commuting, an hour for getting ready… and what is left? We eat so that we can live, and we spend our life on earning our sustenance. I urge you not to waste your time at the workplace.

Are you surprised? Just think about it – does it make sense to live only for eating? Most probably, your earning is sufficient for providing you not only with food but also with clothing, a place to live, treating yourself from time to time with something nice and, once in a while, for taking a vacation. I dare to assume that among my readers are also those who earn sufficiently and are able to afford nearly everything they wish for. Yet, we work too much and have too little time for anything else but work. Is it worth it to spend the precious time allotted to us by the Most High on such trivial pursuits?

However, I do not urge you to adopt a lazy and parasitic lifestyle. Not at all. You should work and work a lot. When I say “do not waste time at work”, I mean “do not waste it on useless pursuits”. Any time that you spend on something other than for Allah (swt), the Most High, is wasted. Whatever we do with the Niyyah (intention) other than that is useless for eternity.

Where?

If we pose the question “where to work?”, then the obvious answer is “wherever it is beneficial”. Any efforts we put forth towards caring for those close to us and their well-being can be filled with deep meaning if we continuously keep our Niyyah focused by reminding ourselves Who we are doing it all for? Whose pleasure are we seeking? Who is our real boss? This is the factor which transforms the otherwise senseless and tiresome situation of “living so we can eat and eating so we can live” into a spiritual act of service to Allah, the Most High. Reaching such a level of commitment is not as difficult as maintaining it; however, in this lies true happiness and success.

Furthermore, simply having the intention of “I will do it for the sake of Allah (swt)” is not enough; the quality of the work has to match the intention. This is because “for the sake of Allah (swt)” means “for seeking His pleasure” which is possible only if He accepts what you are doing. What job can be done for the sake of Allah (swt)? It can be any job, including housework, as long as it does not involve anything forbidden. Some people think that working for the sake of Allah (swt) is possible only in the field of religion, which is not so. What matters is not where but how we work.

How?  

The most important question, the answer to which will help you stop wasting time at work, is: how to work? For the sake of Allah (swt) you have to perform your duties in the best manner, as He does not accept anything other than that. A person who leaves for his work in the morning and returns home in the evening does not do anything which would draw him nearer to Jannah if he does not put his best efforts into doing it. It is necessary to keep in mind that your boss is not this “mean and evil guy” in charge of you, but the One for Whose sake you have made the intention to work. Likewise, it is as necessary to remember that your salary is not that “meagre amount of cash which is not enough for anything anyway” but your real salary is your professional activities that are written down in the Book of Life as your good deeds, accepted by your Supervisor. Religion is like a magic wand that changes reality; everything is transformed when viewed through a spiritual lens. The most annoying and senseless job turns into an act of worship, a way of expressing love, a deed with a capital letter.

If you could see how Allah (swt) the Most High watches over you during every minute of your work, would you allow yourself to be careless, to take endless tea breaks or to spend your work time on empty conversations? If the management installs security cameras for observing their employees, it significantly increases their productivity. A believer knows that even without such cameras in place, he is continuously being observed by the One Who hears and sees everything – the One Whom he is serving. The money you earn by carrying out your duties late and negligently is stolen money. For example, if your work time is eight hours with one hour for lunch break, but you spend three hours of it on idle pursuits, do you have any right to take money for this time? If your management would know of the tasks you have not completed, they would not pay you for them in full. Thus, it is unfair to carry out your duties partially while receiving full payment for them. Your earning stops being Halal if it is earned unjustly. It is even more unjust in front of your own self and your soul to think that you are working for the sake of Allah (swt) while carrying out your duties non-seriously – if you do that, you are merely cheating your own self! Besides, the Most High cannot be deceived into accepting badly performed duties. The only way out for a careless employee is to repent.

If only I could work in the field of religion… 

Some Muslims think that if they would be working in the field of religion, it would be easier for them to work for the sake of Allah (swt) only. The truth is that the responsibility level of such employees is so high that it makes their work not easier but more difficult. However, a hardworking person, not a lazy one, a true professional, not the one who purchases his diploma, and any person who continuously remembers where and for whose sake he is working, is a representative of Islam. Imams and Alims are not the only representatives of the field of religion. People working in Islamic educational institutions, Islamic shops, facilitating enforcement of Deen anywhere, etc., also belong to the same field and are also responsible for shaping the image of Muslims. If any one of them carries out his duties heedlessly, he directly harms the religion of Allah (swt). Instead of taking upon yourself such responsibility and failing to fulfill it, it truly is better to be a simple sweeper, who keeps in good order the territory entrusted to him.

We work according to what we get paid

Sometimes we hear the following complaint: “If only I would be paid more, I would work better”. If you have taken up this job and are not satisfied with your salary – leave and find another job! However, the unique position of a believer is such that he knows that no matter where he is or what he is doing, he would not receive more or less than his Rizq. What is decreed for you today will definitely reach you, no matter where and for what salary you are working. If you are working for the sake of Allah (swt) on a small salary but sincerely, you are richer than the one who works for the sake of his Nafs (desires), no matter if he carries his duties out well or not. And if you are working for the sake of Allah (swt) but underperform deliberately, then you are poorer than the most poor and are living in self-deceit.

I pray to Allah (swt) the Most High to accept what we are doing for His sake and teach us to do it in such a way that we would not be ashamed of it on the Day of Judgement. Ameen.

Translated for Hiba by Laila Brence. Source: http://islam.ru/content/obshestvo/9947