What is true marital love? Let’s take a look at some examples found in true stories:
Exchange of Lovely Compliments
Once, the Prophet (sa) was sitting in a room with Aisha (rtaf) and fixing his shoes. It was very warm. Aisha (rtaf) looked at his blessed forehead and noticed that there were beads of sweat on it. She became overwhelmed by the majesty of that sight. She stared at him long enough for him to notice. He asked, “What’s the matter?”
She replied: “If Abu Bukair Al-Huthali, the poet, saw you, he would know that his poem was written for you.”
The Prophet (sa) asked: “What did he say?”
She replied: “Abu Bukair said that if you look at the majesty of the moon, it twinkles and lights up the world for everybody to see.”
The Prophet (sa) got up, walked to Aisha (rtaf), kissed her between the eyes, and said: “By Allah, O Aisha, you are like that to me and more.” (Baihaqi)
Reassurance of Love
Aisha (rtaf) and the Prophet (sa) would use code language with each other denoting their love. She asked the Prophet (sa) how he would describe his love for her. Prophet Muhammad (sa) answered: “Like a strong binding knot.” The more you tug, the stronger it gets, in other words.
Every so often Aisha (rtaf) would playfully ask: “How is the knot?” The Prophet (sa) would answer: “As strong as the first day (you asked).” Then, he said: “By Allah, nothing will harm me in this life, when I know that you will be my wife in Paradise.” (Abu Nuaym in Hilyat al-Awliya, 2/44; quoted by Hafiz Ibn Hajar in Lisan al-Mizan, no. 760, Ash-Shawkani in Al-Fawaid, no.1180)
Keeping an Eye on the Real Prize
According to the scholars (Ulema), there was once a very beautiful woman married to a dark man, whose features made him look extremely strange and scary. They were both, however, very happy together, because both were very righteous individuals, who were devoted to Allah (swt). One day, the husband happened to smile in happiness, as he looked at his wife, and at this, she said: “We are the entrants of Paradise.” Her husband asked how she came to know this, and she continued: “When you look at me, you smile in gratitude, and when I look at you, I exercise patience. A Hadeeth says that both the grateful and the patient shall enter Paradise.” (“Islam and Marriage” by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad)
Consideration for the Other
Aisha (rtaf) relates: “By Allah, I saw the Prophet Muhammad (sa) standing at the door of my room when some Abyssinians were playing with spears in the mosque. The Messenger of Allah (sa) screened me with his cloak so that I could watch the spear-play over his shoulder. He stayed there for my sake until I had seen enough.” (Bukhari)
While on a journey, Prophet Musa’s (as) wife had to stop because of a headache. Musa (as) told her to rest while he fetched firewood to build a fire for warmth. Here we have an excellent example in which we see prophets engaged in providing ease and comfort to their wives. Hence, men should not shy away from any kind of work and responsibility but embrace the opportunity. (“Islam and Marriage” by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad)
Being Patient for the Sake of Love
The son of Abu Talhah (rtam) and Umm Sulaim (rtaf) had been ailing. Abu Talhah (rtam) set out on a journey, and his son breathed his last in his absence. Very worried that her husband would be extremely saddened at the news, Umm Sulaim (rtaf) she sat contemplating what she should do. She then bathed the child’s body and laid it in the cot with a blanket over it. She requested her family members to not inform Abu Talhah (rtam) about the child’s death immediately.
When Abu Talhah (rtam) came back, he asked (his wife): “What about my child?” Umm Sulaim (rtaf) said: “He is now in a more comfortable state than before.”
The husband hence thought the child was sleeping. The couple ate together, discussed his trip, and retired for the night.
The next morning, she said: “Abu Talhah, if some people borrow something from another family and then the members of the family ask for its return, would they resist its return? He said: “No.” She said: “I inform you about the death of your son.”
He was annoyed at that. Later, Abu Talhah (rtam) came to Allah’s Messenger (sa) and informed him about this. Whereupon, he asked: “Did you spend the night with her?” He answered: “Yes.” The Prophet (sa) then supplicated: O Allah, bless both of them.”
As a result of this blessing, Umm Sulaim (rtaf) gave birth to a child. The Prophet (sa) named him Abdullah. (Muslim)