Did you ever see your parents holding hands? Or hugging each other? Or complimenting each other? If yes, you have witnessed a healthy marriage which exhibits love, Alhumdulillah.
In most traditional Muslim marriages, there is zero demonstration of love at home or in public and for some even in private. Interestingly, couples are seen making fun of each other or even complaining about each other in public but rarely ever expressing their affection for their spouse.
I always wondered, why Pakistani women were so hooked to soap operas. They always had celebrity crushes. Women as old as 70 years. Just recently it dawned upon me that maybe because they sought their heroes in them. After making ample sacrifices for their children and family, they felt stuck in a loveless marriage with hardly any romance. Watching ridiculous drama serials with good looking couples freely expressing their desires was a way for them to play out their inner feelings. Allah (swt) knows best.
But the question still remains. Why are we ashamed of expressing our pure and Halal love to our husband or wife? What could be the reason for that? To practice Haya? Well, expression of love can be a deliberate smile, a loving gaze, a simple squeeze of the hand or even calling out a nick name. It does not need to be vulgar or attention grabbing. And it certainly doesn’t need to be posted as a video going viral to thousands of viewers in a phony love display.
Why else could genuine and innocent romance be missing in Muslim couples? Because of our egos? How can we admit our warm feelings for our partner? Why should I be the first one to express love? Astaghfirullah!
We always refer to the Sunnah for our life principles, but how many times do we peek into the emotional intelligence of our Prophet (sa)? He never had much wealth to offer to his wives, yet they all competed with each other for his time, attention and love. Prophet (sa) knew the language of love each of his spouses spoke. And he never failed to express it in public as well.
Sensitivity towards their feelings
The Prophet (sa) once told Aisha (rtaf): “I know well when you are pleased or angry with me.” Aisha (rtaf) replied: “How do you know that?” He said: “When you are pleased with me, you swear by saying “By the God of Mohammad”, but when you are angry, you swear by saying “By the God of Ibrahim”. She said: “You are right.” (Muslim)
As a spouse, do you know what pleases or displeases your partner? Have you ever discussed this with him or her? This is an essential investment in the relationship to know what dampens the spirit of our loved ones and what perks them up. Marriages based on neglect or assumptions fail miserably.
Complimenting and declaring love openly
The beautiful love story between Khadija (rtaf) and the Prophet (sa) brings tears to one’s eyes. The Prophet (sa) never forgot his first wife and openly admitted, how she spent on him, believed in him, supported him and gave him children.
In the eight year of Hijri, when he marched into Makkah as a conqueror, where did he stay? He pitched a tent next to Khadija’s (rtaf) grave. He never worried what the people will think now that he had a status to uphold.
As a spouse, do you feel comfortable mentioning the favours your spouse has done for you? Can you admit and appreciate with love his or her services towards you?
We all know the incident when Aisha (rtaf) was invited by the Prophet (sa) to race with him, while travelling in a caravan. This happened in public, when the Messenger (sa) asked the caravan to move ahead, so he could be alone with his wife. He never cared what the Sahabah would think about this whole setting. All he wanted to do was make his young wife happy and enjoy a carefree moment of love with her.
Notice how he chose to race with Aisha (rtaf) understanding her youthful age and bright demenour. He spoke the language of love that would excite a young girl.
How many times have you played games or sports with your wife or husband? We generally think that such stuff is only for kids. Well, remember that each and every one of us has a child within us, who wants to play and laugh. Once in a while, become a carefree kid in a life bearing us down with expectations and duties.
Consoling and wiping their tears
Safiyah (rtaf) was once traveling with the Prophet (sa). It was then her turn to travel with him as his wife. She was slow in walking. The Prophet (sa) received her while crying and saying: “You gave me a slow camel.” Seeing that, the Prophet (sa) wiped her eyes with his hands and consoled her. (An-Nasai).
To an ordinary onlooker, it might seem as if the wife was being unreasonable and wanting to be pampered. The prophet (sa) could also have argued with her or contested that how dare she accuse him of something like that.
Do you fulfill unreasonable or even silly demands of your spouse just to make him or her happy at that moment? Emotionally distressed people cannot listen to or understand reasoning. Its best to play along until they feel secure.
Expression of love in public
Once a companion asked the Prophet (sa), whom he loved most? The Prophet (sa) responded: “Aisha” referring to his wife. He again asked: “And among the men?” The Prophet (sa) replied: “Aisha’s father” referring to Abu Bakr Assidiq (rtam).
If your friend or colleague would ask you whom do you love most, would you be able to admit your love for your spouse openly?
Love is an emotion that needs to be expressed. Human beings are not mind readers. Marriages are the best place to admit true love for each other. Marriages should not be taken for granted – they should not become lifeless, devoid of any spark or surprise, despite all the roles spouses have to play and responsibilities they have to shoulder as adults.
This is best learnt from the life of the merciful Messenger for the mankind, our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sa). May Allah (swt) grant us true and genuine Halal love. Ameen.
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