We all read about the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the fields of education, faith, politics, war, or economy but seldom was written or published about his life (peace be upon him) inside his house and his relationship with his wives.
A person well informed about the familial relationships of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) finds out that it included meanings that we desperately miss in our present time. These meanings would contribute to the stability of our homes and marriages.
In this article, we are giving some examples of Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) consideration to the feelings of his wives, his appreciation, and manifestation of love.
Calling one’s wife with the name she loves most or with a nickname or a musical name is one of the forms of pampering and being kind to one’s wife. This can be seen in the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who, in a saying ‘hadith’ that is agreed upon by scholars, used to say to his wife Aishahh: “O Aish, this is Gabriel saying peace be upon you.” She replied: ”And may peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon him. You see what I don’t.” (she meant the messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). (Al-Bukhari)
He also used to call Aishah: (Homayraa’) a short form of (“hamraa’) which, according to Ibn Kathir in ‘Al-Bidayah and An-Nihaya,’ means the white skinned woman with blushed cheeks.
Adh-Dhahabi also said that “Hamraa'” in the language of the people of ‘Hejaz’ means white and blushing, a rare feature among them. So, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to treat ‘A’ishah kindly and call her with lovely names.
From the Prophetic traditions Aishah narrated about fasting; Imam Muslim reported that she said: ‘the messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to kiss one of his wives while fasting, and then she laughs, may Allah be pleased with her.
In another Prophetic tradition narrated by Aishah, she said that Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that the best of the believers is the one who is best in manners and kindest to his own wife.
These sayings ‘hadiths’ demonstrate how Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) cared for his wives and how well he treated ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her).
One of the forms of cuddling and well treating one’s wife is feeding her with one’s own hands. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Whatever you spend is considered charity even the mouthful that you put in your wife’s mouth.” (Al-Bukhari)
Even the food that one feeds his wife with his hands is considered an act of charity that is rewarded by Allah the almighty and not only an action that guarantees her love and cooperation.
Cuddling and being kind to one’s wife has a tremendous emotional effect on her. This action of following the example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) costs a man nothing and grants him Allah’s reward, his wife’s love and cooperation. Therefore a man is commanded to cuddle and treat his wife kindly.
A man’s nature dictates him a certain way of expressing his feelings that is different from a woman’s. A woman expresses her love with words like; I love you, I miss you, I need you, etc. On the other hand, a man expresses love in actions and production and seldom with words. If a man wants to tell his wife that he loves her he buys her something she wants or brings some food and drinks or furniture for their house. According to a man, this is a form of love expression.
The generous Prophet has indeed overcome this negative trait in the nature of men. He used to express his love and passion verbally for lady ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her). He treated her kindly, pampered her, and let his wives hear what they wished from their beloved husband and this is a significant aspect in a man-wife relationship. Ibn `Asakir narrated on the authority of lady ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that she said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) told her: “Won’t you be pleased to be my wife in this life and in the hereafter?” I said: “Yes,” he said: “You are my wife in this life and the hereafter.”
Imagine lady Aishah’s emotions having heard the words that guaranteed her security, love, and peace in this life and in the hereafter.
Al-Aas Ibn Ar-Rabi` (the husband of Zainab, the daughter of Prophet Muhammad) leaves Makkah escaping from Islam. She sends to him to return and embrace Islam. So he sends her a letter, an extract of which is: “By Allah, I don’t see your father as an offender and I love nothing more than following the same rout with you dear beloved. However, I hate being said that your husband has let his people down. Would you consider this and pardon me?” The letter demonstrates that Al-Aas loved Zainab and wanted to be with her in whatever road.
Moreover, he hated that people would talk in a way that displeases her. At the end, he asks her to consider and pardon him, for the sake of that love Zainab managed to go to him and return with him a Muslim.
Some writers demonstrate the respect of the West to women by giving examples like a husband opening a car’s door to his wife. Although this apparently is respect, yet, a mature person can see many aspects in which a woman is being offended and disrespected in the west.
Muslims do not have the issue of man/woman conflict because they believe each one completes the other and that mutual respect is a must.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is our example in this. One time during his stay alone in adoration of Allah in the last ten days of Ramadan (observing I`tikaf), his wife lady Safiyyah came to visit him and spoke with him for some time, then went to the door. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) led her to the door to say goodbye.
In another narration, he told her: “Do not hurry to leave till I come with you.” Her house was at Usamah’s and he (peace be upon him) left with her. Respect is the source of continual love and stability in a family. Therefore we wish that it prevails between a man and his wife.
If spouses treated each other in such way, a marriage would definitely be beautiful. We desperately need to leaf through the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Islamic history to discover the most beautiful theories in the art of marriage.