Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mercy and marriage

One of my favourite stories from the life of the Prophet, peace and blessing upon him, is a small scene from his life that exemplified his love, mercy and kindness in particular for his wife Ayesha, may Allah be pleased with her. Once the Prophet, peace upon him, was in bed wife his dear wife Ayesha. Once he thought her to be sleeping he snuck off in the night and left. Ayesha, who was not really sleeping, felt panic, dressed and followed the messenger of God, peace and blessing be upon him. She was worried that he would spend some of the night allotted to her with one of his other wives. She spied on him and once he turned to come back she bolted back home to get in bed before he could realize what she'd been up to. On returning the messenger of Allah, upon him be peace, noticed the pounding of his beloved's heart. He asked her what was going on and she confessed. He, peace upon him, responded "so you were the little black thing I saw". She told the prophet of her fear that he would leave her for the night, the prophet comforted her and told her that Gabriel, peace upon him, told him to arise and go to the grave to pray for the martyrs. At this Ayesha was embarrassed by her worries and reminded of the station and character of Rasooluallah, peace and blessings be upon him.
It very unfortunate that a man's right to hit his wife is given so much light and yet the prophetic way of mercy in shone to the background. I don't believe that wife beating is a particularly muslim problem but I do believe this takes up too much space in our discourse. God gives us rights and bear necessities of being Muslim but he gave us a prophet to show us how to implement islam Allah said of the prophet "truly you are of immense character". In this small story is an immense lesson for men and women on love and mercy within marriage. Ayesha, may Allah have mercy upon her and be pleased with her, loved Rasooluallah, peace and blessings upon him, with such depth that she could not stand to be without him on her allotted night. As a wife Ayesha cherished her time with her husband. She loved him dearly, treated him with kindness, and longed for him in his absence. Many wives find it hard to muster up a smile when their husbands come home and probably wouldn't notice if they left the bed for a few minutes. Or would rather get mad and question him on his whereabouts. Instead Ayesha fulfilled her urge to see where her beloved was off to without harming him. It goes without saying that wives shouldn't stalk their husbands but the point is that she respected him enough not to question him but loved him enough to be worried about his absence. When Ayesha was questioned about her racing heart she answered -not just what she'd done but her reasoning behind her actions, instead of attempting to cover herself, of course lying is a vile trait unbefitting of our mother. Another beauty of Ayesha is that when the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, told her were he'd been she reproached herself. She didn't make excuses or run away from her mistake or think of another complaint she simply blamed herself. Psychology research has shown that arguments greatly determine which couples are at risk for divorce. Not simply having an argument but the way in which each person argues. Our mother knew when to stop herself and this is an extremely important lesson. To often when we have discord we are more worried about being right then about listening to the other person or acknowledging our mistakes. When Ayesha realised her fear was unfounded she withdrew, may Allah have mercy upon her.
Rasooluallah, peace and blessings be upon him, knew Ayesha was wrong for thinking that he would leave her and for following him, but not one word of harshness came from him. In fact in his saying "so your the little black thing I saw" he made light of something that could have been taken more seriously. He could have been angry at Ayesha for a number of reasons: not trusting him, fearing he would leave her, leaving the house in the middle of the night, etc. But he didn't point out any of these things, he looked past her flaws and allayed her of her worry. He chose mercy over reminding her of his 'rights' or 'her place' he didn't condemn her.
This small incident could have been the impetus for a huge blow up, "how dare you""you have no right" "your always_____" and on and on. For many of us this incident would end in tears and harshness. The prophet's way with his beloved wife was understanding and mercy not blame and anger. God bless and grant peace to our beloved Prophet and our beloved mother. And may then spend there lives eternally blissful in paradise.
*hadith and quranic verses including those in quotes have been paraphased from memory, will fix soon, Insha Allah*

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