Sunday, October 2, 2016

Spirituality in Spouse Relations

Spirituality is not a set of vague feelings experienced by the Muslim but a daily practice for success in this world and the hereafter.

Cohabitation (Married life) is not easy because our desire to be free and not be constrained by the other is greater than our desire to build a family. But for the Muslim, family is sacred. As stated in the Quran, we must reflect on the place of every word, of every verse.

“Among His signs is that He created from yourselves wives so that you find tranquillity with them and He has set between you bonds of love and mercy.” (Ar-Rum 30: 22).

The survival of humanity passes through the family. Currently, we are witnessing the decline of marriage. On the other hand, concubinage is becoming more frequent as well as conflicts which arise because of it. The consequence of concubinage worldwide is that over 20% of children are born outside marriage.

No law in the Civil Code or other speaks of the duty to love. But in Islam, marriage will live by love or last by mercy. And this love is a blessing which Allah deposits in the heart of whomever He wills. 

“Those who say: O our Lord! Grant us in our wives and our offspring the joy of our eyes and make us guides to those who are pious (God-fearing).’ Those will be rewarded with the highest place (in Paradise) because of their patience. Therein they shall be met with salutations and peace.” (Al-Furqan, 25: 75-76).

Before announcing the reward, there is beforehand the verse where we understand that love is a gift from God. Among His servants, there are those who say: “Lord, let the sight of our wives and our children fill us with joy.” This love will be directly related to paradise and guidance.

Take the example of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) in the way he treated his wives, and he vowed exceptional love for his two principal wives: Khadija (ra) and Aisha (ra). He always spoke good of his late wife Hazrat Khadija (ra). Hazrat Aisha (ra) was jealous of Hazrat Khadija (ra) despite the fact that she had ever seen her. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) used to reminiscence her (Khadija) very often. And it was always in a good way. He had good relations with the relatives of Khadija (ra) even after the death of the latter. He used to send meat to her friends and stood up to receive them as soon as he saw them. That is why, Aisha (ra) was very jealous of her.

By doing this, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) comes to give us an important lesson for marital stability: Loving your spouse is to love and honour the parents and relatives of the latter. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) dreamed of his wife Khadija (ra) and he related that dream to Aisha (ra). He had seen an angel bring Khadija (ra) in a sheet. Besides, his marriage to Aisha (ra) began with a divinely inspired dream expressing the status of Aisha (ra) in his life, that is to say, she is his wife.

Also, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) used to go out with his wives. He needed to be with his wife (Aisha) especially at the end of his life. It is reported that a Persian neighbour of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) had invited him and the Holy Prophet (pbuh) asked if his wife could come, and the neighbour refused. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) had three times declined the invitation until finally his wife also was invited.

When Aisha (ra) was really angry against the Holy Prophet (pbuh) she used to say: “No, by the God of Ibrahim!” to express her disagreement with the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and when everything was fine between them, she used to say: “Yes, by the God of Muhammad!” Aisha (ra) said she only moved away from his name.

Anger does not erase anything of commitment: everyone can get angry. Mood swings even existed in the family of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). But one should not exaggerate those differences so that Satan may not jump at the chance to inflame the situation further.

How Khadija (ra) and Aisha (ra) behaved with the Prophet (pbuh)? Khadijah (ra) used to warmly welcome her husband and supported him morally and financially. Aisha (ra) knew the habits of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and respected them. Indeed, when the Holy Prophet (pbuh) was sick, she resumed his habits. One day, the son of Abu Bakr (ra) came to the Prophet (pbuh) with his Siwaak; the Holy Prophet (pbuh) looked at the Siwaak and Aisha (ra) immediately understood he wanted to brush his teeth with a Siwaak.

Love and spirituality walk hand in hand. Spouses encourage each other to do good. The husband who seeks nearness to God, wants the same for his wife and vice versa. They both prepare for their stay in the afterlife. For a marriage to be successful, love is required, but it may be that after the passage of time, there is no more love; thus there remains only mercy (Rahmah).

Why stay together in Mercifulness?

a)     The couple is bound by their children; the mother foremost.
“Mothers shall suckle their children for two whole years; (that is) for those who wish to complete the suckling. The duty of feeding and clothing nursing mothers in a seemly manner is upon the father of the child. No-one should be charged beyond his capacity. A mother should not be made to suffer because of her child, nor should he to whom the child is born (be made to suffer) because of his child. And on the (father's) heir is incumbent the like of that (which was incumbent on the father).” (Al-Baqara, 2: 234).

b)    For economic reasons.
To tender to the needs of the wife and mother (of one’s child/ children) in the case of separation because she usually is financially dependent on her husband.

c)     In memory of the sentiments shared earlier, the road travelled together.
We are all concerned with (having) one or more defects (or those of our spouses). It may be that over time the attraction to our wife or our husband (for the ladies) disappears and there remains only mercy (Rahmah).

d)    To ignore weaknesses.
“... And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them - perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.” (An-Nisa, 4: 20)

The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: “A believer must not hate a believing woman (i.e. his wife): if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will be pleased with another.”

About Children: Sayyidina Ali (ra) advised his followers: 
“Do not force your children to behave like you, for surely they have been created for a time which is different to your time.”  We must let the children thrive, while supporting them. This is one of the first fundamental rights of the child to be bestowed by the parents so that they learn to know and love God and His prophet. Insha-Allah.


By the grace of Allah, in a few days we will enter the first month of the Islamic New Year, Muharram of the Year 1438 After Hijra. I hope that this New Year witness the spiritual progress of each of my followers around the world, as well as the other Muslims. May Allah bless us during this new Islamic year and still prepares us more solidly for the mission He gave us. May Allah accept our humble prayers and efforts for the consolidation of the Islamic Ummah and to spread the fragrance of His unicity and glory in the world. Insha-Allah, Ameen. On that note, I wish you all a blessed Islamic New Year (Naya Saal Mubarak).

---Friday Sermon of 30 September 2016 ~(28 Dhul-Hijjah 1437 Hijri) delivered by Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.