The Lost Love

In the name of Allah[1], the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful. Peace and blessings of Allah be upon Prophet Muhammad (SAWS[2]).

 

Amr Khaled

love is about actions and behavior, not hidden feelings. What happens if relationships between husbands and wives deteriorate? What happens to families? What kind of sins will be committed in society, what will the Shaytan (Satan) do to our homes? Our last hope lies in our homes, and if we lose that our societies will be useless for another 200 years. A major problem faced by husbands and wives is the loss of love. We’re not discussing marital disputes, or the causes of divorce, we’re talking about the lost love. How do we lose love? In the first stage they stop talking to each other. Couples talk for hours while they are engaged, they spend long hours on the phone and when they finally hang up they still have more to say. At the beginning of their marriage they talk even more. Then, a few years down the line there’s less and less to say.

A man may spend 12 hours at work and actually forget to call his wife. The second stage is to avoid spending time at home; some husbands go through a lot of trouble to make up excuses and tell lies to escape spending time at home. The third stage is when both partners stop seeing each other’s good sides and focus on their partner’s faults; and Shaytan plays a major role here. The Prophet (SAWS) said very beautiful words in this regard; he said that a believer should not dislike his wife, because even if he dislikes something about her, he will always find something that he likes. The point is that they both have faults, and they probably were like this since the very first day, but at this stage they can only see each other’s faults. The fourth stage is to lose their intimate relationship for months. Although we’ve discussed four stages of losing love at home, until this stage they are still respectable people, and they haven’t committed any major sins.

However, after this, one may then start looking for love outside his/her home, and this may soon turn into cheating and a series of other major sins that displease Allah (AWJ[3]). Again, Shaytan has an important role to play here. Ibnul-Qayyim said that Shaytan makes you see what you don’t have as more beautiful and attractive that what you have. This is how Shaytan works. The Prophet (SAWS) said that a person who betrays carries a flag on the Day of Judgment saying this is so-and-so’s betrayal, clearly telling people what this person did.

I’m not talking to men only, I’m very sorry to say that women also reach the stage I’m talking about – this was not the case 30 or 40 years ago -.

Can we bring back the love to our homes? Yes! Allah (SWJ) said what can be translated as “…and He has made between you amity and mercy…” (TMQ[4], 30:21). Note that “has made” is past tense, this means that Allah (SWT[5]) creates this amity and mercy deep in the hearts of husbands and their wives on the day they are married. Take an example for Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) on the day he conquered Makkah, 15 years after Lady Khadijah Bint-Khuwaylid’s death; his companions were urging him to stay at one of their homes, yet he asked them to set up a tent for him near her grave. A year after Khadija’s death a lady companion met Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) and suggested that he gets married for he had 5 children and it would be difficult for him to bring them up on his own; the Prophet shed tears on Khadijah’s memory and said that no woman could resemble her. The lady later said she regretted having reminded him.

You may say that this is the Prophet (SAWS) and no one else is like this. So let me tell you the story of a man who I met in England when I was 20 years old. This man, a scholar from al-Azhar, was in his sixties or seventies at that time, while his wife was in her fifties and they had been married for nearly 35 years. He had gone to England to give some lectures and his wife accompanied him. I could not imagine how this man loved his wife to the extent that he woke me up one day at 8:00 o’clock in the morning and asked me to go with him to Oxford to buy her a present while she was sleeping. I was surprised that after all those years of marriage he was thinking of buying his wife a present and he was also very keen on choosing something that will please her. After some time I traveled back to Egypt and went to visit him, he welcomed me but told me that he was busy at that time and asked me to wait for him in the guest room. He left me waiting for half an hour and I was upset, when he returned he apologized and explained that he and his wife spend an hour every Friday after al-Asr (afternoon) prayer to read Qur’an and talk to each other. I did not think it was possible at that time for a couple to love each other so much after so many years of marriage.

The Prophet (SAWS) was talking to one of his companions called Jaber Ibn-Abdullah on their way back from Zat-Arika’ battle. We all know Jaber’s story whose wife died and he married a lady who could take care of his nine daughters. So, on their way back from the battle the Prophet (SAWS) told him that when they reach Madinah the army will wait outside its borders so that Jaber’s wife would know that the army is back and prepare herself to welcome her husband. The thing is, The Prophet (SAWS) understood that the army had been away for a long time, and their wives do not know when they will be back, and, being busy taking care of their children and houses they may not be ready to welcome their husbands, so he wanted to give them time to prepare themselves. This is very important for women today who do not appreciate how important it is for them to look presentable in front of their husbands.

What does all this have to do with Ramadan? This is the essence of Ramadan, and we want to emerge from Ramadan with husbands who are determined to strengthen their homes by taking their wives’ hands and starting to walk through life together. The Prophet (SAWS) used to walk with Lady Zainab Bint-Jahsh and hold her hand in front of his companions without feeling embarrassed about that like most men do.

Sometimes we only appreciate someone close to us when they die, although we never appreciated them during their lives. I will tell you the story of a girl who studied fine arts and used to paint pictures and portraits and things like that. She decided to paint a picture of her parents and give it to them as a gift on their wedding anniversary. She worked in her room and hid her work from her parents to make it a surprise, until one night her father walked into her room and caught her when she was almost done with the picture. She says she really felt like showing it to him, and when he saw it he marveled at how beautiful his wife is and asked if he could buy a frame for the picture and attach a small card for her mother. So she agreed and they kept the picture a secret from her mother. Unfortunately, her father died before the anniversary day and the girl hesitated before showing the picture to her mother. She finally showed it to her and the mother read her husband’s card in which he said “My daughter reminded me of how lucky I am to have married you – I’ll always look into your eyes.”. The girl’s mother was touched by those words and regretted that she had not heard such sweet words from him during his life.

Moreover, Abu-Bakr asked that his wife Asmaa Bint-Omayr would be the one to wash him and prepare him for burial after his death – this is very strange especially at that time – and when someone inquired about the reason, he replied that she was the closest to his heart, and so she did.

Also, Lady Aisha teaches women how to treat their husbands. She says she once went to bed with the Prophet (SAWS) and when he was covered with her quilt, he asked her permission to let him get up and pray for an hour to his Lord (Allah), she replied that she loves to be near him yet prefers what pleases him, that is, she prefers what he likes over what she likes.

On the other hand, Ali Ibn-Abi-Taleb teaches men how to treat their wives: When he was asked to describe his relationship with his wife Fatimah, the Prophet’s daughter, Ali replied with poetry; saying that Muhammad’s daughter is his wife and peace, and that her body and soul are entwined with his. Once Ali found his wife Fatimah brushing her teeth with a sewak (part of a tree bark that people use to clean their teeth), again, he came up with some funny poetry about the sewak to make her laugh.

Fatimah too joked with her husband. The Prophet (SAWS) walked in and heard her and Ali laughing out loud, they stopped when he came in, so he asked them about what made them laugh. They had been married for six or seven years then. Ali replied that she insisted that she was older than him although that was not true. Fatimah replied that she was older. So the prophet told his daughter that Ali was right. He thought she was being serious. She replied that she knew that but was only joking with her husband.

There is also Abdullah Ibnul-Mubarak, he was a great companion of the Prophet (SAWS) who fought for one year and went for hajj[6] the next; once he was on hajj and missed his wife, so he sent her a message with someone, nowadays we can send text messages to each other in seconds, he had to send a message with a messenger. His message said “My soul missed your soul, did you feel it?” 

The Prophet (SAWS) was sitting in his house one day and heard a knocking on the door and when asked who it was he heard a voice similar to lady Khadijah’s voice – that was long after her death. He wished it would be Hala, Khadijah’s sister, as he missed Khadijah and wanted to see one of her relatives. It turned out to be Hala, and he was very happy to see her.

Can this really happen? Of course it can! Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as “Say, ‘in case you (really) love Allah, then closely follow me, (and) Allah will love you and forgive you your guilty (deeds)…'” (TMQ, 3:31). Allah (SWT) also says what can be translated as “Indeed you have already had a fair example, in the Messenger of Allah …” TMQ( 33:21). Let’s apply the social aspect of the Prophet’s (SAWS) life.

The important question now is why do we lose love, didn’t Allah (SWT) create amity and mercy deep in our hearts? We lose love when we neglect it. A general rule in life is that anything that is neglected and not taken care of withers up and dies. Love is about actions, not hidden feelings. It’s like a bank account. When you were engaged you had a huge balance of love to rely on, but over the days you keep drawing from that account until you can draw no more – that’s when you can’t tolerate a small argument that you could have tolerated a few years ago. You have to deposit in your wife’s or your husband’s love account, deposit small actions like a smile, a hug, a call to their family members, to protect your love against disputes and hard times. Let’s take advantage of Ramadan, pray together, supplicate together, hold each other’s hands. Again, love is about actions, about effort.

Allah (SWT) said “amity and mercy”, not “love”, what’s the difference? Love is an inner feeling, but amity is a manifestation of love, amity is an action. Love is an invisible feeling, but a smile is an action, that’s amity. That’s why one of Allah’s Most Beautiful Names is Al-Wadud, The Ever-Affectionate, because when Allah (SWT) loves someone an action results; The Prophet (SAWS) said “when Allah loves a person, He calls Jibril (Angel “Gabriel”) and says (to him): ‘I love so-and-so, therefore you should also love him.’ So Jibril loves him. Then he makes an announcement in the heaven saying ‘Allah loves so-and-so, therefore you should also love him.’ Then the inhabitants of heaven (the angels) would love him, and acceptance is established for him on earth”. So start depositing in your spouses’ emotion accounts, work together to bring the love back. How long would it take? I would say about a month, from experience, Allah willing. Allah (SWT) assures us that the love is there.

Do not be miserly with your feelings; do not let your spouses look for love outside your homes. Express your feelings and do not be shy. Salman al-Faresi saw Abul-Dardaa’s wife in a bad state, neglecting her appearance and when asked for the reason, she told him that her husband neglected her, as he was busy with worship day and night. This was during the time of the companions, and she was a pious woman, but nowadays, many women in the same situation would start looking for love outside their homes, it is not justifiable, but men should not drive their wives to that. May Allah forgive us all and bring all those husbands and wives who hear us today closer together.
 


 

[1] The word Allah is the Arabic term for God. Although the use of the word “Allah” is most often associated with Islam, it is not used exclusively by Muslims; Arab Christians and Arabic-speaking Jews also use it to refer to the One God. The Arabic word expresses the unique characteristics of the One God more precisely than the English term. Whereas the word “Allah” has no plural form in Arabic, the English form does. Allah is the God worshipped by all Prophets, from Adam to Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.

[2] SAAWS= Salla Allah alayhe Wa Salam [All Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him].

[3]  AWJ= Aza-Wa-Jal [Glorified and Sublime be He].

[4]  TMQ=Translation of the Meaning of the Qur’an.  This translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated (Surah: Ayah)  of the Qur’an.  Reading the translated meaning of the Qur’an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed.

[6] Hajj: The pilgrimage to Makkah during the first half of the month of Dhul-Hijjah, and is the fifth pillar of Islam.

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