Ever since my mom died, I’ve been a mess. My emotional disarray has translated into much of my life becoming a pile of junk.
I need to get married. And I need a woman who can reorganize my life, cook for me, clean for me, and take care of me… I mean look after me. But am I supposed to clean up after myself and I’ve already got so much on my plate?
About a month ago my uncle’s wife was in a major car accident and has been in the hospital since. She’s been steadily recovering, but naturally this entire event has taken its toll on him. I would make it a point to visit him frequently knowing how lonely and down he was.
Somehow, we managed to get on the topic of marriage. I told him I really needed a wife and that my life was a mess! He smiled and said:
“I thought your generation was an enlightened one. A wife is not a maid,” he said, “and you need to understand marriage before you get married.”
He pointed out that he had no problem keeping his house clean in his wife’s absence; and that even when she is around, he still helps run the house… Because he believes that he and his wife are partners even when it comes to household responsibilities.
He reminded me of the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying:
The best of you are those who are best to their wives.
No man in history was as busy as the Prophet Muhammad or as important to the world as he was, but that didn’t stop him from constantly being in the service of his own household.
The Prophet used to repair his own shoes, and mend his own clothes without complaint.
And with all that, he never deprived his family of that infectious smile he was so famous for.
Men are from Makkah and women are from Madinah but, in the end, we’re all from Allah. And though at times it seems impossible to understand one another, Allah created us in our own unique ways to complete one another.
And that’s not just in regards to marriage; that’s a rule of life. Be it a mother with her son, a wife with her husband, a daughter with her father, a sister with her brother… There’s something special about the bond between men and women.
My uncle told me that women often go unappreciated in our lives. And part of that lack of appreciation is that we belittle what they’re capable of and reduce them to maids.
Value of the Mother
That’s why the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us that though we may never repay them, we should at least recognize their efforts and be grateful. Not only that but we should honor them and hold them in the highest regard.
You know, your mother didn’t just clean after you, she made you the person you are today. She didn’t just change your diaper, she builds your character. For sleepless nights in constant worrying in prayers, she proudly watched you grow.
And you know, if we pay close enough attention, we’ll realize that every woman in our lives has taught us something; if nothing else, how to be more loving and compassionate.
Allah mentioned three things that your mother did for you that no one else has. She carried you, gave birth to you, and nurtured you in your infancy.
Perhaps that’s why when the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked who is most deserving to my affection he said “your mother” 3 times, then your father.
My uncle told me that in anticipation of his wife coming home he wanted to do something thoughtful for her to show her how much he loved her. Her favorite pastime was putting puzzles together specially with her grandchildren, so I thought I’d make a puzzle of her to show her that just as she completes me, I can sort of complete her.
She absolutely loved it and I loved that she loved it.
My neighbor once asked me: “Aren’t you Muslims exaggerating just a little bit when you claim that Muhammad emancipated women? Just because he spoke out against killing your daughters and beating your wives? I mean aren’t those things understood? Do you really need a Prophet or a holy book to get that?”
I told him that the women in the days of ignorance were viewed as less than cattle, and that the Prophet went beyond simply teaching us not to abuse or harm them, but he taught us to honor and cherish them.
Besides, wouldn’t you agree that sometimes transformative figures are needed to call people out on their brutality and remind them of what makes them human?
He finally said: “Yeah I guess so. But that’s not the same.”
But he and I both knew that it was. And let’s face it, we all need to be reminded at times.
Throughout this process, not only was I able to rearrange my life but my beliefs as well. And as usual, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was right.
Rasul Allah, how amazing must you have been that when you said, “the best amongst you are those who are best to the their wives,” our mother Aisha responded, “and you are the best of them.”
Not only you’re the greatest Prophet, leader, and teacher; you’re the greatest son, husband, and father to ever lived.