Have Mercy on Your Husband

Have Mercy on Your Husband February 4, 2015
Credit: The Economist

Before I began this blog entry, I asked my husband for ideas. “Write about having mercy on your husband,” he suggested. Thinking he was only joking, I laughed and shrugged it off. “Really,” he insisted. Realizing that he was actually serious, I thought there might be something there.

Sitting down to write, I wondered why he felt compelled to push this topic. I began reflecting on the past two and a half years of our marriage, particularly the last sixteen months we’ve spent as parents. As many other couples can attest, having a baby not only drastically changed our lifestyle but also changed the way we related to one another as a couple. No longer carefree, we now had a serious responsibility on our hands. Once a high-powered young professional and community activist, I now stayed at home and focused on my son—one of the most extreme transitions I’ve ever undergone. It was even more extreme than getting married. As my husband left for work morning after morning, I felt increasingly disconnected from the world around me and very often took my frustration out on him. Ironically, I eagerly anticipated his return from work every evening only to annoy him by complaining about something trivial.

Wrapped up in the novelty of motherhood, I had drifted away from the wife I hoped to be at the start of our marriage. I used to dream about being a wife like Our Mother Khadijah (rA), the first love of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh). When the Prophet (pbuh) was upset, confused, or afraid, he ran to her. She comforted him by knowing exactly when to say something to restore his confidence and when to simply be quiet and listen. When the revelation initially came to the Prophet (pbuh) in the cave of Hira’a, he said to her, “I think I’ve lost my mind.” She immediately knew what would bring peace to his heart when she said these great words, “Indeed Allah will never leave you because you keep your family ties, you are truthful in speech, you carry the burdens of the week, you are generous to your guests, and you help anyone that is on the path of truth.” In other situations—such as the time the Prophet (pbuh) saw the angel Gibreel (rA) in a very large form and ran to Khadijah (rA) saying “cover me, cover me!”—she did what he asked and stayed quiet. She knew that was what he needed at that time.

He had supported her for years in her business and now it was her turn to support him. Working with her, he had brought back more returns than she had ever seen. And now, years later, this team would turn their focus to a new task: the call to Islam. When the Prophet (pbuh) said to her, “you are the first one I am calling to this message,” she assuredly responded, “And I’m the first to accept.” Soon, when the angel Gibreel (rA) taught the Prophet (pbuh) how to pray, the first person in the world that he taught was Khadijah (rA). In fact, the scholars say that this husband and wife were the first two people to pray in congregation (jama’a). From this loving couple, the seeds of Islam grew. From her first acceptance of Islam and their first jama’a prayer, Islam reached people across the world from Canada to China to India to Egypt. From them, Islam reached you and me. It is as if Allah (swt) is showing us the great potential of a husband and wife when they have singularity of purpose: Allah.

After these reflections, I found the daily grind has begun to wear off. I realized that it had been a while since we renewed our intentions for our marriage and our sense of purpose as a couple. When Allah’s pleasure is top of mind, the trivial nuisances mean much less. When we take time out of work to do things together for Allah’s sake—even if it’s just making sure we pray at least one prayer in jama’a every day—I believe our marriage will insha’a Allah stay full of love and mercy.

Bushra Tobah

Bushra is from Toronto, Canada. She has a Master’s degree in business and has now put her Phd in Organizational Behaviour on hold to stay at home with her toddler, Ibrahim. She loves to write because, unlike toddlers, writing makes sense.

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