…and He placed between you affection and mercy. (Quran 30: 21)
These are beautiful words of the Quran. You’ll find these words applicable in all of your married lives.
Allah says that He puts love and mercy between husband and wife because in the beginning of marriage, it’s very passionate, you’re obsessed with your wife, you can’t think about anything else.
Your friends call you, they go straight to voicemail because you just got married… for 6 months, you’re out of sight, nobody sees you.
But then as marriage goes further, what keeps marriage alive? It isn’t there anymore because other obligations come in i.e. kids, there is work… there is no honey moon anymore.
How do you keep marriage sustained?
Mercy towards your wife, mercy towards the husband, courtesy between you. One man came to Umar and said: “I want to divorce my wife.”
Umar said: “Why?”
He said: “I don’t love her anymore, I don’t find her attractive anymore.”
Umar asked him: “What about courtesy you owe to your wife? Doesn’t she take care of your kids? Hasn’t she put up with you all this time?”
We, men, are very difficult creatures to put up with and our wives put up with us… even if they say a couple of words here and there, in the end they still put up with us. They did quite a bit for us, so we can’t just say: “Oh, well she doesn’t look like what I was imagining back in the day when I didn’t use to lower my gaze… I saw some things on TV and I was expecting that…”
This is not a healthy attitude. If the believers watch their gaze and control their temptations, then they do the best with their wives, they will be the most satisfied and they won’t have any temptation outside.
I’m ranting on the brothers but, at the same time, the sisters have to understand this. Allah created men and women very differently: men, their biggest weakness is women. They could be rich, they could be poor, they could be healthy or not very healthy, skinny, fat, tall… doesn’t matter what culture, what language… all of them have same weakness i.e. women.
And women, in majority cases, Allah made them oblivious to this weakness of men. They don’t realize how bad it is.
So when the verse comes on women to “Lower their gaze”, women say: “I can do that. What the big deal? Why can’t men just lower their gaze?”
You say: “You don’t understand.”
“What I don’t understand? You have eyes and I have eyes, we have retina, it’s processing the same information. What’s the problem?”
You see, they don’t understand the power of this desire that Allah put inside of us and mentioned as:
Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire – of women (Quran 3: 14)
Prophet Muhammad fears for the men of this ummah what? Women because it’s a serious problem. So if the wives understand that, then instead of condemning their husbands. They say: “Why are you weak?” “how come you can’t control your eyes?”
Instead of knowing that they would accept this is the creation of Allah, the wife has a role of supporting her husband and becoming strong. She can do that by warding temptations off from him not by lecturing him. And this is the other thing that is very important for wives to understand.
The husband goes to the office, or goes to the train and there are women horribly dressed, smiling at everybody… basically, this is all these women have in terms of their dignity. They’re not respected for their intellect or opinion, all they think is “we’re going to be respected if men see more of our shame.” “I’m worth something, people are looking at me.”
It’s really horrible.
But then you go to office and the secretary smiling at you and saying: “How are you? How was your day? What are you getting for lunch?” and everyone smiles at you… and then you get home and you open the door and the wife says: “Where were you?”
And there is a frown everyday… the first day is ok, the second is ok but 10 or 12 years of this? What’s going to happen? The husband has resentment to the wife even if he doesn’t say anything. He’s building resentment inside.
And the simple solution of the Prophet is a smile of the wife when the husband comes home. You know how big of a deal this is? This is not a small thing. It stabs the husband when he comes home and the wife doesn’t care, he’s very disturbed by that. It really hurts the relationship and it come out in weird ways… there is something wrong, they’re extra angry with the kids, they’re frustrated…
But the same scenario, the wife opens the door greets her husband with a smile, what happens? The rest of the night goes smoothly. The husband has a good mood, he’s talking to her… all starts from just one act of the wife. These are simple solutions but they are powerful solutions.