How is the Knot ?

Every so often ‘Aisha would playfully ask, “ How is the knot ?” The Prophet (saws) would answer, “As strong as the first day (you asked).”
Ali (ra) came home one day from a journey to find his wife, Fatima (ra), the daughter of the Prophet, brushing her teeth with a siwak. Spontaneously, he (ra) spouted out poetic endearment:

هنئت يا عود الأراك بثغرها … أما خشيت يا أراكُ أراك
لو كان غيرك يا سواك قتلته … ما فاز منى يا سواكُ سواك
“Fortunate are you O twig of the Arak tree,
Have you no fear of me observing you in this embrace
If it were other than you…O Siwak! I would have killed you!
None found this fortune of embrace before me, but you.”

Since we have launched this platform, Happy Muslim Family, I have been receiving emails from couples trying to salvage and mend broken trust and exponentially inhospitable relationships. The lack of love and trust between the spouses and even more severe issues of infidelity and violence are some of the great issues facing the Muslim communities.

The statistics are frightening, imams are untrained in effective counseling methods, mosques are under pressure, Islamically-oriented marital counselors are unheard of and professionalism in terms of confidentiality seem non-existent.

I see that the main reason of these domestic marital problems is the lack of awareness of the Islamic teachings regarding the love between a husband and wife. We would never have seen these problems between spouses if they knew what the Quran and Sunnah teaches regarding the love between spouses. Let’s look at some of the examples from Sunnah!

Prophet’s (saws) love for ‘Aisha (ra):

Amr ibn al-‘As (ra) was appointed by the Prophet (saws) to command an important mission. He was handpicked from many capable individuals who were in fact better than him. Feeling a sense of pride in being selected, he (ra) asks the Prophet (saws), in front of a congregation of Sahabah about who he (saws), loves? The Prophet (saws) responds in the way that all of our wives would hope we would respond – by naming his wife, Aisha.

Consider that the Prophet (saws) would teach that if we love a friend, we need to let them know it. It was with this hope that ‘Amr thought to ask that question after the favorable appointment was given to him.

Thinking that his question has been misunderstood he clarifies, saying that he meant from amongst the companions who did the Prophet (saws) love? The Prophet (saws) responds, “Her Father.”

He does not respond, “Abu Bakr (ra)”. His response alludes to ‘Aisha (ra) as she was still on his mind and in his heart. Subhan Allah!

‘Aisha (ra), al-Humayra – The Rosy Cheeked one, as the Prophet (saws) affectionately called her; was loved and loved in return.

How is the Knot?

‘Aisha (ra) and the Prophet (saw) would use code language with each other denoting their love. She asked the Prophet (saws) how he would describe his love for her. The Prophet Muhammad answered, saying: “Like a strong binding knot.”The more you tug, the stronger it gets, in other words.

Every so often ‘Aisha would playfully ask, “How is the knot?”The Prophet (saws) would answer, “As strong as the first day (you asked).”

So I begin to wonder, what has happened to our community?

Why is it so hard to speak frankly of one’s love for his wife? Why is it “soft” for a brother to praise his spouse?

How is it the Prophet (saws) can kiss his wife, as he exits to leave his home to lead the faithful in prayer and some in our community find it difficult to just smile?

How is it that the Prophet (saws) can stop a whole army, in times of hostility in a region of the desert that had no water to camp near, to look for his wife’s misplaced bead necklace and some find it difficult to give a deserved compliment every now and again?

Since when is sternness considered leadership, and harshness associated with married life?

How is it that the Prophet (saws) can mend his clothes and look after the domestic affairs of his household, and a brother can’t put away a plate, let alone wash it unless the wife is sick?

How is it that the Prophet (saws) can forbid upon himself milk infused with honey so as to please his wives, who complained of its scent, culminating in Allah revealing a chapter in the Qur’an forbidding the Prophet from forbidding the lawful upon himself, “Because you seek to please your wives (66:1).” Yet, some in our community will not even give the rightfully due to their wife?

How is it that the Prophet (saws) teaches not to boycott a person for more than three days, and a brother can be out all day at work and feel apprehensive at the thought of returning home to a disgruntled wife who will give him the silent treatment over a petty squabble that has extended into weeks of isolating depression?

The Story Behind Tayammum:

All of us learn through the course of our elementary studies of Islam that if you have no water, or if it is scarce, that you can perform Tayammum – ritual purification for prayer using sand or dust.

What you probably were not taught was the fact that the permissibility and the legislation of that enormously important function was revealed because of the lost bead necklace.

You were not told that the love of the Prophet (saws) for ‘Aisha resulted in him ordering a marching army to stop at a location without water and camp out at night with a dwindling supply of water for their consumption. Her father, Abu Bakr (ra), was furious with her for mentioning what, to him, seemed to be a trivial matter.

You were not told how the Prophet (saws) ordered the troops to look for a necklace in the sands of the Arabian Desert, all for the comfort of ‘Aisha. You were, probably, not informed how verses in the Qur’an descended upon the Prophet (saws) at such an occasion resulting in the joyous celebration of the Sahabah for the ease that Allah has provided for our Ummah as a result of this occurrence.

That is the Sunnah of Love.

>> Recommended : The Love Story Behind Tayammum <<

You would have heard that the Prophet (saws) mended his own shoes at times. What you may not have heard was how once as he was sitting in a room with ‘Aisha (ra) fixing his shoes, ‘Aisha happened to look to his blessed forehead and noticed that there were beads of sweat on it. Mesmerized by the majesty of that sight she remained transfixed staring at him long enough for him to notice.

The Prophet (saws) said, “What’s the matter?” She replied, “If Abu Bukair Al-Huthali, the poet, saw you, he would know that his poem was written for you.” The Prophet (saws) asked, “What did he say?” She replied,

“Abu Bukair said that if you looked to the majesty of the moon, it twinkles and lights up the world for everybody to see.”

So the Prophet (saws) got up, walked to Aisha, kissed her between the eyes, and said,

“Wallahi ya Aisha, you are like that to me and more.”

That is the Sunnah of Love.

So brothers! Will you pay heed?

I would ask you the same question: “How is the knot?”

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