Monday, May 10, 2010

The Ideal Muslim Husband part 8

Another incident illustrates how the Prophet (saws) asserted his leadership of his family without harsh words or violence. This is revealed in the way he treated his wives when they became too demanding of the comforts of this world. Aisha (raa) related that before the capture of the oasis of Khaybar she had not known what it was to eat her fill of dates. The Prophet’s wives, fully aware of the general poverty of the Muslims in Medina, asked only for their basic needs. After the capture of Khaybar with it’s rich agricultural produce, the Muslims were better off, and the Prophet (saws) was able to give his wives some presents, and they were not slow in learning to ask for more comforts. This led to problems because in fairness, what was given to one should be given to all, and this could not always be exactly fulfilled. There developed considerable resentment among some of his wives, which disrupted the peace of the household. When his advice to them was not heeded he followed the next Qur’anic step and withdrew himself from them all and stayed in a roofed verandah that was the only room he had apart from his wives’ apartments.

Rumor soon spread that the Prophet (saws) had divorced his wives, and the wives, in suspense, regretted bitterly their demands on him. He then let it be known through Umar that he had not divorced them but that he did not wish to see any of them until a full lunar month had elapsed.

At the end of the month he asked his wives one by one to make their own choice in accordance with the newly revealed verses of the Qur’an:

"O Prophet, say to your wives: If you desire but the life of this world and it’s charms, then come and I will bestow it’s goods upon you, I will release you with a fair release. But if you desire Allah and his messenger and the abode of the hereafter, then verily Allah has laid in store for you a mighty reward, for such of you as do good."
[Qur’an 33:28-29]

Aisha replied without hesitation: "Verily, I desire Allah and his Messenger and the abode of the hereafter" and there was not one of his wives who did not choose the same. These events are related in a number of Hadith books, including Bukhari and Muslim. *

Here we see a husband who in spite of his love and sympathy for his wives, would not be carried away to commit injustice between them, not put himself into difficulties or wrong -doing in order to satisfy their desires beyond what was necessary. He was not ready for the role of the "hen-pecked husband." His firmness in the matter quickly made his wives see it in its proper perspective, and peace was restored to the household without recourse to divorce or even harsh word.

It is incidents like these that make it quite clear why the Prophet (saws) is held up a beautiful example to the Muslims in every aspect of his life.

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