“Amidst family”

** It’s special when your spouse praises you **

I’ve been contemplating the sheer amount of praise that our mother ‘Aisha heaped onto her husband – the Prophet Mohammad PBUH – with respect to his conduct, manners, and worship, particularly in the month of Ramadan.

She said: كَانَ يَعْتَكِفُ العَشْرَ الأوَاخِرَ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ، حَتَّى تَوَفَّاهُ اللهُ تَعَالَى

“He used to seclude himself in the Mosque for worship in the last 10 nights of Ramadan till the day he died.”
(Bukhari and Muslim)

She also said: كَانَ إِذَا دَخَلَ العَشْرُ أَحْيَا اللَّيلَ، وَأَيْقَظَ أَهْلَهُ، وَجَدَّ وَشَدَّ المِئْزَر

“When the last ten nights of Ramadan arrived, he would wake up his family to pray, exert himself and prepared for hard work.”
(Bukhari and Muslim)

She also said:

كان يُصَلِّي أرْبَعًا فَلاَ تَسْألْ عَنْ حُسْنِهِنَّ وَطُولِهِنَّ ثُمَّ يُصَلِّي أرْبَعًا فَلاَ تَسْألْ عَنْ حُسْنِهِنَّ وطُولِهِنَّ

“He used to pray four units, but don’t ask about how long and beautiful they were. Then, he’d pray another four, but don’t ask about how long and beautiful they were [..]”
(Bukhari and Muslim)

I don’t want you to necessarily focus on the rulings contained within these narrations as much as I wish to draw your attention to something else that can be sensed between the lines;

The undertone of admiration that she had for her husband.

Can your spouse say the same about you?

You see, the praise that one receives by colleagues at work, training partners or friends isn’t that special, as it’s so easy to put up a front in public that everyone loves. We all do it.

It’s at home, however, when the mask falls off, and where you are seen for who you truly are.

Perhaps this is one of the secrets why the people of Paradise will eventually say, listing the qualities that brought them to Paradise:

إِنَّا كُنَّا قَبْلُ فِي أَهْلِنَا مُشْفِقِينَ

“Before, we used to be people who were afraid (of Allah) amidst our families.”
(Al-Qur’an, 52:26)

Notice how they didn’t say;

“amidst our friends”
“amidst the community”
“amidst our brothers/sisters in the Mosque”, no –

Their fear was amidst their “families”

An indication of just how sincere and genuine they were, for a person who’s cautious of Allah in private – “amidst family” – will most certainly be likewise in public. But the opposite is not always true, hence consider the precision of their words!

In the initial phase of marriage, we all try to hide certain negative traits about ourselves, be it stinginess, a short temper, laziness, as well as pretending to be things that we’re not.

We may pull it off for a week, month, perhaps even a year, but whether you like it or not, the façade has to eventually deteriorate, uncovering the person you truly are. If, despite this, your spouse can still say;

“s/he is unbelievably dedicated to Allah”
“I’ve never seen a person who keeps a distance from sins like him/her”
“The example s/he is setting is putting me to shame”
“I’ve become such a better Muslim since marrying him/her”

Then you truly are a special person.

Just like the Prophet Mohammad PBUH did at home, be an example, raise the bar, and let your presence always be that reminder of Allah and the Home of the Hereafter, both during Ramadan and beyond.

– Ust. ALI h.

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