PROPHET Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the epitome of human character. He came to guide us and lead us by example. Allah Almighty in His Book praised him and directed us to take him (peace be upon him) as our role model:
“You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful example (of conduct) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.” (Qur’an, 33:21)
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had a multifaceted personality with different roles to play and various responsibilities to attend to. One such was his role as a husband and his relationship with his wives. He lived and demonstrated how a perfect husband should be. He understood the nature of women. He knew that though women are created beautiful and attractive, they also are volatile and emotional, which husbands will just have to learn to accept in their lives. He knew that patience, wise usage of words, and a control over temper are mandatory qualities a husband must possess while dealing with women.
The following narration displays how the Prophet (peace be upon him) beautifully handled his wives’ outbursts:
Narrated Anas Bin Malik: “While the Prophet was in the house of one of his wives, one from among the believers sent a meal in a dish. The wife at whose house the Prophet (peace be upon him) was, struck the hand of the servant, causing the dish to fall and break. The Prophet gathered the broken pieces of the dish and then started collecting on them the food which had been in the dish and said, “Your mother felt jealous.” Then he detained the servant till a (sound) dish was brought from the wife at whose house he was. He gave the good dish to the wife whose dish had been broken, and kept the broken one at the house where it had been broken.” (Al-Bukhari, 7/62, no. 152)
(Notice how the narrator has abstained from mentioning the names of the Mothers of Believers in order to cover their shortcomings.)
Picture this scenario happening in an average house: a woman breaking another’s crockery piece (and we all know how passionately women feel about their crockery), laden with food the latter had freshly cooked. How would you expect an average husband witnessing such an action to react? He may lose his temper and shout angrily, “What have you done? Are you out of your mind?!”
Look at how the Prophet (peace be upon him) reacted:
u He did not rebuke her, which he has never done his lifetime. He said nothing that could have humiliated her, especially in front of others. Instead, he calmly offered a simple explanation for her behavior to those present: “Your mother felt jealous.” Note how he referred to her with a respectful title before the assembled group. With this simple statement, he gave her leeway for being a human being – and a woman, at that – who got affected by her innate human emotions.
u He cleaned up the mess himself. This indicates his humility and greatness of character. He could have asked Anas Bin Malik, detailed for the Prophet’s service, or his wife. He knew his wife was angry, so he humbly did the job without any hesitation. What a great model for every man! A husband cleaning up a dish broken by his wife, without even being asked!
u He executed justice. He asked his wife to replace her co-wife’s broken utensil.
Another beautiful characteristic of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was how he would share light-hearted moments with his wives.
Mother of the believers, Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated: “Once, Sawdah visited us and the Prophet (peace be upon him) sat down between me and her. I made then Khazira (a dish of bran in meat broth) and told her: “Eat!” She refused. I said: “If you don’t eat I will paint your face with Khazira,” but she insisted not to eat; therefore, I put my hand in Khazira and painted her face. Seeing that, the Prophet (peace be upon him) laughed and gave his share in Khazira to Sawdah and told her to stain my face; so, Sawdah stained my face and the Prophet (peace be upon him) laughed.” (Al-Albani, Al-Silsila Al-Sahihah, 7/363)
Notice how one wife cooked a meal for another when she came for a visit. She was keen to serve her co-wife. Also, the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) wisdom in dealing simultaneously with two of his wives is praiseworthy:
u The Prophet (peace be upon him) sat in such a way that neither wife would feel ignored.
u He did not show preference to one over the other and gave Sawdah his portion of food to playfully do what Ayesha did to her.
u He laughed constantly to keep the situation light and ensured that no one took it seriously.
Ask yourselves, if as husbands do you laugh with your wife? Do you play games with her? Do you try to lighten up her moods, outbursts and tantrums?
Mother of believers, Safiyyah Bint Huayy narrated, “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) went to Haj with his wives. On the way my camel knelt down as it was the weakest among all the other camels, and so I wept. The Prophet (peace be upon him) came to me and wiped away my tears with his cloth and hands. The more he asked me not to weep, the more I went on weeping.” (Musnad Ahmad, vol. 6, pg. 337)
Such a beautiful depiction of the caring and loving husband – coming to his wife on seeing her upset, wiping away her tears of sorrow, and asking her to stop weeping. He was on the journey with all his wives, yet he became alert when one of them was hurt. He did not ignore her and he did not brusquely tell her to stop crying. He showed concern and love for her publicly.
Some husbands, it is sad to note, behave very awkwardly with their wives in public. They think it is embarrassing to show affection or laugh with their wives in front of onlookers.
It is as if a wife is a cause of shame in a public setting, which is why some husbands become very business-like and stiff with their spouses. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), however, in his considerate and loving treatment of his wife during Haj, set an example of how an ideal Muslim husband should be. – MuslimMatters