Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The adventurous second honeymoon (Part 11)

In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

Establish worship
and pay the poor due
and obey the messenger,
that haply ye may find mercy. (Nur 24:56)

A very close friend of mine, Haji Muzafar Jantan who sees me working hard at my desk, often cracks this joke: “Work and no play make Jack a dull boy!” I understand his intention. It means: “let’s go for a cup of coffee” - previously at ‘Restoran (Restaurant) Haslam’ but nowadays we frequent a recently opened coffee house at the ground floor of Ibiz Hotel, just in front of our office in KL.

The same could be said about married life. Routine chores could make a couple’s life dull, perhaps my idea of taking my wife for a ‘second honeymoon’ around the country could add a spark to our relationship of more than two decades.

To the Almighty, Allah SWT we prayed our married life would be blessed one; take note that on some wedding invitation cards, there are beautiful phrases such as, “We pray to Allah SWT that He blesses this couple as He had blessed the marriages of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him, pbuh) and Lady Khadijah; Prophet Yusof and Zulaika; and Prophet Adam and Hawa (Adam and Eve).

Regarding the importance of injecting spicy to one’s married life; including taking one’s wife on a journey, it was narrated by the Prophet’s wife ‘Aa’ishah who reported, that once, when she went on a journey with the Prophet (pbuh), and she challenged him to a race, and won. Later when she had gained weight, she raced him again, but this time he won, and told her, “This is for that.”

“The conscientious Muslim does not neglect to relieve the tedium of routine life with his wife, so he spices their daily life with a little gentle humour and playfulness from time to time. In doing so, he follows the example of the Prophet (pbuh) whose whole life is the highest example for us.

“Although he is constantly busy with the overwhelming task of laying the foundation of Islam, building the Muslim ummah, directing the army in jihad, and numerous other concerns, he did not let that keep him from being an ideal husband to his wives, treating them in the best possible way, with a smiling face and a touch of gentle humour.” – The Ideal Muslim by Muhammad Ali Al-Hashim (International Islamic Publishing House)

In Kota Bharu, I treated my wife at a Middle Eastern restaurant, Tarbush, and after lunch while driving I surprised her by following close behind a motorcycle ridden by a turbaned man wearing a sarong. “Why are following that man?” she asked. “You know him?”

“Nope,” I replied. “It is almost Zuhur. I believe the man is going to a masjid. I am confident he would lead us to a masjid.” Sure, the rider’s journey ended on the grounds of Masjid Al-Redha, Jalan Merican, off Jalan Telipot, a road leading to Pengkalan Chepa. A few minutes after we arrived, there was the ‘azan’ (call of prayers).

Dear readers; why did I mentioned this ‘uninteresting episode’ of my journey? I was just trying to stress the importance of bringing one’s wife to a masjid for prayers and most important of all, to let her follow ‘tazkirah’ (lessons) given there. Even though the best place for a woman to pray was is at home or better still in her room, it is obligatory for her to acquire knowledge on ‘fardu ain’ matters such as prayers, cleanliness and purity.

I confess that I took my wife to attend ‘tazkirah’ regulary in masjid only a few years back, after both of us had performed the hajj in 2005. Before that she was busy attending to the needs of the children; I alone took time off to attend the almost daily lessons between maghrib (dusk) and isyak (late evening) prayers.

To husbands; believe me when one’s wife gets absorbed in tazkirah’ at the masjid, one’s married life gets better and better each day because both partners would have broadened their knowledge about their heavy responsibilities upon each other, their families, society, country and the ummah.

When a good (pious) woman heard a ‘tazkirah’ on the heavy burden and responsibilities of a wife to her husband, she would try her best to please her husband. Imagine the benefits to a husband or a wife when an ‘ustaz’ give a talk on this ‘hadith’ (tradition of the Prophet): “If I were to order anyone to prostrate to anyone else, I would have ordered the woman to prostrate before her husband.” (Tirmidhi)

Then there is another hadith saying; “Any woman who dies, and her husband is please with her, will enter Paradise.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

And this hadith is popular to ‘some men’ – “If a woman stays away from her husband’s bed, the angels will curse her until morning.” (Bukhari and Muslim).

Then there is a hadith that affirm man’s position of ‘qawwaam’ (maintainer) over his wife and reinforce her obligation to obey and please him, and goes as far forbidding her to fast at times other than Ramadan or to receive guests without his permission: “The woman is not permitted to fast when her husband is present, without his permission, or to invite anyone into his house without his permission.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Nowadays many husbands cannot control their wives' activities; many go out their houses as they wish, receive strangers into their houses or worst still have extra marital affairs. Surely they have not attended lessons at the masjid; those who frequent ‘tazkirah’ too make mistakes, what more to those without these inputs.

A woman benefited a lot when her husband follows the guidance in Islam in his married life. At times, lessons on how to become a good husband are given during ‘tazkirah’ at the masjid.

The Prophet (pbuh) gave many recommendations concerning women, to the extend that he described the man who treats his wife well as being one of the best and among the elite of his ummah: “The believer who has the most perfect faith is the one whose behaviour is best, and the best of you are the ones who are best to their women.” (Tirmidhi)

Nowadays when reading newspapers we often come across news of husbands mistreating their wives including cases of sadism such as pouring acid on their wives. Perhaps these husbands never took the opportunity to follow lessons at the masjid. During the Prophet (pbuh) time, some women came to the family of the Prophet (pbuh) complaining about their husbands.

So the Prophet (pbuh) announced to the men: “Many women have visited the family of Muhammad, complaining about their husbands. Verily those are not the best among you.” (Abu Dawood, Nasaa’I and Ibn Maajah)

Men and women including the writer and readers could turn over a new leaf. Some ulemas (Islamic scholars) concluded than we have only three circumstances (times, periods) – yesterday, this moment, and tomorrow. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is uncertain. So make full use of this moment. My on-line friend, Dr Ahmad Azman Mohd Anuar sent me this beautiful posting; hopefully it could help us in soaring back our dull married life.

For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace. – Ecclesiastes

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