Thursday, March 20, 2014

Women prefer perfection, men okay with 'nakedness'?

******************** In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ********************** Reflection ********************** "Anyone who obeys the Messenger has obeyed God..." (Nisaa 4:80) *************************** Until today I can't understand why must my wife 'pressed' me to buy 'kacang tanah' (peanuts) each time she wanted to cook 'nasi lemak' (rice cooked in coconut milk). Is 'kacang tanah goreng' (roasted peanuts) a must in a 'nasi lemak' dish? *************************** What is wrong with 'nasi lemak' minus 'kacang tanah goreng' or even fried anchovies, or even boiled eggs and slices of cucumber? In some 'nasi lemak' dish, 'fried kangkung' is used as a substitute to cucumber. ****************************** To me, only 'two things matter' in 'my nasi lemak' - the 'nasi' itself and the 'sambal' (gravy). Without 'those' roasted peanuts, fried anchovies, boiled eggs and cucumber, I can still enjoy my 'nasi lemak' - the most important thing is the 'nasi' and 'sambal' must taste good, 'insya-Allah' (if Allah wills), I would be satisfied with the food. ******************************** But wait, if I could have my 'nasi lemak' with only the rice and 'sambal', then it is only applicable to me! To my wife, whenever she cooks 'nasi lemak' she reminds me to get ready all the necessities such as 'kacang tanah', 'ikan bilis' (anchovies), eggs, cucumber and even 'daun pandan' (screw-pine leaves)! Of course the main items such as rice, coconut milk and ingredients to make the 'sambal' must be readied first hand. ********************************* To my wife and some Malaysians including the renowned chef, Chef Wan, 'nasi lemak' is incomplete without peanuts and anchovies. Thus when Chef Wan was served 'nasi lemak' without those servings on a Malaysia Airlines (MAS) economy flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok recently, he commented on Instagram that he received a 'nasi lemak telanjang' (naked nasi lemak) from the airline. ************************** It was reported that Chef Wan’s 'nasi lemak' only had half a hardboiled egg and some 'sambal' on the side, to which he remarked that the national carrier should show some pride in showcasing what is arguably one of Malaysia’s most popular dishes. ************************** Chef Wan and my wife and perhaps many women have a craving for perfection in the things they do or prepare - by the way the chef is a male but since he is a ‘master ' in the kitchen - he seemed not to be pleased to see a 'nasi lemak' dish without its ‘accessories' such as 'kacang goreng' and 'ikan bilis'. ************************ In a 'tazkirah' (religious talk) at a masjid near my house recently, an 'ustaz' (religious teacher) tried his best to explain the different ways of thinking and perception between women and men; "because if we have perhaps a little knowledge or information about it, then it would help us in our married lives." *********************** The 'ustaz' looked at the ceiling of the masjid and said: "Imagine there are ten down lights on the ceiling of our house. If one down light had ‘blown’ the woman of house (the wife-lah) would not be silent about it and would pester her husband to change it. *********************** "If the husband failed to adhere to her wish, the wife would get herself a ladder and change the bulb herself. That's the attitude of most women; they focus on the one down light that had kaput, but they fail to see that there are still nine down lights functioning excellently. ********************** "But to the husband, if one down light had been out, it would be of no problem. To him the lighting in the house would still be okay; there would be no point in making a fuss about a down light being kaput. Perhaps he would wait until all the 10 down lights were down before he made a move!" ************************ Yes, men are men; women are women. So, is there some truth in the saying that women prefer perfection while men are okay with 'nakedness'? For example in the 'ceiling story', the wife made it a point to have 10 out of 10 down lights functioning well but to her husband, it was still okay if one, two or even nine down lights were out. *********************** According to a Greek myth, men and women were from different planets. Men were from Mars while women were from Venus. I am not going to discuss further about this myth, but move on to suggest ways for a husband to make it easy for his wife who has a different way of thinking from him. ************************** So to all husbands, me included; please respect your wives whose thinking is different from us and try our best to please them. For example in my case, if my wife needs to have 'kacang tanah' for her 'nasi lemak', I 'do not open my mouth' to question her, but quickly go to the sundry shop nearby to buy it. Why prolong the issue, you just buy the 'kacang tanah' and 'the problem is settled'! You need not fight over 'this small matter'. ********************** Well, 'nasi lemak telanjang' (without roasted peanuts) is no problem for you, but it is a big issue to your wife. She is for perfection in all the things she does and matters regarding her belongings such as her attire. Perhaps one morning she would surprise you when she goes out to work 'all green' - from her shoes, her clothes, her 'tudung' and handbag to match her green car! ********************** When your 'butang baju Melayu' (buttons of the Malay traditional shirt) are lost, some of us (men) do not pay much attention to it but 'coolly' go the masjid for Friday prayers but to the womenfolk, if they lose a pin of their 'tudungs', some might cancel going to a function. ************************ Well, as I had mentioned earlier that until today I can't understand fully my wife's way of thinking or worse still her emotions, but I have tried my best to learn, acknowledge and respect the differences that exist in 'our thinking and ways'. There is an Indonesian song which stresses the difference; "kau suka keju, aku suka singkong" (you like butter, but I like tapioca). ************************ Despite all the difficulties faced by a husband in understanding his wife, Islam recommends men to treat women well, and gives them a status that they have never enjoyed in any other religion. ***************************** So we see the Prophet s.a.w. admonishing all men: "Treat women kindly, for woman was created from a rib. The part of it that is most bent is the top. If you try to straighten it you will break it, and if you leave it alone it would remain bent. So treat women kindly." (Bukhari and Muslim) *********************** In another hadith narrated by Muslim, the Prophet said: "Woman was created from a rib. She will be never be straight forward and consistent for you in any way. If you enjoy her (or your relationship with her), you will do so in spite of her crookedness. If you try to straighten her, you will break her, and her breaking is her divorce." ******************* This description given by the Prophet s.a.w. eloquently describes the reality and nature of the woman She would not remain consistent in the way her husband may wish, but the Muslim husband must understand that this is her nature, the way she has been created. *********************** When the Muslim husband truly follows this guidance of the Prophet s.a.w. which is based on a deep understanding of the psychology and nature of women, he will tolerate his wife's mistakes and turn a blind eye to her faults, recognizing that these are part of her nature. Thus the marital home will be safe and calm, free from shouting or arguments. - The Ideal Muslim by Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi, IIPH ******************** But despite differences in the thinking and emotions of men and women, a husband must be firm on all matters regarding religion in his family for Allah SWT has ordered the believing men to protect both themselves (husbands and wives) and their families from the Fire and gives a terrifying picture of the awful fate that awaits them if they neglect their responsibilities towards their wives and families and fail to compel them to adhere to the truth. ********************** Allah SWT says in the Qur'an 66: 6: "O' you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who flinch not (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do (precisely) what they are commanded."

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