In conjunction with International Women’s Day recently, we have 2 wonderful ladies sharing with us their ‘favourite’ women in Islam. Today, Sister Nabila Hanim reflects on her marriage and on how Sayyidatina Khadijah is her role model for a wife. InsyaAllah, we’ll post the other article tomorrow.
After more than two years of being a young wife (now of course, not so young), I thought it was timely for me to do a reflection of the past two years. Then a young woman of twenty one and entering marriage while still in university, I had been searching for many role models. While I knew of older people who were married, it was tough to find one who was of similar age as myself and even tougher to find someone with similar experiences. Truth be told, I believe it was all Allah’s plans to make me mature, to force me to set my own rules and boundaries, and learn about marriage on my feet. Alhamdulillah…
I cannot say that the past two years have been smooth-sailing but as I sit here and reflect upon the beautiful journey my husband and I have undertaken, I cannot help but remember the most beautiful and beloved women of Islam: the beloved wife of our Prophet (PBUH), Khadijah binte Khuwailid. I believe she is the best role model for Muslim wives.
When I reflect on her life and how she took pains to support the Messenger SAW in his quest to spread the deen, I realise there are endless things I can learn from her. Although my husband is no messenger, just one of Allah’s servants who loves his deen and wants to work for the Ummah, I learnt through studying from Saiyidatina Khadijah ra that this ship of marriage is no ordinary gift from Allah SWT. Even more so for her: if not without her presence, perseverance and fate in Allah SWT, the Messenger SAW would not have had a strong support system to continue in his (PBUH) da’wah.
There is simply so much to learn from her! As I reflect on my journey as I started as a new wife, I cannot help but remember how deep her faith in her husband was. How she had foresight, an open mind and best of all, faith in the Almighty is really an admirable feat. As a new wife, I faltered most when I had to tread unto new grounds. Once a daughter of my father, who had all the protection a daughter could receive from the loving father, I was now on my own. When people think of marriage, many only remember the amanah of the husband; to provide nafqah, to provide a house, shelter and clothes. Many do not remember though, including women themselves, that a woman herself is as accountable of her husband and he is unto her. As such, I learned that as much as I depend on my husband for comfort and safety, he would depend as much on me to be his strength and partner in this rough journey in dunia.
Remember that ayah from the Qur’an about how husbands and wives are like garments unto each other? Not just physical garments but also garments of modesty, garments of reputation. How you are reflects your husband, and the same applies the other way around. When you reflect upon the beautiful matrimony of Khadijah ra and our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW, you cannot help but feel how much they are deserving of each other. The beautiful character of our Rasulullah SAW is matched by the equally wondrous, generous and exquisite self of the lovely Saiyidatina Khadijah ra.
Another thing that I learnt from reflecting upon their marriage and relationship was how patient and trusting they were of one another. Many around me chide their husbands who they feel have so many shortcomings. I hear petty complains of how husbands and wives do not communicate enough, resulting in a gap between both. I feel that these are trivial matters which will be taken advantage of by our enemy syaitaan; when Rasulullah SAW left Saiyidatina Khadijah ra to Gua Hira’, she did not utter a single complain. In fact, her concern for Rasulullah SAW was so deep that she frequently imagined his figure, and sometimes even sent someone to look over him (SAW) without his knowing so as not to disturb him (SAW). Where has our compassion, understanding and tenderness that we once had towards our husbands before marriage gone? Why have we replaced it with suspicion, enmity, and doubts? Have we become ungrateful and have we forgotten how our husbands could be the key to our jannah?
Indeed, the duties bestowed upon our beloved Rasulullah SAW was so deep, heavy and intense, and indeed if Saiyidatina Khadijah had not been as understanding or as trusting as she in fact was, what would have become of our Messenger SAW? It really drives home the fact that our trust in our husbands represents the covenant we have made during the akad. In fact, our trust must surely be towards Allah first, as this trust is all-encompassing. The deepness of your trust towards Allah SWT will reverberate through your life and this was the case with Saiyidatina Khadijah ra.
If you believe that the husband that Allah has blessed you with is the best for you, and you are sincere and have embarked on the marriage to fulfill your role as a Muslim and to get Allah’s blessings, then surely you will support your husband, you will trust him, and you will be strong for him. For you are only accomplishing your role as Allah’s servant in the hope of being the best of servants.
The most memorable advice my dear husband has ever shared with me, among other advice towards a young wife who made frequent mistakes, was that my strength is his strength, and his strength is mine. That despite a hard day’s work and all other obstacles that try to wreck us, my peaceful self and my wordless patience, are the best gifts to him. I feel so grateful that Allah has blessed me with a husband who does not ask for much, but only piety to Allah SWT. Although I know it is difficult to attain the level of faith and piety as our beloved Saiyidatina Khadijah ra, or for all our Prophet SAW’s other wives for that matter, I believe strongly that a Muslim wife is one who is not weak. A Muslim wife is one who supports her husband, his family, brings happiness and peace to people around her, and is patient with her shortcomings as well as other people’s just like how the beloved Saiyidatina Khadijah ra, who was promised a palace made of pearls in the Heavens.
I believe this piece of reflection has many shortcomings and loopholes, just like how a marriage is an enjoyable and exhilarating roller coaster ride with many sudden drops and rises. And indeed, I seek to want to improve as well for I have so many shortcomings as a wife! I seek Allah’s forgiveness if I have transgressed or crossed any lines, or have misrepresented anyone, including our Prophet SAW, Saiyidatina Khadijah ra and of course my husband. May the memory of Khadijah ra live in our thoughts and actions as we embrace our duties to be wives towards our husbands. InsyaAllah!