“Should I not be a thankful servant?”

“Should I not be a thankful servant?”

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Last night, we discussed the following tradition. I have translated it into English although it can only truly be appreciated in Arabic. There is so much we can glean from this tradition that I felt compelled to share it with some thoughts. You really have to absorb it while you are reading it.

‘Aṭā’ visited Ā’isha (May God be pleased with her) and said, ‘Tell us the most wonderful thing that you saw of the Messenger of God.’ She wept and replied, ‘And which matter was not a wonder? He once came to me at night and entered into bed with me, (or ‘under my blanket so that my skin touched his skin’) and said, “O daughter of Abū Bakr, give me leave that I may pray to my Lord.” I said, “I love to be near you, but I prefer that you have what you wish.” So I gave him leave, and he arose to get a vessel of water. Then he performed his ablutions, not pouring out much water. Thereupon he stood in prayer and wept until his tears flowed down his chest. Then he knelt in prayer and wept, and then he raised his head, still weeping. He continued to weep in this manner until Bilāl came and made the call to prayer. I said, “O Messenger of God, what makes you weep when God has forgiven you what has passed of your sin and what will come to pass?” He replied, “Should I not be a thankful servant? And how can I not be when God has revealed to me, In the creation of the heavens and the earth…”

(Ibn Hibbān and Muslim)

Let us look at this tradition in little more detail:

“And which matter was not a wonder?”

The entire life of The Messenger of God (May Peace and blessings be upon Him) was a wonder to behold. Ā’isha (May God be pleased with her) knew the Messenger of God more intimately than most people, yet she maintains that even his conduct at home was a wonder. It is easy for us to show our chivalry in public for fear of being embarrassed but do we maintain the same level of consistency in our domestic affairs?
If we learnt and adopted his practices at home, our homes would be places of bliss.

He once came to me at night and entered into bed with me, (or ‘under my blanket so that my skin touched his skin’)

Ā’isha (May God be pleased with her) is relating an intimate moment that she shared with The Messenger of God until she continues to mention that they both made real physical contact with each other. In our ever-busy lives, it is vital that we make time to share intimate moments with our spouse in a real, emotional and physical way.

Put your phone away and take some time away from the Internet to spend quality and undivided time with your family.

“O daughter of Abū Bakr, give me leave that I may pray to my Lord.”

This is amazing. The Messenger of God asks permission from his wife to be with his Lord. He understood that people have rights and always fulfilled them. The tone of his language is to behold too, The Messenger of God makes a request in the most gentle of manner knowing full well that his wife loves him dearly and wants to be with him.

Often we walk into our homes making demands on the outset whilst failing to observe due etiquette. The Messenger of God gently enters in bed with Ā’isha (May God be pleased with her) and then politely asks for permission. We can extend this our social lives: how often do we greet people, smile, and ask them how they are before proceeding to make our requests?

Remember, we often demand rights but how about fulfilling rights of others too?

“I love to be near you, but I prefer that you have what you wish.”

This is real love. With gentleness Ā’isha (May God be pleased with her) mentions her ceaseless love for The Messenger of God. Then she proceeds to say what would make every marriage on this earth bliss: “but I prefer that you have what you wish”. In other words, I love what you love; whatever makes you happy gives me joy. Just wow.

This is a state of the heart. Putting what you want to one side and letting other people have what they want whilst also being pleased with what they desire. Selflessness.

I shall let you digest the rest.

I pray that God increases us in our love for The Messenger of God.

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