The First Love Story In Islam – Nihaad Zaman

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The First Love Story In Islam

Nihaad Zaman

Narrated Abu Uthmaan:
“Allaah’s Apostle (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) sent ‘Amr bin Al-‘Aas as the commander of the troops of Dhat-us-Salasil. ‘Amr bin Al-’Aas said, “(On my return) I came to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) and said, ‘Which people do you love most?’ He replied, ‘Aa’ishah.’ I said, ‘From amongst the men?’ He replied, ‘Her father (Abu Bakr)’ (radiyallaahu anhu)…” [Al-Bukhaaree].
Romantic love is not what we usually connect the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) with when we think of him and his Sunnah. If the phrase “love story” is mentioned, our first thoughts would most likely go to Romeo and Juliet, or some such popular western love story.
But if the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) is our primary example in all aspects of our Deen, where else can we get the ultimate example of romantic love except from his story?
This is the most beautiful love story of all: the love story of The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) and ‘Aa’ishah (radiyallaahu anha).
Their story began when the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) saw a dream in which an angel presented ‘Aa’ishah (radiyallaahu anha) to him, covered in a silken piece of cloth; thus, Allaah revealed to him that she was to be his wife.
When the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) told Abu Bakr (radiyallaahu anhu) of this, Abu Bakr sent ‘Aa’ishah (radiyallaahu anha) with some dates for him (so that the Prophet may see her). When the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) received the dates, he told her to tell her father the dates tasted sweet – mashaa’allaah.
As perceptive as six-year old ‘Aa’ishah was, she immediately understood that he meant he was pleased with her. At that time, their marriage contract was made;
however, their marriage was not consummated until about three years later, which was after the Hijra.
The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) demonstrated what love is in his attitudes toward his wife. He was not afraid to show his love for his beloved in public. In the hadith quoted at the beginning of the article, the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) publicly acknowledged ‘Aa’ishah (radiyallaahu anha) as the most beloved person to him. He used to call her by the nickname: “Aish”, as lovers are wont to do. When they ate together, the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) would grab a piece of meat and feed ‘Aa’ishah (radiyallaahu anha), then eat from the same place she had eaten from. He would also do so with a cup – he would grab the cup and feed her, then drink from the spot where she had put her lips.
As the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) had demonstrated, love is caring, kindness and also understanding.
The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) used to play with ‘Aa’ishah (radiyallaahu anha), as she was a very young girl when they were married. ‘Aa’ishah (radiyallaahu anha) narrated that the Prophet used to play with her when she played with her dolls [Al-Bukhaaree].
On another occasion, on ‘Eed, ‘Aa’ishah (radiyallaahu anha) wished to watch the Ethiopians playing in the masjid; when the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) saw this, he asked her if she would like to see them. She replied: Yes, so he stood in front of her and screened her while she stood behind him with her cheek pressed against his cheek. He stood there as long as she wanted, until she was satisfied [Al-Bukhaaree].
‘Aa’ishah (radiyallaahu anha) was the most beloved to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) among his wives, which caused his other wives to complain about her. ‘Aa’ishah (radiyallaahu anha) narrated that once the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) was with her when his daughter, Faatimah (radiyallaahu anha) came in with a complaint from ‘Aa’ishah’s co-wives. They were together under the same blanket and Faatimah told the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) that his other wives were asking for justice with ‘Aa’ishah (radiyallaahu anha). The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) then asked her, “Don’t you love what I love?” to which she replied, “Yes”, and so the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) told her: “Then just love her [‘Aa’ishah]”.
When he distributed provisions among his wives, he would pray to Allaah: “This is what I can control. Do not blame me for what I cannot control”, that is, he could not control his love for ‘Aa’ishah (radiyallaahu anha) over his other wives.
Imaam Az-Zuhri states: “The first love story ever known in the history of Islam was the love of Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) for ‘Aa’ishah, and Masrouq used to call her the love of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam).”
The Prophet and ‘Aa’ishah’s love was true love, not merely an infatuation. They lived together as husband and wife, and neither had anything but good to say of the other. When the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) died, he died in ‘Aa’ishah’s arms between her chin and chest and her saliva was the last thing that entered his mouth.
‘Aa’ishah narrated that during his fatal ailment, Rasulullaah, used to ask his wives, “Where shall I stay tomorrow? Where shall I stay tomorrow?” He was looking forward to ‘Aa’ishah’s turn. So they allowed him to stay where he wished, and he stayed at ‘Aa’isha’s house till he died there. ‘Abdur-Rahman bin Abu Bakr entered upon the Prophet while I was supporting the Prophet on my chest. ‘AbdurRahman
had a fresh Siwak then and he was cleaning his teeth with it. Allaah’s Apostle looked at it, so I took the Siwak, cut it (chewed it with my teeth), shook it and made it soft (with water), and then gave it to the Prophet who cleaned his teeth with it. I had never seen Rasulullah cleaning his teeth in a better way. After finishing the brushing of his teeth, he lifted his hand or his finger and said thrice, “O Allaah! Let me be with the highest companions,” and then died. ‘Aa’ishah added: He died on the day of my usual turn at my house. Allaah took him unto Him while his head was between my chest and my neck and his saliva was mixed with my saliva [Al-Bukhaaree).
After hearing of Rasulullaah and ‘Aa’ishah, every other love story seems to pale in comparison; no other love story can even begin to compare to this paramount of all love stories. From who else but the Prophet can we see true love expressed in such beautiful and halaal ways?
No other love story is as true as this prophetic love story. And you thought ’Romeo and Juliet’ was romantic!