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A Husbandís Tale
By Du`aa' Hamdy
Translated By Yosra Mostafa
You thought you never knew the taste of suffering until you met a grumpy woman who is mean and makes your life like hell. Is this the woman you married? Do you feel that you will not make it to the following year? Read about the trials and tribulations of one.
* * *
When it was my time to marry, despite was what was being said, I made-up my mind to marry a woman from my community. Of course I recognized the implications of marrying locally. I had a very bad life---the home was permeated with a cloudy atmosphere which was full of sadness and sulkiness. Breakfast time consisted of my wife yelling, and I dined to her wailing and weeping. At supper and bedtime, I was assured nothing remained unchanged by her cursing me.
We never talked, but battled. Our home was gloomy with pale colors and mysterious features. It had no life and there were two life-giving aspects: the sun and visitors.
* * *
One day, a friend of mine invited my wife and me to lunch at his home. I was so scared that my wife would refuse, or that she would go and be at her worst, which is not much different from her best! I asked her gently and kindly to come with me and she agreed without a second thought, and she was polite . . . . I wondered why!
We made the journey to my friend's house. We were welcomed to a home that was full of light, joy, and happiness, the reason for which was the harmony between him and his wife. Happiness was their way, respect was their motto. Love guided them and brought light into their life. They were like Shahryar and Scheherazade of The Thousand and One Nights. No, they were like lovebirds that do not speak, but chant and warble. Their words to each other were those of a father and mother, a brother and sister, a husband and wife, a companion, friend, and healer.
I never wanted to leave, but we did, and I was filled with confusion. My wife was so different with my friend. Her face was softer, and she was calm to the point that she became a part of that harmonious unit. In fact, she was nothing like the she-devil that had come to make my life a misery. I did not know this woman that I have lived with for what seemed far too long.
"Allah guide my wife and make her like the wife of my friend," I thought.
I became obsessed with it all, thinking about the reasons day and night, over and over. I was never able to figure out why they were so different from us. So I decided to go to my friend and ask, and he surprised me with an unexpected reason:
"Whoever ignores, forever loses; and whoever knows, wins the world and its bliss. A woman is a gift from Allah," he said.
He continued, "Her heart is a spring of kindness, her bosom is the center of warmth, and her blood is a river of fragrance. She gives for no return, and she is tolerant with the love of good deeds. She respects her husband and guards his entity. Her beauty is in her spirit. Her charm and attraction are in her enlightened mind, awareness, and wise opinion. Had the case been different, grand men of letters would not have said 'Behind every great man is a woman' or 'Women are half the society.' So think, what happens if a man does not appreciate or respect his wife? You have no idea what the return will be if you embrace her with your kindness, with even one word!"
I left my friend in a thoughtful and light mood and returned to my wife seeking her forgiveness and regretting the life I had wasted without ever trying to understand her. From that moment, love blessed our home with respect. We lived more joyously and no less so than my friend and his wife.
* * *
And so ends my nightmare, and I pray to Allah Almighty that every man will come to know the true worth of his wife and to put an end to the life that he has wasted with his mind and his heart away from her and their marriage.
Du`aa' Hamdy is a writer and the Executive Secretary at Islamonline.net (English Division).
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