Peeling an Orange for His Wife

I hear about certain ahadeeth that describe the body language of the Prophet (S), how while he was making dua for this guy, he reached out and placed his hand on the heart of the young man who asked for permission to fornicate with someone; or how he came down to eye level to talk a girl about her bird.

I hear about these moments of adab, of excellent mannerisms, and I think–wow.  I wish that kind of stuff would be something that happens to me and that I am blown away by.  Someone who can treat another person in this way has such a heightened level of body-awareness and has fine-tuned his level of communication to the point where his body language (which psychologists say communicate much more than the words used) becomes the most effective and powerful force in his communication.

And then I hear about some of the teachers my teachers or shuyookh speak about–about their “moments of adab” with them.  The rush of excitement I feel when they recount those private, touching moments is something that I appreciate so much–and as someone who looks up to those people, it makes me happy and feel even more humble that those people who are legendary in my eyes have people who are legendary in their eyes.

So I recently realized that I’ve experienced a few moments of adab myself and I’d like to share them in a series of posts.

1. Peeling an Orange for His Wife

I think it was during my second Ilm Summit, I was sitting at a table in the hotel lobby with a few sisters and the wife of one of the shuyookh who was teaching a portion of the classes.  It was halfway into lunch, creeping into my qayloolah/lunchtime napping session, but I was still sitting at the table, simply too tired to go all the way up to my room and knock out.  The shaykh comes out of the room where the brothers eat lunch and is passing by our table.  He comes to our table, greets us all, and hands the orange that he had already peeled to his wife.  He smiles, excuses himself, and walks away.

From his wife’s reaction, i could tell that she was pleasantly surprised and slightly embarrassed by his gesture because there were a few of us around when it happened.  But–I could tell that she probably felt like one of the most loved women in the world at that moment, and that she truly appreciated it.

This reminds me of the love that the Prophet (S) showed his own wives, and how he was not ashamed of expressing his feelings towards her among friends/the community.  The hadith when the Prophet (S) is asked who the person is that he loves the most is the one that comes to mind, and in a society where it was thought of as unmanly to speak kindly about one’s wife, he was out there expressing his undying love towards her and we even have that narration with us today.


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