The famous hadith from Rasulullah ﷺ about the importance of treating family well is often mentioned. The hadith says, “The best of you are those who are best to their family. And I am the best to my family.” How much of that hadith have we tried to implement in our lives? And when He said, “I am the best to my family”, how much have we reflected on His conduct to His family? Let’s take a step back and review the lessons on how Rasulullah ﷺ treated his family.
1. To His Wives
a) Always appreciating the things that she does
From his first marriage, we can note that as a husband, He was unfailingly appreciative of all the things that Khadijah (RA) did. It is no wonder that all that we know about how Rasulullah ﷺ was as a husband came largely from Aishah (RA). Because as a husband to Khadijah (RA), all we ever heard was how good Khadijah (RA) was to him, even long after she passed away.
Khadijah (RA) was truly a model comforter, and her legendary words mattered so much to her husband that it was immortalized. Rasulullah ﷺ kept repeating the words that she said so much to people so that people understood, the story of Rasulullah ﷺ as a prophet cannot be separated from Khadijah’s (RA) role.
When Rasulullah ﷺ was receiving the news about Him being chosen as the Messenger of God, drowned in confusion and doubts, she built his esteem by reminding him of all of his good qualities, and that “By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you.”
When Rasulullah ﷺ was in the thick of worries at the end of a long struggle in Makkah, and Khadijah (RA) had gotten so old, He worried about how he had messed Khadijah’s (RA) life. Instead, Khadijah (RA) reassured him, that if she died, should He see a need of her bones to be used for da’wah, what she wishes was that her bones would also be used. Khadijah (RA) was not around to pass these words, but he was around long enough to spread all of these words.
Even after she was gone, and one of his wives expressed her jealousy about Khadijah (RA), He was once again repeating how much Khadija (RA) meant to Him and how it mattered so much what she did. “She believed in me when people doubted me, she accepted me when people rejected me, she shared her wealth when people deprived me. And it is through her that Allah blessed me with children.”
When it comes to our spouse, we should deal with them with appreciation, internally and externally. Gratitude in our hearts and compliments and praise in our tongue. Instead of listing their weaknesses and what they didn’t do, try to sing their praises to ourselves, in front of them and other people – just like Rasulullah ﷺ. Have we ever heard Rasulullah ﷺ talk about how “lacking” His spouse is? Nope, and for good reason. Yet, this is what we tend to do, either to ourselves, to the spouse, and other people. Let’s try to change this habit.
Our record of how Rasulullah ﷺ is as a husband came largely from Aishah (RA). Several words came to mind: mindful of his spouse’s rights, gentle, and romantic. His mindfulness showed up when he asked Aishah (RA) whether she still needs him before he dedicated himself to the night’s spiritual devotion. His gentleness made an appearance in the way He reacted calmly after every outrage that Aishah (RA) had when she was feeling extra jealous. His romance was on full display in how He has the sweetest nicknames for her, like “Humairah” and how He reassured her that His love for her was as strong as it ever was. As a spouse, have we tried to live up to the ideals of His romance? How do we speak to our spouse? How do we make them feel? And how do we conduct ourselves? These are the questions to ask ourselves.
2. To His Children
The one key word that seems to make an appearance all the time when it comes to how we should deal with our children, is mercy. The kind where you get really lenient with them when things just don’t really matter. The kind where you should kiss them and treat that kiss as an expression of love. He rebuked a man when it seems that he was proud of the fact that he never kissed his children. And He treated his children and grandchildren with such love, empathy, and respect. It showed in the way He let the grandchildren crawl on His back during his prayers, and it showed in the way he always asked his children and grandchildren to sit next to him in public gatherings. He always made them feel seen, heard and attended to. This is a key lesson for us, as these don’t seem like a natural thing to do for adults – most children just feel neglected. Don’t wait for our children to get up in all sorts of things to get our attention and mercy. Rather, give it generously and lovingly.
b) But never let them think that they are an exception to the rule
As lenient as Rasulullah ﷺ was to his children and grandchildren, he never let them think that they are an exception to the rule. He always emphasized about how He cannot help them if they do not believe in Allah, have faith and taqwa, and do virtuous deeds. He also never made people assume that a family of the Prophet ﷺ will be exempt from the laws of Allah. If they do crimes, they will be persecuted, no excuses accepted. And this attitude was also shown when Fatimah (RA) came one day asking her father for a help. She asked a maid to help her with her household duties. Because the Prophet received many prisoners of war at that time, but he has no right to ascribe them to what Fatima requested, he refused his request. He instead gave her the remembrance which would help her feel stronger when it comes to her duties: Subhanallah 33 times, Alhamdulillah 33 times, and Allahu Akbar 33 times. As a prophet, it was his duties to remind people of Allah instead of relying on tangible things to help them on worldly problems. Likewise, to his daughter, he also reminded her to rely on Allah in difficult times.
To learn more about examples from the Prophet ﷺ on many aspects of his life, including his family, check out The Muslim DNA, an online course about 3 key areas in a Muslim’s personal development, including the individual, the family, and the community. With some cues from The Muslim DNA, InshaaAllah you will be able to keep growing as a better Muslim. Visit online.alkauthar.org for more info!