Welcome home, my Husband!

The husband leaves his work tired and on his way back home he endures the noise and hubbub of the heavy traffic.

He heads towards his kingdom, where he can find tranquility, peace of mind, and happiness with his wife and children. So how is the good wife going to meet her husband when he comes home?

Some wives are not at home when their husbands return from work. Whether she is still at work, at the neighbors’, with her friends or at her family’s, the husband will feel dissatisfied and her absence will leave a bad effect on him. Her husband would love to find her at home so that he could find comfort, peace and tranquility.

However, the wife might be at home when her husband comes back, but she does not greet him properly. She shows no concern for his arrival and leaves him alone without asking about him. Worse than that, she might even welcome him with a gloomy face, a noisy voice, various complaints and bitter resentment. This attitude might make the husband go back to his work immediately.

The following is an example of a woman Companion of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and how she greeted her husband. Her name was Umm Sulaim (radyAllahu ‘anha).

Her son died suddenly after a period of illness. When her husband, Abu Talhah (radyAllahu ‘anhu), came back home, she did not inform him about their son’s death. She first brought him some food and had sexual intercourse, and then she informed him about their son’s death.

This is their story as reported by Imam Al-Bukhari in his Sahih, on the authority of Anas Ibn Malik (radyAllahu ‘anhu). Abu Talhah (radyAllahu ‘anhu) had a child who was sick. Once, while Abu Talhah was out, the child died. When Abu Talhah returned home, he asked, “How is the boy?” Umm Sulaim (radyAllahu ‘anha) replied, “He is quieter than he has ever been.” Then she brought supper for him and he took his supper and slept with her. When he had finished, she said (to him), “Bury the child (as he’s dead).” Abu Talha (radyAllahu ‘anhu) offered the (morning) prayer with the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and informed him of what happened to them. Allah’s Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “May Allah bless you concerning your night. (That is, may Allah bless you with good offspring).”

Sufyan said, ‘One of the Ansar said, “They (i.e. Abu Talhah and his wife) had nine sons and all of them became reciters of the Qur’an (by heart).'”[1]

How great is Umm Sulaim‘s wisdom! There is no worse news in the world than to inform a father of his son’s death. However, Abu Talhah received it with submission, and it was because of his wife’s discretion and wise behaviour. The first question he asked when he returned home was: “How is the boy?” Umm Sulaim, knowing that her husband was tired and preoccupied, could not tell him that he was dead and at the same time could not lie to him. She replied: “He is quieter than he has ever been.” What she actually meant was that their son had fallen asleep forever. Moreover, before she could inform him, she brought him dinner and slept with him. Her husband has now become ready to receive the painful news.

[1] Sahih Al-Bukhari