By HABEEB ALLI
The bravery of Valentine to have loved and then die makes the martyrdom for love life-giving. This has provided a romantic opportunity to rekindle the thought that you do love someone special.
This year coincided with the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad- the world’s most loving and merciful man. It makes me want to reflect on His Roses. Being an orphan and being poor did not prevent him from growing up with the glowing qualities of love, affection and intimacy.
His First Rose was Khatija. He loved her despite her huge age difference. The fact that there is no age when it comes to love is Prophetic! Their flower bore four fruits together.
The Second Rose is his dedication. He only remarried after her death and had multiple marriages after her but would still send gifts to her friends! The Rose of being open to one’s partner’s friends and treating them well is such a modern concept, yet was practiced by this desert dweller 1400 years ago.
Third Rose was belief in love. He said to Owais who loved him so much but couldn’t see him in his lifetime, since he was aiding his own ailing mother, that, a person will be with the one they love! Yes, the fact that karma brings soul mates together and in the Next World that’s a given is Prophetic.
The Fourth Rose is his love for Aisha was so overwhelming that He used to pray Oh God, don’t hold me accountable for that which I have no control over i.e. being in love with Aisha.
Fifth Rose was the fact that he would recite love poems with Aisha, run races with her and give her gifts besides kissing her even before going to the prayers, shows he was a man of cloth and heart!
Sixth Rose of Muhammad was the way he treated women. They were buried alive and seen as a liability to society. He saved over three hundred in his time and stopped this malpractice through the Quranic verse ‘when the innocent girl will be asked what crime had she committed to be buried alive’!
His Seventh Rose in the garden of love is his defending marriage. It is by virtue of choice and not valid when forced upon. When the young girl complained that she was married off by her father without her consent, The Prophet offered her the choice of staying or leaving!
Rose Eight is the fact that togetherness is not a computerized assessment but an inner connectivity. He announced through the Quran that marry women that pleases you! He founded the compatibility factor!
The Prophetic Ninth Rose was his charming aura: whomsoever he met he was so warm and respectful that a man who hated him so much, looked at him in the battle of Hunain and announced his Islam, saying: ‘you have become the most beloved person to me after glancing at your face’!
Rose Ten was his attitude towards love. He forgave and asked forgiveness repeatedly. He never hit a woman and always prayed for his mothers. His kindness to his wives was indelible, e.g. they all would cry for him consistently for almost a year after his demise and they didn’t remarry.
The Eleventh Rose was his knowing his lover and understanding her. He would say to Aisha that I know when you are pleased with me as you would say the Lord of Muhammad and when you are upset you would say the Lord of Abraham! In turn he would call her Aish, her pet name!
Rose Number Twelve in the bouquet of Muhammad’s Valentine to the world was his hatred for anger. Love is a coin whose two faces are hate and anger. He called men, who would abuse their wives, animals! He reminded the wives that your husband is either your Heaven or your Hell: depending on how you treat them.
Love is a special gift very few in the world get to experience. So don’t take it for granted. Nurture it with kindness, pray for its protection, sprinkle it with laughter and think of it as a snowflake- if you don’t capture it soon, the ground will make it muddy!