The Goodbye Hug


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Glimpses of Marital Bliss: Part IPart II | Part III | Part IV

Many of us only hear destructive marriage stories within the Muslim community. The constant flow of negative narratives can cause many to cringe and fear marriage. However, the reality is that there are so many incredible, beautiful, passionate, fulfilling and compassionate love stories in the Muslim community. In this mini-series, we hope to shed light on the beauty that exists in many Muslim marriages.

Here is just one glimpse of a Muslim couple who truly appreciate the small gestures of love between them. I’ll let the wife tell her story:

“Every morning, my husband gets up, goes and prays fajr (morning prayer) in the masjid, comes home, gets ready for work, and then we have a special goodbye hug before he leaves for the day. That hug energizes both of us for the day and we know it is a very special moment.

This morning, I had not realized that the time for fajr at the masjid changed and it was later than usual. So while I was praying fajr and my husband was getting ready to leave, it didn’t occur to me that he would not be coming home after the masjid because he would already be prepared to go to work. He left while I was still praying fajr and when I finished my prayer and my supplication, I realized he had already taken his lunch. That meant he was not coming back this morning, which meant we would not have our special goodbye hug. I wallowed in sadness and missing him. We’ve been married for many years, but I still miss him when we are apart for just an hour… You can imagine how hard it is when we’re apart the entire workday! And no, I don’t sit around all day just waiting for him to return. I have a very busy work schedule. But that doesn’t mean I’m not counting down hours until we’re together again at the end of the day.

As I sat reminding myself to be grateful that my husband is alive and healthy and well, scolding myself for being such a spoiled brat that I would wallow in self-pity simply for missing a hug while so many lose their loved ones and never have the opportunity to see them again in this life, I got a call from my husband. I realized he must have finished praying fajr at the masjid and I was ecstatically ready to hear his voice.

After sharing our sorrow for missing our hug, he told me, ‘Well, guess what? I have to come home because I forgot something!’

I was elated! God had caused him to forget something! That meant we would have another chance to share our special morning moment!

When he came in, we gave each other the biggest goodbye hug ever. I teasingly asked, ‘Was what you forgot here our goodbye hug?’ He laughed and replied, ‘Yup!’

And then I stopped and stared into his face, shocked. ‘That’s what you forgot here? That’s really what you forgot? That’s the reason you came back instead of going straight to work?!’

He wrapped his arms around me and replied, ‘I forgot our hug! I couldn’t start the morning without it!’”

If a hug is worth grieving over when missed, then think about how much greater every other aspect of the relationship must be when both spouses work to make every encounter one filled with love and compassion.

True love exists. It does exist in Muslim families. It might even be your story now or in the future. Your relationship may be difficult, it may now be over, or it may not yet have begun. When that relationship exists, you may not be able to drive back home for a hug, there may be many barriers to you spending time together or seeing each other or working on increasing your love for one another. But it may be possible for you to find a common, small gesture of love which you can incorporate in your lives, which inculcates the way you want to feel for one another, and through it, God willing, your motivation of working for the zest in your relationship may flourish.

*If you would like to anonymously share sweet glimpses from your marriage with hopes of spreading awareness of positive relationships in the Muslim community, please email Maryam@SuhaibWebb.com with a short narrative. Your submission may be featured in this mini-series of Glimpses of Marital Bliss. 

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10 Comments

  1. A says:

    SubhanAllah! :’) Beautiful story mashAllah! May Allah bless this couple, give barakah in their marriage and inspire all others to follow their example. So often we hear about the sad stories of muslim marriages breaking and ill feelings between spouses, it feels refreshing to read this amazing article. None of the problems we see and hear about everyday would exist if every marriage started with ‘the goodbye hug’ rule in place from the very first day. May Allah grant us all spouses who wake us up for Fajr, recite the Quran with us, and help us become better muslims and muslimahs inshAllah.

  2. Aadarsh says:

    MashAllah, this makes me so happy! While reading this i was glad to see im not the only one that does this. Even though my wife lives in another city 300 miles away cause of med school but when we spend our weekends together we have a habit of praying our prayers together and after our duas we get up and hug each other thanking Allah for bringing us together not only in marriage but in prayers as well. Being able to pray with my wife and to strive to become better Muslims together is more of a blessing than anything i can imagine. I believe it is the only thing that strengthens our bond and unites us to become better for one another for the sake of Allah. This indeed is how we would like to be seen when we have to face our Creator. JazakAllah for sharing.

  3. Fajr says:

    As Salamu Alaikum,

    A strange thing happened – I read this beautiful and uplifting piece on Friday morning.

    Then, at Juma prayer later in the day, the imam gave this advice regarding marriage: husband and wife should both get up and pray Fajr together. According to him, this would prevent many quarrels.

    As an unmarried sister, I’m definitely noting all this down! Successful marriage? Start the day with prayer and a hug :D!

    May Allah grant us all marriages of bliss, passion and tranquility.

  4. juju says:

    I think it’s nice to hear nice stories, but at the end of the day, we need a balance. not every marriage, even when there is love, will have such tender aspects. this is okay too. In our community we tend to be extremists, either building up crazy expectations of heavenly uniions, or telling horror stories.
    why can’t we just be totally honest and let it be known that there are times when there is little or no tenderness – just surviving…being patient….not killing each other.
    i mean, a little humility about the reality of many marriages would be what allows many pepole out there to not give up on marraige – because they will realize that their marriage is OKAY even if it’s not picture perfect like the story above.

    • Perspective says:

      I didn’t realize that a hug a day is picture perfect heavenly expectation. It’s a small constant good thing that is an essential part of daily balance. Balance is not 3 bad days lead by 3 good days. Little or no tenderness is unacceptable and must be actively counteracted instead of just patiently waiting it out. When we accept harsh or cold behavior without tenderness we devalue ourselves which is against the teachings of Islam.

  5. a sister in her early 50s says:

    Dear Maryam, is the wife in the story you? I have also been enjoying the great gift from Allah SWT. Been blessed with a wonderful husband of 32 years..i still miss him everyday..and look forward to seeing him after a long day at work. When we are together,we always have stories to share like teenagers of yesteryears

  6. Megan Wyatt says:

    Beautiful story masha’Allah! I get a lot of emails from singles who are scared of marriage because of stories they hear.

    I share with them that there are many happy marriages out there, and even the couples I work with or wives I work with in coaching who are in a tough spot and looking to improve their marriage are still a success story. The fact that things aren’t always perfect doesn’t mean that marriage isn’t fulfilling, full of love, passion, and deep connection.

    Happiness comes with challenges of growth – and this is the great spiritual benefit and beauty of marriage. There are moments of splendid joy, balanced, as with all things in this life, challenges.

    Knowing that both are possible in what is defined as a happy and lasting marriage helps us all prepare for reality – one where look forward to it and also prepare for it. (I love to give the analogy of parenting – we all look forward to having kids insha’Allah AND read up on parenting books to be prepared as best as possible for some of those challenging moments…like when your toddler melts down in a grocery store aisle :) )

    We need to hear more love

  7. Masha’Allah, this is such a touching story. It is a wonderful reminder of how spouses can maintain their admiration for one another. I would like to seek permission to use this article on my website, please. Thank you and Jazakalakhair for your consideration.

    • Maryam Amirebrahimi says:

      Yes, that’s fine inshaAllah. Just make sure to follow the guideliens of resposting as mentioned on the homepage.

      jazaki Allahu khayran :)

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