Love Language #4: Acts of Service

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This love language is all about doing something for your loved one/children that you know they would like for you to do. Cooking a meal, washing dishes, taking out the garbage, mowing the lawn, changing the baby’s diaper, and painting the bedroom, etc.

Most of us probably do these day in, day out without even realising how many acts of service we are doing, but take a minute today to make it a CONSCIOUS act of love… I love these pictures because they add an extra awesomeness to that everyday thing we do 

We also do all this without expecting recognition/appreciation – or vice versa, expect our loved ones to do these without giving recognition/appreciation! Now don’t get me wrong, ultimately we know that we are doing these things to please Allah and not for recognition, etc, but being appreciated just adds to the sweetness (and motivates us to do more!) – likewise, take a minute today to appreciate someone who has done something for you!

We have plenty of examples in Islam for Acts of Service – Imam Ali (a.s.) used to help Bibi Fatima in the household chores: Imam Ali (a.s.) often helped Fatima (a.s.) in the house affairs. He said, “Once, the messenger of Allah (a.s.) visited us while Fatima was near the cooking pot and I was picking out lentils. He said, ‘O Abul Hasan, listen to what I say, and I do not say except from my Lord. Every man, who helps his wife in her house, Allah will write for him as much as the hairs on his body (the reward of) worship of a year; fasting in the day and worshipping all the night, and Allah will give him like the reward of the patient and the righteous.’”

Although the whole of Kerbala can be seen as an act of service to Islam, one specific example is that of Hazrat Abbas, and how he selflessly went to get water for Bibi Sakina and the other young children, and tried to protect that water with everything he had, including his life, on the way back.

Love Language #3: Quality Time

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Another love language is Quality Time – as you may have guessed, this is uninterrupted one on one time – no phones, TVs, etc vying for attention! Children definitely need this too – why not carve out some time especially for them today?

A lovely example of this is in Kerbala, when Zuljanah would not go forward to the battlefield. Imam realised that it was because Bibi Sakina was holding on to Zuljanah’s leg. Imam got off, held Bibi Sakina (touch!) and spent some time with her. He dried the tears from her eyes and comforted her, after which she returned to the tents.

Love Language #2 - Touch

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Another big way to communicate love is through touch. This can be a hug, kiss, holding hands, cuddling, or even just a hand on the shoulder. There is SO much evidence out there on the benefits of touch, and how it releases feel-good hormones which protect from anxiety and other issues.

There are so many examples of when the Prophet used to hug and kiss children, but here is one: Sahih Muslim, narrating from ‘Amr ibn Sa’id from ‘Anas ibn Malik who said: “I never saw someone more affectionate to his family than the Messenger of Allah (saw). Ibarhim (the Prophet’s son) had a wet-nurse in ‘Awali in Medina and the Prophet (saw) used to go there and we would accompany him… The Prophet (saw) would pick Ibrahim up, kiss him and go back home.”

Playing with children is one especially good way of getting physical touch in. We all know how the Prophet used to carry Imam Hasan (as) and Imam Husayn (as) on his shoulders and play with them (and other children). I even recently read a hadith from Imam Sajjad (as) that shows the Prophet encouraging his grandsons to playfully wrestle each other!

A particularly poignant example of communicating love through touch is in Kerbala, when Imam Husayn (as) was bidding farewell to Bibi Zaynab. After they had hugged and kissed, he began walking towards the tent, she called out to him to fulfil the last request of their mother, Bibi Fatima. Bibi Zaynab said: “Mother made her last will to me and said, when you send off the light of my eyes for his final battle, kiss his neck on my behalf.” The she kissed his neck and returned to the tents. (Tadhkirat al-Shuhada’)

Love Language #1: Gifts

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Gifts are often the first thing people say when asked to think of how they showed love.

Gift-giving is something that is highly emphasised in Islam, with ahadith on giving gifts, accepting gifts, and even discouraging us from taking back one’s gifts. Check out this one on gifts and love:

The Prophet (saw) said: “Give gifts to each other and you will love each other; give gifts to each other for it removes grudges.”

The best example of gift giving I can think of is the handkerchief of Bibi Fatima (as) that was with Imam Husayn (as), which he then gifted to Hur, the captain of Yazid’s army who came over to Imam Husayn (as) side.

‘When Hurr was struck, Imam cleaned the blood off his forehead and tied a handkerchief round his head to stop the blood. It was a
handkerchief made by Sayyida Fatima Zahra (A.S.) Hazrat Hurr opened his eyes for the last time and saw Imam Husayn (A.S.).

Many many years later a ruler who wished to witness the greatness of a Shaheed, dug open the grave of Hazrat Hurr. A beautiful smell was coming out of the grave and he saw Hazrat Hurr lying in the grave as though he was just resting. He saw the handkerchief tied around Hazrat Hurr’s head and opened it. Fresh blood started flowing so Shah Abbas Saffaa tied it up with his own
handkerchief. A voice told him: ” Please give my handkerchief back, it is the handkerchief made by Sayyida Fatima Zahra (A.S.) and tied by Imam Husayn (A.S.)” He returned the handkerchief and closed the grave.’

Can you think of any more examples?

Love, Love, Love!

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As it is nearly Valentine’s Day, i think it’s time for a series on love!

Love Languages in Islam

Have you ever come across something called Love Languages? The Five Love Languages is a faith-based book written by Gary Chapman, who says that the biggest problem in all relationships is not that love fades or dies, but that people communicate love in different ways.

He identifies the 5 main different ways in which love can be communicated. Inshallah we will go through one a day and take a look at what Islam says about these forms of love and examples of them from history…and then hopefully implement them in our lives!

P.S. I have done this in lessons with children and they have come up with some amazing stuff!

 

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