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A Submissive Spouse

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(Wife of Moulana Qaasim Nanotwi [rahimahullah] - Part Four)

The respected wife of Moulana Qaasim Nanotwi (rahimahullah) was not only a saintly soul – she was a faithful wife who displayed true loyalty to her husband and went beyond the call of duty in fulfilling his rights.

As the piety, knowledge and wisdom of Moulana Qaasim (rahimahullah) became well known, people from far and wide began to flock to him. As a result, there were always guests in his home, with barely a single meal passing without guests being present. His respected wife was extremely efficient in seeing to the household responsibilities and would ensure that there was always food prepared for the guests. Even when there was a shortage of wealth in the home, she would try her best to honour the guests and see to their comfort. In regard to her big-heartedness, Moulana Qaasim (rahimahullah) once mentioned, “Our generosity is on account of Ahmad’s mother (referring to his respected wife).”

Similarly, she understood the importance of pleasing her husband and was thus completely selfless in her effort to secure his happiness. The following incident, which she herself narrates, is ample evidence in this regard:

“My husband (Moulana Qaasim [rahimahullah]) would generally drink milk at night. Hence, when he returned home after ‘Esha, I would present the milk to him. After drinking the milk, he would stand and engage in nafl salaah, as it was his habit to stand in salaah the entire night. If on any occasion he did not wait for me to bring the milk and commenced his salaah, I understood that he was upset with me for some reason. Thus, on the few occasions when he did not wait for the milk and commenced his salaah, I too remained standing the entire night with the cup of milk in my hands.”

(Sawaanih-e-Qaasimi vol.1, pg. 518, Moulana Muhammad Qaasim Nanotwi – Hayaat aur Kaarnaame pg. 242-245, Qaasimul ‘Uloom Hazrat Moulana Muhammed Qaasim Nanotwi pg. 194)

Lessons:

1. Generosity and big-heartedness are qualities of a true believer. We should always keep our homes open to guests and should try to honour the guests to the best of our ability while keeping within our means. Today, every home has a refrigerator, freezer and microwave, so it is easily possible for a person to keep some food prepared for the unexpected guest. In the case of Moulana Nanotwi (rahimahullah), these appliances did not exist. Hence, his wife would have had to prepare food on a daily basis – for not just her own household but for all the guests as well. However, her generosity was such that she not only did it happily, but always laid out the best that she could for the guests.

2. In order for a person to succeed in this life and the next, he will have to fulfil not only the rights of Allah Ta‘ala but the rights of the creation as well. In the case of a woman, it is her husband who has the greatest rights over her. The wife of Moulana Qaasim Nanotwi (rahimahullah) understood this, and thus when her husband was displeased with her, then even though she did not know the reason for his displeasure, she remained standing the entire night. This was a remarkable demonstration of her selflessness and complete lack of an ego and pride.