Hadith #3

"Go defend yourself." دونك فانتصري

The background of this authentic Hadith is an incident that took place between Aisha and Zaynab, two of the prophet's wives. He said these words upon hearing the complaint of Aisha who had felt offended and verbally abused by Zaynab. When Aisha followed the order and defended herself, the prophet rejoiced and smiled.

The Hadith was mentioned by Ibn Kathir on the tafsir of the ayah: "And whoever avenges himself after having been wronged - those have not upon them any cause (for blame)" [Qur'an 42:41]. Here our focus is on the character of the prophet with respect to his wives whom the Qur'an refers to as mothers of the believers. We learn that instead of stepping in and acting tough, the prophet decided to just take it easy and let the women handle their affairs on their own, and he was pleased with the result.

From the Hadith about him playfully racing with Aisha and the one about him participating in a joke that involved two of his wives (Aisha and Sawda) staining each other's face with food, we learn that the prophet's household was an environment of joy and happiness; not one of tyranny and oppression. Contrary to the view held by some non-Muslims and Muslims alike, he used to help with the household chores and run errands in order to lighten the burden on his wives. In fact, Islam requires that women be treated with love and care as evidenced by the prophet's statement that the best of believers is the one who is best in manners and kindness to his own wife. He concluded this statement with: "And I'm the best to my wives." Thus inviting us to follow his example in dealing with women.

Unfortunately we tend to put all of our focus on only some selected aspects of the prophet's life, in the fields of politics, education, war or economy and totally ignore his relationship with his wives. As the enemies of Islam desperately continue trying to paint the good character of our beloved prophet with negative images, it's our duty and obligation to familiarize ourselves with his entire biography and apply his teachings in our lives. After all, he was sent to be a role model for us.