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The Parable of Spouses and Garments

January 7, 2009

Bismillah

Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) uses amazing parables in the Qur’an that strike fear, awe and amazement in the hearts of the believers. Throughout the Qur’an, Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) draws parables for us to convey the importance of certain topics, to extract lessons from them and so that we may ponder and reflect over them. We hear many times of the examples of the hypocrites, the mushrikeen (pagans) and the believers. But there is one parable that Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) puts forth that increases the love and mercy between a husband and wife, and this parable is one of the most eloquent and striking in the Qur’an.

Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) describes the spousal relationship in Surah Al-Baqarah, when He says:

هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ

Translation: They are your garments and you are their garments. [Surah Baqarah, verse 187]

SubhanAllah, Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) compares the relationship between a husband and wife as clothing. Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) says that both the husband and wife are “libaas”, garments, for each other. This shows the equality that Allah places between spouses and how each partner has a role in the relationship.

Remember again that Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) puts parables in the Qur’an so that we may ponder, so let’s ponder on how a spouse compares to clothes:

  1. Clothes are close to you, behind your clothes is your bare skin. A spouse is close to you in that manner, emotionally and physically.
  2. Clothes protect your skin from the outside. A husband is the maintainer of his wife and the wife protects her husband’s home and property.
  3. Clothes beautify you. A husband and wife compliment eachother, in this life and the next.
  4. Clothes are comfortable. When one is around their spouse, they feel at ease and their hearts are at rest. One can relax around their spouse and find comfort in them and their words when they are in difficulty.
  5. Clothes hide and screen you. A husband and wife should not discuss each other’s faults to the outside or complain to others about their spouse.

SubhanAllah, indeed our Lord is Ar-Ra’oof (the extremely Compassionate) for placing this tranquility between spouses. As Ibn Kathir says in his tafseer of Surah Room: If Allah had made all of Adam’s progeny male, and created the females from another kind, such as from Jinn or animals, there would never have been harmony between them and their spouses. There would have been revulsion if the spouses had been from a different kind. Out of Allah’s perfect mercy He made their wives from their own kind, and created love and kindness between them. For a man stays with a woman because he loves her, or because he feels compassion towards her if they have a child together, or because she needs him to take care of her, and so on.

Many may feel embarrassed that this verse is mentioned in the Qur’an, but subhanAllah, this is just another beautiful example which shows that our deen is truly complete and that Allah have given us guidance through His Book for every aspect of our lives, and for this we should be thankful alhamdulillah.

This parable between a spouse and a garment is one of the many parables in the Qur’an that we should ponder and reflect over, and this is from the Ultimate Wisdom and Mercy of Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) that He explains His verses and signs to us in a manner that is most fitting to our intellect.

Wa lillahil hamd.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Ruby permalink
    February 18, 2009 7:20 am

    Assalamualikum
    jazaakallahu khair, very beautifully explained.
    can anyone please explain the parables of the hypocrites mentioned in surah baqarah ayat 17 -20.

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