on the need for exchanging complements among married couples. by Jaihoon

Good things are generally getting scarce day by day. People get stingy when it comes to sharing good words among themselves, especially amongst the members of a family living under one roof.

The father is too hesitant to accept and applause the excellent performance of his child, the son or daughter is unmindful of their parents’ struggle to keep them well off, the husband ironically ‘run out of words’ not knowing if anything is to be said at all for wife’s self-less service at home, and it is needless to mention the absence of complementing one another between the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.

Mind you, this is not yet another magic portion from a relationship expert. Rather a humble observation after listening to a talk based on the Holy Book.

Complementing is a sign of gratitude for each other’s favors, and ultimately the favor of Almighty who created them and established their relationship.

One of the major reasons why the relationship become stale is when both partners take their living together for granted. They imagine that this is how it should have been anyway. And this belief makes them shy from exerting any extra effort to revitalize the relationship. The marital bond is nothing miraculous of the heavenly kind. Just like any other earthly matter, it will become worn and torn if left unattended. And it doesn’t take a philosopher to understand that no happiness is born on this planet without exerting effort.

A wife shouldn’t take for granted the husband bringing home the grocery items. Husband shouldn’t think wife is destined to be the chef or the launder of the entire household. All human beings crave for recognition and the catch in a relationship is when it is given in the most unexpected moment.

A partner should search for anything good in him or her to complement on. There may be human shortcomings on either sides, but that shouldn’t discourage them to complement the remaining good qualities.

Besides, verbal complements in the form of adoring statements for each other while at home, they may also have conversations between home and office. Spreading the prayer rug for the partner while he/she performs ablution is also a good way to complement and thereby win the heart.

Complementing is also a cost-saving technique to keep the flame burning in the bond. Diamonds may or may not be the girl’s best friend. But the price of complements are no more than one-zillionth of its price.

A very interesting (and simultaneously amusing) way to complement one’s wife is to flatter her saying ‘No one in this world can make food like you’!. The statement is true in both ways.

The husband is honest when he means that her style of cooking cannot be imitated. (Even a particular dish she prepares at a given moment cannot be exactly reproduced by her at a later stage). He is also honest when he means that her meals are dear to him than any other in the world. (This is not to deny the truth that the taste buds of any son are already conditioned by the taste of the meals prepared by his mother).

An amazing fact is that among the permitted instances for telling lies is the flattering between husband and wife. Married couples will be surprised that this ‘romantic permission’ was granted by none other than the Beloved Husband of Khadija and Ayesha who was branded Al Ameen, the Faithful, even by his vehement enemies.

The Prophet sallallahu alaihi was sallam is reported to have said: “Lying can be permissible in three cases: war (for deceiving the enemy), reconciliation between disputing people, and the compliments between husband and wife.”

Therefore, the believing husband and wife are in the true spirit of their faith when they complement to each other saying ‘you are my soul’ or ‘I would give my life for you’ even if it is practically impossible.

On a final note I must say that in the process of giving such complements, there is no need to hunt or steal others’ verses. Just say it from your heart which is suffice. Poetry is nothing but the water flowing from the heart’s basin. And love is a rain-bearing cloud which pours water into that basin!

10 January 2005 (Eid Al Adha)