Five love languages in the Sunnah

Five love languages in the Sunnah

The question "What is your love language?" is often asked when we want to deepen our understanding of someone and improve our ability to love them. The renowned book, "The 5 Love Languages" by Gary Chapman, outlines five general ways that romantic partners express and experience love, which Chapman refers to as "love languages".

These love languages have become widely applied in various aspects of life, including romantic relationships, friendships, and even familial bonds. They provide an effective means of demonstrating care and affection to those around us in a way that resonates with their hearts.

The five love languages are as follows:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Physical Touch
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Giving Gifts

However, even before these studies and methods were discovered and implemented, it is worth noting that Prophet Muhammad SAW had long practised these love languages with his wives. As the best creation of Allah SWT, Prophet Muhammad SAW was renowned for his gentle, loving, and compassionate nature, making him an incredibly affectionate husband. His understanding of love and marriage surpassed that of anyone else, and following his example can greatly enhance your marital relationship. 

There are numerous heartwarming accounts recorded by his beloved wife, Aisha RA, which shed light on how the Prophet would express his love towards her. As one of his closest wives, Aisha RA experienced various forms of love language over 1400 years ago, long before the concept was formally recognized.

As His saying goes, “The best of you are those who are the best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives.“ [Tirmidhi]

Words of Affirmation

As someone whose love language is Words of Affirmation, this story shared by Aisha RA about how she and the Prophet used 'secret words' to express their affection will forever hold a special place in my heart. 

To recall, it is narrated that Aisha RA and the Prophet SAW communicated using a code language to signify their love for one another. On one occasion, she asked the Prophet SAW how he would describe his love for her. The Prophet Muhammad answered, “Like a strong binding knot.” Meaning, the more you tug, the stronger it gets. Every so often Aisha would playfully ask, “How is the knot?” The Prophet SAW would answer, “As strong as the first day (you asked).”

Quality Time

Despite having numerous responsibilities and obligations, our Prophet SAW always prioritized spending quality time with his family. There are many accounts of how Prophet Muhammad SAW spent time with Aisha RA, engaging in activities like racing, enjoying cultural performances, and sharing jokes together.

Aisha reported, ‘She was with the Prophet SAW, while on a journey. Aisha said, “I raced him on foot and I outran him, but when I gained some weight, I raced him again and he outran me. The Prophet said: This is for that race!” Source: Sunan Abī Dāwūd 2578. 

In another narration, Ibn Kathir said, “It was the character of the Prophet to live in a beautiful manner with his wives, being cheerful and kind to them, generously spending on them, and laughing with them.” Source: Tafsīr Ibn Kathīr 4:19.

Physical Touch 

From the tales of narrations of Aisha RA, one valuable lesson we can derive is that Prophet Muhammad SAW never hesitated to express physical affection to his wife. Aisha RA herself reported that Prophet Muhammad SAW would rest his head on her lap while she was menstruating and recite the Quran. By doing so, he SAW extended an invitation to his wife, welcoming her into his personal space and demonstrating His love. 

Aisha RA also narrated the Prophet SAW would kiss her while he was fasting. This subtle yet powerful message conveys that their love is not solely based on sexual intimacy, but rather encompasses their entire existence as husband and wife.

Act of Service 

The prophetic life was undeniably marked by a commitment to serving humanity. However, the Prophet's unwavering dedication to his wife, his attentiveness to their home, and his role as a dutiful husband stand out as the most prominent and impactful aspects of his character. Despite being a Prophet, he treated his wives with equal love and respect, setting an example for others to follow.

In a famous narration, Aisha RA was asked, ‘What did the Messenger of Allah SAW do in his house? To which she answered, “He was a human being like any other; He would clean His own garment, milk His sheep and serve Himself.” Source: Musnad Ahmad 26194.

Giving Gifts

Although there is no explicit account of Prophet Muhammad SAW showering Aisha RA with gifts, the narrative surrounding their relationship strongly suggests that he would 'share' his gifts with her. It was widely known that Aisha held a special place in the Prophet's heart and as a result, people would intentionally send gifts of food to him on the days he spent with her.

This situation caused dissatisfaction among his other wives, leading them to implore the Prophet to address the matter with the gift-givers and request that the food be sent to their homes as well. This incident served as a statement that our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW was always receptive to receiving gifts from people and had no reservations about sharing them with Aisha RA.

Find out your Love Languages here.


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