abstract flowers025As a friend of mine was setting off on a journey, she took all the necessary safety measures for her apartment. She installed secure locks as well as iron windows and then traveled to a summer resort along with her family, feeling reassured. However, when she returned home, she was shocked to find that every lightweight and precious item had been stolen. Through her tears, I only managed to understand some utterances she constantly repeated: How were they able to enter my apartment? How did they break in despite the precautions I took? What type of keys did these criminals have?

I tried comforting her and urged her to say, "Indeed we belong to Allaah, and indeed to Him we will return." I reminded her that she still has been incomparably blessed, having returned home safe and sound along with the rest of her family after her long journey. I soon left, as I supplicated to Allaah The Almighty to grant her prosperity and compensate her loss.

On my way home, I repeated the perplexing question that my friend was nearly intoning: How did the thieves unbolt the firm locks and break the iron windows? I then began to compare, in my imagination, the secure and military fortress-like home of my friend that the robbers wanted to enter, to a man's heart whose wife exerts her utmost to find her way in and reside within as a crowned queen. I asked myself if it was possible that thieves would be more skillful and successful in their mission than a loving, devoted wife. Even if we do not take into consideration her patience, endurance and hope in reward from Allaah The Almighty, could a wife who dedicates her entire life to her spouse and children not have the keys to her husband's heart? Is she like a candle, melting away as she continues to give of herself, and yet she does not truly have a place in her husband's heart, either because she does not have the keys or she lost them out of heedlessness or carelessness?

Many wives have husbands who live with them due to the ties of marriage and perhaps its intimacy, but not quite out of love and a passion that makes them unable to let go of them. Such men become used to their wives and if they ever separate, they find it easy to get over them. Their hearts are barren, the emotions are platonic; the pulse of the heart does not beat to the sound of the wife's name and there is no longing feeling that urges the husband to rush back after a long day at work, to his nest, in order to enjoy the company of his life partner.

I, as any other men and women, may deem capturing the heart of a spouse a hard and difficult task. However, by virtue of personal and vicarious experience, I can emphasize that it is easier than what we imagine. It is merely governed by the following equation:

Love + patience + perseverance = worldly bliss or reward in the Hereafter

The more long-sighted one is, the less difficult the efforts are and the more successful the attempts become. It is also no secret that showing love breeds love, affection breeds the same; and a world that has both will be one in which rivers, like honey, of happiness, stability and harmony, will flow.

Therefore, I invite every loving wife to try out the following keys to her husband's heart; you will not regret it.

- When your husband is agitated or angry, use the key of silence and a lovely smile. When he calms down, approach him affectionately, and convey your worry to him, sweetly inquiring: "O my beloved, what is wrong?"

- When he falls short in fulfilling acts of worship and you sense that he is slackening in his duties, use the key of the indirect reminder. Use sentences like:

1. "May Allaah keep you safe for me! Had it not been for your advice, I could not have constantly observed prayer during the night."

2. "I will wait for you to come back from the mosque, so we can pray the voluntary prayers together."

3. "Do you remember the reading sessions of the Quran we had during the first days of our marriage? Those were great times; but, of course, every moment with you is wonderful. May Allaah reward you the best!"

4. "Your hastening to prayer when you hear the Athaan (call to prayer) makes me feel responsible and jealous at the same time."

5. "May Allaah unite us in Paradise and grant us both sincerity and steadfastness in obedience."

- When you feel he is starting to distance himself from you, there is no better means than the key of reform that Allaah The Almighty recommended you to follow. You should show him your affection, draw closer to him, take a look at your conduct and soften your voice to him which may have become hoarse from raising your voice at the children. Adorn yourself for him and comb that beautiful hair of yours, which may be in the same hairstyle for so long, what with it being under the headscarf that you only remove at night.

- When he experiences a problem at work, you should use the key of encouragement. Boost his confidence by comforting him and truthfully declaring what you feel, like saying: "By Allaah, even if they search high and low, they will not find anyone more efficient and sincere than you. As long as you satisfy Allaah The Almighty, do not worry, for relief is always around the corner and supplication blocks disasters."

- When you are both with your children, do not forget the key of planting respect for him in your children's hearts. Let him feel that he is the core of your life. When he brings something home, thank him, no matter how small it is; show your happiness to your children, saying, "Look at what your father brought for us; may Allaah keep him alive and protect him." If any child disrespects him, you are required to reprimand and warn him against repeating his action.

- At the dinner table, you should be careful that he is the first to eat.

- When he wants to rest, you should turn the home into an oasis of calm. You may stay with your children in a separate room for that period of time and avoid loud voices or disturbing movements.

- With his family and your own, use the key of respect.

- When you are together alone, you should use the key of femininity and beauty.

- When he talks, you should inspire him using the keys of attentive listening, admiration for the good he says and support.

- During times of dispute, you should use the keys of pride in him, seeking excuses for him, expecting only good of him as well as portraying a willingness to reconcile.

If you love your husband and want to spend the rest of your life with him, you will yourself find a key for every situation and a means to open every closed door. No matter how no-nonsense or platonic your husband might be, his heart which affirmed the choice of his religion and his mind which selected you as his spouse, cannot be more fortified than the home of my friend which was even opened by thieves.

However, you are not a thief, rather you are only claiming what is rightfully yours; the heart of your husband must not logically be stolen by anyone else.

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