From Music of the Soul
by Sidi Muhammad al-Jamal ar-Rifa’i ash-Shadhili
I want to speak about the prophets and the fathers of the light and how all the prophets lived with their wives. Listen with the ear of your heart, my sons and my daughters, to hear what I say because this is a very important subject. This is from the order of God to speak to you about how to live with a husband and wife as beloveds of God.
I have given you many subjects before to help you to know yourself, to find the key to open the hidden treasure inside you. After you have walked in the way and lifted the veils of darkness to see the light of God, He brings you a step higher to see Him in the face of your beloved. The understanding of God and all that His love means to you is completed by the sharing of the deep secret love with another. It is putting the essence of all the teachings, all the books, all the sciences, and all that God has given to you into manifestation through the love you share with your beloved. Everything before has been a preparation for seeing the light of God in the eye of your beloved. You have cut through many stones in your way, for the world is full of darkness and troubles and many things have come before you. But it is necessary to erase everything and to leave your past behind, to come to your beloved with a clean heart in order to live in the heart of God. He wants to show you the true picture of Himself in the face of your beloved, and it is necessary to be careful with those whom God gives us to care about because they are really the jewel. Their hearts are pure and clean and through them you can see the true image of God. You share a love whose depths cannot be fathomed because it is the love of God. His secret is in the love. It is important for you to care for your beloved as if you were caring for God, and to speak to your beloved as if you were speaking to God. At every moment you stand facing God and God is your Beloved.
You must be polite with your beloved and give your whole self to this love. Sometimes God manifests through your beloved as the jamal (beauty), and sometimes as jelal (severity). He who cannot accept both is not in the Unity, because He is manifesting what He wants you to see of Himself. Give the love to your beloved, and it will change the darkness to the light, the jelal to a garden of love. Care for your beloved. Make each word and action contain only the love of God and His polite. Understand what God wants from you in every minute. What He wants is for you to be the father and the mother, sister and brother, wife and husband to your beloved, to be everything at any time. Do not search for your beloved in any other place because he holds all the qualities of God. And you also are the beloved of God. There is no separation between you because you both carry the soul of God. He does not make a difference between her and him, and she does not make a difference between him and her. They are one. There are no numbers in the truth. From the picture I have given you, and from the religion of your soul, the soul of God and of the guide, send mercy to your beloved because in this giving you are sending mercy for yourself.
Life in the marriage of beloveds is for each to be holy, and to care about one another. This is like a holy tree whose roots grow deep into the earth, and the earth is the heart of God. How do you nourish this tree? By giving it love and clean water; water that has been cleansed of all the troubles of this world. It is necessary for the tree to grow strong in order to give shade to all the lovers of God who are beneath it. When nourished, her roots will grow deep into the earth, becoming all the qualities of God, covering the universe with His essence. This is the Tree of Life and it is necessary for it to be nourished with the love of God. Then it will give the holiest of fruits with His permission and have the sweetest flowers, because it comes from one source.
Surround her with love and clean water. How do you do this? Be helping each other, in the way, to remove all obstacles that come before you, and letting nothing stand in the way of this love. The heart of your beloved is like a glass, and it is necessary to take care of it so that it will not break. When it breaks, you have broken yourself; you have misused its care. Then God will take you from His garden.
The heart of a beloved is a jewel, and there are responsibilities for caring for this heart. Your time together as beloveds has three parts: The first part is to yourself, the second to your wife or husband, and the third part for your children. From all this you can give to your mother, father, sisters and brothers. All of these parts are for God. If you walk straight and you give your whole self for the love of God, He will give you a life of happiness and peace. What more could you want?
The husband is like the father of all the universe but first he begins in the home. His example is like the earth which anyone can walk upon and take what they want. Its soil is the ground of love. He stands strong as the source of love and understanding in the family, and behind the strength is all the mercy of Allah. God has made him a captain of a ship to provide for the family. His wife can come to him at any time, and he gives her the love and the caring of God. He is the support and strength of the family, maintaining the home in balance.
The way of every prophet has been to help his wife, not making a difference between him and her. She is his equal. The Father of the Light, our Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and send him peace, helped his wife with everything. He cleaned, cooked, sewed, brought water from the well, coal for the fire, and played with his children at home. This was the way of every prophet.
God says, “Know that your wife is your mirror, and through her reflection you can see yourself. If she remains in your heart, you can see Me through the eye of your heart, but only if you care for this heart and send her love.”
Yes, my son, when your work is finished, and if she has not finished, it is necessary to help with what is needed. The responsibility of a husband is great. He must provide love where love is needed, and help without being asked; keep peace in the family, and know that there is no kingship in being a captain. The wife is not a servant for her husband, nor the husband for the wife – both are slaves for Allah. If God is your beloved, then you are slaves for each other. If you treat her as a jewel and appreciate everything that is done as if tie were coming from the Hand of God, then she will be happy and not turn outside. She will keep the home as a loving garden.
The wife is the mother. Not only are her family her children but all the world are her children. She is a fountain of love, showering all the world with her water. Its source is a deep spring flowing directly from God. She has the love to give without asking anything in return and without holding anything back, because her giving has no end. She knows that the caring for her family is the expression of her love for God, and anyone can come to her at any time. She gives patience and understanding without end. Her home is kept as a place of beauty, and food is prepared as if her Lord were a guest for dinner. She is the most precious of jewels; she must only open the jewel inside her. The jewel is hidden deep within the deepest valley, holding all the wisdom and the love of God. If she reaches this valley, she will know the meaning of the love she gives.
When she speaks with her husband, she must know that she is speaking with God, and that every word is a prayer. It is the same for him because everyone is the face of God. If anyone is not polite with this reflection, then he is not polite with God. If a husband feels that his home is a garden with a loving wife, then he will not turn outside; he will feel peace and happiness in his heart.
It is necessary for every child born from this holy marriage to see only light from the beginning and to grow up in a happy home full of love. Teach him the meaning of courtesy; teach him politeness towards his mother and father, and do not leave him to follow his own impulses, but guide him in everything. If he is left to follow his own impulses, he will feel the troubles of the darkness. God will ask both the parents why the child was left on his own. It is also from this message to not give the child, after he or she has grown up, to anyone who is not from the family of God. Others do not know the meaning of politeness in the same way.
In the religion of God, the woman is like a jewel, and it is necessary for the man to drink from the cup of her wine, because its essence is the deep secret of God.
My sons and daughters, if you knew what God has given to you, you would not do or say anything to break the heart of your beloved. The key to living a life with a beloved is to give each other what each other needs. I am sure that if everyone does all that I have said, he will live this day in the garden, and feel peace in any place and in any religion. This message knows no difference between people or religion. There is no life like this live because you live all the time with God, and pray all your time with God.
I send my voice to all the world and carry everyone in my heart. La ilaha ‘ilallah. (there is no God, but God).