I love old black-and-white photos. I have a stash of them, salvaged from an old filing cabinet in my mum's house. Some of them go back 50 years or more and the images are still so clear and well-defined, unlike early colour photographs of the mid-seventies. Somehow the memories that the black-and-whites evoke are also clearer, each event played back as if it took place not that very long ago.
One picture I love though is one I have absolutely no memory of, and I'm absolutely sure I wasn't even born when it was taken. It's of my mum and dad presumably a few years into their marriage
Since in those days only special events warranted a photo-shoot, I guess this was taken to commemorate some upcoming challenges that they had to face. To me what shows out in this picture mainly is their air of quiet confidence. And the love and togetherness. In fact they were together through thick and thin... and nine children, until dad passed away a year shy of their 50th wedding anniversary.
Is there a secret to the strength of marriages of old - the weddings would most often have been between very young ladies not out of their teens with young men barely out of them. Or was it that they understood better the language of love, as the Sheikh who wrote the article below puts it.
Anyway, thought I'd share the piece.
Love has many languages. By this, we mean that there are different ways that people express love and recognize it. Many times, the way that a person expresses love is not the same way that their partner wants to hear it.
Imagine, if you will, two people who are speaking different languages to one another – say, Chinese and Swahili. Even though one of them might be saying ‘I love you’ in her language, the other person simply has no clue that this is a message of love. They are not communicating in the same wavelength.
Many times, a person feels unloved by his or her spouse because the expected language to hear that love never materializes. Yet, if the spouse were asked about his or her feelings, it would become clear that true love does actually exist. It’s just a matter of not communicating the feeling of love properly to the other party.
For example, some people express their love by wanting to spend quality time with their beloved. This is generally more common amongst women. If a wife does not get to spend quality time with her husband, she might feel unloved, even if he is showing his love to her in other ways (by spending his money on her, for example). On the other hand, other people express love by physical acts, such as kissing and sexual activity. This is more common amongst men. When a man regularly approaches his wife, he is showing that he loves her. Yet, the wife is not ‘hearing’ this love because in her vocabulary, love must be expressed in a different language – that of time. Unless and until she sees this aspect, she will find it difficult to understand that her husband loves her.
Another language of love is helping the one whom you love. A wife might show her love for her husband by taking care of his daily needs and household chores. But it is possible that the husband does not hear this love, because he is not tuned into this language! Rather, he might be expecting it in different ways. Therefore, all of the acts of devotion and dedication that the wife shows to her husband are simply ‘tuned out’, like a foreign language, because that is not what he wants to hear to confirm his wife’s love for him.
By understanding the different ways that people show love, each spouse can better appreciate the languages of love that his or her spouse speaks. Many people unknowingly speak more than one language of love – however, until the other partner learns to listen to and recognize that language, all of these beautiful expressions of love will be lost and evaporate into thin air.
In the online seminar, Halal Intimacy: Practical Steps To A Blissful Marriage, we will be discussing the different languages of love in more detail insha Allah.
Jazakum Allah khayr!Yasir Qadhi
The language of love is not quite black and white...