‘Amr bin Hujr Kindi had sent a proposal to ‘Auf bin Muhallam Shaibaanee asking for the hand of his daughter, Ummu Iyaas, in marriage. On receiving the proposal, the father of Ummu Iyaas, ‘Auf, decided to accept it.
When the night arrived for Ummu Iyaas to leave her parents’ home and depart for the home of her husband, her mother came to her and said, “O my beloved daughter! You are about to leave the home in which you were born and the ‘nest’ which you have now outgrown. You are going to live with a man whom you do not know and a companion with whom you are unfamiliar. You should therefore become his slave girl so that he will, in turn, become your slave. Pay special attention to the following ten aspects as you will find them to be a great resource in assisting you to enjoy a happy marriage:
1. Contentment i.e. express happiness and appreciation for whatever he provides you with and do not complain.
2. Listen carefully and attentively when he speaks and obey his wishes.
3. Be particular regarding your appearance i.e. he should never see you in a state which is unappealing and unattractive.
4. Be particular regarding your body odour i.e. he should never smell anything but the best of perfumes and fragrances emanating from your body.
5. Ensure that you feed him his meals on time as the pangs of hunger serve to ignite the flames of the temper.
6. Ensure that you allow him to sleep on time as sleep deprivation and fatigue cause irritability and anger.
7. Safeguard his wealth.
8. Be thoughtful and considerate when dealing with his family and servants.
9. Do not go against his wishes and instructions for if you do that, you will upset him. Also do not reveal to anyone that which he expects you to keep a secret. If you betray his confidence, you will have to fear that he will betray you as well.
10. Beware! Beware ever expressing happiness before him when he is overcome by grief and despair (you should rather share in his grief and thus lessen his burden) and also beware expressing grief in his presence when he is happy (as this will sour his mood and dampen his spirits).
Ummu Iyaas took her mother’s advice to heart and thus had such a prosperous and blessed marriage, that she bore her husband a son, Haarith bin ‘Amr, who was the grandfather of Imru’ul Qays, the renowned poet. (Al-Mustatraf vol. 2 pg. 344)