One of his statements that would be cited by many later Muslims was the following hadith (saying of the Prophet Muhammad):

Three things from this world of yours
have been made lovely to me:
but that which brings delight to my eyes
is prayer.

"Here perfume may be taken as an appreciation of all that is natural and beautiful — indeed, the entirety of the natural cosmos. Women are the connection, the linchpin, between the natural realm of beauty and the spiritual domain. Later Muslim mystics, such as the thirteenth-century Ibn 'Arabi, interpreted this saying of Muhammad's to mean that the spiritual and the sacred ('prayer') enter this world ('perfume') through women."

Omid Safi, Muhammad , Memories of Muhammad by Omid Safi