Category Archives: Marriage

Marriage tips and marital advice in light of the Qur’an and the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The Parable of Spouses and Garments

Bismillah

Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) uses amazing parables in the Qur’an that strike fear, awe and amazement in the hearts of the believers. Throughout the Qur’an, Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) draws parables for us to convey the importance of certain topics, to extract lessons from them and so that we may ponder and reflect over them. We hear many times of the examples of the hypocrites, the mushrikeen (pagans) and the believers. But there is one parable that Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) puts forth that increases the love and mercy between a husband and wife, and this parable is one of the most eloquent and striking in the Qur’an.

Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) describes the spousal relationship in Surah Al-Baqarah, when He says:

هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ

Translation: They are your garments and you are their garments. [Surah Baqarah, verse 187]

SubhanAllah, Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) compares the relationship between a husband and wife as clothing. Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) says that both the husband and wife are “libaas”, garments, for each other. This shows the equality that Allah places between spouses and how each partner has a role in the relationship.

Remember again that Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) puts parables in the Qur’an so that we may ponder, so let’s ponder on how a spouse compares to clothes:

  1. Clothes are close to you, behind your clothes is your bare skin. A spouse is close to you in that manner, emotionally and physically.
  2. Clothes protect your skin from the outside. A husband is the maintainer of his wife and the wife protects her husband’s home and property.
  3. Clothes beautify you. A husband and wife compliment eachother, in this life and the next.
  4. Clothes are comfortable. When one is around their spouse, they feel at ease and their hearts are at rest. One can relax around their spouse and find comfort in them and their words when they are in difficulty.
  5. Clothes hide and screen you. A husband and wife should not discuss each other’s faults to the outside or complain to others about their spouse.

SubhanAllah, indeed our Lord is Ar-Ra’oof (the extremely Compassionate) for placing this tranquility between spouses. As Ibn Kathir says in his tafseer of Surah Room: If Allah had made all of Adam’s progeny male, and created the females from another kind, such as from Jinn or animals, there would never have been harmony between them and their spouses. There would have been revulsion if the spouses had been from a different kind. Out of Allah’s perfect mercy He made their wives from their own kind, and created love and kindness between them. For a man stays with a woman because he loves her, or because he feels compassion towards her if they have a child together, or because she needs him to take care of her, and so on.

Many may feel embarrassed that this verse is mentioned in the Qur’an, but subhanAllah, this is just another beautiful example which shows that our deen is truly complete and that Allah have given us guidance through His Book for every aspect of our lives, and for this we should be thankful alhamdulillah.

This parable between a spouse and a garment is one of the many parables in the Qur’an that we should ponder and reflect over, and this is from the Ultimate Wisdom and Mercy of Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) that He explains His verses and signs to us in a manner that is most fitting to our intellect.

Wa lillahil hamd.

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60 Ways to Keep Your Husband’s Love

60 Ways to Keep Your Husband’s Love
  1. Behave like a female, i.e. all the tenderness of a female–a man doesn’t want a man for his wife!
  2. Dress pleasantly/attractively. If you are a home-maker, don’t stay in your sleeping suit all day.
  3. Smell good!
  4. Don’t lay out all your problems on your husband as soon as he walks in. Give him a little mental break.
  5. Don’t keep asking him, “what are you thinking?”
  6. Stop nagging non-stop before Allah ta’ala gives you something really to complain about.
  7. Absolutely no talking about your spousal problems to anyone you meet, not even under the pretense of seeking help! If you think you want to solve legitimate marital issues, then go seek counseling with the right person who can give advice in either:
    1. Mediate any injustice done so any wrong can be corrected and the couple can reunite in harmony, or
    2. Amicable divorce
  8. Be kind to your mother-in-law the same way you would like your husband to be kind to your own mother.
  9. Learn all the rights and obligations of each other in Islam. Focus on fulfilling your obligations, not demanding your rights
  10. Race to the door when he comes home, as if you were waiting for him. Smile and hug him.
  11. Keep your house clean, at least to the level that he wants it.
  12. Compliment him on the things you know he’s not so confident about (looks, intelligence, etc.) This will build his self-esteem.
  13. Tell him he’s the best husband ever.
  14. Call his family often.
  15. Give him a simple task to do at home and then thank him when he does it. This will encourage him to do more.
  16. When he’s talking about something boring, listen and nod your head. Even ask questions to make it seem like you’re interested.
  17. Encourage him to do good deeds.
  18. If he’s in a bad mood, give him some space. He’ll get over it, inshaAllah.
  19. Thank him sincerely for providing you with food and shelter. It’s a big deal.
  20. If he’s angry with you and starts yelling, let him yell it out while you’re quiet. You will see your fight will end a lot faster. Then when he’s calm, you can tell him your side of the story and how you want him to change something.
  21. When you’re mad at him, don’t say “YOU make me furious”, rather, “This action makes me upset”. Direct your anger to the action and circumstance rather than at him.
  22. Remember that your husband has feelings, so take them into consideration.
  23. Let him chill with his friends without guilt, especially if they’re good guys. Encourage him to go out, so he doesn’t feel “cooped up” at home.
  24. If your husband is annoyed over a little thing you do (and you can control it), then stop doing it. Really.
  25. Learn how to tell him what you expect without him having to guess all the time. Learn to communicate your feelings.
  26. Don’t get mad over small things. It’s not worth it.
  27. Make jokes. If you’re not naturally funny, go on the internet and read some jokes, and then tell them to him.
  28. Tell him you’re the best wife ever and compliment yourself on certain things you know you’re good at.
  29. Learn to make his favorite dish.
  30. Don’t ever, EVER talk bad about him with friends or family unnecessarily. If they end up agreeing with you, you will see that it hits you back in the face because you get more depressed that you have a bad husband–and other people also think you have a bad husband.
  31. Use your time wisely and get things accomplished. If you’re a home-maker, take online classes and get active in your community. This will make you happy and a secondary bonus is that it impresses your husband.
  32. Do all of the above fee sabeelillah and you will see Allah put barakah in everything you do.
  33. Husband and wife should discuss and communicate with wisdom with each other to convey what they like and dislike of each other to do or not to do. Do NOT give commands or instructions like he’s your servant. “They are garment to each other” [Surah Baqarah, 2:187]
  34. Tell your husband you love him, many, many times. Aisha (رضالله عنها) narrated that the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) used to ask her how strong her love for him, she said like “a knot.” And the next time he would ask her, “How is that knot?” He also used to reply to her saying, “Jazzakillah, O Aishah, wallahi, you have not rejoiced in me as I have rejoiced in you.”
  35. Have a race with your husband and let him win, even if you are much fitter and stronger than him.
  36. Keep fit and take care of your health so you will remain a strong mother, wife, cook and housekeeper, inshaAllah you will not get FAT and frumpy.
  37. Refine and cultivate good mannerisms i.e do not whine, don’t laugh or talk too loud or walk like an elephant.
  38. Do not leave the house without his permission and certainly not without his knowledge.
  39. Make sure all his clothes are clean and pressed so he is always looking fresh and crisp.
  40. Don’t discuss important/controversial matters with him when he is tired or sleepy. Find right time for right discussion.
  41. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
  42. Always let him know that you appreciate him working and bringing home the “dough”. It makes it easier for him to go to work.
  43. Make sure you ALWAYS have something for dinner.
  44. Brush your hair, everyday.
  45. Don’t forget to do laundry.
  46. Surprise him with gifts. Even necessities, such as new shoes, can be gifts.
  47. Listen to him. (Even when he talks about extremely boring things like basketball or computers.)
  48. Try (hard as it might be) to take interest in his hobbies.
  49. Try not to go shopping too much … and spend all his money.
  50. Look attractive and be seductive towards him. Flirt with him.
  51. Learn tricks and “techniques” to please your husband in intimacy. (Of course goes both ways.)
  52. Prepare for special evenings with him with special dinner and exclusive time (no children permitted).
  53. Take care of your skin, especially your face. The face is center of attraction.
  54. If you not satisfied intimately, talk to him and tell him. Help him or provide resources, don’t wait until matters become worse.
  55. Ask Allah to strengthen and preserve the bonds of compassion and love between the two of you, every day, every prayer. Ask him to protect that bond from Shaytaan. When a lesser devil destroys the love between spouses, he is the most beloved of Shaytaan. Nothing works like du’ah, and love only exists between spouses where Allah instills it.
  56. Don’t EVER compare your husbands to other husbands! For example don’t say, “well her husband doesn’t do that, why do you …” (thats a killer!)
  57. Be happy with what you have because no one is perfect. If you want perfection, wait until you enter Jannah together inshaAllah–and of course, vice versa!
  58. Strive for Allah’s love first and foremost! if all wives try to seek Allah’s love and pleasure, surely, they can keep their husbands love too. And remember–if Allah loves you, the angels will love you, and the entire creation will love you.
  59. If you pack a lunch for your husband to take to work, from time to time sneak in a little love note or sweet poem. If he doesn’t take a lunch, leave the note somewhere else for him to find, like in his briefcase, or wallet or on the car steering-wheel
  60. Wake him up for Qiyam ul-Layl (in the last third of the night) and ask him to pray with you.

May Allah preserve all of our marriages and help us understand and implement them in and with the best of manners, ameen! InshaAllah if you know more ways, post them in the comments and share the benefit.

(For brothers, check out 60 Ways To Keep Your Wife’s Love, and the romance alive! by shaykh Ahmed Shehab)

Source (and more tips): Ways to Keep Your Husband’s Love – AlMaghrib Forums

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Ten Tips Towards Being a Successful Husband

Prophet Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said, “the best amongst you are the ones who are best to their wives.” So dear Muslim brother! Your obligations towards your wife are not limited to earning money and supporting her financially. A wife needs love from her husband, and emotional support too!

10 Tips on How to Be a Successful Husband

Note: Additions in brackets are notes from a sister.

Prepared by Muhammad Alshareef, reprinted from Islamway.com.

1) Dress Up

Dress up for your wife, look clean and smell good. When was the last time us men went shopping for designer pajamas? Just like the husband wants his wife to look nice for him, she also wants her husband to dress up for her too. Remember that Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) would always start with Miswak when returning home and always loved the sweetest smells.

(Dress up for your wife when you are at home also. Some brothers only dress up when they go out and that is not a good practice. A husband should dress up for his wife when they are at home. it makes a wife feel special.)

2) Sweet Names

Use the cutest names for your wife. Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) had nicknames for his wives, ones that they loved. Call your wife by the most beloved names to her, and avoid using names that hurt their feelings.

(Remember, you are your wife’s only boyfriend, and her only best friend. She does not go out seeking boyfriends and she shares a halal relationship with you. Love her unconditionally for the sake of Allah. And express your love to her. A woman likes to be told that she is loved. Call her from your work to make sure she is doing fine. I have seen my dad calling my mother several times a day, just to make sure she has been eating well. And my husband calls me at least twice from work to make sure I am doing well. These things are very important in a relationship.)

3) Reward Her Actions

Don’t treat her like a fly. We never think about a fly in our daily lives until it ‘bugs’ us. Similarly, a wife will do well all day – which brings no attention from the husband – until she does something to ‘bug’ him. Don’t treat her like this; recognize all the good that she does and focus on that.

(Whenever there is a fight or argument, just remember all the things she does for you. she cooks for you, she takes care of your home, she takes care of your children and the most important thing is that she guards her modesty. So do not upset her if she is upset with you. Hold her and tell her that you love her. Only your love can repel her anger. Communicate with her and discuss with her if there are any misunderstandings.)

4) Remain Silent

If you see wrong from your wife, try being silent and do not comment! This is one of the ways Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) used when he would see something inappropriate from his wives (رضالله عنهنّ). It’s a technique that few Muslim men have mastered.

(Do not criticize her all the time. Trust her and trust her decisions. If she is doing something that you don’t like, or that goes against the teachings of Islam, then do advice her gently.)

5) Smile!

Smile at your wife whenever you see her and embrace her often. Smiling is Sadaqah and your wife is not exempt from the Muslim Ummah. Imagine life with her constantly seeing you smiling. Remember also those Ahadith when Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) would kiss his wife before leaving for Salah, even if he was fasting.

(Do let your wife know that you are very happy and blessed to have her. A wife always wonder how her husband feels about her. She may have some insecurity about you, so make her feel secure. Always give her a hug whenever you come back from work. appreciate her and thank her for taking care of everything whole day. If you are not too tired, go out for star gazing for an hour or so.)

6) Acknowledge Her

Thank her for all that she does for you. Then thank her again! Take for example a dinner at your house. She makes the food, cleans the home, and a dozen other tasks to prepare. And sometimes the only acknowledgment she receives is that there needed to be more salt in the soup. Don’t let that be; thank her!

(Write thank you notes for her and place those notes in her books, her purse, her socks, and anything else that belongs to her. You can use your own creativity to thank her. You can thank her by writing something on a mirror with her lipstick, so that she can read it when she wakes up in the morning. You can also thank her by arranging a candlelight dinner AT HOME, you be the cook and let her rest. So far I have learned that a nice romantic dinner at home is much better than going out for dinner. This way a couple saves themselves from many fitnahs. You can thank her by writing her letters and emails. Remember, in Islam, everyday is special. So celebrate wife’s day with her, and do it very often without having a particular date. She will always wonder when the wife’s day is going to be.

You can also give her a certificate of appreciation, or a Best Wife Award on wife’s day. Do everything by yourself that day and let her rest, this way you will also know how difficult it could be to do household chores. Thank her by building a webpage for her, write a note there and a poem and then ask her to visit your webpage. Thank her by recording a voice message on a cd for your wife. She will love it!

Thank her by giving her a gift, and a gift does not have to be expensive. Be creative! You do not have to give her Roses, you can give her a leaf too! (My husband gave me a leaf once, instead of roses, and I was very happy and surprised, and I appreciated his creativity). So remember, thoughtful and creative gifts makes a wife feel secure and happy. Thank her by ordering a halal pizza for her, ask the restaurant to cut it in a heart shape and have it delivered with a personalized note. Thank her by thanking her in a family gathering. A woman likes it when her husband gives her attention.

If you visit her parents or your parents, hold her hands and tell your parents how happy you are after marriage. Give your wife an Islamic book as a gift after praying Tahajjud. Use your imagination and think about unique gifts. Remember, she does not need a diamond, she needs your sincerity and your heart, so always give her the gifts that are thoughtful. Whenever you do something to make her happy, observe her facial expressions and ask yourself about how you feel when you become her happiness.)

7) Ten Blessings From Allah

Ask her to write down the last ten things you did for her that made her happy. Then go and do them again. It may be hard to recognize what gives your wife pleasure. You don’t have to play a guessing game–ask her and work on repeating those things in your life.

(Also ask her to write down the things you did that she did not like, or the things you did that made her unhappy. Try to not do those things in future. If she falls ill, let her lay down, and read different surahs from Qur’an while placing your hand on her forehead. When I got sick, my husband recited Qur’an for me, it really helped a lot mashaAllah. Remember, a wife needs her husband the most when she is not feeling well. Take good care of her because a healthy wife makes a healthy family. Do not expect too much from her when she is sick.)

8) Validate her Feelings

Don’t belittle her desires. Comfort her. Sometimes the men may look down upon the requests of their wives. Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) set the example for us in an incident when Safiyyah (رضالله عنها) was crying because, as she said, he had put her on a slow camel. He wiped her tears, comforted her, and brought her the camel.

(If there is a time of sadness, give her your shoulder to cry on. Hold her and tell her that everything will be fine. Alhamdulillah, my husband and my dad are amongst those Muslim husbands who would even have tears in their eyes if their wives are sad. Remember, a woman does not like to cry alone in a corner. She needs someone to hold her when she is sad, so never let her feel lonely. Remind her the verses from Qur’an that talks about Patience and Piety.)

9) Have Fun!

Be humorous and play games with your wife. Look at how Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) would race his wife Aisha (رضالله عنها) in the desert. When was the last time we did something like that?

(A sense of humor plays a very important role in a marital relationship. Most women wish to have a husband who has a good sense of humor. Tell her decent and modest jokes that make her happy. A wife appreciates it very much if her husband makes her smile. You can play various games at home. Play with crayons, or have a pillow fight. Or hide different notes in your bedroom and ask her to find it. Think of different games you can both play. Let her win sometimes!

Adopt interesting hobbies, such as reading, cooking together and gardening (grow a surprise rose plant in your garden, when you have the first rose blooming, take her to the garden and show it to her. Newspaper and Sports Issue! Men like to watch sports, or read newspaper. Most Pakistani wives consider newspaper as their co-wives. So be very careful. If you are watching sports, turn the TV off if your wife comes around. Give her attention. Do not spend too much time reading newspaper, and do not read newspaper on the breakfast table, rather have an Islamic discussion. If you want to get her to like newspaper, then try to find something that interests her. Such as, try to find a news about Hijab. Or try to find a news about Muslim women for her.)

10) Be The Best

Always remember the words of Allah’s Messenger (صلي الله عليه وسلم): “The best of you are those who treat their families the best. And I am the best amongst you to my family.” Try to be the best! In conclusion: Never forget to make Dua to Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) to make your marriage successful. And Allah ta’ala knows best!

(And once again: your wife is your best friend, and your girlfriend. Share everything with her. Remember she is your garment and you are her garment, so hide her faults and mistakes. Learn to forgive her. Also communicate a lot with her family. It really makes a difference if husband communicates with his in laws. It helps both husband’s and wife’s family to share a beautiful relationship. Respect her parents and show your love to her family. This will inspire her to love and respect your family. If her family is not muslim, do dawah to them in a beautiful way.)

Spend lots of time praying to Allah swt. Do fast often even if it is not Ramadan. Fasting brings patience and taqwah. Lead her in the prayer. There is nothing better than praying together. Remember Allah, so that Allah remembers you.

May Allah bless us and guide us all. Ameen!

References

Alshareef, Muhammad. “[10 Tips] How to Be a Successful Husband.” IslamWay. 24 Apr. 2007 <http://english.islamway.com/bindex.php?section=article&id=103>.

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The Love of Your Life

One of the best things about Islam is that it’s a deen–a total, comprehensive, complete, and perfect way of life, and it governs every aspect of life from large-scale social phenomena (such as marriage) to the way you eat and sleep.

For people who are dating, subhanallah, they say they’re looking for that “special someone” or “the right person.” But they continue dating for 6 months, a year, two years, five years, TEN years, they have kids–they’re still just dating–and they STILL don’t know! And when someone “better” comes along, they jump ship!

But subhanallah, in our deen we have salaatul istikhaara, a prayer for indecision. Anytime you’re not sure about something, just hit up the nearest sink for wudoo’, pray two rakaahs (or omit this part, if you’re pressed for time) and ask Allah for guidance, with the du’a the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) taught us:


Dua al-Istikhara

Transliteration: Allahumma in kunta ta lamu anna (hathal-amra*) khayul-lee fi deenee wama ashi wa ajila amri wa’ajilah, faqdurhu lee, wayassirhu lee, thumma-barik lee fih. Wa’in kunta ta lamu anna (hathal-amra*) sharrul-lee fi deenee. Wama ashi. Wa ajila amri. Wa’ajilahu. Fasrifhu annee. Wasrifnee anh. Waqdur leyal-khayr haythu kan. Thumma ardini bih.

Translation: Oh Allah! I seek Your guidance by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power; I have none. And You know; I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things. Oh Allah! If in Your knowledge, this matter is good for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs, immediate and in the future, then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge, this matter is bad for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs, immediate and in the future, then turn it away from me, and turn me away from it. And ordain for me the good wherever it may be, and make me content with it. (And then mention the matter)

What could be better then this? Within five minutes, you have the ultimate answer in your hands! If this person is the best for you in this life and the best for you in the akhira–in other words, the perfect person for you, and you for them–then Allah makes it easy! And if not, then Allah makes that easy too! No worries, no stress, no long-term investment required without a full after-life guarantee!

After all, everybody wants what’s best for them. So why not ask the All-Knowing, the All-Hearing, before you make the life-long (and after-life-long) plunge? And after that, he or she is your destiny, so accept it gracefully, and be thankful to Allah for this tremendous blessing. You have achieved what millions of people–with their clubs, their bars, their blind dates, their proms, and their parties–could only dream of: a long-lasting, permanent relationship that is THE best for both of you, in both this life AND the eternal hereafter.

May Allah purify our intentions and help us to achieve this great success (ameen)! (If you ARE thinking about getting married, or are already married, read these ten tips for IMMEDIATE benefit inshaAllah to your marriage.)

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Ten Tips for a Happy and Successful Marriage

The following is some amazing nasiha adapted from an article by Dr. Aisha Hamdan (additional notes are italicized). Read it inshallah ta’ala and benefit from it. Props to The Muslimah Corner for finding it. You can find the original here.


The young and excited bride-and-groom-to-be, ecstatic about the upcoming wedding and marriage, and the joy that it will bring. Three to six months later, reality sets in, and both spouses realize that marriage is no easy task, but one that takes a great deal of effort and patience.

The following are tips for both wives and husbands, to help make the task a little less daunting, and to increase the many rewards that are possible in such a marvelous and complex relationship.

Enter the Marriage with the Right Intention and Renew this Often

Both spouses should enter the marriage with the pure intention of pleasing Allah, (سبحانه وتعالى), in order to receive His grace and blessings. The marriage itself, then, becomes an act of worship, and one for which both spouses will be rewarded. Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) will be pleased with them, and this will be the most critical element in ensuring peace, stability and happiness throughout the marital life. Realize that when an act of worship is continued over a long period of time, it becomes necessary to renew one’s intention often to remain on the correct path and to obtain the most benefit.

Remember that Your Spouse is also Your Brother or Sister in Islam

Too often Muslims treat other people outside the home with kindness and sincerity, but then behave in a very different manner when it comes to their own spouses. Muslims should always remember that one’s spouse is also another brother or sister in Islam and that the rights and duties that apply to the general brotherhood (sisterhood) of Islam, should also form the basis of the marital relationship. Obviously, a spouse has rights beyond these, but there should be a clear understanding of the rights of brotherhood (sisterhood) and adherence to these principles.

The Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said: None of you are true believers until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself. [Bukhari, 2/12] Subhanallah, how many marriages could this hadith alone save? It counters every kind of negative treatment and encourages every kind of good treatment!

Do Not Hold Unrealistic Expectations

Before marriage, people often have unrealistic ideas about their spouse-to-be, and expect perfection in all aspects. This rarely, if ever, plays out in reality, and can lead to unnecessary problems and concerns. We should recall that Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) created humans as imperfect beings, which means that many mistakes will be made throughout a lifetime. By turning the table and expecting imperfection, we will be pleasantly surprised and pleased when we discover our spouse is much more than we ever hoped for. This, in turn, leads to contentment within the marriage.

Focus on the Best in Your Spouse

Since no one is endowed with all of the best qualities, emphasis should be placed on the positive qualities that a spouse possesses. Express encouragement, praise, and gratitude on a regular basis, to strengthen these qualities and to encourage developing others. Make an attempt to overlook or ignore negative characteristics, as the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said, “A believing man should not have any malice against a believing woman. He may dislike one characteristic in her, but may find another in her which is pleasing.” [Muslim, 8/3469]

Be Your Mate’s Best Friend

Try to think of what a best friend means and be one to your spouse. This may mean sharing interests, experiences, dreams, failures and upsets. It may involve understanding a spouse’s likes and dislikes and attempting to please him or her in any way possible. A best friend is also usually someone that can be confided to trusted, and relied upon. A spouse should be the kind of friend that one would want to keep throughout life.

Spend Quality Time Together

It is not enough to share meals, chores and small talk together. Spouses should also find time to focus on strengthening the relationship. Often couples get busy with their own separate tasks and forget about working on one of the most important elements in life. Quality time may be anything from having a quiet, profound conversation to going for a nice long nature walk, to sharing a special hobby or project. Both spouses should enjoy the particular option they choose and distractions should be kept to a minimum.

The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) used to race with his wife, ‘Aisha (رضي الله عنها). Sometimes she won, and sometimes he won. Remember, he was in his fifties at the time!–how many of us think we are to “mature” to do something enjoyable that can also, with a proper intention, count as an act of worship and ring in piles of good deeds?

Express Feelings Often

This seems like a very “Western” concept and one that some people may struggle with, but it is important to be open and honest about one’s feelings, both positive and negative. The lines of communication should always be open and any concerns should be brought to the attention of the other spouse as soon as they arise. The rationale of this is that, what begins as a simple concern, may grow into a major problem if it is not addressed quickly and properly. The “silent treatment” never fixes anything in the long-term.

Admit to Mistakes and ask for Forgiveness

Just as we ask Allah to forgive us when we make mistakes, we should also ask our spouses to forgive us when we make mistakes. The stronger person is the one who can admit when he or she is wrong, request pardon from the other, and work hard to improve his/her aspects that are in need of change. When a person is unwilling to do this, there will be little growth and development in the marriage.

Never Bring Up Past Mistakes

It can be very hurting for another person to be reminded of past mistakes. In Islam, it is generally not recommended to dwell on the past. One may remember errors that were made so that they are not repeated, but this should not be done excessively. Certainly, as humans, we are not in the position to judge another person. Advice may be given, but in the proper manner and with the best of intentions and etiquettes.

Surprise Each Other at Times

This may entail bringing home a small gift or flowers, preparing a special meal, dressing up and beautifying oneself (this is not only for women), or sending a secret note in a lunch-box. A little imagination goes a long way here. The idea is to spice up the marriage and avoid getting into a dull routine that may negatively impact the marriage.

Cultivate a Sense of Humour

Joke with your spouse. This particular aspect goes a long way in preventing arguments and brightening the atmosphere of the home. Life is a constant stream of challenges and tests, and to approach it in a light-hearted manner helps make the journey smoother and more enjoyable. You may also find that your spouse enjoys this characteristic, and looks forward to spending time with you because of it.

In fact, the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) himself joked with his wives, as well as with companions (though without lying), and tolerated some companions who were known for being light-hearted and prankish.

Quick Tips for Discussions and Disagreements
  • Begin with the intention to resolve the issue. If both spouses have this intention and plan to consult together, it is more likely that there will be a successful resolution.
  • Remember that it takes two to quarrel. If only one person chooses not to argue, there will be no argument. Generally, the one who is wrong does most of the talking.
  • Both spouses should not be angry at the same time. If one of the spouses becomes upset, it is best if the other tries to remain calm and collected.
  • Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire. Of course, house fires do not occur very frequently; yelling should occur at about the same rate.
  • Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled. This is one of the worst things that can happen in a marriage and should be avoided as much as possible. This allows hurt feelings and thoughts to linger and generally exacerbates the problem.
  • If one spouse needs to win, let it be your mate. Do not focus on winning yourself; this is the main reason that discussions tend to become heated.
  • Remember your house in Paradise! The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said: I guarantee a house in the surroundings [suburbs] of Paradise for a man who avoids quarrelling even if he were in the right, a house in the middle of Paradise for a man who avoids lying even if he were joking, and a house in the upper part of Paradise for a man who made his character good. [Abu Dawud, 41/4782]

References

(1) Hamdan, Aisha. “Tips for a Happy and Successful Marriage.” Madrasa In’aamiyyah. 13 September 2006 <http://www.alinaam.org.za/library/tipsmarriage.htm>.

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A Wife

The following is a beautiful little speech by Shaykh Abdullah Adhami, entitled “A Wife”. Read it inshallah ta’ala and benefit from it. Props to Beautiful Islam for the original.


By getting married you are not just getting a wife, you are getting your whole world. From now until the rest of your days your wife will be your partner, your companion, and your best friend.She will share your moments, your days, and your years. She will share your joys and sorrows, your successes and failures, your dreams and your fears. When you are ill, she will take the best care of you; when you need help, she will do all she can for you.When you have a secret, she will keep it. When you need advice, she will give you the best advice. She will always be with you: when you wake up in the morning the first thing your eyes will see will be hers; during the day, she will be with you, if for a moment she is not with you by her physical body, she will be thinking of you, praying for you with all her heart, mind, and soul; when you go to sleep at night, the last thing your eyes will see will be her; and when you are asleep you will still see her in your dreams. In short, she will be your whole world and you will be her whole world.The best description that I personally have ever read describing the closeness of the spouses to each other is the Qur’anic verse which says: “they are your garments and you are their garments” [Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 187]1.

Indeed, spouses are like garments to each other because they provide one another with the protection, the comfort, the cover, the support, and the adornment that garments provide to humans. Just imagine a journey in the winter of Alaska without garments! Our spouses provide us with the same level of comfort, protection, cover, and support in the journey of our lives on this earth as garments would do in the Alaskan journey.The relationship between the spouses is the most amazing of all human relations: the amount of love and affection, intimacy and closeness, mercy and compassion, peace and tranquillity that fills the hearts of the spouses is simply inexplicable. The only rational explanation for these most amazing of all human feelings is that: it is an act of Allah (سبحانه وتعالى), “And Allah has made for you Mates (and Companions) of your own nature …” [Surah Al-Nahl, verse 72]1

Only our Almighty Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) in His Infinite Power, Boundless Mercy, and Great Wisdom can create and ingrain these amazing and blessed feelings in the hearts of the spouses. In fact Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) is reminding those who search for His signs in the universe that these feelings in the hearts of the spouses are among the signs that should guide humans to His existence as He says in the Qur’an, “And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquillity with them and He has put love and mercy between your hearts: verily in that are signs for those who reflect.” [Surah Al-Rum,verse 21]1

But Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) knows that the human heart is not a static entity, it is sometimes weak and at times dynamic. Feelings can and do change with time. Love may wither and fade away. The marital bond might weaken if not properly cared for. Happiness in marriage cannot be taken for granted; continuous happiness requires constant giving from both sides. For the tree of marital love to remain alive and keep growing, the soil has to be sustained, maintained, watered and nurtured.

Remember that our Prophet Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم) had found the time to go out to the desert and race with his wife Aisha (رضي الله عنها). She out ran him but later after she had gained some weight, he out ran her.

Remember that the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) took his wife to watch the young Ethiopians playing and dancing their folk dances. The show of emotions is necessary to keep the marital bond away from rusting and disintegrating.

Remember that you will be rewarded by Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) for any emotions you show to your wife as the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said “one would be rewarded for anything that he does seeking the pleasure of Allah, even the food that he puts in the mouth of his wife.”

Never underestimate the importance of seemingly little things as putting food in your wife’s mouth, opening the car’s door for her, etc. Remember that the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) used to extend his knee to his wife to assist her up to ride the camel.

Try to always find some time for both of you to pray together. Strengthening the bond between you and Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) is the best guarantee that your own marital bond would always remain strong. Having peace with Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) will always result in having more peace at home.

Remember that the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) gave glad tidings for those couples who wake up at night to pray together. The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) even urged the spouse who rises up first to wake the other spouse up even by sprinkling cold water on his/her face.

Always try your best to be good to your wife by words and by deeds. Talk to her, smile to her, seek her advice, ask for her opinion, spend quality time with her and always remember that the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said “the best of you are those who are best to their wives.”

Finally, it is common that spouses vow to love and honor their spouses until death do them part. I do believe that this vow is good or even great, but not enough! It is not enough that you love your wife. You have to love what she loves as well. Her family, her loved ones must also become your loved ones. Don’t be like my colleague who was unhappy about his wife’s parents coming to visit for few weeks. He candidly said to her “I don’t like your parents.” Naturally, she looked at him straight in the eye and said ” I don’t like yours either!” Also, it is not enough that you love her until death do you part. Love should never end and we do believe there is life after death where those who did righteousness in this world will be joined by their spouses [Surah Al-Zukhruf, verse 70]1 and offspring.

The best example in this regard is the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) whose love for Khadija, his wife of 25 years extended to include all those she loved and continued even after her death. It was many years after her death and he never forgot her and whenever a goat was slaughtered in his house he would send portions of it to Khadija’s family and friends and whenever he felt that the visitor at the door might be Khadija’s sister Hala, he would pray saying “O Allah, let it be Hala.”


References

(1) Khan, Muhsin, trans. “Quranic Realm.” Islamic Network. 12 May 2006 <http://quran.islamicnetwork.com/>.

(2) Adhami, Abdullah. “A Wife.” Beautiful Islam. 7 July 2006 <http://www.beautifulislam.net/marriage/a_wife.htm>.

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Burnt Food: An Opportunity

Common reactions among many types of people when their spouse burns their food, or forgets the salt, or oversalts, or otherwise destroys it, are statements such as “what’s wrong with you, don’t you know how to cook” and “didn’t your mother/father ever teach you anything” and so on.

Remain patient, as the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) remained when his wives cooked food he didn’t like. He sat, and said nothing at all, nor did he eat from it.

Realize the person is more important than the meal, and take the opportunity to say to yourself “You know what, this person and their feelings are more important–it’s ok, it’s just burnt food.” Positive and encouraging statements correct painlessly. Acknowledge the effort, regardless of the results.

May Allah grant us all wisdom in our da’wah and patience in our afflictions.

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The Key to Attract an Amazing Spouse

The key to attract an amazing spouse is to nurture in yourself those qualities that appeal to a person of that standard.

Many of us pine for the perfect spouse–realize he or she does not exist. Pick the best you can find, and learn to live with and cover their warts and weaknesses.

Set your criteria (based on the hadith of the Prophet, peace be upon him)–have they memorized the Qur’an? Do they speak Arabic? Do they pray Tahajjud (middle-of-the-night prayer) once a week?–then ask yourself what a person of those qualities would like in a spouse, and instill those qualities into yourself.

And always double-check your intention to make sure your actions are to please Allah alone.

When you succeed, bi ithnillah, they will seek you out.

May Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) make us all among those who uphold the deen to the highest standard and take it to new heights.

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