Author: Habibi Halaqas
“Among His Signs is this that He created for you mates among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put Love and mercy between your hearts: verily in that are signs for those who reflect.”(ar-Rum-30:21)
What is Marriage?
A legal contract, a union of the heart and soul, a promise made to cherish each other come what may . A journey of partnership very dear to the traveller ready to take on the challenges ahead.
Beautiful thoughts, cherished feelings and everything perfect. This is what in my humble opinion we all feel when we enter into this holy bond of love and companionship. But gradually somewhere down the road as life takes its regular course, this relationship which should be the most important priority often takes a back seat. Of course love remains but the spark goes out. Not because we don’t care but maybe because our focus shifts to kids, work, other responsibilities etc. We sometimes look for one particular secret ingredient that will make our marriage a success. Alhamdullillah Marriage is not like a dish where one secret ingredient will enhance it. Rather it is a lifetime of sincere efforts from both sides that will help in making it a success Inshallah! Leo Tolstoy is quoted as having said “What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.”
I am no expert but based on my experience and having seen some beautiful examples of elders here are some thoughts.
1) Listen to your spouse truly and sincerely:
When we really care for someone we have to listen to what they are trying to communicate verbally as well as what is not being said. Even few minutes of effective listening make a big difference. It is like saying to your beloved – I hear you and I am interested.
2) Love, care for and respect your spouse:
Be affectionate towards your spouse. Be kind, gentle and caring.
Anas ibn Malik narrates; “I saw the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, making for her (Safiya) a kind of cushion with his cloak behind him (on his camel). He then sat beside his camel and put his knee for Safiya to put her foot on, in order to ride (on the camel).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
Both spouses should try their best to care for the others feelings and be loving towards one another. When you see good, even in small matters, appreciate it. When we take each other for granted and disregard our spouse’s feelings, we may begin to think that little gestures do not matter. But in reality they do matter, a simple thank you, I love you, a caring glance or a surprise gift could mean a lot if backed by the sincere desire to appreciate your spouse or make them feel cared for.
3) Be supportive of each other and encourage the good in one another:
Respect each other and members of the family like your in laws. Having ill feelings and showing them towards each other respective parents directly hurts your spouse and indirectly your marriage. In spite of differences, if love and respect are maintained through a spirit of being forgiving, your marriage will be strengthened and become a source of Allah’s blessings and His forgiveness of our flaws. Marriage is that balance actively created by two individuals whose focus is holding each others hand and being supportive if they stumble.
4) Honesty and trust between the spouses:
The foundation of a healthy marriage is honesty and trust between the spouses. Always be honest and truthful of our concerns and feelings towards each other. Trust is the key we should never lose and we should always have faith in our partner so that they do not have to justify every move.
Abdullah ‘Ibn Amar Ibn’ ‘Aas (radi Allahu anhu) relates that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: The whole world is a place of useful things and the best thing of this world is a virtuous women (wife).
5) Cooperate and consult with your spouse:
Big or small decisions, when you make them together and with the spouse’s approval, that will make a big difference. Unity in all decisions increases love, trust and the spirit of operating as a team. When decisions are made together, both parties are shareholders and equally likely to embrace the consequences of the outcome. Our spouse is our closest companion and as such can be the best adviser in critical matters. We should strive to complement one another, doing what each one is best at with the goal of furthering the collective objective. This includes simple matters such as helping the spouse in household matters or more involved such as financial needs and responsibilities.
Narrated Al Aswad, “I asked Aisha: What the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam used to do at home. She replied, “he used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was time for the prayer, he would get up for prayer.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
6) Abstain from negativity:
At times during an argument or disagreement, we focus on finger pointing at what the other has never done for us and sometimes even bring up past mistakes. This causes unhappiness and frustration. In an argument, if one party remains calm, restrains their anger and refrains from the desire to “win” the argument, its positive effect will immediately help the situation. Its best to return to the matter in a cool state of mind and resolve the issue at stakein logical manner and in the light of what our deen requires of us. Often arguments can be over inconsequential matters, always calmly weigh the pros and cons and then decide whether this was ever worth arguing about. Avoid ever raising your voice as this can only make matters worse.
“And be moderate in thy pace and lower thy voice; for the harshest of sounds without doubts is the braying of the donkey.” (Surah Luqman Verse 19)
7) Admit mistakes and be forgiving:
If you have made a mistake, accept it. Do not let ego get in the way.
Allah’s messenger sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Whoever has an atom’s worth of kibr (pride and arrogance) in his heart will not enter Paradise.” So a man said: What about a person who loves (i.e. takes pride in) wearing beautiful clothes and beautiful shoes? So he replied: “Indeed Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Kibr is to reject the truth, and to despise the people.” (Sahih Muslim)
Denial of error results from ego and false pride and is Shaitan’s best tool to come between couples. Have a generous attitude, be understanding of mistakes and accepting of apologies. Learn to give and not just expect. One golden rule, resolve differences before going to bed.
Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) relates that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: Let no muslim male entertain any malice against a muslim female. He may dislike one habit in her, but may find another in her which is pleasing. (Muslim)
….Where Practice Makes Perfect
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