By Khadijah Stott-Andrew
When beginning the journey of marriage, it is imperative to seek advice from appropriate sources. Signing the marriage contract is the beginning of a journey, make of it what you will. It can be approached with determination, patience and enthusiasm, or eyes and minds may be closed to the mountains of assistance available. The Nikah is not a qualification for the expertise of marriage; therefore, it is each individual’s responsibility to equip their mind with much-needed knowledge to face this magnificent chapter in their lives. There are a number of easily accessible texts designed to aid both spouses through the inevitable trials of married life.
The Muslim Family Series – Muhammad al-Jibaly
For most, this series needs little introduction. A standard resource for any couple, ‘The Muslim Family Series’ includes four titles:
• The Quest for Love and Mercy – Regulations for Marriage & Wedding in Islam
• Closer than a Garment – Marital Intimacy According to the Pure Sunnah
• The Fragile Vessels – Rights and Obligations Between the Spouses in Islam
• Our Precious Sprouts – Islamic Regulations For Newborns
These comprehensive titles provide guidance and regulation on the main aspects of married life, starting with the search for a spouse, and appropriately concluding with the details surrounding the blessed arrival of children.
The Quest for Love and Mercy
An indispensable tool when embarking upon your wedding preparations, ‘The Quest for Love and Mercy’ provides the modes of practice for the search, the wedding contract, the Nikah and the Walimah. Well referenced with authentic ahadith and ayat, each section compliments the knowledge required to plan a wedding as a most blessed and halal affair.
Closer than A Garment
Following the wedding jubilations, the concern regarding the wedding night, and any night following, is addressed. All regulations and etiquettes of sexual relations are divulged in strict accordance with the Qur’an and Sunnah. For both the nervous bride and the apprehensive groom, this book handles any pressing questions they may have with the utmost sensitivity and sensibility.
The Fragile Vessels
This penultimate instalment is vital as the marital journey develops into the daunting phase of everyday life. ‘The Fragile Vessels’ journeys though the rights and responsibilities of both spouses, again, thoroughly supported by the Qur’an and Sunnah. Using the beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Mothers of the Believers as impeccable examples, every married couple can aspire towards these inspirational role models.
Our Precious Sprouts
Finally, the arrival of children in a marriage brings with it a fresh tidal wave of concerns and questions. With the best intentions regarding their bundles of joy, parents search frantically for the right decision regarding inevitable situations they face during this miraculous time. ‘The Muslim Family Series’ completes its set with a concluding volume, guiding parents through the stages of the birth of their child and into youth. ‘Our Precious sprouts’ is filled with the permissibilities and prohibitions surrounding such an arrival, along with advice for protecting the innocence of the child from the influences of Shaytaan and the harmful effects of Jinn. A must-read for any father, as well as mother, as a lot of actions following the birth, such as the aqeeqah arrangements, lie with the head of the household.
The Muslim Marriage Guide – Ruqayyah Waris Maqsood
Any couple will confirm that there is more to marriage than the rules and regulations, the rights and responsibilities. This book takes its view beyond the rules and discusses the realities of marriage and all the emotions it encompasses. Drawing on situations from her marriage, Ruqayyah Maqsood places marital life in a human, rather than legal, light. She provides insight into the ingredients of a happy marriage, instances from the life of the Prophet (pbuh) and his wives, and valuable advice regarding the differences that naturally exist between spouses. In addition, Ruqayyah Maqsood completes this work with the taboo, but most central topic of sex, and some problems that may arise. Using the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as the epitome of a flawless husband and the wisdom of the Qur’an as inspiration, ‘The Muslim Marriage Guide’ is a precious resource for newly-married and long-term couples alike.
The Prophet Muhammad [pbuh]: The Best of All Husbands – Dr. Ghazi al-Shammari
This book is truly an inspirational joy to read; containing instrumental pieces of advice for husbands and delightful encouragement for wives. ‘The Best of All Husbands’ is filled with heart-warming narrations depicting the admirable qualities the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) displayed when interacting with and caring for his wives. From patience to devotion, the Prophet (pbuh) is the perfect example of the much-searched-for ‘Mr Right’, as he used complete justice and compassion in order to please his wives and manage a content household. This book delivers a beautiful perception into the private life of the ultimate example for all mankind.