There are no perfect wives and no perfect husbands. But if you keep believing and investing in each other, there will be plenty of perfect moments in your marriage.
Always remember, support, respect and help each other.
Maulana Imtiyaz Sidat
There are no perfect wives and no perfect husbands. But if you keep believing and investing in each other, there will be plenty of perfect moments in your marriage.
Always remember, support, respect and help each other.
Maulana Imtiyaz Sidat
“Our Lord! Grant that our spouses and our offspring be a comfort to our eyes, and give us the grace to lead those who are conscious of You” (Furqaan 74).
Q: Every human being by nature has an instinct to dispute. This instinct becomes more manifest between the husband and wife, thus leading to marital disputes. How can this instinct be controlled?
A. Consider the following ten points to control the instinct of dispute and maintain a happy marriage.
1. Fear Allah: It was the noble practice of Nabi salallahu alayhi wasallam to conscientise the spouses about the fear for Allah before performing a Nikah by reciting the verses (Nisa v14, Ahzab v69, Aali-Imraan v101) from the Quraan. All the verses are common in the message of Taqwa (fear of Allah). The spouses will be first committed to Allah before being committed to their partner. There can be no doubt in the success of a marriage governed by the fear of Allah.
2. Never be angry at the same time: Anger is the root cause for all marital disputes. One Sahabi came to Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam and sought some advice. Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam replied, control your anger. The same advice was rendered three times. (Mishkaat pg.433; HM Saeed)
3. If one has to win an argument, let it be the other: Nabi salallahu alayhi wasallam said: “Whoever discards an argument despite being correct shall earn a palace in the centre of Jannah. (Ibid pg.412)
4. Never shout at each other unless the house is on fire: Luqman (AS) while offering advice to his son said: ” and lower your voice for verily the most disliked voice is that of a donkey”. (Surah Luqman v19)
5. If you have to criticize, do it lovingly: Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam said, ‘A Mu’ min is a mirror for a Mu’min.’ (Abu Dawud vol.2 pg.325; Imdadiyah) Advise with dignity and silently.
6. Never bring up mistakes of the past: Nabi salallahu alayhi wasallam said: “Whoever conceals the faults of others, Allah shall conceal his faults on the day of Qiyaamah.” (Mishkaat pg.429; HM Saeed)
7. Neglect the whole world rather than your marriage partner:Nabi salallahu alayhi wasallam confirmed the advice of Salman to Abu-Darda [RA] for neglecting his wife. “Verily there is a right of your wife over you.” (Nasai Hadith2391)
8. Never sleep with an argument unsettled: Abu Bakr radiallahu anhu resolved his dispute with his wife over-feeding the guests before going to bed. (Bukhari Hadith 602)
9. At least, once everyday, express your gratitude to your partner: Nabi [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] said, ‘Whoever does not show gratitude to the people has not shown gratitude to Allah.’ (Abu Dawud pg.662; Karachi)
10. When you have done something wrong, be ready to admit it and ask for forgiveness: Nabi [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] said, ‘All the sons of Aadam commit error, and the best of those who err are those who seek forgiveness.’ (Tirmidhi Hadith 2499)
by Mufti Ebrahim Desai
“Among His signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves, in order to have tranquillity with them and He put love and mercy between your (hearts) : verily in that are signs for those who reflect.”
Quran Ar-Rum [30:21]
An extract from Az-Zaujus Salih (The Pious Husband) by Mujlisul Ulama of South Africa
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “The noblest of you are those who are the noblest to their families…”
“Verily, among the most perfect Believers in Iman are those who are best in character and kindest to their wives.”
Even lifting a morsel of food to the mouth of the wife has been given the significance of ibadat. It is an act of love by which the husband derives thawab (reward in the Hereafter).
It was part of the Uswah Hasanah (Noble character) of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم to engage in light hearted talk with his wives. Hadhrat Abu Hurairah رضى الله تعالى عنه said:
Allah loves a man who caresses his wife. Both of them are awarded thawab because of this loving attitude and their rizq (earning) is increased.”
A man is rewarded for even a drink of water he presents to his wife. According to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم the mercy of Allah Ta’ala cascades on a couple when the husband glances at his wife with love and pleasure and she returns his glance with love and pleasure.
When a husband clasps the hand of his wife with love their sins fall from the gaps between their clasped fingers. Even mutual love between husband and wives serve as a kaffara (expiation) for sins. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
“When a man enters his home cheerfully, Allah creates, as a result of his happy attitude, an angel who engages in istighfar (prayers of forgiveness) on behalf of the man until the day of Qiyamah.”
May Allah give us the ability to act upon the above, ameen.
Al-Mar’atus Salihah (The Pious Wife) is also published by Mujlisul Ulama, both books can be found in the English language and have been described as the islamic prescription for a happy and successful marriage, the blessings and rewards of which extend into even the Hereafter.
By Mufti Abdur Rahman ibn Yusuf Mangera
In the name of Allah, the Inspirer of truth.
In life, it is quite natural that things don’t always necessarily go the way we want them to. Life is full of difficulties, challenges and obstacles. What defines whether a person will be successful in this life is the knowledge of how to deal with these problems in a correct and wise way. This is what our religion teaches us – belief in Allah and the firm acceptance that He is our Lord and Sustainer helps us to rise above our self-centred natures as we have a higher authority to invoke, to please, to seek support from and from whom we receive rewards in this life and the next. A believer’s trust in Allah makes him understand that despite all the apparent negativities that may surround him at any point in his life, if he continues to do the right thing in the right way, that is according to deen, then Allah will help him and guide him towards a better end, as Allah is the Wise, the All-knowing.
Complaining about our spouses
Many of us may have witnessed within our own family or elsewhere a married couple experiencing problems with each other – a few months into the marriage when the romantic period, where everything seemed to smell of roses, is gone, the defects of the spouse begin to become apparent. Each begins to see shortcomings in the other that they hadn’t noticed thus far and may even begin to regret having married his/her partner. So the first thing they do, particularly so for women, is that they call their mother. Mothers will quite naturally be partial to their own son or daughter. This is the reality and mothers are not to be blamed for that, it’s just the way they are (and may Allah bless them for it as the positive aspect of this is truly beneficial for us). Even supposedly ‘tough’ fathers are sometimes guilty of this favouritism too!
In a related story, it is mentioned that there was a woman who called her mother every single time she had a problem with her husband. While her mother would normally listen to her complaints and both would engage in a back-biting session, on one occasion the woman was surprised to hear a different answer from her mother. She asked her: “Have you prayed to Allah first to resolve your matter?” The daughter was very surprised as her mother had never asked anything like this before. She continued: “Look my girl. I love you a lot, but I think it’s unfair for us to keep talking about your husband like this.” The daughter was dumbstruck. She was completely caught by surprise by the response, because this was the same mother who had always listened attentively to her and supported her, who would suggest retorts to the husband and who had blindly taken her side in every situation. Surprising as it may have been to the daughter, the mother had become aware of the fact that supporting her daughter in back-biting the son-in-law was not helping the situation in any way. The mother then explained: “You and your husband have a very special relationship, which I don’t have with your husband. Whatever happens between the two of you, it’s much easier for you to resolve it amongst yourselves, to overlook and to be patient and forgive each other. I’m looking at the situation as a third party, with emotional attachments to you alone and not to him, so I don’t want you to call me anymore about this problem.” The words of the mother hit home and the daughter understood that it was her own responsibility to deal with her issues. Soon Allah most High gave her the wisdom to approach them herself and the problems were soon resolved between husband and wife. This mother had some wisdom in what she said to her daughter. Many parents are not like this and will continue to carelessly engage in back-biting to support their children. If our parents speak ill of our spouses, even if they are perfect for us, we will also inevitably begin to think ill of them. Although it is very difficult, we must be able to politely tell our parents that what they expect and what we expect from our spouses may not be the same thing and that nothing more needs to be said.
Another common problem between spouses that can be extremely detrimental for relationships is the concept of ‘emotional blackmail’. When tensions rise, the husband can be quick to say, “I’ll divorce you!” and the wife may be even quicker to respond, “Give me a divorce then! If you don’t like me, why don’t you really do it?” Although in most cases they don’t really mean what they are saying at all, but are simply in a state of heightened emotion and getting carried away, spouses may say things like this to each other. In some extreme cases, these sorts of outbursts even lead to actual divorces, despite the fact that they didn’t really mean any of it when the argument started. We must understand that the words we utter from our mouths can have a significant impact on our lives, whether we consider them seriously or not. So important an issue is the impact of words that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to change the names of people who had names carrying bad meanings, replacing them with pleasant ones. On one such occasion he came across a man who was called Hazn, meaning ‘the aggrieved one’, and so changed his name to Sahl, meaning ‘easy-going’.
Just as names and the words we utter have an impact on us, so too must we realise that if we keep saying bad things to each other, whether we actually mean them or not, then Shaytan will seize that opportunity to create discord between two people, especially spouses. Sometimes people are simply not in the right state of mind to consider things calmly: the husband may have had a rough day at work, struggled through terrible traffic and when he arrives home he may be stressed, hungry, tired and frustrated. Similarly, the wife may have had a particularly tiring day at home, with the children playing up or just feeling the mental drain of no adult company all day. So in those moments it is especially important to reflect on how we should greet each other, what we say to each other and the way we say it as well.
We must be able to admit that we all make mistakes and sometimes behave with each other in ways we shouldn’t. But even when we realise that we have made a mistake in our behaviour, our arrogance keeps us from going to our partner and saying salaam, from making peace. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “The one who says salaam first, is free from arrogance” (Bayhaqi). This arrogance is the very thing that keeps us from reconciling – we carry a false notion that if we admit our own fault, our spouse will always try to take advantage over us. In reality, admitting the mistake to the wife or husband will most likely make love increase. The practice of admitting mistakes and reconciling with our partner will increase the probability that they will also return the favour when a mistake is made by him or her. Saying kind words, bringing gifts, being the first one to say salaam, asking about how each other’s days have been and overall trying to make the other understand that we really care; these are the things that ‘score points’ with our spouse. We have to make an active effort to do these kinds of things and we must be aware of what our spouses need. Men and women are not the same and will appreciate different things. Women may feel cared for through gifts while a man presented with the same gift would find it an insult to his manhood! A man may simply crave his wife’s womanly attention and care. At the end of the day, the more points a couple can score with each other the happier and more romantic their relationship will be.
Many men think that as soon as children arrive they become more important than their wives. In the example of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and the Companions, the focus of love is on the relationship between spouses, not between parents and children. The parent-child relationship should be more focussed on tarbiya, that is bringing up children with sound moral and social values. Researchers are now saying that the wife should have more priority in the eyes of her husband than the children, due to the fact that a happy and loving relationship between husband and wife in a family means they are more likely to be on the same page when it comes to this tarbiya and raising their children. Otherwise, if there is a dispute between the two of them, it is sadly often seen that out of spite for the other the wife or husband will sometimes allow the children to do things that the other one doesn’t approve of! Thus the children become tools by which the spouses poke at each other in their dispute. It can easily be seen the kinds of values these children will grow up with. If the husband and wife both make each other their first priority, these issues should not arise and they are more likely to have a healthier and happier household.
Dealing with differences
As human beings we are all created with unique personalities, and thus it is expected that our mentalities will not always be on the same wavelength as our partners’. As time goes on and the marital relationship becomes more mature, the husband and wife may both come across many issues on which they don’t think the same way and this is perfectly normal! These differences shouldn’t have to cause any problems in the marriage unless the husband or the wife, or both, state blatantly that they are not on the same page. Such a statement can generally prove to be very detrimental as it indicates to the other person that “we are different” or “we should not be together.” In cases of difference in opinion, being outspoken without considering the emotions of the other can be extremely detrimental to the relationship. Instead, both should assess the situation and try to find out what makes his or her partner think differently and thus come to a compromising middle point.
From the very initial stages of marriage we should always be considering these sorts of issues to allow us to build a good relationship in the long run. Rather than allowing anything to escape our lips in a fit of rage, we should consider the implications that our words will carry in the future and how these words will impact the relationship. It’s unfortunate that so many couples have overlooked these problems and year after year they have had to endure a terrible relationship with their partner. It may come to a point where they completely give up hope on making things better and learn to live in dispute forever! Imagine the message that this gives to the children of such a family. Children will learn the secrets to living a happy life from their parents. Where else will they learn it from? All that is shown on television are the sensationalist dramas that represent to them the worst kinds of family disputes: disloyalty, unfaithfulness, infidelity, abuse. These are what make the TV shows juicy but sadly they are only reflections of what a child may be seeing in their own household between their very own parents.
At this point, whether our marriage is in its early stages or further ahead down the line, we must understand that having problems in a relationship is normal but we must not let it stay in that state for long – active steps must be taken to make our relationships better. The first thing one can do is to contact someone who can help. It doesn’t matter if it has already been 20 years. This someone can be an Islamic scholar with whom you have a good relationship and you have confidence in the soundness of his Islamic knowledge and practice; it can be an uncle or an aunt who understands you and can give good advice; or it can even be a dear friend. This is where good social relationships can come to our assistance. Identify the cause of the problem and ask someone to help in solving it. These problems may sometimes be caused by certain personality traits, or a specific issue such as jealousy, arrogance, or lust for certain haram things etc. There are specific adhkar and other a’mal that can help in such cases and help us to get rid of these problems. The key here is making the intention to seek out our own flaws, find solutions for them and then to take proper actions. If a doctor gives us medicine for a problem that we’ve had for a long time, then we must expect to spend some time and effort to follow the prescription of the doctor properly to get rid of the long-standing disease. Similarly, when an Islamic Scholar, a Shaykh, gives us a spiritual prescription to solve the issues in our family life that we may have had for years, we also must be careful and diligent and expect to spend some time in following those guidelines to rid us of our problem.
Our deen is an all-encompassing lifestyle. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) dealt with all of these kinds of issues and has left a perfect example for us to follow. We should never hesitate to ask for help and guidance from others and must make continuous and abundant du’a to Allah most High. We should establish relationships with the respected ‘ulama, so that we can turn to them when we need assistance. Good relationships with family and friends are extremely beneficial for helping to resolve household disputes should they arise, so we should always maintain good ties with the people around us. Islam is a social religion and we are social beings —we have not been enjoined with hermitic life, or with an existence living alone, angry with everyone else. It is mentioned in a hadith that the believer is a place of affection: there is no good in the one who is not affectionate and interacting well with others and people do not interact well with him (see Musnad Ahmad). Thus good social interaction can take us to great heights. We must commit to identify the root of the problems we face in our relationships, seeking help from Allah. We should act upon wise counsel with determination and strive to build a strong relationship with our spouse which inshaAllah will in turn ensure the sound upbringing and nurturing of our children.
Transcribed by Mohammad Asif ul Haq
Edited by Mirina Paananen
Since marital love is prone to sickness and even death, it is imperative for couples to constantly work to revitalize and preserve it.
Husbands and wives must do the following:
1. They have to get in the habit of saying things that are positive, like offering compliments and like making little prayers for each other.
A husband could say to his wife: “If I were sent back to the days of my youth, I would not choose for a wife anyone besides you.” Of course, the wife can easily say something similar to her husband.
Affectionate words have an effect, especially on women. They have, indeed, often been the weapons used by unscrupulous men to gain access to what is not theirs.
Sweet words arouse a woman’s heart. A husband should take care to say them to his wife before someone else does.
2. Husbands and wives have to get into the habit of doing those little things that mean so much. If a man comes home to find his wife asleep, he can cover her and tuck her into bed.
A husband can give his wife a call from work just to say hello and to let her know that he is thinking about her.
If a wife finds that her husband has fallen asleep, she can give him a little kiss on the forehead, even if she thinks that he will not be aware of it. Indeed, on some level his senses are working even though he is asleep and he may very well be aware of it.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) emphasized the value of these little things, “…even the morsel of food that you place in your wife’s mouth…” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]
It may very well be that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was alluding to the expenditure of a man for his wife’s needs. Nonetheless, the Prophet (peace be upon him) chose to express it in the way he did for a reason. Most importantly, this is the way the Prophet peace be upon him) conducted himself with his family.
This type of behavior is governed by the tastes of the people involved. It may take some getting used to, but it really does not take a lot of effort.
A person who is not accustomed to such things may feel embarrassed just hearing about them and may prefer to leave matters the way they are rather than try to change his behavior and do things that he might see as ridiculous.
Still, we must be willing introduce new habits into our lives if we do not want our problems to go on forever.
3. The husband and wife must set aside time to talk to each other. They should talk about the past; reminisce about the good times. Talking about them keeps them fresh in our minds as if they had happened only yesterday. They should talk about the future and share their hopes and their plans. They should also talk about the present, both the good and bad of it, and discuss different ways to solve their problems.
4. Keeping close physical contact is good for the relationship. This is not just for times of intimacy, but at all times, like when sitting in the lounge or walking down the street. This is regardless of the fact that there are still men in our society who are ashamed to have people see them walking in public with their wives at their sides.
5. Emotional support should be guaranteed whenever it is required. When the wife is pregnant or on her monthly period, she may need her husband to lend her a little moral support. He should take her mental state into consideration. Medical experts attest to the fact that when women go through pregnancy, menstruation, or postpartum bleeding, they suffer from psychological stress that can aversely affect their behavior. It is at times like these that a woman needs her husband’s support. She needs him to let her know how much she means to him and how much he needs her in his life.
Likewise, the husband might fall ill or come under a lot of difficulties. The wife must take these things into consideration. If people want their relationship to last, they must let each other feel that support.
6. There have to be some material expressions of love. Gifts should be given, sometimes without there being any occasion for it, since a pleasant surprise is always welcome. A good gift is one that expresses feelings of affection. It does not have to be expensive, but it has to be appropriate for the other’s tastes and personality; something that will be cherished.
7. The husband and wife have to learn how to be more tolerant of each other and overlook one another’s shortcomings. It should become a habit to forget about the little mistakes of daily life and not even bring them up. Silence in these trivialities is a sign of noble character.
A woman said to Aishah: “When my husband comes home, he becomes like a cat. When he goes out, he becomes like a lion. He does not ask about what might have happened.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]
Ibn Hajar explains her words as follows:
They might mean that he is very generous and tolerant. He does no make a big fuss about what goes missing of his wealth. If he brings something for the house, he dies not enquire about it later on. He does not make an issue of the shortcomings that he might see at home but instead is clement and tolerant.
It is wrong to go overboard in considering the faults of others but when it comes to ourselves, keep a running account of all our good qualities.
There is a tradition that goes: “One of you sees the dust in his brother’s eyes and forgets about the dirt in his own.”
8. A husband and wife must come to an understanding when it comes to matters of mutual concern, like the raising of children, work, travel, expenses, and problems that might pose a threat to the marital relationship.
9. Husbands and wives need to do things to liven up their relationship. Each one of them can read a book or listen to a cassette that might give them some ideas on how they can revitalize their marital life and bring more meaning to it. They can vary their habits when it comes to relaxing together, dining, taking refreshments, decorating their home, and in relating to each other both openly and intimately. These are the things that keep up the excitement and interest in a relationship.
10. The relationship must be protected from negative influences that can harm it. One of the worst of these is the habit of comparing one’s spouse to others. Many men tend to compare their wives to those of other men. Some even compare them with the faces they see in magazines and on television. Women also compare their husbands with other women’s husbands in things like wealth, looks, and how many times he takes her out. All of this makes people feel bad and insufficient and it can ruin the marital relationship.
If we must compare ourselves to others, we should do so with those who have less going for them than ourselves. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Look towards those who are beneath you and do not look towards those who are above you. This is better so that you do not belittle Allah’s blessings.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]
We must accustom ourselves to living in the real world and to finding contentment in what Allah has decreed for us. We should not look longingly at what others have been given. Whatever little that we have will be a lot if we utilize it well.
It is quite possible that many who speak about their marital bliss and go on boasting about their husbands and wives are untruthful in what they say. They just like to brag.
The grass often does seem greener on the other side, but only because we are not looking at it up close.
By Salmaan ibn Fahd al-‘Awdah