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Ra`eesah
05-03-2005, 07:39 AM
Fundamentals Of A Happy Marriage
Shahina Siddiqui

Faith: The most basic and essential attribute of a Muslim marriage is the common faith that binds the couple.

Since Islam is a way of life and not just a religion confined to weekly worship it becomes an integral part of a Muslim’s life. The frame of reference shared by the couple eases communication and sharing of values which is not possible in an interfaith marriage. It is highly recommended that faith play an important role in the developing a loving relationship.

For example, as the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, that when a husband feeds his wife, he gets a reward for this act and Allah increases the bond of love between them. So when we love each other for the sake of Allah WE ACTUALLY INCREASE OUR FAITH.

Forgiving: When the Prophet Muhammad asked his Companions ‘do you wish that Allah should forgive you’ they said, of course O Prophet of Allah. He responded, ‘then forgive each other’.

One of the main components of a happy marriage is that the spouses are able to forgive, that they do not hold grudges or act judgmental towards each other. It is expected that when we live with someone, situations may arise when we end up saying or doing things that hurt our spouses. The challenge is not to dwell on it or lay blame but to move past it. This can only happen if we are not too proud to ask for forgiveness and we are not stingy to forgive.

If we expect Allah to forgive us than we must learn to forgive.

Forget: When we constantly remind our spouses of all the times they let us down or hurt us we have not truly forgiven. Things that happened in the past must be left there and not be used as fresh ammunition in new situations. Couples who use this technique usually fall in a rut and become victims of their own pettiness, unable to break free.

Forbearance: Sabr (patience) is the most useful tool to have in managing a healthy lifestyle. Being patient and forbearing puts us in a proactive frame of mind it brings us closer to Allah through Tawakul and reliance .We develop an inner mechanism that empowers us to handle life’s difficult moments. As Allah states in Surah al-Asr: "Surely by time humans are at loss, except those who believe and do righteous deeds and counsel each other to the truth and counsel each other to Sabr’ (Quran, chapter 103).

Flexible: Many couples unnecessarily make themselves miserable because they are unwilling to bend a little.

We should not expect our spouses to be our extensions. They are their own selves with personalities, likes and dislikes. We must respect their right to be them selves as long as it does not compromise their Deen (religion). Being inflexible and not accommodating for individual differences leads to a very stressful and tense home atmosphere.

Friendship: This aspect of marriage has three components.

First is to develop a friendship with our spouses. The relationship based on friendship is more able to withstand outside pressures.

We honor, trust, respect, accept and care for our friends, in spite of our differences. These are the aspects of friendship we should bring to our marriages.

Unfortunately the only aspect that people think of bringing to their marriage which is highly inappropriate is the buddy scenario. Shariah (Islamic law) has placed the husband in a leadership role within a family. This requires a certain decorum, which cannot be maintained if the spouses consider each other as pals.

This should not be taken to mean that husband is a dictator but a shepherd who is responsible for and to his flock. This is a position of grave responsibility and places an enormous burden on the husband. Further more the children need to see their parents as friends but not as pals as this encourages disrespect.

Friendly: Second aspect of friendship is to have friendly relations with in-laws. When couples compete as to whose parents are more important it becomes a constant source of grief. Much valuable time is wasted trying to convince, one another of whose parents are most desirable. It is better if we accept, that our spouses will not overnight fall in love with our parents just because we want them to. As long as they maintain friendly relations that are cordial and based on mutual respect we should not force the issue.

Friends: The third aspect of friendship is our circle of friends. It is okay to have individual friends of the same gender but couples must also make effort to have family friends so that they can socialize together. If there is friction being caused by a certain friendship it must not be pursued at the expense of the marriage. Prophet Muhammad advised us to choose God fearing people as friends since we tend to follow their way. Friends should be a source of joy and not mischief.

Fun: Couples that do not laugh together have to work on sharing some fun times. The Prophet was known to play with his wives. A simple walk in the park can add much spark to the relationship. Taking up a sport together or watching clean funny movies is another way of sharing a laugh.

Faithful: It is commanded by Allah that we be faithful to our spouses. Adultery is a capital crime in Islam that is punishable by death. However there are various forms of unfaithful behavior prevalent among some Muslims.

The most common form is maintaining friendships with the opposite sex over the boundaries set by Islam, and the misgivings of the spouse. The latest trend of Internet relationships is also contrary to Islamic Adab (etiquette) and is causing serious problems between couples. Once a sense of betrayal sets in, repairing that relationship is difficult. Another form of not being faithful is when couples betray confidences. This is a trust issue and one when compromised eats away at the heart of a marriage.

Fair: Usually when we are angry or displeased the tendency is to not play fair. We try to convince ourselves that since we have been wronged it is okay to be unjust in our behavior and our statements. Allah states in the Quran do not be unjust under any circumstances, even if they be your enemy, and here we are talking about our life partners and the parent of our children. To use words such as "never" and "always" when describing the behavior of the partner is unfair and puts the other on the defensive.

Finance: One of the most common points of contention in marriages is money. Experts tell us that 80 percent of marital conflicts are about money.

It is therefore highly recommended that the couple put serious time and effort in developing a financial management plan that is mutually agreeable and is reviewed every six months or so. Preparing a budget together is also a helpful and wise way to handling household finances. It should be remembered that the wife’s money in Islam is hers to do with as she pleases and therefore should not be considered family income unless she chooses to contribute it to the family

Family: Parenting can be a stressful experience if the parents are not well informed. This in turn can put extra pressure on the marriage.

Sometimes couples are naive about the changes that come in the lifestyle. This can cause in some cases depression and in some resentment and misunderstandings. One golden rule that must always be the guide is; that family comes first.

Whenever there is evidence that the family is not happy or not our first priority it is time to assemble at the kitchen table and discuss with open hearts and mind. Couples who have elderly parents have an added responsibility to take care of them. This can also be very stressful if the couple is not prepared.

A care plan must be worked out with respective siblings and parents as to who will be the primary care giver and what type of support network they will have. In case of mental incompetence a power of attorney must be in place. The making of a will is most essential .

Feelings: Prophet Muhammad stated that Allah forgives all sins if we repent but not those we have committed against others i.e. hurt their feelings unless the person we have hurt forgives first.

Couples are sometimes very careless when it comes to their spouse’s feelings, they take them for granted and assume that the other knows what they mean. It is surprising that people are more sensitive and courteous to strangers than they are to their loved ones. One must be ever vigilant and careful that they do not hurt the feelings of their spouses and if they invariably do, they should apologize as soon as possible. Since one does not know when someone they love will leave this world, is it not better to make amends when we have the time?

Freedom: Marriage in Islam is a partnership and not bondage or slavery. To consider the wife one’s property is alien to Islamic concept of husband and wife role. The team spirit is enhanced and not curtailed when members of the team are free to be themselves. Freedom in the common western since is to be free to do as one pleases or to be selfish. On the contrary, to allow freedom to one’s spouse is to be considerate of their needs and to recognize their limitations.

Flirtation: A sure way to keep romance in marriage is to flirt with your spouse. Many successful marriages have maintained a youthful demeanor in their marriages by adopting special names for each other and secret communication styles.

Frank: Misunderstandings happen when couples are not honest with each other. Marital relationship is where the partners must feel safe to speak their mind with due consideration to the other’s feeling, without compromising their own views. When the communication is not frank it hinders in the development of closeness and deep understanding of each other’s inner self.

Facilitator: When choosing our life partner, we must, as the Prophet advised, look for a pious Muslim. The reason is that their first and foremost goal is the pleasure of Allah. This commitment to Allah makes them an excellent facilitator for enhancing their partner’s spiritual development. In essence, the couple facilitates their family’s commitment to Allah and His Deen.

Flattering: Paying compliments and indulging in honest flattery is a very inexpensive way to win your spouse’s heart. Everyone likes to be appreciated and noticed. So being stingy about compliments is actually depriving oneself of being appreciated in return.

Fulfilling: To be all one can be to one’s spouse is a very fulfilling and rewarding experience. To be in love means to give one’s all. The heart does not put conditions or make stipulations. It gives without expecting anything in return, but such selfless giving is always rewarded tenfold.

Fallible: It often happens that our expectations sometimes are so high that we lose focus of the fact that we are fallible beings. When couples start to nitpick and demand the impossible they must remind themselves that only Allah is perfect.

Fondness: So many times couples fail to work on developing fondness for each other by [failing] to see their spouses as people through the eyes of their respective friends. Spending quality time alone doing and sharing activities are ways in which one can develop fondness.

Future: Smart couples plan for their future together. They work on their financial and retirement plans, make wills and discuss these plans with their children. This provides peace of mind and secures the relationship.
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Source: Sound Vision
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Sahabiyaat
05-03-2005, 07:53 AM
:applaud: very kewl.
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~Juwairiyah~
10-12-2006, 01:54 AM
:sl: wr wb,

Was reading this article online and thought i should post it here so that others can read it as well and benefit from it, and insha'Allah i hope we all do.
-------
"And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in peace and tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): Verily in that are
signs for those who reflect" (Quran 30:21).


"O Humans revere your Guardian Lord, Who created you from a single person created of like nature its mate, and from this scattered (like seeds) countless men and women. Reverence Allah through Whom you claim your
mutual rights" (Quran 4:1).


The above verses of the Quran lay out the framework as to what are the basis, the objectives and the goal of marriage in Islam. In the ultimate Wisdom of Allah we are first told that both partners man and woman are
created from the same source. That this should be paid attention to as it is one of His signs.

The fact that we come from the same soul signifies our equality as humans, when the essence of our creation is the same, the argument of who is better or greater is redundant. To stress on this fact and then to talk
about marriage in the same verse is of great significance for those of us who are in the field of marriage counseling.

The shift in this attitude of equality of genders as human beings cause a imbalance in marital relationship that leads to dysfunctional marriage. When ever one party considers themselves superior or above the
law there is a shift in the balance of power that may lead to misuse or abuse of power as the less valuable partner is seen as an easy prey. Many marital difficulties are based on or caused by control and rule stratagem.

By stressing on the equality of all humans men or women and making it the basis of marriage, Allah in His infinite wisdom has laid the ground rules for
establishing peace, as well as the assigning of different roles to husband and wife as functional strategy rather than a question of competence as
humans.

Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings be upon him) has stated that: "men and women are twin halves of each other" (Bukhari). This Hadith also brings home the fact that men and women are created from single source. Furthermore, by using the analogy of twin half the Prophet has underlined the reciprocal nature and the interdependent nature of men and women's relationship.

The objective and the goal of marriage in Islam according to the above Quranic verse is to enable us to dwell in peace and tranquility. It is important for us to reflect on these words and their significance in
the Islamic frame of reference.

In order to have peace certain condition must be met.
These prerequisites to peace are Justice, Fairness, Equity, Equality, and fulfillment of mutual rights.
Therefore any injustice whether it is oppression, or persecution, cannot be tolerated if there is to be peace in Muslim homes.

In the domestic realm oppression is manifested when the process of Shura (consultation) is compromised, neglected or ignored. When one partner (in most cases the husband) makes unilateral decisions and applies
dictatorial style of leadership, peace is compromised. Persecution is present when there is any form of domestic abuse being perpetrated.

Tranquility on the other hand is a state of being which is achieved when peace has been established.
Tranquility is compromised when there is tension, stress and anger. It is a mistake to take tranquility to mean perpetual state of bliss. Since being Muslims does not make us immune to tragedies and catastrophes.

In fact Allah tells us in the Quran that we will betried (2:155,57). What a state of tranquility does is to empower us to handle life's difficult moments with our spouses as obedient servants of Allah. Allah in His infinite Mercy also provides us with the tools by which we can achieve this state of peace and tranquility.

The second principle besides Shura on which the Islamic family life is based is Mercy (Rehma), and in this verse Allah is telling us that He has placed
mercy between spouses. We are therefore inclined by our very nature to have mercy for our spouses. Mercy is manifested through compassion, forgiveness, caring and humility.

It is obvious that these are all ingredients that make for a successful partnership. Marriage in Islam is above all a partnership based on equality of partners and specification of roles. Lack of mercy in a marriage or a family renders it in Islamic terms dysfunctional.

Allah further states that He has also placed in addition to mercy, love between spouses. It should however be noted that Islamic concept of love is different from the more commonly understood romantic love so valued in the Western cultures.

The basic difference is that love between man and woman in the Islamic context can only be realized and expressed in a legal marriage. In order to develop a healthy avenue for the expression of love between man and woman and to provide security so that such a loving relationship can flourish, it is necessary to give it the protection of Shariah (Islamic law).

Marital love in Islam inculcates the following:

Faith: The love Muslim spouses have for each other is for the sake of Allah that is to gain His pleasure. It is from Allah that we claim our mutual rights (Quran 4:1) and it is to Allah that we are accountable for our behavior as husbands and wives.

It sustains: Love is not to consume but to sustain. Allah expresses His love for us by providing sustenance. To love in Islam is to sustain our loved
one physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually, to the best of our ability (to sustain materially is the husbands duty, however if the wife
wishes she can also contribute)

Accepts: To love someone is to accept them for who they are. It is selfishness to try and mould someone as we wish them to be. True love does not attempt to crush individuality or control personal differences,
but is magnanimous and secure to accommodate differences.

Challenges: Love challenges us to be all we can, it encourages us to tap into our talents and takes pride in our achievements. To enable our loved one to realize their potential is the most rewarding experience.

Merciful: Mercy compels us to love and love compels us to have mercy. In the Islamic context the two are synonymous. The attribute Allah chose to be the supreme for Himself is that He is the most Merciful.
This attribute of Rehman (the Merciful) is mentioned 170 times in the Quran, bringing home the significance for believers to be merciful. Mercy in practical application means to have and show compassion and to
be charitable.

Forgiving: Love is never too proud to seek forgiveness or too stingy to forgive. It is willing to let go of hurt and letdowns. Forgiveness allows us the opportunity to improve and correct our selves.

Respect: To love is to respect and value the person their contributions and their opinions. Respect does not allow us to take for granted our loved ones or to ignore their input. How we interact with our spouses reflects whether we respect them or not.

Confidentiality: Trust is the most essential ingredient of love. When trust is betrayed and confidentiality compromised, love loses its soul.

Caring: Love fosters a deep fondness that dictates caring and sharing in all that we do. The needs of our loved ones take precedence over our own.

Kindness: The Seerah (biography) of our beloved Prophet is rich with examples of acts of kindness, he showed towards his family and particularly his wives. Even when his patience was tried, he was never unkind in word or deed. To love is to be kind.

Grows: Marital love is not static it grows and flourishes with each day of marital life. It requires work and commitment, and is nourished through faith when we are thankful and appreciative of Allah blessings.

Enhances: Love enhances our image and beautifies our world. It provides emotional security and physical well being.

Selflessness: Love gives unconditionally and protects dutifully.

Truthful: Love is honesty without cruelty and loyalty without compromise.

Author : Shahina Siddiqui
Source : Soundvision
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