For Ever After
In all societies and at all times marriage has been considered an occssion for great joy
. The word most used with "wedding" is "celebration." In fiction, which reflects our inner desires, they "lived happily ever after." Obviously seeking success in marriage has been a pre-occupation of all societies.
Islamic prescription for success in married life is based on taqwa, fear and consciousness of Allah.
Taqwa -- the basis for all aspects of Islamic life -- is especialy relevant to the household. That is why Sura Nisa, where many commands regarding rights and responsibilities of spouses are given, begins with repeated reminders of taqwa.
One's rights are other's responsibilities. A Muslim husband and wife will be concerned with discharging their duties toward each other.
Not a very atractive prospect for those itching to start a fight for rights. But it provides for a home that is a model of peace, love and harmony.
Husband is the head of the household. He is responsible for handling all outside affairs and providing finances, protection, and over all direction. Wife is his assistant in the home, responsible for taking care of the home and the children.
A problem may still arise between the husband and wife. No two human beings can always meet the expectations of the other. Human beings are niether perfect nor perfectly matched. What is husband to do if he sees something in his wife that he does not like? Unless the issue of concern is an unacceptable behaviour according to Shariah -- in which case he should use appropriate pursuasion to change it -- the husband is asked to ignore the negative and focus on the positive.
"No believing man should totally detest a believing woman [who is his wife]. If he dislikes something in her, there would be something else in her that he would like." [Muslim].
The success of our married life depends upon His mercy and not on our power or ability to fight or manipulate.
This search for His mercy brings the best in ourselves. As one hadith says: "When a husband and wife look at each other with love, Allah looks at both of them with mercy." And that is the real secret to the marital bliss!
Critics will point out the many domestic problems in Muslim societies today similar to [but on a smaller scale than] the problems in the West. True. But that should not blind us to the key difference between the two. The problems in the West are a result of the value system adopted by it; those in Muslim homes result from deviating from their values. One is suffering by taking the wrong medicine, the other for failing to take the right one.