Tips to a Better Marriage
By: By Sr. Muntaqima A.Rashid
"And among His Signs is this, that He created for
you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquillity
with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts). Verily
in that are Signs for those who reflect." (Ar Rum: 21)
I have listed some rules that may benefit those seeking an Islamic
marriage, as well as, those who are already married. I do not pretend
to be an expert of any kind. I have learned what I know through
marrying at the early age of 18, just 9 months after embracing Islam.
I muddled my way through much of my 14 years of marriage, and
consider myself a graduate from the 'school of hard knocks'. The rules
Be conscious of your physical appearance. No one was more
conscious of this than the Prophet. His Sunnah reflects keen attention to
personal hygiene and good grooming. He kept himself strong and muscular.
Most likely the first aspect of you that attracted your mate was your
appearance, so don't think that simply because you are married the task
is over. You can't hide a weight problem under Thawbs' (dress) and
long Khimars' (veils). Your mate knows. Be aware that you live in a
society that places a high premium on physical appearance. It flaunts
the shapely female and her muscular counterpart. Temptations that beckon
non-Muslims beckon Muslims as well. Don 't allow your mate to get
side-tracked by the likes of a 'Raquel Welch or an Arnold Schwarzenegger'.
Jog, join a gym, roller skate, swim and stay in shape. Insha' Allah,
you will be more vibrant, more radiant, and more attractive to your mate.
Be aware of your role, but do not fall into role playing. Muslim
spouses sometimes experience difficulties because they are trying to
do things 'by the book' without giving due consideration to the conditions
prevailing in their country. For example, most female converts are
taught that the role of the Muslim woman is to be at home raising her
children. Supposedly, it is the man who works outside the home to maintain
the family. She may have read about Birth Control and assumed that it
has no place for the Muslimah; yet, it is worth noting that the Prophet
himself allowed coitus interruptus. If ideal Islamic conditions
prevailed, there would be no reason for a sister to worry about her
financial situation interfering with her right to bear children.
However, without an Islamic society, needy Muslim families may have to
resort to welfare and food stamps rather than Zakaah and Sadaqah. This
creates a feeling of dependence and humiliation that can place extreme
stress on a marriage. In this ease, it may be helpful for the Muslim
couple to delay having children, for the wife to work while the
children are young and until the couple 's financial situation improves.
Islam gives you this flexibility. Don't be afraid or ashamed to use it.
Be a companion to your mate. Try to show enthusiasm for your spouse 's
interests and hobbies. It is well-known that the Prophet would run races
with 'Ayesha. By all means try to involve your mate in your interests.
Be active in Islamic community life. This will strengthen your
commitment to Islam while providing your wish for a wholesome social
outlet. Encourage your spouse to engage in activities that promote
Islam. Have dinners at your home for Muslims as well as non-Muslims,
and don't neglect your relatives. These activities will indirectly
enhance the quality of your marriage through widening your circle of
Admit your mistakes and have a forgiving, generous attitude when
your mate errs. This country is a difficult place to live in. Most
Muslims fall short of the Islamic ideal. Contradictions abound. Be
quick to admit your shortcomings and work to amend them. Be
understanding when your mate does not live up to the Islamic ideals and expectations and gently try to motivate him or her in the right direction.
Have a sense of humour. Be able to chuckle at life's minor
Be modest when around members of the opposite sex. Do not try to
test your spouse's affection by feigning interest in another. This
will only cause dissension and bad feelings.
Share household duties. Brothers, take note. This is especially
important these days when women work outside the home. The Prophet
always helped his wives around the house and even mended his own
clothes. Who knows? You might find you actually like preparing the
evening meal or taking care of junior so your wife can have the
afternoon off. The Messenger of Allah said, "The most perfect of the
believers in faith is the best of them in moral excellence, and the
best of you are the kindest of you to their wives" (at-Tirmidhi).
Surprise each other with gifts. Treat her to an evening out alone,
away from the children. There are no words to describe the lift this
can give to a marriage.
Communicate your feelings to one another, good and bad. Tell him
how handsome he looks.Where there is disagreement, have an open
discussion.Don 't collect red stamps. Nip it in the bud.
Live within your means. Stay away from credit cards if you can. Sisters,
take note. Don't envy the possessions of your friends, and belittle
your husband because he can't provide them for you. Muslim couples
will do well to stay away from ostentatious living. The Prophet did
not live this way, neither should you.
Respect your mate's need for privacy. A quiet time to oneself,
either at home or away from home, each day can make a disagreeable
Don't share personal problems with others. There are a few
exceptions to this rule, but if you must discuss personal problems,
make sure it is with a person in whom you have the utmost confidence.
If you have a learned Muslim brother or sister in your community, seek
him or her out first.
Be sensitive to your mate's moods. If you want to share a
personal achievement, don't do it when your spouse is 'down in the
dumps ' . Wait for the proper time.
You may be saying to yourself, "This is easier said than done."
Well, you're right. A successful marriage doesn't just happen. It's
not simply a matter of luck or finding the right person. It takes hard
work and determination. It means being selfless and making mistakes.
It means having vengeance on your mind but forgiveness in your heart.
But, then, its perfection is "half of faith".
"Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the
comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead righteous."
"The whole world is an asset and the best asset is a good wife."
"And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from
among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He
has put love and mercy between your (hearts). Verily in that are Signs
for those who reflect." (Quran, 30: 21)
ON HAVING A BETTER HUSBAND AND WIFE RELATIONSHIP...
Although many Muslims may right now be in failing marriages and on
a fast track to divorce and its terrible consequences, there are many
ways to put their marriage back on the right track if the husband and
wife are sincere in their desire to reconcile. The following principles
can be used by Muslims whose marriages are already in trouble or by
Muslims who would like to avoid trouble in their marriage.
Examples of Negative Relationship of Husband & Wife
Many Muslim husbands and wives treat each other like adversaries
rather than partners. The husband feels that he is the boss, and
whatever he says goes. The wife feels that she must squeeze everything
she can out of her husband. Some wives never show their husband that
they are satisfied with anything he does or buys for them in order to
trick him into doing and buying more. They make him feel like a
failure if he does not give them the lifestyle that their friends and
families enjoy. Some husbands speak very harshly to their wives,
humiliate them, and even physically abuse them. Their wives have no
voice or opinion in the family.
Marriage In The Eyes of Allah
It is very sad that this relationship which Allah (SWT) has
established for the good has been made a source of contention, deception,
trickery, tyranny, humiliation, and abuse. This is not the way
marriage is supposed to be.
Allah (SWT) described marriage very differently in the Holy Quran:
". . . He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may
dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between
your (hearts)..." (Quran, 30:21)
Do not be a Tyrant
Regardless of whether or not Islam has made the husband the head
of the household, Muslims are not supposed to be dictators and tyrants.
We are taught to treat our wives well. The Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was
reported to have said: 'The most perfect Muslim in the matter of faith
is one who has excellent behavior; and the best among you are those who
behave best towards their wives" (From Mishkat al-Masabih, No. 0278(R) Transmitted by Tirmidhi).
Be Partners in the Decision Making Process
Follow the principle of 'Shura' and make decisions as a family.
There will be much more harmony in the family when decisions are not
imposed and everyone feels that they had some part in making them.
Never be Emotional
Never be emotionally, mentally, or physically abusive to your
spouse. The Prophet (SAWS) never mistreated his wives. He is reported
to have said: 'How could they beat their women in daytime as slaves
and then sleep with them in the night?"
Be Careful of Your Words
Be very careful what you say when you are upset. Sometimes you
will say things that you would never say when you were not angry. If
you are angry, wait until you calm down before continuing the
Show affection for your mate. Be kind, gentle, and loving.
Be Your Spouse's Friend
Show interest in your mate's life. Too often, we live in the same
house but know nothing about each other's lives. It would be great if
the husband and wife could work together for the same cause or on the
same project. They could perhaps establish a husband/wife prison
ministry, take care of orphans in their home, or lead an Islamic
Show appreciation for what your spouse does for the family. Never
make your husband feel that he is not doing good enough for the family
or that you are not satisfied with his work or his efforts, unless,
of course, he is truly lazy and not even trying to provide for the
family. The Prophet (SAWS) was reported to have said: 'On the Day of
Judgment, God will not look upon the woman who has been ungrateful to
her husband." Show your wife that you appreciate her. If she takes
care of the house and the children, don't take it for granted. It is
hard work, and no one likes to feel unappreciated.
Work Together in the House
The Prophet (SAWS) is known to have helped his wives in the house.
And if the Prophet (SAWS) was not above doing housework, modern Muslim
husbands shouldn't feel that they are.
Communication is Important
Communication, Communication, Communication! This is the big word
in counseling. And it should be. Husbands and wives need to talk to
each other. It is better to deal with problems early and honestly than
to let them pile up until an explosion occurs.
Forget Past Problems
Don't bring up past problems once they have been solved.
Don't be jealous of those who seem to be living a more luxurious life
than your family. The 'rizq" is from Allah (SWT). In order to develop
the quality of contentment, look at those people who have less than
you, not those who have more. Thank Allah (SWT) for the many blessings
in your life.
Give Your Spouse Time Alone
If your mate doesn't want to be with you all the time, it doesn't
mean he or she doesn't love you. People need to be alone for various
reasons. Sometimes they want to read, to think about their problems,
or just to relax. Don't make them feel that they are committing a sin.
Admit Your Mistakes
When you make a mistake, admit it. When your mate makes a mistake,
excuse him or her easily. If possible, never go to sleep angry with
Physical Relationship is Important
Be available to your mate sexually, and don't let your sexual
relationship be characterized by selfishness. The Prophet (SAWS) was
reported to have said: "It is not appropriate that you fall upon your
wives like a beast but you must send a message of love beforehand."
Have Meals Together
Try to eat together as a family when possible. Show the cook and
the dishwasher, whether it is the husband or the wife, appreciation
for his or her efforts. The Prophet (SAWS) did not complain about food
that was put before him.
Be Mindful of Your Discussion Topics
Never discuss with others things about your marriage that your
spouse wouldn't like you to discuss, unless there is an Islamic reason
to do so. Some husbands and wives, believe it or not, complain to others
about their mate's physical appearance. This is a recipe for disaster.
Information about your intimate relations should be kept between you
and your spouse.
Many of us treat our spouses in ways that we would never treat
others. With others, we try to be polite, kind, and patient. With our
spouses, we often do not show these courtesies. Of course, we are
usually with our spouses at our worst times --- when we are tired and
frustrated after a hard day. After a bad day at the office, husbands
usually come home angry and on edge. The wife has probably also had a
hard day with the children and the housework. Wives and husbands should
discuss this potential time bomb so that if they are short-tempered
with each other during these times, they will understand the reasons
rather than automatically thinking that their spouse no longer loves
Good marriages require patience, kindness, humility, sacrifice,
empathy, love, understanding, forgiveness, and hard work. Following
these principles should help any marriage to improve. The essence of
them all can be summed up in one sentence: Always treat your spouse
the way you would like to be treated. If you follow this rule, your
marriage will have a much greater chance for success. If you discard
this rule, failure is just around the corner.
7 tips to make a marriage better