By Zahra Anjum
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
When cultivated with the right ingredients, there is after all a ‘happily ever after’ in its truest sense. It starts with marriage, and is fostered with love, care and compassion, and results in a bond that comes out stronger through the thick and thin.
No doubt, marriage completes half our Deen. It is the door to countless blessings as well as responsibilities. It is the beginning of a new test in life. Whether you are about to embark on this journey or are already halfway, following are five tips to help you score your best!
- Be hereafter-oriented: Some of the happiest couples I know are those who were married on the basis of Deen, or who keep Deen as the first priority in their lives. Because when one fears Allah, everything falls into its proper place. In all matters of life give preference to Allah, and think in terms of the hereafter. This life will end soon, and being far-sighted, you should work together for a home in Paradise. Set weekly, monthly, and long-term goals that will help you, as a family, reach your ultimate destination. For example, determine the amount of Quran you will memorize by the end of the year, the charity you will give, or how you will serve the Muslim Ummah through your skills, et cetera.
- Be thankful: Is it that once an argument boils up, your brain starts bombarding you with all the negative traits and past mistakes of your spouse? Remember that creating rifts between a husband and wife is one of the dearest acts to Shaitan. When faced with this, take a deep breath, and make a list of all the good qualities that your spouse has, and the acts of kindness that they have done for you. Don’t let 10 weaknesses make you overlook 50 strengths. Allah (st) says in the Quran: “And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.” (Surah an-Nisa 4: 19).Don’t take anything for granted. Ask the value of a spouse from someone who have lost theirs. Thank each other often, exchange words of appreciation, and feel grateful for this blessing that Allah has bestowed upon you!
- Forgive: It is not only your spouse who errs. Most often you also make blunders! Since nobody is perfect, why not make it a rule to forgive and forget? Keep your heart big enough to realize and accept your mistake. Even if it wasn’t your mistake, saying sorry and making an effort to reconcile won’t cost much. It will only entitle you to a house in Paradise!Do not store the rotten apples of your relationship to remind you of the sourness each time you open the cupboard of memories. For a healthy and happy connection, make sure to throw them away.
- Communicate: Don’t wait or expect your spouse to read your mind and guess what you feel like. As humans, they do not have any such powers! If there is anything that you need or something that bugs you, just say it, and do so nicely. Effective communication is an essential ingredient of a successful marriage. Be expressive, and at the same time, do not hurt; be wise with your words.
- Do not backbite: Never talk negatively about your spouse to anyone, be it your family or friends. You may forget the grievance later, but they never will. If something is bothering you, just be patient, talk it amongst yourselves, and supplicate to Allah. Backbiting only plants seeds of hate in the heart and gives no benefit. Moreover, it is clearly forbidden in Islam.
You are each other’s garment, a garment whose role is to beautify and hide flaws. Then why backbite about and tarnish your own garment?
A strong marriage equals a strong Muslim family, and a strong Muslim family plays its part in a strong Muslim Ummah. Let’s fortify the unit we have, and secure a blissful life with our spouses, not just in this world but also in the hereafter.
Zahra Anjum is a freelance writer, editor and translator based in Islamabad, Pakistan.
© IIPH 2015