By Ruhaifa Adil
“And among His signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He put love and mercy between your hearts. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect.” [Surahs Rum: 21]
The Nikah (marriage contract) brings together two different people who need to learn to love each other and live together in harmony. It is inevitable that there may be a time when one gets angry with his or her spouse, or there may be a fight between the two of them. Muslims must however remember Allah even when they are angry and not cross any boundaries set by Him. Here are eight things to remember when you are having a discord with your spouse:
1. Control your anger
Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated: “A man said: O Messenger of Allah, advise me.” The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “Do not get angry.” The man repeated that several times and he replied: “Do not get angry.” (Bukhari)
Anger is the root cause of all marital disputes. Control your anger, and when you find your temper is flaring, follow these steps:
- Seek refuge with Allah: The Prophet (sa) said: “I know a word, saying which will cause him to relax if he does say it. If he says: I seek refuge with Allah from Satan, then all his anger will go away.” (Bukhari)
- Change your posture: The Prophet (sa) said: “When one of you becomes angry while standing, he should sit down. If the anger leaves him, well and good; otherwise he should lie down.” (Abu Dawood; sound)
- Stay silent: The Prophet (sa) said: “If any of you becomes angry, let him keep silent.” (Recorded by Ahmad, and authenticated by al-Albani)
If one does however find his or her temper flaring, the other should not let their anger take over! Never be angry at the same time.
2. If one has to win an argument, let it be the other
Even if you find your spouse being unreasonable, be patient, back off and let the argument finish. Not only will you save your marriage from turning sour, but there will be countless rewards for you in the hereafter.
3. If you have to criticize, be just
Constant criticism leads to dislike for each other and one must try to overlook things that are not important and focus on issues that are important. We have many examples from the life of the Prophet (sa). Anas (ra) narrated regarding the way the Prophet (sa) treated others: “The Messenger of Allah (sa) never expressed disapproval of food; if he desired it, he ate it, and if he disliked it, he left it alone.” (Abu Dawood; authentic)
Anas (ra) also said: “I served the Prophet for ten years. He never said Uff and never blamed me by saying: Why did you do so, or why did you not do so?” (at-Tirmidhi; authentic)
Dr. al-Areefi writes in his book, Enjoy Your Life: “If the Messenger of Allah ever noticed a person making a mistake, he would not confront him directly. Rather, he would say, “What is wrong with the people, who do such-and-such?” which would indirectly imply, “I mean by that you, dear neighbour, so please pay attention!””
This does not mean that one should not speak up or correct their spouse when needed; rather, one should say it with kindness and present it as a suggestion rather than criticism and in a more indirect way to not hurt the other.
4. Do not drag in the past
If any servant (conceals) the faults of others in this world, Allah would conceal his or her faults on the Day of Resurrection. (Muslim)
Don’t bring in past mistakes in the argument. Try to settle whatever the issue is, as amicably as possible.
5. Apologize and seek forgiveness if you were wrong
When you have done something wrong, be ready to admit it and ask for forgiveness. Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated that he heard Allah’s Messenger (sa) say: “By Allah! I ask for forgiveness from Allah and turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times a day.” (Bukhari)
Apologize to each other and seek forgiveness from Allah. It is better to patch things over sooner than later! Not only will your spouse be happy, but Allah will reward you for your humility as well.
6. Fear Allah
The Nikah sermon enjoins one to adopt Taqwa or the fear or consciousness of Allah repeatedly! Remember there can be no doubt in the success of a marriage governed by the fear of Allah! Always remember Allah whenever you are dealing with your spouse, and be fair knowing that He is watching.
Ruhaifa Adil is a mother of four, a practising Muslimah, an avid reader, and a passionate writer. She works primarily as a trainer for mothers and teachers, advocating a multi sensorial, learner-centred approach, which she has learnt through her work as a remedial specialist for children with dyslexia. She is also an author of English textbooks, based on the teachings of the Quran (currently under editing), and creative director of a Tafseer app for kids. Her latest project is Qutor.com, a website that helps connect Quran teachers and students.