Preparing for marriage

Before getting married it is important to know the real person that will be your life long partner and this obviously requires a bit of research on your part. No use taking on a girlfriend or boyfriend because: number one, it goes against the Islamic Shari’ah (Laws) and number two, a girlfriend or boyfriend usually is on their best behaviour to ensure they do not in any way “lose face” in front of their partner so it is difficult to discover the real person while they are a girlfriend or boyfriend. Marriage is a gateway to true love and Allah revealed in a beautiful verse found in Qur’an 30: 21 : “And among His signs is that He created for you from yourselves spouses that you may dwell in joy and security (tranquility) unto them and He set between you love and mercy. Surely in that are signs for those who reflect.” Allah explains that He S.W.T created our spouses from our own kind as a mercy from Him S.W.T; imagine if our spouses were of a different kind and has a different nature to a human being such as the Jinn, then it would be difficult to connect since the jinn is invisible to the human. Then Allah explains further that true love comes from Him alone as He places love and affection between couples who are obedient to Him S.W.T, again out of His mercy. So put simply, a couple attains true love from Allah but what does true love really look like? It is a love that is long lasting, it is unselfish and grows in maturity, which means that in the beginning the couple loves each other through passion but as they grow older they also show their love through respect. The Prophet Muhammad (may the mercy and peace of Allah be upon him) said in an authentic Hadith [recorded by Bukhari – Vol. 7 67: 12;5082) that whoever marries a person for their religion will be successful (in this life and in the Hereafter). Then he advised the men and women who are preparing for marriage to find out their potential partner’s habits, goals, characteristics and so forth because it is important to carefully select a partner that is compatible to yourself (in addition to religion and good character) as marriage is a life changing decision that can affect the happiness and success of your future.

The compatibility test :
A lot of people will tell you the best thing in their life is their husband or wife because their partner makes life fun, tolerable, blissful whatever it may be; and indeed the Prophet (may the mercy and peace of Allah be upon him) reminded his ummah that the best materialistic possession a person can attain in this life is a righteous wife or husband, but in order to receive a blissful marriage you must find a partner that is compatible to you. The main criteria in a partner is religion and good character, but this also includes: Someone who helps you to achieve Jannah, to increase in good deeds and worship Allah in a perfect and consistent manner The idea of marriage is to complete half of your religion which is to assist and remind each other in the worship and obedience of Allah S.W.T and marriage is also a source of security, protection and overall companionship for people.  Same goals and values in life, the same understanding or level of Islam/imaan (Faith) That way you can learn and grow together because if a couple had different goals they will not be able to move forward or make decisions and if a partner was on a different level of imaan or understanding of Islam then naturally they would want to pull the other to their level as quickly as possible however the partner may not be ready and that is how tension will arise. Shared interests and goals should be realistic as it is important to have achievable expectations in order to prevent disappointment.  Someone who is able to bear children and raise children Muslims are a large ummah which is continuing to increase because of the number of children the married couples are bringing into the world. Billions of new babies are needed to maintain and improve the economy because as they grow up into adults the adults turn into the elderly and pass away new babies are needed to replace them and continue the cycle of life. And Allah Azawajal will increase the number of Muslims over other nations as long as they continue to produce offspring in large numbers; and this Hadith was recorded by Ibn Majah.  Someone who is financially stable People need to find a partner capable of caring for themselves first of all, but most importantly, as the husband is the leader of his family he should be able to care for his wife and family members financially, physically and emotionally.  Someone who is content, simple and innocent in heart The Prophet (may the mercy and peace of Allah be upon him) said that materialistic wealth and possessions have little to do with contentment and bliss in life because it is temporary and often just an illusion of happiness.  Someone who is physically attractive and beautiful in character 

Your partner is assessed on how you feel about him or her and not anyone else's feeling about that person so he or she should be appealing to you and when you see your partner it should make you pleased and when your partner speaks that should also please you as the Prophet (may the mercy and peace of Allah be upon him) related that in an authentic Hadith recorded by Hakim who verified it to be a sound Hadith by Albani in Sahih 1047 and Sahih Jami 3056.

The main compatibility factors are religion and good character while the secondary compatibility factors may differ according to your own needs and desires. Some common compatibility factors include:  Someone close to your age and has not yet been married It is important to have a common frame of mind and common interests, which is usually easier if the couple is of similar ages so that the couple can connect smoothly and more naturally.  Someone with the same nationality or background. To some people, they are not comfortable being with someone who does not understand their own culture and custom and it may be difficult for the other to adapt which is why some decide to marry within the community/same nationality, while others do not mind to conform to foreign culture and custom.

*Are you comfortable with the person you are about to marry? this is in terms of making conversations and being in each other's company and are you comfortable with their flaws and habits because truth be told everyone has flaws and when entering into a marriage you should do so fully prepared to face the flaws of your partner.

Getting to know your partner :
What are his/her likes, dislikes, priorities, habits? What are his/her qualities - trustworthy, leadership skills (i.e. organisational, active listening skills, sensitive etc), self respect and respect to Allah, Prophet Muhammad (may the mercy and peace of Allah be upon him) his family, friends and strangers. What is his/her communication style – you can know what’s going on in his/her head by the things that he/she says.

Getting to know your partner’s parents :
his/her family is your family and vice versa so it is important to maintain good relations with the in-laws. *Are the in-laws easy going or intrusive? You may perform a reference check on their character as well as your potential partner from their friends, relatives and anyone else that they may know. It is also good to know what your partner is like with his/her family and their family socializing styles. *Who is wearing the pants in their family -- the mother or father? *What are their family rules and disciplinary styles? *Can you get along with your potential partner’s family especially the mother in-law?

The steps involved in the marriage process :
THE FIRST MEETING This is where both parties of the man and woman meet (most likely at her house) and get to know each other. Basically the man comes with the proposal of interest to marry the woman in question and she can either accept or decline the offer. If she accepts the offer the next step is the ta’aruf. It is important that on the first meeting both the man and woman should be prepared i.e. presentation and planning is essential. It is also a good idea to perform a superficiality test eg): if you had $10,000 how would you spend it? and a sensitivity test eg): if you saw a lost child on the streets what will you do? Because no one likes to live with a fake or an arrogant person for the rest of their life (unless that’s what your into :s). TA ’ARUF Ta’aruf is when the man and woman begin the compatibility test. At this time the man and woman should investigate each other thoroughly through observations, reference checks regarding characteristics and reputation in the community. It is important to remember that the Prophet (may the peace and mercy of Allah be upon him) said to lower the gaze and always have chaperoned meetings as wherever there is a man and woman alone certainly shaytaan (the devil) will be their third. Some questions to consider during ta’aruf -It is important to analyze the potential partner and not rush into making the decision. Obtain as much information necessary to make the decision and be ready to also answer these questions yourself: Questions for the ladies Does he expect his wife to be employed in domestic work or have a career? Does he want to practice polygamy? Is there any family members living with him now and is he planning to have family members living with him later on in the future? Questions for both the man and woman raising children methodology? career vs family vs dawah? what is your ambitions / goals / priorities in life? should you marry someone as they are or change them to how you want them to be? What is his/her understanding of marriage and what are his/her expectations for marriage? Why does he/she want to get married? What characteristics is he/she looking for in a wife/husband and what does he/she expect from his wife/husband? What are his strengths and weaknesses? Do they have a sense of humour? What is his relationship in the Muslim community? Is he/she involved in any Islamic activities? How does he/she feel about religion and life right now, is he/she a spiritual person? What can he/she offer spiritually into the marriage?

What is his/her relationship with his/her family? What relationship does he/she expect to have with his wife/husband and her family and what relationship does he/she expect his/her wife/husband to have with him/her and their family? What is the role of the husband and what is the role of the wife? What are his/her long term and short term goals? Identify three things he/she plans to accomplish in the short term and in the long term. What are his/her interests, his/her hobbies and how does he/she spend his/her time -- does he/she read, does he/she have a career, does he/she like to travel or play sports and what type of food does he/she like to eat? Who are his/her friends? Identify at least three. How did he/she meet them, why are they his/her friends and what does he/she like most about his/her friends and what does his/her friends like about him/her? What will his/her relationship be like with his friends after marriage? Does he/she have friends of the opposite sex and if so, what type of relationship does he/she have with them now and what will it be like after marriage? What type of relationship does he/she expect his/her wife/husband to have with his/her friends? Does he/she like to entertain guests and what does he/she expect his/her wife/husband to do when his/her friends come over his/her house? How does he/she feel about foreign languages spoken in the house? If there are members of the family who are not Muslim or of different race/culture what type of relationship does he/she and his/her wife/husband want to have with them? How does he/she make important or less important decisions in his/her life and what are his/her priorities? Does he/she like to express his/her emotions openly or is he/she more comfortable with writing them down? How does he/she express his/her emotions to someone who has done a favour for him/her and how does he/she express admiration for someone that he/she knows? How does he/she express his/her anger or frustration and what does he/she do when he/she feels this way? After marriage will he/she be the one to express romantic feelings verbally? If he/she wrongs someone will he/she apologize and how will he/she go about doing so? How much time passes before he/she forgives someone? How does he/she expect his/her wife/husband to express her/his emotions i.e. angry, happy? What is his/her procedure for conflict resolution? Does he/she suffer from any chronic disease or condition, is he/she willing to take a physical exam by a doctor before marriage if necessary? What is his/her understanding of proper health and nutrition? How does he/she spend his/her wealth at the moment, does he/she have a budget or does he/she save his/her money? After marriage how will he/she manage the finances of the family, what is his/her financial responsibility in the marriage, does he/she expect his/her wife/husband to have her/his own income?

What are his/her views about money- how does he/she feel about taking loans for example to buy a house, does he/she use a credit card and does he/she have any debts, if so how is he/she going to eliminate them? Does he/she have any financial responsibility to anyone such as his/her parents, his/her sisters or his/her children? Does he/she want to have children, if not why? When does he/she want to have children and does he/she have any children now? How does he/she expect his/her children to be raised, what is the best method to raise children? What is the best method for disciplining children, does he/she believe in corporal punishment and under what circumstances? How was he/she raised and disciplined? What relationship does he/she expect his/her children to have with the mother/father and the grandparents of both spouses? What relationship does he/she expect his/her children to have with non-Muslim friends or family? Does he/she support the idea of utilizing baby sitters or maids? The ta’aruf process can take as long as required and it will end once both parties are ready to commit and move on to the next stage, which is the nikah.

THE NIKAH - MARRIAGE The man will present the woman with a mahr (marriage gift or dowry) as a token of his commitment to support and care for his wife. The contract of marriage is created in which will include anything that both parties both agree to and is within the laws of Islam and there will also be witnesses who will sign to agree to the contract. Finally the khutbatun nikah i.e. a sermon will be conducted. Between the marriage contract and the wedding reception the couple should have time to consummate the marriage, unless it is a condition in the contract to do otherwise. It is important to follow the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (may the mercy and peace of Allah be upon him) in regards to making du’ a for protection from the accursed shaytaan (the devil) to have anything to do with the marriage and with the children who are yet to come inshaAllah (if Allah wills). The sunnah is within three days whereupon the walimah i.e. wedding reception (which is the least amount of trouble and the least expensive) will take place.

The woman as a wife
“And among His signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find response in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” Qur’an 30: 20-21 The Prophet (may the mercy and peace of Allah be upon him) advised his Ummah that the best materialistic desires that one may seek in this world is a righteous wife in which will benefit him for the Hereafter. Likewise a woman will benefit from a righteous husband. And it is part of ibadah (worship and obedience to Allah Alone) that a wife is devoutly obedient to her husband and guards what her husband would have willed her to guard (See Qur’an 4: 34). Allah's Messenger (may the peace and mercy of Allah be upon him) also advised the husband to respect his wife’s’ good qualities and correct her transgressions in a gentle manner: “the woman is like a rib. If you try to straighten her, she will break. So if you want to get benefit from her, do so while she still has some bent." [Bukhari]

Advice for the bride to be :
Abd al-Malik R.D.U.H said: when ‘Awf ibn Muhallim al-Shaybani, one of the most highly respected leaders of the Arab nobility during the jahiliyyah (days of ignorance before Islam), married his daughter Umm Ilyas to al-Harith ibn ‘Amr al-Kindi, she was made ready to be taken to the groom, then her mother, Umamah came to her, to advise her and said: ‘O my daughter, if it were deemed unnecessary to give you this advice because of good manners and noble descent, then it would have been unnecessary for you, because you possess these qualities, but it will serve as a reminder to those who are forgetful, and will help those who are wise. ‘O my daughter, if a woman were able to do without a husband by virtue of her father’s wealth and her need for her father, then you of all people would be most able to do without a husband, but women were created for men just as men were created for them. ‘O my daughter, you are about to leave the home in which you grew up, where you first learned to walk, to go to a place you do not know, to a companion to whom you are unfamiliar. By marrying you, he has become a master over you, so be like a slave to him, and he will become like a slave to you. Take from me ten qualities, which will be a provision and a reminder for you. ‘The first and second of them are: be content in his company, and listen to and obey him, for contentment brings peace of mind, and listening to and obeying one’s husband pleases Allah. The third and fourth of them are: make sure that you smell good and look good; he should not see anything ugly in you, and he should not smell anything but a pleasant smell from you. Kohl is the best kind of beautification to be found, and water is better than the rarest perfume. ‘The fifth and sixth of them are: prepare his food on time, and keep quiet when he is asleep, for raging hunger is like a burning flame, and disturbing his sleep will make him angry. The seventh and eighth of them are: take care of his slaves (or employees) and children, and take care of his wealth, for taking care of his wealth shows that you appreciate him, and taking care of his children and slaves shows good management.

‘The ninth and tenth of them are: never disclose any of his secrets, and never disobey any of his orders, for if you disclose any of his secrets you will never feel safe from his possible betrayal, and if you disobey him, his heart will be filled with hatred towards you. Be careful, O my daughter, of showing joy in front of him when he is upset, and do not show sorrow in front of him when he is happy, because the former shows a lack of judgment whilst the latter will make him unhappy. Show him as much honour and respect as you can, and agree with him as much as you can, so that he will enjoy your companionship and conversation. Know, O my daughter that you will not achieve what you would like to until you put his pleasure before your own, and his wishes before yours, in whatever you like and dislike. And may Allah choose what is best for you and protect you.” She was taken to her husband, and the marriage was a great success; she gave birth to kings who ruled after him. A mother advises her daughter on her wedding night and as quoted by sheik Muhammad Ismail: “Awdat al-Hijab”, vol. 2 as saying: “do not neglect cleaning your body, because the purity of your body brings shine to your face and love of your husband, prevents diseases and strengthens your body for work. Normally people are put off by an ill-smelling woman and you should meet your husband with a smile because love is a body whose soul is a smile.” A contemporary woman advised her daughter (taken from the book “Tuhfat al- Arous”) saying: “you are about to enter a new life, different from the one you grew up in. A life in which you will not have your father, mother and brothers and sisters. You will become the wife of a man who wants nobody to share you with him, even your closest relative. You should be to him like a wife and a mother, make him feel like you are everything in his life. You should keep in mind that a man is like a big child; the slightest sweet word can make him happy. Never make him feel that by marrying you, you will lose your family and relatives because he has left his family as well for you. Normally, a woman longs for her family’s affection and home, in which she grew up. However, she should get used to her new life and her husband who is her children’s father and support. My daughter this is your life and future, the new family which you and your husband will form. I do not ask you to forget your mother, your father and brothers and sisters because they will never forget you. All I want from you is that you love and live with your husband and feel happy with him.”

Benefits of being a wife :
Allah has given special mercy to the woman as a wife, who gets up early during the night and prays, who wakens her husband and he prays, but if he refuses, sprinkles water on his face. Paradise welcomes the wife as Anas (peace be upon him) reported that the Prophet (may the mercy and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “when a woman observes the five times of prayer, fasts during Ramadan, preserves her chastity and obeys her husband, she may enter by any of the gates of Paradise she wishes.” (In other words nothing will prevent her from entering Paradise). [Kanz] The Prophet (may the mercy and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “O women, the pious among you will enter Paradise, before pious men. When the husbands will enter Paradise these women will be presented to their husbands after being bathed and perfumed and these women will be on red and yellow coloured conveyances accompanied by children (as beautiful) as scattered pearls.”

The following Hadith mentions numerous virtues in which the wife will do well to put into practice. The Prophet (may the peace and mercy of Allah be upon him) mentions to his wife Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her):”does it not please any one of you that if she conceives by her husband and he is satisfied with her that she receives the reward of fasting and vigil for God’s sake. And none of the dwellers of Heaven or earth know about the coolness of her eyes (a unique repose) she will get for the labour pains she suffered. When she delivers not a mouthful of milk flows from her and not an instance of the child’s suck, but that she receives for every suck and mouthful, the reward of a good deed. If she is kept awake by her child during the night she receives the reward of freeing seventy slaves for the sake of God.” The Prophet (may the peace and mercy of Allah be upon him then said:”O Salamah do you know which women are being referred to? Those who despite piety and enjoying a respectable position obey their husbands and do not belittle them.”[Kanz]

An example of a good wife :
It is reported that Shuraih, who was a judge, met ash-Sha’bi. The latter asked him about his life at home. Shuraih said: “I have not any problem with my wife for twenty years.” Ash-Sha’bi asked: “how come?” Shuraih replied: “on our wedding night I looked at her and saw a rare fascinating beauty. I then said to myself, ‘I should make whudu, pray two rak’ats and praise Allah. When I finished I found out she was following me in prayers and finished as soon as I finished. When the guests left the house I moved towards her and tried to touch her. But she said: ‘wait a minute O Abu Umayyah (i.e. Shuraih), stay where you are.’ Then, she said: ‘all praise is due to Allah, we praise Him, seek His aid and ask for His forgiveness, peace and blessings be upon Muhammad (may the peace and mercy of Allah be upon him). I am a stranger to you and I have no idea about your morals and attitudes. So tell me what you like and I will do it and what you hate and I will avoid it.’ She continued: ‘there must be among your people a woman that you could have married and a man among my people that I could have married. But Allah Ta’ala has accomplished a matter already ordained in His knowledge. Allah has given you control over me, so obey Him S.W.T either retain me on reasonable terms or release me with kindness. This is all I have to say and may Allah forgive us both.” Shuraih then said: ‘I found myself in need of giving a khutbah, which I had not delivered for quite a long time. I said, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him and we seek His aid and ask for His forgiveness. Peace and blessings be upon Muhammad. You have said many things which if you fail them they will be evidence against you. I love such and such things and I hate such and such things. You may spread whatever good deed you see and conceal whatever evil deed you see.’ ‘what would you say to my relatives visiting?’ she replied. ‘I do not want your family to dictate things to me.’ she said: ‘which of your neighbours do you want to visit me?’ I said: ‘the family of such and such are good people and the family of such and such are bad company.’ Shuraih then said: ‘I had a wonderful wedding night and our first year was marvelous. When the new year came and upon my return from the court I found a woman in my house. I asked my wife who is she? And she replied’: ‘your mother in-law.’ My mother in-law looked at me and asked: ‘how do you find your wife?’ I said: ‘the best wife a man can have. She then said’: ‘O Abu Umayyah you will be in a worse condition than her only in two cases, firstly if she gives birth to a child or if she enjoys your favours. I swear that men have never been inflicted with a worse evil than a spoilt woman. So discipline your wife.’ This example shows how a wife should be, how a husband should be and how a mother in-law should be.

The man as a husband
It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar heard the Prophet (may the peace and mercy of Allah be upon him) say: “each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock [the man is the shepherd of his family and he is responsible for his flock]. The woman is the shepherd of her husband’s household and is responsible for her flock. The servant is a shepherd of his master’s wealth and is responsible for his flock.” [Bukhari] Thus we may take from his Hadith that the man is the leader of the household and his role is crucial in maintaining a family whose values are Islam. Islam teaches both the man and woman how to build a respectable family. (See Qur’an 7: 58) The family provides the essential elements that every human needs to survive which is support, compassion and a place of safety and entertainment. The husband and wife share the responsibility for the education and cultural development of the family. Whenever either one of them finds the other negligent in these duties, he or she must bring this to the other’s attention and call the other to what is right in a kind and courteous manner. “O you who believe, protect yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones.” (See Qur’an 66: 6) This protection cannot happen except if the truth is made clear and proper education is provided that clearly show the way to righteousness. Paying attention to the home is also an important means of building an effective and fully functional society because the society is formed by families that build building blocks based on the values and principles of Islam. As the husband is a supervisor of his family, he has certain rights. The rights include the obligations upon the wife to do as follows for her husband: -The wife is obliged to contribute to the success and harmony of the marriage by attending to the comfort and well being of her family through nurturing her husband and children, fulfilling their needs and maintaining the household. She is also obligated to raise their children in a good manner that is pleasing to Allah and to be satisfied with what her husband can afford and she must not overburden her husband by spending beyond his means. Ibn Majah narrates that the wife must seek her husband’s permission before spending anything from his wealth and this is a sign of her righteousness. [Abu Dawood] -By Allah the husband has been given the right to leadership thus the wife must be obedient towards her husband (unless it defies the Shari’ah) as it is the very nature of women to depend on her mahram. The Prophet (may the peace and mercy of Allah be upon him) said to the aunt of Hissin ibn Mihsan: “make sure that you obey him because he is your Paradise or Hell-Fire. That is, if you obey him you will enter Paradise but if you disobey him you will enter HellFire.”[Tirmidhi] -The husband has a right to his wife in regards to sexual intimacy, therefore the wife is obliged to safe guard that of which is exclusively the husband’s right and so she should maintain her attractiveness and be responsive to her husband’s advances.

The Prophet (may the peace and mercy of Allah be upon him) said: "if a man calls his wife, then let her come, even if she is busy at the oven."[Tirmidhi] Furthermore the wife must seek her husband’s permission to observe voluntary fasts as he would not be able to enjoy his wife if he so desires during her fast (this applies only to voluntary fasts). The Prophet (may the peace and mercy of Allah be upon him) said: “no woman should fast without her husband’s permission.”[Bukhari] -The husband has the right to privacy, therefore the wife is obliged to safe guard her husband’s home, her own well being and her honour which is to withhold family affairs from the public and not to allow anyone in his house which he does not approve as the Prophet (may the peace and mercy of Allah be upon him) said: “no woman should allow anyone in his house while he is present except with his permission.”[Bukhari] Withholding family affairs is to restrain from publicizing the husband’s bad habits, faults and secrets and not to allow anyone in his house without his approval is to protect the husband’s property, wealth, children and reputation as it is his form of trust to his wife and she is accountable with Allah concerning the fulfillment of her responsibilities as a wife and a mother “the wife is a caretaker in the house of her husband and she will be questioned about it.” [Bukhari] The wife must overlook her husband’s shortcomings and fulfill these rights, in this way affection and mercy will survive, the home will be set in order and society as a whole will also be set in order. Inshallah.

Maintaining the marriage
In a time such as today, where most marital issues lead to divorce, the couple will do well to preserve their marriage not only for the purpose of pleasing Allah but also for the sake of reviving Islam. A marriage is a partnership that requires cooperation and commitment. A successful marriage is those couples that fulfill their marital responsibilities set out in the Deen and having an understanding of each other’s psychological frame of mind.

Improving the marriage is to maintain the romance. For example :
-Randomly buying gifts to show affection. Surprise each other and be creative with showing affection. Show each other that they are ideal as a partner to protect the love and the romance -Have good relations with each other, and each other’s family -Have patience with each other’s shortcomings, always remember the good and pay little attention to the bad -Make an effort to resolve issues. Shaytaan is the enemy and not the wife or husband, it is shaytaan that incites hatred amongst couples as shaytaan’s main goal is divorce and an otherwise Islamic foundation would then be dismantled. Next time one has an argument with their spouse take the time to cool down and regain one’s mentality, it will soften one’s heart and it will remind one that they too, are a slave of Allah seeking His bounty and mercy -The Messenger of Allah (may the peace and mercy of Allah be upon him) said: “helping wives [in domestic work] earns [men] the reward of charity.” And so sharing the domestic work with the wife is a form of charity. Narrated by Al-Aswad (may Allah be pleased with him): ‘I asked Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) what did the Prophet (may the peace and mercy of Allah be upon him) do at home?’ She said: ‘he used to work for his family and when he heard the call for the prayer, he would go out.’[Bukhari] -Say Assalaamu’alaikum upon entering the home to preserve the positive energy in the household and greet each other with this greeting every time one meets the other -Expect and respect each other’s jealousy -Break harmful traditions and routines that harms the Deen and each other’s imaan i.e. laziness -Compliment each other. Nice words and smiling is an act of charity and helps build love between the two -Converse with each other and have time for each other and be cooperative and considerate of one another for the sake of pleasing Allah eg): if the wife loves to be taken out on picnics the husband should understand and cater to her need to have picnics every now and again even if he does not necessarily enjoy picnics.

-Her success is his success so respect each other’s perspectives and differences. In the beginning it is important to understand that your partner will have something(s) that you do not like so be prepared and tolerant of it -Do not dig in to each other’s past as it will most likely bring misery and the past should be left for Allah Alone

Fundamentals of a happy marriage :
The fundamentals of a happy marriage are based on respect and love, loyalty, trust and flexibility. Having a common faith such as Islam binds the couple and it is the frame of reference shared by the couple. Sharing values and respecting each other’s opinions is important especially when children become an aspect of the marriage. The Prophet (may the peace and mercy of Allah be upon him) said when a husband feeds his wife, he gets a reward for this act and Allah increases the bond of love between them and so a couple that love each other for the sake of attaining the mercy of Allah their faith would in fact increase. Smart couples are those that plan and work together on their financial and retirement plans, wills and so forth which provide peace of mind and it also secures the relationship. In order to preserve the marriage the couple must learn to forgive and forget. They must respect each other’s feelings and strengthen their fondness for one another, usually spending quality time alone and sharing activities together develops fondness and flirtation. Flirting is encouraged to maintain the marriage. Also to be all one can be to one’s partner is a very fulfilling and rewarding experience. The heart does not put conditions or make stipulations, it gives without expecting anything in return and such selflessness is always rewarded tenfold. The challenge of a marriage is to not dwell on the past or play the blame game but to move past it all and not be too proud to ask forgiveness nor stingy to forgive. The Prophet (may the peace and mercy of Allah be upon him) said if one expects Allah to forgive them then they must learn to forgive others, thus one does not use the past as fresh ammunition in new situations as it shows that they have not truly forgiven their partner if they constantly remind them of the past. Marriage should be based on fair play as Allah commands in the Qur’an not to be unjust under any circumstances. Patience is the most useful tool to managing a healthy lifestyle and being in a proactive frame of mind brings one closer to Allah. Also flexibility in a marriage prevents a stressful and tense home atmosphere and accommodating for individual differences such as personality, likes and dislikes and so forth builds on the love in the relationship. Friendships are essential in a marriage such as friendships with each other, with in-laws, building a circle of friends together while preserving individual friends too. Couples should have fun and laugh together; the Prophet (may the peace and mercy of Allah be upon him) was known to be playful with his wives. A simple walk in the park can add much spark to the marriage. May Allah bless every Muslim couple and strengthen our ties of kinship. Ameen.

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