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Qabeelat Bushra | Student Notes

June 2012
Qabeelat Bushra | Student Notes Love Notes 2
June 2012 Shaykh Yaser Birjas

Table of Contents
Introduction ................................................................................................................................... 3
The Concept of Love ............................................................................................................................... 6
Chapter 1 | Jesting about Love ................................................................................................... 7
Islam and Love ........................................................................................................................................ 8
Preface: The Faqh of Love .................................................................................................................. 13
The Other Face of the Imm ................................................................................................................ 13
The Ring of the Dove ............................................................................................................................ 14
Love in the Qurn and Sunnah ........................................................................................................... 16
Falling in Love ....................................................................................................................................... 20
A Story of Real Love.......................................................................................................................... 23
Main Concepts of Love Notes.............................................................................................................. 25
Chapter 2 | The Earnestness of Love .......................................................................................26
The Status of Family in Islam ............................................................................................................. 26
The History of Marriage ...................................................................................................................... 28
Islam & Marriage .................................................................................................................................. 31
Characteristics of a Prospective Spouse ........................................................................................... 35
Selecting a Prospective Spouse .......................................................................................................... 38
Procedure in Selecting a Bride ........................................................................................................... 41
Procedure in Selecting a Groom ......................................................................................................... 41
Looking at the Opposite Sex ............................................................................................................... 43
Looking at Ones Prospective Bride ................................................................................................... 44
Questionable Ways ............................................................................................................................... 45
The Consequences of a Marriage Contract ....................................................................................... 46
Chapter 3: Marital Rights...........................................................................................................47
Gender Equity in Islam ........................................................................................................................ 47
Rights and Obligations ......................................................................................................................... 47
The Rights of Spouses: Mutual Rights .............................................................................................. 48
The Rights of the Husband .................................................................................................................. 48
The Rights of the Wife ......................................................................................................................... 50
From the Life of Raslullh (alallhu alayhi wa sallam) ................................................................... 51
Chapter 4: Marital Discord ........................................................................................................56
Marital Discord...................................................................................................................................... 56
What causes marital discord? ............................................................................................................. 56
Chapter 5: Languages of Love ...................................................................................................59
Love after the Wedding ....................................................................................................................... 61
Understanding Differences ................................................................................................................. 62
Different Languages of Love ............................................................................................................... 64
Final Advice ..................................................................................................................................67
Recommended Reading ..............................................................................................................67
Qabeelat Bushra | Student Notes Love Notes 3
June 2012 Shaykh Yaser Birjas

Disclaimer: The following are student notes, which are not endorsed by the
instructor or AlMaghrib Institute.

Alamdulillh there are so many people who are married and so many who are single
here. When it comes to happiness, it is a relative issue. This is what brings us to the
concept of love and what it means. How do people define happiness in marriage?

If there is anything in this world that causes nonsense to make sense, it will be love.
Love makes right wrong and wrong right. The impossible becomes possible. Because a
person is in love, he thinks everything will be perfect. Why is that? When it comes to
love, it makes nonsense make sense. You have to fall in love to experience it. People
have been unsuccessful to describe the meaning of love and say that you have to
experience it.

Most likely people who are married are not married to their first love. This is how life
is. When was your first love? A mental image comes in your mind. For many people, it
was across the street from their house their next-door neighbor. Or maybe it was the
girl in Islamic school. Then they outgrow that phase and meet someone else in life and
get married. If you ask them, they live happily, bi idhnillh, after.

So what happened to the first love? Was it genuine? Love and taking action to practice
love are two separate things. Many people fall in love but feel inhibited to take action
to fulfill the love, for many reasons.

Love is a mystery. Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) was watching Mughth running
after Barrah. She had chosen to leave him, and then her husband woke up to the
dilemma and crisis. Most men live in a state of denial. The Messenger of Allh
(alallhu alayhi wa sallam) as telling his uncle al-Abbs the story of Mughth and
Barrah said: O Abbs! Isnt it amazing how much Mughth loves Barrah and how
much Barrah hates Mughth? This is one-sided love. We assume that love should
work in both channels, but this was only working in one channel. This explains why in
many marriages, husbands and wives may not be on the same wavelength.

Part of the irony of relationships is that it is not always like this. Sometimes it starts
with true and genuine love that grows and is passionate. Then in the marriage it
becomes weaker and weaker and fades out and then eventually is lost. Why? If they
never had love at first, then they had built the love and lost it. Can they revive it? Yes.
How? We have to learn the tricks of the marital relationship.

Every day people fall in and out of love. People get married and divorced. People find
romance and relationship and then lose it after months or years.
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When it comes to love and marriage, you may fantasize as much as you want about it,
but when it comes to getting married, there are specific rules that you have to follow.
You have to follow the rules of marriage whether you like it or not.

Ten Points Related to Marriage

Mark whether or not you believe these points are true:

___ 1. Marriage will make me a better Muslim.

___ 2. Marriage will protect me from falling into fitnah and the arm.
___ 3. Marriage will make me live happily ever after.
___ 4. In marriage, you cannot hate the person you love.
___ 5. Marriage will heal all my past wounds.
___ 6. Marriage is a piece of cake if you marry the right person.
___ 7. Marriage benefits men more than women.
___ 8. Love is enough to sustain a marriage.
___ 9. Religious, practicing Muslims have perfect marriages.
___ 10. Marriage is a natural process that you can figure out on your own.

How many of you thought all ten statements were true? These ten points mentioned
are all the myths of marriage. None of these ten points is 100% accurate or true.

1. Marriage will make me a better Muslim.

Marriage does not make you a better Muslim unless you choose to become better. It
can go the other way, subnAllh.

2. Marriage will protect me from falling into fitnah and the arm.
Many married couples have a lot of fitnah with pornography. Even women have this

3. Marriage will make me live happily ever after.

This is only in fairy tales.

4. In marriage, you cannot hate the person you love.

This is our hope and wish, but in reality, you get to the point where someday the
person you loved so much last night you hate the next morning because the coffee
wasnt hot. Love goes up and down and fluctuates! Love doesnt just come in and
out. It fluctuates based on how you deal with each other.

5. Marriage will heal all my past wounds.

You have to make the choice to stop thinking about the past and stop being
traumatized from the past. Many people get married for a second time and cause
their new spouse to suffer because of the past experience. People may come into a
marriage with negative feelings. Many girls are always scared and paranoid from
experiences of other people.
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6. Marriage is a piece of cake if you marry the right person.
This is what most people think. Even if you marry the right person, marriage is a
piece of work and not a piece of cake. Both have to contribute to the marriage to
make it successful. You have to do your part in the relationship.

7. Marriage benefits men more than women.

It doesnt just benefit men. Men should accept that marriage isnt just a burden but
also a privilege. It depends on how much you contribute and are willing to sacrifice
in the relationship.

8. Love is enough to sustain a marriage.

This is not necessarily true. Love fluctuates and may go down sometimes. You have
to have more than love to sustain a marriage.

9. Religious, practicing Muslims have perfect marriages.

Why does most of todays youth look for someone super religious to marry? The
guy may not have led a perfect life but has to marry the most righteous woman.
Ladies are looking for someone like a abi. It is a good aspiration, but be
moderate with your choices. To what level of religious should you look for?

Even the wives of Raslullh sometimes had issues, and for one month he boycotted
them all.

10. Marriage is a natural process that you can figure out on your own.
Most guys believe this. Most men hate counseling and hate asking. If the wife
suggests going to counseling, he tells her to go by herself. Women are willing to go
for counseling and admit their faults. Men would rather divorce than go to
someone for counseling. You need to involve an arbitrator to speak on each others
behalf because they may not be able to communicate with each other. Just thinking
that you can solve it on your own is not true.

Dont go into a marriage relationship thinking that there is a quick-fix toolkit. You
have to work so hard to make a marriage a pleasant experience.

What will we learn in this class? We will discuss jesting about love laughing and
joking which happens in the beginning. Then we will discuss the earnestness of love.
The status of family in Islam. The history of marriage. Once we establish the concept
of marriage, we will discuss marital rights. Today, one of the biggest problems is over
the rights in marriage. We will discuss nushz. The last section is about maintaining
love in a marital relationship.

Activities that will be done in class:

1) Why young men and women today do not marry at an early age.
2) What is considered love for men and women?
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The Concept of Love

In Arab culture, they say love is a disaster, trial, and tribulation from Allh. Passionate
love is venom and poison, meaning you should be aware of it and careful when dealing
with love.

Dont take it easy! Many young people have no idea and think that love is like what is
in Cinderella. They have no idea what is going to hit them. Be careful when dealing
with the concept of love.

Of Love May God exalt you!

- the first part is jesting,
and the last part is right earnestness.
So majestic are its diverse aspects,
they are too subtle to be described;
Their reality can only be apprehended
by personal experience.
Love is neither disapproved by Religion
nor prohibited by the Law;
for every heart is in Gods hands.
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Chapter 1 | Jesting about Love

And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves,
that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between
your (hearts). Verily in that are signs for those who reflect. (al-Rm 30:21)

Read the context around this yah. This verse was mentioned in the middle of speaking
about the wonders of Allh. Allh spoke about the creations of heaven and earth, the
creation of man, the creation of the clouds, and in the middle, Allh mentions that one
of the great signs is this. This is the only yah in this context in which the word signs
was mentioned twice in the same yah.

He (subnahu wa tala) said amongst yourselves, meaning men and women are the
same creation. So that you may find peace and tranquility with them. The purpose is
to find peace and tranquility. If you ask any married couple they will say, Are you
serious? Is that what marriage is about? They may be facing a lot of stress from
lifestyle and culture.

SubnAllh, even with the pains they go through with marriage, it is part of the divine
plan. You cant savor the sweetness of marriage without going through difficult days.
You cannot survive the difficult days without remembering the good days you had
before. Allh says that eventually you will get to the point of finding peace and

Muwaddah is one degree of love. Ibn al-Qayyim said, Love in the Arabic language was
explained using more than 60 words. Muwaddah carries the shade of kindness with it.
It is love that is filled with kindness. Marriage is love and mercy. In English, the best
translation of these words is passion and compassion. Ibn al-Qayyim said, Marriage is
like a bird with two wings. In order for the bird to soar high, both wings need to be
strong: love and mercy. This means your passion and compassion. Many young
people have idols of love from the Western perspective and only focus on the passion.
If they dont get what they want from the relationship, then they feel that they lost
love so the relationship is no longer valid and they think of divorce. They dont
understand the concept of compassion.

From the older generation, it is all about mercy and ramah. It is all about mercy and
there is no love, so there is always yelling and screaming. They only want to have a
relationship for the sake of the children.
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For a relationship to soar high, you have to work on both love and mercy. Allh
(subnahu wa tala) at the beginning of the yah says these are signs for people to
reflect, and at the end of the yah, He repeats that there are signs.

Islam and Love

The Messenger of Allh (alallhu alayhi wa sallam) speaking about his wife Khadjah
said: Verily, I was filled with love for her.

The context of this adth is that one day the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) was
distributing gifts for the friends of Khadjah. This was after the death of Khadjah.
ishah (rayAllhu anha) was jealous and said, Why are you mentioning this old
woman who is dust in her grave when Allh has given you a young maiden? Raslullh
(allallhu alayhi wa sallam) became upset and said, I was filled with love of her. He
had beautiful memories of her. He was telling ishah to not say anything about

LOVE: The Definition

In English, they say love as a noun:

- A strong, positive emotion of love and affection.
- Love is passion.
- Love means the beloved, dear, dearest.
- A deep feeling of sexual desire and attraction.
- The actual sexual practice.
- A score of zero in tennis or squash.

Other definitions: a feeling of intense affection given freely and without restriction.
This assumes that if you love someone, you love him or her all the way and without

What is love in Arabic? It is ub, which is made of two letters: a and ba. A scholar
said, Even ub is made of two letters only because every loving relationship is made of
two people. You cannot have one without the other. a and ba have the same
attributes and characteristics.

The attributes and characteristics describe the letter in a unique way. For example:
the letter shn has the characteristic of spreading out. Any word in the Arabic with the
letter shin has this in it. For example, the shams (sun) spreads light and heat and rays.
Shajarah (tree) spreads branches, leaves, shade, food, and life. Shayn spreads sharr.

For example: the letter qf. This is one of the strongest letters in the Arabic language.
It is arfl-istil. It is pronounced from the back of the mouth. To pronounce it
properly, your head is pushed back. Al-Qurn, qalb, qalam. The qalam can write books
and ideas that change the world.
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Where does a come from? It is one of the deepest letters of the throat. It is considered
one of the most difficult letters for non-Arabic speakers. Love is very deep. It is tough.
When someone falls in love, it is very deep and very tough and very profound and
sometimes very difficult.

Where does ba come from? Ba comes from the lips with a gentle press. It is one of the
easiest letters to pronounce. Even though love is deep and tough, it always ends so
easily. One of the first letters any child pronounces is ba.

The structure of the word ub is unique. Ba looks like a happy face. When you write
ub, look at the word: it looks like lips. When you pronounce the word and stop on the
ba, your mouth is in the shape of a kiss. The manifestation of love is usually a kiss.

How is ub defined in Arabic?

- The common definition is purity. Al-abab is the white color of the teeth.
- High and clear.
- Necessity and stability.
- Essence of something.
- Taking complete hold and protecting.

True love is pure, clear, everlasting, emerges from the core of ones being, ensures the
safekeeping of the beloved.

The Nature of Love

Is it something physical, emotional, psychological? In the Arab bedouin culture, the

loved ones love each other so much but dont dare to touch each other even by hand.
One of the famous poets was speaking with his loved one and pushed his hand towards
her and she stopped him and said, Dont ruin our love for us. She meant: dont make
it lust but keep it love.

Lust is all about enjoying the other person. In a all way, this is a manifestation of
love, but it is not the essence. If a person thinks it is just about entertaining, then
sooner or later this person will find the love fading out.

When it comes to the essence and nature of love, no two scholars agreed on it. Some
said it was spiritual and others psychological.

Al-Jir said it is a psychological disease. He hated the concept of love because he

wasnt handsome and he wrote that one day a woman stopped him in the marketplace
and said, Can you come with me? He went with her to the jewelry market and walked
in a store and she looked at him and said, Like this, and then she left. He asked the
man in the store what this was about, and he said that she wanted a golden ring in the
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image of the Shayn, and that he had told her he didnt know how the Shayn looked
so she had brought al-Jir to him.

They could not figure out the nature of love.

The Categories of Love

Romantic love When we say love, the first category people think of is romantic
love because of literature. During the Renaissance, most literature was about romantic
stories. One major characteristic of romantic love is that it always ends in tragedy. The
most popular love story in English literature is Romeo and Juliet. It became famous
because it was a tragedy. If they had survived and married, then you would never have
heard the story. Love stories always end with part 1 (they lived happily ever after)
and never tell of the problems and issues.

Spiritual / religious love This is in different degrees: love of Allh, love of Raslullh
(allallhu alayhi wa sallam), love of parents. In the Qurn, Allh did not command you
to love your children because this love is natural and you dont need a religious
instruction to do so. Because you outgrow the life of your parents, Allh always
reminds you off birrl-wlidayn. Birrl-wlidayn and Allh are always mentioned together.
The two biggest sins are shirk and disobeying parents.

The love between husband and wife is not just one kind of love. Advice for a young
couple: dont tell your spouse that you love them for the sake of Allh. If you tell your
wife this, then she will say, Whats wrong with me? He only loves me for the sake of
Allh? Just say, I love you and inshAllh it is enough.

The Signs of Love

How can you tell that someone is in love?

- Mentioning the person all the time.
- Happiness. Emotional high.
- Being restless without your loved one. Why? Allh created women from the rib
of dam, and she is a piece of him. This means every human being is missing a
piece. Every man and woman is always looking for the missing piece. When
they find it, then that is when they feel good. If you have the wrong piece, then
sometimes you have to brush it and then place it in so that it fits. For some, you
have to break it, which is when it is difficult.

Ibn azm mentions many signs:

- The broken gaze (looking off into the sky).
- The lover will direct the conversation to the beloved.
- The lover goes where his beloved is. They want to see each other.
- The sudden confusion and excitement betrayed by the lover when they see
him/her unexpectedly.
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- The level of excitement they have when they are in very tight spaces.
Newlyweds always hold hands and like to be close with one another. This is a
sign of love.
- Clandestine winking at each other.
- Engage in playful tug-of-war of anything. When the husband and wife first get
married, they both insist on taking plates to the kitchen. Then they both let go
and the plate breaks, but the husband says it is okay and he will buy her more.
- Wasting of the body. The person stops eating, drinking, sleeping.

Love transforms through the relationship, and it is up to the couple to keep it alive.
You cant really explain love. You have to live it to understand.

The Ruling of Love in Islam

Are you allowed to fall in love? Yes, it is permissible to be in love. What about loving
someone who is not related to you? Teenagers are falling in love and parents panic. It
is getting serious what can we do about it? They blame the environment for
something that they didnt have control over.

Ibn azm said, Love is neither disapproved by religion and neither prohibited by the
law because every heart is in Allhs Hands. If the hearts are in the Hands of Allh, then
how can we say something is all or arm if we dont have control over it? The word
every heart is in Allhs Hands is what Allh and the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa
sallam) say. Hearts are between the fingers of Allh, and He flips them the way He

Ibn al-Qayyim said, For the love of women, the person should not be blamed for that.
It is a sign of perfection for men. Allh made it as one of His favors that He bestowed
upon them. And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among
yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy
between your (hearts). Verily in that are signs for those who reflect.

Imm Ibn al-Jawzi said, The ulem disagree with the position. Is it something to be
praised or criticized? Why even ask the question? This is a sign of tenderness and
kindness in a person. The one who doesnt feel it is so solid and rigid. [quoting Arabic
poetry:] If you have never felt that love and have no idea what feelings of love are, go
and eat some hay because you are nothing but a donkey. The point he is making is
that when it comes to the feelings of the heart, they are natural feelings that many
have no control over.

The most important question: does love happen by choice or by force? Ibn al-Qayyim
answered this question in his famous book The Garden of the Lovers. He says, The
primary stages of love happen by choice. When it hits, then it hits hard by force. How
is that? A person falls in love by allowing their eyes to wander and ears to listen and
heart to be open. They allow themselves or put themselves in positions of fitnah and
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expose themselves to all aspects of love to fall in love. Many kids think it is a joke and
just want to mess around. People choose to fall in love by opening their eyes, ears, and

Allh (subnahu wa tala) says, Let them guard their sight. The Prophet (allallhu
alayhi wa sallam) forbade women from describing other women in front of their
husbands and brothers. Why is that? When a woman describes another woman for a
man, men are designed with 3D processors and visualize it.

When it comes into the heart, it is hard to get it out. Ibn al-Qayyim says, We should
not judge those feelings, but we judge something else: the actions. The actions have
to be all and legit. If they act in a arm way, then they will be held accountable for
the actions. The feelings of love may be uncontrollable.

When it comes to love, we judge the actions. If you do something good, then you will
be rewarded. If you do something else, then you will be accountable for it. Does love
happen by choice or by force? Love happens by choice first you let your eyes look
and ears listen. Then it happens by force. Sometimes a person may fall in love by
force, meaning falling in love at first sight. Someone may be tested by that love and
show patience and do it the right way. Make the right decisions and act the right way.

Scholarly Works on Love

The scholars least known to be scholars of love write about love. The two most famous
books are:
1) Rawdatl-Muibn wa Nuzhatl-mushtqn by Ibn al-Qayyim. This book is only
available in Arabic. This book is considered an encyclopedia on love. In this
book, Imm Ibn al-Qayyim summarized most of the books written before. He
mentions 50 terms for love in his book and says there are more than 60 Arabic
terms for love.
2) The Ring of the Dove by Ibn azm. He is considered the second most prolific
author in the history of Islam. (The most prolific author was Imm al-abari.
His books were around 30 volumes in his time.) He wrote in almost every
science you can think of.

Does the lover think

that his love can be concealed,
While his eyes are shedding tears
and his heart is glowing,
Had it not been for love,
you would not have shed tears
at the ruins (of your beloved),
Nor would you become restless
at the remembrance of the cypress (tree)
at the high mountain,
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How do you deny love after the testimony,
Borne against you by (such) reliable witnesses
as your tears and your illness.
- al-Bouseeri

Preface: The Faqh of Love

Imm Ibn azm al-Andalusi

(384 H 456 H) 994 1064 CE
A Dove from Andalusia

Europeans showed so much interest in him because he was a prolific author, a

philosopher, and European. He was from Andalus. He grew up in the royal court. His
father was a minister, so he grew up in the palace.

The Other Face of the Imm

1. The life of the Imm

2. The many different characters of Ibn azm

3. The Passions of the Imm

4. Women in the life of Ibn azm

He was taught and trained by the women of the palace. In Andalus, most of the young
royals were taught by female teachers. They taught him Arabic, Qurn, calligraphy,
and so much more.

5. The incomplete love story: Ibn azm & Qahramna

Ibn azm was around 15-16 years old. He had so much love for Qahramna, but she
never responded to him. She was very dry with him. One day she was looking through
the window into the garden, and he acted like he was looking from different windows
until he came next to her. When she noticed him, then he went to the other side. He
tried everything he could, but she only responded formally. He said she never gave
him a smile.

When the first fitnah happened in Qurtuba, they separated and he lost contact with her.
In his late 20s, he met her again. He said that because of the fitnah they went through,
he felt so bad for her. If you read Chapter 27 on forgetfulness in his book, he speaks
about this story. He named the title of this chapter on forgetfulness because he was
talking about remedies to heal from a love experience. One of the remedies he gave to
recover from the relationship is forgetting. When you read his words, you can tell that
he never forgot about her. He talked about her like she was there in front of him. It
shows that his feelings for her were genuine.
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6. The views of Ibn azm on love

7. A critique of Ibn azms: The Ring of the Dove or

This is a beautiful book speaking about human emotions in a polite way.

The Ring of the Dove

By Ibn azm (994-1064)

A Treatise on the Art & Practice of Arab Love

Love-may God exalt you!

- is in truth a baffling ailment,
and its remedy is in strict accord
with the degree to which it is treated;
it is a delightful malady, a most desirable sickness.
Whoever is free of it likes not to be immune,
and whoever is struck down by it yearns not to recover.
Love represents as glamorous
that which a man formerly disdained,
and renders easy for him that which he hitherto found hard;
so that it even transforms established temperaments
and inborn dispositions.

Imm Ibn azm brings the past into his modern time. He gives a window looking into
the lives of Andalusian women: their prestige, their unique status. He mentions that
he had a specific attraction to blonde hair because of his father. The Ummawis were
coming from a line of Europeans. The vast majority was green-eyed or blue-eyed. He
spoke about his father as well. We never hear from him about a wife, so we dont know
if he was married or not. He does speak about his children, so we can assume he either
got married or had concubines, which was permissible at that time.

What is so special about this book of Ibn azm?

He calls it awql-ammmah. In the Arabic language, the ring is a sign of slavery, so it
means love enslaves people. You have to accept this sense of slavery, which is a sense
of obedience to the one you love. Also, when you have a ring around your neck, it also
refers to adornments love beautifies the person and the person in love acts differently
and in a nicer way. Just like the awq around the neck of the pigeon is permanent,
similarly, love is everlasting intimacy between the lovers.

He wrote this book when he was 34-35 years old. This book was a response to a letter
he received from a friend who had asked about love.
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This book was written when he was in exile. He was far away from home. When you
are far away from home is when emotions are provoked. Ibn al-Qayyim wrote his book
Rawdatl-Muibn wa Nuzhatl-mushtqn when he was on a journey away from home.
People start thinking of love when they are away from the people they love.

This book discusses the psychological behavior of humans in love. It shows luxurious
life in Andalus, especially women. It is an Arabic literature masterpiece. It is one of the
few books translated early into English. Some say it is one of the first books translated
into European languages, and the Romantic era was around the same time. One of the
famous theories of love called the soul mate theory comes from this book.

Ibn azm was the founder of the soul mate theory theory, which says: Love comes
because of the spiritual connection between two souls and that connection happens
between the souls before they meet on earth. The souls are created before the bodies
and wander around the universe and meet. To have the feelings continue, then they
need to match themselves on earth. If they find their soul mate, then love becomes
perfect and complete.

The majority of Muslim scholars disagree with Ibn azms theory because for them,
love is not about spiritual connection as much as being practical. Ibn al-Qayyim said,
When it comes to love, it is all about compatibility. The more you share with the
individual in terms of qualities (akhlq, manners, and goals), then the more you love
one another. The more compatibility you have, the more it causes love to flourish.
The less compatibility, the less you will love each other. The less you share, the less
you will love one another. The more you look alike in terms of interests and spiritual
and moral aspects, then the more love you will have for one another.

Why do people fall in love with images? Beauty today is the European standard. It is no
longer natural beauty of an individual. (Advice: Stop watching TV! You are ruining
yourself because it doesnt exist in reality).
Ibn azm answers this question: The reason people get attached to images is because
we always associate beauty with perfection (al-kaml). Allh says, We have created
man in the best image. Some of the ulem argue over who was more beautiful: Ysuf
or dam? Some of the ulem say that dam was much more beautiful than Ysuf, and
Ysuf was given half of the beauty of dam. Shaykh Yaser is inclined towards following
this opinion. Other ulem say that dam was different and Ysuf has half of the beauty
of everyone.

Why do people fall in love with a beautiful image? What is so special about it? We
always associate beauty with perfection, so if we see a beautiful image, then it must be
perfect. When you see a new phone, you think it is perfect and want to buy it. After
you buy it and try it out and see that it doesnt function well, you are really
disappointed because it is so beautiful but has so many problems. Usually gadgets
come with a receipt of a 90-day return policy, but marriage doesnt have that policy!
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When you make your choice, dont just judge it from the outside there is more to look
for in a relationship.

We always associate perfection with beauty. In our perception, a beautiful image is

perfect and a perfect image is beautiful. When you see a beautiful image of a person,
you think that thats the one. This is very dangerous!

For us, we also make this association because of the upbringing we have in this culture.
All fairy tales end with the same statement: They lived happily ever after. Some of
these stories dont make any sense. It is all about being beautiful. Can you imagine
someone getting married because of a shoe size? In Cinderella, the prince went all over
the town just because of the shoe size. It is a story, but look at what they are trying to
plant in our minds: the idea that it is all about beauty.

In another story, there was a very young girl and a hawk flew away with the baby girl
to the mountains. The child was raised in the nest of the hawk. The prince was
hunting and saw the nest above him and fell in love with the beautiful face he saw. He
told his father and they launched an expedition to look for the girl and found her. They
brought her down and took her to the palace, and the son married her and they lived
happily ever after. Can you make sense of this story? How did she look when he looked
at her after growing up in a nest? What language did she speak?

This is the kind of education our children are growing up with.

Ibn azm says that when it comes to beauty: however, you need to understand that
beauty is a relative issue and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There is no one
standard of beauty. Stop contaminating your mind with images from television and
movies. Actors and actresses wish that they looked the way they look on television.
Ibn azm says, Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. What is beautiful to you may be
ugly to others, and what is ugly to you may be beautiful to others.

Sometimes opposites attract. Ibn azm said, Opposites attract. Sometimes the same
thing gives two opposite effects. When you hold an ice cube, it gives you frostbite and
burns as much as charcoal. Extreme joy and extreme grief and sorrow have the same
result: tears and crying.

Love in the Qurn and Sunnah

Does love exist in our books? Yes, absolutely! Allh says in Sratl-Rm: And among
His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may
dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts).
Verily in that are signs for those who reflect.
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Allh made from amongst ourselves spouses so that we may find peace and tranquility
with them. He placed between our hearts love and mercy (passion and compassion).

In Srat le-Imrn v. 14, Allh says, It was made beautiful to people the love for many
desires of womenThis is part of mat (pleasure of this life). We understand from
this yah that the love of men is also in the hearts of women.

In Srat Ysuf, there is a part on non-reciprocal love. The wife of Azz fell in love with
the young boy so much and Allh described how the women were gossiping about her
and her infatuation. They said, shaghafaha ubba. Al-shagf is the thin screen of
tissue that covers the muscles of the heart. When they say shaghafaha ubba, it
means the love of this boy penetrated the screen and went to the muscle. The love is so
absorbed in the heart that she cannot take it out, and she was going crazy because of
the love for him. Allh did not mention any comment about this word after in the yah,
which means that it was true.

There are other yt in the Qurn which are not as explicit when referring to love.

Sratl-Arf v. 189, Allh says, He created you both from the same soul, and He made
the soul so that they may find peace and tranquility. In the details of the yah, Allh
says tagashha which refers to an intimate moment in the relationship of when the
husband covers the wife.

From the Sunnah of the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam), love is mentioned in many
aadth. adth of Ibn Abbs (rayAllhu anhu) in Sunan Ibn Mjah: A man came to the
Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) and said, Ya Raslullh, I am taking care of an
orphan girl. Two people proposed to her at the same time one is rich and one is poor.
We like the rich person for her, but she likes the poor one. To whom should we give
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her? She fell in love with the poor man. Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said,
We do not see anything better for the lovers than marriage. This means that he is
saying to give her to the one she chooses even if he is poor. She may marry the rich
person and have all of the things she needs in dunya but be miserable. Remember that
things are not life!

Amr b. Al- embraced Islam later in his life around 7 AH. He was a great general.
When he became Muslim, the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) asked him to lead a
military expedition. Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) knew the expertise of
people. As Amr was shaking the hand of Raslullh for the bayah, he hesitated and
pulled his hand back and said, I want to make a condition that Allh forgives me for
what I have done. The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said, Dont you know that
Islam destroys all the sins of the past? He then accepted and went out in the

When Amr b. al- (rayAllhu anhu) asked the Messenger of Allh (alallhu alayhi wa
sallam) who the most beloved person was for him, he answered: ishah. He then
said: From men? He replied: Her father. He (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) could have
said Abu Bakr, but he linked him to her because she was always in his mind.

adth of ishah: ishah was most beloved to Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam).
Every time it was her turn, people would start sending gifts. The other wives thought
this was unfair that people would wait until Raslullh was with ishah, and they
complained. He (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said that he could not control the people.
The wives of Raslullh were in two camps: ishah and Zaynab. Zaynab had a very
sharp tongue. They sent Fimah to ask Raslullh for some justice. Fimah went into
the house of Raslullh when he was with ishah and complained to him. When
Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) heard this, he felt hurt that his wives had to put
his daughter in this position, and he said, My dear Fimah, dont you love what I
love? She said, Absolutely. He said, Then just love her. This means: dont talk to
me about her, I dont want to hear anything about her. Fimah heard this and then
left. Fimah told Zaynab that she couldnt get anything. Zaynab then sought
permission to enter and started verbally attacking ishah. Raslullh (allallhu alayhi
wa sallam) was quiet and ishah was waiting for her husband to say something, but he
didnt. ishah looked at Raslullh and he told her that she could respond. ishah
started responding back until Zaynab was completely silent and unable to respond.
When she finished, she looked at Raslullh, and he was smiling and said, That is the
daughter of Abu Bakr. [Muslim]

ishah (rayAllhu anha) said Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) used to give
monetary distribution to his wives and said, Ya Allh, this is what I have in my control.
Do not hold me accountable for what I cannot control (meaning what is in his heart).
Because of this, al-Zuhri said, The first love story we know about in Islam was the love
of Raslullh to ishah. Masrq, the servant of ishah, later became a great scholar
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and when he narrated the stories of ishah, he would say, I heard this from the love
of Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam). People understood he meant that he heard it
from ishah.

The story of Mughth and Barrah:

Mughth and Barrah were slaves and married. ishah bought Barrah and freed her.
Legally, a free woman should not be married to a slave. If a woman becomes free, then
she had the choice of staying with her husband or leaving him. Barrah chose to leave
her husband.

Many men live in a state of denial and think that when their wives are quiet that they
are happy. They dont realize that most women are like volcanoes dormant until they
explode. If you dont keep checking for the shaking, then you lose it when it happens.

Mughth tried to talk to her and persuade her, but she didnt agree. When she left him,
he felt hurt and was crying his eyes out. He was looking for people to help him and
went to Umar and Abu Bakr, but she was listening to no one. Mughth went to
Raslullh and asked him to talk to her. Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) went to
speak to Barrah. He saw Raslullh coming back and he was anxiously waiting for the
answer. Raslullh had asked Barrah, Ya Barrah, why dont you go back to Mughth?
She said, Ya Raslullh, are you commanding me or interceding for him? He (allallhu
alayhi wa sallam) said, I am interceding. She said, If you are reconciling, then I dont
need him. When the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) heard this, he went back to
Mughth. He was devastated and crying in the streets. When he saw her, he would go
after her. One day Raslullh was with Abbs when he sees them. He said, O Abbs!
Isnt it amazing how much Mughth loves Barrah and how much Barrah hates
Mughth? [Bukhri]

Did Mughth and Barrah later reconcile? We dont know.

What do we learn from these stories? Imm Ibn Hajar made the following comments:
1. Love cannot be controlled. Stop trying to control the person you love. Love is in
the Hands of Allh.

2. The term love was mentioned a lot in the Qurn and Sunnah. It is not something
to be ashamed of or to be shy to mention. In some cultures, if the wife dares to say
the word love at home, then it is strange and impolite. Generally speaking, love
was mentioned in the Sunnah and if it was considered vulgar or obscene, then the
Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) would not have mentioned it.

3. To love your spouse is not arm and not something to be ashamed of. It is not a
sign of weakness. In some cultures, a man who shows his love to his spouse is
showing weakness. Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) loved his wives and was
never a weak person.
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4. Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) ordered people to go and check and see the
person to whom they are proposing. Jbir proposed to a woman, and the Prophet
(allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said, Did you see her? He said no, so the Prophet
(allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said, Go and see her. It is better for the relationship to
last longer. The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) is encouraging people to go
and see them. However, you go and see the person you are genuinely pursuing for
marriage. The more people see, then the less they will be satisfied. They have a
Photoshop mentality and want different things from different people put together.

5. Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) sympathized with the lovers. He interceded

for Mughth. He said, There is nothing better for the lovers than marriage.

6. Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) never forbade Mughth from expressing and
showing his feelings in public. When Mughth was crying in public, he could have
told him to stop, but he allowed him to express his feelings. The Prophet (allallhu
alayhi wa sallam) did not scold him for expressing his feelings. Why would
Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) allow a man to go after a woman when she is
no longer his wife? Ibn Hajar comments and said, The man was not acting
rationally when he was doing what he was doing. Sometimes in these positions,
you have to put things in perspective. When someone is so devastated and acting
irrationally, then dont judge them and be easy on them. There was no iddah
because it was final separation anyway.

7. Because of the statement of Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam), Isnt it

amazing, we see that love is an astonishing thing and one of the things that Allh
put in mankind. If you ask people to explain what love is, they wont be able to do
it. It is one of those things you have to experience yourself.

Falling in Love
The mystery of the in-love case

What is the in-love case? It is the stage of life when a person falls in love first
because of physical attraction. There is an inner conviction that the togetherness
experience is the most amazing thing they have. They like to be with each other and
hang out with each other if not physically, then over the phone or texting or
dreaming about each other. Because of that, they become obsessed, which creates
dreams of marriage and passion. They start building castles over the clouds and she
dreams of prince charming coming on a white horse. When people get to that point,
they have illusions that the beloved is perfect.

You may ask the person in love if he has talked to her, and he will say that it doesnt
matter because he loves her. There is the illusion that the person is perfect, and
because she / he is perfect, then there will be no problems.
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The average life span of the in-love syndrome is two years. It can be expanded or
shrunk based on how they deal with each other.

There is a temporary emotional high. Sometimes it can be very painful. The moments
of pain become sweet memories after. Because of being on an emotional high, it is very
difficult to rationalize love with someone who is feeling this. It is hard to explain to
teenagers who are in love because they dont think straight. They think it should be
easy because they love each other.

When people fall in love, they cannot rationalize anything and they dont think
straight. If parents try to rationalize too much in that moment, they may lose their
children. What do you do? Validate their feelings. You dont have to agree with them
on their approach, but they need to know you respect their feelings. Dont shun them.
They need to understand that their parents are there to help them out. If you dont
listen to them, then they will find someone else and that person may give them the
wrong advice.

When they see the reality of life, then that is when real love starts. Love transforms
itself. If you always think of love as one definition or one principle, then you will miss
the point. Love transforms itself in the relationship. How?

Marriage can be divided into five phases. If they survive the first two years, then things
will become much easier after.
1) The first phase is the in-love phase.
You dont know much about the other person, and everything you see is nice.

2) Honeymoon phase.
This is when they consummate the marriage and live together. Before living
together, they only see the best parts of each other. The second phase is the
exploration phase. In this phase, they are cracking the mystery of the
individual. You see everything, and everything sounds and looks beautiful
even the way she sneezes or the way he brushes his teeth. During these times,
many young men and women start to act like themselves and drop their guard.
They never keep the love alive through action.

3) Disappointment phase.
When they got married, they set their expectations very high. Real life is not as
easy as they thought it would be. They depend on each other to wake each
other up for fajr, and then no one wakes up and they blame each other and are
disappointed. The husband sees his wife isnt as serious about ijb and is
disappointed. He may not be as serious about alh and sunnah, and she is
disappointed. They may be disappointed in the ways they treat each others
families. What comes next?
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It is up to you to stay disappointed and be depressed or get over it and move to
the next phase by overcoming difficulties and fixing the problems.

4) Compromise / adjustment phase.

The husband and wife have the choice on whether to accept the compromise or
walk out of the relationship. They make adjustments in expectations until they
reach the common ground. When they reach the common ground, then they
set the standard for the next phase.

5) Auto-pilot.
When they see issues coming up again, they know how to handle it.

What harms love?

Ibn azm has a list of things that harm love. What is the number one thing that can
harm or hurt love? Cheating. This can come in different formats. Examples: a woman
sees her husband online watching things, a man sees his wife socializing with another

The second thing that hurts love is arguments. They dont know how to communicate
with each other and use inappropriate language. There is a difference between arguing
and conversing. When you converse, you have to accept that you may be wrong. When
you argue, then you think that you are right.

Other reasons given by Ibn azm:

- Exploitation of love
This is when a man uses his love for his wife to exploit her or vice versa. If you
love me, then do this Do not use this card unless it is a serious and essential
matter. If you use this every time, then it will become very cheap and your spouse
may say I dont love you anymore. Dont keep abusing the love by compromising
it in a cheap way.

- Disrespect
A man demands respect from his wife the most, and a wife demands love from her
husband the most. For a man, respect is a sign of love. Ibn azm says that
disrespect hurts love.

- ghbah and nammah

Most of the gossip that hurts husbands and wives comes from family members.
Dont let anyone even your closest relatives gossip about your spouse in front of
you. Let your family know that you respect your spouse and dont want to hear
gossip about him/her. Ask them to tell you what may have happened without
making it overly dramatic.
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- Long, unnecessary separation
Staying away from your spouse for a long time is not healthy. Staying away for a
short time is good. Having a reasonable separation provokes feelings of love and
longing to meet your spouse.

- Distractions
Things may happen that distract the spouses from each other. The most distracting
things in the house today are the television, PC, iPad, and iPhone. In Arab culture,
the television is turned on just to have noise in the background even if no one is
watching. Dont put the television in a prime location. Keep the television in an
inconvenient location so that the children wont want to keep watching it. If you
put a television in your bedroom, then it is the end of your relationship.

Decency or indecency?

A few years ago, there was a report in Time magazine speaking about betrayal and
infidelity it marriages in America.

In the last four chapters of his book awql-ammmah, Ibn azm was bringing people
back again to the level of decency. He reminds them of Allh and to fear Allh and
show patience. In the Sunnah of the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam), love was a
beautiful emotion. If anyone wants to practice love, they need to make sure they do it
in the proper way. You cannot create your own fairy-tale.

Advice for young men and women: dont start a relationship unless you are close to
marriage. Once you get in, then it is very hard to get out of the situation and very
hurtful. Dont start a relationship unless you are ready for marriage.

What is real love?

This real love story is the story of ishah (rayAllhu anhu) and Khadjah (rayAllhu
anha) with the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam).

A Story of Real Love

Imm al-Zuhri said: The first love story ever known in the history of Islam was the
love of Raslullh (alallhu alayhi wa sallam) for ishah, and Masrq used to call her
the love of Raslullh (alallhu alayhi wa sallam). Ibn al-Qayyim

How can you make love in a marital relationship successful? Raslullh (allallhu alayhi
wa sallam) didnt just love his wives but lived with them and interacted with them.
There were ups and downs, but the relationships survived. How can you make sure
love continues even after you get married?
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Marriage therapists have two major theories on love:

1) Love bank account theory.

Usually when a person introduces himself to someone with whom he hopes to
start a marital relationship with, they immediately open a love bank account. In
a bank account, you care the most about the balance and dont want your
checks to bounce. When it comes to love, it is not any different. You have to
maintain balance in your love account. How do you keep balance in your bank
account? You keep checking the account and write down how much is in it.
You track your spending and deposits. How do you make sure you have enough
balance? In your love account, you need to deposit chocolates, flowers, and
even money. In order to survive, you have to keep good balance in your love

How is your balance in your love account measured? Someone may say he
doesnt feel love anymore. When you first meet someone, you show the best
of what you have and the husband is really generous and the wife is always
caring about her husband. The husband may say: she stopped acting the way
she used to be. The solution is that you need to love her. You love through
actions. All of these actions are acts of deposits. When newlyweds get married,
they come into the marriage with a surplus and then they start withdrawing
from the account. In order to make sure you keep love active in the
relationship, you have to maintain it and move up. Continue with good acts.
The way she loved you in the beginning will continue if you continue acting in
the best manner. The same goes for the brothers. There will be some
adjustments such as when you have children and as life progresses. With these
adjustments you can still continue to find ways to please your spouse.

2) Love tank theory.

Men and women react differently to the gas meter. Men fill gas when the light
goes on to indicate the tank is empty. Women fill the tank when the line goes
below half a tank. This is exactly how husbands and wives act in real life. For
men, as long as the marriage is going on, there is no need to stop to fill. Women
need to check every few days that everything is okay. The man doesnt stop
frequently to check on his wife and thinks that as long as she is quiet, then
everything is running smoothly.

In relationships, husbands keep running until the light goes on and then when
they look for a station to stop, there is none and they get stranded in the middle
of the highway (relationship). Men and women act differently.

When it rains, most women turn on the wipers at the first raindrop. They want
to make sure that the wipers are working. Men turn on their wipers when they
cant see through the windshield.
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1. Infidelity in the Western family life

2. Muslims at the doorstep of the Western version of marriage. Why?

3. The real love story:

- Raslullh (alallhu alayhi wa sallam) and Khadjah (rayAllhu anha )

- Raslullh (alallhu alayhi wa sallam) and ishah (rayAllhu anha )

ishah (rayAllhu anha) said Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) would reach for
the hands of his wives and hold their hands in a loving manner. We know so many
beautiful stories of the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) with ishah (rayAllhu

He (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) lived many years with Khadjah and had many children.

Who was better: ishah or Khadjah? Who was more beloved? Ibn Taymiyyah solved
the problem and said, The question is not legitimate because they did not live at the
same time. Each is the best and most beloved during her time. Had they lived together
at the same time, then you can make the comparison.

Main Concepts of Love Notes





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Chapter 2 | The Earnestness of Love
O Mankind! Fear your Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like
nature, His mate, and from them twain scattered (Like seeds) countless men and
women; - Fear Allh, through whom ye demand your mutual (rights), and (reverence)
the wombs (That bore you): for Allh ever watches over you. (al-Nis, 4:1)

Allh is reminding us that He created us for this purpose. Allh reminds us to be

careful because we use His Name to establish relations.

The Status of Family in Islam

Family Life: Basic Principles

1. Family is considered a divinely inspired institution.

This means that it is not a man-made system. You cannot change the structure of
families. There are many yt and aadth. In the Qurn, Allh says, And they have
taken from you a strong covenant (marriage). Allh called marriage a strong
covenant. Allh regulated most of the rules of marriage in the Qurn and they were
not left for man to decide: divorce, separation people, etc. Allh establishes these rules
in the Qurn. Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) elaborates on these issues and tells
us the amount of the mahar, the witnesses, the wali, and so on.

2. Marriage is considered a social contract.

When you sign a contract, there are responsibilities. There are rights and obligations.
You need to honor the contract based on the rules. You cannot invent rules along the
way. You have to respect the overall rules of marriage. It is not just about you
anymore but about the social contract.

Many of the youth get married and still want to continue with doing what they were
doing. Many young boys want to hang out with their friends. The girl doesnt want to
leave her family. Understand that it is no longer yours but ours.

Once you get married, your relationship of maram is expanded immediately. Once you
do the nik, the mans mother-in-law is maram to her for the rest of his life and the
girls father-in-law is maram to him for the rest of her life even if they divorce. This is
a very serious relationship.

Once the marriage is consummated, then there is an expansion of the relationship.

After you have a child, family members take on new roles: grandparents, aunts, uncles,
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3. Families are a faith-based structure.

Unfortunately, today many have lost this concept of the mission Allh has given us on
earth, which is to worship Allh on earth and to procreate and produce people who
worship Allh. Many parents care about their childrens secular education more than if
they pray altl-fajr on time.

Allh (subnahu wa tala) says in Sratl-Nr: The corrupted ones marry the
corrupted ones. The good ones are for the good ones. Allh establishes that marriage
is based on faith.

Make sure you assist one another to worship Allh (subnahu wa tala).

4. Islam promotes marriage and forbids any pre-marital relationship

between men and women.
slam came to regulate the relationship between men and women before marriage.

Structures and Rules

Marriage is considered a social contract. It came to regulate the rules of marriage and
divorce. Marriage was made a civil contract. Ulem place the books of nik among
the contracts because they are dealing between people.

Inner Circle: Once a man and women get married, they establish the inner circle, which
contains the husband and wife, parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren.
These are the closest marams.

Middle Circle: Then there is the middle circle (expanded maram relationships). These
are the people to whom you are not allowed to get married. These relations are
established through one of three ways:
1) Blood relations (blood brothers and sisters - full or half, maternal and paternal
aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews)
2) Affinity (father-in-law and mother-in-law, step-children)
3) Breastfeeding
The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said anything forbidden by blood
relations is also forbidden by breastfeeding.
Example: The mother of Family B gave her son to be breastfed by the mother in
Family A. All of the children of Family A are now his siblings. Can the brother
of the one breastfed marry any of the girls of Family A? Yes, he can. Only his
brother became maram. The uncles and aunts of Family A are also not marim
to the son who was breastfed.

Outer Circle: This includes cousins and their children and in-laws and their children.
They are not maram but are considered expanded, extended family.
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Based on this, what is the position of the man and woman in the family? Who is in
charge of the family? Usually the man is the head of the family. The woman wants the
man to be the head of the family. Unfortunately media shows an image of man that is
completely unrealistic. This culture has girl-ified men and they dont act like real men.

In reality, the man is the head of the house, but the woman is the neck, and wherever
the neck goes the head follows. The woman is the manager and does everything.

Stop fighting over who is in charge of the house because it is a losing battle.

Love, Marriage and Family Life

You have to maintain love and mercy to have a successful marital life. Some people
raise their children with no feelings of love and have never shown their children how
to love. When children see love and mercy between their parents, they learn. Children
with loving parents are happy and laugh a lot. If children are grumpy and yell a lot,
then it indicates there is a problem in their house.

Parents need to show a degree of love and respect for one another so that their
children will learn and can carry it on to their families. Most families today have a
limited number of children. When this happens, then often there are children of the
same gender. When you have all girls in the house, it is difficult for them to learn how
to deal with men if their father is not a good role model. Similarly, if there are all boys
at home and the husband does not treat the wife well, then the husband does not know
how to act with a girl.

The Family and Society

Family is a faith-based structure, and there should be love and mercy in the
relationship. Allh commands us in many yt to establish a society based on faith.
Allh said, Allh promises those who have faith and do good deeds that He will
establish them in society. They pray and establish the good and forbid the evil

The History of Marriage

Marriage: The Definition

Western definitions:
- A legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.
(This excludes multiple wives.)
- A set of cultural rules for bringing men and women together to create a family unit
and define their roles for one another.
(This is common law marriage.)
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- An ancient practice of taking a long-term sexual partner.
(This includes same-sex marriage.)
- Civil contract between man and woman.
(This excludes religion.)
- Legally living together as husband and wife.

For Muslims, it is different.

The First Marriage dam & Eve

The first marriage was that of dam and Hawwa. Allh said, O dam, you and your
spouse live Allh also said, From him he created his spouse (mate).

Do we have any details on this marriage? No, we dont. Did they consummate their
relationship? We know that on earth they had an intimate relationship. We dont
know if they had an intimate relationship in Jannah. In Sratl-Arf when Allh spoke
about the story of dam, He tells us that Shayn tempted them to reveal that which
was hidden from them, which is their awrah.

Marriage before Islam

The Orthodox Jewish practice of marriage is similar to the Muslim practice of marriage.
Arabs call the marriage contract katbl-kitb, and Jews call it kitb. They also have a
guardian for the bride and a bridal gift and need witnesses.

Reformist Jews are different and have adjusted the marriage contract to be similar to
what Christians do. Christians have different denominations and different
interpretations. The most orthodox in terms of marriage are the Catholics. They have
traditions that have been followed for many generations. Their orthodox opinion, in
theory, is that divorce is not allowed and is only permissible in the case of infidelity.
Other denominations have civil practices.

ishah (rayAllhu anha) mentioned different forms of marriage the Arabs had before
- Al-shagar, which was a form of trade (giving the daughter in exchange for a
sister). Islam forbade this practice.
- Group sex. There would be one woman and several men. When she gets
pregnant, she chooses which man to give the child to, and he cannot refuse.
- A woman gets pregnant after having relations with different men, and the child
is given to the man based on similarities in appearance.
- Prostitution.
- Regular marriage that we have today.
All of these forms of practice were forbidden except for the last one, which is the one
we have today.
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Polygamy or Monogamy?

In Islam, we practice polygyny and not polygamy. Is polygyny (having more than one
wife) or monogamy the default? Fuqah argue over whether it is better to marry one
or more than one. Both opinions are mentioned in the books of fiqh. Shaykh Yaser
inclines to marry one unless there are circumstances that arise obligating more than
one such as in a war zone.

A few years ago, there was a report that if every single man got married in New York
City, then there would still be unmarried women. This is a very serious matter.

If there is a need to marry more than one wife, then it is encouraged.

Heterosexuality or Homosexuality?

Allh tells us that marriage is between man and woman. No man-made law can make a
Muslim accept same-sex marriage. If you are asked about same-sex marriage, a Muslim
should openly say that Islamically it is not acceptable and is punishable.

The first practice of homosexuality came in the time of L. Sratl-Arf v. 80-84:

And [We had sent] L when he said to his people, Do you commit such immorality as
no one has preceded you with from among the worlds? Indeed, you approach men with
desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people. But the answer of
his people was only that they said, Evict them from your city! Indeed, they are men
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who keep themselves pure. So We saved him and his family, except for his wife; she
was of those who remained [with the evildoers]. And We rained upon them a rain [of
stones]. Then see how was the end of the criminals. [Sratl-Arf, 7:80-84]

How do we deal with Muslims who have homosexual tendencies? This is becoming
very common. This has to be dealt with on a case-by-case scenario. Sometimes there
are biological issues and a person is born a hermaphrodite (has male and female
organs) and gender cannot be determined until puberty is reached. These people have
separate fiqh rulings in Sharah in terms of alh, ahrah, marriage, children, and
inheritance. Homosexuality is a psychological issue and should be treated on a case-by-
case basis. Try to change the environment, lifestyle, what they see and what they do.

Islam & Marriage

The Messenger of Allh (alallhu alayhi wa sallam) said: and I marry women.
Therefore, one who shows disinterest in my Sunnah is not from (my true followers).

The context: Some men came and belittled the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) and
said, As for me, I will always spend my days in fasting. The second said, I will spend
my night in qiyml-layl. The third said, I will disengage from the pleasure of this life
(meaning: I will never get married). The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) heard
about their statements and gave a khubah and said, I am the best amongst you and I
fast and break my fast and I sleep and I break my sleep, and I marry women. He
(allallhu alayhi wa sallam) is warning that these people are not true followers.

Is it permissible to choose not to get married? Some circumstances may not allow a
person to get married early or easily. It is permissible for a man or woman to choose
not to get married at all? It is not arm, but it is not permissible it is makrh. Some
great ulem never got married such as Ibn Taymiyyah. Celibacy is not encouraged and
not recommended at all.

Uthmn came to Abdullh b. Masd and said, Ya Abu Abdillh, if you like, you can
marry a young lady. Ibn Masd said, Im too old for this and cant do it anymore.
He said, Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said, If you are able to get married, you
should get married.

The Legal Definition of Marriage

Marriage is a contract between a man and a woman, which allows both to enjoy the
person of one another, their cooperation and decides the rights of each and their
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It is a contract. It is between a man and a woman this is very specific. One of the
main purposes of marriage is to allow them to practice what is prohibited for them
without a marriage.

Other ulem have different definitions based on how they view it.

Group Activity:
Form groups of 10 and come up with the top 5 reasons why men and women today are
delaying their marriages.
From the sisters:
- No proposals. This means: why arent guys taking action?
- High expectations, being too picky
- Education and career
- She is a breadwinner for her family
- Waiting for older siblings to get married (this is a cultural thing)
- Waiting to get the right person
- Bad experiences from others who are married (this means they are traumatized
from the experiences of others). They are scared of marriage.
- Families are particular about race / culture
- No venues to find people
- If a woman works, men think they cannot be a good wife
- Men judge women who are divorced / have a broken engagement
- No physical attraction
- Personal goals (education)
- More women than men are looking to get married
- Brothers are immature
- The girl is not ready for responsibility
- Discrepancy between education levels

Top Reasons from group discussion:

1) Education they dont want to wait for a girl to finish school, especially higher
2) Finances
3) Cultural / parent expectations
4) Unrealistic and high expectations

Women have been scared off from marriage. By getting a higher education, they have
an easy exit to get out of the marriage. Knowledge and education should teach them
how to be intelligent and patient and work through problems in marriage. However,
instead weve instilled the wrong value and told them that they need to have an
education and job in case the marriage doesnt work out.

Most women will say that they seek knowledge for self-enrichment. They want to
achieve something. If she knows that a guy will not wait, then she should try to finish
quickly. Also, if she knows that further education will hinder getting married, then she
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should secure getting married first and then finish the education. These are the rules
of marriage and we have to abide by them whether we like it or not.

From the brothers:

- Finding a job, finances, focusing on career
- Immature mindset (they are not ready to get married)
- Incompatibility
- Cultural expectations / family issues
- Lack of understanding of your dn (they dont understand the value and
importance of marriage)
- Unrealistic expectations
- Fear of rejection
- The guys are too picky (looking for the perfect girl)
- No venue to get married
- Family constraints (siblings have to get married first)
- Fear of commitment
- Want freedom
- Bad examples from friends / past experiences
- High wedding costs
- Family responsibility
- Not finding the right person

Top Reasons from group discussion:

1) Financial this means that if a guy is still in school, then he doesnt want to get
2) Parents / cultural expectations

The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said, The less the dowry, the more the barakah
/ blessings. The more financial burden put on the wedding, the more interference
there is with the couple. Every time something happens in the relationship, the
parents will taunt their children that they paid for everything. The husband doesnt
feel secure because her father is interfering. When he feels insecure, it creates tension
between the husband and wife.

Everyone has bad experiences, but Allh gave us eyes in the front of our head so we can
look forward instead of back.

If a guy isnt financially ready, then he shouldnt start looking to get married and
shouldnt try to start a relationship. Many young guys want to do this to reserve her
and get engaged. If you wait for three or four years until you get married, the chances
are high that you may change your mind along the way because as you get older, your
perceptions and tastes and manners and akhlq and priorities will change. A long
engagement will hurt both the boy and the girl.
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The Purpose of Marriage

- What is the number one reason for people to get married? Pleasure. They want to
make what is arm all. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

- Also, they want to fulfill half of their dn. The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam)
wanted people to get married.

- Having children and raising a family. The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said,
If you die and leave a righteous child behind, then that child will make du for
you and be a running charity.

- Protection from fitnah and evil. If there are issues between you and Allh, then it is
not fixed just by getting married. If you dont fix it first, then it may haunt you

- Marriage can also be a source of discipline. Those who are not married do not have
the structure for marriage. They are irresponsible with their spending. Once they
are married, they are able to save and see barakah in their money.

Are there any disadvantages of being married?

- You lose freedom. This means that the precious, private personal time is almost
gone. Men and women need to adjust to this new life. Give each other some space
and they will come back energetic. If a wife keeps pushing her husband, he will go
- Financial burden and stress. This may cause the compromising of different things.
- Marriage can be a distraction from worship because of too much of being into love
and pleasure or dealing with financial stress. Also, when you have children, they
can give you a lot of stress.

The Ruling of Marriage


There is a man who is physically and financially capable of getting married and has
a strong desire to get married. If he gets married, he will treat his wife well. If he
doesnt get married, then it is likely he fall into the arm.
Ruling: wjib.

There is a man who is physically and financially incapable of getting married. He

will most likely mistreat his wife. If he doesnt get married, he most likely wont
commit the arm.
Ruling: arm
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A person has the financial and physical ability to get married. If he doesnt get
married, he will not fall into the arm. If he gets married, he may mistreat his
Ruling: Makrh until he solves his issue.

The standard rule for marriage is mustaab. It is highly recommended. It can be

upgraded or downgraded based on the circumstances of the individual.

Marriage as an act of worship

Imm al-Shfii said marriage is not an act of worship and that it is like any other
contract. The majority of the fuqah say that the essence of the marriage is worship.
Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said, Even when someone fulfills his desires he
will be rewarded...if he did it in a arm way, then he would be sinful. Also, the
Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said about the relationship between husband and
wife: You get reward for the morsel of food you put in the mouth of your spouse.

It is a contract.

Characteristics of a Prospective Spouse

Many people dont know how to write a matrimonial for themselves. A marriage
resume is one page with three pieces of information: bio information (very basic), who
you are, and what are you looking for. Write the things you think the other gender is
looking for in a spouse when you describe yourself. This is just a all bait. Once the
fish is caught, then give more details.

Desirable characteristics in a bride

Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said, A woman may be married for four reasons:
for her property, her status, her beauty, and her religion, so try to get one who is
religious, may you be blessed.

Desirable characteristics in a groom

Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said, If somebody comes to you and you are
pleased with his character and religion then marry him. If you do not, there will be
discord on earth and widespread corruption.

The important qualities: dn and akhlq. Dn means the relationship between the man
and his Creator. The akhlq is the relationship between the man and other people.
There are four central qualities and then peripheral qualities to look for.
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You should not compromise on these qualities:
1. Dn. The person should have a minimum of ibdah like the five daily prayers. If
someone has a spiritual problem, you cannot be the solution for it. Dont put
your spiritual failure on someone else.

2. Akhlq and manners: how they treat others. Ask other people. Ask people in
the masjid if they know him.

3. Religious ideology. It is permissible for a man to marry a Jewish or Christian

woman. If a person wants to make sure his children grow up in Islam, then it is
better to marry a Muslim woman.

Peripheral qualities these are qualities the ulem mention:

- Fertility. Ask within the family how many children there are.
- Virginity. The first experience sets the stage for them. If the first experience
was traumatizing, then it may cause problems. Because of higher rates of
divorce, there are more people in the same scenario dealing with each other.
- From a house of contentment being simple, down to earth, easygoing people.
If you marry someone extremely wealthy, you will never be able to satisfy
- Lineage, the status of the family. This depends on the status of your family as
- Beauty. Look for someone who is handsome / beautiful. They never put a
standard for the beauty. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. You need to
marry someone who will satisfy your eyes.
- Age. They did not set any age limit. They always prefer to have an age
difference between the husband and wife. The average gap should be 3-4 years
difference. Women mature faster than men. Also, it gives women a sense of
security that the man is more experienced. It gives the man a sense of
- Have an easy dowry. When you go to someone who puts a lot of requirements,
it means that you are not welcome. The easier, the better.

What about marrying someone from a different culture?

It is permissible to do so. People who have grown up in America grow up colorblind.
They dont see colors but the quality of an individual. It is not about matching the boy
and girl together as the parents matching themselves. It becomes family to family and
not boy to girl. Kids who have grown up here have developed their own culture.
Parents should take it easy on their children.

Scenarios in which inter-cultural marriages are successful:

- If the community is well culturally integrated. Look at the d parties. When
people of different cultures are sitting together and mixed, then it is much
easier to marry.
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- The boy and the girl live in a city different from their parents cities. They dont
have to deal with the in-laws as much.
- Marrying a convert. Converts dont have that cultural baggage. They are
genuine and easygoing.

What do you do if your parents disapprove of marrying a person of a different culture?

Dont even start communicating with anyone before you are ready for marriage. Once
you become ready, then start getting your family integrated with other cultures. Bring
friends of different cultures home.

Importance of Piety & Righteousness

- in the bride
- in the groom

If you are at one level, then dont fantasize about marrying someone who is at a higher
level religiously. The other person will be looking for someone higher than them too,
just like you arent willing to look down. It is best to look for someone at the same level
so that you grow together. If you marry someone with more religiosity, it will be a
liability for you because no matter how much you try to catch up, it will never be
enough. The other person will also be moving up and going higher, so you will never
catch up.

There are core principles of religiosity like alh and aqdah that should not be
compromised on.

How do you balance the mahar? The important question is: what is the purpose of the
mahar? Mahar is not a safety or security net. No matter how high the mahar is set, if
the man doesnt like the girl, then he will ruin her life until she wants a divorce. The
mahar is not a safety net it is a bridal gift. It is a symbolic sign of generosity and to
show good intentions. Many fathers misinterpret the principle and charge the guy
hefty amounts of money.

The qualities in the inner circle: dn and akhlq (manners). Dont compromise on these
things. People are at different levels of religiosity. Conservative for one person may be
liberal for another. Dont let anyone who doesnt understand your level of religiosity
look for you until you define what is religious to you.

The peripheral qualities are preferences based on culture, social status, level of
education, etc. These things cannot be overruled unless dn is a priority over culture.
Is it arm to follow the culture? No, it is not arm. However, if culture will always
become an obstacle to fulfill Allhs Commandments, then it is a problem.

Is it permissible to do the nik and delay the consummation of marriage? Yes. What is
the appropriate time period between the nik and consummation of marriage? There
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is no preference Islamically. The shorter the period, the better because there is a
chance for an easier break-up.

Selecting a Prospective Spouse

Preference of a relative or a non-relative?

Class Activity
Advantages of marrying a relative:
- Family is already known
- Family support system
- Share the same culture

Disadvantages of marrying a relative:

- A divorce creates fitnah within the family
- Families may interfere too much in the relationship
- It is awkward because you grow up with your cousin and are like siblings (this is
based on culture and perception)

In traditional Arab culture, it is the most desirable to marry the first cousin. In the
past, they wanted to keep the wealth within the family. It also maintained the power,
prestige, and tribal affiliation. Today tribal affiliation is not as important as it was in
the past.

It is all to marry your first cousin, and you shouldnt have any bias against it. You can
disapprove of it for yourself, but dont ruin it for other people. Raslullh (allallhu
alayhi wa sallam) married his first cousin Zaynab bint Jash. Allh (subnahu wa tala)
initiated the contract for him.

In Islam, there is no indication of preference for marrying a relative or non-relative.

Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) married a cousin and he married non-relatives.
He (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) married Arab women (abba, ishah, Zaynab) and he
married non-Arab women (afiyyah and Mariah). He also married a convert

Set up family marriages: is it allowable?

There are two kinds of arranged marriage. The first type is the one most criticized,
which is the forced marriage. In a forced marriage, someone tells you that you have to
marry someone without giving approval. It is not acceptable to put emotional pressure
and force someone to get married. If this happens, the marriage contract is a valid
contract because you had the chance to speak out in front of an authority and did not.
The marriage contract is considered valid unless there is serious abuse.
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The second category of arranged marriage is when the meetings are set-up for the
couple and the final decision is theirs. These arrangements are acceptable.

In some cases parents make the choice for their children. A father may say that his son
can marry any girl he wants but from a particular village, etc. This is not really a
choice. Some parents put many limitations on their children.

Engagement by commissioning

It is acceptable to have an engagement by commissioning. Can they do a nik on your

behalf without you being there? Yes. The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) married
Umm abba through commissioning. She was in Abyssinia when he proposed, and she
accepted, and they got married. She came three years later to Madnah.

If you ever give someone the authority to look for you, please make sure it is a limited
authority, meaning they look for you but dont make the marriage contract for you
until you approve it.

Why is dating arm?

What is dating? Enjoying someone physically and emotionally without any limitations
or responsibilities. This is not acceptable in Islam. Intimacy without marriage is arm.
Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said, No man and woman will meet without a
maram except that the Shayn is the third. The concept of dating in this sense is
prohibited in Islam.

The rate of divorce in America is 68%. This means that for every 100 marriages, 68 are
ending up in divorce. This tells us that dating, which is supposed to be the reason for
them to have a better marital life, is not serving its purpose. Dating does not guarantee
a happy marriage.

Islamically, how do you get to know someone in a all way? Supervised meetings. The
most traditional way is inviting the individual to the house while there is a maram at
home. A maram is a man at the age of puberty who is responsible and mature and
unmarriageable to her. The purpose of having a maram is in order to make sure the
guy is responsible.

Do the conversations have to be in the house? What about going to a public place
without a maram? This is legally and Islamically still considered khalwah because a
maram is not present.

This is to ensure not to drag the conversation too long. Many guys enjoy the
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What if the woman doesnt have any male family members or is a convert? The
Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said the one who is in the position of authority in
society should act as a wali on her behalf.

Does the maram need to sit on the same table or can he be somewhere else? He
doesnt have to be with them. The purpose is for the girl and guy to look and see if they
are interested. They can be across the room so that the wali can still see them.

Read the book I Do, but I Dont: Walking down the aisle without losing your mind

Matrimonial Services: What is the Ruling?

Generally speaking, it is permissible to participate in matrimonial services. Online

services are also all. Be careful about where you are placing your profile. Take
permission from your family.

There is also a new form of matrimonial services called speed dating. Is this
permissible? Sometimes the first look can seal the deal. A book called Blink discusses
how people make decisions based on seeing something and then justifying it later.
Islamically and legally, there is nothing wrong with speed dating (as long as it is done
in a all way).

The Engagement Ring

What is the ruling on wearing an engagement ring? Many people associate the ring
with a practice that happens in the church. However, this practice has become very
common even in Muslim countries. There is a rule in fiqh: You should not tolerate
things when they happen, but as they become common, you should tolerate them.
Once it is common as a Muslim practice, it should not be rejected unless there is
something about the practice that makes it arm (such as a religious connotation).

It is acceptable to wear an engagement ring. The ring shouldnt be very visible and
attract the eyes of other men. The purpose is just to show that you are married.

People usually wear three rings throughout the marital relationship: one is mandatory
and two are optional. The first ring is the engagement ring. The second ring is the
wedding ring. The third ring is suffering. The engagement ring and wedding ring are
option. Suffering is a must! You have to suffer a little bit in order to survive in your

Men cannot wear gold it is not permissible. Platinum is permissible.

Is it better to publicize the engagement? Yes, once it is decided, then it should be

publicized in order to avoid other proposals coming.
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Procedure in Selecting a Bride

The role of female family members

Traditional families depend on a very strong expanded social network. It is highly
recommended for your relatives to look for you.

Today, we have a different structure and each Muslim community is considered family
for you. The female role is still applicable to your situation. Ask the females in your
community. Speak to people in the community and talk to them. Ask other women if
their husbands have friends or know potential spouses.

Can you look for a spouse in public spaces?

You are allowed to do this such as going to the masjid. If you seriously want to get
married and come to the masjid, be careful about where you go and look. Do it in a very
respectful way. If you have a sister or mother, then their role can be important in this

Direct proposal to a female: is it allowable?

Islamically, it is permissible and all for a man to approach a woman and make a direct
proposal. However, it does still depend on the culture. In some cultures, it is offensive
for a man to directly propose to a girl. In other cultures it is okay.

The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) directly proposed. The fuqah made it very
clear that it is permissible. In Sratl-Baqarah v. 235, Allh (subnahu wa tala) says,
And there is no harm on you when you discreetly send a proposal to a woman. Allh
is speaking about proposing to a widow whose husband has died. During the mourning
period, a direct proposal is not allowed, but a man can send hints.

Procedure in Selecting a Groom

The right of the woman to select her prospective husband.
The woman has the right to say yes or no. Islamically the final choice is the girls
choice. Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) annulled a marriage contract that took
place without the approval of the girl. A woman came to the Prophet (allallhu alayhi
wa sallam) and said, Ya Raslullh, my father gave me in marriage to his own nephew
who is not in good social status but we are well off, and I disapprove of this. The
Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) called the father who said this was true. The
Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) nullified the marriage contract instantly and said it
was not allowed. The woman then said, Ya Raslullh, now I accept. The Prophet
(allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said, What is this for? She said, I wanted him to know
that he cannot make the decision for me. This shows that no man has the right to
force a woman into marriage.

However, a father can filter the proposals and has the right to say no to proposals. A
woman shouldnt marry without the approval of the father unless the father becomes
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abusive. In an ideal Islamic system, she can complain to the authority who will take
away the fathers authority and give it to the next wali in her family.

Offering a female family member to a righteous person.

This is permissible. The evidence for this is in a Bukhri.

Umar b. al-Khab (rayAllhu anhu) said, I met Uthmn b. Affn (rayAllhu anhu)
and offered afah to him in marriage. I said, If you wish, I will marry afah bint
Umar to you. He said, I will think about it. Several nights were passed, and then he
said, I think that I do not want to get married at this time. Then I met Abu Bakr and I
said, If you wish, I will marry afah bint Umar to you. Abu Bakr kept quiet and did
not give me any response. I became more upset about him than about Uthmn. Several
nights went passed, then the Messenger of Allh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) proposed
to her and I married her to him. Then Abu Bakr met me and said, Perhaps you felt
upset when you offered afah in marriage to me and I did not reply? I said, Yes. He
said, Nothing prevented me from responding to your offer but the fact that I knew that
the Messenger of Allh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) had mentioned her, and I did not
want to disclose the secret of the Messenger of Allh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam). If he
had decided not to marry her, I would have accepted your offer. [Bukhri]

These cultural things correlate with the level of education of people. The more
educated people are, the less they abide by culture. The less educated, the higher the
attachment to culture because it gives a sense of security and comfort.

Direct proposal to a man: is it allowable?

It is permissible. There are aadth from the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam). A
woman came to the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) and was interested in marrying
him. The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) looked at her and then looked down,
which meant that he was saying no. The lady saw this and then sat down. A man was
sitting there and said, Ya Raslullh, if you dont want her, can I marry her? The
Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) looked at the lady and she gave approval. The
Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) asked the man what he has to offer as dowry. The
man went out and looked for something, but he was very poor. He came back and said,
Ya Raslullh, I dont have anything. The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) told
him, Go and look again and find anything, even a steel ring. He came back and said,
Ya Raslullh, the only thing I own in the world is the piece of cloth around me. He
(allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said, Do you know anything from the Qurn? He said,
Yes. He (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said, Marry her and your mahar is to help her
memorize those srahs. [Bukhri]

SubnAllh, what an amazing mahar! Can you put a price tag on this?! Bukhri
recorded this adth in the Chapter on the Person who Offers His Sister or Daughter to
Someone He Thinks is Righteous.
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Unfortunately today people want money as mahar to show the social status of the

Anas narrated this story, and when he finished, his daughter became offended at how
the woman could do this. Anas was upset with his daughter and said, She is more shy
than you. She found Raslullh to be the most righteous and offered herself to him.

Many ulem like Sad b. al-Musayyib offered his daughter to his student. Abdullh b.
Wadah was a faithful student of Sad b. al-Musayyib. One day, his student was
missing from the alaqah and then they met after a few days. Abdullh b. Wadah
said, I lost my wife. He immediately asked, Did you get married? I have a wife for
you. He brought the people and made the marriage contract and gave him his
daughter. [The culture at that time was very different.] He was fasting, and there was a
knock on his door and he sees Sad b. al-Musayyib. He panicked and thought that Sad
b. al-Musayyib was thinking he rushed the marriage. Sad b. al-Musayyib said, Since
you got married, I didnt want you to spend the night without your wife. Abdullh b.
Wadah said that when he saw his wife, she fainted. It may have been the first time in
her life to be with a man who was not her relative. He went upstairs and started calling
the neighbors. The ladies came and fixed the situation. The next day, Abdullh said he
was getting ready to go to the alaqah, and his wife asked where he was going. He said
he was going to the alaqah and she said, Sit down. I will give you the knowledge of
Sad b. al-Musayyib. You have to have men to raise women like this!

Imm al-Kasani wrote a book, which is a commentary on a smaller book by Imm al-
Samarqand. Al-Samarqand was teaching a book and al-Kasani wrote the commentary
and then gifted it to his shaykh. When the shaykh saw this, he was impressed. In
return for the favor, he gave him his daughter in marriage. It is said that Imm al-
Kasani loved his wife so much. Al-Kasanis biographer said, He loved her so much.
When she died, he used to visit her grave every Thursday (the end of the week) until he
died. When he passed away, he was buried next to her. They used to call it the grave of
the woman and her husband.

Looking at the Opposite Sex

The ruling on lowering ones gaze

Men and women are obligated to lower their gaze in front of the opposite gender,
particularly when socializing. When it comes to marriage, they are allowed to look.
This doesnt mean that you go to a public place and look around.

Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) encouraged men before making a final decision to
see the woman. The best way is to go to the family and an arranged gathering so that
they can sit together and talk. When they meet together, how much is permissible to
see of one another? There are various fiqh opinions.
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The majority opinion is that the man can see from the woman what she wears when
she goes out. If she wears niqb, she should remove the niqb. He can see the face and
hands. He can talk to her and see how she talks. Can they check out the person in
public places afterwards? Yes, they can see how they interact with friends and other

Are they allowed to see each other in private places? Can she see him when he works
out at the gym? No, of course not.

Looking at Ones Prospective Bride

1. The legal ruling
It is highly recommended to see the person before making the decision. It is not wjib,
and you can trust the opinion of others.

2. The reason of permissibility

To explore the beauty. It is an incentive for a person to marry the other person. When
you sit with the person, you dont just see the physical beauty, but you also see the
inner beauty and how interesting the other person is.

3. The eligible time for looking

Start looking once you know the person you are proposing to. A man cannot look at
girls all over the place. When they have someone in mind, then they can go and look.

4. The condition of permissibility

There has to be genuine intention for marriage.

5. The procedure
It can be done in a formal meeting. It is also allowed in some casual meetings. A
meeting may even be set up without your knowledge.

6. The allowable amount

The allowable amount is enough to make a decision. However, the person should have
the intention for marriage, and it should be a reasonable amount of time. Usually you
make a decision from the first time, and then the rest of the time you justify your

7. The allowable duration

The duration does not matter as long as it is done in the appropriate way.

8. The number of times

There is no limit to the number of times. If a guy keeps coming many times, then the
girls family should tell him that he needs to make a decision.
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Questionable Ways

1. Sneak a peek
This is a major sin. The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said, If a person tries
to do this and you poke their eye, then there is no liability on you. This is a very
serious matter.

2. Hidden cameras
This is prohibited and arm.

3. Looking at a picture
This is permissible with permission.

4. Looking through the internet

This is permissible and acceptable provided there is also the permission of the wali.

5. Being in privacy without maram

6. Being alone in a public place without maram

This is not acceptable

7. Setting up a casual situation without her knowledge

This is acceptable and permissible.

8. Can they text or e-mail?

Yes, if the wali approves and if it is in the phase of knowing each other. It is highly
recommended to CC other people on the e-mail.

The quality men like most about women is hay, shyness. If a woman has a proposal,
how much hay should she show? You have to have a normal conversation. Men in
the West also want a woman who is somewhat independent. You have to balance and
show hay and also show that you are capable of doing things.

What if the man who proposes to a girl is very good but she just doesnt like him? Does
she still have the last and final say? Can she still reject him? Yes, she can reject him.
At the time of the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam), a woman married Abu Qatdah
and after some time, she came and said, Ya Raslullh, I dont complain about his
akhlq and dont complain about his dn, but I dont like him. The Prophet (allallhu
alayhi wa sallam) said, Will you give him back what he gifted you? She said, Yes.
The man took the mahar back and they were divorced.
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The Consequences of a Marriage Contract

1. Kind treatment

2. The conjugal right enjoying the spouses person

3. The move to his residence

This is after the consummation of marriage. If a young boy is still in college and
wants to marry, he may have his nik done and then consummate the marriage
later. It is permissible for them to consummate the marriage because they are
married. If they do this before they had planned, then her parents have the right to
tell the husband to then take his wife because he is now responsible to provide for
her. As long as she is under her fathers roof it is his responsibility.

4. The dower
The mahar is what is decided between them. Once the marriage is consummated,
the wife has the right to ask for the mahar. It is automatically her aqq and right
once the marriage is consummated. What if they get married without knowing
about mahar? She can get the mahar later and it would be what is customary for a
woman of her status. Elders of the culture / community would decide what that is.

What if a man gives the wife the mahar and then takes it back so she doesnt receive
it? In some cultures, the husbands mother gives a lot of gold jewelry but then after
the wedding it is taken from her and kept in the bank. This is not right. When a
mahar is given, it is hers and she can do whatever she wants with it.

5. Sustenance and spending

6. The establishment of affinity (unmarriageable kin)

7. The verification of the childs lineage

If a woman is pregnant, then it is assumed that the child is from the marital

8. The establishment of the inheritance right

Even if there is no consummation of marriage, they still receive from the

9. The right of obedience to the husband

10. The right of the husband to chastise his wife

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Chapter 3: Marital Rights
And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is
equitable; but men have a degree (of advantage) over them. [al-Baqarah 2:228]

Gender Equity in Islam

1. Are men and women equal? Differences or preferences?

Physiology: men and women are different physically. Therefore, practically they
cannot work the same jobs.
Art of speech: Women speak better than men.
Emotional capacity: Women have more emotional capacity, which is why Allh
gave them a lot of difficult duties (childbearing, childcare).

Based on the differences between men and women, Allh gave them different
preferences. Allh made men and women are different. There is equity. In some
issues, women are preferred and in other areas men have preference. They balance
each other. It is a matter of balance rather than equality. Allh (subnahu wa
tala) says, Women are the counterparts of men.

When it comes to the issue of religiosity, men and women are equal. Both men and
women can be righteous at an equal level.

When it comes to spirituality and education, they are equal.

In terms of leadership, Allh has given the preference to men. He has a degree of
leadership and responsibility that comes with authority in the relationship.

2. The natural differences:

- Physiological differences
- Emotional differences
- Neurological differences

Rights and Obligations

1. Differences of rights or preferences?

2. Rights & obligations in Islamic Law

3. Equal rights & obligations between man & woman

They are equal in religion, ownership, spirituality, and education.
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4. Different rights & obligations between man & woman
They are different in leadership and inheritance. Why do men usually take a higher
portion than women? In inheritance, the one with more responsibility takes a
higher share. If the deceased leaves both parents, then the father takes 2/3 and the
mother takes 1/3 the father is still responsible financially for the mother.

The Rights of Spouses: Mutual Rights

Having the right to enjoy one another

The woman also has the right to demand from her husband.

Treating each other in good manners

Allh (subnahu wa tala) says, They deserve rights equal to them, but men have a
degree over them.

Establishing the right of inheritance

The Rights of the Husband

Men translate this as: respect. Dont argue with your husband in a way that shows
disrespect. It hurts his ego.

Remaining in the house, and leaving with permission

If you leave the house, dress modestly and properly. Do not go out to show off.

Is a woman allowed to go out without seeking the permission of her husband?

There is general permission that a husband gives to his wife, and she doesnt need
to keep asking (i.e. get groceries, pick up children from school, etc.). Seek
permission if it is something that you take from his legal time as a husband. When
he comes back from work, he expects his wife to be there with him. If there is a
party, then she needs to ask for his permission. The woman asking for permission
is a show of respect, and the husband shouldnt have a problem with her asking. He
just needs to know that she respects him. If she always goes out without his
permission, this is rebellion (nushz) and is often a reason for divorce.

The worst husband you can marry is a control-freak.

Responding to his call when he calls her to bed

The man also needs to fulfill her rights. The mans need is different than a
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Protecting his house in his absence
The husband may not like other people coming to his house in his absence. Is she
obligated to obey him in this regard? What if it is her sister? Technically and
Islamically, she is obligated to obey him. At the same time, she needs to find a way
to reconcile this. Even if it is her parents, then she is still obligated to obey him,
and it is a serious matter. Men should be warned from asking their wives to cut
themselves off from their parents.

Serving the husband

This is cultural. How much are women obligated to serve the husband? It is not as
much a matter of obligation as an act of love. If a woman loves her husband, she
will do things out of love, and he doesnt even have to ask.

Culturally speaking, women are obligated to cook for their husbands. In traditional
books of fiqh, a woman is not obligated to cook for the husband, and the husband
has to have a servant, but this was during that time period. Ibn Taymiyyah said,
Treat them kindly, and if serving the husband is not a sign of treating them kindly,
then what does that mean?

Is a husband obligated to cook for his wife? He is not obligated because this is
known as bil-marf. It is usually the womans job. When the man does it, then he
does it out of his love.

There is a cultural change and now it is acceptable for a man to participate in

chores around the house. This is how men and women are raised in this society.

Protecting his honor, children and wealth

It is assumed the woman takes care of the house and the children. The majority of
women realize that once they have a child, they need to cut back on their working
hours and adjust to having a new life.

Being thankful to him

One of the most important things a man requires from his wife is for her to be
thankful first to Allh and then to him for his efforts. The husband works hard and
expects appreciation.

From the book The Truth about Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do
About It The number one reason why men cheat and stray is because they are
emotionally dissatisfied. The number one reason why they are emotionally
dissatisfied is because they feel under appreciated.

The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said the main reason for women being in
the Hellfire is because they are ungrateful and he said, If you are nice to them their
entire life and see one thing from you, they will say that they never see any good
from you.
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Being grateful doesnt mean you humiliate yourself. Also, it doesnt mean you
accept his mistakes.

The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said, Each one of you is responsible for the
flock he is taking care of. Therefore, he is responsible for discipline in the house.

The Rights of the Wife

The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said, They have rights similar to the rights
against them. Generally speaking, women have a share in all of the rights the man
has. Men have a degree higher of authority over women. Where does the authority
come from? It comes from responsibility. With authority comes responsibility.
Women are upset when the man demands his authority while he is not assuming his
responsibility. In order for the wife to respect your authority, the husband has to
assume the responsibility.

Treating her in a kind and good manner

Teaching her the matters of the religion - worship

In traditional societies women are under educated in their dn because they cannot
go to the masjid. This is a big problem. If the man is unable to personally provide
the ilm and knowledge and opportunity for his spouse, then he needs to create the
opportunity or environment. She can go to classes or take classes online. The
husband needs to provide her with the opportunity.

Maintaining her chastity

In many situations, the man has no interest whatsoever in intimacy because he is a
workaholic. A woman has a right to be fulfilled as well.

Financially maintaining her

Allh distributed the load of this life between men and women. It is the mans
responsibility to provide for his wife. What if the wife works? Where does her
money go? Islamically, the money that the woman earns from her work is hers.
However, what if her work takes from the time that is supposed to be dedicated to
the family? A husband can tell his wife that if she works then she has to contribute
to things at home. The time that she is taking from work is the time that is
supposed to be dedicated for family. However, this has to be done through mutual

Is it permissible for the wife to put a condition in the marriage contract that she
will continue working? Yes, she can. The husband cant object afterwards. If she
wants to quit later and the husband wants her to work, then he has the right to
demand that she works because it is in the contract.
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Does the husband have to provide clothes for his wife? Yes, what is considered
reasonable and bil-marf. The husband takes care of the necessities. He buys her
accessories according to what is reasonable. Recommendation: create a budget and
give the wife a budget to spend from. Whatever she saves, she can spend from it
and the husband shouldnt say anything about it. It teaches the wife to be
financially responsible. If a man decides that his wife shouldnt work, then he
should be considerate that she needs pocket money. The husband should give her a
budget and some pocket money.

From the Life of Raslullh (alallhu alayhi wa sallam)

Reality is different from theoretical opinions. How did the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa
sallam) live his life?

The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) had more than eleven wives. When he passed
away, he had 9 wives. The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) was acting as
Muammad, the man, when he married Khadjah (rayAllhu anha). After Khadjah
(rayAllhu anha) died, Allh wanted to establish rules of marriage through the Prophet
(allallhu alayhi wa sallam), so he married several women. He (allallhu alayhi wa
sallam) married an older woman and a younger woman. He (allallhu alayhi wa sallam)
married an Arab and a non-Arab. This shows that you can marry someone from a
different culture. He (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) married a relative and non-relative.
He (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) married through arranged marriage when Allh married
him to Zaynab. He (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) married abba by proxy. He (allallhu
alayhi wa sallam) married a born Muslim and a convert (afiyyah). He (allallhu alayhi
wa sallam) married a divorcee, widow, and maiden. ishah (rayAllhu anha) was the
only woman the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) married who was a virgin.

ishah (rayAllhu anha) bragged to Fimah (rayAllhu anha) that she was the only
wife of the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) who was a virgin when he married her,
and Fimah responded, He was only a virgin when he married my mother

He (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) married single moms. Umm Salamah was a very jealous
woman. When Abu Salamah passed away, the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) went
and proposed and she said, Ya Raslullh, I am so jealous and cannot stand other wives,
and I have other children, and He (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said, As for your
jealousy, I will ask Allh to make it easy for you. As for your children, they will be like
my children.

Allh says in the Qurn, This is exclusively for you. This is not for anyone else. It is
to teach us all of these things.
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If you imagined the life of the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam), you would imagine
an ideal life. The life of Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) was not any different
from anyone else. There were ups and downs in marriage. There were moments of
happiness and anger. He (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) was normal and natural.

Of the eleven wives, there were two camps, meaning they didnt all get along. ishah
(rayAllhu anha) was the head of one and Umm Salamah (rayAllhu anha) was the
head of the other. On ishahs team: awdah (she was the age of ishahs
grandmother), afiyyah, afah. On Umm Salamahs team were the other wives: Umm
abba, Zaynab. They always competed against each other.

When traveling, the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) took with him whoevers turn
it was. Sometimes it was ishah and afah and sometimes others. If one of the wives
wanted to stay home, then another would take her place. When they traveled, the
Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) was very considerate. When traveling, most men
think about the destination, and the woman is thinking about the journey. The Prophet
(allallhu alayhi wa sallam) was very considerate and he would spend time with his
wives. The wives would be in a tent on the camel. He would talk to them so that they
wouldnt be bored or extremely tired and so that they knew he cared.

On one journey, ishah (rayAllhu anha) was with afiyyah, and she told afiyyah
that they should switch tents. When Raslullh came back, he thought he was speaking
to ishah but was speaking to afiyyah. Eventually, he (allallhu alayhi wa sallam)
decided to camp. He ordered that the tent of ishah be moved to his tent because it
was her turn. When ishahs tent was moved away from his (because she and afiyyah
had switched places), she looked and saw him (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) with afiyyah
and got so jealous to the extent that she went out in a desert bush and put her foot in it.
This adth is in Bukhri.

Recreation is very important on a journey, especially at that time when they would be
traveling for weeks. The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) was walking in the desert
with ishah. He (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) ordered the caravan to move ahead. He
(allallhu alayhi wa sallam) told ishah to race to a tree. ishah won the race. They
were having fun. They raced another time, and he (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) won and
said, One by one! Have some fun! Do something that is fun and recreation.

He (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) would respect and listen to his wives. Women want a
husband who listens. In Raman, the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) was in itikf
and afiyyah went to visit. He (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) spent time with her and she
kept talking until she was satisfied. He escorted her outside of the masjid and she kept
speaking with him, and he (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) was listening. Two anris saw
the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) with the shadow of a woman, and they felt shy,
and he called them back and said, This is afiyyah. They said, We dont suspect, ya
Raslullh. The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said, Shayn is very clever.
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When afiyyah (rayAllhu anha) wanted to ride on the camel, Raslullh (allallhu
alayhi wa sallam) knelt down on one knee beside the camel so that she could step on it
and climb onto the camel. As she was doing this, he concealed her with his garment.
This is like holding the door open for your wife. It is the act of a gentleman.

Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) had some fun interactions in the house. ishah
and awdah were in the house. ishah admits that she was never a good cook. She
brought a dish that didnt taste very good. ishah and Raslullh started eating, and
awdah didnt eat. awdah said, I dont like it. ishah said, Eat or I will smear your
face with this. awdah said, I dont care. ishah took some food and smeared her
face with the food. awdah looked at Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam), and he
smiled and gave her the sign to pay back. She took some and went after ishah. They
were all laughing. This is something very normal.

Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) was very gentle. ishah (rayAllhu anha) said
the first thing he did when he came in the house was brush his teeth using the miswk
so his breath was fresh, and then he would kiss his wife. When he would leave, he
would give a goodbye kiss. She said, Sometimes Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam)
would kiss some of his wives on the way out to the masjid while he was fasting, and
then she would laugh. Why did she laugh? She was talking about herself. Zaynab was
asked, Did Raslullh ever kiss his wife while he was fasting? She said, No, he didnt.
She was told ishah said this, and she said, Maybe with her.

When Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) ate with his family, he would take time to
connect with them. He said, You are rewarded for putting a morsel of food in the
mouth of your spouse. ishah (rayAllhu anha) said he used to give her a cup and
she would drink. Then he would drink while she was watching and turn the cup so that
he drank from the same spot. He is establishing a connection between himself and his

When the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) called ishah, he used a nickname and
would say, Ya ish. Use a beautiful nickname.

Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) would take showers with his spouse. There are at
least two reports from the Sunnah: from ishah and Maymnah. When ishah was
asked, Did the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) ever see from her what a man sees
from his wife? She said, One day I was watching the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa
sallam) take a shower and he washed from the right side first. They used to spend time
having fun. She said, Sometimes we would take a shower until I would say, Save some
for me!

Sometimes the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) would be sitting with his wife and
put his hand on her hand. This is a beautiful gesture.
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When it comes to ibdah, if you check aadth of the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam)
on when he did qiyml-layl, ishah would be sleeping. She would sometimes be lying
down in front of him. This means that she was there enjoying his company and making
him feel comfortable. Once he passed away, ishah (rayAllhu anha) devoted the rest
of her life in ibdah. During his lifetime, she wasnt known for qiyml-layl and fasting
as much.

Even in the house of Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) there were some issues. One
time Umar overheard the wives of Raslullh raising their voices with him, and he
sought permission to enter. The moment he entered, the wives all became quiet, and
he said, Look at you! Arguing with Raslullh and when I come in you stay quiet?
Umm Salamah said, Raslullh is very gentle and kind, and you are very rude.

One day Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) got to the point when he was unable to
take it anymore, and he swore by Allh (subnahu wa tala) that he would not
approach his wives for an entire month. He boycotted them for an entire month. He
sent people to take care of the house. In order to fulfill this vow, he isolated himself in
the loft above of the house of ishah. There was a staircase that led to the masjid.
When this news spread, the people thought that he had divorced his wives. Umar
rushed to the house of afah and said, I told you to not act like ishah! Umar
found Bill outside of the staircase and told him to ask permission for him to enter.
The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) remained quiet. Then he came down and Bill
said he isnt answering. After the third time, Raslullh allowed him to enter. Umar
said, I saw Raslullh on his side and very upset. I said, When we were in Makkah, the
women were respectful and obedient, and the anri women are very vocal and our
women are acting like them. The other day I was speaking to my wife and she
answered back. Raslullh smiled. The moment he smiled, I felt comfortable and sat
down. I asked, Did you divorce them? He said, I am boycotting them for a month.

After a month, he came back. He went to the house of ishah. She said, Well, the
month is not over yet. This means: if you are going to be upset, then you have one
more day. Because Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) loved her so much, he
tolerated all of this. He said, The month can be 29 days or it can be 30 days.

This shows how normal the life of the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) was. They
were human beings and had ups and downs and emotions and feelings. It was very

When the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) became ill, he had to rotate the houses of
his wives, and he felt tired to keep rotating. The other wives understood he is waiting
for the day of ishah and told him to stay there and they would come visit him there.
He spent the last 14 days of his life in the house of ishah. The last few moments show
the amazing relationship between a husband and wife. ishah said Raslullh was
lying down in his bed and was so physically weak that he couldnt move his hand. She
came from behind and was holding him from behind. His back was on her chest and his
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head was between her chin and chest. With her hand, she was reading the Qurn and
using his hand to wipe over his body to ease his pain for the barakah and blessing. Her
brother Abdul-Ramn came in with a miswk in his hand. He stared at him, and I
knew how much he loved using the miswk. I asked, Do you want me to take it for
you? He nodded his head. I took the miswk and bit the tip of it and cleaned and
softened it. She gave it to him, and he started cleaning his mouth. I saw him
cleaning his mouth in a way I had never seen him do it before, as if he was preparing
for something special. Suddenly he put the miswk down and put his hand up and said,
In the higher companionship. In the higher companionship. I realized he was given
the choice by the angel of death. His soul came out. Suddenly I felt the weight of his
head on my chest. Look how close they were together in life and death. This is an
amazing story. Where are the women who stay with their husbands until their last
breath? They do exist. ishah was crying and didnt know what to do and told the
people that Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) was done.

She remained so close to Raslullh until the last breath. Whenever she mentioned this
story, she bragged and said, He died between my chin and my chest. She was saying
that she never let go of her husband until his last breath. She was also bragging that
the last thing to be in his stomach was her saliva because he used the miswk.
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Chapter 4: Marital Discord
A report came out in January 2012 by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding
in Canada: Understanding Trends in American Muslim Divorce and Marriage by Dr.
Julie Macfarlane. They were looking at trends in Muslim marriages in America. They
interviewed individuals from Canada and America and found:
- Approximately half of divorcees identified themselves as professionals. This
means the level of education wasnt sufficient to make them happy in the
- Many had graduate degrees, and their degree did not contribute to the success
of the marriage.
- The majority were college graduates.
- 20% were cross-cultural marriages.
- They had limited pre-marital counseling, and it was limited to a brief meeting
with the imm.
- Almost all signed a standard form of marriage contract and did not negotiate
specific clauses or discuss the terms of the marriage contract.
- Almost all of the divorcees wished that they had been offered more extensive
pre-marital counseling.

Marital Discord

Definition: Nushz

The Arabic word is nushz, which means rebellion. It is a sign of marital discord or
strife. There are many ways to define it. Generally speaking, nushz is when each
spouse has hatred for one another and treats each other in an improper manner.
Each spouse transgresses and is hostile to the other. The wife is disobedient and
does not obey. Sometimes the husband is rebellious and transgresses against her,
so he acts mean towards her and is not loving.

It can be caused by either one of the two contraction parties. A woman can be
nshiz and a man can be nshiz. In Sratl-Nis v. 34, Allh says, And those whom
you fear the nushz. In Sratl-Nis v. 28, Allh says, And if a woman fears her
husband acts towards her with nushz and stays away from her.

What causes marital discord?

There are three kinds of marriages:

1. Traditional
Both agree that the wifes place is in the house. Traditional roles are assumed by
each gender as decided by society. The man is the breadwinner. The wife stays at
home and takes care of the children. She is not expected to work. She knows her
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role is a stay-at-home mom. The husband is not responsible for the house or
childcare. His role is outside of the house.

2. Egalitarian
Both husband and wife believe there is no difference between man and woman and
their roles in society and at home. They believe they both have the right to a career
and should provide income for the house and take responsibility of the housework.
Even though the wife is carrying the baby, the husband will also have the
responsibility of taking the care of the child after he is born. When the child cries
at night, one night the wife will get up and another night the husband will get up.

In theory, this sounds amazing. In reality, it is hard to achieve this easily and only a
few marriages are egalitarian.

3. Transitional
This is a combination of both: traditional and moving towards egalitarian but stuck
in the middle. They are willing to assume roles other than the traditional roles.

4. Mixture
A girl grew up in America and is known to be outgoing and outspoken and possibly
career-oriented. She marries someone from a traditional country with traditional
values and he expects his wife to take care of the housework. There is a lot of fitnah.
The woman is willing to step down from the egalitarian mentality towards semi-
traditional (more transitional). The guy from the traditional country may not be
able to shift his mind off of being traditional. He may not accept his wife to drive,
go out, or work. They fight and argue all the time. Sometimes they both think they
are egalitarian because the husband respects the wifes opinion, but they overdo it
and it causes a lot of fitnah.

What is the most successful? It depends on the culture. For some, egalitarian is very
successful and both husband and wife are doctors. When there are mixed marriages,
there are problems, and you have to be careful the way you treat the spouse.

Break the silence (dangers of marital discord)

Some people dont like to talk. They are insecure and say talk to anyone except for
the imm because the imm knows them. Arbitrators should be sent from both

Marriage counseling in Islamic Law

Men have to accept that marriage counseling is part of the solution.

How to solve the problem

Is it permissible for the man to physically discipline to solve the problem? Allh
(subnahu wa tala) was stating the facts of what was happening in that society
and used the word waribhunna. According to the yah and practice of the
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abah, it was physical discipline. How do we explain this? In this society today,
we interpret it to mean physical abuse, but the ulem say that the man has no right
to use physical discipline if he leaves any marks, bruises, or broken bones. If
anything like this happens, he is liable to Allh (subnahu wa tala) and by law.
This is why many say it is a manner of creating emotional stress. According to the
fuqah, if a man uses a miswk, he should not take his elbow away from his body (so
it doesnt hurt regardless of how much he tries). It is not about beating.

The yah does not promote domestic violence. If a man chooses to beat his wife,
then he is not thinking that Allh told him he could do this. He does it and then
tries to justify it. They do it because they have issues. There are high incidents of
domestic violence regardless of faith. Unfortunately it is becoming more common
in the Muslim community. The number one cause of domestic violence is financial

When Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) narrated this yah to the public, and
they did what the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) criticized, a woman came
complaining to the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) and he said, Those who do
that are not good people.

Seek counseling. It is better than getting into the problem of domestic abuse. The
Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) never laid his hand on his wives or servants.
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Chapter 5: Languages of Love
Group Activity: In groups of 10-12, write down what you consider loving actions and
what you consider hateful actions.

What men consider loving actions:

- Show affection
- Being respectful
- Give attention
- Obedience
- Smiling
- Food on time
- Massage
- Wife maintaining herself (dressing up)
- Communication and mutual discussion
- Being thankful
- Being supportive
- Show respect to his family
- Physical actions
- Appreciation
- Clean house
Most popular: respect, appreciation, communication

What women consider loving actions:

- Being emotionally available

- Appreciation / respect to her family
- Physical intimacy focusing on spouses pleasure
- Appreciating her (i.e. bringing gifts)
- Complements and words of appreciation
- Help around house and with children
- Gifts
- Express positive emotions
- Validating opinions and views (dont make fun of her opinions)
- Support
- Admitting when he is wrong (the two most difficult statements for guys are:
Im sorry and I love you)
- Reminders to be closer to Allh
- Listening with eye contact (meaning: respect my opinion while I talk)
- Quality time
- Showing concern by asking caring questions
- Be thoughtful, show you are thinking about your wife (i.e. send a text message)
- Surprises
- Generosity
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- Being a family man
- Saying I love you
- Sharing feelings
- Cooking for her

Hateful actions for women:

- When husband doesnt engage in conversation

- Lack of validation (this means: when she shows concern, dont just make fun of
- When he indulges too much in distractions
- Not assuming role in household
- Comparing them with other women
- Yelling
- Being unappreciative
- Silent treatment
- Creating a mess and not cleaning up
- Not paying attention
- Being judgmental
- Being indecisive
- Jerk behavior
- Tug-of-war in parenting (not being on the same page when it comes to
parenting rules)
- Using technology when she is talking (being distracted)
- Inviting guests without informing her
- Disrespect
- Criticizing
- Being rough
- Taking out work stress at home
- Spending too much time elsewhere
- Bad language
- Short temper
- Restrictive without a valid reason
- Poor communication
- Complaining when she is trying really hard (being under appreciative)

Hateful actions for men:

- Ignoring them
- Backbiting (talking about his family)
- Not keeping family secrets (Note: this goes back to men not listening to women.
If she cant find someone to listen to her at home and the husband keeps
shutting her out, then she will find someone else to listen)
- Being aggressive
- Being dishonest
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- Overspending
- Disobedience
- Being argumentative
- Neglecting duties
- Not being thankful
- Disrespect
- Playing mind games
- Not being ready on time
- Putting down the husband in front of others
- Complaining when he comes home
- Being unappreciative
- No food
- Dirty house
- Nagging (talking too much, being argumentative)
- Not taking care of herself
- Lack of responsibility

Shaykh Yaser has done this activity many times all over the country and gets the same
results. This means men and women are thinking the same thing. Sometimes you need
to tell your spouse what you really need from them. Say: Listen, when I talk, I dont
mean to hurt you or disrespect you, but it is my way as a woman to let things out. Ask
your husband how to deal with him if he is silent and doesnt want to talk.

Ask your spouse what he/she wants you to do in the situation. Ladies assume that the
men should know better. They think, if you know me, then you should know without
me saying anything, but the men need to have guidance.

For those who are not married, study the opposite gender. For those who are married,
show tolerance.

Love after the Wedding

We must be willing to learn our spouses primary love language if we are to be

effective communicators of love.

Disclaimer: these techniques and principles also work with anyone you know from the
opposite gender.

1. Does marriage kill love?

Ibn al-Qayyim said, Marriage should increase love if the intentions of both parties
are always strong and together (they always work together for the same purpose).
If they have their own divergent paths, then they are not on common ground and
will always have problems.
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2. Communicating love to your partner
Women think that men should know better. It is true that if the man and woman
know each very well, then they wouldnt have to speak. ishah (rayAllhu anha)
said, One day Raslullh said, I know when you are happy with me and when you
are unhappy with me. When you are happy, you say, No, by the Lord of
Muammad, and when you are happy, you say, No, by the Lord of Ibrahim.

Be blunt and tell your spouse that you dont appreciate when he / she says or does

3. Rationalizing love in marital life

Women hate a man to tell them that they are too emotional. At the same time, men
hate women to tell them that they are so rigid.

Romance lasts for around 2 years, and you expand it by good and loving actions or
you can shrink it through hateful actions.

4. Love is a choice
You may marry someone you are not attracted to and then by seeing them do
things, you can choose to love them. Love is an action, and if you think of it this
way, then you can put it into practice. If you think of love as a dream, then it will
never materialize.

Understanding Differences

1. Men are from Mars & Women are from Venus

Read the book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. The author speaks
about universal values. Even though men and women speak the same verbal
language, it is translated differently.
Another translation: men are Macs and women are PCs. If you try to open a Word
document on a Macbook that doesnt support Office, you wont be able to. The only
way to open it is to have Microsoft on your Mac.

If a woman says, The sun is beautiful, the man just agrees. She means something
differently and is saying: It is beautiful, lets stop so we can watch and have a cup
of tea and talk.

When a man is silent and stressed out, he may just turn on the television and flip
channels but not watch anything. He is silent because he wants to let things go and
relax and then he will speak. Women think that silence is intimidating and not
natural. They have no idea what is coming next and try to make him talk, but then
they get into a fight about it.

Understand what they are saying from their perspective in order to communicate
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2. Understanding the different values

Men value time differently from women. Why do men and women hate shopping
together? The first thing a man does when he goes shopping is check the time.
When he leaves, he checks the time. Shopping for groceries together is like a
treasure hunt. He wants to split up and get things quickly. For the woman,
shopping is an experience to be together. When a woman sees a dress she likes and
says nice dress, the husband looks at the price tag, but she is just commenting. It
is just about spending quality time together.

The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) would talk to his wives when they were

3. Crisis approach, and coping with stress

ishah (rayAllhu anha) said that when the Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam)
became stressed, he would go pray. He wanted to be silent and focus on ibdah.
Also, she said he would hold onto his beard.

Why do men and women fight? A husband comes home and sees his wife sitting
silent and notices that she had been crying. The first thing he thinks is she is
stressed out. A man in crisis wants to be silent and alone. He asks, What is going
on? A woman usually says, Nothing. (She wants him to inquire more and show
that he cares). For a man, nothing translates into nothing. For a woman,
nothing means ask me more and show me you care. The man then says,
Okay, and leaves. The wife then thinks he is insensitive. The husband thinks he is
giving her space.

When the man comes home from work and is stressed out, he sits and either does
nothing or distracts himself. She comes to him and asks when he wants to eat, and
he says, Later. She goes back and forth to try to talk with him. She then asks, Is
anything wrong? He says, Nothing. For the woman, this translates into ask me
more, so she says, Whats going on? Something is wrong. He again says,
Nothing, and she continues to ask more. A man saying nothing means

A man likes to be in his cave in crisis and a woman likes to talk and take everything

4. The motivation power

Men get motivated when they feel needed. Men feel empowered to give when they
feel needed. If they feel that their woman is no longer in need of him, they lose
interest and start looking somewhere else. Show your husband that you respect
and appreciate him.
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When women are cherished and cared for, they give. When a husband sees his wife
crying, dont say whats wrong? Just come and sit down next to her and give her
a hug and hold her hands. Dont say a word until they start speaking. When they
speak, they will say things you dont like, but they dont mean to hurt you. They
only mean to feel good when they talk. The husband doesnt have to give feedback
on how to fix it.

5. Expressing feelings through different languages

When a man is really stressed out and silent, dont push him to talk. A mans
emotional cycle is like a rubber band. Every time he comes too close to his wife, he
tries to go farther away. He wants to have some space. This is why he wants to
hang out with his guy friends. They need that just to feel like themselves. He goes
away and when a woman sees this, she runs after him. He will never reach his
potential. He will always feel uneasy and restless. If you let him go for some time
and he reaches his potential / max, then he will spring back in full force.

When a man comes stressed out and goes to his room and the wife tries to talk and
then they fight, the woman is hurt and cries and thinks of the worst situation and
then the husband recovers and feels fine.

6. Our emotional differences

Different Languages of Love

1. Words of affirmation
Women want men to praise them. Say: thank you, jazkallhu khayran, I appreciate
that. Appreciate them verbally.

For the wives: if you see your husband doing something around the house, give him
a gesture of love and tell him thank you or I appreciate that.

For the husbands: when you come back from work and you see the same thing
(house is clean, food smells good), it doesnt mean you stop praising them and stop
giving them words of compliments. Say something nice and give them a
compliment. Let it come from the heart. If you arent used to saying these things in
the beginning, fake it in the beginning and then inshaAllh it will become natural.

The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said, Whoever says jazkallh khayr has
given you an immense reward. This is for a stranger, so imagine for a spouse!
Dont just stop by saying jazkallh khayr, but also say something else.

When you request something, make sure you ask in a nice and gentle way.
Sometimes your wife is busy and may ask you for a cup of water. The husband may
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get offended. When he brings it for you, tell him, That was so sweet. Thank you
very much.

2. Quality time
What does quality time mean? Many women want their husbands to listen to them
attentively and give their undivided attention. Dont bring the cell phone. Stay
away from the computer when listening. Listen and give positive feedback.

When men talk, they talk to relay information. When women talk, they send
messages and are communicating. For men, they listen, assess, and then give
feedback. When women speak, they share and give a lot of information. Sometimes
this information is not related to each other.

The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) spent quality time with his wives.

Men dread the moment when the wife asks for five minutes of their time because
they know it will not be just five minutes. When a wife says this, the husband
should respect the time and give her some time.

Examples: vacations, dinner and lunch, going shopping.

If the husband gives you one hour and tells you there is one hour, then enjoy it and
respect the time and you will both be happy.

3. Receiving gifts
Raslullh (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) said, Give gifts and you will love one
another. This is with strangers, so imagine giving gifts to someone you love!

Men and women understand gifts differently. For men, they think gifts need to be
something extravagant. For women, it is not the gift but the thought. Buy your
wife a chocolate bar that she likes. She will think, Wow, this is so sweet!

Men want gifts that are practical and something that they can use. When you buy a
gift, dont buy the gift that you like to receive, but buy something you know they
like to receive. Sometimes men buy a gift for an ulterior motive (something they
will use for them) this is okay but not the best gift.

4. Acts of service
The Prophet (allallhu alayhi wa sallam) was always in the service of his family. He
(allallhu alayhi wa sallam) would sweep the house and milk the goats. He used to
fix his own clothes and shoes.

Women love it when their husbands help out. Women love it when men help out
just by picking up things around the house (i.e. kids toys).
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Husbands love to see that their desk is clean and everything smells nice. They like
to be served.

5. Physical contact
This is often misinterpreted. Physical contact can be holding hands, wrapping
arms. ishah (rayAllhu anha) said that when she was watching the Abyssinians
play, she was standing behind him and had her chin on his shoulder and her cheek
on his cheek. Her hands would be around him, holding him. The Prophet (allallhu
alayhi wa sallam) asked, Are you done? She said, Not yet. He asked again and
she said not yet. Finally when she said he was done, he left to his work. When
ishah (rayAllhu anha) narrated this story, she said, Wallhi, I had no interest in
watching the Abyssinians. I wanted his wives to know his position with me.

Are husbands and wives allowed to show public displays of affection? If the
children are young, then a woman can dress nicely and wear revealing clothing, but
once children reach the age of recognizing, stop dressing like that in front of them.
The husband cannot kiss his wife passionately in front of his children. He can show
love and they can hold hands and look into each other eyes or have a gentle,
innocent kiss. Can they do it in front of the in-laws or family? It is not
recommended because it is not accepted in many cultures.

What about in public? It depends on the situation.

- In ajj or Umrah, the husband can hold the wife from behind to protect her.
- If you are walking by the lake, can you hold hands? It is based on culture. In
America, it is acceptable and no one would think anything is offensive.
- Kissing and so on should not be done in public places.
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Final Advice
Both parties have to understand that they have made mistakes because they didnt
know how to deal with the other. Admit your own faults before blaming the other.
Once you know your mistakes, there is room for improvement. Once you acknowledge,
you can move forward.

How to win the heart of your wife

How to win the heart of your husband

Umar b. al-Khab rayAllhu anhu invented eighteen wise maxims for the people,
among them the following:
Put your brothers affairs in the best light that he may not act towards you in a
manner obliging you to take a contrary opinion. Think not evil of any word that has
proceeded out of the mouth of a Muslim if you are able to find a good construction for
it. Such - may Allh exalt you - is the manner of conduct enjoined by Allh, the
Messenger, and amr of the Faithful.

Recommended Reading
The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary

Men are from Mars, Women are From Venus by John Gray

The Lazy Husband: How to Get Men to Do More Parenting and Housework by Joshua

The Truth about Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can do to Prevent It by Gary

I Do, but I Dont: Walking down the aisle without losing your mind by Kamy Wicoff

In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms by Dr. Laura Schlessinger

Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Save the Males: Why Men Matter, Why Women Should Care by Kathleen Parker
(Warning: very sharp language).
The author says the media has betrayed men and show them the way they dont exist.
The media girl-ifies men, so they dont act like men anymore.