Loving your spouse.

Among the greatest gifts that Allah has granted us is the Neema of Islam; the religion He has specifically chosen for mankind as it says in the Qur’an;

 “This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [Surat Al Ma’idah 5:3].

Another awesome gift that Allah has given us is the gift of marriage. Marriage from the Islamic perspective, based on evidence from an authentic narration is ‘half of religion’ which in more ways than one grants it (marriage) a much esteemed position. The other half, the narration continues, a Muslim should fill it by fearing Allah.

The Sunnah indicates that it is prescribed to get married, and that it is among the Sunnahs of the Messengers. By getting married a person can, with the help of Allah, overcome many of the traps of evil, for marriage helps him to lower his gaze and guard his chastity, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said in the Ahaadeeth:

 “O young men, whoever among you can afford it, let him get married, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and guarding chastity…” Agreed upon. 

But getting married is not just that. It has to start, just like everything else with the correct intention of pleasing Allah and doing what is right. Again, just the fact that one is married is not a finality in itself, you have to work towards making your marriage a happy one.

In the book “The Muslim Marriage Guide”, the author compares a happy marriage to a beautiful, well tended garden. If you were to come across a garden filled with beautiful flowers, neat borders and the absence of marauding insects and pests, you would never for a moment think that it came about by accident. You would know that the garden has been created by a person or team of people who loved gardening.

Achieving a happy marriage should be the work of both spouses. Both are like a pilot and his co-pilot who have to work together to ensure that the plane flies and lands appropriately.

As a garden, the husband and wife have to be very cautious of marauding insects and pests which may tend to harm their beautiful flowers. Excellent communication is a must for a happy marriage to happen!

Inasmuch as getting married is supposed to make one lower their gaze, it is up to the individual to work towards this; it does not happen automatically, just like happiness in marriage is never ‘sent from heaven’. A couple has to work for whatever they have that gives them pleasure and have to really earn the right to be its steward.

At times i look at an elderly couple who have had children and grand children and am amazed that they still have so much love for each other; it’s like their love is always on the same high level, never experiencing lows. I think about that and ask myself how my marriage will be like two, five, ten or even thirty years down the line if Allah grants me a long, healthy life which i pray will be spent pleasing Him.

Marriage is not an easy thing. The Prophet (pbuh) said it is half of the religion, and religion itself is something of cosmic proportions. Just imagine half of that and you will realize just how much weight marriage has. It is a very demanding training ground of faith and patience and when a couple is striving hard to get their marriage right for the sake of Allah they are indeed on the path of paradise.

The devil will tempt us to get angry at the slightest provocation, maybe because the food doesn’t have enough salt or maybe because the husband has this nasty habit of rolling up his socks and throwing them under the bed. He will convince us that the man or woman down the street is better than our spouse and in such cases we need to remember Allah and love our spouse no matter what, because no one else would ever tolerate us like they do.

We may think that the grass is greener on the other side but it never is; this is just an illusion that iblis has in his wicked grand scheme of things to make us lose focus of what is important.

Love your spouse, no matter what. Communicate; always try putting yourself in their shoes and think of what you would feel if they were to do the same thing for you. Marriage is about compromise and constantly praying together to Allah that He may make your marriage the happiest and most fulfilling.

“Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the comfort of our eyes, and make us the leaders of the Muttaqun.” [Qur’an 25:74]

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