By Zainab Umm Sakeenah.
I know what you’re expecting. Another cliché article about why Valentine’s Day is haram, the same tired tropes and tribulations every year – it gets boring. So in the spirit of doing something different, let’s look at what makes a marriage in Islam super awesome!
When we look at marriage in Islam, people often mistake it for something that is dull. Something arranged; something ritualistic and dry. That couldn’t be farther from the truth!
Our culture has evolved to embrace so many new developments in society that it is easy to ignore the past as a black-and-white era that could not be fun or exciting. But we shouldn’t believe everything that our modern mainstream environment shows or teaches us; sometimes it’s better to go back to the foundations and learn what the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his Companions (AS) taught us through their actions.
- Marriage is as fun as you can make it.
Who said you can’t have fun when you’re married? And who said you can’t have fun all year round? The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to race with his wife Ayesha (RA) – and no, they didn’t limit it to one day a year. Joking and playing with your spouse is Sunnah. That’s not to say all of you need to go and have a race; it could be anything that you find fun personally. I don’t know about you, but my husband and I like to play against each other on Mario Kart on our Nintendo console (so, kind of like a race!). Make having fun a regular thing. It brightens up moods and deepens the love and respect you have for one another.
- Don’t forget the romance!
Not everybody has the same idea of romance, but we can all be spontaneous. We shouldn’t feel the need to wait an entire year to do something special with our spouse or even treat our spouse well. A hug before your husband leaves for work, a kiss on your wife’s forehead for cooking you a meal (even if it’s too salty or burnt!), holding hands while you take a walk – these are all ways to show that you love one another.
If you feel like shaking things up a bit, you can give each other gifts at random times when you’re least expecting it. You can take a spontaneous trip somewhere. It doesn’t have to cost a leg and an arm; any place where you can be free from the mundanity of every-day life. Trust me, it can help spark a stronger connection.
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught us that we should give gifts to our fellow Muslims, and your spouse is someone that you don’t need any excuse to give a gift to. It is our Islamic right and duty to give and receive good treatment in a marital relationship.
- Happy couples communicate.
It would be unrealistic to say that marriages are without problems. Yes, everyone has their ups and downs, but it’s up to us how we deal with those situations. It is up to us to decide whether we approach our spouse with a calm and understanding attitude, or whether we add fuel to the fire.
Nobody is perfect, and we’ve got to learn to accept that we all have faults. Social media these days has a trend of people posting a picture-perfect relationship, leading many people to compare their lives to one another. This can also, unfortunately, make us irritated with our other half, forcing us to complain and compare. But the fact is that each couple, each family is different. Family dynamics are different. What works for one couple may not work for another, but respect for each other should be something that everyone has.
Umar (RA) was once approached by a man who came to complain about his wife, but instead found Umar (RA) being told off by his own wife! Umar (RA) said that she does so much for him every day, so it is fair that she can take out her frustration on him without him answering back.
Islam encourages both spouses to help each other around the house. It isn’t and shouldn’t be the sole duty of one person to do everything. When we approach marriage with the intention of treating each other equally, fulfilling each other’s rights, and supporting one another, we can achieve a happy and blessed life. We should take it as an opportunity to grow together; as Muslims, as spouses, and as parents.
May Allah (SWT) bless us all with the knowledge and understanding to have happy marriages that get stronger every day!