The eyes have desires that have a great tendency to want to be fulfilled, as if there is a gravity-like force that pulls the sight to the things we should not be looking at. Like gravity, those who resist will feel the force acting on them, while those who just go with the flow will feel little or nothing at all. Like gravity, it takes a lot of strength to escape it.
By: Sadaf Farooqi
I remember the chagrin and inner turmoil of being single and hopeful of marriage, back during my early twenties!
Even after almost a decade of marriage, I still vividly remember the constant roller-coaster of emotions that the heart experiences every time a marriage proposal is negotiated.
One thinks: Is this the one?
Will this family/person be my future spouse/in-laws?
Sometimes the marriage negotiation process painstakingly goes on for months, only to culminate in nothing. Up go one’s dreams, hopes and aspirations about the future into thin air! Once again, it is back to square one.
Tips for a Happy Marriage
Whether a young, single Muslim is a man or woman, if they are ardently desirous of completing half their Deen, the anguish and frustration (including sexual angst) they feel whenever another year of their life passes by without any impending nuptials on the horizon is, contrary to gender-discriminating cultural myths, similarly disconcerting and unnerving.
Wherever in the world they might be, as the years pass and the number of fruitless marriage proposals grows, the singleton might begin to feel despondent and worn down by this trial of patience in their quest of completing half their Deen.
So what should one tell a young forlorn wannabe bride or groom when they justifiably ask: “Why am I still unmarried?”
First of All: There Is Nothing Wrong with You!
Lindsey Van Gele, a candidate for the Miss Belgium contest 2012, has reportedly converted to Islam after marrying Mamoutou N’Diaye, a midfielder for Zulte Waregem, a Belgian football team.
Van Gele now calls herself “Aisha,” has given up alcohol and pork, and no longer wears short skirts. She refuses to show her body uncovered in events such as the Gala Golden Shoe.
This week, Lindsey was a guest on the show “Komen Eten Vier” with other women and girlfriends of Belgian footballers.
“I became a Muslim when Mamoutou asked for my hand. A civil marriage was not enough for me. Moreover, I wanted to support my conversion,” she said in Het Laatste Nieuws.
By: Maryam Amirebrahimi
“Why are you majoring in that field?” I asked a sister in college. She sighed, “To be honest, I just want to get married. I don’t really care about what I’m studying right now. I’m just waiting to get hitched so I can be a wife and a mother.”
“It’s awesome that she wants to be a wife and a mother, but why would she put her life on hold?” I wondered. Why would a skilled, passionate young woman create barriers to striving for self-improvement and her ability to be socially transformative when she doesn’t yet have the responsibilities of wifehood or motherhood? Being a wife and a mom are great blessings, but before it actually happens, why exchange tangible opportunities, just waiting for marriage to simply come along—if it came along? I didn’t have to look far to find out.
After engaging more with the Muslim community through activities like da`wah (calling to Islam), conferences, and halaqat (study circles), I have observed something intriguing: there seems to be a fascination—even obsession—with the topic of marriage. Regardless of whether a particular lecture is dedicated to something other than gender relations, the topic of marriage somehow always creeps up.
This is the second of a series of three articles on having a productive household. In this part, we will discuss 7 more aspects of a productive household. These will relate to how fathers and single mothers can contribute to a more productive household, In sha Allah. (Part 1)
1. Stay Married
One of the most important things a father can do to contribute to a productive household is remain married to his wife. Divorce dissolves families and prevents children from living in the most desirable family atmosphere.
Of course, divorce is allowed in our religion. In some situations such as abusive relationships, it may be preferable. Then there may be situations in which a husband or wife may become widowed. These are exceptions we can not overlook. Nevertheless, in general, the ideal environment for a healthy productive family is an intact one.
According to one hadith, Allah considers divorce the most hated permissible act. The Prophet was reported to have said: “The most hateful permissible thing (halal) in the sight of Allah is divorce.” [Ibn Majah]
Divorce causes difficulties for all parties involved. The most obvious harm occurs when the partners have children. Divorce shakes the foundation of what children know to be familiar and stable. The children are forced into a situation that causes them extreme grief and uncertainty. They lose trust in those closest and most dear to them, often times becoming emotionally insecure.
Even without children, the two divorced individuals themselves suffer great anxiety, emotional upheaval and psychological trauma. Divorce frequently leads to the development of a host of uncomfortable and unhealthy feelings and interactions from the former partners. Divorced spouses often feel betrayed, they lose trust in others and they can fall into long-term depression. This emotional devastation affects the individuals’ interactions with others, including their future relationships. The effects of divorce can sometimes be suffered throughout life.
According the American Psychological Association, “… about 40 to 50 per cent of married couples in the United States divorce.” This is not a precedent we wish to establish for our children.
Children should be raised in intact households. This is obvious, yet much easier said than done, of course. Couples should look to fulfil their responsibilities rather than demanding their rights, then Allah may bless them. Remember that Qur’an and the sunnah have the best advice on how to sustain a working marriage. Additionally, to aid in achieving intact productive households, parents should take advantage of the other resources. Some of these include counselling (recommended in Qur’an), books, websites and suggestions from relatives and friends from whom we may gain helpful advice and encouragement.
2. Support the Children
Of course, this world is not perfect. Sometimes, families break up. In these situations, it is extremely important that the father remains an important part of the children’s life. Divorce can bring about extremely intense feelings between former spouses. For the children’s sake, a father should not let the estrangement affect the relationship he has with them. The children still desire to be with both parents. They need both parents. Each fulfils a different need that is necessary for the children’s proper development.
In addition, children of divorce can sometimes feel abandoned when one parent chooses to avoid interacting with them after the divorce. This can lead to the children having low self esteem and projecting this self image upon society through violence, disrespecting others and displaying self-destructive behaviours. For these reasons, it is important for husbands to be there for their children, despite the difficulty and discomfort they may experience during and after divorce.
3. Fathers Should be Kind to Children’s Mother
It is often the mother whom children are most attached to. Let your children see your affection towards their mother. This gives them peace of mind and teaches them how to treat their own wife once they mature.
Do not abuse your wife. Allah has recommended other methods to use rather than hitting. How many husbands truly attempt to put into practice these recommendations given by Allah ? Anger-management problems, low-self esteem, arrogance and lack of knowledge of conflict management are often the true reasons for physical abuse in the home.
The Prophet never used physical discipline with any of his wives. He is the best of examples for us to emulate.
He also said: “The most perfect man in his faith among the believers is the one whose behaviour is most excellent; and the best of you are those who are the best to their wives.” [At-Tirmidhi]
The above hadith says it all when it comes to the husband’s treatment of his wife.
4. Be Kind With the Children
The Messenger said: ”Indeed among the believers with the most complete faith is the one who is the best in conduct, and the most kind to his family.” [At-Tirmidhi]
It has become a norm in some households for the father to be a stern disciplinarian. This is nothing further from the way in which the Prophet was known to run his household. Not only should fathers be kind and gentle with their spouse, but also with their children.
Abu Hurairah reported: The Prophet kissed his grandson Hasan bin ‘Ali in the presence of Aqra’ bin Habis. Thereupon Aqra’ remarked: “I have ten children and I have never kissed any one of them.” The Messenger of Allah cast a glance upon him and said, “He who does not show mercy to others, will not be shown mercy.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
There is no reference to Prophet ever hitting any of his children, stepchildren or grandchildren. What he was known for was kissing them, saying he loved them and being exceptionally patient with them. This is the best model for fathers who wish to establish productive households.