Make 2012 The Year Your Muslim Marriage Blossoms
I don’t know about you, but 2011 was a doozy for me. I was rocked and shocked in many different areas.
- Financially: I started the year off with more money than I’ve had in a long time. By the end of the year, I had been fired from my job.
- Socially: One of my best friends from college left Islam, and another one died just last week. Also, I had major differences with other people I had considered friends.
- Spiritually: Perhaps one of the best things that happened was that I (hopefully) became a better Muslim, increased my good deeds, decreased my bad, and improved my awareness of Allah.
But one of the biggest issues I had this year was personally, dealing with my wife and family.
I’m not going into details, but I certainly don’t want to go through the ups and downs I had with my wife last year again in 2012. Therefore, I’m making a commitment to change things around as best as I can, Inshallah.
Looking internally and seeing those things I lack personally, have helped come to a few ideas that I can use to improve my relationshiop with my wife. And since I’m human (and assuming you are too) I believe you can benefit from these ideas also.
Perhaps you’re going through similar troubles, or perhaps your marriage is perfect.
Still, I have a feeling you’re going to find at least some of these ideas worthwhile, Inshallah.
Put Your Trust in Allah
As I said earlier, I was fired from my job last month. As of this writing, I’m committed to building my own business (yes, this website is part of it). I’ve realized that I can no longer stake my financial future on the whims of another human.
To go this route, both me and my wife are going to have to put our trust in Allah. Even though I’m the primary bread winner, having her support will make this much easier.
I encourage you to do the same. Maybe you’re not ready to start your own business, but you should be ready to finally, honestly, put your trust in Allah.
We get so caught up in the day to day hassle of life that we fail to realize He is watching over all things and has control over all things. We don’t realize that we need Him for all things and that He rewards those that obey His commandments.
One of the most poignant moments for me in 2011 was during Ramadan when I first started having problems with my boss. I’m not going to get into all the drama (see tip #4 below) but I will say I was shell-shocked at having such issues during that holy month.
This was compounded by the fact that my boss was Muslim!
One day, during the first week of Ramadan, I was reading the Quran, and very worried about the future of my job. I wasn’t really paying attention until I realized what I was reading.
It was the verses of the Quran where Allah explains the importance of the month of Ramadan:
The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.
Chapter 2, verse 185.
But what really struck me (and yes, made me tear up a little) was the verse that comes afterwards:
And when My servants ask you, concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the supplication of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me and believe in Me that they may be guided.
If you’re on my mailing list then you would have received an email called “Favorite Quran verses” in which I talk about this moment.
What this verse meant to me at the time, was priceless. And to read it when my emotions were in such a horrible state brought me great comfort. It reaffirmed that Allah would answer the prayers of those who called upon Him and obeyed His commandments.
I spent more time on this tip because it is the most important of all.
2012 will bring a whole new set of challenges for both you and me. To get through them and come out the other side stronger and better, we’re going to have to put our trust in Allah.
Get Out of Debt
Okay, now on to more mundane matters.
You’ve probably heard that the thing couples fight about the most is money. If I look back, I’m sure 90% of the arguments my wife and I have had were rooted in finances.
One of my goals for this year is to get out of debt. I would love for this weight to be off my shoulders. My wife and I can enjoy whatever income Allah provides for us without having to always give a portion of it away to some creditors.
In order to meet this goal, we’re going to have to make some changes. Many of these changes started in 2011, and I intend to keep them going through 2012 also, Inshallah.
- Give More Charity: The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said that Sadaqah does not decrease wealth. I want to make sure a portion of my wealth is reserved for those in need.
- Cut Back on Frivolous Spending: I’m a tech geek and I love electronic gadgets. But I’m going to have a hard time getting out of debt if I keep giving my money to those people in Silicon Valley.
- Save Ten Percent of Everything: I’ve been trying to do this, but I always find a reason to spend that 10%. Inshallah, I’ll do better this time around.
You can probably find some wisdom in this proposal also. You can probably avoid a lot of arguments with your spouse also if you commit to spending less and getting out of debt.
And working towards this goal together may even bring you closer to each other.
Be Nice to Each Other
This is a problem a lot of people have in general. We’re just not nice to each other.
We fight. We scheme. We lie. We cheat.
How about you and I make a commitment to stop being such jerks. Let’s just be good people, starting with those who are closest to us.
And Muslim men should remember what Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
The most perfect of the believers is the best of you in character, and the best of you are those among you who are best to their wives.
I’m going to do more in order to be kinder to my wife. This will please Allah and it will please her.
Muslim women should know that men are brutes and really aren’t difficult to please.
Don’t nag. Don’t complain. Don’t belittle him. Give him his respect.
For more ideas, you may want to read my article 7 Things Your Husband Won’t Tell You.
And both men and women should read this verse from the Quran:
And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.
Chapter 30, verse 21.
Stop Being So Dramatic
I spoke about this in a khutbah I delivered week before last (ironically, that was my last day of work).
There are some people who can never be happy. They make the smallest problems seem like major catastrophes.
They make mountains out of mole hills.
And don’t think that this only refers to women; there are lots of Muslim men out there who are overly dramatic also.
Muslim men and Muslim women are too often busy with spreading tales, spreading gossip, backbiting, slandering, and doing all sorts of wicked things involving the tongue.
We spread so much discord outside our homes, it is only inevitable that it will eventually seep into our homes as well.
Let’s put a stop to that this year.
No more drama.
Let’s all just shut up, and mind our own business.
Here are two hadith to back up this statement:
Part of the perfection of someone’s Islam is his leaving alone that which does not concern him.
Let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day, speak good or keep silent.
Be More Intimate
No, I don’t mean sex. Shame on you.
This sort of connects with the previous tip about being nicer to one another.
There are all sorts of Hadith that describe the Prophet’s intimacy with is wives. For example:
- He used to put food into his wife’s mouth.
- Aisha used to moisten his Miswak with her own mouth and then give it to him.
- When his wives were menstruating, he would still touch and play with them above the waist.
- He would rest his head on Aisha’s lap.
I mentioned several of these things in my series Sex in Islam, but in truth these gestures have little to do with sex.
Though, if you’re interested, you can download the book from Amazon. Yes, that is a plug.
They are just signs of affection. Perhaps I should have used the word “affectionate” rather than “intimate.”
Oh well. I’m sure you get the point. If not, leave a comment below and I’ll explain it further.
Very soon, Inshallah, Islamic Learning Materials be releasing a video series on how Muslim couples can increase the love and romance in their marriage. I’ve already dropped a few clips throught the site.
Inshallah, make 2012 the year you improve your marriage.