My dear husband, Najib has covered the first two sub-topics of Topic 4: Relationship with Spouses.
So far, he discussed the responsibility of the husband and how to maintain a happy and respectful marriage.
Today, I aim to discuss what qualities a woman should look for in a man when it comes to marriage.
In this day and time, some men tend to think of what they want in a woman, without considering as to whether they are ready to be the man the woman wants and accepts.
Upon transitioning from puberty/adolescent to an adult, a man and woman have an equal responsibility to build and equip themselves based on what they have been taught by their parents, Islam and life experiences to face future challenges.
Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Women may be married for four things: their wealth, their lineage, their beauty and their religious commitment. Choose the one who is religiously-committed, may your hands be rubbed with dust (i.e., may you prosper).”
Imam al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said about this hadith:
"What that means is that people usually seek these four qualities in a woman, but you should seek the one who is religiously committed."
[Riyadh al-Saliheen, p. 454]
There are several questions you need to ask when considering moving to the next stage of life when you found your soulmate or when people have asked for your hand which you may want to consider; once you get to know them?
Here, there is a task or activity for you to get involved in:
On one side of a piece of plain paper, please jot down your thoughts on the following questions:
What is marriage?
Are you physically, socially, intellectually, emotionally and mentally ready for marriage inshaAllah?
Am I ready to be a mother inshaAllah?
Is marriage to your friendship or partnership or a combination of both?
Do you want to work or do you want to stay at home inshaAllah?
What do you want to gain from a marriage inshaAllah?
Once completed, if your response is no for not ready, consider this another time. However, if you were able to answer all of the questions, please continue with the following task below:
On the other side of the same piece of paper, please add the following title:
What to consider for a righteous husband in a marriage and a future father figure inshaAllah?
Underneath the title, please draw a plain table with one heading: Major qualities and the other column with the following heading Minor qualities.
Major factors are the vital qualities that vary with every woman. Some consider religion, personality and looks fundamental; other people think that wealth, lineage, age, ethnicity, language and race important; to some, these are minor factors.
Al-‘Allamah al-Sa’di (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
"If there are other (good qualities) as well as religious commitment, that is good, otherwise religious commitment is the greatest of qualities to be sought."
[Bahjat Qulub al-Abrar wa Qurat ‘Ayun al-Akhyar fi Sharh Jawami’ al-Akhbar page. 120]
Some women prefer marrying people of similar ethnic background, whereas, other women are open to all. As long as you both get along whether from the same race or not, do what makes you happy.
For Allah (The Most High) says:
“(God) created you from a single pair of male and female and made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another. Verily, the most honoured of you in the sight of God is the most righteous of you.”
I keep my marriage life private but due to the nature of this topic, I will share key aspects I was looking for when I met my dear husband a few years ago. However, this may vary with other women:
1) His character and religion:
Both work hand in hand. The five pillars, responsibility, a fire extinguisher, loyalty, honesty, kindness, calmness, able to negotiate and communicate about various topics, a supporter, personal doctor and nurse when poorly, a friend, one that allows me to work with a balance with home life, a listener, not one who just hears, a cover teacher who would help me in the house and guide me when I do an error and a future father figure for our offspring inshallah.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
"The best of you in Islam are those who are most excellent in character as long as you deeply understand religion."
[Ahmad, graded Sahih]
Allah has created each of us in the best form possible and looks will one day wrinkle and its the inside that counts.
The scholars have advised that being religiously committed is vital to apply the laws and teachings within daily life.
“Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwaa [i.e. he is one of the Muttaqoon (the pious)]”
[Quran, Surah Al-Hujurat 49:13]
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“If there comes to you one whose religious commitment and attitude pleases you, then marry [your female relative who is under your care] to him, for if you do not do that, there will be tribulation on earth and much corruption.”
2) How he treated his parents for that will mirror on how he would treat my parents.
If you find one who respects your parents then surely you know, you will be respected.
3) Common sense
There is a difference between intellect and common sense, for the former is associated with theory but the latter is practical where he can think and understand.
Therefore, when considering a spouse, seek advice from your parents and ask what you want in a person, for you will be a wife and mother if Allah decrees. As you equip yourself, you would need to ensure that you will be with someone who never lets go of your hand as you walk alongside the path no matter what the weather is like outside.
Last week, we addressed the responsibilities of the husband. Today, I will share some of the secrets of achieving marital happiness.
Happiness forms the basis of the marriage and is one of the things that every couple seeks out. There should not be a distance between you and your spouse. One needs to act rationally and not diverge for this causes problems where both parties lack interest in one another and become bored.
Respect is a fundamental pillar of every relationship; this includes marriage. Both spouses respect each other when alone and in public for when stating opinions and sharing feelings.
Trust between spouses is also necessary to avoid suspicion for doubt can destroy everything built between the husband and wife.
Another way in how to keep your marriage happy is to deal with any arising issues wisely and not give it more than its value. It is important to maintain secrecy between the husband and wife and not let family get involved. It is also good not to pay attention to problems of the past nor state them during any new issues.
Also, having an intimate relationship between the spouse, it will increase happiness and give a new outlet for the marital relationship where there are affection and compassion; this results in raising an integrated and understanding family.
Allah (The Most High) states in His noble book Quran:
'And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them, and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.'
[Quran, Surah Ruum, 30:21]
Dear friends, in summary, we have revealed some of the secrets of marital happiness, from which we conclude respect, trust, mutual interest, affection, mercy, appreciation and consultation between spouses as advised by our religion, Islam.
Next week, my wife will discuss what a woman should look for in a husband.
In Topic 4 of Chemical Bonding short article series, the relationship with the spouses, we will start with addressing some of the duties of the husband towards his wife to have a healthy relationship full of happiness and love.
Marriage is a tight pact between spouses, and they must preserve this charter and assume responsibility from both parties until the marriage project reaches the highest degree of success.
The husband has duties towards his wife and, the wife has responsibilities towards her husband, to achieve happiness and success in the marriage. They must understand, consult and make decisions that help them have a better future and a better life.
Respect is the basis of the marital relationship; there is no marital relationship without respect. The husband should respect the feelings of his wife, her family, her opinions and ideas. This will make his wife feel that he cares about her and consults with her for all matters.
A woman goes through hormonal changes every month and; her mood changes. Try to be nice to her and help her more during that period. How you deal with your wife should always be with affection, moral and attentiveness to her. Be a friend to her. The woman needs someone whom she can talk to so you are her only support for life.
Most women love surprises, so please try to surprise your wife with something she loves because this is what increases the love between you.
A real man should never compare his wife with the wife of another man and must maintain the privacy of the marital relationship without the need of mentioning other people. If there is something wrong, work on it to fix it.
A husband should take care of his wife by providing for her and the household because Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) advised us to treat women well.
Abdullah ibn Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said
“The best of you are the best to their women.”
[ Ibn Mājah 1978]
Dear friends, we have given a glimpse into some of the duties of the husband towards his wife. Please value your wife and may this article be a way of light for every married couple and for those who are about to marry or thinking of marriage.