Islam clearly defines the purpose of marriage and the path towards a successful union. Todays society has however somewhat blurred the lines and has arguablly got us caught up in a web of cultural and social pressures. Reality of todays world plays against the expectations of yesteryear. This is a wider subject but what we would like to concentrate on are attributes towards a successful relationship. Attributes which stand the test of time and most importantly are relayed to us through the teachings of the Holy Prophet of Islam (Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon Him).
Listen and consult with her
Even the King of the Jungle knows that it’s best to just listen sometimes. All jokes aside many a marital issues stems from not having the time to listen to your wife or simply not involving her in any consultation. Allah says towards one’s wife “and live with them honourably” [al-Nisa’ 4:19] And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “And treat women with kindness, and treat women with kindness.” Undoubtedly consulting one’s wife and listening to her advice and accepting it is part of living with them honourably and treating them with kindness.
Reviewing the Islamic responsibilities of a husband it has been stated that he should act as a ‘guardian’ towards his wife (see Holy Qur’an, 4:35) This does not give him the right to dominate or abuse her in any way. It simply means that he is responsible for her well-being and that he has to spend out of his earnings to maintain the family and the household, “They are a garment for you, and you are a garment for them…” (Holy Qur’an, 2:188) The Holy Qur’an mentions the marriage contract (nikah) by the word ihsan, which means a fortress. The man who contracts marriage is a muhsin, that is he builds a fortress. The woman who marries him is a muhsinah, which means that she has come into the protection of that fort, in order to protect herself and their morals. This metaphorical fortress is not one to hide your wife away as sometimes alleged, but instead one where you protect her, build a union which promotes good morals, a happy home and a healthy society.
Don’t make it complicated
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” I Corinthians 13: 4-8 (Bible)
From time immemorial, God has provided guidance to all of his messengers on how to build peace and foster love in society. Central to this has been developing peace within the home. The Holy Prophet of Islam proclaimed that the best of all people was not the one who was most intellectual, or the most powerful or affluent, but far closer to home – the best person was the one who was best in the treatment of his wives, and he, The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was the best of the people due to being the best husband among all husbands in his treatment towards his wives.