Assalam alaykum!

I could not think of a better way to begin the 2020 academic session than attending the first edition of the ‘Boost your Eeman’ series presented by Sister Rasheeka Williams!

The session which doubled as a book launch for the amazing book titled ‘How to save your marriage in 30 days -with Quran and Sunnah’ promised to be an interesting one. The nice arrangement of copies of the book and the delicious array of fruits lent an air of excitement to the event.

In her opening remark, Sister Rasheeka mentioned that the issue of marriage is an important one in our society. She stressed the need for young people to attend marriage workshops and seminars before embarking on the journey of marriage.

While introducing her book, she said it was brought about by her personal experience and years of giving advice to married couples. She said the book is a 30-day plan intended not only to salvage marriages that are having issues, but also to help improve the quality of everyday life between husband and wife. According to her, it is of importance to both parties in the marriage.

She mentioned some essential ingredients for a peaceful and lasting marriage. Some of them include:

KEEPING PROMISES- LYING, CHEATING AND DECEPTION VERSUS SINCERITY, TRUST AND FAITHFULNESS

Sister Rasheeka mentioned that marriage is about honesty and trust. Deceit is one of the problems faced by marriages today. We should follow the Prophet’s (PBUH) example of being Al Ameen (The Trustworthy) and As-Siddiq (The Truthful one).

ISTIGHFAAR

Following the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) by doing the tasbih of Istighfaar has many virtues. It is a reason for obtaining forgiveness, entering Paradise, having good provisions and having one’s affairs facilitated among others.

AVOIDING EXCESSIVE DEMANDS/ ANGER

When in an argument with your spouse, try to be the better person by trying to calm down and staying silent. Give the other person time to calm down as well. If you are angry, try to calm down by using various techniques like making wudu, sitting down, lying down, going for a walk or filling the mouth with water.

The Prophet (PBUH) said:

“Anger comes from the Satan, and the Satan was created from fire, and fire is extinguished by water, so if one of you gets angry, let him perform Wudu (ablution).”

         -Abu Dawud 4784

The Prophet (PBUH) also said:

“If one of you becomes angry when he is standing, let him sit down, and if the anger goes away (all well and good), otherwise let him lie down.”

         -Abu Dawud 4782

We should not have arguments in front of our kids as this not only sets a bad example and diminishes respect but also creates conflicts for them. One should also avoid making excessive demands in whatever form on one’s spouse.

THINK OF ‘WE’ AND NOT ‘ME’

Sister Rasheeka engaged us in an activity in which we were each given 2 plain sheets of paper. She asked us to write 3 positives and 3 negatives of our spouses on each of the sheets. When this was done, she asked that we rip the sheet with the negatives and throw it in the bin. She then asked us to take a good look at the positives sheet. The idea, she said, is to always try to overlook their shortcomings while focusing on their strengths and positives.

Marriage is a two-way relationship. If they can overlook our weaknesses, we should endeavor to do the same for them. She charged us to speak often to them about their positives and appreciate them for it. She encouraged us to do the same for our kids as well.

WHAT MAKES A LONG-LASTING RELATIONSHIP?

According to Sister Rasheeka, while various research cite different recipes for a happy marriage, some seemingly trivial things could trigger a lot of quarrelling.  It is necessary to always consult with and consider the other party.

She said:

“A good marriage is not something you find, it is something you make, and you have to keep on making it.”

We should remember that “charity begins at home.”

Our spouses are gifts from Allah and we should always be thankful for them. Men should also treat their wives well.

Allah (SWT) says: (The interpretation of the meaning)

            “And live with them honourably.”

                  -Soorah An-Nisa (4):19.

The Prophet (PBUH) said:

“The best of you is the one who is best to his womenfolk, and I am the best of you to my womenfolk.”

                  -Narrated by Al- Tirmidhi.

According to Sister Rasheeka, ‘Intimacy is a secret weapon to a happy marriage.’ Couples should discuss it often and we should feel free to tell our spouses those things that will bring us satisfaction.

She also mentioned the following tips for a peaceful marriage:

  • Both parties should avoid using sarcasm on each other.
  • Pray together as often as possible. “The family that prays together stays together.”
  • In the face of conflict, if all efforts to resolve it between each other fails, then appoint arbitrators and seek counselling. Allah (SWT) says:

“If you fear a breach between them twain (the man and his wife), appoint (two) arbitrators, one from his family and the other from hers; if they both wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation. Indeed, Allah is ever All-Knower, well acquainted with all things.”

-Soorah An-Nisa (4):35.

  • Analyse yourself regularly: think of what you are doing wrong and make efforts to correct it.
  • Understand Divine wisdom and tests. Allah (SWT) says:

“It is not permitted to the Sun to catch up to the Moon, nor can the night outstrip the day. All of them swing along in their orbits.”

                -Soorah Ya-Sin (36):40

Realise that everything happens for a reason. Allah will never put a burden on us that we cannot bear.

  • When we face calamities, we should be patient and Allah will reward our patience. Allah sometimes sends us these tests to make us stronger and better.

Sister Rasheeka informed us that a marriage is like a rope with several knots that keep it together. She advised us to keep the knots of our marriages tied so that the love between us can be long lasting. We should work together for the good of the relationship and not compare the responsibilities of each other as we each have unique roles to play towards the success of the marriage.

According to her, a marriage ends because communication between the couple is severed. There is a problem when you can no longer see yourself having a future with your spouse. Divorce though disliked has become a big phenomenon in the world today both among Muslims and non-Muslims. In 2017, there were 40032 recorded divorces in Australia, subhanaLLah!

In her closing remark, Sister Rasheeka urged us to always work towards the same goal- the Aakhirah- as our spouses. She finished off her educative session by making du’a that Allah blesses us and our spouses and helps us to appreciate each other, aameen.

My take: Marriage is a partnership that needs work and sacrifice from both parties. It involves the willingness to make sacrifices and excuses for each other. It requires commitment, understanding, forgiveness and a lot of prayers for success. Truth be told, some marriages end due to irreconcilable differences- you cannot patch what totally refuses to be fixed! However, perhaps if we put in some more effort, we could save some marriages. We would probably not throw away a Rose simply because its thorn pricked us!

I always say, ‘when someone offends you and you think you can never forgive them, remember those times that they did things that made you happy then find a place in your heart to forgive them.’

Remember, Allah (SWT) is The Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. He never ceases to forgive us. Perhaps we could extend a little bit more forgiveness to others when they hurt us?

May Allah (SWT) ease our affairs and grant us patience to deal with our spouses with love and respect. May HE (SWT) strengthen our bonds and make us the coolness of each other’s eyes, aameen.

Wassalamu alaykum warahmatuLLahi wabarakatuh!