Strengthening, building up happy family in Islam
By Halima Ahmad Ishaq
According to the Glorious Qur’an, the purpose of marriage is to attain tranquility and peace with mutual love, affection, caring and sharing although nowadays many Muslims could be in failing marriages and on a fast track to divorce and its terrible consequences.
The reason behind this unpleasant situation is, many Muslim husbands and wives treat each other as rivals rather than life partners.
Marriage is an act that is most liked by Allah Almighty. Allah described marriage in the Glorious Qur’an in these words: “He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts).” (Qur’an, 30:21).
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, often spoke about the family unit being the cornerstone of a flourishing community.
Muslims are often reminded that family relations are just one of the many blessings that humans are allowed and encouraged to enjoy on earth, illustrating the importance of good family relations as a glimpse of heaven. In fact, it is said that a loving home is like heaven on earth.
However, in today’s modern society, with time constraints and stress, among other challenges, good family relations tend to fall apart, leaving the Muslim family in dump and the obstacles to building a strong nation even more challenging than before.
Here are some applicable tips that Muslim family can tag on to strengthen their relationship.
Obtain guidance from Qur’an: The first and foremost important thing that can help both the partners in the relationship have a good and successful marital relationship is the guidance from understanding the Glorious Qur’an. Both men and women need to take guidance from Qur’an pertaining to the roles and duties they have to play in the relationship in order to make it a success.
Strengthen your relationship with Allah: Sometimes family relationships can become worried due to disagreements, misunderstandings or arguments. It is important to resolve these issues. The first step is to turn to God for guidance. If a person continuously submits to God and invokes His mercy, he or she will have his or her heart filled with mercy, peace and patience in dealing with problems – even family problems.
The next step is to forgive, apologize and move on. Anger, jealousy and general misunderstanding do not come from good sources; thus it is useless to build a relationship based on these acts. Even in the worse sort of misunderstanding, Muslims need to examine a certain level of respect between each other, especially with family members, and to maintain mutual respect for each other, no matter how different opinions are.
God can help ease this, and, as a family, it is even better to seek God’s forgiveness and guidance collectively. Praying together and for each other, or performing good deeds together is a good way to continuously strengthen one’s relationship with his Lord, which will eventually have bountiful spill-over effects upon the unit of such a person’s family.
Good attitude: A Muslim must and always have a positive attitude towards his or her life. Say “Alhamdulillah” for whatever Allah Almighty gives us. Muslim couples should accept each other completely. Forgive and forget the shortcomings of each other. In this way, you can live a happy life ahead.
Spend time engaging in activities of interests: People are often happier when they are able to be engaged in activities that stimulate their interest. As long as such activities do not contradict Islam, this can and should also involve other family members, such as grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. This way, individuals are able to enjoy what they do best, in the company of those who care about them the most.
Activities can range from attending religious classes, participating in charity runs, doing volunteer work, enjoying generous events…. The list is endless, and as long as there is mutual respect and interest, these types of coming together will help strengthen the understanding between family members and act as strong mutual grounds for a hearty family unit.
Express love through gratitude: Love and mercy should be the brand name of any solid marriage and relationship. Express your gratitude through acts of consideration, doing something thoughtful or by something meaningful for your partner.
In the Glorious Qur’an, Almighty Allah says: “And of His signs is that He has created spouses for yourselves from your own selves so you might take comfort in them and He has created love and mercy among both of you. In this, there is evidence (of the truth) for the people who (carefully) think.”(Qur’an, 30:21).
The Prophet, peace be upon him, was always kind to his family members, he joked often with them, spent leisure time with them and always advised them to enjoin good and ward off evil. He reminded them often that he cared for them very much and loved them dearly, invoking Allah to bless his family as much as Allah had blessed him.
He often bought gifts for them, was just in distributing presents, and even visited family members of his deceased wife, Khadijah, indicating that he maintained good relationships with her family and friends even after her passing.
Be partners in the decision-making process: Muslim couples should make decisions as a family. There will be much more harmony in the family when decisions are not imposed and everyone feels that they had some part in making them.
Be positive and natural: Marriage thrives under positive action. Love, kindness, care, and consideration to the marriage will all amount to a healthy dose of energy towards building a better bond or strong relationship. Speak to your spouse in the quiet times about acts of impulsiveness that would add value to their lives.
Be thoughtful and kind: There are rights and responsibilities that exist between Muslim couples. A man must take the responsibility as a provider, but equally, a woman needs to take the responsibility of home and protect the home from any presence that may threaten it.
The aspect of understanding is that there are rights and responsibilities that exist between men and women. Love and successful marriage are defined by kindness and acts of giving between a husband and wife in Islam.
Communicate with each other: As husband and wife in Islam, you should always speak about how you feel and don’t just express displeasure but also speak of your joys and successes which is a very strong aspect of healthy relationships. There has to be a safe space between couples that allow for those feelings to surface. Make sure conversations are constructive, rather than destructive.
Remember the good times and show affection: Speak about your good times and joys, talk about those things that make you both laugh, highlight each other’s positive attributes and qualities. It is in this manner that you give your marriage a strong foundation to stand upon. Show affection for your life partner. Be kind, gentle, and loving towards each other.
Love each other for the sake of Almighty Allah: Make the love and obedience of Allah (SWT) the basis and focus of your relationship with someone else. Love someone so much that you want your love for them to last beyond this life and into the hereafter, where you can live in eternal happiness with them having earned Allah’s pleasure together.
Trust: Above all, the most important thing that is required to keep the relationship healthy and strong is trust. Both husband and wife should trust each other in every regard. This trust should be present in every matter of life, whether it is reaching some decision, protection of property, honor or any kind.
When this trust is present between the two, on the basis of it they both can overcome any situation and enjoy a long and healthy relationship.
We all aspire to have a happy home-life, but it is something that has to be worked at. It is worth remembering that nobody has the perfect family, and every home has its problems that need to be worked through. The Prophet, peace be upon him, is reported to have said: “The best amongst you are those who are best to their families, and I am the best of you to my family.”
In a nutshell, if husband and wife realize their duties and refrain from all what Islam instructs a person to refrain from and do what Islam instructs them to do, then there should be no doubt that the family will be a healthy one full of love.
Ishaq contributed this piece from Radio Kano.