Imtithaal Sampson is a 20-year-old student who recently completed Matric at Al-Azhar High School in Athlone. After spending three years in Hifth, she felt drawn to the spiritual environment of the institute and found herself longing to learn more about Islam. She is currently first year in the B.A. degree at Madina Institute.
Imtithaal shares her thoughts on Shaykh Muhammad Al Ninowy’s “The essential ingredients for a successful marriage” which took place on the 8th February 2019 at Masjidul Quds, Gatesville*
In today’s society we find so many young couples getting divorced. This often is due to the misconception of what marriage truly is and what it entails.
Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ninowy, shared some valuable references from the Holy Quran and Hadith on the essential ingredients to a successful marriage.
What is marriage?
In Islam, marriage is an act of worship. It is an act of obedience; therefore, marriage is something pleasing to Allah. Marriage is not the end goal. However, it is a means to the end, where the end goal is Allah. You should however, remember that you and your spouse are from the same Nafs. No one spouse is better than the other in origin.
There are various reasons for marriage and companionship. One of the main reasons is to bring tranquility within your home. It is imperative that spouses become a home for one another.
Love and Mercy
Shaykh Ninowy names two simple ingredients to make your marriage a home. He mentions love and mercy. You use love so that you may see the good in the other side. When you look with the eye of love you only see the good. The eye of love looks at every imperfect thing and sees it as perfect. Mercy is important because it eases the gaps during the tough days. One should remember that a home without love is not a home and a home without mercy is not a home.
What should one look for in a partner?
There are four main characteristics that people tend to look at when choosing a spouse. They look at lineage, money, beauty and religiosity/deen.
Shaykh Ninowy mentions that if you like somebody’s character and Deen, you should marry them. Many agree that it is difficult to judge whether a person has Deen before marriage as Deen is not always outward. However, impeccable character is something everyone is familiar with or is able to notice. You can see through a person’s character, whether they are conscious of Allah.
No two people are alike, therefore if the outward of a person may seem rough you can look at the person’s human decency.
These four characteristics are similar to the raw materials used when building. After you have looked at the person’s ‘raw materials’, look at their willingness to change. Everyone has imperfections. Therefore, establish whether the person is willing to improve or remain stagnant.
Once two people have decided to go ahead and unite in marriage, they should adopt a standard of Quran and Sunnah. They should agree that the Quran and Sunnah be their foundation. They should agree on what to agree on and how to agree. Similarly, they should agree on what to disagree on and how to disagree. Figuring out how to disagree is just as important as agreements themselves. It should never be ‘It is my way or your way’.
When two people are considering a union of marriage, they should be absolutely frank and transparent about their expectations. They should not be rigid but instead, willing to compromise.
Shaykh Ninowy then goes on to mention seventeen points on how to become happy during a marriage. He mentions that men should live with women in decency. Spouses should try and neutralize negativity. They should not treat bad with bad nor evil with evil. It is essential that each spouse establishes a connection with Allah because through that connection, Allah will connect them together. You should realize that severing your connection with Allah, severs and disconnects many things.
The importance of symbolic gifts is also mentioned. Gifts are important as it increases love between spouses and it need not necessarily be an expensive gift.
Children are quick to fight and quick to love again. It is therefore healthy to live your lives together as children. Children do not hold grudges. If a disagreement arises, you should quickly defuse the situation and go back to being children.
Hazards of Routine
It is crucial that spouses partner up in killing their routine. We often find ourselves becoming bored due to the same old routine. Couples should therefore come together in murdering the routine. They should not deny any good in the other. It is important that they acknowledge each other’s good traits. Only people of virtue recognize virtue in others.
Arguments can often become heated between spouses. It is vital that during solvable problems, things are kept private. If you are used to acting like children with one another and you involve adults (such as parents), you will be playing in a game out of your league.
When you make mistakes, do not be afraid to admit it but instead stand for correction because perfection is impossible for humans. It is important to be open and honest when upset, but never lose respect for your partner and scream at them. If you are always transparent, you are bound to be happy.
It is inevitable that your lives will become busy. However, do not just come together for meal times and sleep. Ensure that you make time for one another. Keep that fire burning.
Many people say that opposites attract. When one of you are positive, the other should be a negative. Both spouses cannot always be stubborn and uncompromising. It is all about give and take. You should remember that words are sharper than the sword. Therefore, it is imperative that you watch what you say, especially in anger. Wounds of the sword may heal but wounds of the heart may never.
You should have mutual respect in your marriage. Ensure that you never loose respect, even in disagreements. Do not disrespect what the other holds dear. When you love something the other loves, it will increase your love and respect for each other.
Many people find it hard to speak to other’s when angry. You should however, remember to never neglect each other, not even with silent treatment. Patience is truly a virtue. Remember that married life is what you put in to it. If you put in good, it will give you good. If you put in love, you will get love. If you put in hate, you will get hate.
Do not always wait for your spouse to initiate something, whether it be plans for date night or even a conversation. You initiate too as it is your life as well. Remember to never count the good you do for each other. You are one unit.
Marriage can be a fruitful experience. Yes, all things in life has the good and challenging times but, you can make your marriage what you want it to be. Just remember that in life; what you put in is what you get out.
Make love not war
*Imtithaal is a student, and has included her observations and opinions.