RISING CASES OF DIVORCE
DR SUHAIB ASHRAF BHAT Love is a decision to be committed to another person. It is far more than a fleeting emotion as portrayed on television, the big screen, and romance novels. Feelings come and go, but a true decision to be committed lasts forever—and that is what defines healthy marriages.
What you have to do is treat your spouse kindly. Part of kind treatment is listening properly to what they are saying and responding properly. Being right is not limited to men; it may be your wife’s view that is correct and her suggestions and advice may be good. What is preventing you from letting her express her views and discussing them with her in a friendly manner?
Marriage is a decision to be committed through the ups and the downs, the good and the bad. When things are going well, commitment is easy. But true love is displayed by remaining committed even through the trials of life. Honesty and trust become the foundation for everything in a successful marriage. But unlike most of the other essentials on this list, trust takes time. You can become selfless, committed, or patient in a moment, but trust always takes time. Trust is only built after weeks, months, and years of being, who you say you are and doing what you say you’ll do. It takes time, so start now—and if you need to rebuild trust in your relationship, you’ll need to work even harder. Although it will never show up on any survey, more marriages are broken up by selfishness than any other reason. Surveys blame it on finances, lack of commitment, infidelity, or incompatibility, but the root cause for most of these reasons is selfishness. A selfish person is committed only to himself or herself, shows little patience, and never learns how to be a successful spouse. Give your hopes, dreams, and life to your partner. And begin to live life together.
This is a simple call to value our marriages, treat them with great care, and invest in them daily.
Remember how the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah swt be upon him) listened to the advice of his wife Umm Salamah (may Allah swt be pleased with her) and adopted it in a matter of great importance. That was during the well-known Treaty of al-Hudaybiyah, when she suggested to him that he should go out and not speak to anyone among his Companions until he had slaughtered his hadiy (sacrificial animal) and shaved his head. Our Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah swt be upon him) did as his wife (may Allah swt be pleased with her) suggested and there was a great deal of good in that. So listen to her.
Remember that the consequences of this attitude towards your wife may backfire on you; she may refuse to give you any advice so long as you do not accept what she offers you and is forced to agree with you even if you are wrong. Thus you will be depriving yourself of a great deal of good and beneficial advice. It suffices us to say to you: This attitude, in which you insist on your opinion, do not admit your mistakes and do not acknowledge that your wife could be right is the very essence of arrogance, as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah swt be upon him) defined it.
A good relationship between the spouses means that each of them should pay attention to the feelings of the other and they should try to make one another happy. It also means paying attention to the spouse’s circumstances and relationship with those who have right over him or her, so as to help him fulfil those rights, such as the rights of parents, relatives, neighbours and so on. The basis for all of that is understanding, love and compassion.
Our Lord, the All-Knowing, All-Aware, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better (i.e. Allah swt ordered the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat them badly), then verily! he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.
But none is granted it (the above quality) except those who are patient, and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion (of the happiness in the Hereafter i.e. Paradise and in this world of a high moral character)”
As-Sa‘di said in Tayseer al-Kareem al-Rahmaan (p. 749):
Then Allah swt enjoins showing a special type of kindness that will have a great impact, which is treating kindly the one who mistreats you. Allah swt says, “Repel (the evil) with one which is better” i.e., if someone mistreats you, especially if he has significant rights over you, such as relatives, friends and so on, in word or deed, then respond in a way that is better. If he severs ties with you, uphold ties with him; if he wrongs you, forgive him; if he talks about you behind your back or in your presence, do not respond in kind – rather forgive him and speak to him gently; if he shuns you and does not speak to you, then speak to him kindly and greet him with salaam. If you respond to mistreatment with kindness you will attain great benefits.
“then verily! he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend” i.e., as if he is near and dear
“But none is granted it” i.e., no one is granted this praiseworthy quality “except those who are patient” in putting up with what they dislike and respond to it in the way that Allah swt likes, for people are naturally inclined to respond to bad treatment with more bad treatment, and not to forgive it. So, how about responding with kind treatment. If a person is patient, obeys the command of his Lord, is aware of the great reward, and knows that responding to bad treatment in kind will not benefit him in any way and will only make the enmity stronger, whereas treating him kindly will not lower his esteem and that in fact the one who is humble for the sake of Allah swt, He will raise him in status — then it will be easy for him and he will find joy in doing that.
“and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion (of happiness in the Hereafter i.e. Paradise, and in this world of a high moral character)” because it is one of the attributes of the elite among mankind, by means of which a person attains high status in this world and in the Hereafter, which is the greatest of noble characteristics.
Islamic teaching describes several guidelines that will lead to having a peaceful and sound atmosphere in the home, including the following:
Choosing a good wife.Making the home a place of remembrance of Allah swt.Establishing the laws of Allah swt in the home.Teaching the members of the household about Islamic faith and manners.Continually reciting Soorat al-Baqarah in the home to drive away the Shaytaan from the home.Not allowing anyone into the home whose religious commitment is not good.Keeping family secrets.
We all have weaknesses and relationships always reveal these faults quicker than anything else on earth. An essential building block of a healthy marriage is the ability to admit that you are not perfect, that you will make mistakes, and that you will need forgiveness. Holding an attitude of superiority over your partner will bring about resentment and will prevent your relationship from moving forward.
It is not the attribute of the wise and mature man to insist when he is in the wrong that his wife should be the one to apologise. Rather he is the one who should hasten to admit his mistake, apologise for it and ask his wife to forgive him. And her duty is to apologize to her husband if she is the one who is in the wrong. It is in this way that married life takes a correct course and lasting love and compassion are strengthened between the spouses.
Abu’d-Darda’ (may Allah swt be pleased with him) said to his wife: “If you see me angry, try to calm me down, and if I see you angry I shall try to calm you down, otherwise we cannot live together.”
May Allah swt bless you all and make your married life full of blessings. Aameen.