Many husbands and wives treat each other like adversaries rather than best friends. Such couples must firstly understand the purpose of marriage. Allah Ta’ala describes marriage in the following words:
He created for you mates from among yourselves so that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has placed love and mercy between your (hearts)…“(30:21).
Although many Muslims find themselves in failing marriages and on a fast track towards the abyss of divorce, there are many ways in which couples can work towards making their marriage a success, provided that both husband and wife are sincere in their desire to reconcile. The following principles can be used by those whose marriages are already in trouble or by Muslims who would like to avoid trouble in their marriage.
1.Do not be a Tyrant
Allah Ta’ālā has not made the husband the head of the household so that he may become a tyrant. We are taught to treat our wives well. Nabi ﷺ said,
“The most perfect Muslim in the matter of faith is one who has excellent behaviour; and the best among you are those who behave best towards their wives” (Tirmidhi Shareef).
In another hadith, Nabi ﷺ said, “The leader of a group is their servant” (Ibn Majah)
We must keep in mind that a day awaits us when we will answer for all our actions. Hence, we need to be careful with respect to the way we treat others.
2. Make decisions Together!
Follow the principle of ‘Shürah, (mutual consultation) and 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.
3. Do not become abusive
Never abuse your spouse emotionally, physically or verbally. This advice applies to both the husband and wife. Nabi never mistreated his wives. Nabi said: “How can they beat their women in daytime as slaves and then sleep with them in the night?”
4. Watch your tongue
Be very careful what you say when you are in an emotional state. Sometimes we find ourselves saying things out of anger and once it has been said there is no going back. If you find yourself in a situation that is likely to provoke you, walk away until you know you have calmed down before continuing the conversation. And if it is in your nature to always be hurtful with your words and actions then you need to associate yourself with a pious servant of Allah Ta’ālā as you need spiritual reformation. Forget past problems once solved. Admitting to your mistakes does not belittle you and forgiving your spouse’s mistakes does not weaken you.
5. Be each other’s best friend!
Show interest and commitment in your spouse’s life. Too often, we live in the same house, yet we know very little about each other’s lives. A good way to spend more time together is if both partners choose a project every month and work on it; be it buttering bread for the poor, cooking a meal for an orphanage or assisting in household chores.
a Muslim husband any different? Muslim husbands should not feel that they are.
6. Communication is key Communication! This is the most important word in any successful relationship. Husbands and wives need to talk to each other and not about each other. It is better to deal with problems early and honestly, than to let them pile up until they implode.
Many of us treat our spouses in ways that we would never treat others. With others, we try to be polite, kind, and patient. With our spouses, we often do not show these common courtesies. After a tough day at work, husbands usually come home on edge.
The wife has probably also had a rough day with the children and the housework. Husbands and wives should try to put themselves in the other’s shoes before they accuse one another of lost love. They should begin to understand and talk about their day before demanding anything. By doing so, they are likely to eliminate any sort of mini-quarrels and petty arguments. They should rather exercise patience, understanding, empathy and most of all: communicate!
Apart from the above, a successful marriage requires kindness, humility, sacrifice, love, forgiveness, and lots of hard work. Following these principles should help any marriage to improve. Another important principle is to seek the counsel of the learned when one is faced with uncertainty.
The essence of them all can be summed up in one sentence: Always treat your spouse the way you would like to be treated. If you follow this rule, your marriage will have a much greater chance for success. If you discard this rule, failure is just around the corner.