Marriage is encouraged in Islam. That is because of its countless benefits both to the individuals involved and the society. Marriage allows for the expression and growth of true and ‘halal’ love, which also allows for a healthy environment in which children can be born and raised. Of course, a successful marriage does not come easy, as marriage involves the coming together of two people from different families and different homes who have had different experiences. It is also true that although a lot of young Muslims are getting married today, divorce rates are also getting high. Like most things, starting is the hardest, and here are a few guidelines on how to successfully live through the first few years of your marriage;
#1.Be informed early
The mistake a lot of couples make is lack of proper communication and information before getting married. Couples should be clear on certain basic things such as: where to live, when to start having kids, whether or not the wife would stay at home or go to work. These are things that should be discussed prior to the wedding. Also, people who intend to get married should be informed about things such as sex. We all know that having sex before marriage is forbidden in Islam. That is not to say one should be totally ignorant about it when about to get married. In some cultures, the bride and bridegroom get this information from the elders in their families prior to the wedding.
#2.Respect each other’s roles
Islam has made clear the role of a husband and wife. The husband is the leader and the protector of the wife, while the wife’s job is to guard her husband’s property and be obedient to him. That should not be misinterpreted to mean that the man should be like a dictator over his wife. Remember that the role of a leader is to serve as well. Besides, when one reads about the marriage of Prophet Muhammed (SAW) and Aisha (RA), one would understand that Islam teaches nothing but love, care and passion between couples.
#3.Forget the “D” word
Divorce has become very common nowadays, unfortunately. Although divorce is halal in Islam, it is also the most hated in the sight of God. Back in the day, people avoided using this word as much as possible, while the opposite is the case today. Muslims should go back to the Islamic teachings of patience, love and understanding instead of letting themselves fall prey to the plot of shaitan. By the way, did you know that anger is from shaytan?
#4.Communication is key
Lack of communication between married couples gives rise to a lot of otherwise avoidable problems. The first few years of marriage are not easy because they couples are trying to understand each other. That is why communication is very crucial. It is through conversing that two people can truly know what to do and what to avoid. I don’t mean use vile or provocative words. Conversation should be done as nicely as possible, keeping in mind to avoid hurting the other person. This point is directly particularly to the husband. Women are much more sensitive to words, and that is why the Prophet (SAW) has advised men not to criticize their wives. Things couples should talk about includes financial issues, sex and other issues that affect the marriage.
#5.Some Extra-marital activities have got to go
Extra-marital activities include hanging out with friends, Islamic clubs, social media and the like. We are not saying married people should abandon everyone in their lives, but there should be a limit to what they do once they are married. For instance, if a man used to hang out with his friends up to 11p.m when he was single, that must change after he is married. Marriage comes with responsibilities for which Allah will judge each of us. Some Islamic groups also consume so much time that a married person may not be able to give. You must keep in mind that your spouse comes first, and everything else is secondary. That is the way to a successful marriage. If you are not willing to sacrifice your Facebook life for your spouse, or the time you spend at your friend’s house watching football, then I’m not sure you are ready for marriage.
#6.Privacy is key
Couples must learn the art of keeping each other’s secrets. For a marriage to be successful, the people involved must be a team. We all have friends we are very close to, but after getting married, your spouse should be your best friend. You must never disclose your spouse’s faults (physical, sexual or financial) even to your closest friend. In fact, it is a sin to do this.
#7.Create a routine together
In as much as it is good to give each other some breathing space, it is also healthy to create ways to do things together. Married life should be fun not boring and annoying. Here are some ideas:
- Attend an Islamic program weekly
- Call/visit each other’s parents on a set date
- Have a special dinner night
- Have a special outing day
- Pray together even if it’s once a day
- Follow a TV show you both love
- Keep in touch (via phone call or text) at least once each day
At the end of the day, it is extremely important to remember that Allah is the one who grants success. As such, you must never neglect your duty to Him. May Allah grant us successful marriages Amin.