This is a compilation of knowledge and advice given by various great scholars and teachers, including one of the top students of Allama Tabatabai (the author of Al-Mizan), on the subject of marriage. These invaluable suggestions and recommendations were noted by my former roommate, a current student named Yusef Toureh, from Turkey. He is amongst the best foreign students in Qom today. This priceless information has been compiled over the course of approximately ten years. Insha’Allah we can implement this knowledge and in turn accordingly construct and build our marriages, lives, and Islamic communities.
One of the explanations for what is meant by “marriage is half of your faith” is that anyone who gets married and can overcome the trials and tribulations of marriage in an Islamic manner has then and only then accomplished reaching half of his or her faith. This has much to do with the fact that through marriage our own self-image of what or who we are, or at least what we think we are, is constantly being tested. This is one of the ultimate trials Allah has set before us. For example, someone may think that patience is an attribute of their character, but once he get married, he may encounter situations with his spouse and family that may cause him to realize perhaps he is not as patient as he envisioned himself to be. These ordeals that you will undergo will help you to get to know yourself and your spouse better, and as a result, this builds your faith. In the Qur’an, Allah states that He test us only within the capacity of our hearts, meaning He does not give us any burden which we cannot bear.
Ways to maintain a successful marriage
- Always maintain respect. Never use disrespectful words or tones.
- Never use profanity and never curse your spouse.
- Husbands, be especially patient with your wife during her monthly cycle.
- Regularly and consistently do recreational activities together.
- Set aside special time at night for your spouse.
- Set aside time (at least one or two times a week) to talk and explain what is going on and to share any news of joy or to exhale frustrations.
- Never argue in public or in the presence of others.
- Encourage your spouse to beautify him-/herself at home. Often we get dressed up, and look nice and extra sharp to go out, or to attend an event, but we don’t do the same things at home. Having good appearance for your spouse, especially within the home, should be encouraged and praised. It is important to understand that beautification for your spouse is mutual for men and women.
- Husbands, occasionally give gifts to your wife.
- Husbands, occasionally give money to your wife.
- Teach patience, by having patience when situations become difficult.
- There is no shame in apologizing; teach this by doing this.
- Upon the entrance door of your home or residence, put ”Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim”. (In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.)
- Husbands should recite the Adhan and Qur’an loudly in the home.
- If a man visits a friend who is married, but he has a wife who is not good, do not take your wife with you.
- Always try hard and put forth effort in getting to know and understand your spouse.
- Husbands, recognize that the language of kindness and feeling is stronger than the language of force.
- How would you treat a flower? Give it water, sunlight, be gentle with its frailty, and just take time to smell the roses. Recognize their beauty and do not allow them to be damaged. Treat your wife like a flower.
- Spending time with your wife is a type of worship and has the blessings of performing I’etikaf (fasting while staying in a mosque) in Masjid an-Nabi (The Masjid of the Prophet).
- Show kindness and love. Actual demonstration is more important than just having feeling in your heart.
- Do not expect your spouse to change his/her flaws overnight; some things need more time than others.
- Try to focus and reflect on our own faults and flaws and ways to self-improve.
- Tell your spouse you love and care for them, verbally.
There are few or no perfect marriages from the very beginning, and when you are having difficulties, don’t allow Satan to whisper into your heart and tell you that the grass is always greener on the other side or that you are perfect and all the problems come from your spouse. Satan likes to divide and conquer by saying things such as, “if you were with someone else, you would not have this problem.” But the reality of the matter is that while that may or may not be true, everyone who is not a sinless saint will certainly have his/her fair share of flaws and problems. Moreover, a perfect marriage entails a mutually perfect effort. And most importantly, always make Du’a and pray for Allah to place compassion, mercy, and love between you and your spouse and to help you two grow strong together in the immaculate faith of Islam. Remember, rely on Allah. He is the Almighty.
Born in the United States, Shaikh Husayn El-Mekki Abdullah-Aziz moved at an early age with his parents to the seminary in Iran, where he studied Islamic jurisprudence, philosophy, and exegesis. He is a popular speaker among the youth in several Shia communities around North America.