At times, we took for granted on the things Allah has granted us, one of them is a spouse. While others still searching for one halal relationship in a marriage, we tend to gradually destroy the marriage rather than building it...or its easy for us to move on and remarry and divorced more than couple of times without even pondering (muhasabah) on ourselves... what was the reason behind those failed marriage(s)?
The list serves as a reminder to each one of us, myself, first and foremost to ponder about our own shortcomings.
1. Fear Allah, for having ehsaan (doing anything and thinking that Allah is always watching) will make us treat others with kindness and love.
2. Good hygiene. Keep yourself clean, smelling good for her, take shower after work and be comfortable. Do not wait until your spouse had to ask you to go and have shower and clean yourself. Imagine having to hold your spouse who smell of smokes and carbon monoxide!
3. Have good manners in public as well as when you are with her. If you’re able to control your temper in public, try that too at home.
4. If you get up earlier than her, wake her up to perform tahajjud with you. Do not ever, pray alone at home.
5. Make her feel needed. In Ramadhan especially, tell her what you wish to have for sehri and plan to have siyam the next day with her. Do not ask anyone else (if you’re staying in a joint family) to do what she loves doing for you.
6. Protect her from being mistreated by others, even by your own family members.“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah , even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.” – Surah An-Nisa (4:135)
7. If you smell trouble in a joint family, quickly find a solution by getting a home nearby (if you are required to be near to your parents). This is better as no kitchen has two queens. Refer to Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi book on Guiding Principles of Married Life (also discussed briefly under A Splendid Paragon: Walking on Eggshells)
8. If you were divorced with children from previous marriage, try your best to include her in the meetings and introduce her to your children. Never tell her that she has no right and they are not part of her life but you alone.
9. Flirt with your wife, never miss any chance to touch her (hold her hand, feed her, counting zikr using her fingers instead of your tasbeeh) and make her feel wanted and appreciated. Be playful and let her know that she’s irresistible.
10.Never joke about getting her a co-wife especially when we are not able to be just. Abu Hurairah radi’Allahu anhu narrated, Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam said, “ There are three matters in which seriousness is serious and joking is serious: marriage, divorce and taking back (one’s wife)- Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2194;al-Tirmidhi, 1184; Ibn Majah,2039.
11. Never include third person in any of your conversation when it is tensed or in good times. If you’re previously divorced with an ex-wife, never compares the ex with your wife. The ex-wife is haram for you anyway.
12. Date your wife. Never have this thinking, “She’s mine now, what else do I have to do?”. Constantly reassure her that you love spending time with her, not your sports channel, your work or your ex-wife.
13. Your wife is already halal for you, so, is there a pressing need to talk, chat, mingle and joke around with non-mehram?
14. Do not allow the disagreement lets you avoid her for weeks (not talking). This is one form of abuse that are more harmful than the physical abuse.
15. Smile at her as soon as you see her at the doorstep coming home from work. She misses you and whether you realized it or not, she is looking at you constantly, waiting for you to smile back at her.
16. If she advises you on Deen, say Alhamdulillah for someone is being sent to you by Allah as a reminder. Never tell her that you know Deen better than her.
17. Do not praise her for the good she does (taking care of you, how she cooks good food for you, how she always keeps your coffee refilled) to your own mother (whether if we stay in a joint family or not). No woman likes to hear a compliment about another woman.
18. Praises her in seclusion (refer to point 17 for the reason why). Tell our spouse the details if we do praises them.
19. Never include your own family in decisions involving your marriage, this spells disaster. Instead, conduct musyawarah from a learned shaykh, deeni teachers who understand the fiqh of marriage.
20. Do not treat her like a second-class citizen. She has left her comfortable home and family to be with you. By right, you should be able to take care of her better than her own father.
21. Never ignore her but pay attention to her, because once you stop doing that, she’ll gradually stop taking care of herself (beauty, health and so on).
22. Do not dominate the conversation by raising your voice to exhibit authority or to validate her actions. Talk and listen. Once during a journey, Safiya radi’Allahu anha was crying because she had be made to ride a slow camel. The Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam didn’t tell her she was being unreasonable. Instead, he wiped her tears, comforted her, and even tried to find her another camel.
23. Do not punish her for her mistakes. She is the same as you, a human being and to err is human. Hold her hand and talk to her lovingly instead of ignoring her for days. Guide her with kindness, not pinpoint her mistakes and keeps pestering, reminding dwell about her mistakes whole time.
24. She is someone else’s daughter and she is your amanah. Think about this, would you wish your daughters or sisters to be treated kindly by her husband or otherwise?
25. She is not born pious (and do remember this, so were you). One of the reasons she has chosen you to be her husband is for you to guide her towards being in Jannah together, not Jahannum. If we expect our spouse to be pious then we should just get married to our shaykh!
26. When coming back from a long journey, do not only get gifts for others in the household and get nothing for your wife -- its a sunnah to bring some gifts from long journey home. Should you have nothing to give her, never show her the gifts you've bought for others in the joint family to her.
27. Have the courage to change for good and the same for admitting our mistakes.
28. Be caring. Anas ibn Malik narrates,” I saw the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam making for her (Safiya) a kind of cushion with his cloak behind him(on his camel). He then sat beside his camel and put his knee for Safiya to put her foot on, in order to ride (on the camel) – Sahih Al-Bukhari
Truth is, no one who wish to get married thinking about divorce. Everyone wishes to have a sakinah home, a mawaddah family and Rehmah by being married. The efforts should be from both sides.
Let’s ponder, “Would you marry you?”