Let me start by saying that I’m not a marriage counselor nor am I a marital expert. I’m the least qualified person to comment on anyone’s marriage and probably the worst example to follow. However, in my line of work, I do see many couples who have problems in their marriage.
The Old Wise Man used to pester me to take up Syariah law and the Wise Owl was always telling me to go back to basic. Both of them said that we need to go back to the teachings of our Prophets pbuh. That reason and also the fact that I do not want to be questioned later, made me decide to take up studies in Syariah. Being very dramatic (but not a drama queen!), I would, forever, have vision in my mind of possible scenes between me and the Al Mighty on Judgment Day. In this case, the scene would be, God asking me “What have you done with the time I Gave you?”, of which I will answer “ I studied law and became a lawyer” , then He will ask. “Did you study My Divine Law?”. Since I will not be able to fib, my mouth will answer” NO!”, Then God will say” Are you telling me that you chose to study and practice man-made law over My Law?” Gulp!! Yikes!! Pretty scary……
Let me tell you something, studying Islamic law had really opened my eyes to many things. There are so many formulas of happiness that are not known to man because they were ignorant of it, and one of the formulas is the marriage potion. Somehow, I feel it in my heart, that if we follow these formulas to the tee, we would be the happiest people on earth.
Most of the common complaints made by the spouses, to me, were, lack of respect, irresponsible and failure to meet expectations, which all combined and led to loss of love between two parties.
If you think back, we have actually been deceived by fairy tales concocted by others. For example, we grew up with ‘Snow White’ and ‘Cinderella’ (well, I did and if you didn’t that means I am very much older than you!) In both stories, the prince charming, came dashing through the woods with their steed and rescued the princess and they live happily ever after. The prince remains handsome for all eternity and the princess never have wrinkles or stretch marks. I mean….seriously?????? Do we still believe that? Those stories are called ‘fairy tales’ for goodness sake!!! They don’t exist in the real world because in Islam there is no such thing as ‘fairies’, No fairies hence no tales. We have other mystical being such as the jinn, which is specifically mentioned in the Quran but we do not have ‘jinn tales’ do we?
“He created man (Adam) from sounding clay like the clay of pottery.And the jinns did He create from a smokeless flame of fire.”
Surah Ar-Rahman 55:14-15
I think most of us, myself included, had pre-conceived ideas of how our ‘prince charming’ a.k.a poor husband will be, before we entered into the marriage. We had expectations of how romantic he will be, how he will sweep us off our feet every day, how he will treat us like princesses, shower us with gifts, take us for candlelight dinners, buy us the biggest diamond that he can find etc etc. For the men, they have notions of how, their wives will not be tarnished by time, who can cook, clean, take care of the children and have a career all at the same time without any problem. Sometimes, it is not the fairy tales that is the culprit but, observation other people’s marriage. We probably see the other exhibitionist couple who is extremely happy and the husband is extremely caring, romantic; the wife is super gorgeous, slim and the list goes on but that is often, on the exterior. we do not see the cracks underneath and I can assure you, there are cracks.
Well….I hate to be the one, to burst anyone’s bubble but I feel that I need to, in this case, as, it may save a marriage.
Repeat after me....No marriage is perfect. Even our beloved Prophet pbuh had wives problems. To me, we just have to learn to make the marriage work by following the advice and teachings of the Holy Quran and our Prophets pbuh. When I say follow the Prophet pbuh, I DO NOT mean, for the men, to take up 4 wives! Trust me, if you can’t make one wife happy, you will never make the other happy either and both will drag you to Hell.
“Hadith - Sunan of Abu Dawood #2128, Narrated Abu Hurairah, r.a.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: When a man has two wives and he is inclined to one of them, he will come on the Day of resurrection with a side hanging down [i.e. paralyzed].”
The point I’m trying to make here is, Do Not Have Expectations. We human are created imperfect, which means that we have flaws. Our flaws could be physical or in our character. Being a husband or a wife, is already a huge responsibility to shoulder, without adding in the expectations. We want others to accept us for what we are so, why can’t we accept our spouses as they are? It could be that our expectation bar was set too high for any real human to reach. If that is the case, then, no man or woman can ever make you happy and you might end up alone.
“Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.”
― Albert Einstein
― Albert Einstein
For the husbands, we women are not immortal. We age and we develop stretch marks after giving birth. Like you, we will eventually have wrinkles and white hairs but we will try our level best to look pleasing to our husbands. Though we are master jugglers and we can multi-task, please remember that we are not superwoman. We do need help and we particularly like it when help is rendered voluntarily. You see, despite public generalisation, we do not like to nag so help us by reducing the possibility of us nagging. Like you, we also like to be pampered, so, feel free to pamper us anytime. Respect your wives and you will find yourself being respected in return. Love us unconditionally and you will find a loyal mate for life.
“Book 8, Number 3466:Hadith Bukhari : AbuHuraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Woman is like a rib. When you attempt to straighten it, you would break it.And if you leave her alone you would benefit by her, and crookedness will remain in her.
Beloved Prophet SAW said: “Best among you are those who behave well with their women.”hadith
Rasulullah said: "The mu'min husband should not despise his mu'min wife because if there is any quality he dislikes in her he will certainly be pleased another."hadith
For the wives, men are actually from Mars! Hahaha…just kidding. Men were not created with our emotional package. If they were, we will have our husband bursting into tears whilst watching “titanic” or any other love story. I don’t know about you, but, weeping men makes me uncomfortable! I don’t know whether to hand them the tissue or slap them back to reality. So I rather not have men who are 'weepers'. Anyway, husbands are the leader of the family and they are our ‘Imam’. Whether we like it or not, when we married him, we have agreed to obey him. Obey here means to listen to the good advice and teachings and not to become a slave. Like us, husbands will also age and may acquire a belly or two, so we must never compare him to Brad Pitt, unless we want him to compare us to Angelina Jolie! We must respect our husbands and be his support. Like us, husbands also like to be pampered and praised. Sometimes, small things such, as saying ‘thank you’ goes a long way with them as they also like to feel appreciated like us. Throw away the ‘prince charming’ dreams because you will be disappointed with him if he doesn’t turn into one, and; how do we know prince charming is perfect? He may be very handsome but it could be it is because he spends hours in front of the mirror and hundreds of ringgit on facial treatment! Remember ‘Gaston’ from the movie “Beauty and the Beast”? Do not let your husband be the ugly frog who never did turn into a prince!
Rasulullah saw said: "The woman who dies in the state of her husband being pleased with her will enter Jannah ." Rasulullah said: "The woman who dies in the state of her husband being pleased with her will enter Jannah ." hadith
Rasulullah saw said: "The best of wealth is a righteous woman who pleases her husband when he sees her; she obeys whenever he commands her and when her husband is absent she protects her chastity and respect."hadith
Rasulullah said: "The best of women is one that pleases her husband when he glances at her; obeys him when he commands her and does not oppose him and displease him in matters regarding her body and wealth."hadith
I myself have tried this formula. Is it a success? Well…..so far, my husband and I are not at each other’s throat so I suppose it is but whether it will last, I think, that is something that both of us have to continuously work at. One thing for sure, I noticed, that, once I dispense with my expectations, I am able to appreciate my husband more hence give him the respect that he deserve. I still occasionally, drive him mental and he still occasionally, make me wanna scream but that is the part where we are being human. It takes two to tango and it takes two to make a marriage work. Bottom line is, rectify your intentions, recite “Bismillah” adopt the formula, mix it to the best of your ability and then….. tawakkAllah……