The Definition of Marriage (Nikah) in Islam Sheikh Muhammad Abu Zahrah (a modern scholar) defines it like this:"A contract that results in the man and woman livingwith each other and supporting each other within thelimits of what has been laid down( in Islam) for themin terms of rights and obligations."Sheikh Ibn Uthaimeen takes an even morecomprehensive view of the institution of marriage:"It is a mutual contract between a man and a womanwhose goal is for each to enjoy the other, become apious family and a sound society."
Marriage-source of love and mercy"And among His signs is this, that He created for youmates from among yourselves, that you may dwell intranquility with them, and He has put love and mercybetween your hearts. Undoubtedly in these are signsfor those who reflect." [Noble Quran 30:21]Your wives are a garment for you, and you are agarment for them." (2:187)
Marriage a way to procreation And Allah has made for you your mates of your own nature, and made for you, out of them, sons and daughters and grandchildren, and provided for you sustenance of the best." [Noble Quran 16:72]
Importance of Marriage in Hadith "O you young men! Whoever is able to marry should marry, for that will help him to lower his gaze and guard his modesty." [Al-Bukhari] Modesty was regarded as a great virtue by the Prophet. He said, "Modesty is part of faith." [Al- Bukhari] "Marriage is my sunnah. Whosoever keeps away from it is not from me. When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his religion, so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half."
11 Essentials of Successful Marriage 3- 2- 1-Faith Friendship Forbearance with spouse 4- 5-Our Friendship 6-Fun friends with in laws 7-Financial 8-Respect 9-Freedom plan for family 10-Plan for 11- future Fulfillment
Characteristics of good spouses For Muslim men and women for believing men and women for devout men and women for true men and women for men and women who are patient and constant for men and women who humble themselves for men and women who give in charity for men and women who fast (and deny themselves) for men and women who guard their chastity and for men and women who engage much in Allahs praise for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward. 33:35
1-Faith (Iman) The most essential attribute of a Muslimmarriage is the common faith that binds thecouple. Since Islam is a way of life and not just areligion confined to weekly worship it becomesan integral part of a Muslims life. The religious frame of reference shared bythe couple creates an ease of communication This helps in sharing of values that is notpossible in an interfaith marriage.
Faith Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said that when a husband feeds his wife, he gets a reward for this act and Allah increases the bond of love between them. So when we love each other for the sake of Allah (SWT) we actually increase our faith.It is highly recommended that faith play an important role in developing a loving relationship.
2-Forbearance (Sabr) Sabr is necessary tool to have in managing ahealthy lifestyle. Being patient and forbearing puts us in a proactiveframe of mind It brings us closer to Allah (SWT) through tawakkuland reliance. We develop an inner mechanism that empowers usto handle lifes difficult moments. As Allah states in surah Al-Asr : "Surely by time humans are at loss, except those who believeand do righteous deeds and counsel each other to the truth andcounsel each other to patience [sabr]."
3-Friendship With Your Spouse We should develop a friendship with ourspouses. The relationship based on friendship is strongenough to withstand outside pressures. We must honor, trust, respect, accept andcare for our friends, in spite of our differences.
Friends with mutual respect Shariah has placed the husband in aleadership role within his family and thisrequires a certain mutual respect & decorum. Husband is not a dictator, but a shepherd whois responsible to and for his flock. This is a position of grave responsibility andplaces an enormous burden on the husband. Furthermore, the children need to see theirparents as friends who respect each other.
4-Friendship With In-Laws We should have friendly relations with in-laws. When couples compete as to whose parentsare more important it becomes a constantsource of grief. Much valuable time is wasted trying toconvince one another of whose parents aremost desirable. It is better if we accept that our spouses willnot fall in love with our parents overnight justbecause we want them to. As long as they maintain relationships thatare cordial and based on mutual respect, weshould not force the issue.
5-Choosing-Friends It is ok to have individual friends of the same gender Couples must also make an effort to have family friends so that they can socialize together. If there is friction being caused by a certain friendship it must not be pursued at the expense of the marriage. Prophet Mohammad (SAW) advised us to choose God-fearing people as friends, since we tend to follow their way. Friends should be a source of joy and not mischief.
6-Fun Couples that do not laugh together have towork on sharing some fun times. The Prophet was known to play with hiswives. A simple walk in the park can add much sparkto the relationship. Taking up a sport together Watching appropriate funny movies is anotherway of sharing a laugh.
7-Financial-Plan One of the most common points of contention inmarriages is money. Experts tell us that 80% of marital conflicts areabout money. Couple put serious time and effort in developing afinancial management plan that is mutuallyagreeable and is reviewed every six months or so. Preparing a budget together is also a helpful andwise way to handling household finances. It should be remembered that the wifes money inIslam is hers to do with as she pleases and thereforeshould not be considered family income unless shechooses to contribute it to the family.
8-Respect &Priority For Family Parenting can be a stressful experience if theparents are not well informed. This in turn canput extra pressure on the marriage. Sometimes couples are naive about thechanges that come in lifestyle. This can causedepression in some cases, and resentment andmisunderstanding in others. One golden rule that must always be theguide is "family comes first." Whenever there isevidence that the family is not happy or not ourfirst priority, it is time to assemble at thekitchen table and discuss the situation withopen hearts and open minds.
Respect For Family Couples who have elderly parents have anadded responsibility to take care of them; thiscan also be very stressful if the couple is notprepared. A care plan must be worked out withrespective siblings and parents as to who will bethe primary care giver and what type of supportnetwork they will have. In case of mental incompetence a power ofattorney must be in place. The making of a willis essential.
9-Freedom Marriage in Islam is a partnership and not bondage or slavery. To consider the wife as ones property is alien to the Islamic concept of husband and wife. The team spirit is enhanced and not curtailed when members of the team are free to be themselves. Freedom in the common secular sense is to be free to do as one pleases, or even to be selfish. But what is meant by allowing freedom to ones spouse is to be considerate of her needs and to recognize her limitations
10-Plan For The Future Smart couples plan for their future together. They work on their financial and retirementplans. They make wills and discuss these plans withtheir children. This provides peace of mind and secures therelationship.
11-Fulfillment To be all one can be to ones spouse is a very fulfilling and rewarding experience. To be in love means to give ones all. The heart does not put conditions or make stipulations; it gives without expecting anything in return, but such selfless giving is always rewarded ten-fold.