I wrote this to a dear friend who recently got married Alhamdulillah:
Sorry for the long message, but I deem this a very important stage in your life, and that calls for much effort and time for me, in order to respect what it is for:)
I tried calling you a few times, but it is the Qadr of Allah Most High that it didn’t go through, so I’m writing this, so that it can remain etched in your heart and eyes for a long time, and so that you can return to reading this, insha’Allah many years later. You know what moves me to write on things, you did much for the Islamic society and for Muslims, and the least I can do, as a member of the ISOC, is to benefit you.
Please share this writing with your spouse too.
The Messenger of Allah said, "Religion (dîn) is sincerity (nasiha) (corrective advice, good counsel and sincere conduct). The dîn is nasiha. The dîn is nasiha....” (Tirmidhi)
“And we are good friends of him. And most surely we are his sincere well-wishers.” (Quran, sura Yusuf, verse 11)
I am very sorry that I could not attend your wedding, but work did not permit it, but my soul did feel the joy of knowing that you are married and happy Alhamdulillah
You might know a lot of what I will say here, but perhaps it is a reminder to all of us insha’Allah.
Allah Almighty says, "Those who say, 'Our Lord, give us joy in our wives and children and make us a good example for those who have taqwa." (25:74)
A hadith of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) talks about how certain acts are haram and lead to sin, yet the opposite of those acts are halal and lead to good deeds. Marriage is one of those acts which are recommended (and halal) and lead to much good deeds with the right intention.
So ensure that your intention is for the sake of Allah Most High. There are some Hadiths especially relevant to that issue, and they are:
The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Anyone who possesses three attributes will experience the sweetness of belief: that he loves Allah and His Messenger more than anything else; that he loves someone for the sake of Allah alone;...[Agreed upon]
The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There are seven whom Allah will shade with His shade on the day when there is no shade but His shade: ... two men who love each other for the sake of Allah,” (Agreed upon)
The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'Allah, the Mighty and Exalted, says, "Those who love one another for My majesty will have minbars of lights. The Prophets and martyrs will envy them."'" [at-Tirmidhi]
A man was with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when a man passed by him and said, "O Messenger of Allah, I love this man." The Prophet said to him, "Have you informed him?" He said, "No." He said, "Inform him," and he caught up with him and said, "I love you for the sake of Allah." He said, "The One for whom you love me has made me love you." [Abu Dawud]
The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah Almighty will say on the Day of Rising, 'Where are those who loved one another for the sake of My majesty? Today, on the day when there is no shade but My shade, I will shade them.'" [Muslim]
The love includes halal love between relatives and husband and wife. This way, one’s relationship isn’t limited to this world, but is established in the strong hold of the Almighty Allah, and is never lost with Him.
And when one remembers that the love that you have for each other is for Allah’s sake, then the times of hardship and trials that naturally occur in any relationship (even amongst the Prophets they occurred, and even they occur amongst our relationships with parents and siblings) are kept in perspective and are less likely to harm any relationship.
You remember that the purpose of your marriage is to help each other become better people and to reach Jannah for eternity, so that you can be together for eternity. Remember that this world is short, maybe you’ll live for 60 years here, but compare it to the hereafter. There there is no rancour nor jealousy nor any bad thing, but there is total bliss.
But in this world, one can’t expect total bliss, but should expect trials, and looks for ways to help each other overcome the trials of this world. Both male and female are different in their biological and psychological features, so their strengths and weaknesses differ, and it is up to you two to find the strengths and weaknesses and compensate for them, so that together, you two can be complete human beings.
So remember to seek each other’s advice and consult in your affairs where appropriate. That is the key to successful relationships where each party is included in the decision making process. Al-Hasan said, "People never seek advice without being guided to the best possibility available to them." Then he recited, "and manage their affairs by mutual consultation." (42:38)
When you disagree on something, try to understand each other’s view and try to be in each other’s shoes, but at same time, try to be rational and logical in decisions, and come to conclusions, and resolve disputes, based on common premises (or shared concerns/benefits).
We don’t disrespect men or women, because out of the men, the best of creation the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) came, and out of women, our mother Sayyida Khadija (may Allah Most High be pleased with her) came, and she helped him in his important and difficult time of need.
Remember the Prophetic Hadith “A believer is a mirror to his brother. A believer is a brother of a believer: he protects him against any danger and guards him from behind.” (Bukhari). This becomes even more important in the case of a married couple, since you get to know much about each other, and you should help each other change the defects that are possible to change. And those defects that can’t be changed, one should ignore and focus on the good points of the person. Don’t focus on the issues that are external, like beauty, since that will fade, and the marriage is intended to last longer than the age of beauty.
Remember that purification of the heart is very important in relation to this. It is the key to paradise, and the “mirror” is an excellent metaphor here. Remember “The Day when neither wealth nor children shall profit, [and when] only he [will be saved] who comes before God with a sound heart [free of evil]” (al-Shu'ara' 26: 88-9). So strive to become better human beings that adopt the pure characteristics, and get rid of the bad characteristics of the soul. It is of much help if someone can look at your faults of the heart, point them out, and help you get rid of them.
Allah Almighty says, "Help each other to goodness and taqwa," (5:2)
So help each other in doing good deeds, help in encouraging each other, increasing the Iman of each other, drawing closer to Allah Most High together. The Iman of people increases and decreases, but the amount and duration of the decrease can be countered by having another person to pick up your Iman.
Increase each other in knowledge and benefit since it is one of the quickest ways to paradise. It helps in fulfilling the rights of each person, and spouse, and helps in good deeds. The Hadith applies to both men and women where the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said “If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allah will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise. The angels will lower their wings in their great pleasure with one who seeks knowledge, the inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth and the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man. The superiority of the learned man over the worshipper is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets leave neither dinar nor dirham, leaving only knowledge, and he who takes it takes a big fortune.” (Abu Dawud)
However don’t put too much emphasis upon yourself and your rights, but rather put more emphasis on the rights of your spouse and what you can do for her/him. As the saying goes “don’t think what the spouse can do for you, but what you can do for your spouse”. Act based upon selflessness, and expect the reward from Allah Most High, not on the basis of a reward from any person.
Remember the Hadith “Whoever initiates a good practice (sunnah hasanah) in Islam and is emulated by others in doing so will get the reward of it and the reward of all those who act upon it without their rewards being diminished in any respect....” (Muslim). So when each of you do a good deed, the other gets a reward too. And imagine then if one of you teaches the other, and s/he teaches another, and so on, then the initial person and everyone in between gets the good deed.
But if you have children and you teach them good, and they implement it, then you get the good deeds of that (or you get bad deeds if they do the bad deeds from your teachings, according to the full hadith of the above), and that serves as an important source of good deeds after you die. Ensure a proper and excellent Islamic environment for your family. And we must prepare for our death as well, because that is inevitable, and we will need all the good deeds that we can get.
Furthermore, don’t think that the spending on each other is a waste, but rather remember Allah Most High in the following Hadith and hope for His continuous reward and increase in barakah (blessings) and love between each other:
The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Is not the best dinar a man spends the dinar which he spends on his family and the dinar which he spends on his mount in the way of Allah and the dinar which he spends on his companions in the way of Allah?" [Muslim]
The Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Exchange gifts, as that will lead to increasing your love to one another.” [Bukhari]
Remember the example of the Prophet, he used to accept all gifts, no matter how small they were, and he would return the favour, and not think lowly of the gift (he said “one should not look down on a gift from her neighbour, even if it is only a sheep's trotter."- Muwatta).
Remember the principle of husn adh-dhann, an important principle of Islam, and that is that you have a good opinion of people. Have a good opinion of each other, assume the best of each other, and insha’Allah you will avoid a lot of problems.
Ja’far Ibn Ahmad said: 'If you hear anything you do not like about your brother, then seek one excuse for him to seventy excuses, if you find any then all perfect praise be to Allah, otherwise say 'It might be that he has an excuse which I do not know about.'
Allah Most High commanded us: “O you who believe! Shun much doubt; for lo! some doubt is sinful.” [Qur’an, 49.12]
Now that you are married, what harms one of you, harms the other, and what benefits one of you, benefits the other. Help each other, and help each other in helping other people. The Prophet said "Whoever removes a worldly grief from a believer, Allah will remove from him one of the griefs of the Day of Judgment" [Sahih Muslim]. And if you help others, Allah Most High will help you.
I leave you with this advice. When you encounter hard times, look towards the Qur’an and the life of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) together since they contain the best of examples and cover all types of situations, especially of mercy, compassion and love. And seek the guidance of righteous scholars to help you if you can’t understand something.
May Allah Most High put barakah and happiness in your lives, marriage, families and grant you all jannatul firdaws, Ameen.
Please remember me in your du’as as I am in much need of them.