What is Islam ?
Islam is not a new religion, but the same truth that God revealed through all His prophets to every people. For a fifth of the world's population, Islam is both a religion and a complete way of life. Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness, and the majority have nothing to do with the extremely grave events which have come to be associated with their faith.
As-Salāmu `Alaykum wa rahmatu l-lāhi wa barakātuh!
The pleasure Hadhrat
Ādam must have felt when he saw a woman next to him as he awoke from a deep
slumber, during which Allāh created a ‘mate’ for him from his body, is
absolutely beyond our grasp. This mate called ‘Hawwā’ was a very special gift
that Allāh presented to the first man of the human race.
However, men in all
ages have continued to receive such a gift throughout the human history and
will carry on getting the same till the Day of Qiyāmāh. Muslim men are bestowed
this gift by virtue of a ceremony known as ‘Nikāh’. A Nikāh is sacred social
contract between the bride and the groom. This contract is a strong covenant
(Mithāqan Ghalizā) as expressed in Quran in Surāh An-Nisā Āyat 21.
Entering into such a
contract is quite easy for a man but extremely difficult for a woman. Men can
rarely fathom what a woman has to go through at the time of her marriage. For
her, the marriage is a major transitional period of her life. She does not
leave behind her parent’s house only; she leaves behind the immense love, care
and pampering of her parents, the irreplaceable company of her siblings and
every nook and every corner of a ‘home’ she is so dearly attached to. As
a result she goes through a major emotional turmoil at the time of her
wedding. During this stage of her life she has to make tremendous
adjustments not only to her physical self but to her emotional self as well.
No other religion in
the entire human history has accorded the status and dignity that Islām has
accorded to a woman.
This is the time when
a man, as a husband to the woman (or the wife), has to play a pivotal role in
assuring her, not by words only but also by deeds, that he is here to embrace
her wholeheartedly and that she should in no way feel the absence of her
parents and her siblings.
Now the question is:
how can he assure her by his words as well as by his actions that she is now a
part of his life?
A wedding (an Islāmic
wedding, of course) is a great blessing from Allāh. The husband gets a mate
fully adorned as a ‘Bride’ on this auspicious day. The title ‘Bride’ means: ‘a
woman on her wedding day or just before and after the event’.
However, if a
husband wants to bring true happiness in the married life he should see that
the woman he marries retains the title ‘Bride’ forever – even after she becomes
a mother and even after she attains the old age and become a grandma. Yes, this
title should not be limited to their wedding night alone or for the period till
the ‘henna’ applied on her hands (and at times, on her feet) fades out. It
should be permanent. He has to continue giving her the same adulation,
adoration and attention that he gave her on their wedding night.
No doubt at times
misunderstandings are bound to develop between the couple but the mutual
respect and love should be enough to ward of these misunderstandings. Do not
let Shaytān triumph as a result of these misunderstandings.
There is a saying of
the Messenger of Allāh that Iblis deputes his troops to create mischief
and disorder in the world. Each one of the devils returns with a story of his
performance and narrates the same to him but Iblis is not satisfied with
their respective performances. The moment a devil informs that he has created
misunderstanding between the spouses, Iblis embraces him and his joy
knows no bounds.
To fight the Devil,
one needs Allāh’s Help and this comes with Taqwā. Loosely translated the
word ‘Taqwā’ means living with the awareness that Allāh is watching us
and will hold us accountable for our actions.
A man should have a
heart that is magnanimous enough to overlook the shortcomings of his ‘Bride’.
After all he must always be aware that in spite of these shortcomings she has
numerous other wonderful qualities. Allāh has endowed a woman with amazing
qualities. She is a spring of kindness, has a bosom that is the source of
warmth, and has blood flowing in her veins that is a river of fragrance.
However, a woman’s
quality of the greatest magnitude is her endurance. This quality is manifested
at the time of giving birth to a child. Allāh has created a woman in such a way
that her pain threshold is very high. She has to go through the long and
arduous period of pregnancy which culminates into the labour pains and
ultimately ends up in the toughest process of giving birth.
This is time when
she gambles with death. It is just impossible for a man to understand what she
goes through to give the husband and other family members that ‘precious bundle
He should always
appreciate that she gives for no return. She respects him as her husband and
guards his entity. Her beauty lies in her spirits. Her charm and attraction are
in her enlightened mind, awareness, and wise opinion. Had the case been different,
grand men of letters would not have said ‘behind every successful man there is
We have an example of
a husband ‘par excellence’ and the men of the entire world need to emulate
him. That ‘husband’ is none other than Rasulullāh SallAllāhu
‘alayhi wasallamhimself. There are numerous traditions of his that
teach us to be good to our wives. A few of them are quoted below:
‘anhu narrates that the Messenger of Allah SallAllāhu ‘alayhi
wasallamsaid: “When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his
religion, so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half.”
Abu Hurairāh RadhiAllāhu
‘anhu narrates that Rasulullāh SallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said: “The
most perfect amongst the believers in faith is the one who has best manners;
and the best of you are those who are best to their wives.” (Musnad
Abu Hurairāh RadhiAllāhu
‘anhureported: Messenger of Allāh Sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam
said, “Take my advice with regard to women: Act kindly towards women, for
they were created from a rib, and the most crooked part of a rib is its
uppermost. If you attempt to straighten it; you will break it, and if you leave
it alone it will remain crooked; so act kindly toward women”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Nabi Muhammad SallAllāhu
‘alahi wasallam was once travelling and the caravan included a group of
women. Women rode in a Hawdāh (a carriage for riding on the back of a
camel, typically with a canopy). There was also a camel driver by the name
Anjashah and he sang to the camels. He recited poetry in a beautiful way so the
camels would walk faster. Anjashah raised his voice so that the camels would
pick up the pace. The Hawdāh carrying the women swayed and Rasulullāh
felt concerned. He said, “O Anjashah, drive slowly with Al-Qawareer
(glass vessels)” (Sahih Bukhari, Book 073, Number 228, 229, 230).
By describing women
as ‘al-qawareer’ (glass vessels), RasulullāhSallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam
underscores that women are delicate and fragile like glass vessels and they
should be handled gently and with care.
This is a command to
all husbands to treat women kindly and not to oppress them; to give them their
rights and to guide them to do good. We should not look for perfection in this
universe; but accept what is best! There is no need to demand perfection from
our wives while we are drowned in our own flaws. The Messenger SallAllāhu
‘alayhi wasallam said, “A believer must not hate a believing woman. If
he dislikes any of her characteristics, he will be pleased with another one.” (Reported
So, just think: what
would be the outcome if a man, instead of appreciating or respecting his
‘Bride’, oppresses her? Obviously all the beautiful qualities of the wife
and all her aspirations for a blissful married life may get nipped in bud and
life for both the husband and the wife may become unpleasant.
On the contrary, we
have no idea what the return will be if we embrace our “Bride’ with few words
of love and kindness. All her hitherto concealed beautiful attributes may
get the chance to blossom into flowers bearing pleasant fragrances.
A lot of Hikmat
(wisdom) has to be used when dealing with our ‘Bride’. Below are some tips on
how we can bring happiness in our home.
‘Romance’ alive in our marriage. We should not be stingy in expressing our love
to her. The three words ‘I love you’ can sometimes act as a magical wand.
should be observant enough to notice any new dress or hairstyle that the wife
has put or any new dish she has prepared for us and compliment her accordingly
with all sincerity.
home a gift or flowers for her on some important occasions.
should try our best not to scold or belittle the wife in front of other people
or compare her negatively with other women. Even in the privacy of our bedroom,
if we want to point out to her about certain mistakes she might have made then
we should do it very discreetly and without hurting her feelings.
should never pass sarcastic or satirical remarks against her and neither should
we use harsh language when talking to her even if we have lost our temper for
any reason. At times we tend to taunt and insult our wife for any wrong done by
anyone from her parent’s side. Such an unscrupulous behaviour creates
bitterness between the couple and can ultimately lead to serious rows.
behavior with our family members should be such that they should be looking
forward to our returning home and not dreading it. We are often very kind and
sweet to our friends and colleagues and reserve our screams and roars for our
wife and children. Rasulullāh Sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam always used to
enter the house with a smiling face. He never raised his hand on any of his
wives and neither did he raise his voice when addressing them.
we try our best to please her we have to be careful not to transgress the
limits of the Shariyat. Hijāb has to be maintained whenever she leaves
home. Some of us have a misconception that encouraging her to wear revealing
clothes in public and letting her socialize with gair-mahram men are the ways
to demonstrate our love for her. On the contrary we have to pay extra attention
to impart adequate Islāmic Tarbiyat (nurturing) to her so that she may
in turn raise the children giving them proper Islāmic Tarbiyat.
should try as much as we can to give her a helping hand in the household
parents have lots of rights that need to be fulfilled by us. We have to be
extra careful to see that these rights are not violated by our over-pampering
our wife otherwise we will be answerable to Allāh for doing injustice to our
10.In a number of families the in-laws act
like outlaws. Brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, father-in-law and especially the
mother-in-law create lots of problems in the life of the woman. The
mother-in-law perceives the daughter-in-law as an intruder who has come to
steal the son from his mother. If not an open quarrel then a cold war
develops between the two women, putting the man into a very precarious
position. At that time we have to try our best to bring about a compromise
between the two ladies and see that they live in harmony. However, before we do
that we must turn to Allāh Ta’ala and beseech His Help.
May Allāh Subhānāhu
waTa’ālā guide us on Ṣwirāṭ al-mustaqīm and
bless us with a blissful married life based on Taqwā and Ikhlās.
We can then look forward to be reunited with our ‘Bride’ in Jannāh,