By: Abu Nura
Source: Muslim Worker (defunct)
Alhamdullilah, I have been married for many years now and I feel that Muslim Marriage is one of the most beautiful gifts that Allah has given to Muslims in this world.
However, Muslim Marriage doesn’t come easy right away. Actually, many husbands today have been spoiled by family or their environment or even society and media. This has caused us to lose our manliness and personal striving that our forefathers and great men in the history of Islam had.
Now, as a Muslim husband in this generation, I know how important and necessary it is for every Muslim Husband to work hard at their marriage in order for this Ummah to be strong again. After all, without the Muslim Family foundation, all other foundations cannot be formed.
I’ve put together some habits as a personal reminder to myself first and hopefully it can benefit Muslim Husbands out there who want to create a blissful marriage. Some ideas presented are from what I’ve read and heard and some are from experience. Take what applies to you and act on it.
So, let’s start:
1. Exercising, Staying Fit and Healthy
Sorry, brothers, you know this was coming. It is important that we stay healthy, exercise and keep fit for our wives and children. Many of us let ourselves go after marriage when it should be the other way around. When we are fit, we can do more for our wives and children. We also feel good that we are a strong contributing member of the Ummah.
My wife told me a story of how she was visiting a Muslim country recently and saw many couples where the wife was still dressed up nicely but the husband had totally let himself go.
I’m not asking everyone to be Arnold Schwarzenegger but to exercise so that when your kids are 12 years old, you can still kick a soccer ball with them. Because of my career in the software industry, I have to especially work hard at it as it is so easy for me to slack off (which I already have on a few occasions).
Doing what you enjoy will also help you stay fit. You don’t have to lift weights to stay in shape. As long as whatever you do helps you maintain a healthy, fit, Islamic lifestyle.
Also, it is imperative to eat a healthy diet. It doesn’t make much sense to work-out and stay fit and indulge in sweets and desserts everyday. Having a sweet tooth my whole life, I have now limited my sweet intake to one day of the week and have noticed positive changes like having more energy.
2. Dress well and with Ihsan (Excellence)
This is something I had to work on as I was never a good dresser when growing up. It doesn’t mean you have to wear rich expensive clothes. It means that your clothes are in good condition and you look presentable.
Muslims in history were known to dress excellently and to take care of their bodies. In the middle ages, Muslim Spain had running water and baths while the rest of Europe hardly washed their bodies.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to wear Musk to smell good.
Muslim narrated that Abu Sai’d Al-Khudri said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The best type of perfume is Musk.”
Try to buy quality over price or quantity as this is what dressing with Ihsan (Excellence) is about. At the end of the day, your wife will be happy with you and be thinking “MashaAllah.”
It is no surprise that the first word revealed from the Quran to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was “Read…” (Surah Alaq 96:1).
I always struggled with reading growing up as I was too preoccupied with TV and video games. Even though I excelled in school, reading was always a chore and I didn’t do a lot of it.
However, as a Muslim Husband, reading is an important skill to have. Not only will it enrich you with more knowledge, it can also help with your communication and conversation skills with your wife and children. You will have much more interesting and important things to say and teach your children too.
Especially in today’s age of changing media and technology, if you are not reading and learning, you will be more susceptible to negative influences around you.
4. Help out around the house – Clean!
Many wives today juggle more daily than ever before. Things like working full-time, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the kids are all part of her daily regimen. Your wife will be more than happy if you can take some of that load off her.
Washing dishes, vacuuming or other chores around the house should be taken up by you and it should be proactively done. Read: Do them before being asked.
Even the best of creation, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) helped around the house.
Aisha (Ra), the wife of Muhammad (SAW) said: “Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) used to patch his sandals, sew his garment and conduct himself at home as anyone of you does in his house. He was a human being, searching his garment for lice, milking his sheep, and doing his own chores.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi).
5. Read Quran
A Muslim Husband is the leader of a Muslim Family. He needs to be setting the example for his wife and children. That is why it is important he reads the Quran.
Children imitate. If they see their father read Quran, then they will want to read Quran too. Doing this can actually make children look forward to the dreaded Sunday Quran school.
Before marriage, I wasn’t very good at Quran and barely had any surahs memorized. I then worked hard at improving my reading by attending Tajweed classes and memorizing more surahs.
Praying together is a large part of a Muslim household and knowing Quran will help you, the Muslim Husband, to lead your wife and family. The Muslim Husband or Father should strive to lead the members of his house in prayer at least once a day if not more.
6. Be Critical and Analytical – Talk about Ideas
When I was growing up, my mom had put up a sign in a hallway of our house saying: “Small people talk about other people, Average people talk about things, Great people talk about ideas.”
It is important that a Muslim Husband matures beyond self-interest and is able to transcend petty talk about people around him and material things. He needs to start talking about ideas.
It comes back to the fact that the Islamic role of a Muslim Husband in the family is to lead. If all he talks about is how he hates his boss at work or about his new pair of shoes, his family is going to suffer.
Before being married, it was easy for me to slip in to friends and enjoy trivial things like movies and sports, however, I knew that I had to rise above these activities and start reading and learning more about ideas and principles about how our world works. I needed to increase my knowledge.
I didn’t want a superficial marriage and I didn’t want to be a superficial husband. So I stepped out of my comfort zone and took action to grow intellectually. I believe that if you want a successful Muslim Marriage that Allah will shower His blessings on, it has to be about more than food and cars.
7. Take your wife out – Plan stuff
Every wife likes to be taken out, no matter how religious she is. You also don’t have to be rich either to do so.
Going to the park or buying her a new hijab or checking out that new halal restaurant are all fun activities you can enjoy with her.
I know that I sometimes slack off in the planning department. But every time I plan an outing with my wife, our marriage and relationship improves.
My wife and I have one day of the week that we go out together to explore a part of the city we haven’t yet been or we re-visit a favorite place. It is the day of the week that we re-connect and talk about our ideas.
Try it out, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
8. Act Manly and Confident – Make Decisions
Men today behave less like men than our forefathers did. If you think back to the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), his companions were all manly men, were confident and had presence.
Basically, Muslim Husbands need to take action in their lives and not sit idly by and let life slip away from you. I used to be very laid back and complacent in my first year of marriage but I realize that this quality is not beneficial in a relationship. When I started to act with confidence and to take action in my life, I began seeing positive changes in both my marriage and my personal life.
It is important to note the difference between confidence and aggression/domination. The former deals with taking positive action in how one carries himself while still maintaining the haqq/rights of those around him. The latter does not focus on the haqq.
A confident Muslim Man, although a leader of his home, also knows and applies the concept of Shurah/consultation. It is important to include your wife and children in any major and minor decisions that will effect everyone.
Be a Muslim Man. Take Action. Be Confident. Your wife will be happy and your marriage will prosper, inshAllah.
9. Balance between Career/Work and Religion
A Muslim Husband must have balance. He should work and strive in his career to provide for his family as it is a haqq/right of the wife to be provided for (even if she chooses to work). He also must understand the fundamentals of his deen/religion. He doesn’t have to be a scholar, but he should at least know the basics.
I remember I was at Eid Prayer a long time ago and I saw a father teaching his son how to pray before the prayer itself. As a leader of the home, a Muslim Husband must know enough about Islam so that he can teach his wife and children. He shouldn’t be doing it at Eid prayer. He should have done it at home already.
If you can, go to a class once a week about your deen and read more about it. There are also vast resources online about this beautiful religion of ours.
Also, a Muslim Husband should strive to be excellent in any work/career that he takes on. Remember that balancing both is difficult to do but can be achieved gradually.
10. Cook and help with meals
OK, this is a contentious issue. Even though shariah doesn’t say that a wife must cook for her husband, she usually does. And, I am thankful that she does!
As a Muslim Husband, you should help with cooking dinners and preparing meals. This will alleviate some of the load off your wife and she will be very thankful you assisted.
You can do this by making a schedule and telling her which days you can help. Believe me, this will also really help your marriage and improve your relationship.
There you have it. 10 habits that will make you a better Muslim Husband. You may already be doing some of the things I mentioned or none at all. You may even completely agree or disagree with me. You might have more habits to add. Let me know what you think in the comments below.