By: Maulana Khalid Dhorat
Love is a great emotion, a sacred feeling, and a comfortable place in the soul, but it can be motivated by all the wrong reasons. It can be motivated by wealth, a sense of security, beauty, high lineage, good character and even just plain infatuation and lust.
Depending on why you love a person, especially your spouse, this is how much satisfaction and joy you will get from that relationship. If you love your husband for his wealth and status, then after his factory burns down, and you need to substitute your biryani for beans, will you still be loyal to him? If you love your wife for her beauty, after her accident or the breakout of eczema on her body which leaves her a little scarred or disfigured, will you still be attracted to her?
In modern times, just exactly what does it take to b a proper Muslim, married and extremely today? As oxymoronic as this might sound, it’s absolutely possible! Marriage, especially for Muslims, is a lot more than having someone to call a husband or wife. The marital relationship is an incredible blessing and divine sign, as Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’an:
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” [Chapter 30, Verse 21]
The whole purpose of having a spouse is to find tranquility in and with them; and in the above verse; our relationships with our spouses have certain “signs” that Allah Ta’ala is asking us to give thought to. Allah Ta’ala didn’t only create partners for us, but also showed us how to partner up with our spouse to achieve tranquility, comfort and relaxation in an otherwise stressful world.
How are some Muslim couples finding this tranquility in their marriage while many others seem to be having a miserable time? What are those couples whose eyes exude deep love and contentment doing right in their relationships? Well, topping the list of these factors is the ultimate key to happiness, a simple, but often overlooked factor. Couples who achieve enduring happiness LOVE EACH OTHER FOR ALLAH’S SAKE.
What does it mean to love each other for Allah’s sake? It means that you make the love and obedience of Allah Ta’ala the basis and focus of your relationship with someone else. It means you love someone so much that you want your love for them to last beyond this lifetime and into the Hereafter, where you can live in eternal happiness with them, having earned Allah’s pleasure together. It means you love someone purely because of how much they remind you of Allah Ta’ala and help you get closer to Him. Simply put, your love for your partner is subject to them loving and fulfilling their duty to Allah Ta’ala.
Do you love your husband more after he has just winded down for the day by viewing a musical concert or an action movie on television, or after he performed his ‘Isha prayers and spent some time with you? Did you love your wife even more when she gossiped about others in your presence or ventured outside without her hijab, or did this act which displeased Allah also displease you?
How many of us will make a huge issue if a fancy vase or an expensive frame is broken in the home, if the car is scratched or if the children’s designer top goes missing, but will not even bat an eyelid when Salaat is being missed and the sounds of the recitation of the Qur’an does not fill the air in the home?
Remember the following: your spouse has loved you for Allah’s sake every time they have:
• Prevented you from harboring suspicions or ill-will about your boss or competitor or any other annoying person in your life;
• Stopped you from backbiting about your friends, colleagues and in-laws;
• Helped you be more kind and gentle in your speech and manners to your helpers, waiters, laborers, siblings, elders and children;
• Helped you fulfill people’s trusts; keep your appointments and promises. They do this by encouraging you to get to work on time and do the best at your job, to pay off your debts, to keep people’s secrets and never to carry tales;
• Assisted you be more honest with yourself or to others and do things for the pleasure of Allah, and not for show;
• Guided you to forgive someone, overlook their faults and not to hold grudges and grievances for years on end;
• Helped you become more generous to the poor and the needy, and less extravagant in your personal life;
• Helped you recognize and overcome the weaknesses of your inner self, give up the sinful pursuits of this world and strive to be exemplary Muslims.
In all of the above and so many other times that go unnoticed, committed Muslim spouses consistently help each other get closer to Allah Ta’ala. They stop each other from anything that may lower them in the sight of Allah Ta’ala and constantly help each other win Allah’s love. Truly happy couples know that Allah Ta’ala is in control of bestowing and snatching away love, and if He is happy, He will make us happy.
Truly happy Muslim couples engage in winning Allah Ta’ala’s pleasure together whenever and in any way they can: they glorify Allah Ta’ala together in the quiet hours of Fajr; they thank Allah in Tahajjud together. They make it a point to read a minimum amount of Qur’an everyday, they do regular or even random acts of kindness and charity and they maintain loving and happy ties with each other’s families.
A family that prays and plays together; stays together.