All master chefs have their own recipes. The great thing about a recipe is that it can be passed on, and anyone who follows it will easily get the same results. It’s a known principle in life as well: If someone has done something before, all you have to do is understand what they did, mimic it, and you’ll get the same results too inshaAllah.
Through the Qur’an and sunna, Muslims have a God-given recipe of how to make a marriage work. It’s what Muslim women have been using for centuries in their own successful marriages and now Muslima Coaching would like to pass it on to you.
The deen teaches that having a blissful Islamic marriage boils down to three main ingredients:
- Good character
- Gender difference appreciation
God-consciousness means to be actively aware of Allah Most High’s presence such that you make Him the priority in your life. It is about staying far away from Allah’s limits so that you are always engaging in what is pleasing to Allah Most High. It is about remembering that Allah Most High sees and hears everything that you do, and you will be asked about it.
Making Allah Most High your priority includes giving other people the rights that they deserve. When a woman decides to marry and assume the position of a wife, she is declaring her devotion to fulfilling an incumbent act of worship. Thus, living up to your role as a Muslim wife is not an option, but rather it is an obligation.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “By the One who Muhammad’s soul is in His hands, a woman does not fulfill the right of her Lord until she fulfills the right of her husband.” (ibn Majah)
This is why God-consciousness is key. When you work on remembering Allah Most High throughout your day and focus on the fact that He sees you, your behavior quickly changes. People act differently when they know that they are being watched. Being conscious of Allah Most High’s presence is what will help you to consistently live up to your wife duties and motivate you to be the best wife that you can be inshaAllah.
Moreover, no one can make things easy for you except Allah Most High. When you make your intention to fulfill your wife duties for His sake, the ease will come inshaAllah. Actions are by intentions, and staying true to your intention to be a good wife will put more blessings in your efforts and marriage inshaAllah.
AlhamduliLlah, when you give more to Allah Most High, Allah gives back to you and in ways that are indescribable. He is the Giver of All (al-Wahhab) and the Opener (al-Fattah). Make your relationship with Him the foundation of your life and everything else will fall into place inshaAllah.
From God-consciousness, what naturally follows is a desire to demonstrate gracious, good character with your husband, in-laws, and children.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “The most perfect of believers in faith are those that are best in their character. And the best of you are those that are best in character to their wives.” (Tirmidhi)
Many times the last portion of this hadith is stated, but the reality is that the Prophet ﷺ was speaking to all Muslims about their character, not just to husbands. All Muslims must demonstrate the strength of their faith in their everyday actions by displaying good Islamic character. Your interactions with people are a test of how true your love is for Allah Most High and the message that He sent for mankind. For wives, this is especially true with how they react to the circumstances in their marriages and how they treat their husbands.
Marriage is a friendship, and you cannot have a lifelong bond with someone without showing good character. If you think about what attracts you to spending time with someone, it’s not because you know that they pray 100 prayers or fast 100 fasts; it’s really about the way that they treat you. Everyone is drawn to someone who is warm, giving, cheerful, and loving.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “Verily a believer reaches the rank of someone who fasts all day and prays all night with his good character.” (Abu Dawud)
A wife who focuses on demonstrating good character gets what she wants out of her relationship. She knows that being a Muslim wife is built upon being the best Muslim that she can be. It’s never a war between her and her husband, but it is a test of love between her and her Creator.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “There is nothing heavier on the scale pan of a believer on the Day of Judgment but good character.” (Tirmidhi)
In order to know what good character is, you must look at how the Prophet ﷺ treated people. He ﷺ was known to be the most gentle, loving, caring human being to ever walk the face of the earth. He ﷺ was patient and kind, even when others were harsh with him or persecuted him. He ﷺ would turn his body completely to face anyone who spoke to him, making them feel like they were important and needed to be heard, regardless of their social standing. SubhanAllah, he is the true exemplar and guide of how Muslims need to interact with others.
But it’s easier said than done. Good character shows itself not when you first meet someone, but when you’re in a situation where you’re angry, upset, and frustrated. If you are still able to stay calm, composed, and considerate, then this is how you know that you have good character. When you’re in a good mood, of course it comes easily.
Thus, if you base your marriage on chemistry alone, you will lose because love is not just a ‘feeling’ or an ‘idea.’ It is a behavior, a practice, a conscious decision, and a constant contribution. It is an opening for self-discovery, growth, and improvement. It is a shared vision for the future that you slowly work towards everyday by acting upon the principles of good Islamic character.
Gender Difference Appreciation
And the best spice: good ole controversial gender differences, which is comprised of acknowledging that Allah Most High created men and women to be different, appreciating that these differences are for your benefit, and upholding them when interacting with your husband.
Allah Most High says: “And the male is not like the female.” [Qur’an 3:36]
Aside from the obvious physical differences, men and women are also dissimilar in the way that they think, communicate, and emotionally respond. However, different does not mean that one gender is bad and the other is better. Rather, when these differences are validated and accepted, they flatter each other, especially in a romantic relationship.
Consequently, when a wife learns how men work, and works with that knowledge – not against it – she often relieves a lot of the tension and hurt in a marriage because her husband feels understood. Sometimes women mistakenly expect men to feel and act the way that women do, and men can do the same with women. When situations occur in everyday marital life, it’s easy to forget that men and women are supposed to be different – it’s the way Allah willed it.
Furthermore, the Prophet ﷺ cursed women who acted like men and men who acted like women. This means that women are meant to be feminine, and men are meant to be masculine.
It is no surprise that Islam actively encourages men to be men and women to be women since men are instinctively attracted to feminine women and women are instinctively attracted to masculine men. This polarity in genders is what pulls each to the other. By resorting to her femininity, a wife has the natural keys at her fingertips to captivate her husband’s heart.
The recipe for success was given to us from the start. Men and women can be successfully married together, and this is another sign that Islam is the truth.
Hopefully these past sections taught you that there is a difference between wanting a good marriage versus making the decision to have a good marriage. You can’t just want it, but you must have a burning desire for it and actively take the steps to create it, even if it means learning new ways.
You have the ability to make things right from the start. You have the chance to make it easier than harder. You have the opportunity to learn the tools that will make your future marriage prosper. For the remainder of this guide, Muslima Coaching’s advice will direct you on how to get there inshaAllah.
Excerpt From “Finding Your Other Half” Single Sisters’ Action Guide
© Muslima Coaching, 2017.