The most sacred and sincere relationship in the world is the marriage relationship. The human history of this world begins with the atmosphere of this holy relationship of husband and wife. Marriage is the ultimate and legitimate outlet for all the joys and sorrows, hopes and desires, emotions and feelings, and passions and love of men and women. And it is through marriage that the combined life of husband and wife begins, around which both of them pass the rest of their lives. Hence, a happy and harmonious marital relationship is absolutely adorable for every woman and man. Because an unhappy or unhealthy marital relationship can cause multiple personal, family, and social disasters. The great ideals of Islam, therefore, provide various essential guidelines to make an enjoyable, comfortable, and happy married life for both husband and wife.
Significance of a Happy Married Life in Islam
Marriage in Islam is obligatory for every man and woman subject to ability. The ultimate success in married life mainly lies in living a happy couple’s life. So, the essence of a happy married life is to go through the various ups and downs, joys and sorrows, and peace and distress of life bounding together in a holy relationship. Adam and Eve (AS) were the first married couple in human history who were allowed to live in Paradise after creation. So, a marital relationship is a heavenly relationship. In the Holy Qur’an, Allah SWT metaphorically likens this relationship to the clothing of each other.
“They (your wives) are the Libas (clothing) for you and you are the clothing for them.” Al-Baqarah: 187
A garment plays three significant roles to us. The first significance of clothing is that it protects our shame. Similarly, husband and wife protect each other’s honor, character, and shame. The second importance of clothing is that it reveals our beauty. And it is through marriage that the original beauty of a man and woman is exposed. And indeed, the husband and the wife are the cause of each other’s sense of attraction and beauty. The third significance of clothing is that it is an instrument of comfort and tranquility for us. Similarly, the companionship and contact of the husband and wife are a source of calmness, comfort, peace, and affection for each other.
“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put affection and mercy between you.” Ar-Room: 21
Islamic Guidelines for Happy Married Life
Choosing the Right Person to Marry
The right decision in choosing a life partner has the most significant impact on our life after marriage. Therefore, Islam considers this issue as the most important part of marriage to ensure a happy married life after marriage. However, this crucial issue is the most neglected in our society. The things we give more priority to in choosing a partner for marriage are external beauty, wealth, social influence, prestige, social status, educational qualifications, etc.
However, Islam does not deny these essentials in terms of choosing a person to marry. But in truth, none of these are ingredients for the necessary tranquility or true happiness in married life. Rather, if a person’s character is good, then the company and contact of that person make another person happy and reliable. And, if a person is enriched with the true teachings of Islam, then surely all the noble qualities prevail in him. In light of that quality, the family becomes a peaceful garden. Therefore, the first and foremost recommendation of Islam in choosing the right partner is to prioritize the religiousness and righteousness of a person to lead ahappy married life. In this regard, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
“A woman may be married for four reasons: for her property, her status, her beauty, and her religion. So, try to get one who is religious, may your hand be besmeared with dust.” Muslim: 1466
“if a man with whose religion and character you are satisfied asks your daughter’s hand in marriage, comply with his request.” Tirmidhi: 1084
Establishing a Harmonious Relationship
One of the noblest instructions of Islam for a happy married life is the establishment of a mutual relationship between husband and wife. And this good relationship is built mainly through a continuous flow of mutual love, loyalty, understanding, cordiality, and care. In this way, two strangers who are tied together become the ultimate shelter of hope, trust, and dependence for each other over time.
However, a harmonious relationship between spouses can be built with a lovely and romantic attitude of both husband and wife. And to carry it on, both should be caring and dedicated to each other. They must be understanding and affectionate to each other to lead a happy married life. And indeed, to establish a cordial relationship, husband and wife must be faithful, grateful, flexible, responsive, appreciative, and self-sacrificing to each other. At the same time, it also is necessary to give up unnecessary suspicion of one another.
Despite having multiple wives, the relationship of our beloved Prophet (PBUH) with each of His wives was impeccable. Because He was extremely faithful, grateful, caring, responsive, devoted, loving, and romantic to all His wives. He also was so flexible that He never got into unnecessary anger or disputes with any of them. Likewise, all the wives were also extremely devoted and loyal to Him. So, the married life of our Holy Prophet (PBUH) is an eternal example for us in leading a happy married life.
“The most perfect believer in the matter of faith is one who has excellent behavior, And the best among you are those who behave best towards their wives.” –[Tirmidhi]
“The best wife is one who, when her husband sets his eyes on her, pleases him, obeys whatever he commands, and does not displease her husband with her life and wealth.” [Hadith: As-Silsilatu-as-Sahihah: 1838]
Being Aware of Mutual Rights and Responsibilities
Islam has assigned certain responsibilities and duties to both husband and wife in order to build a happy married life. This sense of mutual responsibility makes them aware of each other’s rights and also makes them both responsible for ensuring them. So, both of them should be aware of these duties and responsibilities and should always be conscious and diligent in fulfilling them. Because only a responsible couple can steer their marital relationship to a secure, sustainable, and happy future. For example, the main duty of a husband is to provide food, clothing, shelter, and other essential basic needs for his wife and children. He will treat them well and try to solve all their problems. As per the Holy Qur’an and Hadith:
“let them live wherever you live according to your ability. Do not bother to put them in crisis.” [Surah At-Talaaq: 6]
“And it is the right to you that you (as much as possible) will arrange for their (for your wives) dress and food.” [Tirmidhi: 1163]
On the other hand, to build a happy married life, the sin duty of a wife is to be responsive to her husband’s every need and to be loyal and grateful to him. A wife will also strive to prepare food for her husband, entertain him cordially and make their home a nest of peace. She will bear children, nurture them, and add courage, strength, and enthusiasm to any problems or complications of her husband. The responsibilities of a wife are clearly defined in some profound Hadith of the Messenger (PBUH):
“Shall I not inform you of the best wealth of people? That is, the virtuous wife. When he (the husband) looks at his wife, the wife rejoices with him, giving her any instruction, she obeys it, and when he is absent from her, she protects her integrity and his wealth.” [ Hadith: Abu Dawood]
“A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and of his children and is responsible for them.” [Bukhari: 7138]
Being enthusiastic about childbirth
Marital relations are sustained by adopting and bearing children. The birth of a child can solve thousands of problems for newlyweds. A baby is a source of joy, excitement, entertainment, and happiness for everyone in the family. As a result, heavenly peace prevails throughout the family. Because a baby is the best gift to a married couple from the Lord Almighty. Therefore, to live a happy married life, Islam instructs the couple to be enthusiastic and eager to bear children. The Holy Qur’an states:
“Wealth and children are the adornments of the life of this world.” [Surah Al-Kahaf: 46]
The order of Almighty Allah is to cultivate this earth which responsibility has been assigned to mankind. And man is born through the father’s semen and the mother’s womb. And the combination of these two is possible only through marriage. Therefore, this relationship is so holy, blessed, and benevolent. However, just as a righteous child is a source of lifelong happiness, welfare, and pride to its parents, a dishonest and evil child is a cause of grief, despair, and turmoil. Therefore, husband and wife should always pray to Almighty Allah for a virtuous child.
“Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes and make us leaders for the Muttaqun.” [Surah Al-Furkan: 74]
Most importantly, a child gives a wife a taste of motherhood and a husband a taste of fatherhood. As a result, their childish attitude gets removed and both can realize the true meaning of life. Thus, both of them become more active in fulfilling their duties and responsibilities toward their family. As a result, husband and wife get a happy married life together with children and other members of the family.
Maintaining Mutual Love and Respect
A husband’s love and affection for his wife is just as important as the wife’s respect and reverence for her husband in a happy married life. A husband’s sincere love and a wife’s unconditional respect make a marriage relationship truly meaningful, peaceful, and long-lasting.
However, the husband’s love and the wife’s respect revolve around a certain cycle. And that is: the unconditional love of the husband gives rise to the unconditional respect of his wife toward him. Similarly, a wife’s unconditional respect evokes deep affection and unconditional love for her in her husband’s heart. Therefore, the great ideals of Islam inspire a husband to be affectionate, virtuous, and loving towards his wife in order to live a happy married life. The Prophet (PBUH) instructs us to be loving and caring towards our wives.
“The best among you are those who are good to their wives. And I am the best of you for my wives.” [Tirmidhi]
“When a husband and wife look at each other with love, Allah looks at both with Mercy.” [Bukhari, Muslim]
The married life of the Messenger (PBUH) is undoubtedly a shining example of mutual love and harmony for a couple and a role model to follow. He was very loving and cordial towards all his wives. The ideals of distributing His time with all wives, entertaining them, eating and drinking from the same vessel, using the same Miswak by both, reciting the Holy Qur’an lying His head on their laps, etc. are all unique examples of living a happy married life. Therefore, He (PBUH) said about mother Khadija RA:
On the other hand, respecting someone means valuing his will and interests. So, you don’t respect someone until you obey his wishes, commands, or prohibitions. Therefore, Islam enjoins a wife to always obey her husband’s wishes, commands, and prohibitions. And the significance of being obedient to the husband keeps a precious value for the wives in Islam. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:
“If a woman performs the five (prayers), fasts the month (of Ramadan), Guards her private parts, and obeys her husband, will be told, you may enter Paradise through any door you wish.” [Musnad Ahmad]
Maintaining Tolerant Attitude
As humans, each of us has a different personality. So, when two people with different personalities start living together, it is very natural that there may come some conflict between them. Moreover, a woman’s and a man’s mind, patience, prudence, and endurance are never the same by creation. Hence, mutual displeasure and disputes should never be prolonged in order to lead a happy married life. In this case, both husband and wife should maintain a maximum tolerant attitude. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Treat women nicely, for a woman is created from a rib, and the most curved portion of the rib is its upper portion, so, if you should try to straighten it, it will break, but if you leave it as it is, it will remain crooked. So, treat women nicely.” [Bukhari: 3331]
Therefore, problems between themselves should be confined to themselves and try to solve them. Also, the personal affairs of the couple should never spread outside. Both husband and wife should try to understand each other’s mentality at special moments. Islam completely discourages negative consideration of the overall behavior of wives and torturing or beating them. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Do not beat your wives like slaves. Because, at the end of the day, you will meet him.” [Bukhari]
Similarly, wives need to understand that husbands work tirelessly for their families. They often go through various complications. Therefore, wives should accept some unusual behavior or anger of husbands very easily and continue to treat them well. As a result, their husbands’ anger or complaints will instantly turn into love. Thus, mutual tolerance of husband and wife influences them to a great extent in leading a happy married life.
Living a happy married life is the primary desire of every couple. But the sad fact is that it is almost impossible these days. Because today we are far away from the excellent teaching of Islam which makes a marital relationship purely peaceful and sweet. The regulators which are the keys to the mutual harmony of husband and wife are now rarely found in a couple. As a result, families are devoid of peace these days due to the discouragement of couples from adopting children, Ignorance and unconsciousness of mutual responsibility, selfishness in mutual love and respect, lack of tolerance, and above all, turning away from the worship of the Almighty Allah. However, as the ultimate solution to all these problems, we must follow the infallible guidance of Islam to live a happy married life.
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