Oh my god! My husband is so…

They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them. Quran (2:187)

This ayah teaches us so much about the relationship between husband and wife. It shows that we are equal partners in our marriage. That just as the husband is a “clothing” for the wife, the wife is also a “clothing” for the husband. Your clothes cover you and this analogy shows how the husband and wife should be with each other. They should be covering and protecting each other from external threats or dangers from ruining their relationship. 

Clothes keep our body private and confidential from everyone. Any and all of our flaws on our body, our clothes covers and doesn’t allow others to see. In the same way our spouse should cover all and any flaws we may have, keeping everything private and confidential. Our spouse knows us intimately so they will know flaws that no one else will see. They will see all of our weaknesses and fears. Marriage obligates that each of them completely screen and obscure each of these faults and weaknesses.

We should also remember that just like our clothes don’t fit completely perfectly our spouses aren’t a “perfect” fit. They are however our best fit. They are the one who is right for us even if they aren’t perfect. We will not be perfect for them either. Keeping this in mind helps us when they make a mistake. We can overlook it easier just like when we make a mistake we would want them to overlook it. 

So with all this in mind what do we do when we have an issue with our spouse? What if they did something that hurt us? Sometimes we want to hurt them back to make them feel how we feel. Sometimes we express our hurt with our spouse to others. We in our anger tell others our spouses weaknesses and flaws. This is one of the worst things that you can do to your spouse. If your spouse made a mistake it should never be discussed with others. Keep matters between the husband and wife private. I personally find it irritating to hear people telling others about how “awful” their spouse is.

Dont share your marital problems with the world. Not everyone around you is trying to build your marriage. Not everyone that smiles at you is happy for you. Family and friemds are usually too close to you to give impartial advice, they will always sympathise with your unbalanced side of the story and tell us what we want to hear, not what we need to hear. First try to work out a solution with your spouse through open and honest communication. Tell your spouse how you feel first before you tell anyone. It is wrong to rush too quickly to tell your friend and family problems that you haven’t even discussed with your spouse. If you fail to reach a solution seek a trusted preferably muslim marriage councellor, imam or a neutral couple who will give unbiased advice.

One of the problems we have is when our spouse makes a mistake we find it easier to talk to others about it than our spouse. So it spirals out of control. It gets worse than it actually is because everyone else has their input into a matter which should only be between a husband and wife. The people we generally talk to are people we know, family, friends or colleagues. These people are biased towards us and may not give neutral advice. They may take our side without hearing the full story and make us feel as though we are right even if we may not be. This will create distance between you and your spouse. Also not everyone we speak to will have our best interest at heart. There’s people who enjoy hearing when others are having a problem with their spouse. It gives them something to gossip about and some people like that you are having problems for many reasons. They may be jealous of your marriage for example. So we need to be careful who we speak to.

The best thing to do when you have a problem with your spouse is to calm down and then speak to them directly. Speak calmly and with an open mind to see their side of the story too. If you start to get angry take a break from discussing it until you calm down. Never allow your ego to get in the way of resolving an argument. You may feel as though you haven’t done anything wrong but you can still initiate the discussion. Discuss it at a time that is best for both of you when you’re not distracted or busy. Discuss how the problem can be resolved, put a plan in place. And always, always apologise to your spouse if you made a mistake. Even if you feel it is a “small” issue, it may be something big to them. If something happens that despite both of you trying to resolve it, it still causes issues in your marriage then speak to an Islamic marriage counsellor as they are trained to deal with this and help you resolve it. If you are unable to speak to a counsellor then speak to someone with  experience in marriage who will be unbiased and trustworthy. And of course pray and make dua to Allah at all times for you to have a happy and successful marriage.

Be VERY careful where you get marriage advice. If someone doesn’t love marriage, love God, love you AND love your spouse, they will not consistently give you healthy advice.

As a side note I am speaking about those issues that happen normally as a result of two different people living together. Everyday arguments and fights. If there is abuse going on in any form, whether it’s physical, emotional, psychological etc. Then speak to a trustworthy person straight away. You do not need to suffer in silence despite what culture dictates. In Islam we are told not to tolerate oppression.


A parents Dua

We often hear about Maryam the mother of Isa (as) and imam Bukhari. We are told about what amazing people they were and about their love for the deen. Yet often the people who are overlooked are their mothers. 
When the mother of Maryam found out she was going to have a child, due to her gratitude to Allah vowed she would dedicate her child to the service of Allah. And even when she gave birth to a girl and not a boy as she had expected she still did not despair, her daughter was taken in by the pious people and grew up to be one of the best women to walk this earth. Her mother had ensured that she had a righteous upbringing from even before she was born. Her mothers dua and worship helped ensure that Maryam (as) would grow up to be a rightous women worshipping Allah.
The mother of imam Bukhari had to raise her son as a single parent as her husband passed away early in his childhood. While imam Bukhari was still young he lost his eyesight. His mother did not lose hope in Allah and made constant dua day and night. Due to her worship, miraculously his eyesight was restored. He then grew up to collect and write the most authentic book of hadiths which is still used today. Had his eyesight not been restored it would have made it much more difficult if not impossible for him to complete the sahih al-Bukhari.
While reflecting on this I realised something very important. Not only is it important for the parents to raise the child in a good and righteous manner but also that making dua for their child and the parent being rightous can have a major impact on their lives. We can see just how big of an impact the duas of their mothers had. We should pray with conviction, expecting Allah to answer our dua and we shouldn’t despair if our duas are not answered immediately, Allah always knows what is best for us.

The Prophet saw said: “The invocation of anyone of you is granted (by Allah) if he does not show impatience (by saying, “I invoked Allah but my request has not been granted”)” Narrated by Bukhari. 

Do we love Eid?

So as christmas holidays have just ended, i’ve been thinking about why children are so in love with christmas. This also affects muslim children as well and sometimes i’ve seen that they actually like christmas more than eid!
Some of the many reasons which I have found is the fact that the preperations for christmas are so big and so exciting that the kids cant wait for christmas to arrive. There’s presents all wrapped up waiting for them, there’s parties and decorations, stories and christmas activities. After all this it’s no wonder children love christmas time. This excitement, this love that our children have should be for Eid not christmas. So why is it that this isn’t so prevalent in our children?

Some of the reasons I have found is that many children don’t even know why we celebrate Eid and its not exciting for them. I know when i was young i found Eid quite boring. So what can we do to change this? How can we make Eid more exciting to our younger siblings or our children?

Well some of the things i’ve started to do with my younger sisters and brother has helped to make Eid so much more exciting and build a love for Eid, and i thought i would share it with everyone to help you all too:
1. So before Eid arrives i share stories and explain why we celebrate Eid. 
2. The night before Eid we all help put decorations up, some which we have made together at home and some store bought banners. A good place to look for decorations is www.muslimstickers.com
3. On Eid day we put on a show for the adults which we have prepared beforehand. We have quran recitation, Eid poems and even a short play. This not only gets the kids involved but also the adults.
4. We also make an eid countdown calender and do other activities such as reading a story and then making a model. For example if we read about how the kabah was built we then would get cardboard, paint, colours etc and build the kabah. Children love getting hands on and they are more likely to remember the story.
5. Presents! Children love presents! When i was young i would be given money and i never felt the same excitement as opening a present. My sisters and brother love coming home from eid salah to find presents waiting for them. They can’t wait to open them! This builds love between the family.
So these are things that i do to make Eid more exciting for my younger siblings, this in turn makes them less excited about christmas because they have had their excitement at Eid. I hope these are helpful and i’m sure there are many other things to do to make Eid more exciting so that the kids don’t feel like they need to celebrate christmas.