Marriage Alphabet

The ABC’s of a Happy Marriage
(Muslim Edition)
by: Hosai Mojaddidi

A) Allah: Make the pleasure of Allah ﷻ the central focus as well as purpose of your marriage.

B) Blame: Be fair and honest when assigning blame and always start with yourself first.

C) Compromise: If you’re not willing to compromise then you’re being selfish. Selfish people don’t have happy marriages.

D) Divorce: Divorce is the death of a marriage. Don’t be careless with the word and never threaten with it unless you’re actually considering it for good reason.

E) Ego: The success of your marriage depends entirely on your ability to control your ego. Work on it constantly.

F) Fitnah: Be vigilant and pay attention to your heart. If you ever feel distance, resentment, distrust, anger, or any such negative feeling for your partner then Fitnah is on the horizon. Purge it. Do NOT avoid it or bury it. It will surface and spread.

G) Gratitude: Express gratitude daily for your partner. You are not entitled to anything in this life so don’t act like you are. Be an appreciative person and vocalize your gratitude through loving words, gifts, reciprocity, etc.

H) Hug: Make it a point to hug each other frequently. A warm embrace can expunge the heart of negative feelings and restore love and intimacy.

I) Intention: Make the intention to please your spouse every day in one way or another. Think about their needs and wants and find a way to make them happy.

J) Jugular: Allah ﷻis closer to us than our jugular vein. Remember this always so that you feel connected to Him when you embrace one another.

K) Kiss: Kisses are acts that relay different messages. They can be healing, loving, and stimulating. Don’t limit them to one intention but use them to communicate a variety of feelings.

L) Listen: Learn to listen actively, which requires humility, patience, and a true desire to understand your partner. Nodding along while planning your response is NOT listening actively.

M) Miserliness: Being a miser is one of the most detestable things. Don’t be miserly in your love, in your compliments, with your wealth, with your time, etc. A marriage of misers is doomed to be miserable.

N) Nurture: Treat your marriage like a living thing that needs constant sustenance and nurturing. It cannot grow without attention from both you and your partner. If either of you neglect it, growth will be stunted or completely destroyed!

O) Offer: Remember to offer your help regularly and sincerely. Ask your partner if they need something from you or if you can somehow lighten their load, and do not take advantage of their generosity so that you are not taken advantage of either.

P) Prioritize: Your marriage should come before every other relationship. Make sure to never neglect it to take care of someone or something else. Remember, only a foolish person lets his/her own crops die while planting seeds for someone else.

Q) Qur’an: Read, recite, and listen to Qur’an together. Share your reflections and learn from one another.

R) Respect: People who command respect are not the same as those who demand it. If you speak and act respectfully, then you are deserving of respect, but if you speak rudely and crudely then you deserve the same.

S) Salat: Pray together as often as possible. It will help you stay mindful that before anything and anyone else, God is the sole purpose of your marriage.

T) Talk: Check in with each other daily whether through text, email, phone or face-to-face conversation. Don’t get accustomed to too much silence or else that is all you will ever experience.

U) Ultimatums: If you rely on ultimatums to get your way then you’re a bully. Fair people negotiate and compromise until a mutual benefit is reached. They don’t threaten no matter how noble their intentions may be.

V) Vessel: According to the Hadith, people are like vessels and they only pour out what they contain. Hold yourself accountable every day by asking yourself, “What kind of vessel was I today? What did I pour out into my marriage and into the world? Was it pure or toxic?”

W) Weekends: Cherish your time off from work, school, and other obligations and make sure to save some ALONE time with one other. Weekends are opportunities to reconnect, so don’t squander them on petty things, fruitless events, or negative people.

X) Xenial: Be gracious and xenial with one another’s family and loved ones for it will automatically increase the love in your heart for one another.

Y) Yardstick: Measure one another fairly and only by the standards set forth by God, and NOT the standards of any particular culture, family, group, or individual.

Z) Zeal: It’s good to be passionate in life but when you’re married your decisions are no longer just your own. Zeal unchecked can send you too far into murky waters so tether it and temper it through your partner.

Sincerity is to the Almighty

Motivational Moments #4
by Mufti Ismail Menk

The Arabic word for sincerity is “IKHLAS.” Sincerity has been interpreted as being upright, truthful, pure, not showing off in one’s intention and conduct. We try to guard our hearts and to keep it as pure as possible.

Sincerity is therefore our intent to please the Almighty with our deeds and our devotion, without any ulterior or worldly motives. We need to be vigilant with our hearts and should only be concerned with His pleasure and His reward. The Almighty is the only One who can judge our actions to determine whether we are sincere. In particular, He knows whether a person commits good deeds out of genuine desire to please Him or merely to attain applause and approval of others.

Intention is everything in Islam. It is really our core. This is because all deeds are based on intention. Depending on the intention, the deed is deemed valid or void. This can make a difference between happiness or misery and reward or punishment. For example, two different persons might perform the same act, paying equal attention to it but one of them earns a reward while the other earns nothing or even punishment for it because the intentions were different in each case.

A Hadith reads, “Verily, deeds are rewarded by intention. And everyone will have the reward for that which the deed was intended.”

The big question is how do we ensure we are sincere to the Almighty in all that we do? Always ask Him to purify our hearts and to keep it sincere. Try to do things privately. Actions done in front of others are more prone to being insincere. In fact, we are told to hide our good deeds as we would hide our sins.

We should never be proud of our good deeds. Believing that our actions might be rejected by the Almighty will remind us to struggle even harder the next time. This should keep our actions sincere. We should therefore worship the Almighty sincerely and stay away from showing off and other evil intentions. We know that the Almighty does not look at our status and wealth, but rather at our hearts and actions.

All said and done, sincerity in intention basically boils down to a matter between you and your Creator; nobody else can know the real intentions why people do what they do, except the Almighty. A sincere person does not consider whether others will praise him or put him down. He doesn’t care about worldly recognition. Everything is done solely for the Almighty. We ask the Almighty to accept our actions and make us sincere in our actions.

Are you sincere?

Wait! Check your intention first…

After opening your heart and your mind … prejudice erased … before starting your journey to search for the greatest treasure … CHECK YOUR INTENTION FIRST! Ask yourself before performing an action. Evaluate and judge your inward and outward actions. Be truthful and honest. SINCERITY is the main condition for your good deeds to be accepted. However, if you are just curious to know where you are leading to, then go on. I pray that you will find that sincerity along the way. – “Actions are but by intentions and every man shall have only that which he intended.”

Now you are quite ready…

OPEN HEART, OPEN MIND, NO PREJUDICE, SINCERITY … with these 4 equipped within you … you are quite ready to take your first step to find the GREATEST TREASURE…

Now, questions will start appearing in your mind … What is this greatest treasure? Why I have to look for it? Where is it? How will I find it? When will I find it? What will it benefit me? …

First clue: If you believe that every created thing has a Creator … then you have to know who created you? Therefore, what you are looking for is your CREATOR.

Mankind is just one of the creations of the Creator. But He (The Creator) honored mankind the highest among His creations. “Verily, We created man in the best stature (mold).” [At-Tin 95:4]

Let me ask you then, “Who created you?” Majority will reply, “My God, My Lord, the one up there in heaven.” That’s the correct answer.

If someone gave you something … If your boss promoted you … If your rich friend helped you to overcome your financial problems … what will be your reaction? The phrase “THANK YOU” is always a part of your vocabulary. How about being grateful to your Creator?

Read “The easy way” next…