Thursday, September 18, 2014

Marriage- Is it worth it?

(notes taken from the lecture Marriage-is it worth it?  by Sh Tariq Appleby)

Why should we marry in the first place?
to complete half of my deen?
to fulfill natural desire in halal way?
Can we actually have a happily-ever-after marriage?
What are the things we can not do in marriage to remain happy?

In surah ar-Rum ayah 21:
And one of His signs is that He Created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them and He put between you love and affection, most surely there are signs in this for people who reflect’
So, Allah has made from yourselves mates, as means to achieve tranquility, peace, affection, mercy. Look at your spouse, find Allah’s signs of mercy. Marriage should be based on those values.

And in surah al-Baqarah ayah 187:
‘they are an apparel for you and you are an apparel for them…’

What’s the significance of the word ‘apparel' /'clothing’ in the ayah?
-it protects you from discomfort eg cold weather, so that you feel safe
-it covers your flaws
-it beautifies you

Your spouse should be the best clothing you ever have

'Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud (may Allah be pleased with him) reports the Prophet (SAW) to have said,
 "O you young people! Whoever can afford marriage should marry for that will help him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse, etc.). Whoever is not able to marry is recommended to fast, as fasting diminishes (his) sexual power".  [Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

(Abdullah Bin Mas'ud was in his 70’s when his wife died. Saidina Uthman ibnu Affan offered his daughter for Abdullah to remarry. Abdullah then stressed the word ‘young people’ in the hadith and rejected the offer)

Marriage should fulfill our emotional and physical needs. It should provide tranquility, affection, mercy, protection, comfort, helping us to guard our private parts and lower our gaze, keep our chastity, so we no longer have the desire to look for anyone else. Allah has provided us the halal way to fulfill our desires.
(Remember the session 'Get married or die fasting' in the last Twins of Faith? Haha)
It is advisable for those who can't afford to get marry, to fast, as fasting makes us lower our gaze and lower sexual desires.

We should know what to expect and understand what marriage is all about.

What should we look  in a potential spouse? 

Prophet SAW stated 4 characteristics to consider in choosing a wife:
And Rasulullah SAW  said marry a woman with deen then you will be successful.

What defines deen? It is being religious? Pious?
It’s doing what Allah has commanded and refraining ourself from what Allah has prohibited. A person who prays five times a day, pay zakah, going for hajj but drinking alcohol at the same time is not considered pious.

Sh Tariq listed four:

1.Physical attraction:

There was one time when a sahabah mentioned to Rasulullah SAW he’s going to marry a person he’d never seen before.Rasulullah SAW told him to see the woman first.

2.Piety; (as stated previously)


Responsible, matured, gentleness in the way we speak, and treat our spouse, lighthearted, not melancholy, optimistic, have good sense of humor

4.Share goals and aspirations:

Even for 1 goal.
Have a long term goal; going for hajj, further study 2-3years.Get to know your spouse’s least favorite thing to do. It’s good to know their hobbies, favorite meal etc but it’s best to know the least favorite things too
eg ‘I ordered pizza for you,and I asked them not to put cheese because I know you don’t like it’
Share the same passion, the ultimate one would be the passion to please Allah together.

What are the most common pitfalls in choosing a spouse?

1.Giving preference to physical beauty over everything else

2.Believing that you can change the person. Expecting too much can lead to frustrations

3.Choosing a person who shares none of your dreams

4.Ignoring the advice from your parents, friends

5.Not asking the pertinent questions; why do you want to get married?
-to complete half of your deen?
-to get children?
-to change from haram to halal relationship,and please Allah 

There are a lot of correct answers,which one satisfies you best?

What do you expect from a marriage? 

Before that, do we ourselves have what it takes to fulfill and to achieve it?
Give details of the characteristics that you want,
eg What’s your definition of being romantic? Is it by giving roses every day? Telling that he loves you before going to work? Doing the dishes?

 He Said-She Said

"My wife remember me saying of taking her to hajj as mahr, but this Tareq Appleby doesn’t have any memory of telling her that’-Sh Tariq
It’s better to write down any important verbal promises.If there’s issues regarding it in the future you already have a well written contract.

What defines a happy marriage?


Be that special friend, the one that makes you feel comfortable.
After he met Jibril AS for the first time in Hira' caves, Rasulullah SAW went down the mountain, said to his wife Saidina Khadijah ‘Zambiluni…zambiluni’ (cover me with blanket).
Saidatina Khadijah calmly said ‘Don’t be afraid Allah will never humiliate you’
Your spouse should be the one who know your flaws and keep your secret.  Having a marriage is not difficult.We are the ones who made it difficult.

Positive Sentiment Override;

It’s good to make assumptions like ‘Oh maybe he forgot’ or ‘Maybe he’s too busy he doesn’t aware of the date’ etc. Don’t allow the negative thoughts flow in easily.

Successful repair attempts ;

Sometimes we argue and have fights. Always believe that marriage is beautiful, you can always have a happily ever after marriage as long as you have the commitment to repair the ‘damage’ after the fights. Decide a time-out, but don’t exceed 24 hours. Take wudhu’, pray salah 2 rakaat, calm down and talk.

Acknowledge that not all problems are solvable. Not every problem have a ready solution, some have trade post. You have to give and take, honor and respect.
Never forget that your spouse is just another muslim, who have the rights for you to respect, in fact he/she has more right over you than other muslim. You can ask your friend for advice but do not complain about your spouse.

The five language of love

1.Words of affirmation

Praise your spouse, encourage. Men like women complementing them, giving affirmation. The ratio should be 5 complements to 1 complaint.
Study shows the prevalence of husbands having relationship with female colleagues at work is high mostly because husbands didn’t get the compliments and encouragement at home from their wives.

2.Quality time;

Sitting in the same room together doesn’t mean you’re having quality time, you must engage and have mutual interactions, tell about your day, how you feel


Give each other, it’s important to know what your spouse like to do, hear, and would love to have as a gift, and know the least favorite things too

4.Acts of service

Wash the dishes, do things or favors for your spouse

5.Physical touch;

Cuddling,kissing,holding hands in public

What’s your primary language of love?? Which dialect do you like to speak most of the time? With different backgrounds and cultures you can’t expect people have the same ‘dialect’ as you.

The four destroyers

Complaints are natural, it’s a normal part of marriage Criticism on the other hand is very destructive. Eg
“You didn’t do the dishes. Why didn’t you do it when you said you would?!”
 “You’re useless. You can’t even do one little thing that I asked you to do!”

2. Contempt

When ou put your spouse’s self esteem down, it’s virtually impossible to accomplish anything positive when contempt is present. Long standing negative thoughts and feelings, unresolved differences, fueled contempt. If you don’t solve your problems in marriage it will come back and bite you later. Solve the ill feelings and you must decide not to bring up the matter again in the future.

It’s best to tell your spouse how you’re feeling, eg ‘wallahi I don’t like you saying to me like that’. You and your spouse are a couple, 2 units living together never allow anyone to interfere in your relationship.
It’s not Islamic if you have ill feelings towards your spouse eg sneering, mocking, calling names and having hostile humor


When being attacked defensiveness is a natural means to protect oneself but rarely does it affect relationship in a positive way. It’s a way of blaming your partner, reading between the lines you’re saying ‘You’re the problem, not me’
Criticism, contempt, defensiveness are a tag team. Stop at the criticism stage, it’s marital death by a thousand verbal jabs.


Final defense, and it’s the end of communication at that point; an avoidance of the argument. Slowly it will become a habit and avoidance of the marriage.

One way of getting to know about your future husband/wife; to check if he/she has the traits, is through the person close to him/her. If the conversation started harshly it will normally be followed by contempt which incurs a defensive reaction. Criticism usually follows which leads to more contempt and finally stone-walling. “I can’t deal with this anymore!”

It was reported that 10 couple get divorced for every 1 minute in Malaysia.

In conclusion

Marriage is encouraged in Islam. We've learned how to choose a spouse, that is clearly defined in Islam. If you’re happy with the character and deen then get married. Parents should marry their daughter to a man with taqwa. If he loves her he will treat her well, if he doesn’t he will divorce her in the best way possible.