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Strong Marriage Bond, Importance of Appearance, Hajj Spirit

Issue 553 » October 30, 2009 - Dhul-Qida 11, 1430

Living The Quran

Strong Marriage Bond
Al-Rum (The Romans) Sura 30: Verse 21

"And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts); verily in that are Signs for those who reflect."

Most spouses start out with hopes and rosy dreams; truly committed to making their marriage work. However, as the reality of living with a less than perfect spouse lurks in, and as the pressures of life builds, many individuals do not find as much satisfaction in their relationships. All marriages change over time. However, with hard work and dedication, people can keep their marriages strong and enjoyable. How is it done? What does it take to create a long-lasting, satisfying marriage?

Researches indicate that the most successful marriages share some key characteristics. These are some of the characteristics that researchers have found to be common in successful marriages. Let's look at each of these factors.

1. POSITIVITY

Successful spouses have far more positive than negative interactions. If there is too much negativity criticizing, demanding, name-calling, holding grudges, etc. the relationship will suffer. However, if there is never any negativity, it probably means that frustrations and grievances are not getting air time and unresolved tension is accumulating inside one or both partners.

The key is balance between the two extremes. There are many ways to foster positivity in a marriage. Being affectionate, truly listening to each other, taking joy in each other's achievements and being playful are just a few examples of positive interactions that help make marriages successful.

2. EMPATHY

Another characteristic of happy marriages is empathy. Empathy means understanding a person's perspective by putting oneself in his or her shoes. Many researchers have shown that empathy is important for relationship satisfaction.

People are more likely to feel good about their marriage and spouse if their partner expresses empathy towards them. Husbands and wives are more content in their relationships when they perceive that their spouses truly understand their thoughts and feelings.

3. COMMITMENT

Successful marriages involve both spouses' commitment to the relationship. When two people are truly dedicated to making their marriage work, despite the unavoidable challenges and obstacles that come, they are much more likely to have a relationship that lasts.

Husbands and wives who only focus on themselves and their own desires are not as likely to find joy and satisfaction in their relationships. However, when spouses are committed to investing in their marriage and are willing to sacrifice some of their own preferences for the good of the relationship, they usually have high-quality marriages.

4. ACCEPTANCE

One of the most basic needs in a relationship is acceptance. Everyone wants to feel valued and respected. When people feel that their spouses truly accept them for who they are, they are usually more secure and confident in their relationships.

Often, there is conflict in marriage because partners cannot accept the individual preferences of their spouses and try to demand change from one another. When one person tries to force change from another, he or she is usually met with resistance. However, research has shown that change is much more likely to occur when spouses respect differences and accept each other unconditionally. Basic acceptance is vital to a happy marriage.

5. MUTUAL LOVE AND RESPECT

Perhaps the most important component of successful marriages are love and respect for each other. This may seem very obvious why would two people get married to someone whom they did not love and respect? The fact is, as time passes and life becomes increasingly complicated, the marriage often suffers as a result.

It is all too easy for spouses to lose touch with each other and neglect the love and romance that once came so easily. It is vital that husbands and wives continue to cultivate love and respect for each other throughout their lives. If they do, it is highly likely that their relationships will remain happy and satisfying.

Paramount of all, marriage must be based on the teachings of the Noble Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet , peace be upon him. Insha Allah, married couples will not only gain blessing and harmony from their marriages but also benefits and rewards in the Hereafter. Ameen.

Compiled From:
"Achieving a Strong Marriage Bond" - ICNA National Family Campaign

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Importance of Appearance

The Muslim personality is a distinct one due to its unique code of behaviour and manners. Your appearance, taste, manners, and character reflect your personality. Our master, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, directed the blessed companions by saying, "You are on your way to meet your brothers, put on a nice dress and fix your saddles so you appear distinct among people as a mole [on a beautiful face]. Allah likes neither roughness nor tough manners." [Muslim]

When the Prophet said: "He will not enter Paradise who has a grain of arrogance in his heart," a man asked: "A man may like his dress to be nice and his shoes to be nice?" The Prophet answered: "Allah is beautiful and likes beauty. Arrogance is to deny rights and look down upon people." [Abu Dawud, Musnad Ahmad]

Shaikh Ibn Taymiyah said that the beauty that Allah likes includes nice clothes. Hence it could be said that Allah all nice things. Therefore, a Muslim ought to be recognized by neat dress, cleanliness and graceful manners.

Compiled From:
"Islamic Manners"- Abdul Fattah Abu Ghudda, p. 25

Blindspot!

Hajj Spirit

For those of us not going to Hajj this year, it's easy to dismiss the journey of a lifetime. But we non-Hajjis can swing into the Hajj spirit too, and we should. We must always remember that one day, when our health and finances are in the right shape, we too must make this journey to the House of God.

Here are a couple of ideas:

Help a Hajji

There's so much to do and so little time before leaving for Hajj. Any help you can offer a family member or friend about to make Hajj will be welcome. You can offer to make phone calls to various travel groups, cook or baby-sit so the pilgrim-to-be can pack, run errands for them or come up with a list of items they need to take with them. Ask them how you can be of most help.

Read/watch/learn about Hajj

When it comes to prayer and fasting, we tend to know much more about these pillars of the faith than Hajj. Most of us tend to put off finding more until we actually go. But who knows how long you have before going, so why wait? If books aren't your thing, find a video, an audio CD, a CD-rom or a DVD that can give you the basics.

You can and should also read travel accounts and diaries of those who have gone for Hajj. Their insights provide a more personal perspective of the journey.

Throw a party!

What better way to get into the spirit than to hold a party in honor of the person going for Hajj? This is also a great way to get kids interested in the topic of Hajj. It will also provide some much-needed relief from the stress before going to the pilgrim-to-be.

You can also hold a bash after your friend/family member returns as an official "Hajji."

Ask them to remember you in their Duas

Knowing that someone's praying for you at the House of God will no doubt help you remember Hajj. But don't just say the standard, "remember me in your Duas." Try to ask for at least one specific thing they can ask for on your behalf. Whether it's a job, a child, passing a difficult class or a better relationship with your spouse, remember that only God can grant us what we need and want. And what better place to ask than the House of God?

Read the Prophet's Last Sermon

The Prophet Muhammad's last sermon was offered on the occasion of the only Hajj he ever performed in his lifetime. Peace and blessings be upon him. Read the sermon not only for the wisdom it offers, but also, try to close your eyes and picture yourself there, with the thousands of other Muslims who were.

It will be hard not to cry.

Compiled From:
"Getting into the Hajj spirit" - SoundVision.com