Husbands, Preserve the Sunnah!

husband wife

Image Courtesy                  

“The best of you is the one who is best to his wife and I am the best of you to my wives.” (At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)

While endorsing the blessed Prophet’s (sa) Sunnah, the above hardly comes across in conversations between men. I wonder why? Supporting one’s spouse is as significant as offering timely and appropriate Salah, giving Zakah, observing Saum and performing Hajj. Because when a husband and wife have a partnership in harmony, mercy and understanding in their attitude towards each other, they are seeding the grounds for a firm and strong Muslim household. This house will then become a home where children will observe their fathers as not just bread winners, critics or harsh dictators, but active, flexible and eager coaches demonstrating the true spirit of service. Some ideas to catch on:

1, Do what you can do most easily

When inquired about the Prophet’s (sa) role at home, Aishah (rta) is reported to have said: “He did what one of you would do in his house. He mended sandals and patched garments and sewed.” (Adabul Mufrad).

Fix a deal with your wife regarding the chores you can take on effortlessly and regularly. That can give her some relief- especially if you have small kids, or many children, or a hectic social set up; or a working spouse due to financial needs. Just remember to honour your commitment as you are being counted on.

2, Don’t become a house husband, just balance it out

Aishah (rta) also once replied: “The Prophet use to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was the time for prayer he would go for it.” (Bukhari)

Men fear that if they begin to offer help at home, they might be taken for granted. For this very reason, it is important for you to inform your wife and your family about your exact availability.

Then be theirs in the real sense. Let them play with you, talk to you or work along. It is a great bonding time which maybe men underestimate. When it is time for your Salah, office, studies, exercise, etc. get up and leave.

3, Learn to enjoy homely tasks

I know that in most Asian cultures, men are accustomed to being served. They have their mothers, sisters, and later wives and daughters fetching for them or cleaning after them. But surprise, surprise! When Aishah (rta) the wife of the Prophet (sa) was asked: “What did the Prophet use to do in his house?” She reported to have said that: “He milked his goat.” (Ahmad)

Not everything about a culture is beneficial, especially if it conflicts with your Deen. And we don’t want to pass on questionable legacies to our sons rewriting the script of mistakes we are making today. If the beloved Prophet (sa) didn’t find milking a goat womanish or useless, I am certain that there is plenty of stuff men can lend their hands with to their wives.

Just as charity begins at home, so does service to the family. It hardly weighs much to smile at strangers but frown at home.

Offer help to outsiders but boss around in the family. Or be a diligent worker outside the house but be a slacker at home.

This Sunnah, if preserved well today, can bring revolutionary changes at home. It is not just about sharing the burden. It is about caring from the heart. And your reward lies with Allah (swt) (As Sami) The All-Hearer.

The Perfect Recipe – From a Husband’s Perspective

Jan 11 - The perfect recipe

By Hafsa Ahsan

When I wrote “The Perfect Recipe” (published in the January 2010 issue of “Hiba”), I realized belatedly that all of the successful ingredients of marriage were mentioned only by the wives. There was no discussion of any husbands or their perspectives. Consequently, I received an email saying: “Your article on married life provided many useful tips, which can easily be followed by wives to maintain bliss in their lives and in the lives of their spouses. However, I was wondering, if a survey could be done to find out what our male counterparts think could be the perfect ingredients of a blissful married life.”

This email spurred me to life, and I sent out the same questionnaire to discover what the husbands rate to be the most successful ingredients of a happy and successful marriage.

Arsalan Siddiqui, a training consultant, said: “Based on my own experience, I would say that the paramount issue (if the marriage is an arranged one) is trying to understand each other. But this can be tricky, as we are so used to being pampered by our respective families prior to our weddings. And when two people come together, they sometimes do not know how to behave and what to expect from each other. Individual space can be an issue, but that depends on your understanding of your partner. In-laws can be an issue, too. Also money matters play a crucial role in how partners enjoy their lives.”

An IT professional Adeel Masood named three ‘inabilities’ which, in his opinion, characterize the top three issues faced by couples after marriage: inability to cope with the fact that the other person also has his own weaknesses, inability to live within means and inability to respect the spouse’s relatives. His ingredients for a successful marriage were “trust, respect and love, with trust and respect being more important than love.”

“Things like likes and dislikes or getting adjusted with my commitment to work are main issues,” said Adnan Ali, an engineer. “Being a husband, I am on the stage where I have to listen to both parties (wife and mother). I try my best to be neutral and usually don’t act like a messenger between them. I have already clarified that both parties should try and deal with their issues themselves.”

So how does then conflict arise? And what is the best way of dealing with that conflict?

“I would say (the main source of conflict is) family politics, especially if you are not fully aware of the background of your spouse’s family,” said Arsalan Siddiqui. “But any conflict can be solved by giving space to each other and understanding the values and feelings of your spouse.”

“To deal with conflicts, first, you have to have the ability to deal with your anger for the time being, till your spouse has done his/her catharsis. Thereafter, talk out the issue rationally. If nothing works, send for the mediators,” said Adeel Masood.

“Being friends with your spouse usually is the best way out of everything,” said Adnan Ali. “But a husband has the additional responsibility of being neutral in every way. For those who are sandwiched between their wives and mothers, my advice is: let each party understand each other’s point of view, because a husband has already spent more time with his parents, but now spends more time with his wife; hence, he is sometimes the only one who understands what she or they actually mean about something.”

At the end of the day, it seems that husbands think more about practical issues, such as money management, when it comes to marriage. At the same time, they are also concerned about how to balance out their roles between their parents and their wives. That said, even they place emphasis on trust and respect, and in that aspect, their concerns match those of the ladies.