A Stew of Assumptions

26 lessons in love

As I slipped my hands into his, my heart somersaulted with joy. Every minute of the wedding had seemed like an enchanted vision. There was some anxiety blended with hope and happiness. Will I qualify as a good wife? Will Salman be the husband I had always dreamed of? With a mixture of emotions, I was led into my new home; a delightful page of life had just turned.

The hustle and bustle of guests, greetings, and dinners soon died down. The roses wilted and the henna faded away. Real life gradually crept in. I began to notice how different Salman was from the ‘ideal’ husband of my fantasies. Yes, he was caring in his own way, but he talked less and was often busy in his own world of sports and news.

The kitchen had been my love ever since I was a little girl; I helped out my mom and was always on the go to come up with some creative cuisine. Though it wasn’t asked of me here and in presence of abundant hired help, there wasn’t any need. However, I soon started taking an interest in my favourite past time.

My mother-in-law was a charming lady. From what I had heard, she was soft spoken, kind, and caring. But that was not going to put me off the alert mode. After all, I had heard my share of ‘mean mother-in-law stories’ from relatives, friends, and, of course, the dramas!


It was a lovely Sunday morning when I decided to prepare a lavish breakfast – Parathas filled with minced meat and a spicy potato curry. As I handed tea around the table, I was expecting a compliment from my mother-in-law for all the hard work I had done. To my dismay, however, I noticed that she was unusually quiet and solemn. She had eaten very little, as if uninterested, and was not taking any part in the ongoing conversation.

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A Decade of Happy Marriage


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9 happy marriage

Being a young girl, I repeatedly had to listen to such statements: “Whatever you study, one day you have to get married and do the household chores.”

I used to ignore it as much as I could. After the bone-breaking study of medicine with all work and no play schedule, there came a time when I had to tie a knot with somebody and leave all my books. I had to start from scratch and set foot in the sea of entirely new experiences and learning. Anatomy and biochemistry that had become a part and parcel of my life got replaced by the study of kitchen management and hacks.

My married life is now ten years old, and a proud feather is added to my marriage cap. I have realized the deeper meaning of marriage – it is a pact of making your sharp corners round.

According to Mufti Ibrahim Desai: “There can be no doubt in the success of a marriage governed by the fear of Allah (swt).”

I don’t celebrate marriage anniversaries by parties or hip-hop; but I do celebrate by pondering over the lessons that I had learnt during that year and store them in my memory. Each year, I implement those lessons into my life to get more happiness and success. My secret of a blissful marriage is based on the following lessons.

  1. Silence is the best medicine

It is very usual to have differences, but to remain calm and composed is an art, which is achieved through excellent self-control tactics. Arguing at times of conflict can make the situation worse by letting the Satan enter into it.

Abu Saeed Al-Khudri reported that the Prophet (sa) said: “If anyone is humble for the sake of Allah (swt) by a degree, Allah (swt) will elevate him one degree, until he reaches the highest degrees; if anyone is arrogant towards Allah (swt), Allah (swt) will lower him one degree until he reaches the lowest of low degrees.” (Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani)

The very first thing that took me to the tantrums after my marriage was the late night schedule of my husband’s job. As my father was a government officer, we used to enjoy the evening tea with him at home. When I shared that with my hubby, I got a mind-blowing lecture of office responsibilities and problems. The best I could do was to pray to Almighty Allah (swt) and remain silent. The next year, my hubby changed the job, in which he had the facility to return back home early and could work from home. Silence helped me keep a peaceful environment at home.

  1. Conquer through love

Love is the language that everybody understands. Showing constant gratitude and love takes your hubby to the Mount Everest of his self-esteem. In turn, he showers you with the same.

  1. To err is human, to forgive – divine

Females have a 967432 GB of memory, and on any little issue, they open up the historical book of complaints, which ignites never-ending arguments. I used to avoid it by imagining the large number of women burning in hellfire, due to ungratefulness to their husbands.

It was narrated by Abdullah ibn Abbas (rtam) that the Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “I was shown Hell, and I have never seen anything more terrifying than it. And I saw that the majority of its people are women.” They said: “Why, O Messenger of Allah (sa)?” He said: “Because of their ingratitude (Kufr).” It was said: “Are they ungrateful to Allah (swt)?” He said: “They are ungrateful to their companions (husbands) and ungrateful for good treatment. If you are kind to one of them for a lifetime and then she sees one (undesirable) thing in you, she will say: ‘I have never had anything good from you.’” (Bukhari)

  1. The foolish secret

I know this is difficult to apply for many of us, but believe me – it works. I used to surprise my hubby by listening to common talks with great astonishment. It is a secret, which I apply regularly and keep my relationship filled with joy.

  1. Invest in your relationship

Sharing lovely gifts and words adds strength to my life and fuels my passion to live together. A beautifully-wrapped present leaves a long lasting effect on the heart of your hubby – it will never be a waste!

  1. Out of sight wins the mind!

It sounds awkward but this is another secret to my fulfilling joyous life. Whenever I used to return from my mom’s house, I used to find a new spark in my married life. Being away for some time allows one to re-discover, and have some ‘me’ time. It helps both to settle and look into the disputes with an impartial aspect.

  1. Give credit

Your achievements and success must be because of your hard work, but transfer the credit to your hubby, as that success wouldn’t have been possible without his broadmindedness, compromise, support, and appreciation. Try to be more courteous and giving.

  1. Show gratitude

Thank your hubby often; it takes just a second but kindles the light of respect and love. Nothing big is required to admit his support – only a nice comment on his return from the office or shop can make the day wonderful for both of you.

  1. Share with care

Effective communication is the life and blood of a successful relationship. Not a single day of my married life has passed without sharing problems, asking or just telling the whole day routine. It gradually and slowly builds up the understanding between the two souls.

  1. Trust is a must

Last but not the least, trust is the key to a prosperous and ever growing married life. Hiding petty matters from the hubby may be of no value at the moment, but it will eventually shake the pillars of married life. Remember the key point that after your marriage, your hubby is the most worthy person in your life. Although ten years have passed, I am still striving to the best of my abilities, so that I don’t let anyone down. Insha’Allah.

Marriage is Love: What it takes to be in love and be loved?

vision for marriageWhen I say a love story, what is the first image that comes to one’s mind? A chick flick movie, a Disney fairytale, a folk love story, Romeo of Juliet or Taylor Swift’s old yet enticing ‘love story’ song?

Before we move on, we first need to clarify that this phrase ‘a love story’ is a lot more than just a phrase. It is a phenomenon or a concept in its own; and we usually hear this phrase in the context of ‘fantasy’ because we have been growing up in such an environment where the ‘unreal’ world is alluring to us.

Hence, this ‘unreal’ concept of love story has emerged in our lives from our childhood fairytales, when the prince used to rescue princesses, fighting all the monsters on the way; finally meeting her and kissing her and then they lived happily ever after. Then later came these movies or soap operas in which a boy and a girl meet- first they don’t like each other, then they fall in love; sing a song together, but suddenly, some barrier comes up; perhaps their parents. However, finally they get married and the end. But is it the end of the movie or the love story?

Nikah – The Miraculous Bond of Love

According to Islam, marriage that is Nikah is an emotional, spiritual, physical and social bond between a boy and a girl within the ties of marriage, as blessed by Allah (swt). As Allah (swt) says in Surah Ar-Rum, “Among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” (Ar-Rum 30:21)

Hence, this attraction that Allah (swt) has put between a man and a woman is a blessing and a mercy from Allah (swt). And, the way one uses this blessing to please Allah (swt) is through the bond of Nikah. Allah’s (swt) Messenger (sa) said: “When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of the religion; so let him fear Allah (swt) regarding the remaining half.” (Tirmidhi) This is the importance of Nikah in our Deen.

At another instance, Allah’s (swt) Messenger (sa) said: “You have seen nothing like marriage for increasing the love of two people.” (Tirmidhi)

This further shows the importance of a love story beginning through marriage.

This might sound alien to us because love story beginning with marriage is not something we hear quite often; We are often told by the media that love story is before marriage and marriage puts a full stop to the love story, but that is not real. According to Islam, love doesn’t end with marriage, it rather begins with it; marriage sows the seed of love! I will prove this point through examples of not fiction movies, but real people and their real love stories.

Exemplary Relationship of Khadijah (ra) and Muhammad (sa)

My first example of true love, proving husband and wife to be a source of comfort, mercy and blessing from Allah (swt) is the real love story of Khadijah (ra) and Muhammad (sa).

She was one of the noblest women of her time from a very influential family. She was also beautiful and was running her own business quite successfully. Many prominent and wealthy men had asked for her hand, but she refused. As a widow, she had lost the desire to marry again until he came in her life. He was just 25-twenty five years old, but well known for his honesty and trustworthiness, and this is what attracted her towards him.

As she had been looking for someone honest to conduct her business, he started working for her. Experiencing his honesty, she was very impressed by his character, and that was enough to sow the seed of love once again in her heart. She sent her sister who asked him: “Why are you not married yet?”  “For the lack of means,” he said. When she proposed him, he amazingly remarked, ‘How can I marry her? She turned down many wealthy men!” To which her sister replied that, “She will take care of that.” And, it was the beginning of one of the most happiest and sacred marriages in the human history. They both were a source of immense pleasure and strength for each other. They put each other’s fear to rest. They were married for 25-twenty five years and they had 4-four daughters and some sons who had died in infancy. She was there for him when the times were hard, but they were separated by her death. However, even after her death, he use to send food and provide support to her relatives and friends out of the pure forever love for her. Once, years after her death, he came across a necklace that she once wore and he began to cry seeing that necklace.

Confide in Each Other

Their relationship fits completely in the verse stated below, when Allah (swt) describes the most beautiful relationship between a man and his wife,

“…They are Libas (i.e. body cover, or screen, or Sakan, (i.e. you enjoy the pleasure of living with them), for you and you are the same for them…” (Al-Baqarah 2:187)

What’s the purpose of garment? They are for protection from different climates, to adorn or beautify, and for covering out of natural modesty or covering any weaknesses of our body.

Hence in this relationship, man and wife need to protect each other and look out for each other; secondly beautify each other- they should be the source of bringing smile on each other’s faces and serenity in  minds; lastly to cover each other ‘s weaknesses. Moreover, just like the garment is closest to us, similarly our spouses should be the closest to our hearts.

The Prophet (sa) said: “A woman is married for four things i.e. her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her Deen. So you should marry a religious woman (otherwise), you will be a loser.”  (Bukhari)

As was in the case of Hazrat Khadijah (ra), Muhammad (sa) had no wealth; he was an orphan, but definitely very handsome.  His main quality that attracted her was his character, honesty and sincerity. May Allah (swt) bless them both! Ameen.

Allah’s (swt) Apostle (sa) did not marry any other woman till her (Khadijah’s (ra)) death, even when he could have; because he was young and it was quite normal in that culture to keep more than one wife, but he chose not to.

Ideal Love Story of Fatimah (ra) and Ali (ra)

Second love story is of the daughter of Allah’s (swt) Messenger (sa) and her husband Ali (ra). Fatimah (ra) was then eighteen years of age, and one day Ali (ra) came to Muhammad (sa). He kept sitting quietly for a long time, until Muhammad (sa) himself asked him whether he was there to propose for Fatimah (ra) in marriage with him, and he shyly replied in positive. After which Muhammad (sa) went to Fatimah (ra) and asked her opinion and she agreed.

This shows the importance of women’s choice and her consent for marriage. Forced marriages are not a part of Islam. A marriage ceremony was carried out in which Ali (ra) gave his own marriage speech and Prophet (sa) blessed the couple with supplications for their new lives. Fatimah (ra) and Ali (ra) were not well off, thus when they shifted together, they lived a very simple life and there was never a complaint from either of the two. They both were also quite young when they got married and thus were like friends to their children, Hassan (ra) and Hussain (ra). May Allah (swt) have mercy on all of them. Ameen.

Don’t Delay Marriages!

We talk about sexism, racism- but we are also discriminating people on the basis of their age for getting married and that is ageism, and we rarely talk about it. In Islam, there is no sexism, racism or ageism. If willingly a child or even a teenager wants to work and get married, then Islam doesn’t restrict them from doing so; unlike our materialistic society which teaches to get educated first, then work and finally get married.

The desire of love, comfort and warmth is to be used in a natural way which Allah (swt) has prescribed for us; and not in an unnatural way because we can’t really thrive going against the commandments of our Creator.

A gist of one of the narrations of Prophet (sa) was that marriage is from his Sunnah and whosoever leaves his Sunnah is not from him. (Bukhari)

There are many real love stories from the lives of the companions of Prophet (sa) too that we can learn from. We, in spite of claiming to follow Islam, say that these love stories were for that time period, and today, we can’t think or live like that in this day and age. But think; is not Quran there for all times? Isn’t Prophet (sa) a role model for all times? We, as followers of Prophet (sa), have the responsibility to revive back the true spirit of this prophetic tradition. We must follow these real people; they can be our love role models. Hence, marrying according to Sunnah, is the perfect ingredient of the recipe of our real love story.

Dua taught by Prophet (sa) from Quran:

“Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders of the Muttaqun (the pious).” Ameen.

Are the new couple in double the trouble?

thumb2Walking into the holy matrimony at the age of nineteen, I had my fair share of doubts and misunderstandings. I had this fantasy of no less than a hybrid Mr. Darcy and Hugh Grant. For me, this marriage scenario basically meant a “Halal boyfriend” type of situation – and to be quite honest, it’s not my fault that I had such expectations. The world of social media made me presume that my marriage would be full of selfies and hashtags. But it’s not like that.

It’s so much better.

The big day came and went in the blink of an eye; and six months later there is so much that I have learnt.

1.      It is difficult. It’s not easy to live with someone you hardly know. But, with extra time and extra patience, it gets better. You become each other’s best friends and everything becomes easier when you have that one person to talk to about anything and everything. The Holy Prophet’s (sa) and Aisha’s (ra) relationship is the paramount example for such a relationship. They played with one another, and one of my most favourite actions of the Holy Prophet (sa) is how he would kiss Aisha (ra) on the forehead or cheeks in affection. I admire their relationship and feel as though in this day and age, such a relationship would prove to excel rather than the orthodox “husband rules wife”- the Desi marriage.
2.      Never assume! Assumptions are the death of happiness. Don’t assume that he isn’t trying or that he doesn’t care. Every man is different and his perception of love is different as well. I assure you, give them time; they will prove to be a soppier romantic than you, and they may even surprise you with loving gestures.
3.      Don’t rush things. You have your whole life together so take it easy. Enjoy the little moments together.
4.      Be generous with words and gestures. Say “Thank you”, “I’m sorry” or even “I love you” without hesitation. Spontaneous bursts of love are always confidence boosters. The Holy Prophet (sa) treated all his wives with such love and respect and his wives treated him the same. Respect, trust and love are the foundations for good marriage.
5.      Have little things that are just yours. A certain word that only you two know, or a game that only you two know how to play. Create something unique just for yourselves.
6.      Be each other’s support. This is the most important thing. Text messages and emails can always bring out other meanings rather than what we wish to portray – so don’t be irrational and judge, instead take a deep breath and support each other’s flaws and perfections. One of the most beautiful examples in Islamic history is Hazrat Ibrahim’s (as) and Hajra’s (ra) journey into Safah and Marwa. She supported her husband without any doubts, and waited for him in mountains with a wailing child. Her trust in Allah (swt) and her husband made her a woman of Jannah.

In the end, when the whole world seems like a lonely place, your spouse will always be there. He or she is “your person”; so, fight for them and always appreciate them. They are one of a kind and they are all yours. Allah (swt) made marriage half of the faith and the Holy Prophet (sa) made marriage a Sunnah. “Marriage is my Sunnah whosoever keeps away from it is not from me”.

As a girl, my Dua for myself and every other girl who is married or getting married is to “find a spouse that has the traits of Hazrat Adam (as) in the matter of knowledge, the traits of Hazrat Yaqub (as) in the matter of fatherhood, and the traits of the Holy Prophet (sa) in the matters of love”. Ameen.

Lessons in Love from Umm Atikah Bint Zaid (rtaf)

lessons in love

Umm Atikah bint Zaid (rtaf) was the daughter of Zaid ibn Nufayl and the sister of Saeed ibn Zaid (rtam), one of the ten lucky ones for whom the Prophet (sa) confirmed entry into Paradise. She was also related to Umar ibn al-Khattab (rtam) through her father.

A Husband’s Testimony about His Wife

When Abdullah ibn Abu Bakr (ra) saw Umm Atikah (ra), he sent her a proposal of marriage which she accepted. Abdullah ibn Abu Bakr’s fondness for his wife, however, made him slacken in his religious duties. He would remain at home more often, reduced participation in the battles, and would not hasten for the prayers like before. When Abu Bakr Siddiq (rtam) noticed this, he was deeply upset and feared for his son’s religion. Upon learning that this was due to Abdullah’s (rtam) fondness for his wife, Abu Bakr (rtam) instructed that they should be separated.

Obeying his father’s command, Abdullah (rtam) divorced Umm Atikah (rtaf) and again became active in his religious commitments. However, this did not last long, as he missed his beloved wife deeply. Her absence turned him into a poet. He uttered verses in her praise and testified that she was a woman of good habits, wisdom, and high moral character. He admired her truthfulness and her acceptance of the separation.

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Fortitude with Gratitude – Key to a Happy Marital Life

vision for marriageSana and Ali got married three month ago. They were having a life of bliss. For them, marriage was nothing, but a bed of roses.

They were going through the period of dinner invitations. Last invitation was from Ali’s uncle. They were warmly greeted by the family members, and then started a session of talks and discussion about the current scenario of Pakistan. It came to a halt when Hira, Ali’s cousin enquired Sana about her views on marriage and her husband.

Sana smiled generously and said: “People with patience and gratitude are the residents of Jannah.” It was just a blunt statement that she uttered without calculating the pros and cons. She had no idea what will it be bringing for her in near future.

Ali was rude and ruthless in their bedroom where Sana had already dressed up for sleep. He did not talk to her a single word. Banged the bedroom door hard and dozed off.

Pillow absorbed the tears that she shed the whole night. She was depressed and felt disdain.

That sort of reaction, slowly and gradually, became a part of routine. His loving tone, incomparable care and affection, those looks, the sugary mesmerizing words, all praise and appreciation, emotional support just started to vanish in a glimpse.

She could not come out of the shock of his change in behaviour. She started to whine and nag. Being bitter and moody became her traits. She started to miss her daily obligatory prayers.

Time passed and their relationship deteriorated with every single day. Things turned out to be more jumbled up. Finally, she thought of taking advice from her best friend, Annabia. On the other hand, Ali was opting for something that she could not even think of.

She narrated her feelings openly to her. She wept and wept madly. “What has happened to him, why does not he love me anymore, what should I do to have him back?

Annabia was very relaxed. There was not even a single line of disbelief or surprise, or even sympathy on her face. Her reaction was calm. She was enjoying her cup of tea and it blew a big hit to Sana. She almost started to yell and scream.

“Are you listening to me? Do you have any idea how miserable my marriage is going? I will be insane in a few days; I cannot handle it. I want things to be the same as they used to be.”

“I was stupid enough to come to you; you seem to be busy with your cup of tea. You can never imagine my agony.” She was exhausted.

Annabia took a deep sigh and gently touched her hand.

“Just relax,” she softly whispered.

‘But but…” Sana murmured.

“This is all very normal Sana; marriage is not only a bed of roses. Life will not always be full of laughter. It is common to feel neglected, and in the lowest pitch of dismay after few months of marriage. It is not a honeymoon period always. In the start, things are new. Both spouses are emotionally high with their own sets of thoughts and desires. They show their best. Have time to spend time with each other and hang around. But then, there lies a practical life ahead which demands a lot. Both parties have their separate set of responsibilities and expectations to prove up to. Love does not end, but it fades away. In later years of marriage, the partners have to work hard, and invest time and energy to keep the love alive, to let it ignite and blossom. Every marriage has some hiccups: Sabr (patience) and Shukar (thankfulness) are two main weapons of a believer. List down the things that he excels in, you will find yourself way better than thousands of women who are victims of domestic violence, torture, and are nothing more than a sex toy.” She added.

“I had felt the same way. Everyone does, but nobody reacts the way you are doing. It is not the end of the world honey. Things will be fine. Give some space and time. Uplift your faith and things will fall into order very soon. You need to have patience, and this can only be attained by connecting more with Allah (swt), offer night prayers- instead of boiling your head with worries.” She advised Sana to be the way she used to be. ”Instead of expecting him to be the same old person, try yourself to be as energetic, loving and happy. It will be a vicious cycle. Who knows, he might be feeling same the way you are. Men are not vocal about their feelings. They shut themselves up with a board of ‘do not disturb.’”

Sana felt a relief. For then, she had a vision about a strategy, a remedy to follow.  Past flash backs made her heart beat with happiness, and she could not stop herself from smiling. She rushed home where the love of her life resided.

Some known voices caused her feet to numb. She could not breathe for another second. It was as if her body had been paralysed. The exchange of dialogue caused shivers to run down her spine.

Her mother in law was furious and cynical, whereas Ali sounded irritated and said, “I did not choose her, it’s you. I am sick and tired of all this. If you have so many problems with her, I will divorce her.”

“I asked you not to give her leniency, but no, you were the one running after her. Taking notes from her and pleasing her. And what did she do? She disrespected you in front of your family by saying she is patient enough. She is living a terrible life with you and you being the lucky one must thank Allah (swt) for such a beauty queen in your life.” The words were flooded with sarcasm.

Ali said in a hurtful tone, “Do not keep reminding me about it, I wish you never heard her saying this to Hira. I will find a way soon.” he left by saying this.

Sana rushed to her room. She made ablution, and went straight in prostration (Sujood) and sobbed bitterly. This was  the first time that she asked Allah (swt) for help. She felt so light after communicating with the Lord of the worlds.

Now, she  needed to be a person of her words. Her formula of life became patience and gratitude.

We will face every sort of people in life; we cannot change them, but can make our roots of faith strong to encounter such facets.


From Ms. to Mrs. – Expectations Versus Reality

Vol 4-Issue 3 Muslim WeddingsI’m getting married -Yay! There is so much to be done- designer dress, jewellery, footwear, bags, make-up artist, salon etc. How many days will the wedding celebrations continue? How many functions? Theme of the day? What about the dance preparations? Do we have enough time to rehearse the dances in-sync? Oh wait- I almost forgot, the photographer! ‘Capturing memories that will last for a life-time.’ I want my wedding album to be the most creative. I’ll update my face book profile pictures and cover photos every day. Why not share my happiness with the world?

Many of us start considering these things as soon as the wedding bells start ringing in our head. The fairy-tale we had been reading, watching and dreaming of since our childhood is finally becoming true. So what do I do to prepare myself for this life-altering event? Yes! I Know! I need the wedding glow. I can’t be a dull bride. Manicure, pedicure, whitening facial, skin treatments, weight-loss plans, gym programs (Obviously, I can’t be a fat bride. What will people say?)

But….What happens once we say ‘Qubool Hai’? The fairy-tale wedding, the excitement of the events, the food, the glittering dresses, and need not mention the never ending laughter. What happens when all of this comes to an end and a new chapter in our life begins? What happens when the first time we get into an argument with our husband? What happens when someone from the in-laws says something that hurts you deeply? What happens when misunderstandings arise? This is the time when it truly hits us that the fairy-tales always promised a happily-ever-after, but this is not what we had imagined. What does this ‘happily-ever-after’ mean anyway?

We are so focused upon the fairy tale wedding events and the preparations that we forget to make preparations for the real life drama that would follow-on later.

Expectation vs. Reality

  • Expectation: My husband will come home every day with a smile on his face.
  • Reality: Girls, sorry to burst your bubble, but this is not true for an everyday routine. Your husband is a human. He goes through different stressful routines and tasks in a day at his work. He gets tired, he has hunger pangs, he is uncomfortable with the work-place politics and there could be a number of other reasons which you are unaware of. At times, he would want solitude for a little while. Try to calm him down. Ask him about his problems, strike a light conversation to divert his attention, give him a light snack to eat, dress-up adequately for him and be empathetic. Don’t take it personally. His mood will eventually become better.

 There will be times when you face criticisms and you will feel that you aren’t appreciated for your efforts.

  • Expectation: I will live the way ‘I’ like.
  • Reality: Once you get married, for some initial months, you are new to the in-laws and your in-laws are new to you. Learn their living habits, likes/dislikes and make sincere efforts to adjust to the new lifestyle. Pray to Allah (swt) for an increased level of patience and Taqwa. In times of turmoil, recite the Quran and the burden will be lifted from your heart Insha’Allah. Seeking permission wouldn’t mean the end of your freedom. Your husband would like it when you seek his permission and value his opinion in every matter.
  • Expectation: I will be showered with compliments
  • Reality: There will be times when you face criticisms and you will feel that you aren’t appreciated for your efforts. This is the time when you require patience the most. Keep doing good anyway. Keep a clear heart and try to improve your short-comings. Allah (swt) is the All knowing and All seeing. Allah (swt) is the turner of hearts.
  • Expectation: I will never get into a disagreement with my spouse
  • Reality: You and your husband are two different people with two different minds. There are going to be many occasions when you would not agree with a certain behaviour of your husband, or when your husband doesn’t agree with your opinions or conducts. Satan becomes the happiest when there is disagreement between the husband and wife. So, whenever you see yourself lose control of your patience, remember to seek refuge in Allah (swt) from the Satan. Even the Holy Prophet (sa) once had misunderstandings with Hazrat Aisha (ra) due to the malicious rumours spread by certain slanderous people, while on an expedition against Banu-Al-Mustaliq (Ref: Book Enjoy your life- Deduced from a study of the Prophet’s (sa) life by Dr. Muhammad Al-‘Areefi) Have the utmost faith in the judgement of Allah (swt). Try to finish the disagreements as soon as possible. Don’t prolong them. Be courteous and respectful even in the state of anger.
  • Expectation: I will spend my husband’s money as I like
  • Reality: You are now the lady of the house. It is your responsibility to make sure that the house expenditures run efficiently. Well, who doesn’t like shopping? But, set priorities and be a helpful and considerate spouse, rather than a shopaholic spendthrift. Make efforts to strengthen your Iman and do not indulge too much in the worldly desires.  In Surah Al-Araf, we are told, “O Children of Adam! Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes), while praying and going round (the Tawaf of ) the Kabah, and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not Al-Musrifun (those who waste by extravagance).” (Al-Araf 7:31)

The Satan gives a big reward to the subordinate who has created differences and distances between the husband and the wife in the form of arguments, disagreements and fights.

My dear sisters, the relation of a husband and wife is the first relation to come into existence i.e. that of Hazrat Adam (as) and bibi Hawa (as). The Satan gives a big reward to the subordinate who has created differences and distances between the husband and the wife in the form of arguments, disagreements and fights. We, at times, have such high expectations from our marital lives that even a slightest issue disrupts the harmony which we had imagined; and we tend to give up hope. Marriage is a relationship upon which you and your spouse have to work coherently. Learn to adjust, learn to give-in, to forgive, understand each other and above all respect one another. May Allah (swt) guide us to the best of knowledge and Iman.

Ibn Qayyim said: “The (path) always starts with trials and tests, then comes the period of patience and reliance (upon Allah (swt)), and the end is enlightenment, guidance and victory.” (Shifaa’ Al-Aleel)

Newly-wed? Thrive to Survive!

Vol 5 - Issue 4 A wedding to rememberIt is He Who has created you from a single person (Adam), and (then) He has created from him his wife (Hawwa), in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her. When he had sexual relation with her, she became pregnant and she carried it about lightly. Then when it became heavy, they both invoked Allah, their Lord (saying): If You give us a Salih (good in every aspect) child, we shall indeed be among the grateful.” (Al-Araf 7:189)

Allah (swt) has created men and women to worship Him; but besides this, Allah (swt) has created this Dunya as a test for us. Allah (swt) has established a really beautiful bonding between the husband and wife. Allah (swt) states in the Quran, “And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” (Ar-Rum 30:21)

It is quite clear that husband and wife are a source of peace and comfort for each other. When two souls meet, they might have differences- different nature and different life style.

Hence, it is quite necessary for a newly wedded couple to spend some time with each other, and try to understand each other very well. Honeymoon period is quite necessary for a healthy beginning of a married life. It helps to develop the feeling of love and care for each other. Both, husband and wife, should understand each other’s nature, likes and dislikes, and should deal with each other accordingly. They should expect less from each other and should focus more on giving.

Tips for the wives

  • They should try to maintain good relations with their in-laws, and should not complain about them to their husband.
  • They should get ready for their husbands i.e. wear good clothes, makeup and perfume, under the limits described by Allah (swt); although it might sound typical, but it really makes husbands feel happy and special.
  • They should understand their husband’s mood and concern, and should deal accordingly.
    They should make food of their husband’s choice- as it is said that the way to a man’s heart is through the stomach.
  • They should welcome their husbands with a smile.
  • They should protect their husband’s honour in their absence.

Tips for the husbands

  • They should praise and appreciate their wives’ efforts.
  • Their wives deserve love and care- as they are very sensitive and emotional; and also, they have left their parents and their loved ones for them.

Anas ibn Malik narrated that, a Sahabi named Anjeshe was leading the camels that were carrying the Prophet’s (sa) wives on the way back from the last pilgrimage. He was making the camels run with the rhythmic songs that he sang with his beautiful voice. The Prophet (sa) told him:

“O Anjeshe, ride slowly, do not break the crystals” (Darimi, Istizan)

  • Outings, long drives and shopping for their wives is equally important.
  • Taking their wives to meet her parents as well as respecting them, would make wives happy.

Thus, the conclusion is that marriage can’t be successful without the PTC tool i.e. Patience, Tolerance and Compromise.

And, don’t forget to make this Dua: “And those who say: Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the Muttaqun” (Al-Furqan 25:74)

Lessons in Love from Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (rtaf)

8 lessons in loveProphet Muhammad (sa) is the ultimate role model for all Muslims, men and women, as we are all commanded by Allah (swt) in the Quran to follow the Messenger’s (sa) Sunnah. We look upon him as our guide. He possessed the best of manners, the noblest of character, and was the best husband to his wives. I am sure every Muslim woman wants her husband to emulate the example of the Prophet (sa), and to experience the deep love and tranquillity of married life just as the wives of the Prophet (sa) did. Yet we have to remember that marriage and love is a shared responsibility. If we want our husbands to resemble Prophet Muhammad (sa) in their conduct, we ourselves should also strive to be more like the Mothers of the Believers. Every one of these great women has a lesson we can learn from. If we want to become the best and most loving wives to our husbands, we should learn more about Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (rtaf), the first and the most beloved wife of the Prophet (sa).

Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (rtaf) was born into a rich Makkan family. She inherited great wealth from her father, which she further multiplied by her successful business ventures. She used to send caravans with goods to neighbouring countries, and she would put trusted employees in charge of her merchandise. Having heard of the young man who was known in Makkah as al-Amin (the trustworthy), she decided to employ him. Khadijah (rtaf) sent with him her old and trusted slave, Maysarah, so that he could report to her about his dealings. The man she employed was no other than Muhammad (sa). Khadijah (rtaf) was so impressed by the success of his business trip, as well as by what Maysarah told her about him, that she became inclined to marry him.

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Marital Blues: He Loves Who?

divideredThis is the dilemma most of the men around encounter, as soon as they step into a marital relation. The first few months are a bliss, since there is absence of responsibilities and family pressures. He is solely a husband enjoying with his better half and guarding and combating for his beloved’s rights and desires. He cannot imagine a single thorn to prick her feet that would cause her pain or anguish. However, the picture starts to dim, as the time passes by. Later things start to deteriorate, when he is being questioned by his emotional mother and sentimental wife. The tug leaves him despicable and perturbed. “What can I do to make each of them happy?” is a common question that pops up on the surface of his consciousness. He starts to avoid and ignore the situations that direly require his supervision, wise decision and problem solving. He spends most of his time secluded in his own cave. The love is now out of the window.

In this relationship, man plays an immense role. He can make it bloom or he can cause it to wither. Whether he likes it or not, but he has to play judiciously as he is the one around whom all affairs revolve. Women are possessive by nature. One of my male teacher said, women are possessive. It is all about their family – its wellbeing, its health and all related to their own kith. For this reason, it is natural for a mother to feel insecure and jealous when her son’s attention, love, care, and time is divided. She cannot tolerate the shift and thus, resentment follows towards the new addition. In this situation, the man has to be cautious of the mother’s feelings and tackle accordingly by giving her time and constant reassurance about the status she still holds in his life. On the other hand, the wife who is newly wed to him craves for his attention and time, love and care. He should balance the two entities with insight and not to make any one of them feel unloved and ignored.

In this relationship, man plays an immense role. He can make it bloom or he can cause it to wither. Whether he likes it or not, but he has to play judiciously as he is the one around whom all affairs revolve

There are some common points to ponder on before a man reacts.

Firstly, a woman who is now your wife is not an outsider. She is a part of you and your life. She is not a third person. So do not, I stress, do not make her feel like a fish out of water. It is not about her and us (you and your biological family). When you expect her to treat and take care of your own family like hers, then make her feel a part of the family too. If you are going to shun her and talk behind her back; make detail discussions about her attitude and behaviour to others behind doors; complain to your parents, especially your mother, about her actions or words that you find offending etc. – it all will make her feel isolated. When you expect her not to bad mouth about your family, and some issues that she might be facing with people around; and to deal with the shortcomings with tolerance and oft forgiveness- then you are expected to be as generous as you want her in regard to her short comings and not to bad mouth, complain or nag about her bad points to your family.

Being a man, you are held responsible to earn the bread and butter for the family. You are made the head (Ameer) of the family. Working outside by dealing with people, and surviving peak rush hours of traffic, bearing losses, or not meeting up the desired target may make you vulnerable and depressed. As you expect home and your spouse to be pleasant, the same is expected of you. Pouring down your frustration and tiredness on your spouse and kids is not at all justified.  How can we forget the example of our beloved Prophet (sa) (may peace be upon him) who used to be playful and loveable towards his wives, and he used to pamper them too even when he was given such a difficult and challenging work of Dawah (spreading Allah’s (swt) Deen) and also facing a lot of felicity and turmoil.

A man should neither misbehave with his mother nor speak to her in a loud tone, specifically when the spouse or the kids are around. A mother who has taught you how to speak is not at all worthy of your foul language and raised tone. Treat her in a respectable way, even if you do not agree to her terms and conditions. She may feel degraded in front of others and this will give birth to a grudge in her heart against your spouse (as she might feel her responsible for this outburst of anger and misbehaviour). Satan is everywhere and he loves to instill assumptions in our hearts. Accusations are a result of these whispers of Satan mostly.

You should be open to both entities and listen to both sides- instead of being judgmental by favouring one over another.

You are required to be a man with his own set of rules; forget those days of leniency and childhood. It’s time to act like a grown up instead of crying and complaining. Safeguarding the respect of both is crucial in attaining a good and friendly environment at home. You need to open your ears, but not to believe in everything you listen. At times what you see is not the truth but a manipulated and falsified lie. Do not turn a deaf ear to your spouse’s complaining by considering her guilty every time, and accusing her for things she did not do. Generalizing complains that you have got against her will break her into pieces, and will not earn anything but lack of trust in future. You should be open to both entities and listen to both sides- instead of being judgmental by favouring one over another.

Every person has his/her own right and worth. If anyone is given undue importance over the worth of another, it will create chaos. Limit other’s interference and influence over your decisions- especially governing your own family. It is all about maintaining a balance. You need to decide it yourself by an honest retrospection about your actions. And if you have decided it once that you are too good to be challenged, and you have done a lot to make things workable and your spouse happy- then no one can help you and your highly held ego. We all make mistakes and we all have some short comings. Wise is the one who does not drown in his ocean of I, me, and myself notion and in the pool of self-assumed goodness and sacrifices- but the one who looks beyond it and is ready to make a change. Where a female is involved, you have to deal with it like a fragile thing with lots of emotions, appreciation, recognition, and praise. And when two females are involved, then with these things, the aid of Allah (swt) is a must. Consistency is required when dealing with females, you are not required to do big lofty things, but little tiny things on a daily basis will do wonders. Calling her or texting her once in a day will make her more than happy. It is not necessary to buy expensive gifts every time, a surprise note or a flower will surely earn you grade points.

Every person has his/her own right and worth. If anyone is given undue importance over the worth of another, it will create chaos.

Supplicate to Allah (swt) for being accurate in your decisions and to be fair in dealings. Pray for tranquility and love among the family members and a heart that is ready to forgive and forget. Dwelling on past issues will not bear any good outcome. So stop being critical and sarcastic. When it is cancerous for you to compliment your spouse, it is cancerous for the relation when you pass nasty comments even under the banner of joke.

In a nutshell, marriage is for man and not for boys. It is not a platform to satisfy your sexual desires and physical needs. If you are not ready to bear the responsibility and to manage all affairs with a hard nerve, then kindly don’t opt to tie the knot soon.

Keeping the End in Mind

vision for marriageBearing the end in mind is about the principle of vision, and vision is powerful. According to a well-acclaimed research, it is this principle that helps prisoners of war survive the atrocities and brutalities of concentration camps. Vision is the same principle that gives children the drive to succeed. It is a moving power behind effective individuals and organizations in every walk of life. Vision is also greater than the negative baggage of the past and even the accumulated heartache of the present.

Mariam, a woman married for almost fifteen years shared that, “There are times when my husband and I disagree about things and put a wall between us due to a difference of opinion. I have resolved not to let the wall expand and drive us apart. Almost instantly or later, I realize what Satan is trying to scheme against us. Without caring who is right or wrong, I willingly apologize to my husband or try talking things out.

Many of my friends think this is a loser’s policy. They prefer to be caught dead than to admit their mistake, or kiss and make up for a quarrel they never started.”

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Lessons for Parents in the Nikah Sermon

nikah sermonLike other special occasions in Islam (Jummah and Eid), the Nikah ceremony too is marked by a Khutbah, in accordance with the practice of our beloved Prophet (sa).The Nikah sermon is an essential part of every Muslim wedding. However, unfortunately, women rarely get to hear it, and the men who do hear it seldom understand the meaning.

Whatever the Prophet (sa) did or said had a purpose behind it. The Khutbah of Nikah is not just a ritualistic repetition of a few words. This simple, concise, and yet profound sermon contains a message for all those who are involved in the making of a new family: the bride, the groom, and their respective parents and siblings.

Let us, as parents, ponder over and extract lessons pertaining to the marriage of our children.

From the Lips of Our Beloved (sa):

“Praise be to Allah (swt). We seek His help and His forgiveness, and rely on Him. We seek refuge with Allah (swt) from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allah (swt) guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allah (swt) leaves astray can be guided by no one. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah (swt), and I bear witness that Muhammad (sa) is His slave and Messenger.

O you who believe! Fear Allah (swt), as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah (swt). (Al-Imran 3:102)

O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person, and from him He created his wife, and from them both He created many men and women, and fear Allah (swt), through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah (swt) is ever an All-Watcher over you. (An-Nisa 4:1)

O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah (swt) and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth.” (Al-Ahzab 33:70) (Nasai and Abu Dawood)

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The Languages of Love

lessons in love

By Amreen Rehman – An MBA graduate from Pakistan’s top business school

“Where are you these days? No messages! No phone calls! You are always busy with work and have no time for your wife!” I angrily said to my husband, who had just gotten back after a long, busy workday, but as always, he ignored me, banged the door, and left the room.

Does this sound familiar?

It means that you have been married for almost a year and love has vanished from your life. Honeymoon days are over, and all that’s left are days full of complaints and emptiness. We are often stuck in such a relationship and passively accept this as being part of the highs and lows of married life. Married now for almost two years, I, too, had become a victim of this and secretly wished for some miracle to happen, which could take us back to the Lalaland of love. Day and night, frustrating thoughts haunted me about my deteriorating relationship, when suddenly I came across a new dimension of love, which played a crucial role in getting my relationship back on track. Shaykh Abdullah Hasan explains this beautiful concept of the ‘five languages of love’ (introduced by Dr. Gary Chapman).

Love is a language, which needs to be understood for a healthy marriage. Shaykh Abdullah Hasan (Imam/Khateeb of Masjid Ibrahim, London and an Islamic advisor at Nour Domestic Violence charity) identifies five love languages that people universally display. He explains how people can identify their primary love language, and how best to express that in the various contexts. People are different and feel loved in different ways; knowing your spouse’s language of love would save you from exerting efforts in the wrong direction. For example, you would stop spending hours in the kitchen trying to cook special meals, if you realize that words of affirmation please your spouse more.

Below are some reflections from the Sunnah, on how the Prophet (sa) demonstrated his love to his wives, based around the five love languages presented by Abdullah Hasan.

1. Words of Affirmation – Express Your Feelings Verbally

The words we use to express our appreciation for our spouse are of immense importance. Complimenting your spouse, thanking each other for small favours, leaving small love notes would surely please your spouse, if this is their primary language of love. It is very important to tell your spouse that you love them. Men in our society find it difficult to say ‘I love you’ simply because of the way they have been brought up. On the contrary, in Islam, this is the basis of chivalry and manhood, as taught by the beloved Prophet (sa).

The Prophet (sa) was once asked by Amr Ibn Al-As (rta): “O Messenger of Allah, who do you love the most?” The Messenger of Allah (sa) replied: “Aisha.” Amr (rta) then asked: “And amongst the men?” The Prophet (sa) then said: “Her father.” (Bukhari)

He showed his love even in her absence. Subhan’Allah! Note how the Prophet (sa) said “her father” and related the answer back to his beloved, even though he was asked about whom he loved the most among the men.

The Prophet (sa) was soft-spoken. He would never raise his voice or his hands on his wives. This is why the wives of the Prophet (sa) all said that they would not want to spend their time with anyone else except him.

2. Acts of Service – Show Your Love Through Actions

Some people find pleasure in doing small things for others. This means that they feel loved, when their partners help in small chores like ironing the clothes, helping in the kitchen, etc. The Prophet (sa) would sew his own clothes, sweep the floor, repair his shoes, service himself (without asking his wives), etc.

Another way of showing your spouse love is beautifying yourself for them. Ibn Abbas would always brush his hair and make sure his appearance was pleasing before entering his home. He would say: “Just as I would like my wife to be beautiful for me, I like to look beautiful for her.” (At-Tirmidhi)

3. Receiving Gifts

Giving gifts is one of the primary actions of expressing love. If your spouse’s language of love is gift-giving, you should make them feel loved by giving gifts on Eids and other special occasions. Even such simple gifts as a homemade cake, card or flowers will convey your love. Little things mean a lot and can totally change your relationship.

Aisha (rta) said: “The people were waiting for Aisha’s (rta) day to give their gifts, wanting by this to please the Prophet (sa).” (Muslim)

4. Quality Time – Give Your Undivided Attention

It is extremely important for a couple to enjoy quality time with one another, especially after having children. This time can be utilized in eating out, talking, taking a walk by the beach, or engaging in other fun activities mutually enjoyed by the spouses. A short vacation can be planned ahead to spend some quality time together. The Prophet (sa) would allocate time and days to each one of his wives adequately and fairly.

5. Intimacy – Physical Touch

Intimacy strengthens the bond between the spouses and is a source for maintaining peace and security within marriage. Both husband and wife have the right upon their spouse to have their conjugal rights and desires satisfied.

It is from the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (sa) to passionately kiss one’s wife. Aisha (rta) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (sa) would kiss one of his wives and then leave for prayer without performing Wudhu. Urwa Ibn Zubayr (her nephew) says: “I asked Aisha: ‘It must have been you?’ (Upon hearing this,) Aisha smiled.” (At-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood and Nasai)

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim reported that the Messenger of Allah (sa) forbade from engaging in sexual intercourse before foreplay. (Tibb An-Nabawi) In a Hadeeth, the Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “Not one of you should fall upon his wife like an animal, but let there first be a messenger between you.” “And what is that messenger?” they asked, and he replied: “Kisses and words.” (Daylami)

Entertaining Each Another

The Messenger of Allah (sa) encouraged his followers to play with their wives and entertain them. Aisha (rta) records that on more than one occasion, she and the Prophet (sa) raced. Sometimes she won and sometimes he won. Most men consider it to be far beneath their dignity to play any games with their wives, and their marriages are duller and poorer due to this.

Surprise Element

Apart from the above stated languages of love, a surprise element is something which can really boost your relationship. One should try to do things a bit differently to please the spouse every now and then. A surprise visit made to the wife when she is at her mother’s place, a surprise drop by at your husband’s work place, or a surprise night out can help in taking the spouses away from their mundane routine.

However, once we have identified the primary love language of our spouse, we must not ignore the other languages, as they all complement each other.

What is your language of love?

Inspirational Real Life Marriage Stories


What is true marital love? Let’s take a look at some examples found in true stories:

 Exchange of Lovely Compliments

Once, the Prophet (sa) was sitting in a room with Aisha (rtaf) and fixing his shoes. It was very warm. Aisha (rtaf) looked at his blessed forehead and noticed that there were beads of sweat on it. She became overwhelmed by the majesty of that sight. She stared at him long enough for him to notice. He asked, “What’s the matter?”

She replied: “If Abu Bukair Al-Huthali, the poet, saw you, he would know that his poem was written for you.”

The Prophet (sa) asked: “What did he say?”

She replied: “Abu Bukair said that if you look at the majesty of the moon, it twinkles and lights up the world for everybody to see.”

The Prophet (sa) got up, walked to Aisha (rtaf), kissed her between the eyes, and said: “By Allah, O Aisha, you are like that to me and more.” (Baihaqi)

Reassurance of Love

Aisha (rtaf) and the Prophet (sa) would use code language with each other denoting their love. She asked the Prophet (sa) how he would describe his love for her. Prophet Muhammad (sa) answered: “Like a strong binding knot.” The more you tug, the stronger it gets, in other words.

Every so often Aisha (rtaf) would playfully ask: “How is the knot?” The Prophet (sa) would answer: “As strong as the first day (you asked).” Then, he said: “By Allah, nothing will harm me in this life, when I know that you will be my wife in Paradise.” (Abu Nuaym in Hilyat al-Awliya, 2/44; quoted by Hafiz Ibn Hajar in Lisan al-Mizan, no. 760, Ash-Shawkani in Al-Fawaid, no.1180)

Keeping an Eye on the Real Prize

According to the scholars (Ulema), there was once a very beautiful woman married to a dark man, whose features made him look extremely strange and scary. They were both, however, very happy together, because both were very righteous individuals, who were devoted to Allah (swt). One day, the husband happened to smile in happiness, as he looked at his wife, and at this, she said: “We are the entrants of Paradise.” Her husband asked how she came to know this, and she continued: “When you look at me, you smile in gratitude, and when I look at you, I exercise patience. A Hadeeth says that both the grateful and the patient shall enter Paradise.” (“Islam and Marriage” by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad)

Consideration for the Other

Aisha (rtaf) relates: “By Allah, I saw the Prophet Muhammad (sa) standing at the door of my room when some Abyssinians were playing with spears in the mosque. The Messenger of Allah (sa) screened me with his cloak so that I could watch the spear-play over his shoulder. He stayed there for my sake until I had seen enough.” (Bukhari)

While on a journey, Prophet Musa’s (as) wife had to stop because of a headache. Musa (as) told her to rest while he fetched firewood to build a fire for warmth. Here we have an excellent example in which we see prophets engaged in providing ease and comfort to their wives. Hence, men should not shy away from any kind of work and responsibility but embrace the opportunity. (“Islam and Marriage” by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad)

Being Patient for the Sake of Love

The son of Abu Talhah (rtam) and Umm Sulaim (rtaf) had been ailing. Abu Talhah (rtam) set out on a journey, and his son breathed his last in his absence. Very worried that her husband would be extremely saddened at the news, Umm Sulaim (rtaf) she sat contemplating what she should do. She then bathed the child’s body and laid it in the cot with a blanket over it. She requested her family members to not inform Abu Talhah (rtam) about the child’s death immediately.

When Abu Talhah (rtam) came back, he asked (his wife): “What about my child?” Umm Sulaim (rtaf) said: “He is now in a more comfortable state than before.”

The husband hence thought the child was sleeping. The couple ate together, discussed his trip, and retired for the night.

The next morning, she said: “Abu Talhah, if some people borrow something from another family and then the members of the family ask for its return, would they resist its return? He said: “No.” She said: “I inform you about the death of your son.”

He was annoyed at that. Later, Abu Talhah (rtam) came to Allah’s Messenger (sa) and informed him about this. Whereupon, he asked: “Did you spend the night with her?” He answered: “Yes.” The Prophet (sa) then supplicated: O Allah, bless both of them.”

As a result of this blessing, Umm Sulaim (rtaf) gave birth to a child. The Prophet (sa) named him Abdullah. (Muslim)

The Fiqh of Love

fiqh of love

It is human nature to love. But what is true love? What does it imply? Is it just about boy-meets-girl and their fairytale happily-ever-after that the media, novels, movies, magazines, commercials, and billboards of today project? Is ‘that’ love or is love something far deeper, and more meaningful, noble, and pure?

Love – A Forbidden Word?

Views on love in the Muslim community range from the extremely liberal (‘love is good and everything prior to marriage is okay’) to the strictly conservative (‘love is a big no-no’). At times, it is even perceived to be a forbidden topic. The blame lies with us that such an innate emotion as love is so misunderstood by us. We need to learn how beautifully Islam has taught us all about love.

The Love We Know

The dictionary explains the word ‘love’ as follows: a strong positive regard or affection; a feeling of intense affection, without restrictions. However, our notions about love today are largely based on what is shown by the media: two individuals falling madly in love with each other. The world is perfect as long as they are together. They will never fight or have any differences. In the movie world, it is the society that is against them, and the couple will go to any length (really, ‘any’ length) to be with each other.

Fairytales, with which our minds are fed from a very tender age, cause even more harm. Prince Charming comes and takes the poor, oppressed protagonist far, far away. The way the female protagonists are always portrayed as flawlessly beautiful leads us to believe that love is all about appearance and outward appeal. We need to get real.


Love seems to be the only issue that matters these days. There is an over-emphasis on the portrayal of love as something associated with singing romantic songs, and depicting scenes of how true love conquers all. Is this kind of love “ultimately fulfilling” and the only thing to strive for?

Many of us know that real love does not work this way. Yet tantalizing images affect our hopes for romance, which may cause disappointment in the long run. Our thinking is shaped by what we are exposed to. As a result, our life begins to echo the stories we see on the screen.

Divine Perspective of Love

“Love is neither disapproved of by religion, nor prohibited by the law. For every heart is in Allah’s (swt) hands.” (Ibn Hazm)

“And among His signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” (Ar-Rum 30:21)

Over time, the word ‘love’ has gained a negative connotation. People relate it to many things that it should not be associated with. Hence, they feel shy or embarrassed when the topic comes up. The reality, however, is that the word ‘love’ is often used in the Quran and the Sunnah to describe love for our parents, for our brothers and sisters in Islam, and of course, for our spouses. Thus, love is not something to be ashamed of.

Regarding his wife Khadijah (rta), the Prophet (sa) once said: “Verily, I was filled with love for her.” (Muslim)

The love our Prophet (sa) had for his wives in general, and Khadijah (rtaf) and Aisha (rtaf) in particular, illustrates how love makes relationships beautiful. There is a lot to learn from the life of the Prophet (sa)!

Is Loving Someone a Sin?

Love brings stability and security when dealt with correctly. At the same time, we can never have full control over love, and it cannot remain hidden either. This poses the dilemma of how to address being in love.

Having the feeling of love in the heart is not a sin. Sinning occurs when a person decides to act upon that love in a Haram way, such as talking continually to the person he or she loves, dating, and engaging in fornication. Even staring at the other person can be Haram!

Love Someone? Get Married!

Marriage is the only happily-ever-after for two people in this Dunya and the next. The Prophet (sa) said: “There is nothing better for two who love one another than marriage.” (Ibn Majah)

What can be better for us than what the Prophet of Allah (sa) has liked for us? If you like someone, send the proposal for Nikah. Islam is modern enough to endorse a father asking a suitable man’s hand for his daughter. Umar (rtam) asked first Abu Bakr (rtam) and later Usman (rtam) to marry his daughter, Hafsa (rtaf). Islam even permits an older lady to send a proposal for a younger, pious man as in the case of Khadijah (rtaf) and Muhammad (sa). Don’t wait for your career to settle or for your degree to be in your pocket. There will always be a new achievement to attain. Why not do all that with a righteous spouse by your side?

Our Friends

“A man follows the religion of his friend, so each of you should consider whom he befriends.” (Abu Dawood)

Can there be a better example of how our friends influence us than this Hadeeth? Mutaqqi (Allah-fearing) friends can make our Jannah, while the damage an evil friend can inflict needs no elaboration. Our friends shape our thinking. So choose your friends wisely!

The Surroundings

We are a part of what we see. Psychological studies go at length to prove how explicitly our environment determines our behaviour. For example, a person, who is not used to the open mixing of opposite genders, will be taken aback at the way girls and guys often hang out together at educational institutions. Repeated exposure to such situations will make that person accustomed to it. Sadly, the movies we watch, the books we read, and the places we frequent are making us more and more accustomed to lewdness.

It All Starts with a Thought

Hence, what we have to control foremost is what we think about. Not paying attention to what crosses your mind is asking for trouble because every action begins with a wandering thought. The thought results in action if we do not stop it there and then. Repeated action becomes a habit, and a habit may become an addiction. Thus, we may end up facing many trials which could have been avoided with some self control.

To keep the matters of the heart in check, the following are essential:

  1. If you like someone, marry him or her. Don’t just let it hang there.
  2. If you cannot marry, fast.
  3. Cover the Awrah, as ordained by the Shariah.
  4. Do Dhikr, as it drives away all evil thoughts.
  5. Avoid free mixing of opposite genders and seclusion (Khalwah) with non-Mahrams.
  6. Guard your senses.
  7. Look for good companions.

May Allah (swt) guide us to the right path and make us among the Muttaqeen. Ameen.

A brief transcription of a workshop conducted by Sister Binte Mobin, organized by Youth Talk, Karachi. Transcribed by Maham Irfan.


Half my Deen – A Reality Check in Time!

happy-marriageIt was declared that Sofia and Saif’s wedding was heading to a divorce. They were not made for each other. Their thoughts did not match. They were complete opposites.

Haven’t we heard that opposites attract? Well, but here they repelled! There was not a moment where either of them did not argue. Be it money, clothes, food or their sleeping time, there were numerous petty reasons of their bickering when finally Sofia returned to her mother’s place declaring that she could not stand Saif anymore.

It was a grand fairy tale wedding that had taken place hardly six months ago. It had been the talk of the neighbourhood that the beautiful and elegant Sofia was marrying rich and handsome Saif.

Sofia returned to her parental home within six months of marriage. But things were not comfortable at home either. Her mom and dad did not welcome her as always. She was not looked at with pity or concern; she was being scorned and had ogling large eyes all over.

Saif too had returned to his parental home disheartened. He did not know what was wrong in their marriage. Every gadget was in Sofie’s (as he called her lovingly) hands, adorned with jewellery rubies, emeralds, a large apartment in a posh locality. But she had lame arguments and fought over everything. He allowed her to buy the best designer clothes, gave her money but nothing would make her happy

Saif’s parents were humble and he was guilty of leaving them to stay with his wife. His parents were shocked to know that Saif and his wife were applying for a divorce. His mother had told him that divorce is such a huge decision that it would shake the Arsh (heavens).

Sofie stayed quiet while they ate lunch, dinner and breakfast. Silence could be broken with just some nods and hums but she did not have the guts to speak out to her parents. Why? If she was right then what was that hesitation? Sofie felt guilt all over. She was sure that she was wrong, for if she had been right, her parents would have supported her. As she stood in the window and saw droplets of water rolling down the pane, she wiped her tears. At 4-four p.m. they had to appear at the court. For an umpteenth time her gaze went on the wall. It had been an hour since lunch but the minutes were getting heavier each moment. Would Saif come to pick up or would he send the driver? But why would he care now? She regretted her behaviour with him the last day they were together.

She gathered some tissues around her. Her heart was weeping. But why could not she gather herself? She had to go alone as her father did not even want to discuss that issue with her. However she was sure that her parents would get over it in a few days after the divorce. She always hated Saif’s choice, his food habits, his sleeping and everything. So why was she missing all the luxuries and comforts he had showered her with? She called her dad’s driver and he was ready to take her. But no sooner she stepped out of the house than her sandal slipped and she tripped down the stairs right to the bottom and her world went dark.

His mother had told him that divorce is such a huge decision that it would shake the Arsh (heavens).

When she woke up, she saw tensed faces around her. Saif and his parents were present there. But her parents were absent. Saif raised his hands and kept on Sofie’s forehead and wiped the sweat with a tissue. Then she noticed her bandaged leg and bruised hand. Her head was quite heavy. Her mother in law asked Sofie how she was feeling. Sofie was too embarrassed to reply, she just stuck a faint smile. She did not know what exactly had happened.

Saif’s parents left to get something for her to eat and allowed them to be alone which Sofie detested. And luckily the nurses came in and told Saif to let her sleep without disturbance.

Soon she drifted into a blissful sleep only to be awakened by the doctor who did her routine check up and advised rest for a few more days. Then she ordered the RMO (Resident Medical Officer) and nurse to leave the room as she wanted to have a few words with Sofia in isolation.

She asked Sofie with such pure intentions and concern that she did not see even in her own mother, “Beta, you look so pale. You are newly married. Did you try to commit suicide?” Sofie shook her head, she didn’t know whether to trust her or not. What if she was her husband’s agent? But whatever she said later was enough to change Sofia, her present and her future.

“You know these days where social media is becoming cheaper and there are so many extra marital affairs coming on scene… Getting a sincere, loving husband is rare! You are quite lucky, but what makes you sad? It is indeed the talk of the hospital. Both of you are young and beautiful. You are married to a rich, handsome husband who is so devoted to you. Take my advice; marriages do not remain in the honey moon phase forever. Marriage is a life time commitment. You have to live through thick and thin. Marriage is doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, serving, being a maid and working hard to get the crown of a Queen. It is not what you read in novels or watch in serials or movies.. Marriage is to get peace and tranquillity in our lives. It is not to measure differences but to raise the one who is weak.”

marriages do not remain in the honey moon phase forever. Marriage is a life time commitment. You have to live through thick and thin.

Whatever she spoke was the truth but I was adamant. “Are you related to Saif?” I asked.

“You are very naive!” she said. “Pay some heed to what I said and think over it!” she said without replying to my question.

As she went out of the room, the bitter truth she spoke dawned upon me. Her words were echoing in my mind that “marriage does not remain in the honeymoon phase forever. It is not what you read in novels and watch in movies and serials!” But that’s what every woman searches for! That’s why she was sad, that’s what she was missing in her life. She wanted her husband to take her to a hotel or a movie or to a mall or any other park for an outing every day. He wanted promotion, he wanted to save money and he wanted to invest! Obviously then how could their thinking match? The maturity was still lacking and she was behaving like a kid in some mere infatuation.

Sofie’s ego and pride would not allow her to apologize. She did not want to bend down on her knees. Soon she tossed and turned to get some more sleep. As she turned, she saw a letter.

It began with “Allah (swt) has created man and woman as company for one another and so that they can procreate and live in peace and tranquillity according to the commandments of Allah (swt) and the directions of His Messenger (sa). The Quran states:

“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” (Ar- Rum 30:21)

“And Allah has made for you wives of your own kind, and has made for you, from your wives, sons and grandsons, and has bestowed on you good provision. Do they then believe in false deities and deny the Favour of Allah (by not worshipping Allah Alone).”(An-Nahl 16:72)

The word Zawaj is used in the Quran to signify a pair or a mate. But in common parlance it stands for marriage. Since a family is the nucleus of an Islamic society and marriage is the only way to bring families into existence, therefore the Prophet (sa) insisted his followers upon entering into marriage The Shariah prescribes rules to regulate the functioning of the family so that both spouses can live together in love, security and tranquillity. Marriage in Islam has two major aspects:

1. Ibadah (worship) of Allah (swt)

2. The transactions between human beings

With respect to Ibadah, marriage is an act pleasing to Allah (swt) because it is in accordance with His commandments that husband and wife love each other and help each other make efforts to continue the human race, rear and nurse their children in such a fashion that they become true servants of Allah (swt).

These aspects are beautifully explained in the traditions of our Prophet (sa). It is narrated by Anas that the Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his religion, so let him fear Allah (swt) regarding the remaining half.”

The Prophet (sa) considered marriage for a Muslim as half of his religion because it shields him from promiscuity, adultery, fornication, homosexuality etc. which ultimately lead to many other evils like slander, quarrelling, homicide, loss of property and disintegration of the family. According to the Prophet (sa) the remaining half of the faith can be saved by Taqwa.

Since a family is the nucleus of an Islamic society and marriage is the only way to bring families into existence, therefore the Prophet (sa) insisted his followers upon entering into marriage

I never understood the true essence of marriage along with its prescribed injunctions. I am very sorry I failed, but wish you could just give me another chance.” Yours only, Saif.

Sofie who did not want to apologize replied, “I myself never knew what marriage is and in my ignorance almost ended our marriage. I hope we can live more considerately and happily today, tomorrow and always- Insha’Allah!” Yours only, Sofie.