"And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts). Verily in that are Signs for those who reflect" (Quran 30: 21).
Following are some rules that may benefit those seeking an Islamic marriage, as well as, those who are already married.
1. Be conscious of your physical appearance. No one was more conscious of this than the Prophet. His Sunnah reflects keen attention to personal hygiene and good grooming. He kept himself strong and muscular. Most likely the first aspect of you that attracted your spouse was your appearance, so don't think that simply because you are married the task is over. You can't hide a weight problem under Thawbs' (dress) and long Khimars' (veils). Your spouse knows. Be aware that you live in a society that places a high premium on physical appearance. It flaunts the shapely female and her muscular counterpart. Temptations that beckon non-Muslims beckon Muslims as well. Don 't allow your spouse to get side-tracked by the likes of a Raquel Welch or an Arnold Schwarzenegger. Jog, join a gym, roller skate, swim and stay in shape. Insha' Allah, you will be more vibrant, more radiant, and more attractive to your spouse.
2. Be a companion to your spouse. Try to show enthusiasm for your spouse's interests and hobbies. It is well-known that the Prophet would run races with 'Aisha. By all means try to involve your spouse in your interests.
3. Be active in Islamic community life. This will strengthen your commitment to Islam while providing you wish a wholesome social outlet. Encourage your spouse to engage in activities that promote Islam. Have dinners at your home for Muslims as well as non-Muslims, and don't neglect your relatives. These activities will indirectly enhance the quality of your marriage through widening your circle of activity and contacts.
4. Admit your mistakes and have a forgiving, generous attitude when your spouse errs. This country is a difficult place to live in. Most Muslims fall short of the Islamic ideal. Contradictions abound. Be quick to admit your shortcomings and work to amend them. Be understanding when your spouse does not live up to the Islamic ideal and gently try to motivate him or her in the right direction.
5. Have a sense of humor. Be able to chuckle at life's minor aggravations.
6. Be modest when around members of the opposite sex. Do not try to test your spouse's affection by feigning interest in another. This will only cause dissension and bad feelings.
7. Share household duties. Brothers, take note. This is especially important these days when women work outside the home. The Prophet always helped his wives around the house and even mended his own clothes. Who knows? You might find you actually like preparing the evening meal or taking care of junior so your wife can have the afternoon off. The Messenger of Allah said, "The most perfect of the believers in faith is the best of them in moral excellence, and the best of you are the kindest of you to their wives" (at-Tirmidhi).
8. Surprise each other with gifts. Treat her to an evening out alone, away from the children. There are no words to describe the lift this can give to a marriage.
9. Communicate your feelings to one another, good and bad. Tell him how handsome he looks. Where there is disagreement, have an open discussion. Don ' t collect red stamps. Nip it in the bud .
10. Live within your means. Stay away from credit cards if you can. Sisters, take note. Don't envy the possessions of your friends, and belittle your husband because he can't provide them for you. Muslim couples will do well to stay away from ostentatious living. The Prophet did not live this way, neither should you.
11. Respect your spouse's need for privacy. A quiet time to oneself, either at home or away from home, each day can make a disagreeable person agreeable.
12. Don 't share personal problems with others. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but if you must discuss personal problems, make sure it is with a person in whom you have the utmost confidence. If you have a learned Muslim brother or sister in your community, seek him or her out first.
13. Be sensitive to your spouse's moods. If you want to share a personal achievement, don't do it when your spouse is 'down in the dumps ' . Wait for the proper time.
You may be saying to yourself, "This is easier said than done." Well, you're right. A successful marriage doesn't just happen. It's not simply a matter of luck or finding the right person. It takes hard work and determination. It means being selfless and making mistakes. It means having vengeance on your mind but forgiveness in your heart. But, then, its perfection is "half of faith".
Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead righteous. Qur'an 25:74
The whole world is an asset and the best asset is a good spouse.
Adapted from the original article "Tips for a Happier Muslim Marriage" by Muntaqima Abdur-Rashid published in Islam for Today