Â Yup, that’s right – this article is about the two most popular subjects on everyone’s minds right now… Ramadhaan AND marriage! Is that a gasp of shock I hear? Eyes widened with surprise? An uncomfortable silence (or perhaps more vocal outrage) because you think that the already sensitive and ever-so-slightly taboo issue of marriage has nothing to do with something as sacred and holy as Ramadhaan? Ah, but that’s where you’re wrong!
Indeed, Ramadhaan is a time of increased spirituality and ‘ebaadah for us all. A time when our hearts seek the serenity and tranquility of true taqwah, when our tongues are moist with the remembrance of Allah, and our limbs are constant in obedience to Allah. However, much as we all wish that we could live in a beautiful bubble and shut off theÂ whole world for the rest of the month – life doesn’t work that way. Bills need to be paid, food needs to be put on the table, children must be raised, and yes, spouses still have rights over each other that need to be fulfilled.
Married couples all face their own challenges during Ramadhaan. For newlyweds especially, concerns regarding physical intimacy raise many questions about what is and what is not permissable for them to engage in during the days and nights of Ramadhaan. Others wonder how to keep the spark alive during the month, when everyone’s schedules are in overload. In a time when we’re all concerned about how to devote ourselves religiously and spiritually, weÂ sometimes neglect the societal relationships in our lives, especially when it comes to our marriages. What we might not realize is that while we should indeed strive to perform extra acts of ‘ebaadah, we can’t forget that we have other obligations that are also rewarded by Allah: our duties towards our family. In fact, during Ramadhaan we should not only uphold those rights, but actively work towards improving them.
So, how do we find a balance between maintaining our personal relationships while focusing on strengthening our spiritual bond with Allah? Contrary to what many may think, the two are not exclusive of each other. In reality,Â you canÂ doÂ both at the same time! Remember that obedience to Allah is not only in actions such as salaah, thikr,Â giving in sadaqah, etc. but also in looking after your family. TheÂ Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said that the most excellent dinar is the one spent by a man on maintaining his family (Saheeh al-Bukhari). Thus we can see that what we may consider as every day actions are also, with the right intention, acts of ‘ebaadah for which we are rewarded even in – especially in – Ramadhaan.
That said, here are some excellent tips and words of advice from our very own Sheikh Yaser Birjas, on how to make this the most romantic Ramadhaan ever.
- Set aside time to perform acts of worship with your spouse. Whether it’s praying Tahajjud together, listening to each other read Qur’an, or studying from a book of tafseer, it’s something that will bring you closer to each other, and to your Lord. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)Â commandedÂ the Sahaabah to go back to their families and teach them what they learned. Husbands should not expect five-course meals for iftaar and suhoor. Wives should please their husbands by making a dish that they know he loves, or is a traditional Ramadhaan favourite. Give each other the time and space to have some alone time for ‘ebaadah. Have patience with each other and be good towards each other.
- Fulfill each other’s conjugal rights. “Permitted to you, on the night of the fasts, is the approach to your wives. They are your garments and ye are their garments.” (Surah al-Baqarah, vs. 187) Allah has made it permissable for you in the night, just not the daytime. Ramadhaan doesn’t mean that you have to be suddenly celibate for the whole month. Make sure youÂ check up onÂ the fiqh of intimacy during fasting! (E.g. Permissable to show affection, but don’t get carried away.)
- Talk to each other. It’s easy to get so caught up with daily life in addition to extra Ramadhaan activities, that you end up losing touch with each other. Take the time to ask each other about your day, share inspiring moments, or even ask for advice on how to better yourself. Show that you still care.
- Help each other out. If your wife really wants to go Taraweeh but she’s worried about the kids, arrange something whereby the kids are taken care of (grandparents, perhaps, or another friend or relative) and take her to the Masjid with you.
- Maintain the ties of kinship. Parents and in-laws, as well as other relatives, love to invite you over for iftaar. Take them up on it sometimes, and reciprocate. It doesn’t mean that you have to go out to someone’s house or invite someone over all the time, but it’s nice to do so on the weekends. Newlyweds are happy when they see that their parents and spouses are sharing such a blessed time together; those with children can create beautiful Ramadhaan memories for their family. All in all, it’s an excellent way of maintaining the ties of kinship and evenÂ strengthening the love between spouses.
Insha’Allah it’s now clear to us all thatÂ just because it’s Ramadhaan, it doesn’t mean that we have to shut ourselves off to our spouses.Â Rather,Â we can make Ramadhaan be a timeÂ of closeness and increased love, which simply makes the month even more blessed and beautiful!
May Allah make it easy for us to grow closer to Him and our loved ones, ameen.
Note: This post was based on the latest webcast by Sheikh Yaser Birjas, as part of The Marriage Revolution. The lecture was titled “How to Have an Outstanding Marriage This Ramadhaan” and dealt with fiqh of marital intimacy during Ramadhaan, how to grow closer to your spouse, and how to improve your marriage during Ramadhaan.