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DONE! 60+ Ways to Keep Your Spouse’s Love.

Amad Abu Reem

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please-spouse.jpg(Updated 4/2/07) Ok, time for a not-so-intellectual, yet extremely important topic. Probably more applicable in our daily lives than most other issues we blog about. So, I modified the title to the post on my previous blog to make it gender-neutral. For a good reason, as you’ll see.

In today’s life of hustle and bustle, the family unit is becoming fragile by the day. Divorces are on the rise (see this entry on Tariq’s blog), and Muslims can no longer claim, as justifiably as before, that divorce is rare among Muslims or even much less than incidents of divorce among non-Muslims. Below, I’ll list the nearly 90 ways that a speaker discussed (you can see video here) and readers added that talk about ways to keep your “Wife’s Love”. Since we have already addressed the husband’s tricks to keep his wife’s love alive for him, a couple of commentators suggested that I do the same for the reverse.

So, the challenge is on, can we come up with even 60 ways for the wife to keep her husband’s love? Challenge has been MET! With the help of the Blogosphere’s smartest readers, we have collectively gathered 60 ways to keep the Husband’s love, and many more for keeping the Wife’s. The question now is how many will we actually implement? And how do we implement? Would flash cards work? Would one thing a day work? Maybe write up one way on the refrigerator sticky? Do we need to start another list, maybe I-Muslim’s 60 ways to keep the mother-in-law happy :) ? I think we may need more than that…

UPDATED 4.2.07

Readers: Ways to Keep Your Husband’s Love- Inshallah

  1. Behave like a female, i.e. all the tenderness of a female… a man doesn’t want a man for his wife (well, let’s say normal a man!).
  2. Dress pleasantly/attractively. If you are a home-maker, don’t stay in your sleeping suit all day.
  3. Smell good (does that need further explanations).
  4. Don’t lay out all your problems on your husband as soon as he walks in. Give him a little mental break.
  5. Don’t keep asking him, “what are you thinking?”… because unlike women, men’s thoughts are as random as the results of a google search. Women on the other hand have thoughts as organized as a labeled file-cabinet!
  6. Stop nagging non-stop before Allah ta’ala gives you something really to complaint about.
  7. Absolutely no talking about your spousal problems to anyone you meet under the pretense of seeking help, even if you are the victim. Sister Hannah Gamal gives this advice, if you think you want to solve legitimate marital issues then go seek counseling with the right person who can give advice in either
    1. Mediate any injustice done so any wrong can be corrected and a couple can reunite in harmony, or
    2. Amicable divorce
  8. Be kind to your mother-in-law the same way you would like your husband to be kind to your own mother.
  9. Learn all the rights and obligations of each other in Islam.
  10. Race to the door when he comes home, as if you were waiting for him. Smile and hug.
  11. Keep your house clean, at least to the level that he wants it.
  12. Compliment him on the things you know he’s not so confident about (looks, intelligence) etc. This will build his self-esteem.
  13. Tell him he’s the best husband ever.
  14. Call his family often.
  15. Give him a simple task to do at home and then thank him when he does it. This will encourage him to do more.
  16. When he’s talking about something boring, listen and nod your head. Even ask questions to make it seem like you’re interested.
  17. Encourage him to do good deeds.
  18. If he’s in a bad mood, give him some space. He’ll get over it, inshaAllah.
  19. Thank him sincerely for providing you with food and shelter. It’s a big deal.
  20. If he’s angry with you and starts yelling, let him yell it out while you’re quiet. You will see your fight will end a lot faster. Then when he’s calm, you can tell him your side of the story and how you want him to change something.
  21. When you’re mad at him, don’t say “YOU make me furious”, rather, “This action makes me upset”. Direct your anger to the action and circumstance rather than at him.
  22. Remember that your husband has feelings, so take them into consideration.
  23. Let him chill with his friends without guilt, especially if they’re good guys. Encourage him to go out, so he doesn’t feel “cooped up” at home.
  24. If your husband is annoyed over a little thing you do (and you can control it), then stop doing it. Really.
  25. Learn how to tell him what you expect without him having to guess all the time. Learn to communicate your feelings.
  26. Don’t get mad over small things. It’s not worth it.
  27. Make jokes. If you’re not naturally funny, go on the internet and read some jokes, and then tell them to him.
  28. Tell him you’re the best wife ever and compliment yourself on certain things you know you’re good at.
  29. Learn to make his favorite dish.
  30. Don’t ever, EVER talk bad about him with friends or family unnecessarily. If they end up agreeing with you, you will see that it hits you back in the face b/c you get more depressed that you have a bad husband and other people also think you have a bad husband.
  31. Use your time wisely and get things accomplished. If you’re a housewife, take online classes and get active in your community. This will make you happy and a secondary bonus is that it impresses your husband.
  32. Do all of the above fee sabeelillah and you will see Allah put barakah in everything you do.
  33. Husband and wife should discuss and communicate with wisdom with each other to convey what they like and dislike of each other to do or not to do. NOT give command or instruction like servant. “They are garment to each other”
  34. Tell your husband you love him many many times. A’ishah narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to ask her how strong her love for him, she said like “a knot” and the next time round he would ask her, “How is that knot?” He also used to reply to her saying, “Jazzakillah, O Aishah, wallahi, you have not rejoiced in me as I have rejoiced in you.” (anyone knows the source?)
  35. Have a race with your husband and let him win, even if you are much fitter and stronger than him. Ha ha ha (I think brother Shehab mentioned this too)
  36. Keep fit and take care of your health so you will remain a strong mother, wife, cook and housekeeper, insha’Allah you will not get FAT and frumpy.
  37. Refine and cultivate good mannerisms i.e do not whine, don’t laugh or talk too loud or walk like an elephant.
  38. Do not leave the house without his permission and certainly not without his knowledge.
  39. Make sure all his clothes are clean and pressed so he is always looking fresh and crisps.
  40. Ask Allah to strengthen and preserve the bonds of compassion and love between the two of you, every day, every prayer. Ask him to protect that bond from Shaytaan. When a lesser devil destroys the love between spouses, he is the most beloved of Shaytaan. Nothing works like du’ah, and love only exists between spouses where Allah instills it.
  41. They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I have a feeling this is true.
  42. Always let him know that you appreciate him working and bringin home the dough. It makes it easier for him to go to work.
  43. Make sure you ALWAYS have something for dinner.
  44. Brush your hair… everyday.
  45. Don’t forget to do laundry.
  46. Surprise him with gifts. Even necessities can be gifts.. ex: new shoes.(I do this at least once a week, and he loooves it).
  47. Listen to him. (Even when he talks about extreeemely geeky things like Access Queries, Tables and other boring accounting things.)
  48. Try (hard as it might be) to take interest in his hobbies. (I bowl once a week now….even got pink bowling shoes and a shorter abaya) – Try (very very HARD) not to go shopping too much…and spend all his money
  49. Look attractive and its ok/good to be seductive towards him.
  50. Learn tricks and “techniques” to please your husband in intimacy. Of course goes both ways.
  51. Prepare for special evenings with him with special dinner and exclusive time (no children permitted :) ).
  52. Take care of your skin, esp. facial. Face is center of attraction.
  53. If you not satisfied intimatly, talk to him and tell him. Help him or provide resources, don’t wait till matters become worse.
  54. Don’t discuss important/controversial matters with him when he is tired or sleepy. Find right time for right discussion.
  55. Learn to compromise
  56. Continue to do things for your husband and don’t take him for granted
  57. Respect his rights
  58. Whatever you do for him, intend it for the sake of Allah
  59. Make chai for him or whatever hot drink he likes… it will sooth his ‘rough edges’
  60. Take a day to listen to him only, even if he says only a bit. Don’t interject and don’t talk about your issues.

———–
Here’s the other list… we couldn’t quite get to 100! But you are welcome to help add to this as well, I’ll keep editing the post if you have points to add to this side of the issue.

Ahmad Shehab – 60 Ways to Keep Your Wife’s Love – Guaranteed (thanks to Muslim Apple for transcribing)
1. Make her feel secure and sakinah – don’t threaten her with divorce
2. Give sincere salaams
3. Treat her gently – like a fragile vessel
4. Advise in private, at the best time, in the best way and atmosphere
5. Be generous with her
6. Warm the seat for her, you will warm her heart
7. Avoid anger, keep wudu at all times
8. Look good and smell great for your wife
9. Don’t be rigid or harsh-hearted or you will be broken
10. Be a good listener
11. Yes for flattery, No for arguing
12. Call your wife with the best names, cute nicknames, names she loves to hear
13. A pleasant surprise
14. Preserve and guard the tongue
15. Expect, accept, and overlook her shortcomings
16. Give sincere compliments
17. Encourage her to keep good relations with her family
18. Speak of the topic of her interest
19. Express to her relatives, how wonderful she is
20. Give each other gifts
21. Get rid of routine, surprise her
22. Have a good opinion of each other
23. Have good manners, overlook small things, don’t nitpick
24. Add a drop of patience, increase during pregnancy, menses
25. Expect and respect her jealously
26. Be humble
27. Sacrifice your happiness for hers
28. Help at home, with housework
29. Help her love your relatives, but don’t try to force her
30. Let her know that she is the ideal wife for you
31. Remember your wife in dua
32. Leave the past for Allah subhanahu wa ta ala, don’t dwell on, dig into, or bring it up.
33. Don’t act as if you are doing her a favor by working or providing, Allah is the Provider, the husband is the carrier of the sustenance to the family
34. Take shaytaan as your enemy, not your wife
35. Put food in your wife’s mouth
36. Treat your wife like she is the most precious pearl that you want to protect
37. Show her your smile
38. Don’t ignore the small things, deal with them before they become big
39. Avoid being harsh-hearted
40. Respect and show that you appreciate her thinking
41. Help her to find and build her inner strengths and skills
42. Respect that she might not be in mood for intimacy, stay within halal boundaries
43. Help her take care of the children
44. Give her gifts with your tongue, be an artist with your compliments
45. Sit down and eat meals together
46. Let her know that you will be traveling or returning from travel, give her sufficient notice
47. Don’t leave home in anger
48. Maintain the secrecy and privacy of the home
49. Encourage each other in ibaadat
50. Respect and Fulfill her rights upon you
51. Live with her in kindness, goodness, fairness in good and bad times
52. Kiss your wife, foreplay, “Don’t jump on her like a bull”
53. Keep disputes between the two of you, don’t take it outside
54. Show care for her health and well-being
55. Remember you are not always right or perfect yourself
56. Share your happiness and sadness with her
57. Have mercy for her weaknesses
58. Be a firm support for her to lean on
59. Accept her as is, she is a package deal
60. Have a good intention for her

Readers added (special mention Khawla Hurayrah):

61. During Ramadhan, 6 days of Shawwal, Mondays & Thursdays etc. wake up well before fajr and prepare a special wholesome suhoor for her
62. Feed her the suhoor you made for her :)
63. Designate a nice, clean, spacious area in your home for the 2 of you to pray at night whenever you can. Keep it smelling nice and fresh with incense etc.
64. Women love flowers. Make her something special, a decorative jewelry case or even a poem. Then get a bunch of rose petals and make a trail of them on the floor – leading to the gift you made for her.
65. Make a short song about how she looks as radiant as the moon and mention what a beautiful and special creature she is. Sing it to her acapella. The more horrible your voice is, the better :)
66. Teach the wife the famous long hadith of A’ishah RH about Umm Zarr.
67. Give her a nice massage when she least expects it.
68. Send your wife a text message out of the blue with a message of love
69. Send your wife an email without a reason
70. Go out on a date (yes dates WITH YOUR WIFE are HALAL after marriage!) monthly or set up some schedule and follow it religiously, WITHOUT the kids.
71. Plan a get-away for a weekend in a nice location, preferably without kids (may be stuck with infants).
72. Do something for your wife’s family, whether it is a gift, or a chat with her teen brother who needs mentoring, or whatever. It will get you LOTS of brownie points.
73. If the husband needs to give her advice of something delicate, tell her with wisdom, good timing and when she is in good health without the woes of menses.
74. Do not keep reminding and demanding your rights all the time. Ibn Abbas reported to having said: “I fear Allah from demanding my rights from my wife for I worry that I will not be able to fulfill mine of hers”
75. Open the door for her and help carry her humongous ‘Coach’ or Target bags.
76. Shop groceries for her and call her from the store and ask her what she needs for the home, for herself or for her to give to people as gifts.
77. Ask her if she would like to invite her sister-friends over for ladies get together dinner and cook for them too!!!
78. Continue with her practice of giving gifts to her parents and siblings. Ask her what she thinks they might be in need of. Only if one can afford it.
79. Help her parents pay off debt or if they are ill. Send her poor relatives some money every year in Ramadhan and also for them to sacrifice for Udhiah during Eid ul Adha. Or even offer to send them to make Hajj if one can afford it.
80. Write love notes or poems and place them in the book she’s been reading for her to find. Also place them in her jacket pocket or drawer.
81. If the wife tell the husband something that she had just learned from the Qur’an or hadith book, do not dismiss her or ridicule her effort, instead listen to her and take her word.
82. Hey, why not take her for Hajj or Umrah if this have not been performed yet, better than Coach bags.
83. Plant her, a rose garden!!! Or better plant her, a kitchen garden with all kind of herbs she needs for cooking.
84. Adopt a kitten for her if she likes animal (only if one knows how to care for cats)
85. Get her a new car to replace her old problematic banger; or take her car for maintenance and wash it too.
86. Upgrade her pc or lap-top to a new version with bigger memory; or upgrade her cell phone to the one with itunes and download her favorite Surah recitors.
87. Learn to do special massage technique and surprise her with your new expertise. (This one was mentioned during the TDC lecture for sisters only program)
88. Teach your children some relevant Islamic etiquettes pertaining to respecting and honoring their mother.
89. Be humorous with her when she made a mistake in the kitchen, like putting too much salt or burnt her baking. And never ever threaten her that you’ll take a second wife.

Imad Shaykh is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Imad is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").

56 Comments

56 Comments

  1. Amad

    Amad

    March 13, 2007 at 8:34 AM

    No suggestions?? It could be only one of two things: (a) Husbands are already ‘hooked’ firmly so wives don’t want to indulge in any more things to keep up with or (b) Husbands are pleased enough with everything their wives do. Well, EVEN if that is true, which I doubt strongly, why not share some of your secrets? It’s okay to be controversial. And you may actually earn some brownie points with your wife. Sisters: you are more than welcome to contribute, telling us what you think husbands want.

    Just like the previous list, many of these are generalizations, and may not apply to everyone. So, we don’t want to be accused of stereotyping! So, I’ll start the List:

    X Ways to Keep Your Husband’s Love:

    1. Behave like a female, i.e. all the tenderness of a female… a man doesn’t want a man for his wife (well, let’s say normal a man!).
    2. Dress pleasantly/attractively. If you are a home-maker, don’t stay in your sleeping suit all day.
    3. Smell good (does that need further explanations).
    4. Don’t lay out all your problems on your husband as soon as he walks in. Give him a little mental break.
    5. Don’t keep asking him, “what are you thinking?”… because unlike women, men’s thoughts are as random as the results of a google search. Women on the other hand have thoughts as organized as a labeled file-cabinet!

    OK, YOUR TURN…

  2. Avatar

    Um Abdullah

    March 13, 2007 at 12:28 PM

    Hmmm, I have to think of more suggestions, yours are pretty thorough but I really want to hear what the brothers add to your new list. I already learned something, because I always do #5, it must drive my husband nuts.

  3. Avatar

    khawla hurayrah

    March 13, 2007 at 1:52 PM

    Assalamu’alaikum
    I just know it that you are going to do the same for the husbands post. Alhamdulillah and Allah knows best. The strength of the Ummah starts from a strong family bond of simply a husband and a wife. “How to raise pious children?” Sheikh Muhammad Al Sharrif asked in one of his lecture series. He said: the parents have to be righteous to start with. He mentioned that selection of suitable spouses has to start right from the beginning. Good children normally have blessed parents. I can only agree with him.

    This may not be as intellectual as one might think but like br Amad said it is very important. Br Amad, Jazzakumullahu khairan for mentioning me and other readers’ points too. I am saying, Muslims have to be smart enough, we are asked to seek knowledge and we know that marriage is half of Deen. If we don’t know the Deen then we might just end up little than half of it or even less than a quarter? No, we don’t want that. Therefore each and every one of us has to work on doing good deeds only to please your Creator.

    Just a few points on how to make your husband a happy cookie:

    * Well, Umm Reem started this post here and it speaks volume. To all wives: you don’t really know all the wisdom behind this hadith but just remember the saying “for every successful man, there is a good woman “next” to him. The world is yours if you know what Allah has in store for you. Ha ha ha.

    * Stop nagging non-stop before Allah ta’ala gives you something really to complaint about.

    * Absolutely no talking about your spousal problems to anyone you meet under the pretense of seeking help, even if you are the victim. Sister Hannah Gamal gives this advice, if you think you want to solve legitimate marital issues then go seek counseling with the right person who can give advice in either:
    1) Mediate any injustice done so any wrong can be corrected and a couple can reunite in harmony, or
    2) Amicable divorce
    Anything other, like simply talking to anyone in the street to get things off the chest is prohibited in Islam because it is backbiting if is true and slander if it is not true. Sisters, please, please, I am tired of listening to your pregnancy frets and tales of your kids antics at sisters’ halaqas….like so and so never help me with housework. No Shakwa, stop it.

    * Be kind to your mother-in-law the same way you would like your husband to be kind to your own mother.

    * Learn all the rights and obligations of each other in Islam.

    Ok, I will save some other points to some other smart brother out there.
    Sincerely, Khawla

  4. Avatar

    Hassan

    March 13, 2007 at 4:27 PM

    Well when my wife asks what am I thinking, depending on mood I either make up a good thought for her and say it (like I was thinking how wonderful of a wife u r, etc), or I tell her geeky computer issues, and she gets the message not to ask the question again (for a while).

  5. Amad

    Amad

    March 13, 2007 at 5:15 PM

    Hassan, I can believe the second one, but don’t expect me to believe that you make up the “how wonderful you are” story and your wife runs with it… I mean either you are just making this up or your wife is too nice and just lets you get away with it :) So, are you going to help us with this list???

    Khawla, great job…jak

  6. Avatar

    Hassan

    March 13, 2007 at 6:04 PM

    I think she let me go away with it…

  7. Avatar

    habiba khan

    March 13, 2007 at 7:54 PM

    I love this!!

  8. Amad

    Amad

    March 13, 2007 at 9:31 PM

    Sr. Habiba, we love this too… esp. all the men :) Pls do contribute your two cents if you wish.

    And of course, welcome to our world.

  9. Avatar

    void

    March 14, 2007 at 12:54 AM

    im not surprised by the lack of points on this post.
    Its always easier to demand rights from others than to give them theirs.
    90% of women and men dont want spouses, they just want a servant for themselves.

    its interesting to note that, the original 60 points for husbands to keep their wives happy was written by a brother. The sisters then added to it what they would like to see in their servants.. ahem.. my bad… their husbands :)

    one poster mentioned hannah gamal and she also talks about an amicable divorce and settling a strive.

    the topic is about how wives can keep their husbands happy, and still the sisters are waiting for the brothers to add points (a poster did mention that)

    okay some stats on contributions on how to please wives
    total points: 89
    bros: 66
    sis : 23
    (i dont know the timespan of the responses as the comments dont show dates, so maybe its too early to comment ont this one).
    All the 89 points require actions on the part of husbands only.

    18 of the 23 were added by only one sister who have added just 4 on this post, and has graciaously given a chance to the “smart brothers” to reply.

    i cracked up on point 74 “Do not keep reminding and demanding your rights all the time” and this is a reminder from a wife demanding from her husband. Thats really ironic :)

    i dont see this list going beyond 20-30 as most of the visitors on this site are sisters.

    it would be interesting to know that what points in the original 89 the brothers follow or are planning to follow.
    And which points (the ones that would be added on this post (hopefully) ) the sisters follow or are planning to. No specifics just a figure. e.g of 89 i follow about 50 and planning to try 20 more.

    this should be interesting.

  10. Avatar

    Nazia

    March 14, 2007 at 2:58 AM

    Assalaamu’alaikum Wa rahmatullah,

    1. Race to the door when he comes home, as if you were waiting for him. Smile and hug.

    2. Keep your house clean, at least to the level that he wants it.

    3. Compliment him on the things you know he’s not so confident about (looks, intelligence) etc. This will build his self-esteem.

    4. Tell him he’s the best husband ever.

    5. Call his family often.

    6. Give him a simple task to do at home and then thank him when he does it. This will encourage him to do more.

    7. When he’s talking about something boring, listen and nod your head. Even ask questions to make it seem like you’re interested.

    8. Encourage him to do good deeds.

    9. If he’s in a bad mood, give him some space. He’ll get over it, inshaAllah.

    10. Thank him sincerely for providing you with food and shelter. It’s a big deal.

    11. If he’s angry with you and starts yelling, let him yell it out while you’re quiet. You will see your fight will end a lot faster. Then when he’s calm, you can tell him your side of the story and how you want him to change something.

    12. When you’re mad at him, don’t say “YOU make me furious”, rather, “This action makes me upset”. Direct your anger to the action and circumstance rather than at him.

    13. Remember that your husband has feelings, so take them into consideration.

    14. Let him chill with his friends without guilt, especially if they’re good guys. Encourage him to go out, so he doesn’t feel “cooped up” at home.

    15. If your husband is annoyed over a little thing you do (and you can control it), then stop doing it. Really.

    16. Learn how to tell him what you expect without him having to guess all the time. Learn to communicate your feelings.

    17. Don’t get mad over small things. It’s not worth it.

    18. Make jokes. If you’re not naturally funny, go on the internet and read some jokes, and then tell them to him.

    19. Tell him you’re the best wife ever and compliment yourself on certain things you know you’re good at.

    20. Learn to make his favorite dish.

    21. Don’t ever, EVER talk bad about him with friends or family unnecessarily. If they end up agreeing with you, you will see that it hits you back in the face b/c you get more depressed that you have a bad husband and other people also think you have a bad husband.

    22. Use your time wisely and get things accomplished. If you’re a housewife, take online classes and get active in your community. This will make you happy and a secondary bonus is that it impresses your husband.

    23. Do all of the above fee sabeelillah and you will see Allah put barakah in everything you do.

    Wasalaamu’alaikum Wa rahmatullah

  11. Avatar

    void

    March 14, 2007 at 6:25 AM

    oh my…. i just couldnt help myself cracking up. im at work and got a bit of looks as well.

    3. Compliment him on the things you know he’s not so confident about (looks, intelligence) etc. This will build his self-esteem.

    – heres a coversation
    “honey i know you are as ugly as an orangutan, and so dumb that u cant tell a toaster from a washing machine, but to me u r brad
    pitt with an IQ of 410”
    sisters PLEASE dont tell ur husbands that they r ugly and dumb, dont try to sugar coat it, most men know this already and know
    how to cope with it. u r just gonna make it worse. remember sisters u r not the mothers of ur husbands.

    4. Tell him he’s the best husband ever.

    – so how many husbands have u had?… sisters PLEASE dont use this one. seriously

    6. Give him a simple task to do at home and then thank him when he does it. This will encourage him to do more.

    -so the main purpose is still to make him work more. i cant beleive that the intentions is still to get the max out of that slob.

    11. If he’s angry with you and starts yelling, let him yell it out while you’re quiet. You will see your fight will end a lot faster. Then
    when he’s calm, you can tell him your side of the story and how you want him to change something.

    – so the basic assupmtion is that he is wrong and how YOU WANT HIM to change. its still an action that is required on the part of
    the husband not urs. way to go..

    12. When you’re mad at him, don’t say “YOU make me furious”, rather, “This action makes me upset”. Direct your anger to the
    action and circumstance rather than at him.

    – This is what i call “pulling a dr.phill”. so some tv expert tells u to “place the blame on the actions not people. it will make the
    accused more at ease and rather than focussing on the character it focuses on the actions which can be corrected. By doing this
    you are not accusing his inner self but his outwardly actions. Men like that, beacuse men are more ficussed on “doing
    things”…….” and so on so forth…
    Now when sis try this, the hubby reacts in a tangent.
    because trust me “you” or “this actions” doesnt make any difference .. it always transacribes as “YOU MESSED UP”… and when hubby gets upset the sis thinks thats what not page 76 of “family first” said.. he was supposed to say “Yes i realize my fault, and i will do whatever you say, so what do you want me to do (and shed a tear or two as well)”.
    Something wrong with this picture… sure is.. because Dr. phill also told you how ur hubby is “supposed to react” and when things
    dont go accroding to page 76 and the quiz of appendix C, sis thinks “my hubby sucks …. there is something terribly wrong with
    this brother.. o Allah why me????”

    16. Learn how to tell him what you expect without him having to guess all the time. Learn to communicate your feelings.

    – yeha make sure that you TELL HIM what YOU EXPECT from HIM.
    i dont know why it just reminded me of point 74 again.

    18. Make jokes. If you’re not naturally funny, go on the internet and read some jokes, and then tell them to him.

    – please dont give me lines from the internet, a man immediately knows when some one not natural tries tobe one. Its a talent
    every man has to tell the fakes from naturals. Its a major fake and a turn off. especially for women. u just laugh at his jokes and
    u’ll be the funniest woman ever. Dont try tobe something u r not, honestly.

    hubby conversing with mates
    “so she again try to tell me that “volks wagen engine at the back joke”… she thought changing the make of the car makes it a whole new joke..”
    mates
    “oh no man.. not again…. let me cheer u up”
    mates tell hubby a brand new shining joke
    hubby tears up while laughing and thinks
    “why cant she tell ajoke like that??? o Alah why me????”

    19. Tell him you’re the best wife ever and compliment yourself on certain things you know you’re good at.

    – oh i think this is the funniest….
    here’s a convo between 2 sisters
    “yeh u tell him gurl.. that how lucky this good for nothing slagger is… if it werent for u, he would still be lurking around that msa
    conference and the stalls, scratching that filthy beard of his. he should be thankful to u that he’s atleast got a wife now. and u
    tell him gurl that how good u r.. u go gurl….
    now give me a huuuugggggggg!!!!!!”

    and heres how the sistah is gonna tell her hubby
    “ahhhhh….. i was just wondering about where would u be without ME. it was I who told you to change ur job. otherwise u’d still
    be going in ur jeans to work, now u r all dressed up with a coat and a tie. it was I who told you to get this nice previa or townace
    or whatever. Dont I make the BEST baklava .. like evah!!!.. that u just love so much… dont I pick the best closthes for you, I am
    so pretty and educated and my father owns his own business, I had tons of proposals from doctors, engineers and business men.
    Dr. Omer also proposed to me and just last week he gave his wife a new cute green beatle on her birthday….You just gave me a
    fake knockoff necklace and well face it on ur own u could have never gotten a wife like me. You should be thnakful that I said
    yes..”

    and the hubby is thinking
    “i loved my old job, i could fold my jeans wothout a problem, no knee marks on the trousers, all my mates were there… the work was great,
    i hate this car, it just drags its tail for years and never responds to when i put the accelaror down and it just drinks gas like a bloody
    sailor and oh my god i can practically see the gas tank gadge dropping.. i practically saw it….
    i hate ur baklava, no one makes
    baklava like mom’s…. no one.. and no one can….
    i hate this green turtle neck.. i hate it… im relieved my mates from the old job didnt see me in this…
    i hate this dr omer fellow, who is this guy neways… i hate him…
    well birthdays are just plain haram… ”

    interruped by

    “so what r u thinking… ”
    hubby replies
    “ummmmmm.. honey u r right .. i love u…. ”
    and continues thinking
    “man…that was a bloody hell of a game last week… that new guy is very good.. i have to learn that dribble from him.. and i did block him once.. that was kooollll”

    21. Don’t ever, EVER talk bad about him with friends or family unnecessarily….

    – so its alright to talk bad about him when its necessary?..

    22. Use your time wisely and get things accomplished. If you’re a housewife, take online classes and get active in your
    community. This will make you happy and a secondary bonus is that it impresses your husband.

    – for some husbands the get active in the community is not a big thing… so please make sure that you are very clear on ur hubbys point of view. If u try to do it on ur own.. its gonna really make him angry… and hit u hard…

    sisters please dont try to impress ur hubbys…. we dont want to be impressed by u. trust me. u r not their to impress us. most of em are already impressed by u and that is ahy they put up with u..
    when u try to impress the hubys they can clearly see through it and it just makes u appear immature and childish and makes the hubbies annoyed

    im not still surprised that this list still demands action from husbands.
    but i’ll give credit where its due. sister nazia did mention some of the points that were very valid and thankyou very much for sharing and her effort is applausible..

    wow.. the list got bigger and closing to 30, or is it really?

  12. Avatar

    void

    March 14, 2007 at 7:02 AM

    i just read the first one again

    1. Race to the door when he comes home, as if you were waiting for him. Smile and hug.

    – sometimes hubbies are stressed out at work and are angry with their bosses, employees, colleagues, the car race he lost while coming home (yes we dont tell u but we often race while alone), etc. most MEN know how to handle it.
    when they come home they are annoyed, please sisters KNOW the moods of ur husband, if he is annoyed, dont try to hug him and smile at his face the moment he enters the house. Its just gonna annoy him further and hes gonna think “Oh Allah why me????”
    if he comes home and steps forward to kiss u on ur forehead. he is happy and now u can smile, chirp and hug him (while hugging please dont tell him to go and take a shower. seriously. dont do that)
    if he has that look.. just say ur salam. take his laptop away and put it where HE PUTS it, not where YOU would like it to be put it. give him his slippers or ask the kids to bring them for him. take the kids away and just let him relax for 10-15 minutes. give him somehting to drink water, tea, juice, his anger, what ever he likes.
    He can handle all the tensions, its his job to do that.
    The worse that u would do is start the sentence by saying ..
    “munnay kay abba, u know what munna did today” or
    “i bought a chase or whatever bag today”
    “Dr. omer is taking his wife to bahamas for a vacation next week” or
    “i am going out to do some community work, there is this sister whose husband beats hear and i need to console her”

    that would just do it for the hubby.
    or do all these if u really want him to do that incredible hulk thingy for the kids…

    and also i just want to clear on point 22 of my earlier comment when i wrote
    “If u try to do it on ur own.. its gonna really make him angry… and hit u hard…”
    IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE HUBBY IS GONNA HIT YOU HARD.
    I meant that the whole sceanrio is gonna hit you. You are gonna lose a lot of trust and this thing is gonna hit u.
    MEANING
    the whole situation will not be good for u.
    the situation.. not the hubby… :)

  13. Amad

    Amad

    March 14, 2007 at 9:29 AM

    Sorry, this comment is going to be long. WE HAVE 33 WAYS now… 27 TO GO.
    ————————————————————
    salam… I am glad we have got a conversation going.

    Void, don’t know whether to thank you for your research and “in-depth” analysis or to scold you for being so sarcastic. So, I won’t do either for purposes of objectivity :)

    Let me respond a bit then to some of the points raised:

    -The list to please the husband is much harder and I think an important reason is our fear to not sound too sexist. In other words, men don’t want to say the wrong (or right) thing and offend the sensitivity of the females, fearing sounding too “traditional”. Some credit for this goes to the overbearing media and Western “intellectuals” who have continually bombarded Muslim sensibilities in regards to treatment of women. So, even though we have nothing to be ashamed about in our religious traditions, we can sometimes become excessively ‘careful’. This is similar to the affect of the Patriot Act on Muslims. Even though the vast majority of us have nothing to worry about in regards to ‘suspicious’ activities, we still sometimes go overboard in quelling our rhetoric for the fear that we may be targeted.

    -Though ‘void’ seems to be a brother, I would have assumed him to be female based on his nitpicking, had he not given the clues (did I say that?); I think his wife will have a hard time keeping him happy (no offense intended :), all in jest). My takes are a little different on Sr. Nazia’s comments

    – (1) I think that is cool. If a man can’t shake off his ‘mood’ to hug and kiss his wife, then shame on him. In fact, I think if the wife comes racing to do so, it will help be a psychological boost for him to counter the boss-wacking he got at work, as in “at least someone cares!”

    -(3)/(4) Complimenting your husband on the not-so-great things he has is also a good thing. Even if your husband does look like Mick Jagger, so what? It is all in the eyes of the beholder. Stroking a man’s ego, despite what you think he knows or believes, cannot but help.

    -(6) Ok, I’ll agree a bit more on Void on this one. But the part of thanking him is definitely important, even if he just fixes the door knob. It goes with my previous comment. AND sisters, if you want your husband to do something, do not NAG. Let him take his time, and just depend on gentle, INfrequent reminders.

    -(11) Depends… Sometimes the husband wants a yelling match to know that you are listening! But use of Prophetic techniques like sitting down, lying down, wudu, could help too.

    -(12) When you are mad at him, find the right time to say it. That is more important than pointing to what caused it. Nevertheless, #12 is a good point though because by being specific to what the problem is, husbands (who are more logical than emotional) may provide a solution. On the other hand, many times women don’t want solutions… so that may not work either.

    -(16) Definitely like 16. But then the wife will say “why do i have to spoon-feed you everything, u should know what i want by now!”… I think a better solution would be to give MASSIVE hints. Like if you want to go eat outside, say something like “I feel like a halal burger today, what do u think honey?”

    -(19) Void–that was funny. But I agree with Nazia again on this. You see sometimes women just need to assert their value. Just like at work, sometimes you need to make sure the boss sees how important you are. And yes, NEVER, bring up “Dr. Omer is interested in me”!

    -(21) This is important. One Shaykh I know… his wife NEVER talks bad about him with her friends, etc. even when there were valid issues she could be sharing. It is so much better to keep the secrets of home life to the home. Unless of course there is some violence or some other form of serious problem going on. Even then, talk to the right people/authorities.

    -(22) Well, I think women do need to get involved in the community. But they need to balance their time and not affect their relationship with their husbands (goes both ways). On the other hand, some husbands just want their wives 100% for them…in this case, the wife should try to get some online classes for the hubby rather than herself.

    GREAT… So, we are over 30 points… even if they are not completely unanimous, they STILL count. Let’s keep it going. This is AWESOME.

  14. Avatar

    Umm Reem

    March 14, 2007 at 10:01 AM

    Nazia: MashaAllah these are really good points! Especially for a newly wed. May Allah azzawjal bless you two.

    When I was getting married a sister advised me, “no matter what happens, don’t ever complain to your mother about your husband.”
    I didn’t understand it but I still acted upon it. Later I realized how good her advice was.

    A mother cannot forget what her son-in-law did to her daughter and would always hold it against him, whereas a wife can easily forgive whatever happened between her and her husband and forget all about it. Then she would still want a good relationship between her husband and mother (2 most important people in her life) which may not be the same again. She would want her mother to have love and respect for her husband but her mother may not be able to do that (very natural)…and that is when the wife will regret complaining to her mother!

    As for the rights of husband/wife, I remember once Sh. Waleed said something so beautiful, he said something to the effect that a marriage should not come down to the point of ‘his rights and her rights’ then it will be what husband/wife do bare minimum for each other, rather it should always be whatever can be done out of love and respect. His advice really benefited me a lot! (jazaAllahu khair)

    With regards to the ‘pleasing wife’ list being so long, well…when a person is in the position of authority, he has to be more concerned about how to be just and please those he is in authority over, and those under his authority: well, they have already accepted an authority, now what else does he want!! :)

  15. Avatar

    khawla hurayrah

    March 14, 2007 at 11:37 AM

    Assalamu’alaikum
    Jazzakillah sister Nazia for all your many wonderful points. I like all of them but whatever, they ought to be done with love and sincerity for the sake of pleasing Allah. Brother Void is one husband really funny and the same time playing hard to please. I agree with br Amad comments.

    I must say that I am a bit dissapointed because I was waiting for points from the brothers to let the sisters know what really pleases them. We are not mind readers because I have heard complaints from sisters like the lack of communication between spouses.

    My point for now is:
    Husband and wife should discuss and communicate with wisdom with each other to convey what they like and dislike of each other to do or not to do. NOT give command or instruction like servant. “They are garment to each other”

    Barakallah fe kum for the good spouses
    ~khawla

  16. Avatar

    Um Abdullah

    March 14, 2007 at 5:00 PM

    Yes,

    brothers be honest, inquiring minds want to know.

    Sister Nazia great points,

    I don’t remember reading this one but let your husband enjoy his sports or hobbies without nagging him about it. Men really need their sports fix and they need their time with other brothers.

  17. Avatar

    Muslimah

    March 14, 2007 at 7:48 PM

    awwwwwwwwwwww too cute.. I wish i get a hubby like that

  18. Avatar

    void

    March 15, 2007 at 3:57 AM

    i didnt expect any sister to agree with me obviously coz of gender bias.. but thats okay with me, i really dont mind. honestly.

    bro Amad has to balance the opinions to keep his “audience”. but i hear ya bro. Also he is tag teaming with his other half (yup its eveident from ur points.. a big hint was point 21) and thats not fair :)
    and why the points STILL count….
    ahhhannnnn ….ammmm im not playing ;)
    and i want my wickets and my bat and my ball back… NOW….

    sister UmmReem is never evah gonna put anything in writing for a later an onrecord quote to be used by her significant other, she is a wise diplomat (in all the positive senses) and all the sisters whose hubbys might stumble upon here :)

    three cheers for sis khawla for boldly stating the truth
    “We are not mind readers”
    all other sisters… please listen to this wise one.

    why are you disappointed sister that no brother has spoken.
    me, me, me, meeeeeeeeeeeeeee
    (it reminds me of men in black 1 , when anthony lee was screaming eat meeeee. eaaaaattt meeeeee….. in front of that gorgeous looking insect)

    and no (may Allah protect me) im certainly not a husband (may Allah protect me from committing this mistake).
    Marriage sucks in today’s society (okay now u can throw the hooplah about condemning me to having a half deen and better stop reading ibn tamiyyah, as he also had half a deen).

    I am not anti-marriage, i think its great and have lots of benifits but requires a lot of work, and im a lazy person (so im the one to blame, im a lazy, good for nothing bad man.. i agree …).

    I would love to be able to adopt a couple of kids though, if they let me. I could not be a foster parent this year coz of a smaller house and less number of years in this particular community, but hopefully i’ll get the status in a couple of years. The social worker was very encouraging and hopeful.

    wow… so the sisters are still waiting for the brothers to tell them how they want to be loved by their wives i.e you…
    c’mon sisters.
    just say it already, that you would like to do for your hussbies EXACTLY what you want them to do for you, and more.

    sis muslimah…. ahhh.. nothing :)

    may Allah grant you ALL,
    the most congenial, righteous and politest of all spouses. May Allah give you extremely happy and satisfied married lifes and give you righteous and obedient children. May my Rabbi increase your imaan by the second and make you all the best of the people. May my Rabbi make you follw the paths of the righteous and saved ones.

    Most of my commnets, although serious, were in good humor and i solemnly and whole heartedly apologise if i have caused offense to anyone. Please firgive me for my mistakes and insensitivities.
    and pray for Dr. Omer :)

  19. Amad

    Amad

    March 15, 2007 at 7:09 AM

    salam, bro. void, ok you got me there. I think tag-teaming should be prohibited :)

    And I think, even though u were a little brazen in ur remarks (not being married tells us why!), I think most of us enjoyed the humor.

    Keep Dr. Omer AWAY!

  20. Avatar

    Safa

    March 15, 2007 at 7:51 AM

    what a great post….and even better comment section….I know I came in here planning to add something…..but alas…..it seems it’s just going to be my name to the list.

  21. muslimmatters

    muslimmatters

    March 15, 2007 at 8:42 AM

    Humor pertinent to this post… enjoy this condensed version:
    ————-
    A store that sells husbands has just opened in New York City, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates. You may visit the store ONLY ONCE!

    There are four floors. There is, however, a catch. … You may choose any man from a particular floor, or you may choose to go up a floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building! So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband..

    On the first floor the sign on the door reads:
    Floor 1 – These men have jobs and love the Lord, and love kids.
    The woman moves on.
    *********
    The second floor sign reads:
    Floor 2 – These men have jobs, love the Lord, and love kids,and are extremely good looking.
    The woman thinks about it, but wants more…
    *********
    The third floor sign reads:
    Floor 3 – These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, are drop- dead good looking and help with the housework.
    “Oh, mercy me!” she exclaims, “I can hardly stand it!” She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the forth floor and the sign reads:
    *********
    Floor 4 – You are visitor 4,363,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please.

    Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store. Watch your step as you exit the building, and have a nice day!

  22. Avatar

    khawla hurayrah

    March 15, 2007 at 12:53 PM

    Assalamu’alaikum

    * Tell your husband you love him many many times. Sister Nazia said communicate your feelings!!! Well, even if he knows it already, he may have short memory span problem. A’ishah narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to ask her how strong her love for him, she said like “a knot” and the next time round he would ask her, “How is that knot?” He also used to reply to her saying, “Jazzakillah, O Aishah, wallahi, you have not rejoiced in me as I have rejoiced in you.” (anyone knows the source?)

    Obviously, he was very easy to please.

    * Have a race with your husband and let him win, even if you are much fitter and stronger than him. Ha ha ha (I think brother Shehab mentioned this too)

    * Keep fit and take care of your health so you will remain a strong mother, wife, cook and housekeeper, insha’Allah you will not get FAT and frumpy.

    * Refine and cultivate good mannerisms i.e do not whine, don’t laugh or talk too loud or walk like an elephant.

    * Do not leave the house without his permission and certainly not without his knowledge.

    * Make sure all his clothes are clean and pressed so he is always looking fresh and crisps.

    The bat is now back to the brothers.

    Barakallahu feek
    ~khawla

  23. Avatar

    Ravenous

    March 15, 2007 at 7:21 PM

    Assalaamu alaykum,

    Not sure if this was mentioned, but here’s one:

    *Ask Allah to strengthen and preserve the bonds of compassion and love between the two of you, every day, every prayer. Ask him to protect that bond from Shaytaan. When a lesser devil destroys the love between spouses, he is the most beloved of Shaytaan. Nothing works like du’ah, and love only exists between spouses where Allah instills it.

    ma’assalaam,
    Asiya

  24. Avatar

    iMuslim

    March 15, 2007 at 8:29 PM

    Salaams all,

    This is a nice place, mashallah.

    Anyway, i’m not sure what to say seeing as i am another sister, and also, i’m not married! But i’ll have a go, anyway.

    They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I have a feeling this is true. Not in a trivial way, either. One of the most popular and significant family-orientated activities is sitting together at the table to share dinner. We gain such pleasure from eating, and hunger can cause such unrest. Why do people splash out such large amounts of money on eating at fancy restaurants? It’s all about the psychology.

    The only problem is that no-one beats ‘mum’, when it comes to cooking; even if mum is not that great a cook! So my tip would be for sisters to humble themselves, and learn how to cook from the master chef: his mother. You’ll most likely never get it completely right, but i think even 90% close will have a significant effect. This is much easier, and most likely inevitable, if you end up in a typical Desi household, where girls tend to live with their in-laws at the start of the marriage. It could also prove a nice bonding exercise between you and the MIL.

    I think it’s also best not to tell your hubby whose recipe you’re following, else he’ll really make an effort to compare your skills to that of his mother’s, and it’ll all end in tears! So mum’s the word, OK?

    Wa’salam

  25. Avatar

    iMuslim

    March 15, 2007 at 8:35 PM

    Hey, speaking of MILs… does anyone have a ‘100 ways to get on with the MIL’ list? I am sure both the husbands & the wives would benefit from such advice! In-laws can be just as much a source of marital strife as inter-spousal conflicts. That’s your next entry right there, bro Amad!

  26. Avatar

    iluvmyhubby

    March 21, 2007 at 3:01 AM

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    I just found this site thru Sr. Ruth’s old site…its awesome.
    I really liked the lists….the wife one was nice… Athough the husband one needs work.

    Anyhow, Sr. Nazia, good job coming up with that; I do agree with some of them, such as greeting your hubby after work. And void, even if the husband is having a “mood,” it usually dissipates with the greeting and hug.
    Also, letting him hang out with his friends….thats a tough one. It took me awhile to perfect that.. :) Especially the “without guilt” part.

    As for the MIL and food….my hubby looooooves MY moms cooking better than anyone else’s…including his own mom!! So, thats interesting… although he does tell me I cook better than her. Yeah right, like i’m gonna believe that!!

    Which reminds me..I do have a few to add to the list:

    – Always let him know that you appreciate him working and bringin home the dough. It makes it easier for him to go to work.

    – Make sure you ALWAYS have something for dinner.

    – Brush your hair… everyday.

    – Don’t ever forget to do laundry.

    – Surprise him with gifts. Even necessities can be gifts.. ex: new shoes.(I do this at least once a week, and he loooves it).

    – Listen to him. (Even when he talks about extreeemely geeky things like Access Queries, Tables and other boring accounting things.)

    – Try (hard as it might be) to take interest in his hobbies. (I bowl once a week now….even got pink bowling shoes and a shorter abaya)

    – Try (very very HARD) not to go shopping too much…and spend all his money :)

    Thats it for now…I had some more in my head but can’t seem to remember them and realllly need to get back to studying anyways.

    -me

  27. Avatar

    S.

    March 22, 2007 at 1:25 PM

    Here are a few important ones from a man’s (husband) perspective, sorry they are little ‘sensitive’ but they are very important too. Islam is not shy about matters in halal relationships, otherwise people will be looking for haram ways to fulfil their desires:

    -Look attractive and its ok/good to be seductiv towards him.
    -Learn tricks and “techniqes” to please your husband in intimacy. Of course goes both ways.
    -Prepare for special evenings with him with special dinner and exclusive time (no children permitted :) ).
    -Take care of your skin, esp. facial. Face is center of attraction.
    -If you not satisfied intimatly, talk to him and tell him. Help him or provide resources, don’t wait till matters become worse.
    -Don’t discuss important/controversial matters with him when he is tired or sleepy. Find right time for right discussion.

  28. Amad

    Amad

    March 22, 2007 at 5:07 PM

    Thanks S. for some interesting suggestions… we are now at 54, wow! 90% complete.
    Anyone for the last 6 to complete this amazing reader-generated list??

  29. Avatar

    tahsinthree

    March 28, 2007 at 4:52 PM

    A happy marriage is falling in love many times…….

    Always with the same person!

    -in other words, learn to compromise, continue to do things for your spouse and don’t take your spouse for granted, respect each other’s rights, do not abuse those rights and whatever you do or intend to do make it for the sake of Allah

  30. Avatar

    AnonyMouse

    April 3, 2007 at 12:32 AM

    “And how do we implement?”

    Although it’s not between a husband and wife, in my house we have this magnetic notepad (very colourful, with a funny picture and caption on top) that we’ve got stuck on the fridge… we’ll all write random things on it, even have bizarre conversations – and important points tend to get across better when they’re written on the notepad than when we’re actually told!

  31. Pingback: 89 Ways to Keep Your Wife's Love - Guaranteed « ekhlas

  32. Avatar

    Waqar Shareef

    April 9, 2007 at 9:44 AM

    I would like to add one item to the list on how to keep husband’s love.

    61) not everything is his fault. Learn to take responsibilities of your own actions :)

  33. Avatar

    Qisas.com

    May 16, 2007 at 12:28 PM

    One key thing always to remember is to ‘put yourself in the other persons shoes’.

    Works wonders.

    Plus the time given advice, that we need to hear “Time heals” whenever a disagreement happens or arguments.

    Great tips, will save it!

  34. Avatar

    shaz

    June 8, 2007 at 11:08 AM

    Assalaam ‘Alaykum!
    Pls Visit:
    http://muslimmarriages.wordpress.com

  35. Avatar

    Alexandra Lynch

    August 20, 2007 at 4:22 PM

    There’s a lot of good advice here.

    I have been married for thirteen years. I would tell anyone getting ready these things:

    You are now part of a “we”. Sometimes you do things not the way YOU want to do it, or your spouse wants to do it, but the way that works the best for the marriage, for the thing you’re building between you. That doesn’t mean your spouse “won”, or you “lost” or anything like that.

    Communicate. Set aside time each day where the kids won’t interrupt to not just talk about your day, but about your long-term plans and dreams and things that make you happy or make you feel good. Oh, and remember what your spouse says for the future. (wink) Then when they’re not expecting it you can give them a present or do them a present, and know that not only will they like it but it will be deep proof that you listen to them. Talk about everything, great and small. If something makes you feel bad or devalued, say so, so it can be changed.

    Work out with each other how you get angry and how you deal with it. If you get too angry to discuss, agree between you that you will go do something to blow off some anger (whatever works for you) so that you can come back and talk rationally to your spouse about the issue. If you have children, remember, you’re teaching them how to be married and how marriage works with every moment they’re with you, and that includes how to manage differences of opinion.

  36. Amad

    Amad

    August 20, 2007 at 4:47 PM

    Thanks Alexandra… that’s great advice.

  37. Avatar

    Leyla

    September 20, 2007 at 9:05 PM

    Assalamu aliakum!
    I am not sure how to add a question on here…? is it possible to ask, what does Islam say about a son-in-law kissing his mother-in-law as a way of greeting on the cheek. Also in the same way to her sisters?
    Or where could I find in detail information about this?
    Thanks…
    Masalaam

  38. Amad

    Amad

    September 20, 2007 at 10:38 PM

    Sister Leyla, I can tell you that for sure the mother-in-law is from the maharim, so she is equivalent to the man’s sister or mother or daughter in terms of what he can or cannot do with her. So, there is no problem kissing on the cheek if that is the customary greeting.

    As for the mother-in-law’s sister, from what I know is that they are not maharim, but I cannot say for sure, so anyone else who knows, please chime in.

  39. AnonyMouse

    AnonyMouse

    September 21, 2007 at 2:49 PM

    I checked with my dad – Amad’s right, the mother-in-law’s sister is not mahram, and vice versa for women (father-in-law’s brothers).

  40. Avatar

    Leyla

    September 21, 2007 at 5:31 PM

    JazakhaAllah khayr!
    Thank you so much for such a speedy response. Alhamdulillah.
    EnshaAllah may Allah bless you both in this holly month.
    MaSalaam :-)

  41. Amad

    Amad

    September 21, 2007 at 10:20 PM

    waiyaki Sr. Leyla, and may you too have a blessed Ramadan.

  42. Avatar

    Sanjida

    September 27, 2007 at 3:05 PM

    Actually, the hadith is the other way around:

    She too loved him greatly in return and often would seek reassurance from him that he loved her. Once she asked him: “How is your love for me?”

    “Like the rope’s knot,” he replied meaning that it was strong and secure. And time after time thereafter, she would ask him: “How is the knot?” and he would reply: “Ala haaliha in the same condition.”
    —-

    It was Aisha who used to seek reassurance lots of times from Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to see how much he loved her.

    source: http://www.fisabilillah.org/personalities.asp
    click on “Aisha bint Abi Bakr” and scroll down. Although they didn’t state the hadith, they website is very trustworthy. And Allahu Alam.

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  44. Avatar

    abd allah

    April 22, 2008 at 4:41 PM

    This is so fake. How about i give everyone some advice. BE YOURSELF. If people dont like it tough. Allah comes first

  45. Avatar

    iman

    June 19, 2008 at 2:36 AM

    28? 37?
    28 is so strange.. i never thought complimenting oneself was a good thing?
    37 is just too funny

  46. Avatar

    Rahmatullah

    July 14, 2008 at 8:25 PM

    As Salaamu Alaikum;

    I’m not married as of yet, but, insha’allah, I’m somewhat on the path and may get engaged soon. Upon reading the comments in this topic, I found that either I was so very different from other men, or– most of the Sisters didn’t understand their husbands enough. Now, there are many things a man may do to be a better husband– I am sure. However, as the brothers have more to read than the sisters, let me add a few things for our male counterparts– insha’allah, it may offer in sight, and help them in their marriage (and, be’idhnillah, mine too!).

    Firstly; Spend our money. We work hard and long so that you can enjoy the benefit. We may whine and make noise about it once in awhile, but nothing really makes a man feel worthy, unless his wife is wearing his entire net worth. (Don’t take “entire net worth” literally!)

    Secondly; Don’t cook the same ol’ same old. Many of us young men are desperate to try food that our mothers didn’t make. If you keep making the same biryani, lahmah, etc, it gets pretty boring. Also, don’t always cook. No food in the Fridge is a good excuse to go out and try a new restaurant.

    Third; Always groom yourself– inside and out. Us, good Muslim men, lower our gazes in a society where it’s really hard and “strange” to. Therefore, present us with something halaal and beautiful to keep our gazes on. Another note; don’t embarrass us in front of our friends or colleagues. If your husband is wearing a posh suit, or even just dresses nicely– meet his standards!

    Fourth; Trust us, and say that you do. Instead of saying “Did you close the door on the way out?!” either let him learn from his mistake, or let him be the one to see it– he’ll correct it himself.

    Fifth; Show him that he’s so important to you. A man needs to feel needed, in a relationship. If he doesn’t feel that you are so desperately in love with him, or are so grateful of his awesomeness, he’ll find not-so-nice alternatives to make himself feel good.

    Sixth; Show and express that you are committed to him. Tell him frankly: “You’re my heart– my heaven, in this life, and the next, insha’allah.” Make him feel that there is this powerful bond between you two.

    Seventh; Husbands try to hard to impress and please their wives. If over time, the wives don’t respond or are grateful, or show that they love the attention and care, the men will slowly turn away. A husband would climb through a window to sneak in some roses for his wife during his lunch break when she least expects it(if he could)– but if she’s like “Oh, what are you doing here? Flowers?! Go put them in the jar by the sink.” etc, it won’t just hurt her husband, it’ll make him feel angry at himself– and he’ll be less likely to try it again.

    Eight; Show that you take your husband seriously. Don’t be dismissive. He loves being taken seriously (when he’s trying to be serious– not when he’s joking).

  47. Avatar

    shadab khan

    September 24, 2008 at 9:26 AM

    i am not married ,but eager to save my future……thankyou very much……verily in quran and sunnah no matter of our life is left undisscussed

  48. Avatar

    Umm Ismael

    September 25, 2008 at 1:34 PM

    Asslam u alaikum wr wb
    Some tips for the brothers out there(I hope no condemnation on gender bias):
    Never as in NEVER discuss other women in front of your wife. To begin with it doesnt really go with the “lowering the gaze” factor and doesn’t show you in a good light in front of your wife.

    Women are naturally (and taught socially to be) well mannered (don’t burp,fart,pick ones nose etc. in front of people). Unfortunately husbands (after developing a standardized level of comfort) decide that its okay (infact intimate) to express these sounds in front of their wives. Please these things disgust the female mind much more than the male. Avoid them as much as possible.

    Women are shy by nature (generally). Do not expect them to open up particularly intimately even some years after the marriage. Give them their time and space before forcing them to declare private feelings. Please DO NOT compare tabloid/virtual women in this matter saying “…but i read that women love this etc.” Each person is an INDIVIDUAL. Respect that.

    I’ll see if I can add some more after talking to my husband :)
    Asslam u alaikum

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  52. Avatar

    15th Century Muslimah

    May 14, 2010 at 7:31 PM

    Salaam Alaikum,

    Props to sister Khawla Hurayrah, i thought your suggestions were great! but

    #57. Have mercy for her weaknesses

    Seriously?

    My dearest Brothers, how about:
    1. Respect her intelligence
    2. Encourage her to persue her career, passion, or dreams
    3. Support her by pitching in around the house so she can persue her dreams. (This works both ways, If she has something more to talk to you about then dirty diapers, the latest gossip, and how she spent all your money you will certainly be more interested in her as well)
    4. Engage in intellectually stimulating conversations with her.
    5. Ask for her opinion/advise before making decisions
    6. Dont do anything to make her feel deficient or inferior
    7. Exercize together
    8. Take interest in activities she enjoys (youre not the only one wtih hobbies and interests, and believe it or not we do more then just gossip and go shopping)
    9. Watch TV shows with her that she enjoys…yes even if its reality TV shows
    10. Read the same book together and discuss, Teach Islam to each other.

    These are things which endear me to my husband and things that muslimahs want in this day and age. Statistics show more women then men will be graduating from higher education. . And yes this also means we will be more financially self-sufficient, which means we want more out of YOU in the relationship, not just your money. We want a COMPANION. We have brains and we’re using them, so please keep up.

  53. Avatar

    muslimaSister

    October 21, 2010 at 6:20 AM

    Sadly, when only one side tries all the above and the other side simply ignores everything or continues to be unemotional (like a rock) marriage fails.

    There has to be a middle ground.

    From my bad experience in my marriage (Divorced) , a woman should never do any of those things if the husband does not try from his side. It will only make her seem desperate and too needy/clingy.

    I did all those things that a woman should do and more (really), and I got 2 out of the things a man should do to please his wife

    If however, the husband does his part of all those lists to make the wife happy, the wife will do everything in her power to make him happy.

    Please newly married women, don’t think that happiness will come from you doing everything in your power to make the man happy, because if he does not reciprocate the actions and shows his appreciation/love, then it will just lead to him to believe that he can hurt you or ignore you all he wants and you will take no actions because “you love him”

    Anyways, my apologies for the cynical opinion, though this is from my experience of 1.5 years of marriage. Alhumdillah I divorced him because I don’t need such treatment in my life.

    Ma sallama

  54. Avatar

    Ayman

    March 4, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    I can’t believe this isn’t on the list, but surely it is the main point to please a husband.

    – Surprise him with SEX as often as possible, and make it as good as possible.

    If this is good, it is very very difficult for the husband to even be a little annoyed with his wife.

  55. Avatar

    Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

    October 24, 2012 at 5:48 AM

    An excellent post to forward to a newly-wed (or even someone married for several years!)

  56. Avatar

    Uzairah Abdul Hameed

    August 18, 2014 at 2:59 AM

    Assalamualaikum …very nice masha Allah.. beneficial for every coupe. even if we already know them we must revise so to keep our married lives stronger and stronger every time we time we practice them..and surprisingly we often search for western and weird ideas from the internet instead of such beautiful and beneficial wisdom in order to please our husbands.

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#Life

5 Tips for Surviving Ramadan. In The Summer. When You Have Small Children.

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By Afaaf Rajbee

This time a few years ago, I anticipated Ramadan with anxiety. I had 3 children, all under the age of 5, and was part of a large, busy household of working men and women.  When Ramadan finally arrived I was petrified inside at whether I would be able to cope with running after my youngest daughter, managing the school and nursery run with the older two, as well as keeping the house in order and preparing iftar for the family in the evening.

A year later, that anxiety has been replaced with something more positive; Ramadan is challenging there is no doubt about it. But I wanted to share some practical tips, as a mum, that made last Ramadan that much more manageable and a time of spiritual benefit.

1. Prepare the evening meal first thing in the morning. Decide on your menu and write it down into checklist form. This is the time to marinade, whizz up chutneys and even get out serving dishes. All the effort you invest early on will give you more time before Maghrib. It’s amazing how hectic it can get in the kitchen just before Maghrib – and when you’re dehydrated and tired it’s difficult to cook quickly. Instead, try to make your mornings your most productive time in preparing iftar.

2. Use salah times as the markers that divide your activities. I always set myself a target to get everything done in the kitchen before dhuhr. This way I avoided that feeling that I’m taking time away from work to pray salah. Dhuhr salah was a great way to end a productive housework-focussed morning in the kitchen and helped me refocus on the next tasks – whether that was having to go out or completing more housework or listening to a lecture or reading Qur’an.

3. Make sure you pray Asr before you start getting iftar on the table! So many times I’ve nearly missed Asr because of getting carried away in the kitchen – and this is true for so many mothers I’ve spoken to. I’ve found after the kids get home from school and I’d fed them and helped them with homework or reading, ‘Asr was a good marker to tie up that stage of the day.

4. Put the kids to bed as early as you can. Your evening ibadat, Qur’an reading and taraweeh depends on this. Leave bedtime any later and I guarantee you’ll most likely fall asleep with your kids and you’ll wake up 6 hours later feeling awful just having missed sehri, still wearing your day clothes and still having your contact lenses in… That was not a great evening.

5. Ramadan is not the time to deviate radically from your normal routine and responsibilities – else we would simply not receive its benefit. Yes, we should increase in certain types of ibadah – read more Qur’an, pray more nafl salah – but running a household, going out on errands, engaging with our children and keeping them safe is also part of life and hence part of our ibadah. Fasting was not prescribed for a week, or just a few days, but a whole month. The beauty of this duration is that it’s not so long to be a physical or mental burden but also it’s not so short that you can suspend your daily activities like a holiday. By normal activities, I’m referring to that ironing pile, the paperwork, hoovering. I found that even during the 20-hour fasts I could still pursue my normal routine but at a slower pace. If you do this, you’ll have no build up of housework that you’ll have to spend ages compensating at Eid time.

As you can probably tell, I’m a big fan of routine. But routine becomes monotonous and depressing if there is no time invested in personal growth, pursuing your passions or helping others. But generally, mothers of small children are tired; remember that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows your situation and that every aspect of our daily life can become an act of worship if our intentions are to please Him.

Afaaf Rajbee is a graduate in International Relations from the LSE, which surprisingly didn’t prepare her for life as a mother to 3 children. She is part of the Charity Week team and volunteers her skills for a variety of different organisations.

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Are You Prepared for Marriage and Building a Family?

Mona Islam

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High School is that time which is ideal for preparing yourself for the rest of your life. There is so much excitement and opportunity. Youth is a time of energy, growth, health, beauty, and adventure. Along with the thrill of being one of the best times of life, there is a definite lack of life experience. In your youth, you end up depending on your own judgments as well as the advice of others who are further along the path. Your own judgments usually come from your own knowledge, assumptions, likes, and dislikes. No matter how wise, mature, or well-intended a youth is compared to his or her peers, the inherent lack of life experience can also mislead that person to go down a path which is not serving them or their loved ones best. A youth may walk into mistakes without knowing, or get themselves into trouble resulting from naivety.

Salma and Yousef: 

Salma and Yousef had grown up in the same community for many years. They had gone to the same masjid and attended youth group together during high school. After going off to college for a few years, both were back in town and found that they would make good prospects for marriage for each other. Yousef was moving along his career path, and Salma looked forward to her new relationship. Yousef was happy to settle down. The first few months after marriage were hectic: getting a new place, organizing, managing new jobs and extended family. After a few months, they began to wonder when things would settle down and be like the vision they had about married life.

Later with valuable life experience, we come to realize that the ideas we had in our youth about marriage and family are far from what are they are in reality. The things that we thought mattered in high school, may not matter as much, and the things that we took for granted really matter a lot more than we realized. In retrospect, we learn that marriage is not simply a door that we walk through which changes our life, but something that each young Muslim and Muslima should be preparing for individually through observation, introspection, and reflection. In order to prepare for marriage, each person must intend to want to be the best person he or she can be in that role. There is a conscious process that they must put themselves through.

This conscious process should begin in youth. Waiting until marriage to start this process is all too late. We must really start preparing for marriage as a conscious part of our growth, self-development, and character building from a young age. The more prepared we are internally, the better off we will be in the process of marriage. The best analogy would be the stronger the structure and foundation of a building, the better that building will be able to serve its purpose and withstand the environment. Another way to think of this process is like planting a seed. We plant a seed long before the harvest, but the more time, care, and attention, the more beautiful and beneficial the fruits will be.

 

Sarah and Hasan:

Hasan grew up on the East Coast. He had gone to boarding school all through high school, especially since his parents had died in an unfortunate accident. His next of kin was his aunt and uncle, who managed his finances, and cared for him when school was not in session. Hasan was safe and comfortable with his aunt and uncle, but he always felt there was something missing in his life. During his college years, Hasan was introduced to Sarah and eventually they decided to get married.

The first week of his new job, Hasan caught a really bad case of the flu that made it hard for him to get his projects done. Groggy in bed, he sees Sarah appear with a tray of soup and medicine every day until he felt better. Nobody had ever done that for him before. He remembered the “mawaddah and rahmah” that the Quran spoke of.

Knowledge, Skills, and Understanding:

The process of growing into that person who is ready to start a family is that we need to first to be aware of ourselves and be aware of others around us. We have to have knowledge of ourselves and our environment. With time, reflection and life experience, that knowledge activates into understanding and wisdom. This activity the ability to make choices between right and wrong, and predict how our actions will affect others related to us.

Preview:

This series is made up of several parts which make up a unit about preparation for family life. Some of the topics covered include:

  • The Family Unit In Islam
  • Characteristics of an Individual Needed for Family Life
  • The Nuclear Family
  • The Extended Family

Hamza and Tamika

Tamika and Hamza got married six months ago. Tamika was getting her teacher certification in night school and started her first daytime teaching job at the local elementary school. She was shocked at the amount of energy it took to manage second graders. She thought teaching was about writing on a board and reading books to kids, but found out it had a lot more to do with discipline, speaking loudly, and chasing them around. This week she had state testing for the students and her finals at night school. She was not sure how to balance all this with her new home duties. One day feeling despair, she walked in her kitchen and found a surprise. Hamza had prepared a beautiful delicious dinner for them that would last a few days, and the home looked extra clean too. Tamika was pleasantly surprised and remembered the example of our Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

The Family Unit in Islam

We always have to start with the beginning. We have to ask, “What is the family unit in Islam?” To answer this we take a step further back, asking, “What is the world-wide definition of family? Is it the same for all people? Of course not. “Family” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people across the world. As Muslims, what family means to us, is affected by culture and values, as well as our own understanding of Islam.

The world-wide definition of family is a group of people who are related to each other through blood or marriage. Beyond this point, is where there are many differences in views. Some people vary on how distantly related to consider a family. In some cultures, family is assumed to be only the nuclear family, consisting of mom dad and kids only. Other cultures assume family includes an extended family. Another large discrepancy lies in defining family roles and responsibilities. Various cultures promote different behavioral norms for different genders or roles in the family. For example, some cultures promote women staying at home in a life of luxury, while others esteem women joining the workforce while raising their kids on the side. Living styles vary too, where some cultures prefer individual family homes, while in other parts of the world extended families live together in large buildings always interacting with each other.

 

Layla and Ibrahim   

Layla and Ibrahim met at summer retreat where spirituality was the focus, and scholars were teaching them all day. Neither of them was seriously considering getting married, but one of the retreat teachers thought they might make a good match. It seemed like a fairytale, and the retreat gave them an extra spiritual high. Layla could not imagine anything going wrong. She was half Italian and half Egyptian, and Ibrahim came from a desi family. Soon after the nikah, Layla moved across the country into Ibrahim’s family home, where his parents, three siblings, and grandmother lived.  Come Ramadan, Layla’s mother-in-law, Ruqayya, was buying her new clothes to wear to the masjid. It was out of love, but Sarah had never worn a shalwar kameez in all her life! Ruqayya Aunty started getting upset when Layla was not as excited about the clothes as she was.

As Eid approached, Layla had just picked a cute dress from the department store that she was looking forward to wearing. Yet again, her mother-in-law had other plans for her.

Layla was getting upset inside. It was the night before Eid and the last thing she wanted to do was fight with her new husband. She did not want that stress, especially because they all lived together. At this point, Layla started looking through her Islamic lecture notes. She wanted to know, was this request from her mother-in-law a part of the culture, or was it part of the religion?

Marriage

The basis of all families, undoubtedly, is the institution of marriage. In the Islamic model, the marriage consists of a husband and a wife. In broad terms, marriage is the commitment of two individuals towards each other and their children to live and work together to meet and support each other’s needs in the way that they see fit. What needs they meet vary as well, from person to person, and family to family. The marriage bond must sustain the weight of fulfilling first their own obligations toward each other. This is the priority. The marriage must also be strong enough to hold the responsibility of raising the kids, and then the extended family.

How are we as Muslims unique and what makes us different from other family models? We are responsible to Allah. The end goals are what makes us different, and the method in which we work. In other family systems, beliefs are different, goals are different, and the motives are different. Methods can especially be different. In the end, it is quite a different system. What makes us better? Not because we say we are better or because we automatically feel better about ourselves due to a misplaced feeling of superiority. But instead it is because we are adhering to the system put in place by the most perfect God, Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of all the worlds, the One Who knows best what it is we need.

Family Roles:

Each person in the family has a role which Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has meant for them to have, and which ethics and common sense tell us to follow. However, our nafs and ego can easily misguide us to live our family life in the wrong way, which is harmful and keeps us suffering. Suffering can take place in many ways. It can take place in the form of neglect or abuse. In the spectrum of right and wrong, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) tells us that we are a nation meant for the middle path. So we should not go to any extreme in neglect or abuse.

What are the consequences of mishandling our family roles? Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) calls this type of wrongdoing “transgression” or “oppression”. There are definitely consequences of oppression, abuse, and neglect. There are worldly consequences which we feel in this life, and there are long term consequences in the Akhirah.

Razan and Farhaan

Razan and Farhan had gotten married two years ago. Since they were from different towns, Razan would have to move to Farhaan’s hometown. On top of the change of married life, Razan felt pangs of homesickness and did not know many people in the new town. However, Farhaan did not realize what she was going through. He still had the same friends he grew up with for years. They had a die-hard routine to go to football games on Friday night and play basketball on Saturday at the rec center.

Razan was losing her patience. How could he think it was okay to go out with his friends twice on the weekend? Yet he expected her to keep the home together? Her blood started to boil. What does Islam say about this?

Mawaddah and Rahma

The starting point of a family is a healthy relationship between the husband and wife. Allah SWT prescribed in Surah 25: verse 74, that the marriage relationship is supposed to be built on Mawaddah (compassion) and Rahma (mercy). A loving family environment responds to both the needs of the children and the needs of parents. Good parenting prepares children to become responsible adults.

Aliyaah and Irwan

Aliyaah and Irwan had homeschooled their twin children, Jannah and Omar, for four years. They were cautious about where to admit their children for the next school year. Aliyaah felt that she wanted to homeschool her children for another few years. There were no Islamic Schools in their town. Irwan wanted to let his kids go to public schools. He felt that was nothing wrong with knowing how things in the real world are. However, every conversation they started about this issue ended up into a conflict or fight. This was beginning to affect their relationship.

Parenting

Two significant roles that adults in a family play are that they are married and they are parents. It is important that parents work to preserve and protect their marital relationship since it is really the pillar which supports the parenting role. Parenting is a role which Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) directly addresses in our religion. We will be asked very thoroughly about this most important role which we will all play in our lives.

There is a hadith in which the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) reminds us,

“All of you are shepherds and responsible for your wards under you care. The imam is the shepherd of his subjects and is responsible for them, and a man is a shepherd of his family and is responsible for them. A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s house and is responsible for it. A servant is the shepherd of his master’s belongings and is responsible for them. A man is the shepherd of his father’s property and is responsible for them”. (Bukhari and Muslim)

Islam has placed a lot of importance on the family unit. A family is the basic building block of Islam. A strong family can facilitate positive social change within itself and the society as a whole. The Quran asserts that human beings are entrusted by their Creator to be his trustees on Earth, thus they need to be trained and prepared for the task of trusteeship (isthiklaf).

Asa youth, it is important to make a concerted effort to develop our family skills so that we grow into that role smoothly. Proper development will prepare a person emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically for marriage and family life.

Mona Islam is a youth worker, community builder, motivational speaker, writer, and author. For the past 25 years, Sr. Mona has been on the forefront of her passion both locally and nationally, which is inculcating character development in youth (tarbiyah).  Sr. Mona has extensive knowledge of Islamic sciences through the privilege of studying under many scholars and traveling worldwide.  An educator by profession, she is a published author, completed her masters in Educational Admin and currently doing her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. Sr. Mona is married with five children and lives in Houston, TX.

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#Culture

Emotional Intelligence: A Tool for Change  

Imam Mikaeel Smith

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Why do we consider emotional intelligence to be half of the Prophetic intellect? The answer lies in the word “messenger.” Messengers of Allah are tasked with the divine responsibility of conveying to humanity the keys to their salvation. They are not only tasked with passing on the message but also with being a living example of that message.

When ʿĀʾishah, the wife of the Prophet ﷺ, was asked to explain the character of the blessed Prophet ﷺ, her reply was, “His character was the Qurʾān.[1]” We are giving emotional intelligence a place of primacy in the construct of Prophetic intelligence because it seems implausible that Allah would send a messenger without providing that messenger with the means necessary to exemplify and transmit the message to others. If the Prophets of Allah did not have the necessary knowledge and skills needed to successfully pass on the message to the next generation, the argument would be incomplete. People could easily excuse themselves of all accountability because the message was never conveyed.

We also see clear examples in the Qur’ān that this knowledge was being perpetually perfected in the character of the Prophet ﷺ. Slight slips in his Emotional Intelligence were rare, but when they did occur, Allah gently addressed the mistake by means of revelation. Allah says in the Qurʾān, “If you (O Muḥammad) were harsh and hardhearted, then the people would flee from you.” This verse clearly placed the burden of keeping an audience upon the shoulders of the Prophet ﷺ. What this means is that the Prophet ﷺ had to be aware of what would push people away; he had to know what would create cognitive and emotional barriers to receptivity. When we study the shamāʾil (books about his character), we find that he was beyond exceptional in his ability to make people receptive. He took great care in studying the people around him and deeply understanding them. Only after the Prophet ﷺ had exhausted all the means of removing barriers to receptivity would the responsibility to affirm the message be shifted to those called to it.

Another example of this Prophetic responsibility can be found in the story of Prophet Mūsa when he was commissioned to call Pharaoh and the children of Israel to Allah. When Allah informed him of the task he was chosen for, he immediately attempted to excuse himself because he had a slight speech impediment. He knew that his speech impediment could potentially affect the receptivity of people to the message. He felt that this disqualified him from being a Prophet. He also felt that the act of manslaughter he committed might come between the people and guidance. All of these examples show that Allah’s Prophets understood that many factors can affect a person’s receptivity to learning something new, especially when the implications of that new information call into question almost every aspect of a person’s identity. History tells us that initially, people did not accept the message of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ; they completely rejected him and accused him of being a liar.

One particular incident shows very clearly that he ﷺ understood how necessary it was for him to remove any cognitive or emotional barriers that existed between him and his community. When the people of his hometown of Makkah had almost completely rejected him, he felt that it was time to turn his attention to a neighboring town. The city of Ṭā’if was a major city and the Prophet ﷺ was hopeful that perhaps they would be receptive to the message. Unfortunately, they completely rejected him and refused to even listen to what he had to say. They chased him out of town, throwing stones at him until his injuries left him completely covered in blood. Barely making it outside the city, the Prophet ﷺ collapsed. Too weak to move, he turned his attention to his Lord and made one of the most powerful supplications made by a Prophet of Allah.

اللهم إليك أشكو ضعف قوتي، وقلة حيلتي، وهواني على الناس، يا أرحم الراحمين، أنت أنت رب المستضعفين وأنت ربي، إلى من تكلني؟ إلى عدو يتجهمني؟ أو إلى قريب ملكته أمري؟ إن لم يكن بك علي غضب فلا أبالي، غير أن عافيتك أوسع لي، أعوذ بنور وجهك الذي أشرقت له الظلمات، وصلح عليه أمر الدنيا والآخرة، من أن ينزل بي غضبك، أو يحل علي سخطك، لك العتبى حتى ترضى، ولا حول ولا قوة إلا بك”

“Oh Allah, only to You do I complain about my lack of strength, my insufficient strategies, and lowliness in the sight of the people. You are my Lord. To whom do you turn me over? Someone distant from me who will forsake me? Or have you placed my affair in the hands of my enemy? [2]

The Prophet ﷺ felt that he was the reason why the people were not accepting the message. His concern that “my low status in the eyes of the people,” informs us that he understood that people naturally judge the seriousness of a message based on the stature of the message bearer. The people of Ṭā’if were extremely ignorant, so much that they adamantly refused to enter into any dialogue. In reality, this was not due to any shortcoming of the Prophet ﷺ; he demonstrated the best of character and displayed extreme patience in the face of such ignorance. But the beginning of the supplication teaches us what he was focused on: making sure that he was not the reason why someone did not accept the message.

Because his message was not geographically restricted like that of other Prophets, those who inherited the message would have the extra burden of transferring the message to a people with whom they were unfamiliar. The intelligence needed to pass the message of the Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ around the world included an understanding of the cultural differences that occur between people. Without this understanding effective communication and passing on of his message would be impossible.

A sharp Emotional Intelligence is built upon the development of both intra- and interpersonal intelligence. These intelligences are the backbone of EQ and they provide a person with emotional awareness and understanding of his or her own self, an empathic understanding of others, and the ability needed to communicate effectively and cause change. Emotional Intelligence by itself is not sufficient for individual reform or societal reform; instead, it is only one part of the puzzle. The ʿaql or intellect that is referenced repeatedly in the Qurʾān is a more comprehensive tool that not only recognizes how to understand the psychological and emotional aspects of people but recognizes morally upright and sound behavior. After that this intellect, if healthy and mature, forces a person to conform to that standard. Therefore, we understand the ʿaql to be a comprehensive collection of intelligences analogous to Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory.

Taking into consideration the extreme diversity found within Western Muslim communities, we see how both Moral Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence are needed. Fostering and nurturing healthy communities requires that we understand how people receive our messages. This is the interpersonal intelligence aspect of EQ. Without grounding the moral component of our community, diversity can lead to what some contemporary moral theorists call moral plasticity, a phenomenon where concrete understandings of good and evil, right and wrong, are lost. Moral Education (Moral Education, which will be discussed throughout the book, is the process of building a Morally Intelligent heart) focuses on correcting the message that we are communicating to the world; in other words, Moral Intelligence helps us maintain our ideals and live by them, while Emotional Intelligence ensures that the message is effectively communicated to others.

My father would often tell me, “It’s not what you say, son; it’s what they hear.”

Interpersonal understanding is the core of emotional intelligence. My father would often tell me, “It’s not what you say, son; it’s what they hear.” From the perspective of Emotional Intelligence, this statement is very accurate. The way we interpret words, body language, verbal inflections, and facial expressions is based on many different factors. The subtle power of this book lies in the simple fact that your emotional intelligence is the primary agent of change and thus the most powerful force you have. You must understand how people perceive what you are communicating to them. What is missing from my father’s statement is the primacy of Moral Intelligence. Throughout this book, I attempt to show how the Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ demonstrated a level of perfection of both of these intelligences.

*With the Heart in Mind is available for pre-order at https://www.qalam.foundation/qalambooks/with-the-heart-in-mind

[1]Bayhaqī, Shuʿb al-ʾĪmān, vol. 3, p. 23.

[2] Ibn Kathir, al-Bidāyah wa al-Nihāyah, vol. 3, p. 136.

 

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