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10 Tips For A Thriving Marriage

There’s something you already know: that your marriage is worth investing in.

Everyone dreams of having a passionate and fulfilling marriage. Yet, few actually take the time to learn, plan, and invest in their relationships. Your crops will only yield as much as the effort you put into harvesting and nurturing them. The same applies to your marriage. Here are 10 tangible things you can do to improve your relationship, starting today!

DISCOVER

Taking interest in your spouse and learning more about them helps build a strong bond between the two of you. Your spouse will begin to feel that you truly care and love them so much that you want to know everything about them. From their childhood memories, to their embarrassing teenage mishaps, likes and dislikes, all the way to the journey that led them to marrying you; get to know your spouse intricately!

Tip: Create a questionnaire with 10-20 things you’d love to learn about your spouse. Print two copies, take your spouse out for dinner, take turns going through each question, and discover a whole new side of your spouse.

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ADVENTURE

Engaging in new and adventurous activities with your spouse will facilitate your marriage from becoming stale and mundane. Don’t always expect your spouse to help you plan everything out. Instead, keep them on the edge by teasing them with little tidbits about your next adventure.

Tip: Find a night on the weekend to drive somewhere where neither of you have ever been. Turn off the GPS and make it a joint mission to find a nice spot the two of you can gaze at the stars together. You can make an exception and use your GPS to find your way home afterwards. 

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COMMIT

Sometimes we believe that marriage should come equipped with autopilot, and that everything should automatically function and take us along the scenic path we all anticipate. But marriage requires commitment; in the form of your time, your focus, and both your mental and emotional priorities. The reality of it is that marriage takes time and requires work, and the fruit of it will only be as sweet as the time we take to harvest and nurture it.

Tip: Take 10 minutes of every Sunday to plan out your week. No, I don’t mean your work and errands schedule. Instead, to work on a plan on how you’ll dedicate a portion of each day to your spouse, and what you will do for them, towards them, and with them.

LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS

When we expect so much from others in life, they are bound to fall short of such. Many of us are taught and led to believe that getting married will solve everything in life; that it will fill every void present in our hearts, and that it will suffice for everything we need in life. Many studies have shown that such high expectations increase the likelihood of an unfulfilled marriage. Instead lower your expectations and increase your happiness.

Tip: Start your marriage with a small cup, as it’ll be a lot easier to fill. Lower your expectations and be pleasantly surprised!

UNPLUG

Learn to find time to unplug. No, I don’t mean unplugging your devices from the charger. I mean unplugging your devices from YOU. It has become an increasing issue nowadays that people have come to find their devices, specifically smartphones, as their closest companion. And many times it’s the first thing they look for when they wake up, and the last thing they see before they fall asleep. Think about it for a minute; when you’re browsing Facebook and Snapchat in bed, you’re bringing other people’s lives into the most intimate place in your home. Sorry Nike, but “just DON’T do it!

Tip: Create “off-limit zones” where your devices are not allowed, such as your bedroom and at the dinner table.

COMMUNICATE

Make time to express your feelings and your emotions with your spouse. And, equally as important, ensure you’re willing to listen and empathize with them in turn. Communication comes in many different forms, and it does not always have to be verbal. Even laying in bed, looking into their eyes, and just simply stroking their hair can be a powerful way of saying “I truly love you!

Tip: Find out which love language your spouse speaks, and make it a point to express your love accordingly. Read about the “5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman and learn more from him in my interview with him in the “Secrets to Lasting Love” [see link below].

EXTEND

Don’t seek happiness from just your marriage. Happiness comes from Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)

Through worshiping Him subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), take time out to grow spiritually and perform acts of worship. Extend your endeavors of finding happiness by interacting with the world, whether it is spending some leisurely time with friends, getting active with helping people less fortunate than yourself, or even coordinating a reunion with your childhood friends. Don’t confine yourself, as the world has so much to offer, and so much to receive from all that you are capable of giving!

Tip: Make a plan with your spouse where, one day, you’ll both go out separately and engage with others. Maybe a coordinated “guys-night-out and girls-night-out” will do the trick.

THINK THRICE

The saying goes that you should always think twice before you speak. But many times, while we’re charged with our emotions, even that doesn’t hold us back from unleashing words that can leave wounds for a lifetime.

Tip: If there is some pressing thing you need to get out of your system, write it out and keep it to yourself privately. Check on it in a week and, most likely, you’ll want to shred it before anyone else comes across it.

LITTLE IS BIG

Many times we’re lead to think and believe that the most appreciated of things we do are the ones that are the largest or the most expensive. But for most people, it’s really the amount of thought that went into planning or gifting something. A simple handwritten letter capturing your innermost feelings and your relentless love towards your spouse for example, is a gift that can penetrate the heart and reside therein forever.

Tip: Buy a pack of sticky notes and write short love messages for your spouse. Stick them in the most random of places: the bathroom mirror, the milk carton in the fridge, inside his briefcase, on top of the washing machine, on the edge of the shoe rack, inside her purse, or even a heartfelt card underneath their pillow.

ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

Being grateful can truly transform your life. There are countless studies showing how maintaining an attitude of gratitude can improve both your psychological and your physical health in so many ways. It allows you to see the world in a whole different light and one where you can always see the good in everything around you. Thriving relationships have at least five times more spoken appreciations than critical comments. Research has proven that happy couples succeed by finding ways to express their appreciation for each other.

Tip: Take the 30-day gratitude challenge and cultivate a gratitude mindset. Grab your copy here (Nobleblessings.com) and transform your life

 

BONUS. Learn the Secrets to Make Your Love Last!

There’s something you already know: that your marriage is worth investing in. Despite knowing that, many of us believe marriage should be something that we just know, that engages autopilot, and shouldn’t require much effort on our part. It should just work and, somehow, the pixie dust that was sprinkled on our hearts the day we got married should last us forever. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality of love. Love requires knowledge, nourishment and nurturing. That’s why I’ve spent years compiling the essential secrets, from both relationship experts around the world and also based on my research and experience from speaking with hundreds of individuals and couples; all to help you with your marriage, insha’Allah.

Tip: Sign up for my exclusive “Secrets to Lasting Love” course today, and master your relationships! And since your relationship is special, here’s a special limited-time code to get $20 off. 
Link: http://courses.duniashuaib.com/p/secrets-to-lasting-love
Coupon Code: “MASTERMYMARRIAGE

 

Sr. Dunia is a certified marriage educator, host of Deen with Dunia, motivational speaker, lecturer and author. She combines the Qur’an, Sunnah and psychology to help Muslims who are striving to create and maintain a harmonious relationship between their deen and dunya. Dunia is passionate about helping Muslims in their relationships. In addition to her focus in providing psychoeducation, she has been doing extensive research to pinpoint the problems in Muslim marriages in the West and to help find practical solutions. To learn more about her and her work visit her website: DuniaShuaib.com, and to catch her weekly livestream follow her on Facebook Facebook.com/DeenwithDunia

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Dunia is a psychoeducator, author, speaker, and host of Deen with Dunia. She has a passion for helping people, and continually strives to do so by providing high quality psychoeducation in a way that is easily accessible to the entire Ummah. She is on a mission to empower Muslims by integrating the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah, as well as principles of psychology.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Amatullah

    August 17, 2017 at 1:23 AM

    Can the Comments team please delete the above comment???

  2. Avatar

    Madiha

    August 23, 2017 at 11:27 AM

    Great article, love that it is practical. Thanks sis Duniya looking forward to seeing more from you!

  3. Avatar

    Ihsan

    August 23, 2017 at 12:58 PM

    Think Thrice… that was what I needed to hear today. Love this article lot the tips!

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#Islam

30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 10: The Dua’ of Umm Salama

Now that we have learnt about a good word, let’s talk about the dua’ of Umm Salama.

Today I’m going to share with you a story of a very important woman in Islamic history named Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her). She was a female companion, which means she was a sahaabiya (female companion)

Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) was one of the first people to embrace Islam and she was one of the few Muslims who actually performed the hijrah twice. 

Question: Who can tell me what a hijrah is?

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A hijrah is when someone leaves a place they are in for the sake of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). The first hijrah was to Ethiopia, where a just Christian ruler named Najashi took in a group of Muslims and took good care of them. 

So Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) and Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) went to Ethiopia. After some time living there, they really wanted to go back to Mecca so that they could be next to the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and learn everything about Islam. As they waited patiently, news traveled all the way to Africa saying that the Muslims were no longer getting persecuted because Umar ibn al-Khattab raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) and Hamza raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), the uncle of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), had embraced Islam. 

Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) and Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) decided to return back to Mecca, and when they did, they realized that it was only a rumor and that the Muslims were still being tortured by Quraysh. So, when the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) instructed all of the Muslims of Mecca to leave to Madina for the second hijrah, they wasted no time getting ready. 

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Question: Do you see how they were so active and didn’t take their Islam for granted?

As Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) was about to mount her camel, her tribe, the Banu Makhzum, came and told Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) that they would not allow him to take Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) to Madina. Then Abu Salama’s tribe, the Banu Asad, takes Salama, his child, away.  Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) could not defend himself against all of these men, so he sets off to Madina.

In just one day Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) lost her husband and her child, and she suffers so much because of it. She is in a lot of pain. After some time her cousin starts to feel sorry for her and speaks to the tribes on her behalf. He is then able to reunite her with her son. Then after a year of waiting, Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) is finally able to meet her husband in Madina. 

Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) was known to be a very caring husband and courageous man. He fought in the Battle of Badr as well as in the Battle of Uhud. In Uhud, he received a wound that he wasn’t able to recover from. 

Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) was so sad the day Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) died, but the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) taught her to recite a beautiful dua’:

إِنَّا لله وإنا إليه راجعون اللهم أجرني في مصيبتي وأخلف لي خيرا منها 

“We belong to Allah and to Allah is our return. Oh Allah, reward me for my calamity, and replace my loss with something better.”

Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) recited this dua’, but in her mind she thought, “Who can be better than Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him)?” 

After a few months passed, Umar ibn al-Khattab raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) proposed to Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her), but she said no. 

Then, Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) proposed to Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her), but again she said no. 

Then, the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) proposed to Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) and she accepted. So now, she was not only the mother of Salama, but the mother of all of the believers until the end of time! 

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This Eid And Beyond Boycott Goods Made With Enslaved Labor Of Uyghurs Even If It Is Your Favorite Brand

Bidding farewell to Ramadan, celebrating Eid?

Well, the Muslims of East Turkestan under Chinese occupation had neither Ramadan nor will they have Eid…

Not only that, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) run government has transferred Uyghurs and other ethnic minority citizens from East Turkestan to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Nike, Gap, Adidas, Ralph Lauren, Carters and others. Read Uyghurs for Sale for more information

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CCP is also pressuring governments across the world to extradite Uyghurs back to occupied East Turkestan.

Here is what you can do to help them:

Action Items

  1. Keep making dua for the oppressed of East Turkistan and the world.
  2. Boycott Chinese products! Do not be complicit in slave labour. Start with focusing on the companies in the graphic. Share it with #SewnWithtTears, #StopChina, #BoycottChina. Write to them and demand that they do better.
  3. Raise awareness on the plight of Uyghurs and the East Turkistani cause. Learn more at SaveUighur.org
  4. Work towards reducing your country’s economic dependence on China.
  5. Build alliances with all people of conscience to demand a cessation of China’s oppression of all faith groups, be it Muslim Uyghur, Hui; Chinese Christian; or Tibetan Buddhist.
  6. Encourage and promote fairer trade and commerce with Muslims and others rather than China.
  7. Inquire about Uyghur diaspora members in your area. Organize to help out orphans, widows, and students.
  8. Pressure governments to provide legal protection to Uyghur refugees-exiles by granting either citizenship or refugee/asylee status. Stop the “extradition/repatriation” of Uyghurs to China!
  9. Get your universities/endowments to divest from China. Raise awareness about Chinese espionage and hired guns in academia. Demand academic and financial support for Uyghur scholars and students. Request more academic attention and funds for Central Asian, Uyghur, Turkistani studies. 

Read a greater discussion of action items in A Response to Habib Ali Al-Jifri’s Comments on the Uyghurs, which also contains a greater discussion on East Turkistan’s history and its current situation. A condensed Arabic version of the article can be found here

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#Islam

30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 9: A Good Word

Now that we have learnt about the life of this world, let’s talk about a good word.

I want you all to close your eyes and think of a beautiful tree. 

Question: Who can tell me what their tree looks like? Is the tree big and strong? Does it have lots of branches and leaves? Does it have fruit?

Now, I want you to think of a time when someone said something really nice to you.

Question:  What are some of the nice statements you remember people telling you?

Question: How did those statements make you feel?

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Yes, they fill us up with a warm feeling. We may have felt proud of ourselves and we may have felt loved. Do you know that Allah [wt] describes a good word to a good tree? 

In Surah Ibrahim, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرَةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِي السَّمَاءِ 

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تُؤْتِي أُكُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينٍ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهَا ۗ وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ 

Have you not considered how Allah presents an example, [making] a good word like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches [high] in the sky? [Surah Ibrahim; 24]

It produces its fruit all the time, by permission of its Lord. And Allah presents examples for the people that perhaps they will be reminded. [Surah Ibrahim; 25]

Question: Now, I want you to think of a time when someone said something mean to you. How did that make you feel?

It’s not fun to remember the mean stuff right? Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) continues in Surah Ibrahim and says:

وَمَثَلُ كَلِمَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ كَشَجَرَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ اجْتُثَّتْ مِن فَوْقِ الْأَرْضِ مَا لَهَا مِن قَرَارٍ

And the example of a bad word is like a bad tree, uprooted from the surface of the earth, not having any stability. [Surah Ibrahim; 26] 

Question: What do you think are good words we can use to build strong, firmly rooted trees?

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