This was an advice that was shared and recorded during a wedding of two young Muslims in Queens, New York. It was as follows:
In the name of Allah, and all praise is due to Allah and may His peace and blessings be upon His prophet. Newly Weds, this is a great honor for me to be able to have the opportunity to provide some advice for you before your upcoming wedding. I ask Allah to make your wedding a blessed affair, and that He blesses you with happiness and goodness and righteous deeds for the remainder of your lives and that he admits you and your righteous offspring to Jannah alongside with you without accountability, Insha’Allah.
I decided to keep my advice as brief as possible and to make it come from the Quran and Sunnah. Which of course is the best advice possible. I divided my advice into two components: the first half is going to be directed at the groom and the second part for the bride.
MashaAllah, I’m just very happy for you and we spent a lot of time together and known each other for a long time, and I’m very happy that this moment has finally come for you. I hope that it’s going to be everything that you expect it to be and more.
My advice to you is going to be based off the verse where Allah says, “وعاشروهن بالمعروف” “And live with them in every form of good.” Surah Nisa: 19. As you know the word ‘ma’ruf’ in the Arabic language means, “very form of good”. And so, there is no limit to the good that a man can do to his wife and everything which is understood to be good in the times we live in falls under the definition of ‘ma’ruf’.
And one of the things I think is important for you to understand is, the difference between men and women, specifically when it comes to personal insecurities. From what I’ve learned, from having a mother, having a wife, having a daughter is that women, despite so many strengths they have, are insecure about a number of things. I found this well said in a play that I had once read where a person who is supposed to understand a lot more about women said, ‘What is she thinking about, she’s thinking about what she wants out of her life, what she is going to accomplish and how she is going to do all of that. Women you know, they think about that a lot, I mean surprisingly a lot; they worry all the time about everything.’
This is the difference between us and them, from a Mars and Venus type of standpoint, is that women do worry about a lot of things, specifically in the era we live in, with airbrushed models, advertisements covering buses, and being in magazines everywhere you look, and the things on TV, etc. These things can cause any woman to be insecure about the feeling her husband has for her.
So my advice for you, when comes to ‘ma’ruf’ in this regard, is that you never stop complimenting her, that you never stop making her feel special, and don’t ever for a moment think, that you’re overdoing it. Because you can never over do it, you can never tell her how beautiful she is, enough times. You can never tell her how much you love her, enough times. You can never tell her how special she is to you enough times, so don’t ever think that you said it enough or if I keep saying it’ll get old or boring because she loves to hear it every single time and she needs to hear it, quite a bit.
And it doesn’t have to be just you know a phrase, it doesn’t have to be, something you say to her in person, it could be something like, writing it on a little note and stuffing it into her purse, or putting it into her shirt pocket before she goes out for the day, or leaving it on the refrigerator with her name written on it, it could be a text message, it could be an email, it could be a card that you buy from the store and that you leave for her to find after she gets home at the end of the day. All of these little things are important aspects of ‘ma’ruf’ that your wife will never get tired of and it will always contribute to her loving you and to her wanting to make you feel special in return.
It’s one of the greatest gifts that we give when we love someone else, usually, when we love somebody that much, it going to make them love us more, and its going to be this wonderful circle that continues to get better and better and better. And as the Prophet said, ‘No believing man should hate a believing woman, if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will be pleased by another.’
And from this, we understand that you’re never going to have it perfect. This world is not the domain of perfection. You are not perfect, so don’t expect perfection. No matter how wonderful your wife is she’s going to do something that you’re not going to like. There are going to be some things you will tell her about in a very gentle and careful way that she may be able to change and she may be able to improve upon, and there are going to be those things which she cannot improve upon, and are better left unsaid. And I think you can understand what I mean.
So when you see those things that you don’t like so much, try to remember all the many, many, many good things that she is, and in this day and age my friend let me tell you, having a believing woman, a woman who is committed to pleasing Allah, a woman who loves knowledge, a woman who loves Allah and his messenger, these are very special qualities indeed, And things you should be very thankful to Allah, that you have and don’t ever forget it. So continue to remind yourself about that. And continue to ask Allah to remind you so that you don’t forget about them.
And sister, some of that advice I think would also be of benefit to you. But I have a special advice for you. Again coming from the words of our Beloved Messenger where he said at the end of a very lengthy hadith about the solar eclipse, narrated by Imam Bukhari [ra]a where the Prophet said:
“I was shown hell, and I have never seen anything more terrifying than it, (may Allah protect us from it) and I saw that the majority of its people are women, and so the companions asked, why? Oh, Messenger of Allah, He said:
Because of their ingratitude ‘yakfurn al’asheer’.
It was said to him, are they ungrateful to Allah? He said: No, they are ungrateful to their husbands, and they are ungrateful for the good treatment they receive. If you are kind to one of them for a lifetime and then she sees only one undesirable thing in you, she will say: ‘I have never seen anything good from you.’”
This hadith is to be understood in a specific way. In that, the Prophet is making women aware of one of the characteristics that is a weakness or is a pitfall that many women find themselves in.
Certainly your husband and I can tell you about the many pitfalls that we as men have, and I’m certain we can find them in a number of Qur’anic verses and hadiths as well, for indeed the prophet is teaching us that which Allah has taught him, Allah as our Creator, knows our weaknesses and he knows those things we have a tough time handling. So here the Prophet has cautioned women to be careful about this. Because many women do fall into this category or they fall into this behavior, they are pre-disposed to it, to a degree.
So the righteous women of the companions, upon hearing this advice of the Prophet, they made every effect to keep themselves out of that position, and any righteous woman who hears it today should have the same response. To say, what can I do so that I will not be part of this terrible group, with this terrible end?
So I encourage you that when you look at your husband, and if he bothers you, which I’m sure he will do, if he does something that you will not like, which I am sure he will do, then I encourage you, to remember at least two other good things that he has done.
Sister, we live in a world where the questions which are asked to the shuyookh are often from women complaining about husbands who do not pray, do not fast Ramadan, drink alcohol, smoke, and/or are addicted to pornography, may Allah protect us from these horrible things. Yet, these are some of the circumstances that so many Muslim, practicing, women face in their marriages.
So Alhamdulillah that Allah has blessed you with a man who is not going to do those things, though certainly, he is not going to be perfect. He is going to fail in other aspects so I encourage you to remember the good things that he has done for you. I expect that [your husband] will be concerned about your welfare, that he is going to be concerned about providing the best home and the best environment for you with the aim of you both attaining Paradise together, insha’Allah.
So I hope this advice is of benefit to you, and that it’s not too repetitious, and I would like to end by, making dua for you both by saying
بَارَكَ اللَّه ُُ لَكَمَا، وَبَارَكَ عَلَيْكَمَا، وَجَمَعَ بَيْنَكُمَا فِي خَيْر
May Allah bless you and your spouse, and may He unite both of you in goodness.
I ask Allah to admit us all into Jannatul Firdous without any accountability on the Day of Judgment together, with our wives, and our children, and their children, and our families. Ameen.