Questions to Ask Before Getting Married

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

There is no doubt marriage is becoming harder for some people. And when you go to see a potential partner you may struggle to ask the right questions. Here is a list someone sent me:

tomoko-uji-633735-unsplash(Pick and choose the right questions, obviously you are not going to ask all the questions)

MARRIAGE
1. What is your concept of marriage?

2. Have you been married before?

3. Are you married now?

4. What are your expectations of marriage?

5. Why have you chosen me/other person as a potential spouse?

6. What are your goals in life? (long and short term)

7. Identify three things that you want to accomplish in the near future.

8. Identify three things that you want to accomplish, long term.

RELIGION
9. What is the role of religion in your life now?

10. Are you a spiritual person?

11. What is your understanding of an Islamic marriage?

12. What are you expecting of your spouse, religiously?

13. What is your relationship between you and the Muslim community in your area?

14. Are you volunteering in any Islamic activities?

15. What can you offer your spouse spiritually?

16. What is the role of the husband?

17. What is the role of the wife?

18. Do you want to practice polygamy?

FAMILY
19. What is your relationship with your family?

20. What do you expect your relationship with the family of your spouse to be?

21. What do you expect your spouses relationship with your family to be?

22. Is there anyone in your family living with you now?

23. Are you planning to have anyone in your family live with you in the future?

24. If, for any reason, my relationship with your family turns sour, what should be done?

FRIENDS
25. Who are your friends? (Identify at least three.)

26. How did you get to know them?

27. Why are they your friends?

28. What do you like most about them?

29. What will your relationship with them after marriage be?

30. Do you have friends of the opposite sex?

31. What is the level of your relationship with them now?

32. What will be the level of your relationship with them after marriage?

33. What type of relationship do you want your spouse to have with your friends?

SELF
34. What are the things that you do in your free time?

35. Do you love to have guests in your home for entertainment?

36. What are you expecting from your spouse when your friends come to the house?

37. What is your opinion of speaking other languages in home that I do not understand? (with friends or family)

38. Do you travel?

39. How do you spend your vacations?

40. How do you think your spouse should spend vacations?

41. Do you read?

42. What do you read?

43. After marriage, do you think that you are one to express romantic feelings verbally?

44. After marriage, do you think that you want to express affection in public?

45. How do you express your admiration for someone that you know now?

46. How do you express your feelings to someone who has done a favour for you?

47. Do you like to write your feelings?

48. If you wronged someone, how do you apologize?

49. If someone has wronged you, how do you want she/he to apologize to you?

50. How much time passes before you can forgive someone?

51. How do you make important and less important decisions in your life?

52. Do you use foul language at home? In public? With family?

53. Do your friends use foul language?

54. Does your family use foul language?

55. How do you express anger?

56. How do you expect your spouse to express anger?

57. What do you do when you are angry?

58. When do you think it is appropriate to initiate mediation in marriage?

59. When there is a dispute in your marriage, religious or otherwise, how should the
conflict get resolved?

60. Define mental, verbal, emotional and physical abuse.

61. What would you do if you felt that you had been abused?

62. Who would you call for assistance if you were being abused?

HEALTH
63. Do you suffer from any chronic disease or condition?

64. Are you willing to take a physical exam by a physician before marriage?

65. What is your understanding of proper health and nutrition?

66. How do you support your own health and nutrition?

MONEY
67. What is you definition of wealth?

68. How do you spend money?

69. How do you save money?

70. How do you think that your use of money will change after marriage?

71. Do you have any debts now? If so, how are you making progress to eliminate them?

72. Do you use credit cards?

73. Do you support the idea of taking loans to buy a new home?

74. What are you expecting from your spouse financially?

75. What is your financial responsibility in the marriage?

76. Do you support the idea of a working wife?

77. If so, how do you think a dual-income family should manage funds?

78. Do you currently use a budget to manage your finances?

79. Who are the people to whom you are financially responsible?

80. Do you support the idea of utilizing baby sitters and/or maids?

CHILDREN
81. Do you want to have children? If not, why?

82. To the best of your understanding, are you able to have children?

83. Do you want to have children in the first two years of marriage? If not, when?

84. Do you believe in abortion?

85. Do you have children now?

86. What is your relationship with your children now?

87. What is your relationship with their other parent?

88. What relationship do you expect your spouse to have with your children and their parent?

89. What is the best method(s) of raising children?

90. What is the best method(s) of disciplining children?

91. How were you raised?

92. How were you disciplined?

93. Do you believe in spanking children? Under what circumstances?

94. Do you believe in public school for your children?

95. Do you believe in Islamic school for your children?

96. Do you believe in home schooling for your children?

97. What type of relationship should your children have with non-Muslim classmates/friends?

98. Would you send your children to visit their extended family if they lived in another state or country?

99. What type of relationship do you want your children to have with all their grandparents?

RELATIVES
100. If there are members of my family that are not Muslim, that are of different race or culture, what type of relationship do you want to have with them?

I will also add the istikhara dua, to pray after two rak’at nafl salah:

isti

Where the words “Hathal amr” appear twice (underlined) think of the matter you are asking for.

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10 Ways to be the Ideal Muslim Husband

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

images (3)Zainab bint Younus, Canada

MARITAL ADVICE LISTS are common to find in Muslim literature and lectures, yet the information is almost always targeted towards women. However, we all know that it takes two to tango – and so here is a list aimed at Muslim husbands in the hopes that they, too, will benefit and be able to improve their relationships.

1. Have taqwa and isân

Know that you are responsible for your end of the marriage, regardless of how the other party treats you. Fulfill your wife’s rights without demanding yours first, and know that you seek Allah’s Pleasure over anyone else’s. Do your job with excellence, and don’t make it conditional. Isân is not merely to worship in the ritual sense, but to conduct oneself in general with an awareness that Allah is Al-Raqîb (the Ever-Watchful), and to fulfill one’s duties in the best of manners.

Then he (Jibrîl) said, “Inform me about isân.” He (the Messenger of Allah) answered, “It is that you should serve Allah as though you could see Him, for though you cannot see Him yet (know that) He sees you.” (Muslim)

2. Respect her

Remember that Allah describes marriage as a bond of love and mercy – love ebbs and flows, but mercy and respect must always be there, even – especially – in times of conflict. Unfortunately, we tend to present respect as a quality that men need (“men need respect, women need affection”). The truth is, however, that one can love someone without respecting them… and this is very, very dangerous. To have mercy and respect one’s wife is to never assume that she exists merely as an extension of you or to serve your needs. To respect her is to honor her, to defend her from harm and others’ accusations, and to have husn al-ann of her.

In cases of disagreement, this respect translates as not forcing your own opinion upon her when there is Islamically acceptable room for differences of opinion.

It should go without saying, but unfortunately it bears repeating nonetheless – respecting your wife means never, ever, abusing her, physically or otherwise.

“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.”  [Sûrat Al-Rûm, 30:21]

Even in times of conflict, Allah tells us to behave in the most respectful and gracious of manners:

And do not forget graciousness between you.  [Sûrat Al-Baqarah, 2:237]

Abû Mûsa Al-Ashʿari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I asked the Messenger of Allah: “Who is the most excellent among the Muslims?” He said, “One from whose tongue and hands the other Muslims are secure.”  [1]

3.  Be emotionally intelligent

Empathy, being attuned to the other person’s preferences, learning to understand their personality and responding appropriately without expecting to change them into something they’re not… supporting and respecting each other as both individuals and as a team. The Prophet ﷺ was an emotionally intelligent husband, who knew the differences in his wives’ personalities and interacted with them in a manner best suited to each woman. He comforted Ṣufiyyah when she wept; he had spirited discussions with ʿÂishah (May Allah be pleased with her) and he encouraged Ḥafṣah’s (May Allah be pleased with her) for knowledge.

In a famous narration known as the Hadith of Abu Zarʿ(May Allah be pleased with him) [2]  ʿAishah told the Prophet ﷺ the story of eleven women who sat together and described their husbands’ qualities and behaviours. The eleventh woman, Umm Zarʿ, described Abû Zarʿas a man who was extremely generous to his wife, showering her with gifts; who went out of his way to please her; who never rebuked her or verbally abused her; who made sure that she was comfortable and satisfied. To Umm Zarʿ, there was no greater husband than Abû Zarʿ- and the Prophet ﷺ himself told ʿÂishah, I am to you as Abû Zarʿwas to Umm Zarʿ, except that I will never divorce you.

4.  Be a True Qawwâm

Know that being a qawwâm is a matter of being a good leader – not authoritarian or a dictator, but someone who inspires love and respect, who treats others with dignity and respect… The popular book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a great resource for understanding what good leadership is. There are several excellent Islamic resources discussing leadership lessons from the life of the Prophet ﷺ.  [3]  [4]   Strive to embody the Sunnah in your character, not just in how many rakʿahs a day you pray.

ʿÂishah RA described the Prophet thus: “His character was the Quran.” [5] Be the type of husband that a wife describes in such a manner.

Remember that as a qawwâm, you are responsible and accountable for the well-being of your household and those under your care.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The amîr (ruler) who is over the people is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock; a man is a shepherd in charge of the inhabitants of his household and he is responsible for his flock…”  [6]

5.  Be friends before you become spouses

That might sound odd (or not) – but we often put so much pressure on ourselves to fulfill a role (husband/wife), that we forget to get to know each other as friends first. Every marriage will go through ups and downs, intimately and otherwise… and you’ll be surprised to realize how much having a solid, sincere friendship can pull you through the hard times.

One example of RasûlAllah’s “friendship” with his wives is his relationship with Sawdah bint Zamʿah RA. She was the first woman whom he married after the death of Khadijah, and although she was considered to be elderly and not as beautiful as the other women whom he would later marry, their relationship was one of camaraderie, confidence, and laughter.  [7]

6.  Don’t be embarrassed or ignorant of female biology

Learn about it – from menstruation to female sexuality to pregnancy and everything else. You need to know this stuff – it will impact your life significantly, intimately and otherwise. Don’t laugh it off or act as though it’s not worth your time and attention. Women’s health is sorely misunderstood, and having a disinterested (or worse, disgusted) husband can make things even more difficult for women.

The Prophet ﷺ did not shy away from these matters, either as a husband or as a Messenger of Allah. Instead, he constantly enjoined men to be aware of and sensitive to their wives’ needs – just as he was with his wives.

Narrated Umm Salamah RA:

While I was laying with the Prophet ﷺ under a single woolen sheet, I got the menses. I slipped away and put on the clothes for menses. He said, “Have you got “nifâs” (menses)?” I replied, “Yes.” He then called me and made me lie with him under the same sheet.   [8]

7.  Be responsible

Being “a good Muslim husband” doesn’t just mean fulfilling the basic rights as a husband and leaving it at that. Being a good Muslim husband means that you are on the ball as a responsible adult – whether it’s paying the bills, taking out the trash, cleaning a mess in the house, or being an engaged father (not ‘babysitting’). Doing these things is not a “kindness to the wife,” or “helping out at home.” It’s not “extra credit” and deserving of lavish praise. It is part and parcel of being a grown man responsible for his surroundings, his family, and himself. Do these things out of mindfulness that Allah will never waste your efforts for His Sake.

Narrated Al-Aswad RA:

I asked ʿÂishah what did the Prophet use to do at home. She replied. “He used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was time for the prayer, he would get up for prayer.” (Bukhâri)

ʿÂishah RA reported:

I was asked, “What did the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, do in his house?” I said, “The Prophet was a man among men. He would remove fleas from his clothes, milk his sheep, and serve himself.” (Musnad Ahmad 25662)

8.  Don’t pursue your nawâfil at the expense of your wife’s farâi

One issue that many men fall into is that in their zeal to engage more in ʿibâda, they end up burdening their wives even more – to the extent that she is barely able to pray her five alawât with khushûʿ. Both spouses should encourage and facilitate opportunities for each other to strengthen as Muslims, but mothers of young children especially need their husbands to step up so that they can have the necessary time they need to reconnect with Allah and flourish spiritually. (And no, that doesn’t just mean five minutes here and there.)

Ramadan is a time when this becomes more obvious than ever – for example, many men will go to alat Al-arâwî while leaving their wives to deal with the children, in addition to having cooked ifâr beforehand. On a daily basis, though, go out of your way to facilitate your wife’s ʿibâda and spiritual connection.

Narrated Abû Juḥaifah RA:

The Prophet ﷺ made a bond of brotherhood between Salmân Al-Fârisi RA and Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA. Salmân RA paid a visit to Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA and found Umm Al-Dardâ’ RA dressed in shabby clothes and asked her why she was in that state. She replied, “Your brother Abû Al-Dardâ’ R is not interested in (the luxuries of) this world.”

In the meantime Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA came and prepared a meal for Salmân RA. Salmân RA requested Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA to eat (with him), but Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA said, “I am fasting.” Salmân RA said, “I am not going to eat unless you eat.”

So, Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA ate (with Salmân). When it was night and (a part of the night had passed), Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA got up (to offer the night prayer), but Salmân RA told him to sleep and Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA slept.

After sometime Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA again got up but Salmân RA told him to sleep. When it was the last hours of the night, Salmân RA told him to get up then, and both of them offered the prayer.

Salmân RA told Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA, “Your Lord has a right on you, your soul has a right on you, and your family has a right on you; so you should give the rights of all those who has a right on you.”

Abû Al-Dardâ’ RA came to the Prophet ﷺ and narrated the whole story. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Salmân RA has spoken the truth.”   [9]

9.  Learn conflict resolution skills

One big reason that couples end up going to Shuyûkh for counseling is because they simply haven’t learned how to communicate and resolve conflicts in a healthy manner. It’s not even about one specific issue or another; it’s about learning how to deal with whatever issues arise, in the most respectful and appropriate manner possible.  [10]

The Quran and Sunnah urge positive reconciliation between believers, and especially between husbands and wives.

“And live with them honourably. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.” [Sûrat Al-Nisâ’, 4:19]

“And if a woman fears from her husband contempt or evasion, there is no sin upon them if they make terms of settlement between them – and settlement is best. And present in [human] souls is stinginess. But if you do good and fear Allah – then indeed Allah is ever with what you do, Acquainted.” [Sûrat Al-Nisâ’, 4:128]

10. Love your wife for who she is

Not because she’s the person who cooks for you or does your laundry. Not because she’s the mother of your child(ren). Not because you’ve settled into routine and you feel comfortable having her around and she knows how to work the coffee maker and where the family’s paperwork is filed. Love her for her. Her personality traits, her talents, her hobbies, the things about her that make her unique.

Notice them, appreciate them, compliment them. Let her know that you don’t just see her as wife or mother, but as an individual on her own. Know that long before she married you, indeed long before she was born to her own parents, she was created as a separate soul – a human being whose primary identity is as a slave of Allah.

And most importantly – let her know that you love her, with all the pride and openness that RasûlAllah ﷺ demonstrated when he was asked, “Who do you love most?” and he responded, simply and beautifully, “ʿÂishah.”   [11]

There are of course numerous other pieces of advice that can be dispensed on the topic – everything from giving gifts to resolving in-law issues to arranging date-nights and so on. However, more important than specific behaviours are the principles behind them – and it these principles which have been highlighted.

In short, Muslim men should strive to match the standards set by RasûlAllah ﷺ when he said:

“The best of you are those who are the best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives.”   [12]

————————–

[1] http://sunnah.com/riyadussaliheen/18/2

[2] http://sunnah.com/bukhari/67/123

[3] http://muslimmatters.org/2014/10/28/lessons-in-leadership-from-the-prophet-muhammad-saw/ and http://muslimmatters.org/2014/11/04/21-lessons-in-leadership-from-the-prophet-part-2/

[4] https://theislamicworkplace.com/2006/11/15/the-leadership-process-of-muhammad-s-from-hadith/

[5] http://sunnah.com/urn/2203080

[6] http://sunnah.com/abudawud/20/1

[7] http://thesalafifeminist.blogspot.ca/2014/08/his-laughter-her-love.html

[8] http://sunnah.com/bukhari/6/5

[9] http://sahaba.net/salman-farisi-rights/

[10] https://aljumuah.com/cooling-the-fires-of-marriage-part-1-an-approach-to-conflict-resolution/

[11] http://sunnah.com/bukhari/64/384

[12] Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi, 3895; Ibn Mâjah, 1977; classed as saî by al-Albaani in Saî al-Tirmidhi

ZAINAB BINT YOUNUS

Zainab bint Younus is a Canadian Muslimah who has been active in grassroots da’wah and writing about Islam and the Ummah for the last nine years. She was first published in al-Ameen Newspaper (Vancouver, Canada) at the age of 14, became a co-founder, editor, and writer for MuslimMatters.org at 16; and began writing regularly for SISTERS Magazine at the age of 19 until today. She also blogs regularly at The Salafi Feminist

Recipe for a Successful Marriage

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Screenshot_2017-11-19-14-54-28.pngANY DUA TO AVOID DISPUTES WITH MY HUSBAND?

Question:

Assalamualaikum 

Is there good easy Duaa/wazeefa to prevent fights? And ease of mind of my husband as well as to move forward from repeated thoughts?

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

 

You have referred to three issues,

a.   Dua to prevent fights

b.   Ease of mind

c.   Move forward from repeated thoughts

Fights are the consequence of one not expressing restraint and controlling one’s anger. In order, to prevent fights one should learn how to exercise restraint and control one’s anger. Dua alone is not sufficient to control one’s anger. If there is a raging fire, one needs to put off the fire. One cannot sit back and simply make dua without the aid of water or fire extinguisher. In fact, when there is fear of fire, arrangement is made for a water hose or fire extinguisher within one’s reach. Likewise, one needs to equip oneself with the necessary skills to overcome and combat anger. This requires spiritual and internal training by oneself or through a spiritual guide.

A Sahabi requested Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam for advice. Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, لَا تَغْضَبْ . He repeated this advice three times. If one does not exercise restraint and control ones anger, he will be forced to tolerate more than the discomfort of anger later. We advise you to inculcate skills of containing your anger. This would be achieved by a spiritual guide.

 

Also make dua to Allah for tolerance.

رَبَّنَا أَفْرِغْ عَلَيْنَا صَبْرًا وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَنَا وَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

Our Lord, pour upon us patience and plant firmly our feet and give us victory over the disbelieving people.” [2:250] screenshot_2017-11-19-14-54-201.png

The following marriage recipe of 10 points will be useful.

1.   Fear Allah:

It was the noble practice of Nabi (SAW) to conscientise the spouses about the fear for Allah before performing a Nikah by reciting the verses (Nisa v14, Ahzab v69, Aali-Imraan v101) from the Qur’an. All the verses are common in the message of Taqwa (fear of Allah). The spouses will be first committed to Allah before being committed to their partner. There can be no doubt in the success of a marriage governed by the fear of Allah.

2.   Never be angry at the same time:

Anger is the root cause for all marital disputes. One Sahabi came to Rasulullah (SAW) and sought some advice.

Rasulullah (SAW) replied, control your anger. The same advice was rendered three times. (Mishkat pg.433; HM Saeed)

3.   If one has to win an argument, let it be the other:

Nabi (SAW) said: “Whoever discards an argument despite being correct shall earn a palace in the centre of Jannah. (Ibid pg.412)

4.   Never shout at each other unless the house is on fire:

 Luqman (AS) while offering advice to his son said:” and lower your voice for verily the most disliked voice is that of a donkey”. (Surah Luqman v19)

5.   If you have to criticize, do it lovingly:

Rasulullah (SAW) said, ‘A Mu’ min is a mirror for a Mu’min.’ (Abu Dawood vol.2 pg.325; Imdadiyah) Advise with dignity and silently.

6.   Never bring up mistakes of the past:

Nabi (SAW) said: “Whoever conceals the faults of others, Allah shall conceal his faults on the day of Qiyamah.” (Mishkaat pg.429; HM Saeed)

7.   Neglect the whole world rather than your marriage partner:

Nabi (SAW) confirmed the advice of Salman to Abu-Darda [RA] for neglecting his wife. “Verily there is a right of your wife over you.” (Nasai Hadith2391)

8.   Never sleep with an argument unsettled:

Abu Bakr [RA] resolved his dispute with his wife over-feeding the guests before going to bed. (Bukhari Hadith 602)

9.   At least, once everyday, express your gratitude to your partner:

Nabi [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] said, ‘Whoever does not show gratitude to the people has not shown gratitude to Allah.’ (Abu Dawud pg.662; Karachi)

10.   When you have done something wrong, be ready to admit it and ask for forgiveness:

 Nabi [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] said, ‘All the sons of Aadam commit error, and the best of those who err are those who seek forgiveness.’ (Tirmidhi Hadith 2499)

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Huzaifah Deedat

Student Darul Iftaa
Lusaka, Zambia

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.