Found in Muslim Marriage Rights

Almost half of Muslim marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. According to a Muslim Law Firm based in Illinois, 45% are going through a divorce, which is up from 30% in 1990. An unfortunate statistic, but one that raises many issues in how to conduct ourselves when faced with this situation. All of us know someone who has been divorced or is going through struggles in their marriage.

Muslim marriages today are suffering like never before. The struggle to keep a marriage together isn’t an issue of whether the person married someone “good” or not. The problem for many couples stems from their perceptions and expectations, as well as their tolerance of one another.

The difference between a Muslim marriage and any other marriage is that we are held together by rights and obligations. Both husband and wife must fulfill God-given rights given to each spouse. Though they may differ, the Most Just has made them fair regardless of anyone’s opinion.

When these rights start disappearing and being ignored, we find marriages suffer from a sense of brokenness. This is especially true when either spouse gives up their rights to please others.

Of course, our Creator knows the best way His creation functions, and He has prescribed the best way for us, and within it is happiness. Muslim marriage rights are not complicated and are seemingly quite simple. The rulings on marriage may get complex, but day-to-day rights do not.

Read on for ways to incorporate and apply rights of marriage in Islam to our daily living.

Kindness is a Spousal Right

Islamic laws differ based on gender, and what is suitable for one may not be for the other. Each gender has different needs and requires different things to be their best. There is one right, however, that is due to both man and woman, and it is kindness.

Being kind to your spouse is a right owed to each other.

This right requires some deep thinking to realize just how vital it is to the happiness and health of your marriage. Not all couples hit it off, and even if they do, they can be a test to one another over time. Sometimes our spouses can be annoying simply because they do things differently than we would.  There are many reasons we can lose patience with our spouses, and in doing so, we risk offending each other.

Knee-Jerk Reactions Hurt Marriages

Marriage is unlike any other relationship. The union between husband and wife has a way of triggering us, unlike anything else. We’re more sensitive to how our spouse treats us and perceives us. It’s especially easy to hold on to these feelings or react in a way we wouldn’t usually with others. These reactions are where things go wrong in a marriage. Before giving a calming period, we respond with the first emotional response that comes out of us.

Harsh words are exchanged, or spouses ignore one another, stonewalling and giving the silent treatment.  Or they argue about small things, like how to squeeze out toothpaste. This leads to a destructive cycle that, if not changed, can cause each spouse to feel neglected, unloved, and unsatisfied with their marriage.

The Way to a Happy Muslim Marriage

Before problems escalate, there is one right given by Allah that will divert and cure most issues.

Fulfill the Right of Kindness.

If both spouses deeply commit to at least this one thing, the rest will become simple. Fulfilling this right can be difficult. It requires a lot of self-control and self-awareness.

Nonetheless, if you start today, your chances of fixing your wrongs increase. The tone and foundation of your marriage shift. The heaviness of holding onto various wrongs lifts, and life becomes easier.

Effort is Required

What happens when only one spouse is doing this and not the other? Or each thinks they are being kind, yet one or both are not.

Kindness in a marriage has two parts – manners and knowing your spouse.

Some feel they cannot be themselves if they must always show a sense of manners. Some say they want to let their guard down and just say what they feel and act how they want. Unfortunately, showing a lack of consideration for your spouse’s feelings rarely results in anything good.

“The best of you are those who are best to their family” requires that you show and act your best with your family. A marriage doesn’t allow someone to be mean with the expectation that the other person won’t be hurt. Being married doesn’t entitle a person to be inconsiderate or ignore their spouse’s feelings.

Being unkind is a choice you make; it’s not a personality.

The second part of kindness is where connection and intimacy stem from. This is not just being kind but being particularly sensitive and caring towards your spouse on their terms. If you know a certain thing bothers your spouse, you avoid it. If you know something makes your spouse happy, you try to do that.

When both partners try this mindset, beautiful things happen! When the default pattern in marriage functions like this, you’ll see both spouses pleased with their marriage. They are deeply happy.

Yes, marriage is work. But most of the work stems from one simple rule. This rule needs a strong emphasis in the first five years of marriage, and that is kindness!

Even if your spouse doesn’t choose kindness in the same way, don’t stop being kind. Keep sticking to being kind because it’s a right to your spouse. Also, over time, you may even influence your spouse to show the same kindness.

About the Author:

Shireen Patel is the author of Muslim Marriage 101 and a marriage coach, with an obsession of  “happily-ever-after.” Blessed to finally have that, she gratefully holds the badge of “been there, done that!”  Through years of failure, success, passionate study, and much practice she found her calling in helping Muslim women transform their struggling marriages.  Her superpower is her ability to take surface level conflicts and pinpoint the core issues to allow for healing and welcome change.

To learn about Fiqh of Marriage in Islam please visit this link