By Bela Khan
I have been happily married for one and a half years to a man. In our daily lives, I make it a point to stay on guard against Satan by consciously noticing how he tries to creep into our lives. More often than not, Satan creeps into our lives by making petty issues seem larger than life. Consider the following scenario:
Me: I want ice cream.
Hubby: No, it’s getting late, Bela. Let’s go home.
Me: No, I want ice cream, now.
Hubby: We have to get up early, right. Let’s go home now. We’ll come tomorrow insha Allah.
Me: You always seem to have an excuse whenever I ask for ice cream. How much time does it take to buy one scoop?
Hubby: Ok, fine. You never listen to me. Let’s go.
Me (pouting): No, I don’t want ice cream now anyway. Have it your way. Let’s go home.
Petty, right? Yet, I can see Satan creeping in. Making his way. Burning our bridges. Building walls between us. But Alhamdulillah, we usually bring them down before he builds them up. Masha Allah La quwaata illa billah.
Next time, when you are fighting with your spouse, take a deep breath, pause and see if you can hear the insinuating whispers of Satan. When his involvement becomes clear, make sure you win, and he loses. By ‘he’, I meant Satan, not your husband. This fight is actually between you and Satan, not between you and your spouse!
The husband-wife relationship is one of the most valued relationships in our religion; so strong yet so fragile. Sometimes, it can feel like being on an emotional roller-coaster. A small comment or action from one spouse is enough to tick off the other. Minor arguments can be destructive to both partners (their children and all around them), let alone major fights which are a complete devastation.
I explained in my previous article that through our thoughts and emotions, we emit powerful signals which can damage our physical and emotional health. So, after a fight or argument with your spouse, how would you describe your state of mind? Dangerously negative, right?
These negative thoughts and emotions emit such powerful signals that they can leave highly injurious effects on anybody in range. Your baby catches cold the next day. Your husband goes to work with negative thoughts roaming around in his head from the argument still fresh in his mind.
Nothing seems to work for him and his entire day is ruined. And back home, you get a headache. You did not bang your head against the wall, did you? Nope? Then your negative energies are playing the trick. How much effort does it take to settle the argument before leaving and saving yourself and others the trouble? Kill your ego and make peace.
Dig down deep inside and try to re-call: What were you thinking the last time before you fell ill? Negative thinking is a killer. It significantly raises the blood pressure, weakens the immune system and results in stress and fatigue. Research indicates that 90 percent of all deadly diseases are caused by “stress”. Couples who fight often (and consequently live in a field of negative energy) are more likely to suffer from high cholesterol, skin wrinkles (ladies stay alert!) and increased appetite.
On the other hand, deeply passionate marriages reduce stress, create more happiness, and decrease the chances of catching deadly diseases. Therefore, it would be better if (at least some of the time) we mind our own business and stop spying on each other. The more you let go, the sooner things will fall into place. A good healthy marriage is an excellent healer. Turn yours into a good one.
Often the habits of our spouse that frustrate us the most are the salient features of our characteristics. We tend to ignore our shortcomings while blowing others’ out of proportion.
The result is that we end up popping painkillers with our heads buried inside pillows. Meanwhile, the rest of the family members maintain a sacred silence because they do not want to disturb you while you suffer a headache.
The husband-wife relationship is the cornerstone of Muslim family and society. It is on the top of Satan’s hit list. The Quran speaks about Haroot and Maroot who used to teach satanic skills to the Israelites of Babylon. They taught them a special kind of magic – the magic that creates separation between husband and wife.
“…And [yet] they learn from them [Harut and Marut] that by which they cause separation between a man and his wife. But they do not harm anyone through it except by permission of Allah. And the people learn what harms them and does not benefit them…” (2:102)
The Hadith is also very explicit about this issue:
Jabir reported that Allah’s Messenger (sal Allaahu alayhi wasallam) said: Iblis places his throne upon water; he then sends detachments (for creating dissension); the nearer to him in rank are those who are most notorious in creating dissension. One of them comes and says: I did so and so. And he says: You have done nothing. Then one amongst them comes and says: I did not spare so and so until I sowed the seed of discord between a husband and a wife. Then Satan goes near him and says: You have done well. A’mash said: He then embraces him. (Sahih Muslim, Hadith 5032)
Your marriage cannot be alienated from your faith. A weak marriage is often a result of weak faith. I reiterate, when you fight with your spouse, it is not your spouse who is your enemy; it is Satan who is your mutual enemy. He wants you to have trouble upon trouble; a simple conflict creating a powerful negative field, leading to physical ailment, leading to you circumambulating the hospitals, leading to the pharmacy, leading to hard-earned money going down the drain, leading to Allah –knows-what-else. So you see, the simple conflict is not so simple. It is a labyrinth of evil that engulfs us and leaves no room to break free.
Is there a way out? I am not suggesting that having conflicts with your spouse is abnormal. What is important is to maintain peace and calm and an attitude of mutual respect at all times and resolve these conflicts quickly and amicably in the spirit of the Quran and Sunnah.
For now, just observe Satan trying to come in and slam the door on his face.
- Never sleep with an unsettled argument. (Imagine emitting negative signals the whole night).
- Give your spouse a big tight hug (Hugging releases a hormone called “oxytocin”. Check out Part Two of this article to know the world of benefits this hormone produces.) For those of you who have not done it for a long time, it may seem weird. But give it a try and see the massive pleasure and joy it brings in your marriage.
- Rekindle marriage as an act of worship. (Even having intimacy with your spouse brings reward to you. The hadith will be discussed in Part Two).
- Surprise him as he comes home by making his favorite dish. Tell her that she looks beautiful.
- Communicate and communicate passionately and lovingly. Don’t make it a battleground.