By Umm Abdullah and Umm Zahrah
I MAY not know you. I may not know your name, where you come from, or where you live. But I know what you’re going through.
I’ve been there. I know you just want to be happy. You just want your marriage, your husband, your home life to be…better. Happier. Easier.
I know you are tired of being sad. Tired of being unfulfilled. Tired of settling. Tired of wanting more. Tired of trying to make yourself stop caring.
I know sometimes you look up and wonder, “What happened to the ME I used to be?” You’ve bent, suppressed, and given up so much of yourself. Sometimes you wonder, “What am I doing here? What’s the point? Maybe my life would be better if/when/there…”
I know you feel unnoticed and unappreciated. You can’t get rid of the headaches, your eyes are tired, your hair needs attention, your hands are rough, your body is sore, your feet are cracked but most importantly, your heart feels empty.
But you know what? It’s going to be okay.
You know how you start to compare your then and now? You wonder why you were happier and why you felt your iman back then? You wonder, “What happened? What changed?” Yeah, your situation changed…You had that thing, the issues were different, etc. but you changed too. You let your circumstances determine your happiness.
And if you keep doing that, you’ll always be up and down, because that’s how life is. But I don’t want that for you. I want you to get to a place where you can say, “You know what? It’s ok. It’s not worth the arguing, the pain, the tears, and the inner turmoil.”
We think happiness is always when and if. We think happiness is somewhere outside of us…somewhere outside of our current situation. But that’s not true. Your happiness is up to you.
You can “choose” happiness. You don’t have to wait until someone or something makes you happy. Instead of waiting for that one big change to bring joy and sunshine into your life, pay attention to the small drops of delight that abound throughout your day.
Everything will never be exactly the way you want. And if it is, it won’t last long. That’s just how life is. And that’s ok. We have ups and we have downs. The good thing about the downs is that they tell us to slow down. To pray. To be grateful. To feel empathy for those who have it worse.
I saw a quote the other day…”When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on.” And that’s what you have to do sometimes.
You just hold on.
I know what it’s like to reach that point where you feel like you’re going to break. You’re tired of going through the motions and you know you can’t keep living like this. It’s scary. It’s scary because you don’t know what’s going to happen or what to do next but you know something has to change. And sooner or later, you realize, it’s you. It’s you that has to change. Because at this point, you know that nothing external will make it better. Getting a maid won’t make it better. Having more money or even getting that divorce. You would still be unhappy. And that’s how you know it’s your heart. And so you give in. And you throw in the towel and turn back to where you should’ve been the whole time…with Allah.
You know, your marriage isn’t the center of your life. The reality is you won’t always feel the love, the happiness and fulfillment. I know you didn’t get married to have a roommate and sometimes you feel like your marriage isn’t benefitting you the way it’s supposed to.
But don’t spend too much time being sad. And don’t let anyone stand in between you and your relationship with Allah. Not even your own self. You couldn’t read Quran because you were just too upset. You couldn’t pray because you couldn’t concentrate. Or you couldn’t sit and do your adhkar because your mind was everywhere.
But you know how you feel better after you take that first step back to Allah? That time you decided to pick up the Quran, maybe because you figured it’s been a while. That time you couldn’t stop crying in prayer. And then when you finished, you felt lighter. Well this time, keep going.
Remember the last time YOU did something and it made YOU feel happy? Or the other day when you laughed out loud, for a pretty long time, and you thought, “Wow, I can’t remember the last time I laughed like that.” Go do it again. Go make a nice cake, or put on some makeup and nice clothes, and do your hair. Play with your kids or go help someone. Do it for you. And then smile at yourself. Smile because it’s going to be okay. You may not have everything you want and your relationship with your husband may not be where you want it to be, but Allah sees you. Allah knows your trying.
And one more thing, don’t lose yourself in your marriage, trying to morph yourself into the perfect wife. Keep a little bit of yourself just for you. Because you need YOU.
And remember, you’re not alone.
Comments by Author:
Ma sha Allah… . It’s beautiful to be able to support each other in this way. We all have those times and reach those points and it helps so much just to know that we aren’t alone ma sha Allah. We meant it when we said that we’ve been there and we know what it feels like. We hope that we, and other sisters who are going through it, can be there for each other, ..even if just a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen, or just to be there to say, “It’ll be okay inshallah.” May Allah make it easy for all of us to hold on and keep trying (when we need to) because like Megan said, “If a woman is being abused in any way…she needs to seek help, because part of preserving and taking care of “you” is making sure you are safe and secure and being treated with dignity.” Very important point ma sha Allah.
Jamiat Comments: The Prophet sallallu alayhi wa sallam said:
“The best among you is the one who is the best towards his wife”
Abd al-Malik (RA) said: “When ‘Awf ibn Muhallim al-Shaybani, one of the most highly respected leaders of the Arab nobility during the jahiliyyah, married his daughter Umm Iyas to al-Harith ibn ‘Amr al-Kindi, she was made ready to be taken to the groom, then her mother, Umamah came into her, to advise her and said:
‘O my daughter, if it were deemed unnecessary to give you this advice because of good manners and noble descent, then it would have been unnecessary for you, because you posses these qualities, but it will serve as a reminder to those who are forgetful, and will help those who are wise.
‘O my daughter, if a woman were able to do without a husband by virtue of her father’s wealth and her need for her father, then you of all people would be most able to do without a husband, but women were created for men just as men were created for them.
‘O my daughter, you are about to leave the home in which you grew up, where you first learned to walk, to go to a place you do not know, to a companion to whom you are unfamiliar. By marrying you, he has become a master over you, so be like a servant to him, and he will become like a servant to you.
‘Take from me ten qualities, which will be a provision and a reminder for you.
‘The first and second of them are: be content in his company, and listen to and obey him, for contentment brings peace of mind, and listening to and obeying one’s husband pleases Allah.
‘The third and fourth of them are: make sure that you smell good and look good; he should not see anything ugly in you, and he should not smell anything but a pleasant smell from you. Kohl is the best kind of beautification to be found, and water is better than the rarest perfume.
‘The fifth and sixth of them are: prepare his food on time, and keep quiet when he is asleep, for raging hunger is like a burning flame, and disturbing his sleep will make him angry.
‘The seventh and eight of them are: take care of his servants (or employees) and children, and take care of his wealth, for taking care of his wealth shows that you appreciate him, and taking care of his children and servants shows good management.
‘The ninth and tenth of them are: never disclose any of his secrets, and never disobey any of his orders, for if you disclose any of his secrets you will never feel safe from his possible betrayal, and if you disobey him, his heart will be filled with hatred towards you.
‘Be careful, O my daughter, of showing joy in front of him when he is upset, and do not show sorrow in front of him when he is happy, because the former shows a lack of judgment whilst the latter will make him unhappy.
‘Show him as much honour and respect as you can, and agree with him as much as you can, so that he will enjoy your companionship and conversation.
‘Know, O my daughter, that you will not achieve what you would like to until you put his pleasure before your own, and his wishes before yours, in whatever you like and dislike. And may Allah choose what is best for you and protect you.”
The Muslim Woman: Her Status in Islam
by the noble Sheikh Abdul-Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullah)
The status of the Muslim woman in Islam is very noble and lofty one, and her effect is very great in the life of every Muslim. Indeed, the Muslim woman is the initial teacher in the building of a righteous society, providing she follows the guidance from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet .
Since adherence to the Quran and the Sunnah distances every Muslim – male or female – from being misguided in any matter. The misguidance that the various nations suffer from, and their being deviant, does not come about except by being far away from the path of Allah – the Most High, the Most Perfect – and from what His Prophets and Messengers, may Allah’s peace be upon them all, came with. The Prophet said: “I am leaving behind me two matters, you will not go astray as long as you cling to them both, the Book of Allah and my Sunnah.” 
The great importance of Muslim woman’s role – whether as wife, sister or daughter, and the rights that are due to her and the obligations due from her – have been explained in the purified Sunnah.
The secret of her importance lies in the tremendous burden and responsibility that is placed on her, and the difficulties that she has to shoulder – responsibilities and difficulties some, which not even a man bears. This is why from the most important obligation upon a person is to show gratitude to the mother, and kindness and good companionship with her. And in this matter, she is to be given precedence over and above the father. Allah – the most High – says:
“And We have enjoined upon man to be dutiful and good to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness upon weakness and hardship upon hardship, and his weaning is in two years. Show gratitude and thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.” [Soorah Luqmaan 31:14]
Allah – the Most High – said: “And We have enjoined upon man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship, and she brings him forth with hardship. And the bearing and the weaning of him is thirty months.” [Soorah al-Ahqaaf 41:15]
A man came to Allah’s Messenger and said: O Messenger of Allah! Who from amongst mankind warrants the best companionship from me? He replied: “Your mother.” The man asked: Then who? So he replied: “Your mother”. The man then asked: Then who? So the Prophet replied again: “Your mother.” The man then asked: then who? So he replied: “Then your father.” So this necessitates that the mother is given three times the likes of kindness and good treatment then the father. 
As regards to the wife, then her status and her effect in making the soul tranquil and serene, has been clearly shown in the noble ayah (verse), in His – the Most High’s saying:
“And from amongst His Signs is this: That He created from you wives from amongst yourselves, so that you may find serenity and tranquility in them. And He has put between you love and compassion. Indeed, in this are signs for those who reflect.” [Soorah Ar-Rum 30:21]
Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer (d.774H) – rahimahullaah – said, whilst explaining the term mawaddah means love and affection, and ar-rahmah means compassion and piety – “since a man takes the hand of a women either due to love for her, or because of compassion and piety for her, by giving to her a child from himself…” 
And the unique stance that the prophet ‘s wife Khadeejah took, had a huge effect in calming and reassuring Allah’s Messenger , when the angel Jibreel – alayhis-salam – first came to him in the cave of Hiraa. So the Prophet returned to his wife Khadeejah with the first Revelation and with this his heart trembling and beating severely, and so he said to her: “Cover me! Cover me!” So they covered him until his fear was over, after which he told Khadeejah – everything that had happened, and said: ‘I fear that something may happen to me.” So she said to him: “Never! By Allah! Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good ties with relations, you help the poor and the destitute, you serve your guests generously and assist those who have been afflicted with calamities.” 
And do not forget about Aaishah and her great effect. Since even the great Sahaabah (Companions) use to take knowledge of Hadiths from her, and many of the Sahaabiyaat (female companions) learn the various rulings pertaining to women’s issues from her…
And I have no doubt that my mother – may Allah shower His mercy upon her – had a tremendous effect upon me, and has a great excellence over me, in encouraging me to study; and she assists me in it. May Allah greatly increase her reward and reward her with the best of rewards for what she did for me.
And there is no doubt also, the house in which there is kindness, gentleness, love and care, along with the correct Islamic tarbiyah (Education and cultivation) will greatly affect the man. So he will become – if Allah wills – successful in his affairs and in any matter – whether it be seeking knowledge, trading, earning a living, or other than this. So it is Allah Alone that I ask to grant success and to guide us all to that which he loves and is pleased with. And may the prayers of peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad , and upon his Family, his companions and his followers.