Cii Radio | 16 Muharram 1436/10 November 2014
Over the years, counsellors and therapists have developed a range of techniques to diagnose problematic marriages.
“Are you to the point that your spouse just can’t do anything right, does everything they do get under your skin? Does everything lead to an argument? Would you rather be anywhere than with your spouse? Are thoughts of divorce running through your mind on a regular basis?”
These are just some from a series of questions professionals would typically ask troubled spouses to get the ball rolling towards marital healing, reconciliation or justice.
For Muslims in such compromising marital situations however, as important as these questions undoubtedly are, one matter of diagnosis would still be deemed weightier.
“Is the couple performing their Salaah?”
Speaking to Cii Radio’s Ulama in Focus recently, Sheikh Mukhtar Raban of Port Elizabeth said this was the default starting point Ulama in his organisation used when handling matters of marital conflict amongst Muslims.
“Before you are going to complain about your spouse and how he or she is such a terrible individual, we first ask: ‘Are you obeying Allah SWT? How regular are you on your Salaah? If we find there is a spiritual deficiency and you are not pleasing Allah SWT, then we take you back to the very basis of marriage,” the Aalim said.
He explained that couples should understand that Allah SWT will only bestow Mawaddah(intense love) and Rahmah(eternal mercy) on the couple that pleases him. In cases of marital turbulence, Raban urged reflection on the Ayaat contained in the Nikaah Khutbah.
“These verses quoted in the Nikaah Khutbah are there strategically to remind us of the importance of Taqwa(Allah Consciousness) in our marriages. We need to firstly please Allah SWT to receive this understanding and live this romance and fairytale life with our partners. If we are not – if we have cut Allah off and are disobeying him – and we are trying to find happiness in this creation of Allah, then we will be beset with troubles. The food won’t taste good, the spouse won’t appear attractive..Suddenly, all these become mountains in your eyes. But if you worship Allah SWT, He will bestow such love between you that all such trivial matters will be taken for what they are.”
Stemming from the Quraanic parable that spouses should be garments for one another, and the Hadeeth that anoints every individual as a shepherd over those whom they have been endowed with responsibility, Ulama say spouses should be well-wishers for each-other’s spirituality. They should advise each other on proper observance of Islamic tenets and do Ta’leem regularly to learn the Deen together. It is also recommended for them to occasionally pray together.
Regarding the Tahajjud Salaah, Sayyidina Abu Hurairah RA quoted the Prophet (SAW) as saying:
“May Allah bless the man who gets up during the night to pray and wakes up his wife and who, if she refuses to get up, sprinkles water on her face. And may Allah bless the woman who gets up during the night to pray and wakes up her husband and who, if he refuses, sprinkles water on his face.” (Ahmad)
As has been commonly advised: A couple who prays and plays together, will (Insha Allah) stay together.
“Sometimes when we get married, ” concludes Raban, “we are so overwhelmed with our partners, we forget that it is Allah SWT who granted us this partner. So have a connection with Allah SWT, and then everything else will fall into place.”