Apr 5, 2012

Garments of Silk

By Makgotso Hlabana


Somewhere in a small village and across the globe, there are couples pledging their lives to one another, committing to a lifelong journey, their better half thereby making them one. The Qur’an has described this union like this:

”…They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them...” (Surah Al Baqarah2:187).

Other mentions of the union include:

“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.” (Surah Ar Rum 30:21)

Though many an article have been written about the rights of women in Islam, very few deal with the rights of the husband. And of those that do, they paint a backward portrait of Islam; making it seem as though women are slaves to the man. What people fail to realise is that with rights comes responsibilities. Islam has put that into consideration.

Think about women who have broken stereotypes and overcome boundaries by working, raising children and also stepping up to the challenge for the impoverished, ill and oppressed. How do these women do all this and still maintain good relationships with their spouses?

Maryam and Abdul got married 5 years ago. They have two kids together. Abdul works as a shop assistant and his boss wants him at work by 8 a.m. and knocks off at 5 p.m. He gets home at 7 p.m. on a good day and is tired and hungry. His daughter and son are happy to see him and want to spend time with dad, so much so that Maryam can hardly get a word in. By the time the kids are in bed, Abdul is also headed to the sack.

Time is one of the most imperative resources given to humans. It is life itself. Good relationships take time. This means that time and effort need to be put in for the couple to reap the rewards. This can be done with simple date nights. Every week, set a night that is date night. This does not need to be extravagant. The point of this is to have alone time with each other. Even after the kids are born, this ritual should continue. With so much going on in life, there needs to be quality time for the couple. A couple can go for a weekend getaway, a picnic or even something as simple as a hike or dinner at home. All that matters is the effort and time spent together to add “spice” to your lives.

Assiyah is a young girl, 18 years and full of optimism. She marries Rashid, a family friend. In their first few months they are in the honeymoon phase and speak non-stop about everything and anything under the sun. But soon Rashid goes back to his work schedule and he talks past her and at her but never with her. All she hears are demands and needs and, before she gets a word in, he is out the door or tuned out. She feels unappreciated in the relationship. She feels like the helper and not a partner in a union.

As with every relationship, good communication is a definite must. The couple should feel comfortable with each other to tell each other everything. They should be able to listen to each other and hear each other. They should be each other’s best friends and lovers. To listen and understand that your husband is a human being who goes through emotions. He has weaknesses and shortcomings just like you. So understanding these and being patient will make your relationship that much better.

Harun grew up in a very strict household. He went to a secular school and madrasah after school. After finishing 12th standard he went to madrasah full time to finish his hifdh. Aliyah, on the other hand, went to a secular school and her family raised her up in a liberal household; not guiding or holding her accountable for her spiritual life. The two are married, and Harun, having lived Islam expects the same from his new wife. She keeps up the fa├žade for a couple of weeks but soon enough she snaps. She wants to go back to her life of partying but Harun, having learnt patience and the reason for marriage, will not give up on her.

The woman and man must protect each other from social ills such as clubbing, smoking, drinking, gambling, etc. That means if the husband stops praying or vice versa, the spouse should be a means back to Islam. The spouse should guide and educate. They should be each other’s helpers.

Sakina is a 32 year old woman who, after 5 childbirths, has gained a few extra pounds. This has led to a distorted self-image, leading to her not wanting to get intimate with her husband. What she doesn’t realise is that Hasan is crazy about her. But every time he tries to get intimate with her she keeps making excuses, pushing him away. He misses the days when they were free with each other and loved each other; when they were intimate.

The nikah in Islam is also a means for men and women to fulfil their physical desires in a halal environment. It is a preconceived notion that women should satisfy the man, but men should also satisfy the women. It is a cultural belief, not Islam, that advocates that women should only be a means to male sexual satisfaction, i.e. female genital mutilation. Islam promotes that both the male and female should be satisfied and, from that, respect and love will emulate.

Musa is a hot shot out of college and has a R 20 000 job at a local firm. Soon enough he marries a young girl from back home. He expects her to do everything for him as he has done her a big favour by bringing her to this big country and lifestyle. He abuses Fatima physically and even emotionally. Her mother tells her that she must stick it out as this is a means for her family and tells her to stop what she is doing to make Musa angry.

This is another cultural misconception which advocates the physical and emotional abuse of a spouse. Islam does not advocate any violence whether physically or emotionally. Islam is a system of understanding and peace. The victims of such crimes should be supported and treated. Even the aggressors should be treated in order to find out the causes for the behaviour. Islam never shuns the individual but the actions of the individual. Therefore learning and support systems need to be implemented in order for these actions to cease.

Therefore, through the marriage, the husband should get a sense of peace as he realises that all his needs are met at home and that he has finally found love. There is no perfect relationship just as there is no perfect human being. Each relationship is a work in progress to perfection. It is this, plus trying to emulate the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam and his marriages, that we can learn and grow in tranquillity, inshaAllah.

What are your views on this topic? Please share with me :)


Assalamu Alaikum,

Also after the first few months of honeymoon face some husband go back to their bachelorhoof habits they spend alot of time with friends at night, this also comes with another package which is free interaction with other women and haram relationships, and culturally you are suppose to stick with him, because of the shame you will bring the family if you left him and also because you have children and cannot support yourself without him.

i got tremendous amount of guidance for my married life .specially the concept of date night is sou helping n awesome!

it is the wonderful way to advice presenting short stories ..

this is a very very very good topic. there are so many misinterpeted meanings in a real honest wholesome relationship.The Quran and much of the life of Prophet Muhammad(saw) gives good instruction on how one could help the relation work. The only thing I haven't read or found; is an explanation of how to maintain a relationship with a spouse with a mental illness. That also refuse to get medical care. There has to be something in our teachings. Insha Allah, Guidance can be found.

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