Marriage is highly encouraged in Islam, as it is a means of achieving fulfillment and satisfaction in life and earning reward for Akhirah. Allah says in Holy Quran: “And among His signs is this that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Undoubtedly in these are signs for those who reflect.” (Quran, 30:21).
Marriage is also a sunnah as practiced by the Prophet (saws) and all the prophets before him. Even Isa (as) will get married in his second coming. However, there are also many challenges that can arise between husband and wife. These challenges can be due to misunderstanding, lack of communication, lack of trust, incompatibility and promptings by shaitan. It is a great victory for shaitan when he shatters the good relationship between husband and wife, and cause havoc between them.
Common Problems in Muslim Marriages
1. Different Understanding of Islam
This is a growing problem in North America, where Muslims from all around the world live and different understandings of Islam are present. There is a disturbing lack of tolerance amongst young Muslims, especially, who may get sucked into cult-like groups which preach a “we’re right and everyone else is wrong” mentality, whether the issue is where you put your hands in prayer or whether you decide to wear Western clothes or traditional Eastern ones.
This intolerance is being transferred to marriages, where a couple may differ on minor points of faith. Married couples must understand the difference between an Islamically acceptable difference of opinion and one that is not. They must develop a tolerance, balance and respect for their differences on that basis.
2. Money Issues
Couples argue over many things but money is by far one of the most frequent and serious. The solution is to discuss issues openly and consult within the family.
For instance, the issue of a wife working outside the home can become a contentious one. This should preferably be discussed before marriage. Also, if she does decide to work and the husband agrees, does she want to contribute a certain portion to household expenses or will she keep all of the money for herself (which is her right)?
One of the ways to avoid arguments about money is to simply make an easy budget which tracks expenses, income, investments, and establishes a framework for taking care of regular family necessities.
3. Lacking Basic Home Skills
While girls are being encouraged to become scientists, engineers and doctors, for instance, there is little to no emphasis being placed on gaining domestic skills. It should be remembered that in Islam, while women are not forbidden from working within Islamic guidelines, and men are encouraged to help with housework, women’s primary duty is within the home as a home manager and mother. As a result of the lack of basic home skills, many married couples find themselves in messy homes, where meals lack proper nutrition and in general, there is frustration.
If a married couple is working, husbands need to pitch in more in the home and remember that their wife is a not a machine, but a human being who also needs rest after a hard day of work.
4. Traditional vs Modern Attitudes
While young Muslim women of the West are being encouraged to be strong and confident, boys are being raised in the same way and with the same cultural expectations as their fathers. As a result, young couples face a tug of war, when the old-fashioned, young Muslim boy won’t lift a finger around the house (since he never saw his dad do this) and his young Muslim wife expects him to pitch in, as the Prophet Muhammad (saws) did with his wives.
As well, a number of young Muslim men expect their wives not to argue with them since they never saw their mother cross their father. This is once again cultural.1 But what is clear is that boys and girls are being raised very differently. Parents have to be more careful to give proper training to both children. As well, parents need to intervene in cases of dispute of this nature and be fair, not favor their own child.
5. Sexual dysfunction
This is one of the least talked about problems, but it is one that is wreaking havoc in a number of marriages. Many couples who are marrying are not learning the Islamic perspective on sex and marriage. As a result, when they are not satisfied with their spouse, a number of them may turn to others or seek easy divorce, instead of a solution.
Couples have to understand that the marital relationship in this area, as in others, needs work and patience and cannot be the subject of whims and impatience. Knowledge, practice and if possible, the advice of a wise, compassionate scholar are two key elements in finding a solution to this problem.
In-laws are the focus of blame and reproach when there are marital disputes. But there are ways to maintain a good relationship with them. Here are some tips:
- Remember your spouse’s parents have known them longer and loved them longer. Never make an issue about “me or them”.
- Let respective parties settle their own disputes. If your mother-in-law has a problem with her husband, let them deal with it. Don’t interfere
- Don’t tell your spouse how to improve their relationship with their parents.
- Expect some adjustment time for parents after marriage to adjust to this new relationship.
- Remember that mothers are usually skeptical about daughter-in-laws and fathers about son-in-laws.
- Always treat your in-laws with compassion, respect and mercy.
- Maintain a balance between your needs and that of your in-laws.
- Never compare your wife to your mother or your husband to your dad.
- Do not go to your parents with your quarrels.
- If you are supporting your parents financially, inform your spouse as a matter of courtesy and clarity.
- Do not forbid your spouse from seeing family unless you fear for their religion and safety.
- Do not divulge secrets.
- Make time to know your in-laws but stay out of their disputes.
- You are not obliged to spend every weekend with your in-laws.
- Give grandparents easy and reasonable access to their grandchildren.
- Be forgiving and keep your sense of humor.
- Remember that nobody can interfere or influence your marriage unless you allow them to.
- Visit them when you can and encourage your spouse to visit their parents and regularly check on them.
- When parents become dependent on their children, a serious discussion with all parties present should take place. Expectations and requirements of such a living arrangement must be worked out.
(Portions of article from Sound Vision)
For more information or to schedule an HijamaHerbs appointment for healing physical, emotional or sihr/jinn ailments and also counseling for married couples, contact Amin Shah at 617-787-5151 or email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
HijamaHerbs sessions for ladies is performed by Nusrat Shah. For children, we normally do not perform hijama, however herbs, homeopathic remedies and emotional healing is performed.