Marriage As An Act of 'Ibaadah
assalaamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh ya akhwaat. insha'Allah i pray that this post finds you all doing well, having a beautiful Yaumul Jumu'aah.
i just wanted to share something with you all that has been on my mind as of late. subhanAllah, the issue of abuse and neglect within my beloved sisters' marriages has been the hot topic lately on various online groups of which i am a member. and, Allaahu 'Alim, i don't know what was has moved me in a different way lately because as all of you know, the issue of abusive marriages is something that unfortunately is not new to any of our discussions. it seems to come up time and time again. there might be that period of calm where no sister sends an email seeking naseehah for her straitened circumstances and then all of a sudden the wimpers and the cries for help come blaring through our computer screens and we are reminded yet again of the plight of our beloved sisters. and even during the periods of calm, those of us who know anything about abuse know that silence doesn't necessarily mean happiness. we know that when it comes to abuse and neglect all too often voices go unheard, willingly or unwillingly, but nonetheless, silence does not mean "lack of problem." many of our sisters are hurting in silence, suffering in silence, enduring in silence. silence, when it comes to abuse, takes on a different form. it is not all calm and cool.
last night, as i struggled to go to sleep, i started to think and subhanAllah something popped into my head. for all of the abuse and neglect going on in marriages within this Ummah, it seems that we are forgetting that marriage, like everything else in this blessed deen is an act of 'ibaadah. and as with any act of 'ibaadah, when we perform it, we should be doing it for the sake of Allah and to gain His pleasure. every act of 'ibaadah should be done with ikhlas. we should strive to perfect every act of 'ibaadah and to perform it with it's proper hukm and in its proper manner. but subhanAllah, most importantly, with 'ibaadah, there is that awareness that our actions are connected to our worship of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and so, everything that we do should be something that will gain the pleasure of Allaah subhanahu wa ta'ala and not His Wrath. all of the characteristics i mentioned above, we apply these things to our salaah, we apply them to our fasting, we apply them to so many different aspects of our lives. but we forget them when it comes to our marriages. we forget that marriage is an act of 'ibaadah as well. that every action that we take towards our spouses, every move we make towards the preservation or degradation of our marriges, this is an act of 'ibaadah. and just like some of us perform our salaah with all of it's pillars and conditions, with total ihsan and khushoo', many of us fall short. similarly, in our marriages, if we were to recognize and realize that our marriages are a form of worship, insha'Allah we would then recognize and realize that as with any form of worship, we are supposed to approach it with ihsan. and subhanAllah, in the hadeeth of Jibreel 'alayhis-salaam we know that when Jibreel 'alayhis-salaam came to the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam in the form of a man and he asked him a series of questions, one of the questions he asked was, "what is ihsan?" and the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam stated,
"Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you do not achieve this state of devotion, then (take it for granted that) Allah sees you." (Saheeh Al-Bukhaari, Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadeeth No. 4448)
subhanAllah if we treated our marriages like acts of 'ibaadah, we would approach them with ihsan, with the devotion and awareness that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala see all things. we would strive to perfect our marriages. we would strive to treat our spouses with kindness and compassion, with love and mercy, with justice. we would fulfill our responsibilities and fulfill the rights of our spouses. we would do all of this because we would know that every act we do is an act of 'ibaadah and hence will be a weight on our scales on the Day of Yaumul Qiyaamah, either for us or against us.
i want to end with a narration of Al-Hasan ibn 'Ali, radee Allahu anhuu. A man came to him and said, "I have a daughter. To whom should I marry her?" Al-Hasan replied: "Marry her to a man who has taqwa. For if he has taqwa and he loves her, there is nothing that he won't do for her. And if he has taqwa and he doesn't love her, he will never oppress or abuse her (because he fears Allah)." (This can be found at the beginning of Dawuud Adib's lecture "Problems Facing Muslim Women")
may Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala ease the burdens of all my sisters in Al-Islaam who are suffering from abuse and neglect at the hands of their husbands. Ameen. may Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala correct the affairs of your husbands and instill the taqwa in their hearts that will cause them to treat you justly. Ameen. and may Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala grant all my sisters out there who are not yet married righteous spouses. Ameen.
subhaanaka Allaahumma wa bihamdika wa ash-hadu an laa ilaaha ilaa ant wa astaghfiruka wa atubuu ilayk.