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“It’s called M-a-r-r-i-a-g-e”

Because this was so darn awesome mashaAllah:

It’s called M-a-r-r-i-a-g-e

By: Yusra Marouf

Somehow all of us “religious” women got jipped into believing that if we were blessed with a tall, dark handsome stranger with a resemblance of a beard, we would live happily ever after. Boy was that the biggest load of bologna. We all grew up, married the man of our dreams, and realized in the end that we could have done with a short, squat, cross-eyed troll-man with nose hair instead of beard hair, as long as he knew what the heck words like responsibility and consideration meant.

My friends and I sat pondering one day over this mysterious creature called the new-age (“religious” Muslim) man who, despite usually being from hard-working immigrant parents, was raised on a fluffy cushion eating frosted-flakes and playing warcraft. Twenty years later, after college, marriage and perhaps a baby or two, he still is…sitting on the couch eating frosted-flakes and…playing warcraft (or insert utterly useless hobby here). Now the amazing thing (and what has us all stumped), is that his immaturity somehow survived, and remained wonderfully intact all throughout his entire religious “born-again” phase, until his present state. You would think that once one becomes acquainted with the beauty of Islam, they, well, take on some of that beauty in their manners and thinking. Not for this guy. He thinks he’s the icing on the cake my friends. He has it all; a job, a beard, a job, a beard…umm…what else was it that he had?

As we have all heard countless times, Islam is a way of life. You don’t take what you want and leave what you want. It’s not a buffet table. So if you love Islam and want to live a life based on it, don’t take what you want and leave what you want, or order people to do things which you yourself aren’t doing. That, my friends, is called hypocrisy. Allah says in the Qur’an, “O you who have believed, why do you say what you do not do?” [61:2]

So obviously if Islam is your way of life, then a big chunk of your life, marriage, should be based on Islam, right? Unfortunately, most men somehow think that this delightful chunk of life is excluded from Islam. This chunk for them, dear readers, is governed based on a jumble of their cultural baggage, picking and choosing from the Islamic framework of marriage, and the rest is probably from an overly-moldy brain. So let’s do a really quick overview of how a marriage based on Islam works, from the Qur’an and Sunnah. It’s very much like a mathematical equation: man providing for family = the privilege of being the head of the family (i.e. obeyed and respected), woman and children taken care of by man plus recognizing his privilege of being the head of the family = happy family.

You cannot attain the privilege of being the head of the house if you’re not keeping to your side of the bargain, “Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth” [4:34]. Allah gave you the privilege of being in charge of us because you take care of us and spend on us. Pretty simple, huh? And let me be quick to point out here: spending on your wife doesn’t mean covering her pedicure and retail therapy bills (sorry girls). We’re not asking for jewels in our laps (or at least most of us aren’t). Give what you can, and at the end of the day, there is nothing more beautiful than a content wife, and nothing more honorable than a man who works hard to provide whatever he can for his family.

And let me tell you a secret guys, there is nothing that humbles a woman more than seeing her husband come home tired from a long day’s work, or to hear her husband return her crazy, creepy mood swing rants with a loving word. At the end of the day we’ll think “He’s working so hard take care of me and is so good to me and I am nothing but an old hag back to him.” Yeah guys, smirk and laugh with satisfaction. That is what a woman with a normal husband thinks to herself quite often.

A leader is chosen for qualities such as wisdom, maturity, insight, etc. I don’t understand how a guy wants his wife to “obey” him when he’s the biggest jerk that ever roamed the earth. You can’t expect obedience when all you’re giving her is trash. A marriage is made up of you and her, not you and you. You want to be the leader, the “obeyed one”? Then work for the position!

If you want to be the leader and have a leader’s privileges, you need to have leadership qualities. You should deal with your wife with superior qualities such as kindness, wisdom, maturity. And your wife is not your buddy, she is a woman with strong emotions and is different than you and there is nothing you can do to completely change that. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The woman was created from a rib; if you try to straighten her, she will break. So be kind to her, you will then live in joy with her.” You cannot correct something that you don’t like in your wife by screaming in her face like she’s a circus bear. Treat her gently, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) advised a camel-driver who was singing while leading some camels carrying women, “Beware O’ Anjasha! Go slow while driving the fragile vessels!” So next time you want to bellow out at her, remember that the Prophet described us as fragile vessels. Yes, we ARE sensitive.

Also remember there is no remedy like a bit of kindness and patience. Try it. When you smile at a baby, it will smile back at you, and then it learns to smile at whoever it sees so he or she can get a smile back. Babies learn fast. We all do! Roberta M. Gilbert, a physiatrist in Georgetown Family Center, writes, “A person cannot change his or her half of the relationship problem without changing the relationship fundamentally.”

Each person needs to play a role for a happy marriage; it can’t be done by one person alone. A glaring example of how this fact is completely glossed over is how Muslim women are expected to be oh-so-holy and abide by all the Islamic commands and make sure they know and fulfill every single one of the husband’s rights; all with a demure, content smile pasted on their face. The guy meanwhile can be as grumpy and frumpy as he wants, yet God perish us all if we dare contradict or argue with him because then we’re just being disobedient and that’s BAD. Despite my mocking tone, I am really serious. You get obedience by being what you’re supposed to be: the kind, wise, more-mature leader. You don’t get obeyed by demanding obedience. Then you just get disobedience and rebellion in return. And perhaps a brutal pinch or two when you’re least expecting it.

I believe in you, guys. I know you can change. We really need you to change, because good, responsible, considerate husbands are becoming an endangered species. If working hard to support your family and being considerate and sweet sounds daunting, let me entice you with the words of our dear Prophet (peace be upon him), “The believers with the most emaan (faith) are those with the most refined manners. And the best among you are those who are best to their wives.”

Below are 10 ways to sniff out a new-age man (be sure to alert your girl-friends). He may just have one or two of these qualities, but believe me that is enough to turn a woman’s hair gray. And if he has all of them then, heck, you’ve just found a T-rex. And to think that we thought they were extinct!

1. He takes what he likes from Islam and leaves the rest.

2. He can barely take care of his wife or treat her right and he’s already day dreaming about the second, and/or he acquires roving eyes.

3. He isn’t willing to spend on his wife (“we’re poor”) but somehow always ends up buying the rubbish that he wants.

4. He’s addicted to computer games or OTHER THINGS on the computer.

5. He can’t keep a job for the life of him, or if he does have a job, he’s always whining about it, as if he’s doing you a favor by working.

6. He wants you to follow the western marriage standards by doing your share of the man’s work, yet at the same time he insists that you abide by the eastern/Islamic standards of complete obedience. Sorry! Can’t have the best of both worlds, buddy. Making your wife work a man’s job while you sit molding on the couch will turn her into a man. A man that wants to squash you and eat you for breakfast. Enough said.

7. His mother (who made him into the monster he now is) treats him like King Perfect the First.

8. He whines and moans like a toddler when you ask him for simple favors.

9. His favorite words which he loves to throw at you are “if you fear Allah, you should obey me” (said in a dark, menacing, Darth-Vader-like voice).

10. He never does anything unless he sees something in it for himself.

Disclaimer: I am not a feminazi and I don’t hate men. In fact, my mother is married to one of the greatest husbands ever (Hi Dad!) and after being married to an ogre who possessed all ten of the above mentioned qualities (wait, wouldn’t that make him a T-rex?), I am now married to the OTHER greatest husband (ok, just joking, there are more than two out there). However, the growing reality is that due to the egocentric, morally-starved culture we live in, and an overall lack of Islamic awareness and emaan, more and more guys are treating their marriages like a dating game/joke/zoo.

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12 thoughts on ““It’s called M-a-r-r-i-a-g-e”

  1. salam…don’t know if u noticed but the pic that comes with the marriage article is of 2 men holding hands (i.e. gay)

  2. LOL that was great. But seriously, there’s a lot to be learnt from this. The points you listed I’ve seen as well. They’re terrifyingly accurate.

    Good reminder for both genders to guard ourselves constantly from hypocrisy. We (women) have our own issues. Perhaps a post specifically targeting the new-age woman is needed in order to keep it beneficial & balanced for both genders. I’m sure we could use some wake-up calls as well.

    Application (spouse advising each other), on the other hand is a whole other ball park that we can also benefit from. It needs a lot of patience, gentleness, and sensitivity.
    may Allah bestow us all with hikmah.

    JazakumAllah khaira for the awesome reminder/humor!

    • This article was written not by me – just wanted to make that clear inshaAllah 🙂

      But definitely yes, it was a great reminder alhamdulillah. Ameen! and Wa iyyaki 🙂

      I will look for a women-targeted article inshaAllah.

  3. LOL that was great!

    Its true, good men are not easy to come across. And with that said, I remind my single sisters, when you find a good one, make no excuse! There’s no guarantee another one will come by.

    May Allah swt raise the ranks of the men and women of our Ummah.

  4. Pingback: 2010 in review « Random Reflections

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