Anniversary

Alhamdulilah.

Today Allah has given us a two year old marriage. I believe there’s no absolute guide into this sacred institution and that people are different, but I do like to share what I came to learn through this very special journey nonetheless. The lessons are really endless so I tried to hone everything into the following five – personal pearls I do hold around the neck of my soul and maybe they’d help others in their journeys as well. So here goes:

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1. Your relationship with Allah determines your relationship with yourself; marriage is like dealing with just that: yourself. Your spouse is yourself. If you are on good terms with Allah, you are on good terms with yourself, and so you are with your spouse. This is the simplest, most powerful truth. Skip a prayer = you’re creating an aggression on yourself (= your spouse); and in turn the pond of marriage will be irked. You’d be surprised as to the amount of religious and non-religious literature that back this finding up. It is an old, somewhat forgotten recipe for happiness.

2. Turning the page is an art you must learn and master. Just like you do turn pages with life and yourself, you have to learn to do so with your spouse so that the marriage grows and thrives. The bigger the book of your love, the easier it becomes to add more pages. Mercy is a crucial page turner; do not mistake it for weakness.

3. The moment you expose outsiders (close or not) to your marriage, it loses one of its most defining features (privacy) and slowly suffers, or at best, stops growing. Protect your marriage by being the only ones in it. There’s a very subtle catch here: outsiders can be exposed indirectly to your marriage by you abstractly applying their wisdom in marriage without your spouse’s check. Example: this post has to be shared by both parties, not used in one’s heart against the unknowing other. Again: not used in one’s heart against the unknowing other.

4. Although naturally shared, sometimes the notorious, heavily discussed circle of love and respect is the ultimate responsibility of the man, not the woman. Just like Allah has granted man the authority to break it at will, he is bound to protecting and nurturing it before Him and himself (Qewama). If this circle disconnects, he mends the gap before she does. If you think respect is lacking, do provide love, unconditional love.

5. In marriage and just like in life, change & hardship are truly constant. Do not mistake agreed upon absolutes checked by reality for broken promises or flaws in your spouse, rather embrace what’s different and cooperate to face new changes in yourselves or your lives.

I end my prose here. Each lesson of those envelops a lot of others. I hope I have managed to keep the meanings focused.

I would like to thank Aya for being in my life; may Allah protect her and grant her Jannah inshaAllah.

May He grant us all happiness here and hereafter.

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2 thoughts on “Anniversary

  1. At first, I must say I have deep respect to you and to your writings. Your words generally and specialy in an older post -” it is okay” as well as others in your book “the cashmere scarf” have been some how the perfect reminder for me that it is not black and white and that I am probably not at all lonely on my journey taking every bit of everything deeply in and letting very little out. So, jazakum Allah khairan, I am wholeheartedly thankful and appreciative. This is only one of the ways you have influenced me and I hope God will grant You all the happiness you deserve in life and the hereafter nshallah.
    Regarding this post specificly, I think one of the most important things that people usually lack when getting married at first is that you must be ready to show the other person all the places in your heart that no one has ever seen before. Most importantly I guess the pieces that you usually avoid looking at either because they are too ugly or too weak. If the other person can’t or you do not trust the other person to see these hidden pieces and touch them then at some point in your lives your marriage will be a burden rather than a comfort zone.
    Although every single advice of yours is totally on point, I believe based on my very limited watching of other peoples experiences, if you do not love the other person enough to renew your choice of them as your spouse every single day, if you did not choose them specially and not merely for their religion, looks, social standards..etc, and if you do not choose to share details of your lives together without them asking for it, at some point with all of life burdens and struggles people end up questioning why they got married in the first place.
    Yes love is not the only building block in marriage, but when missing the survival of this marriage will mainly depend on the righteousness and wisdome of the people involved. I think it is heartbreaking when you see two people who end up merely alive but not living.
    Finally, I am sorry for the long reply, and if I may suggest you must read ” extremely loud and incredibly close”. It is definetly worth reading.
    P’s: the novel is not totally related to the topic but there is a chapter that totally influenced how i view marriage as a choice and a comfort zone.

  2. Salam Rana, thank you for your kind words and prayers.

    Although I agree with your two main comments I do like to point out that both sharing every corner of your heart with your significant other and you having to re-choose them every day, if not done wisely, can cast a very heavy burden on the marriage, especially when it is still starting.

    For numerous reasons, there will definitely be days when no one has the capacity to share what’s in their heart with the other, and there will be many days when you wake up and actually find no reasons why you’d want to choose your partner all over again. When these days come (and they will) then it’s mercy, righteousness and wisdom, not love that would uphold the relationship.

    You see, although love is a very powerful emotion, its very nature prevents it from being a steady, stable maintainer of life. There’s a host of other things that ought to surround love, nurture it and protect it, or else it’ll not withstand the burden and would slowly fade and die. Think of love as a queen that can not survive without its ministers and servants (mercy, amiability, forgiveness, righteousness, mindfulness.. etc).

    And when you think about it, being righteous to your partner in a day when you think love isn’t as strong, can really not be any better expression of that same love.

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