Single Ever After

Author: Umm Umaama
“The grass is no more greener on the other side” married women often tell their single sisters. Whilst women will forever debate the pros and cons of married life, one thing is clear; although marriage is not all a happily ever after fairytale, there is nothing desirable about prolonged singlehood. Allah designed us to need the companionship and comfort that can only be found in marriage, describing husbands and wives as garments for one another. [1]
Many young people aspire to get a degree and a job, get married and have children. They may experience obstacles along the way, and maybe all their priorities were wrong, but our generation could not have foreseen what would happen after the degrees were secured and the job-interviews were over. No doubt, most people followed up their successful careers with successful marriages, but a significant (largely increasing) minority, are wrestling with the fact that life didn’t work out quite like they planned.

The reasons for a prolonged singlehood are complex; everything from having a successful career and being overweight, to a shortage of practicing brothers. Just as the cause is difficult to identify, the solution is equally elusive. Nevertheless, it is high-time our community woke up to the realization that prolonged singlehood is not just affecting their daughters or a few so-called ineligible women. The tide has turned, and the struggle facing practicing Muslim women has reached nearly every home (with few exceptions). There is no doubt that an increasing number of Muslims and a disproportionate number of women are finding themselves single well into their 20s and even 30s.
There is a growing concern about our young sisters, in particular, and the effect that delaying marriage is having on their lives. Much has been made of the so-called “boomerang generation” (people who have returned home to live with their parents, after having lived elsewhere); how their struggle with housing and living costs have forced them to move back in with mum and dad. Recent research by Mintel shows that 3 million adults have moved back in with their parents. [2] Muslim couples are no exception in having strong opinions on living with in-laws. However, the psychological impact of Muslim women living at home well beyond adolescence is largely ignored. They may have all the trappings of adulthood; a car, a job, and money in the bank, but they are still living in the same room they grew up in. Unable to get married, they have long outgrown their family home, but remain within its four-walls under the care and authority of their parents for longer than ever before. This can inevitably lead to much frustration and tension as the lines between childhood and adulthood merge, which can culminate in some women regrettably deciding to, or being forced to, leave home and set-up on their own.
Our increasingly immoral society has had a devastating impact on Muslim men,[3] but what of the impact on our women? The decade or two between adolescence and marriage can be the loneliest time for women who cannot marry. Modesty in a practicing woman is something assumed. Yet the outer strength of our most practicing sisters masks an inner struggle to lower the gaze, control the nafs, and to avoid the company of the non-mahram men. And, in a world where nothing is as pure as it once was, many of our sisters are falling into sins that marriage at earlier age could have prevented. The challenges of staying chaste are further compounded for women who do not have the security of a family-home environment.
As these women edge towards their late 20s, loneliness can become coupled with an increasing desire to have their own children. Whilst their friends may already be adding to their happy brood, they are still struggling through a cycle of proposals and marriage meetings. These concerns are heightened in women in their 30s, who may start to question whether they will ever marry and start a family. A women’s fertility declines more quickly with age than a man’s – declining rapidly after the age of 35. [4]
Women should remember, however, that although time might not be on their side, Allah in His Mercy will bestow children on whomever He wills. Zakariyya was an old man, with a head full of gray hair, and his wife was barren. Yet he supplicated,
{رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ} آل عمران: 38
{O my Lord! Grant me from You, a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation.} [Al-’Imran 3:38]
Little is said about the role of a single (or childless) Muslim woman in society, despite the fact that the wife of our beloved Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him), A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), was left childless and single upon his death at just 18 years old. And yet, we have a plethora of articles, lectures and advice from scholars on how to be a good wife and mother. Isn’t it time to redress the balance? Whilst other women get busy raising their families, what should single women dedicate their lives to? Many women follow up their degrees with further qualifications, and then their qualifications with one job after another. Although the rewards in the corporeal world are clear, what of the rewards in the hereafter? We were not created to be wives and mothers, yet great rewards are attached to these roles which cannot be comparable to a degree and a good job. No doubt, Allah does not place a burden on anyone greater than they can bear, and every person shall have that which they intended – but we need far greater clarity on the role of single Muslim women in society.
The greatest blessing for any person, if they have the opportunity, is to serve their parents when they reach old-age. The reward of this cannot be underestimated.
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) as saying,
«رغم أنفه، ثم رغم أنفه، ثم رغم أنفه. قيل: من يا رسول الله؟! قال: من أدرك والديه عند الكبر، أحدهما أو كليهما، ثم لم يدخل الجنة» رواه مسلم
Let him be humbled into dust, Let him be humbled into dust, let him be humbled into dust. It was said: ‘Allah’s Messenger, who is he?’ He said: He who sees either of his parents during their old age or he sees both of them but does not enter Paradise.” [Sahih Muslim 032:6189]
If a person was to dedicate their entire life to taking care of their parents, they would have gained a great reward in the hereafter. Yet, there has never been, even within our own community, a role for women to simply be great daughters without letters after her name, and a well-sounding job title, society would never be satisfied, and even parents themselves could not be content. After all, the often-asked question, “Are you married?” is swiftly followed by, “What do you do?”
We should not simply assign single women to roles which their married counter-parts have become too busy to fulfill, in family life, Da’wah, the work place etc., without a greater understanding of the rewards in the hereafter. As their siblings and peers will leave a legacy of children who will do good deeds, and make du’a for them, single women should be equally greedy for a noble legacy that lives on beyond the grave.
This life is a test, and whilst some people are tested in their marriages, others are tested with the absence of them. We must remember that ultimately it is for Allah to decide how or with whom we should spend the rest of our lives. It is not for us to question the Decree of Allāh but rather strive to find the benefit of the du’a that has a delayed response, and allow it to be a means for us to turn back to Him.
«كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا قام من الليل يتهجد قال: (اللهم لك الحمد، أنت نور السموات والأرض ومن فيهن، ولك الحمد، أنت قيم السموات والأرض ومن فيهن، ولك الحمد، أنت الحق، ووعدك حق، وقولك حق، ولقاؤك حق، والجنة حق، والنار حق، والساعة حق، والنبيون حق، ومحمد حق، اللهم لك أسلمت، وعليك توكلت، وبك آمنت، وإليك أنبت، وبك خاصمت، وإليك حاكمت، فاغفر لي ما قدمت وما أخرت، وما أسررت وما أعلنت، أنت المقدم وأنت المؤخر، لا إله إلا أنت، أو: لا إله غيرك)، وفي روايه زاد: ولا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله»رواه البخاري
The Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) used to say in the night prayer: “O Allaah, to You be praise, You are the Light of the heavens and the earth and everyone in them. To you be praise, You are the Sustainer of the heavens and the earth and everyone in them. To you be praise, You are the Sovereign of the heavens and the earth and everyone in them. To you be praise, You are the truth, Your promise is true, Your words are true, the meeting with you is true, Paradise is true, Hell is true, the Hour is true, the prophets are true, Muhammad is true. O Allāh to you I have submitted, in You I put my trust, in you I have believed, to you I have repented, with Your help and guidance I have debated, and to You I turn for judgment. Forgive me for my past and future sins, for those I have committed secretly and those I have committed openly, for whatever You know more about than I. You are the One who brings forward and the One who puts back (Al Mu’akhhir), You are my God, there is no deity (worthy of worship) but You, and there is no power and no strength except with you.” [Sahih Bukhari 21:221]
Married couples, community leaders and scholars must also rise up to the challenge that is facing our community. We can no longer rely on word-of-mouth and family connections to facilitate the marriages of our youth. We have to move away from polite dinner-party conversations and friendly teasing, and realize that delays in marriage have serious consequences. Finally, we must acknowledge that sincere du’a must be accompanied by serious action. Buried beneath every test our sisters are enduring is the communal obligation to distance ourselves from accountability on the day of Judgment, and an individual opportunity to rise up and gain the pleasure of Allah.
[1] Al-Baqarah [2:187]

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Age of Consent or Age of Marriage! A fresh Look at Marriage Prospectives


Authentic narrations inform us that Abdullah bin Amr bin al Aas the companion of the Prophet (pbuh) was only 11 years younger to his father Amr bin al Aas (Allah be please with both). The same is said to be about Abdullah Zubair and his father Zubair bin Awwam (Allah be please with both).
While streaming along the local trends, some of which are global, a majority of Muslims have started taking some Islamic values as out dated and impossible or impractical in today’s life. They may not agree with their mouth but attitudes and actions show it.
A prominent Scholar of India who has passed his 60s got married to a young girl of 22, (and this was not an affair) people in the Muslim circle react with surprise where ever they go. Reactions are like this: What an odd couple! How can a guardian get his daughter married to a man deserving to be her grandfather’s age! In today’s time it should be better avoided… By the way the couple is happy and don’t care for the blamers. One of the comfortable ways to be happy is not to care for “what will people say” if you have not done something haram.
If you are ashamed of Islamic values even in the permitted things then something is wrong with your confidence and not with the values, for, Islamic values never get outdated.
Among many traditions, that can be taken proudly, which offers solutions to many prevailing problems, is the age of marriage. The West has a similar term ’The Age of Consent’ which means that a girl or a boy has a liberty to choose a sleeping partner. In some western countries including Sweden the age of consent is around 13 years, some have 16 years so the news of girls getting pregnant in schools and facilities of condoms and anti-pregnancy pills are not looked down up. It is not a taboo. Islamically it is a taboo to get involve in illicit relations so the age of consent if associated with a marriage is welcomed by Islam. For example if a 13 year old girl in Sweden gets married, Islam accepts it but a fornicating relation will not be tolerated. Government Surveys in India reveal that more than 30 percent of girls in interior India get married before they reach 18, but there are no statistics of girls sharing bed with boys in their schooling age. The formal is taken as a genuine concern of worry while the later is taken as ‘fruits of liberty’
The Prophet’s marriage to Aisha, who was more than 10 years younger to his youngest daughter, went unprotested even by his staunchest enemies. No Jew or a Christian or a Mushrik ever raised the issue, but we see that many Muslims who are educated in the secular environment feel uncomfortable on being confronted. In fact the smart Muslim would turn the tables over putting counter arguments on illicit affairs among the school going children in most of the part of the world. Twenty percent of abortions carried out worldwide are the done for getting rid of unwanted babies in illicit relations.
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Islam has offered so many options to make marriage easy and zina (adultery and fornication) difficult. Consider these norms which were very general in those times and essentially required in today’s time:

Marriages do not include expensive banquets. In one of his marriage the Prophet (pbuh) asked people to bring whatever eatables they had and the people shared the meal
The girls can also request her guardian to send a proposal for marriage if she likes a virtuous man. A pregnant widow delivered child and prepared herself for another marriage. Her guardian found it odd and presented the matter to the Prophet (pbuh). The Prophet approved it. Sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam.
Age factor is never an issue in fixing up a marriage. A truthful man like Abu Bakr as siddique never minded his daughter getting married to the Prophet (pbuh), Ali bin Abi Talib got his daughter married to Umar bin al Khattab…..Abdullah bin Abbas said : By Allah! Even if I knew that there is only one day left in my life yet I would get married!
Size, shape and colour never matters...Ummuhatul Mom’ineen Sauda, the wife of the Prophet was a woman of large size , people could identify her …Another wife Safiyya was short and Khadija was 15 years older to the Prophet…Allah be please with them. The elderly Khadeeja and the teenage Aisha were the dearest wives of the Prophet (pbuh) with no signs of regrets for marrying them. The Qur’an says “Indeed in the Mesenger is the best example for you to follow…….A young maiden accepted the proposal of a dark and short sahabi just on the recommendation of the Prophet. She did not compare her status and looks with his. Narrators say that after the sahabi died there were offers of marriage proposals from many Noble Arabs to this lady, who had accepted the proposal of a man not matching his looks. Abu Talha was injured in the battle of Uhud and he limped little bit but he got proposals for marriage.
Moral of the story? Even noble men love to marry women who do not mind their physical and social shortcomings because of their religious inclinations. This is what is expected when Muslims and Musilmah desire to marry a person of religion.
Huge and lavish houses and lucrative careers should not be the main criteria for choosing your man. Simplicity offers the best alternate. There are very few boys who earn huge amount of money to satisfy your expensive desires and can offer you luxurious tours and branded items, and there are very few girls whose looks can fit into the image of the good-looking females whom you have been carrying in minds after watching pictures of models and actresses.
If you don’t take up the easy route to peace and tranquility offered by your creator then you may have to trod on difficult paths made by others and instead of being the leaders of the world you will be following the rest of world meeting more miseries on the way.

Author: Nisaar Nadiadwala speaks and writes on Islam and Muslims. He can be reached at nisaar_yusuf@yahoo.com | www.nisaaryusuf.wordpress.com

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How to pray istikhaarah

Assalam alaikum. How do I pray salat al istikhara, at what times , and are there special dua that I can read for different cicumstances?
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Praise be to Allaah.
The description of Salaat al-Istikhaarah was reported by Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah al-Salami (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said:
“The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to teach his companions to make istikhaarah in all things, just as he used to teach them soorahs from the Qur’aan. He said: ‘If any one of you is concerned about a decision he has to make, then let him pray two rak’ahs of non-obligatory prayer, then say: Allaahumma inni astakheeruka bi ‘ilmika wa astaqdiruka bi qudratika wa as’aluka min fadlika, fa innaka taqdiru wa laa aqdir, wa ta’lamu wa laa a’lam, wa anta ‘allaam al-ghuyoob. Allaahumma fa in kunta ta’lamu haadha’l-amra (then the matter should be mentioned by name) khayran li fi ‘aajil amri wa aajilihi (or: fi deeni wa ma’aashi wa ‘aaqibati amri) faqdurhu li wa yassirhu li thumma baarik li fihi. Allaahumma wa in kunta ta’lamu annahu sharrun li fi deeni wa ma’aashi wa ‘aaqibati amri (or: fi ‘aajili amri wa aajilihi) fasrifni ‘anhu [wasrafhu ‘anni] waqdur li al-khayr haythu kaana thumma radini bihi (O Allaah, I seek Your guidance [in making a choice] by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power, I have none. And You know, I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things. O Allaah, if in Your knowledge, this matter (then it should be mentioned by name) is good for me both in this world and in the Hereafter (or: in my religion, my livelihood and my affairs), then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge it is bad for me and for my religion, my livelihood and my affairs (or: for me both in this world and the next), then turn me away from it, [and turn it away from me], and ordain for me the good wherever it may be and make me pleased with it.”
(Reported by al-Bukhaari, 6841; similar reports are also recorded by al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah and Ahmad).

Ibn Hijr (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, commenting on this hadeeth:

“Istikhaarah is a word which means asking Allaah to help one make a choice, meaning choosing the best of two things where one needs to choose one of them.
Concerning the phrase ‘The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to teach us to make istikhaarah in all things,’ Ibn Abi Jamrah said: ‘It is a general phrase which refers to something specific. With regard to matters that are waajib (obligatory) or mustahabb (liked or encouraged), there is no need for istikhaarah to decide whether to do them, and with regard to matters that are haraam (forbidden) or makrooh (disliked), there is no need for istikhaarah to decide whether to avoid them. The issue of istikhaarah is confined to matters that are mubaah (allowed), or in mustahabb matters when there is a decision to be made as to which one should be given priority.’ I say: it refers to both great and small matters, and probably an insignificant issue could form the groundwork for a big issue.
The phrase ‘If any one of you is concerned…’ appears in the version narrated by Ibn Mas’ood as: ‘if any one of you wants to do something…’
‘Let him pray two rak’ahs of non-obligatory prayer.’ This is mentioned to make it clear that it does not mean fajr prayer, for example. Al-Nawawi said in al-Adhkaar: He can pray istikaarah after two rak’ahs of regular sunnah prayer done at zuhr for example, or after two rak’ahs of any naafil prayers whether they are regularly performed or not… It seems to be the case that if he made the intention to pray istikhaarah at the same time as intending to pray that particular prayer, this is fine, but not if he did not have this intention.
Ibn Abi Jamrah said: The wisdom behind putting the salaat before the du’aa’ is that istikhaarah is intended to combine the goodness of this world with the goodness of the next. A person needs to knock at the door of the King (Allaah), and there is nothing more effective for this than prayer, because it contains glorification and praise of Allaah, and expresses one’s need for Him at all times.
The phrase ‘then let him say’ would seem to imply that the du’aa’ should be said after finishing the prayer, and the word thumma (then) probably means after reciting all the words of the salaat and before saying salaam.
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The phrase ‘O Allaah, I seek Your guidance by virtue of Your knowledge’ is explaining ‘because You know best.’ Similarly, ‘by virtue of Your power’ most likely means ‘seeking Your help.’ ‘I seek ability’ (astaqdiruka) means ‘I ask You to give me the power or ability (qudrah) to do’ whatever is being asked for, or it probably means ‘I ask You to decree (tuqaddir) this for me.’ So it may mean making it easy.
‘I ask You of Your great bounty’ refers to the fact that Allaah gives out of His great generosity, but no one has the right to His blessings. This is the opinion of Ahl al-Sunnah.
‘You have power, I have none. And You know, I know not’ refers to the fact that power and knowledge belong to Allaah alone, and the slave has no share of them except what Allaah decrees for him.
‘O Allaah, if in Your knowledge this matter…’ According to one report, he should mention it by name. It is apparent from the context that he should state it, but it is probably sufficient to be thinking of the matter whilst making this du’aa’.
‘Then ordain it for me’ means ‘make it happen for me’ or it may mean ‘make it easy for me.’
‘Then turn it away from me, and turn me away from it’ means ‘so that my heart will no longer feel attached to it after it has been turned away.’
‘Make me pleased with it’ means ‘make me content with it, so that I will never regret asking for it or be sorry that it happened, because I do not know how it will turn out, even if at the time of asking I am pleased with it.’
The secret is that one’s heart should not be attached to the matter in question, because that will result in a person becoming restless. Being pleased with something means that one’s heart is content with the decree of Allaah.
(Summarized from the commentary of al-Haafiz Ibn Hijr (may Allaah have mercy on him) on the hadeeth in Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Da’waat and Kitaab al-Tawheed.).
Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

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Love – A Glamorous trap.

Author: Afsha Bamne
“Yesterday when we looked at each other while crossing the street, he whispered “beautiful” and gave that million dollars smile! Awww.. The way he looks at me, his eyes convey that he has fallen for me… I am going to tell my friends about him, they’ll all get jealous….”

Many girls in their tender age go through these kinds of situations and feelings. It usually begins when puberty approaches and the heart seems to get easily attracted to the opposite gender as it is something which is being advertised and thus encouraged in our society through T.V, internet, magazines, posters etc. The “Thought clouds” starts appearing and everything else starts getting blurred. The mirror becomes a more frequently visited now. Concentration becomes something she “had” and parents become an obstacle between the girl and her fantasies..!! *sigh*

In the age group of 12 to 17, being the most vulnerable age, many girls fall prey to guys disguised as their “fairy-tale-prince-charming”, who in reality are merely behind them for the sake of having fun… NOTHING else!!!

Love trap - Al nikah

There is this mentality that at such young age of girls, it’s inappropriate to talk to them about “all these stuffs”. But today’s generation has proved this mentality absolutely wrong!!! Actually, this is the age when she REALLY needs a “mature person” to hold her hands and guide her to the path of righteousness, NOT after PEER PRESSURE has ALREADY done its work! “Peer Pressure” It DOES exist!! I am a witness. Shortly descripted, peer pressure is something which insists you on doing the WRONG thing the RIGHT way. A person thinks what he/she is doing is “alright” just because everyone else does it; never realizing that you are wrong or even sinning. What I want to say is, the preventive solution to all these matters is one word -COMMUNICATE!!

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A’isha (r.a) said, “A Bedouin came to the Prophet, (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) and asked, “Do you kiss your children? We do not kiss them.” The Prophet (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Can I put mercy in your hearts after Allah has removed it from them?” ( Sahih Bukhari )

In the above hadith, “kiss” does not imply mere kissing your children but it means to have an unbreakable bond with them. To be attached with them in a way such that they never hesitate to share their major and minor thoughts with you. Honestly, it’s not only parents who require doing this; we are enough grownup as pious sisters and brothers Alhamdulillah, to keep a check on our younger siblings’ behavior and activities. And no wonder , we should have lots and lots of cherished communication with them!!

On a personal basis I feel when a teen girl doesn’t get this “special treatment” by her parents and siblings, she steps on to other alternatives where she easily gets attention and few kind and sweet words (that’s all she desires), but then finally ends up being hurt. And this leaves a scar on her heart for lifetime. And her life can become even worse if she gets used to it! Trust me, she is NOT to be blamed, it’s US!!

Think about it. Start looking after your younger sisters at their young age. Make them aware of the malpractices prevailing in the society. Tell them that there exist wolves wearing coats of soft fur which would attract them and ultimately hurt them. Inform and instruct them with regards to their mahram and non-mahram. And just not tell them, but show them what’s right through your actions, be an example to them. Listen to what they have to share.. Gift them cute stuff (key chains.. they cost you nothing). And most importantly, shower your love on them!!! This will Insha Allah prevent them from being misguided in their future life. “If you want her to stay away from Shaitaan.. Bring her closer to Allah (swt)”.

May Allah (Subhaanahu wa ta’aala) guide us all to the right path.

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He divorced his wife on the basis of a false accusation

There was an argument between me and my wife, and I doubted her chastity and honour, so I divorced her for that reason. Then after that I realized that these accusations were false and had no basis in truth. Does this divorce count as such?.

Answer:  

Praise be to Allaah.
If you only divorced your wife on this basis, then you realized that she was innocent of that, then the divorce  does not count, because it was based on a reason, then it became apparent that this reason had no substance. This is the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and Ibn Rajab, and it has been stated in fatwas issued by two contemporary shaykhs: Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem and Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on them both) 
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 
If it is said, “Your wife committed zina” or “She went out of the house” and he gets angry and says, “Then she is divorced,” the divorce does not count. This was stated in a fatwa by Ibn ‘Aqeel, and it is the view of ‘Ata’ ibn Abi Rabaah. Something similar was said by Ibn Abi Moosa. If he said to his wife, “You are divorced because you entered the house,” she is not divorced if she did not enter the house, because he only divorced her for a reason, without which the divorce does not take effect. End quote. 
Al-Fataawa al-Kubra, 5/495 
See: Qawaa’id Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, p. 323 
Shaykh Muhammad Ibraaheem (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 
We have received your letter in which you are asking about your divorcing your wife, and you say that your heard something about her so you got angry and divorced her three times. After that you found out that the news was false, and it was proven that it was not true, and you are asking whether this divorce counts as such or not, because it turned out that she is innocent of what was being said about her. 
The answer:  
Praise be to Allaah. If the situation is as described, and you only divorced her on the basis of that false news, then the correct scholarly view is that the divorce does not count as such. Based on this, the divorce is invalid and the woman is permissible for you under the initial marriage contract, so there is no need for you to formally take her back or do a new marriage contract. End quote. 
Fataawa Muhamamd ibn Ibraaheem, 11/ question no. 3159 
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said in al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 6/245 
If a person bases his words on a reason which is later found to have no substance, there is no ruling on his words. This is a basic principle which has many implications, among the most important of which is what happens to some people with regard to divorce, where a man says to his wife for example, “If you enter the house of So and so then you are divorced,” based on what that person has of haraam means of entertainment such as musical instruments and the like, then he finds out that he has no such things at all. If she enters that house, is she divorced or not? The answer is that she is not divorced, because that was based on a reason which has no substance. This is based on both sharee’ah and rational thinking. End quote.
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Ten Tips Towards Being a Successful Husband

Prophet Muhammad (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said, “the best amongst you are the ones who are best to their wives.” So dear Muslim brother! Your obligations towards your wife are not limited to earning money and supporting her financially. A wife needs love from her husband, and emotional support too!

10 Tips on How to Be a Successful Husband
Note: Additions in brackets are notes from a sister.
Prepared by Muhammad Alshareef, reprinted from Islamway.com.

 1) Dress Up

Dress up for your wife, look clean and smell good. When was the last time us men went shopping for designer pajamas? Just like the husband wants his wife to look nice for him, she also wants her husband to dress up for her too. Remember that Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) would always start with Miswak when returning home and always loved the sweetest smells.
Dress up for your wife when you are at home also. Some brothers only dress up when they go out and that is not a good practice. A husband should dress up for his wife when they are at home. it makes a wife feel special.)

2) Sweet Names

Use the cutest names for your wife. Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) had nicknames for his wives, ones that they loved. Call your wife by the most beloved names to her, and avoid using names that hurt their feelings.
(Remember, you are your wife’s only boyfriend, and her only best friend. She does not go out seeking boyfriends and she shares a halal relationship with you. Love her unconditionally for the sake of Allah. And express your love to her. A woman likes to be told that she is loved. Call her from your work to make sure she is doing fine. I have seen my dad calling my mother several times a day, just to make sure she has been eating well. And my husband calls me at least twice from work to make sure I am doing well. These things are very important in a relationship.)

3) Reward Her Actions

Don’t treat her like a fly. We never think about a fly in our daily lives until it ‘bugs’ us. Similarly, a wife will do well all day – which brings no attention from the husband – until she does something to ‘bug’ him. Don’t treat her like this; recognize all the good that she does and focus on that.
(Whenever there is a fight or argument, just remember all the things she does for you. she cooks for you, she takes care of your home, she takes care of your children and the most important thing is that she guards her modesty. So do not upset her if she is upset with you. Hold her and tell her that you love her. Only your love can repel her anger. Communicate with her and discuss with her if there are any misunderstandings.)

4) Remain Silent

If you see wrong from your wife, try being silent and do not comment! This is one of the ways Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) used when he would see something inappropriate from his wives (رضالله عنهنّ). It’s a technique that few Muslim men have mastered.
(Do not criticize her all the time. Trust her and trust her decisions. If she is doing something that you don’t like, or that goes against the teachings of Islam, then do advice her gently.)

5) Smile!

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Smile at your wife whenever you see her and embrace her often. Smiling is Sadaqah and your wife is not exempt from the Muslim Ummah. Imagine life with her constantly seeing you smiling. Remember also those Ahadith when Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) would kiss his wife before leaving for Salah, even if he was fasting.

(Do let your wife know that you are very happy and blessed to have her. A wife always wonder how her husband feels about her. She may have some insecurity about you, so make her feel secure. Always give her a hug whenever you come back from work. appreciate her and thank her for taking care of everything whole day. If you are not too tired, go out for star gazing for an hour or so.)

6) Acknowledge Her

Thank her for all that she does for you. Then thank her again! Take for example a dinner at your house. She makes the food, cleans the home, and a dozen other tasks to prepare. And sometimes the only acknowledgment she receives is that there needed to be more salt in the soup. Don’t let that be; thank her!
(Write thank you notes for her and place those notes in her books, her purse, her socks, and anything else that belongs to her. You can use your own creativity to thank her. You can thank her by writing something on a mirror with her lipstick, so that she can read it when she wakes up in the morning. You can also thank her by arranging a candlelight dinner AT HOME, you be the cook and let her rest. So far I have learned that a nice romantic dinner at home is much better than going out for dinner. This way a couple saves themselves from many fitnahs. You can thank her by writing her letters and emails. Remember, in Islam, everyday is special. So celebrate wife’s day with her, and do it very often without having a particular date. She will always wonder when the wife’s day is going to be.
I love her

You can also give her a certificate of appreciation, or a Best Wife Award on wife’s day. Do everything by yourself that day and let her rest, this way you will also know how difficult it could be to do household chores. Thank her by building a webpage for her, write a note there and a poem and then ask her to visit your webpage. Thank her by recording a voice message on a cd for your wife. She will love it!

Thank her by giving her a gift, and a gift does not have to be expensive. Be creative! You do not have to give her Roses, you can give her a leaf too! (My husband gave me a leaf once, instead of roses, and I was very happy and surprised, and I appreciated his creativity). So remember, thoughtful and creative gifts makes a wife feel secure and happy. Thank her by ordering a halal pizza for her, ask the restaurant to cut it in a heart shape and have it delivered with a personalized note. Thank her by thanking her in a family gathering. A woman likes it when her husband gives her attention.
If you visit her parents or your parents, hold her hands and tell your parents how happy you are after marriage. Give your wife an Islamic book as a gift after praying Tahajjud. Use your imagination and think about unique gifts. Remember, she does not need a diamond, she needs your sincerity and your heart, so always give her the gifts that are thoughtful. Whenever you do something to make her happy, observe her facial expressions and ask yourself about how you feel when you become her happiness.)

7) Ten Blessings From Allah

Ask her to write down the last ten things you did for her that made her happy. Then go and do them again. It may be hard to recognize what gives your wife pleasure. You don’t have to play a guessing game–ask her and work on repeating those things in your life.
(Also ask her to write down the things you did that she did not like, or the things you did that made her unhappy. Try to not do those things in future. If she falls ill, let her lay down, and read different surahs from Qur’an while placing your hand on her forehead. When I got sick, my husband recited Qur’an for me, it really helped a lot mashaAllah. Remember, a wife needs her husband the most when she is not feeling well. Take good care of her because a healthy wife makes a healthy family. Do not expect too much from her when she is sick.)

8) Validate her Feelings

Al Nikah - Ideal Husband

Don’t belittle her desires. Comfort her. Sometimes the men may look down upon the requests of their wives. Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) set the example for us in an incident when Safiyyah (رضالله عنها) was crying because, as she said, he had put her on a slow camel. He wiped her tears, comforted her, and brought her the camel.

(If there is a time of sadness, give her your shoulder to cry on. Hold her and tell her that everything will be fine. Alhamdulillah, my husband and my dad are amongst those Muslim husbands who would even have tears in their eyes if their wives are sad. Remember, a woman does not like to cry alone in a corner. She needs someone to hold her when she is sad, so never let her feel lonely. Remind her the verses from Qur’an that talks about Patience and Piety.)

9) Have Fun!

Be humorous and play games with your wife. Look at how Rasulullah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) would race his wife Aisha (رضالله عنها) in the desert. When was the last time we did something like that?
(A sense of humor plays a very important role in a marital relationship. Most women wish to have a husband who has a good sense of humor. Tell her decent and modest jokes that make her happy. A wife appreciates it very much if her husband makes her smile. You can play various games at home. Play with crayons, or have a pillow fight. Or hide different notes in your bedroom and ask her to find it. Think of different games you can both play. Let her win sometimes!
Adopt interesting hobbies, such as reading, cooking together and gardening (grow a surprise rose plant in your garden, when you have the first rose blooming, take her to the garden and show it to her. Newspaper and Sports Issue! Men like to watch sports, or read newspaper. Most Pakistani wives consider newspaper as their co-wives. So be very careful. If you are watching sports, turn the TV off if your wife comes around. Give her attention. Do not spend too much time reading newspaper, and do not read newspaper on the breakfast table, rather have an Islamic discussion. If you want to get her to like newspaper, then try to find something that interests her. Such as, try to find a news about Hijab. Or try to find a news about Muslim women for her.)

10) Be The Best

Always remember the words of Allah’s Messenger (صلي الله عليه وسلم): “The best of you are those who treat their families the best. And I am the best amongst you to my family.” Try to be the best! In conclusion: Never forget to make Dua to Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) to make your marriage successful. And Allah ta’ala knows best!
(And once again: your wife is your best friend, and your girlfriend. Share everything with her. Remember she is your garment and you are her garment, so hide her faults and mistakes. Learn to forgive her. Also communicate a lot with her family. It really makes a difference if husband communicates with his in laws. It helps both husband’s and wife’s family to share a beautiful relationship. Respect her parents and show your love to her family. This will inspire her to love and respect your family. If her family is not muslim, do dawah to them in a beautiful way.)
Spend lots of time praying to Allah swt. Do fast often even if it is not Ramadan. Fasting brings patience and taqwah. Lead her in the prayer. There is nothing better than praying together. Remember Allah, so that 
Allah remembers you.
May Allah bless us and guide us all. Ameen!
References
Alshareef, Muhammad. “[10 Tips] How to Be a Successful Husband.” IslamWay. 24 Apr. 2007 <http://english.islamway.com/bindex.php?section=article&id=103>.

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Why Should I Marry?

Introduction
Marriage in Islam
Why marry?
Marriage and its Connection with Fornication and Homosexuality
The Knock-on Effects of Fornication and Homosexuality
Marriage and Masturbation
A Final Word Regarding Marriage

why should I marry - Al Nikah blog

Introduction

In light of modern day, what is marriage? What does it mean? The Collins Paperback English Dictionary states under the heading of marriage: ‘The contract made by a man and a woman to live as husband and wife’.
The Hutchinson Encyclopedia states: ..legally or culturally sanctioned union..’. So, according to the dictionary and the encyclopediamarriage is supposed to be a relationship that joins a man and a woman together via a contract. When one looks at what marriage actually is in this modern era of the world one finds a completely different picture. It seems as though modern couples sign the contract with a get-out-whenever-you-like-upon-trivial-matters clause, which enables both the husband and the wife to scrap their marriage contracts and break their marriage oaths whenever they feel like leaving their partner and move on.

Marriage is supposed to tie a man and a woman together and strengthen their relationship. Today the world is seeing a new era where marriage is no longer considered necessary or even significant for a relationship. Islam has laid down rules and regulations for marriage and has considered marriage an important and essential part of a Muslim’s life. This lack of understanding has in itself caused behaviour prohibited in Islam such as masturbation, sexual relationships/encounters outside of Nikah(marriage), etc which are increasing day by day. I will attempt to unfold these issues using The Holy Quran and the saying of the messenger of Allah: Muhammad Description: Description: Description: Peace and blessings be upon him.

Marriage in Islam

Marriage is a vital part of a Muslim’s life. In factmarriage is so important in the religion of Islam that it is declared to be one half of one’s faith. As a Muslim one should live in accordance with the Islamic Jurisprudence in the way shown by the greatest of creations and the person who was the greatest impact on mankind in the existence of the universe, The Holy Prophet Muhammad Description: Description: Description: Peace and blessings be upon him. The Prophet himself married and also encouraged others to marry. It has been reported that The Prophet Muhammad Description: Description: Description: Peace and blessings be upon himsaid,
‘A person who possesses the means to marry (i.e. he is able to work etc. to support a wife and children) and does not marry then he is not from amongst us (i.e. the believers).’
 
In another narration the Prophet Muhammad Description: Description: Description: Peace and blessings be upon himhas been reported to have said,
‘Do not delay in three things; 1) Theoffering of the obligatory prayer. 2) The offering of the funeral prayer when the deceased’s body is present . 3) The marriage of a woman when her couple is found’
 
One can see from this statement that to become a complete and true believer one must act upon the advice given by The Prophet Muhammad Description: Description: Description: Peace and blessings be upon him. This means marrying when the partner is found and not delaying it for too long.
The Creator of the Universe – Allah – has stated in the Quran,
‘And wed the single among you’.(C24 : V32)
One can see from the above verse that the Creator of mankind himself has ordered us to marry. The scholars of Islam have stated that when Allah states an order in the Quran like the above-mentioned one then this order becomes compulsory on man hence marriage is an obligatory act. The big question must be why? Why has Islam emphasised marriage so much and why has the best of creations encouraged it so much. Surely there must be a reason. Well there are a number of reasons why Islam has emphasised marriage so much. A few of which I will mention.

 

Why marry?

Marriage makes an incomplete human being a complete one. It makes him/her a grown up and gives him/her responsibilities whether those responsibilities are to feed and clothe the wife or to assist the husband. Marriage is supposed to take a person out of the hectic lifestyle that one is in and place him or her in an organised environment giving them a path to follow in life and a shoulder to lean on. In short marriage arranges one’s life. In Islam a man cannot have relationships with those he can marry unless it is within marriage. In other wordsIslam gives the right to a woman to be a wife of a man independent of the marriage relationship the man may have with another woman. This is a key difference because in the modern era a man is not guilty if he has relationships with a woman outside of marriage but the moment he contracts to treat this woman equally as his wife, he is criminalisedfor illegal behaviour. This is odd as the current common law does not criminalise the actual relationship of the man with another woman but punishes the solemn promise/affirmation in writing to continue. Any offspring would be illegitimate as the courts would not recognise polgamy even though it exists and is accepted in behaviour but not in writing. In some senses the increase in divorce rates and re-marriages we see nowadays is in some ways a serial version of polygamy!.There are many reasons that support polygamy but Islam limits the practice to four wives and is allowed only when one can be fair to all wives. Polygamy is only mentioned briefly here but as a subject could be read in further detail elsewhere. Please also note that the current Law of the land in this regard should be abided by.
Marriage helps to safeguard one’s imaan (faith) i.e. it stops one from committing such acts by which s/he could be considered immoral. Sins such as intermingling with people of the opposite sex or socialising as it is classed in everyday terms are not considered to be acceptable in Islam, (because it creates immorality and immodesty) even though an incredibly large amount of people will hastily class it as an ‘essential’ part of one’s day.

 

Marriage and its Connection with Fornication and Homosexuality

One of the most underestimated sins is fornication. Nowadays this is considered to be something which one should feel proud of with a ‘the more the better’ motto it seems which is an incredibly sad thing to say. Fornication is a despicable act in the eyes of Islamic Jurisprudence due to its ill effects on society. Many youngsters and even teenagers getdragged into this act and then suffer the consequences when they (in most cases the female) are left to look after the child and struggle greatly due to financial difficulties. Many also end up leaving the child in an orphanage; circumstances in society can create an unfortunate and challenging upbringing. Hence, fornication plays an extremely significant part in the fall of society. What makes it worse is that today’s society has considered it to be a small matter and it is not paid any attention to it (or not as much as it needs). In fact in modern society fornication is not even considered wrong (i.e. it is not even considered immoral).

Marriage also reduces the possibility of one indulging in forbidden acts of homosexuality; if a believer (i.e. a Muslim) indulges in homosexual relations they should seek Allah’s forgiveness; please note that the current law of the land should be abided by individuals and upheld by authorities.  Homosexuality is not only against the teachings of Judaism Christianity and Islam,it also seriously endangers one’s health. Homosexuals or bisexuals are much more likely to contract diseases such as AIDS and HIV from their sexual relationships than a man is who conducts sexual relationships with women. This is due to the fact that in hetrosexualintercourse (i.e. man + woman) there is normally only one way that this disease can be passed on from one individual to the other and that is through the transfusion of the fluids excreted during sexual intercourse. Whereas during a homosexual relationship, during anal intercourse (also prohibited in Islam) there are two ways in which the disease can be contracted. The first way is through the mixing of the fluids and the second way is through the mixing of the blood, which is emitted from the body during anal intercourse. The risk of homosexual behaviour increases when a man fails to marry a woman. On the other hand, if a man marries a woman then the risk of him ever commiting homosexual behaviour is almost invariably mitigated.
Islam has tried to prevent those factors that cause immorality, promiscuity. Islam understands the harms of such things and has therefore laid down strict rules, Please refer to a reputable scholar for guidance on this important issue. In this way one will attempt to stay away from these sins in any possible way.
Many cases of domestic violence, rape/indecent assault and dis-functional families are caused/inflicted by peaople who turn around and try to excuse their behaviour by saying they did not think they were committing an illegal act. The cries and complaints of the victims are dismissed as normality in ‘this day and age’. For example: a child is left with a single parent due to non-marriage relationships easily breaking down. A rape victim is unjustly and quickly accused of ‘consenting’ as casual sex/extra marital sex is not illegal. A person is infectedwith a transmitted disease through extra-marital/casual sex of their ‘partner’. (A child is born with HIV due to the mother being infectedby the decease through extra-marital/casual sex by herself/partner). A child is left with a single parent due to one of the parents being in a homosexual relationship. Fewer children have a brother/sister from the same parent due to homosexual relationship of a parent. A baby from casual/extra marital intercourse is killed (aborted). A decline in population due to abortions from temporary relationships. A drop in births due to same sex relationships. A decline in births causes a decrease in the number of people who look after others in old age. The nature of temporary relationships leads to a climate of doubt and questionable parentage. Paternity tests may not be error free, conclusive or affordable and legal declarations of paternity and custody can take a long time even when all parties wish it to be expedient. Children in almost all cases would prefer knowing who their biological parents are and prefer being brought up by them howevertemporary relationships can be very complicated and children end up being the silent victims of social crimes.

 

The Knock-on Effects

Unfortunately today, the state and most societies fail to acknowledge the issues slowing down the progress of a society as a whole. Many couples acknowledge bringing up children, particularly teenagers is not easy. To do so when one is single is definitely harder. The very nature of relationships out of marriage leads to temporal behaviour, devoid of commitment. Even long standing relationships are tested against time only to breakdown due to the absence of commitment in the form of a marriage contract. Children need to be nurtured, be motivated and be re-assured. They need role models and people who they can talk/confide in. Where families are broken and reflect the state of society young people do not receive the support they need. ‘Time and Money’ being the commodities that are best shared in family environments are split or consumed by ‘individual space/pursuits’. Children are leftvulnerable to society’s ills and juvenile crime; leading to a life devoid of social responsibility and this degenerating cycle repeats. People attempting to attract potential sexual participants often resort to displaying themselves with the latest trend in clothes, gadgets, cars/possessions. Some waste a lot of money ensuring they replace yesterday’s gear with today’s. Money is commonly channeled away from necessities and sometimes substantial debt is incurred. These expenses may be paid by hard-earned cash however ill-gottenmeans (fraud/theft) fuelling such showful habits are familiar and increasing as ‘must have’ mentalities prevail. Indecent/sexual assault, rape etc are crimes that are committed where defence excuses touted include ‘honourable attention’, wrong signals’ ‘reasonable belief of consent’, etc. If sexual intercourse was legal only under marriage then some of these crimes can be prevented as there will be no excuses. There would also be a decrease in crimes centred around attention competition as again the objective would be only legal within marriage and so opportunists would find it difficult. Crime rates centred around attention competition in islamic/moral societies is considerably lower than where sexual relations/encounters outside of Nikah is not abated.

Marriage and Masturbation

One type of indecent practise, which has crept into the youngsters of today, is the practise of masturbation. This is partly due to the fact that many people decide to marry very late on in their lives, (which is not in accordance with what The Prophet Muhammad Description: Description: Description: Peace and blessings be upon himsaid). This leads them into this practice because they feel that they need to fulfil their carnal desires but they cannot do so in the normal way i.e. sexual intercourse.
Islam has condemned the act of masturbation simply because it is harmful towards a person not only physically but also morally. Masturbation contributes to the weakening of the sexual organs. One reason why people do not think that masturbating is wrong is because that is what most people are led into thinking. I can remember very well from my time in school when the teacher actually encouraged masturbation by saying that one should masturbate whenever one feels the urge and that one should not consider it to be wrong or immoral. I myself found this fairly shocking due to the fact that I came from a background where acts such as masturbation were shunned.

A Final Word Regarding Marriage

Islam has many reasons to encourage marriage such as its advantages in safeguarding one’s faith and also because marriage is an essential element in the proper upbringing of children. This is because children without one of their parents are much more likely to commit crimes etc. and in short become a nuisance to the environment they live in. Marriage plays a large part in saving one from the sins of fornication, homosexuality and masturbation. It takes away the possibility of these things because after marriage a man is supposed to occupy himself with a woman he has married and vice versa.
The Prophet Muhammad Description: Description: Description: Peace and blessings be upon himhas himself said, ‘A person who possesses the means to marry (i.e. he is able to work etc. to support a wife and children) and does not marry, then he is not from amongst us (i.e. the believers).’
 
Not only has The Holy Prophet Muhammad Description: Description: Description: Peace and blessings be upon himplaced emphasis on the importance of marriage but also the Creator of the Universe (Allah) has commanded His people to marry when He says in the Quran, ‘And wed the single among you’. (chapter 24, verse 32)
 
From the above verse one sees again that the Creator of mankind has ordered man (not just advised him) to join in matrimony. I am hopeful that you will agree on the importance of marriage based on the above factual data / the Quran and the sayings of The Prophet Muhammad Description: Description: Description: Peace and blessings be upon him.
Unfortunately though, even after much emphasis from Islam on the importance of marriage, many people still fail to acknowledge its significance. A relationship between two people is not just supposed to be a short, action-packed romance story from the studios of Hollywood (which inevitably comes to an end sooner rather than later), but it is supposed to be a serious, long-term relationship in which both individuals are content and comfortable with one another. A relationship should not exist of a one-night-stand as is the case now especially amongst students of universities, colleges and even schools. A relationship should show that both partners are ready to sacrifice and endure for their partner; the way towards this is through marriage. Until the world realises the importance of marriage as well as its benefits and advantages, it will be faced with the endless problems caused by neglecting marriage.
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