Marriage Articles rss

Man divorces wife for not closing car door

Saudi woman beside a car

Reprinted from the Arab News
JEDDAH: FOUZIA KHAN | Published — Thursday 25 September 2014

Islam forbids Muslims from divorcing out of anger or for petty reasons, but this injunction did not stop a Saudi man from leaving his wife because she refused to close their car door, according to recent reports in local media and on social networking sites.

The couple reportedly went out on a picnic and when they returned home, the wife got out, helped their children to do so and then moved to go into their house.

Her husband then called out for her to close the door, but she refused, saying he should do so because he was closer to it. Incensed at her reply, the husband reportedly said: “You are forbidden to me and should not enter my home if you do not close the door.”

The woman then reportedly left and returned to her father’s house. Many people have tried to reconcile the couple, but the woman has rejected all attempts, saying that she does not want to remain married to such an “irresponsible” man

Arab News spoke to well-known Saudi Sheikh Asim Al-Hakim on the matter, who said that the divorce is valid based on the man’s actions.

Al-Hakim explained that there are direct and indirect divorces. Direct divorce can occur even if a person jokes about it. Indirect divorce is based on intent.

“Intention is very important in such cases, but such behavior is irresponsible.” He said Islam has given men a great deal of responsibility to act correctly under these circumstances. “So a man should be very careful about his actions,” he said.

He said a judge can issue a final verdict in such cases. He warned that people should not act hastily and in anger.

According to a study conducted by Aleqtesadiah newspaper, there are 2.5 divorce cases for every 1,000 men above the age of 15.

There were 30,000 divorces in 2012, averaging 82 a day, or three an hour. In earlier reports, the Ministry of Economy and Planning confirmed that while courts and marriage officials register around 70,000 marriage contracts annually, they also process more than 13,000 divorces.
The study also showed that the Kingdom ranked second among Gulf Cooperation Council countries in terms of divorces after Bahrain, where the rate is 2.7 for every 1,000 people. The same study showed an upward trend in divorce cases in 2012 compared with 2010, when there were 75 a day.

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The New Muslim Trap: Why Muslim Converts Must Exercise Caution in Marriage

Women Muslim convertsWritten by Michelle Yeung, for the Allahcentric Blog.

For the vast majority of converts I know, their embracing of Islam happened between the ages of 18 – 26. There’s something about those several years after one finishes high school and one moves out of their parent’s home, that finally forces them, to think. There’s also something else that people of that age often have in common; they feel a strong need to settle with a life partner, which for a Muslim, means marriage.

I don’t have an opinion on whether converts should look to marry immediately, or wait, that probably depends on their own circumstances. However, I would advise any new convert to exercise particular caution as to how they go about meeting a potential spouse. As I listened to one convert sister tell me her story of her own desire to marry and the challenges that faced her,  this enabled me to realise some of the reasons for their particular vulnerability to becoming trapped in a difficult marriage situation.

New Converts can often be Very Vulnerable

Two young Muslim womenBecoming Muslim and practicing Islam is a big life change. Not just in the actions themselves, but in the person’s entire life. New converts often find themselves distanced from their previous group of friends, and even family. All of the new things that they are reading, and being told, can be over whelming and whilst the new convert realises they will never be truly alone, the first couple of years can at the same time be horribly lonely.

“I’d sometimes cry myself to sleep at night, because I felt very lonely. I felt closer to Allah at those times and it felt good, and yet I would have loved to have had another person there with me, seeing me through day by day. I had a small group of friends, but they all had their own husbands and children and I felt like I had nobody. I felt that my best option was marriage.”

Lack of Protective Forces, Such as Muslim Family and a Community

The sad truth is, some people do seem to take advantage of this situation. When both parties are Muslim, the families would meet and the woman’s guardian would approve the marriage. For converts, the process is often quite different, and they may be left making key life decisions such as marriage on their own.

“I was never really a part of any Muslim community. I had a few friends, but we weren’t so close that I would tell them everything. I just didn’t feel like a belonged anywhere, I felt distanced from my family, and I didn’t exactly fit with my local Muslim community. This made me want to focus just on me, on doing my own thing, my own way. I didn’t value the community in the way that I should have done, or I do now. I guess I was a rebel, always wanting to remain independent. So when it came to meeting somebody, I didn’t tell people, I didn’t want their advice, I just wanted to do things my way and he also convinced me that this was the best thing to do in my situation”.

Looking for a Fast Way to Reach God, Through a Spouse

Muslim sister reading Azizah magazine.

Muslim sister reading Azizah magazine.

Muslims believe that marriage in itself is a good, beneficial thing. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that marriage is half of the religion. New converts seem to have a tendency to want to carryout every single thing that is deemed good, straight away, and marriage is one of these actions.

“I didn’t know it then, but yes, I was looking for a fast way to reach Allah. I thought that if I could get married, to someone really good, then I’d quickly become just like them in that respect. I thought I’d be whisked off overseas by him and transformed into this great Muslim woman. I didn’t know that he had no intention to ever take me with him.”

Can be a Little Naive

It’s natural to see the good in all people, but it can sometimes be more challenging for new Muslims to distinguish true good character from mere actions. New Muslims often seem to be very easily impressed by other Muslims, just based on a few things the person says or does. For example, a brand new Muslim sister may find it very difficult to cover her hair immediately, and could then begin to hold the Muslim women who do, in exaggerated esteem.

“I wasn’t so naive as to think anyone who was Muslim could be trusted. But I suppose I must have thought that anyone who talked in an impressive way would also do the things they preached about. If a brother wore a thawb, talked about visiting his skaykh overseas, and was highly thought of as a community activist, who was I to think that they weren’t all that they made out to be? What did I know after all as a new convert?”.

My advice to any new convert considering marriage, would be to:

  1. Tell your friends and family that you are corresponding, and involve people whom you trust
  2. Meet their family and make sure that they are fully aware of you
  3. Be extra cautious if they seem to be wanting to cut corners (e.g. not involving parents, not agreeing to a mahr, being unclear about living arrangements or financial support once married – sisters)
  4. Ask select people about their din and their character
  5. Perform the salatul istikhara, and make lots of du’a for guidance.

Michelle Yeung is a British convert currently living in Toronto with her husband.  She runs the Sister has Style blog, and is the educational services manager for SeekersGuidance.

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Muslim Matrimonial Websites: My Experience

Wael and daughter

Wael and daughter

Wael Abdelgawad | Zawaj.com

I’ve been single (divorced) for several years now, so in that time I have tried my share of Muslim matrimonial websites in order to try to find a new partner Insha’Allah. Here’s my review of the sites I tried, and my overall view of the Muslim matrimonial experience.

Disclaimer: I am naturally biased, since I am the founder of Zawaj.com Muslim Matrimonials, and I happen to think it is a good website and a leader in the Islamic matchmaking field. With that said, here is my list:

1. Zawaj.com Muslim Matrimonials

Zawaj.com Muslim Matrimonials

Zawaj.com Muslim Matrimonials

Zawaj.com was founded way back in 1998. It was one of the first three Muslim matrimonial sites in existence. The other two are gone now, which means that Zawaj.com is the oldest continuously running Muslim matchmaking site. Of course in that time the site has been constantly improved and upgraded.

Zawaj.com has had literally hundreds of success stories in uniting Muslim singles from all over the world in matrimony. In addition, the website has hundreds of articles about marriage in Islam, family issues, Islamic advice and special features.

I have not actually used the service myself in looking for a wife, because I felt it would be a little creepy to contact a sister and say, “Hi, I’m the founder of this site and I’m interested in you,” ha ha. With that said, I believe in Zawaj.com and I think it’s a good service and a good value.

2. Muslima.com

There are a few drawbacks to Muslima.com. One is that the site is owned by non-Muslims. It is basically a branch of Cupid Media, which is a global “dating” conglomerate. Second, I got scammed by a woman on Muslima.com a few years back. She was a Russian scammer who posed as a beautiful and kind-hearted Muslim woman. Once I began to develop feelings for her, she began to weave a story about how she needed money to apply for a visa to come see me. I looked her up online and found out she is a known Russian scammer. I do not blame Muslima.com for that. The fact is that such scammers are a plague in every area of online activity.

On Muslima.com you can send messages free of charge, but cannot read your received messages unless you sign as a paid member.

Leaving those factors aside, Muslima.com seems to be a popular website with many members from all over the world. In particular they have a ton of members from North Africa – Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt.

3. Qiran.com

Qiran.com is a large company based in Canada, with additional offices all over the Arab world and in Pakistan. Qiran.com is kind of the opposite of Muslima.com in the sense that a free member can respond to messages sent to him but cannot initiate any messages. You can “show interest” free of charge. The layout is not quite as easy on the eyes as I would like. Overall, however, it is a good service.

4. SingleMuslim.com

SingleMuslim.com

SingleMuslim.com

SingleMuslim.com is more expensive than any of the other Muslim matchmaking sites in this list, with a one month membership costing $49.00, and 3 months for $99.00.

The signup process is interesting in the sense that it is clearly an Islamic site, designed for Muslims from the get-go, with questions – for example – about how regularly you pray, and whether you eat halal. Also, it allows passport style face photos only – no body photos. Profile pages are large and easy to read.

I’ve noticed that SingleMuslim has a preponderance of members from the UK, and not so many from the USA or other countries.

On SingleMuslim you cannot send OR receive messages unless you join as a paid member. So it’s not a terribly useful site for free members.\

On the whole, it’s a good website if you’re willing to pay the high membership fees and if you live in the UK.

5. Shaadi.com

Shaadi.com has a huge membership base but is focused largely on India and the subcontinent. It is not an exclusively Islamic matrimonial website but is open to Indians of all religions. So if you are looking for someone from India, Shaadi.com is worth a try.

* * *

I hope you find this list useful. If you’ve tried any of these services, please leave a comment and share your experience. May Allah grant you all good spouses who will the apples of your eyes and the comfort of your hearts.

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Is Romantic Love a Myth?

Reprinted from BBC News online magazine
By Mark Vernon

Our idealised notion of romantic love is actually the biggest enemy of long-lasting relationships, says Mark Vernon.

Romantic love is widely celebrated as the pinnacle of love. It is marketed as the peak experience without which you cannot say you have lived. The signs of its allure are everywhere, not just on Valentine’s Day.

Wedding costs

The rising cost of weddings.

Take the cost of the average wedding. It has rocketed in recent years, now easily topping £20,000 in the UK. It is as if couples make a direct link between romantic value and cash value.

Or think of the cinema, where romantic comedies are big box office. If you get the formula right, of lovers finally falling into each others’ arms, you net hundreds of millions of dollars. Or again, there are the dating websites that are recession proof – 60% growth in spending last year, according to reports.

Love is blind, the proverb goes, though it might be more accurate to say we are being blinded by a hyper version of romantic love, and are losing out on life as a result.

To cut to the chase, I think that the romantic myth is one of the most pernicious of our times.

The myth is that there is someone out there with whom your life will be complete, and conversely, without whom your life would be a half-life. A major task of modern life is, therefore, to find this person and, falling in love, to cease to be two and become one.

It is hard to prove, though I wonder whether such a view of romance has become so monstrous in the pressure it puts on couples to find fulfillment in each other, that it actually undermines more relationships than supports them.

It is socially corrosive because it idealises love, rather than understanding that love is made not found. Love is made in the gritty ups and downs of being with someone who is as flawed as you.

The power of the myth is demonstrated in the fact that most people would say that they don’t believe it.

Hollywood romance scene

The Hollywood romance myth is destructive to genuine long-term love and relationships.

They would protest that such a story shapes the plots of romantic novels and movies, and the advertising blurb of online dating sites, but is not real life.
And yet, is it not precisely this dream that drives so many to glossy magazines, to cinemas and online? It is telling that the top question asked of

Google last year was: What is love? Malign myths are at their most powerful when we presume we are not in their grip.

Might such romance be, in part, a driver of divorce figures.

It is striking that remarriages appear to work best when they have outgrown hyper-romance. A recent review study listed three top success factors – couple consensus, social support and financial stability.

These couples, perhaps having learnt the hard way, are now able to talk rationally about their difficulties, rely on the love of family and friends as well as of their partner, and feel materially grounded, not rushed off their feet. If romance first draws the eye, relationships have a chance to thrive when it does not seal the deal.

More darkly, have you ever wondered why romance is so closely associated with death?

Think of Romeo and Juliet. It appears to teach that it is better to marry in haste, without thought, because that is what it means to be star-crossed, to be passionate, to be authentic.

Although note that when Shakespeare told the story he called it a tragedy. He saw a deeper truth in what happened, namely that a tragedy arises when the pernicious action of romance seizes young lovers’ hearts.

There are signs that individuals are rejecting the romantic myth. The number of people living on their own has risen by 50% since the mid-1990s. Many report that singleness means they enjoy more freedom and have time for other relationships, like friendship.

It is as if these individuals are bearing witness to the tyranny of the exclusive twosome that meets freedom and friendship with powerful feelings of jealousy and suspicion.

So why has romance become so distorting?

I suspect that the desire for a peak experience of love has eclipsed the fact that love is primarily about others. The romantic myth would have us fall in love with love, paradoxically not with another. This twisted love whispers that it does not much matter who you fall for, only that you fall in love.

Divorce

When love breaks down
* UK divorce rates are highest in those between the ages of 40 to 44, say ONS statistics.
* The highest proportion is among those married between five and nine years.
* 34% of marriages end in divorce by the 20th wedding anniversary.
* 49% of couples divorcing in 2011 had at least one child aged under 16.

There is a spiritual dimension to this romantic addiction too. The philosopher Simon May has proposed that while many have given up on God in the West, we still long for the unconditional love that God used to offer.

But godless, we seek instead unconditional love from our fellow humans. We make them gods, and of course they fail us. And then love turns to hate. It’s a desire that, because of the excess, destroys love. People kill the thing they love, lamented an observant Oscar Wilde.

Standing in Love

The true art of loving is to navigate the shift from falling in love to standing in love, to borrow the psychologist Erich Fromm’s phrases.

Falling in love, the stuff of romance, is the intoxicating sense of possessing someone and/or being possessed. And it just can’t last, because possessiveness crushes liveliness.

The risk is that you then feel that love has died because, following the romantic myth, you measure love by its felt intensity.

Standing in love, though, is the capacity to be with someone and be free with someone. It too feels good, though for different reasons. It can allow more subtle qualities to come to the fore, such as commitment and generosity, honesty and openness. It welcomes life.

Standing in love is, perhaps, a healing notion as we face the romantic onslaught of another Valentine’s Day.

Mark Vernon is a writer and journalist. He has written books on friendship and philosophy, and is the author of Love: All That Matters
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Requirements of Nikah in Islam

Happy Muslim couple

Mohammad Mazhar Hussaini

Mutual Agreement of Bride and Groom

Marriage (nikah) is a solemn and sacred social contract between bride and groom. This contract is a strong covenant (mithaqun ghalithun) as expressed in Quran 4:21. The marriage contract in Islam is not a sacrament. It is revocable.

Both parties mutually agree and enter into this contract. Both bride and groom have the liberty to define various terms and conditions of their liking and make them a part of this contract.

Muslim couple signing the marriage contract.

Muslim couple signing the marriage contract.

Mahr

The marriage-gift (Mahr) is a divine injunction. The giving of mahr to the bride by the groom is an essential part of the contract.

‘And give the women (on marriage) their mahr as a (nikah) free gift” (Quran 4:4)

Mahr is a token commitment of the husband’s responsibility and may be paid in cash, property or movable objects to the bride herself. The amount of mahr is not legally specified, however, moderation according to the existing social norm is recommended. The mahr may be paid immediately to the bride at the time of marriage, or deferred to a later date, or a combination of both. The deferred mahr however, falls due in case of death or divorce.

One matrimonial party expresses ‘ijab” willing consent to enter into marriage and the other party expresses ‘qubul” acceptance of the responsibility in the assembly of marriage ceremony. The contract is written and signed by the bride and the groom and their two respective witnesses. This written marriage contract (“Aqd-Nikah) is then announced publicly.

Sermon

The assembly of nikah is addressed with a marriage sermon (khutba-tun-nikah) by the Muslim officiating the marriage. In marriage societies, customarily, a state appointed Muslim judge (Qadi) officiates the nikah ceremony and keeps the record of the marriage contract. However any trust worthy practicing Muslim can conduct the nikah ceremony, as Islam does not advocate priesthood. The documents of marriage contract/certificate are filed with the mosque (masjid) and local government for record.

Prophet Muhammad (S) made it his tradition (sunnah) to have marriage sermon delivered in the assembly to solemnize the marriage. The sermon invites the bride and the groom, as well as the participating guests in the assembly to a life of piety, mutual love, kindness, and social responsibility.

The Khutbah-tun-Nikah begins with the praise of Allah. His help and guidance is sought. The Muslim confession of faith that ‘There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His servant and messenger” is declared. The three Quranic verses (Quran 4:1, 3:102, 33:70-71) and one Prophetic saying (hadith) form the main text of the marriage. This hadith is:

‘By Allah! Among all of you I am the most God-fearing, and among you all, I am the supermost to save myself from the wrath of Allah, yet my state is that I observe prayer and sleep too. I observe fast and suspend observing them; I marry woman also. And he who turns away from my Sunnah has no relation with me”. (Bukhari)

The Muslim officiating the marriage ceremony concludes the ceremony with prayer (Dua) for bride, groom, their respective families, the local Muslim community, and the Muslim community at large (Ummah)

Marriage (nikah) is considered as an act of worship (ibadah). It is virtuous to conduct it in a Mosque keeping the ceremony simple. The marriage ceremony is a social as well as a religious activity. Islam advocates simplicity in ceremonies and celebrations.

Prophet Muhammad (S) considered simple weddings the best weddings:

‘The best wedding is that upon which the least trouble and expense is bestowed”. (Mishkat)

UK Bangladeshi Muslim couple in wedding outfits

A Bangladeshi Muslim couple in London, UK, wearing traditional Islamic outfits. Man wearing a red and gold colored hat and woman wearing beautiful jewelry.

Primary Requirements

  1. Mutual agreement (Ijab-O-Qubul) by the bride and the groom
  2. Two adult and sane witnesses
  3. Mahr (marriage-gift) to be paid by the groom to the bride either immediately (muajjal) or deferred (muakhkhar), or a combination of both

Secondary Requirements

  1. Legal guardian (wakeel) representing the bride
  2. Written marriage contract (“Aqd-Nikah) signed by the bride and the groom and witnesses by two adult and sane witnesses
  3. Qadi (State appointed Muslim judge) or Ma’zoon (a responsible person officiating the marriage ceremony)
  4. Khutba-tun-Nikah to solemnize the marriage

The Marriage Banquet (Walima)

Traditional foods set out for an Islamic walima.

Traditional foods set out for an Islamic walima.

After the consummation of the marriage, the groom holds a banquet called a walima. The relatives, neighbors, and friends are invited in order to make them aware of the marriage. Both rich and poor of the family and community are invited to the marriage feasts.

Prophet Muhammad (S) said:

‘The worst of the feasts are those marriage feasts to which the rich are invited and the poor are left out.” (Mishkat)

It is recommended that Muslims attend marriage ceremonies and marriage feasts upon invitation.

Prophet Muhammad (S) said:

“…and he who refuses to accept an invitation to a marriage feast, verily disobeys Allah and His Prophet.” (Ahmad & Abu Dawood)

Printed with permission: Marriage and Family in Islam by Mohammad Mazhar Hussaini

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How to Approach a Muslim Woman for Marriage?

Lebanese Muslim couple

A Muslim couple enjoying the sunset

Islam discourages interaction between unmarried men and women, while encouraging them to marry. How does one bridge this gap?

Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

In sha’ Allah, if the focus of your question is directed towards the ways of finding a wife in the West or North America, I would recommend the following:

1. Islamic gatherings – You may attend various Islamic gatherings at Islamic centers or in mosques and you may engage in business like conversation with the members of the opposite sex, without being isolated with them.

2. Personal introductions – You may also make use of brothers and sisters who may introduce you to prospective candidates and talk to them under supervision.

3. Matrimonial ads – You may do some kind of correspondence with candidates who have advertised their names in the Islamic magazines (or matrimonial services like Zawaj.comEditor).

4. Direct approach – In the time of the Sahabah (Prophet’s Companions), they used to meet people sometimes in the presence of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and sometimes in other circumstances. For instance, on a number of occasions women used to come offering themselves as candidates for marriage. Accordingly, some men would accept to get married to them.

Muslim husband and wife

Muslim couple

This shows that the Sahabah were very simple and undemanding about choosing their partners so long as they had the basic religious and character requirements. In this society, generally speaking, we tend to put so many conditions and requirements that are not essentials from an Islamic perspective. In Islam, the basic thing we should consider in marriage is religion and character. All other requirements we can compromise.

The Companions also used to make other people introduce them to possible candidates. They would see each other and occasionally talk with them in order to determine their eligibility for marriage.

In conclusion, you may choose any of the methods in order to find prospective candidates.

Once you have chosen some, you may inquire about them from people who are reliable and trustworthy in order to determine their illegibility and integrity. You are allowed to ask about their past in order to find out the essential points reflecting their character. If a person has a bad past and he or she has changed and improved his or her life Islamically after having repented their sins, you are allowed to marry them. In this case you are not allowed to nag them about their past after marriage.

Source : http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/S…=1119503545518

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7 Things your Muslim wife won’t tell you

Hands of a Muslim couple at their wedding

Reprinted from MuslimVillage.com, author unknown

Most men have a hard time understanding women. Even a woman they’ve been married to for years. One minute she’s perfectly fine, the next, she’s crying like a baby. She complains about something but when we offer advice on how to fix it, she still isn’t satisfied. After several years of marriage (and counseling) I’ve learned to not worry so much about what my wife says. Instead, I should worry about what she doesn’t say.

1. Above all, She Wants Your love

When a wife shows her husband less respect, he in turn shows her less love.

And when a husband shows his wife less love, she in turn shows him less respect.

And the vicious cycle repeats itself.

Stop this prophecy before it becomes self-fulfilling. Show love to your wife.

That’s what she wants. Love her despite her flaws and quirks.

And Inshallah, she’ll respect you despite your flaws and quirks.

2. She’s Bored

It’s the same thing every day.

Week in and week out.

Not only is she bored but she’s also tired.

She has to care for the kids and run the household and then pamper you.

Just thinking about doing that every day makes me want to crawl under my covers and hide. I can imagine how the average Muslim housewife must feel.

And let’s not forget about working woman. Many Muslim women have to work a full time job as well as hold a house down.

So brothers, I implore you, make your wife feel special. Give her a break.

Take her out sometimes. Surprise her with a surprise meal. Bring her favorite desert home.

Just do something every now and then to break the monotony.

3. She Wants to be Complimented

Young Muslim couple and daughterAppreciation. Everybody wants it. No one wants to feel as if the hard work they do goes unnoticed or even worse, it taken for granted.

Your wife does not have to clean your dirty clothes. And she does not have to cook your meals. But she does. And she does that on top of all the other things in her life:

  • Caring for the kids.
  • Working or going to school.
  • Striving to be a better Muslimah.

Show your Muslim wife that you appreciate and are thankful for the things she does to maintain you and your family. A simple “thank you” is a good start.

4. She’s Insanely Jealous

There’s a reason most women don’t care for polygamy. Be very careful how you talk about other women around your wife. Don’t ever compare your wife to another woman.

  • Don’t compare her to some female movie star.
  • Don’t compare her to your mother.
  • Never, ever compare her to your ex-wife (or other wife!)

She’s wants to know and believe that she is the center of your universe. So make her feel that way.

Even the Prophet’s (pbuh) wives got jealous. Aisha (RA) even got jealous of Khadijah (RA) who was dead.

Expect, and respect, the same type of jealousy from your wife.

5. She Wants You to Help Her become A Better Muslimah

I can’t stress enough the importance of men taking the role of leader within their families.

And that’s the problem with a lot of Muslim men these days.

Not only are they not being good leaders, they’re being led by their wives (or mothers, or other women in their lives).

Your wife desires and wants you to be her leader. And what better way to lead her than to be show her how to be a better Muslimah?

But you can’t show her how to become better if you’re not that great either. Therefore, you have to upgrade your Iman. You have to improve yourself and then pass it on to her in a gentle, respectful way.

6. She Doesn’t Like to Nag, But Sometimes You Make It Hard

It’s a common myth that women like to nag their husbands. That’s not entirely true.

Yes, there are some people (men and women) whom you can never please. No matter what you do, they’ll always find fault in something. Let’s be reminded of the following hadith:

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: The Prophet said: “I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful.” It was asked, “Do they disbelieve in Allah?” (or are they ungrateful to Allah?) He replied, “They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them. If you have always been good (benevolent) to one of them and then she sees something in you (not of her liking), she will say, ‘I have never received any good from you.” – Sahih Bukhari.

So, yes sisters should be careful about denegrating the things your husband does for you.

But very often, you brother, make it hard for her to hold your tongue.

Perhaps you’re always finding fault with her and she looks for things in your character to get even.

Perhaps you’re not working (or not working hard enough) and she has to work to take up some slack.

Perhaps you’re just not that great of a guy.

Once again, upgrade yourself and give her less reasons to complain and nag.

7. More Than Anything, She Wants a Stable, Happy Relationship With You

Happy couple silhouetted against the sunsetWomen don’t get married just because they think it’s gonna be fun.

They get married because they want a happy family life and they believe you’re gonna give it to them.

Outside of her religious duties, that’s the most important thing in a Muslim woman’s life. Raising a happy, stable, Muslim family.

The funny thing is, it’s very easy for you to give that to her.

  • Stop acting like a jerk. Be a good husband to her. Be kind. Show her you love her.
  • Don’t threaten her with divorce or taking a second wife. Yes, you have the right to do both. But using them as threats is inappropriate and detrimental to your marriage.
  • Trust in Allah, watch out for the tricks of Shaytan, and be patient with her. There’s nothing Shaytan would love more than to destroy your marriage.

See? That isn’t all that hard, now is it?

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10 MORE Romantic Things to Do for Your Wife

Newlywed Muslim couple

Newlywed Muslim couple making a “heart” sign with their hands.

Wael Abdelgawad | Zawaj.com

My first post on this subject, 50 Romantic Things to Do for Your Wife, was very popular, so I’m doing this follow-up with ten more great things to do to make your wife happy.

1. Turn off your phone and other devices and spend uninterrupted time with your wife. Go for a picnic, go out to dinner together, or just sit down and enjoy cuddling time – regardless, turn off your phone altogether. Don’t just put it on silent or vibrate! TURN – IT – OFF. This tells your wife that she is more important than anyone else who might seek to interrupt your time together.

2. Be a gentleman. Pull out her chair for her, open the car door for her, help her put her jacket on, hold the umbrella over her head in the rain. Do these things even if your wife is an athlete and could run laps around you, ha ha. Okay, maybe a tiny minority of women will find these things sexist or archaic. But I think 99.9% will see them for what they are: little kindnesses, courtesies, and signs that you care.

Young Muslim couple and child.3. Compliment what she’s wearing in an authentic way. Be specific. You might say, “I love how the green of that dress brings out the green in your eyes.” Or, “That dress really flatters your figure. You look so svelte.” Or, “That color makes your skin glow so beautifully.”

4. When you’re out to dinner together and share a dessert, let her eat most of it, and don’t make any comments about it.

5. Take care of your body and appearance. Exercise regularly. Quit smoking. Dress well. These things will make you more attractive to your wife, which naturally leads to more romance and a happier marriage.

6. Buy her flowers regularly. I know this is a cliche’, but I have a few original suggestions: First, flowers can be expensive, so find out where the wholesale flower market is in your city. You’ll find that flowers are much cheaper there, and they often sell to the public. Second, purchase different kinds of flowers each time. Buy your girl some of the odder varieties, and ask the seller something about them so you can share something interesting. Last, consider planting them in your own garden, so they won’t cost anything at all.

7. Give her a foot rub at the end of a long day. If she’s been wearing shoes all day and her feet are smelly, start out by washing them with a hot washcloth, then rubbing in some scented lotion. Then massage her feet nicely. This tells your wife that every part of her is important and beautiful to you. Plus, it feels amazing.

8. Ride the Ferris Wheel at the fair and make out at the very top.

9. Go into one of those coin-operated photo booths and make funny faces together at the camera. This one is cliched as well, but it’s still fun!

10. Cook together. Plan a special meal together and work together from beginning to end – shop together, and cook the meal together, and clean up together. Cooking alone can be a chore, but cooking together is fun.

Do you have any more ideas? Please share in the comments. And you should definitely check out:

50 Romantic Things to Do for Your Wife.

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Moroccan Wedding Customs

Moroccan bride wearing a gold dress

Moroccan bride wearing a gold dress, being carried in a litter. Photo by Bruno Barbey, 1984, in Morocco.

Morocco, one of the gems of the North Africa, is the country with very rich and active traditions. Like other cultures of the world, a Moroccan wedding is a great gala event. It’s celebrated with great fun and festivity.

A typically traditional Moroccan wedding process can take up to seven days. It begins with several pre-wedding ceremonies that take place before the actual wedding. According to the old Moroccan wedding traditions, parents would choose the bride for their son. The pre-wedding ceremonies include sending gifts and presents to bride. If the parents of groom are pretty affluent, they send opulent golden jewelry, clothing, and perfumes for the bride.

Another beautiful Moroccan bride.

Another beautiful Moroccan bride.

It is important to note that some of the customs followed in Moroccan weddings have no foundation in Islam. However, the Moroccan culture has adopted those ceremonies and traditions from various cultures including the French.

The “Furnishing Party” is an important pre-wedding ceremony that takes place five days before the fixed wedding date. The Furnishing Party focuses on preparation of the bride’s new home. The party that is primarily a women’s party delivers household belongings such as handmade blanket, mattress, bedding, carpet, frash, Moroccan couch etc., to the couple’s new apartment.

In another traditional pre-wedding ceremony, women and female friends of bride have a party where the bride performs a sort of a “milk bath” to “purify” her. Bride’s negaffa or negassa (female attendants) usually supervise the event. The female attendants, who are usually older married woman, female friends and relatives, help to beautify the bride. They help her dress in a richly decorated wedding kaftan (usually white), adorn her with heavy jewelry, and beautify and darken her eyes with kohl.

According to the Moroccan wedding tradition, the Henna Party or Beberiska ceremony takes place a night before the wedding. The Henna Party is typically for the women of the family, relatives and female friends. Henna artists paint the hands and feet of the bride and her party with Henna. The bride’s hands are painted with intricate designs, which are usually floral and geometrical designs that are meant to ward off evil spirits, bring good luck and increase fertility. The grooms name is often hidden in the henna designs.

The party enjoys tea & cookies, dances on Moroccan music and make merry. Later in the party, the older, married women discuss the ‘secrets’ of marriage with the young virgin bride-to-be. In some ceremonies, the bride is placed behind a curtain to symbolize her change of lifestyle.

Moroccan bride carried in a litterOn the wedding day, sumptuous delicious food is prepared for the guests. The food is prepared in plenty to cater the unexpected guests. The wedding ceremony takes place with great gaiety and celebration. In old times, at some point in the evening, the groom –  accompanied by his family members, relatives, and friends – would move towards the bridal party. They would go singing, beating drums, and dancing. The groom and the bride are then lead to the bridal chamber.

According to another Moroccan wedding custom, the bride would circle her new home three times before becoming the keeper of her new hearth.

In the modern times things have changed a lot. In old Moroccan culture parents would choose a bride for a groom, but the things aren’t the same in the recent times. Young people choose their own marriage partners now. Some of these old Moroccan wedding cultures and traditions have either vanished away or exist only in the rural areas.

Modern Moroccan weddings usually take place at night at big villas that are solely rented out for weddings. The men usually wear suits, and the women don their best caftans made out of delicate laces, and often intricately beaded. The ceremony is full of singing, drumming, dancing, and merrymaking.

Source: HilalPlaza.com

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Saudi Women Seek Lasting Marriages With Foreigners

Saudi women visiting Bahrain

A group of Saudi Arabian women visiting Bahrain.

By Laura Bashraheeel
Saudi Gazette | Jeddah
1 December 2012

A growing number of young Saudi women are marrying foreigners while slowly breaking down cultural and social taboos.

Saudi society may still be struggling to accept the idea of citizens marrying foreigners but that hasn’t stopped Saudi women from choosing who they want to marry.

According to statistics published last year, the Ministry of Interior approved 6,123 marriage requests of Saudi men wanting to marry non-Saudi women and vice versa. The percentage of Saudi marriages to non-Saudis was only 10 percent of this number or 612 marriages.

A proposed law governing the marriage of Saudi nationals to foreigners was recently transferred by the Shoura Council to a special committee for further study.

Shoura Council member Sadaqa Fadel told Saudi Gazette recently that the council needs to restudy the issue in order to be able to make a decision.

“It is a complicated issue that will affect a large number of people,” Fadel said.

In the past, the majority of foreign men Saudi women married were from Arab countries. However, in recent years marriages to European and US nationals have become increasingly common despite the vast cultural and language gaps.

Three Saudi women

Hasna’a M, a 35-year-old research and media manager, is married to a Canadian-Egyptian and both live in Jeddah. Previously, Hasna’a had been married to a Saudi man and engaged to another. She believes that the majority of Saudi men, or at least the ones she dealt with, do not know how to treat women.

“Most of them are brought up to believe that they’re God’s gifts to Saudi women. Some Saudi men expect to get married to women who play a motherly role. They think they can get away with murder and they are walking contradictions,” she said.

Hasna’a said one such contradiction is the lip service some men pay to women’s right at work but at home those rights are never granted to women.

“I have been married for nearly five years and I feel like I can be myself with my non-Saudi husband. He respects me, appreciates my aspirations and ambitions and he supports me in everything I do. Our marriage is like any other marriage with its good and bad days. The only difference is that he has a better understanding of me as a woman and he respects me as a human being,” she explained.

“I never planned to get married to a non-Saudi man, but I’m glad fate brought him my way,” she said while adding that Saudi society as a whole is becoming more understanding and gradually accepting mixed marriages.

“My father was a bit worried because he didn’t know much about his background or family. They’re best friends now. This is not the case with everyone; there’s still a large percentage of people who think it’s a taboo or against customs.”

For a Saudi woman to marry a non-Saudi, a permit must be obtained for the marriage to be legal and certified.

In order to get a permit, there are a number of conditions one has to fulfill, the first being reaching the age of 25 years. The entire process can take months and in some cases years.

“There are no clear instructions on the procedure or how long it will take to process. It’s a matter of luck and who you know or how much you pay in order to get your paperwork done. It took us a year to get the approval,” Hasna’a said.

Heba, a 29-year-old senior physiotherapist, is married to a Greek national and they live together in the UK where they met. Heba said the bad experiences of women she knew and the country’s high divorce rate played a role in her decision to marry a foreigner.

“We fell in love that’s why we got married. However, possibly I was looking for someone who lives outside Saudi Arabia and is open-minded,” she said while adding that a lot of people in the Kingdom seem to get married for the wrong reasons, including not being mature enough to sustain a healthy relationship.

Heba said she encountered some initial resistance from her family but now that she has a child, they have come to accept everything. “Speaking from experience, society still does not accept such unions, which I feel may be because of racist notions.”

Like Hasna’a, Heba had to obtain a permit to get married. She said although the authorities were discouraging and unsupportive, she didn’t face any major difficulties.

“It took me six months to obtain the permit and that was mainly because whenever the application was forwarded to a new department, it would remain there until I submitted additional documents. We had to keep track constantly and call different departments to check up on the progress,” she added.

Lama, 29, is preparing to marry a Turkish man. She said she has no specific reason for marrying a non-Saudi and cares more about her fiancé’s personality and how he treats her than what his nationality is.

“Successful or failed marriages are based on individual personal experiences,” Lama said.

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The Four Predictors of Divorce

Four horses

Four destructive behaviors that lead to divorce

Couples who exhibit these “four horsemen of the apocalypse” are almost certain to end in divorce.

By Eric Brodwin
From BusinessInsider.com

Ever been in the middle of a heated argument when suddenly the other person pulls out their phone and starts texting?

If the answer is yes, and if you find it happening constantly, we hope that person isn’t your significant other.

This behavior, known as stonewalling, is one of four reactions that John Gottman, a psychologist at the University of Washington and the founder of the Gottman Institute, has identified as a telltale sign that all is not well with a married couple.

In fact, when Gottman and University of California-Berkeley psychologist Robert Levenson lumped stonewalling together with three other behaviors — contempt, criticism, and defensiveness — and measured how often they occurred within the span of a 15-minute conversation, they found they could predict which marriages would end in divorce with striking precision.

When the psychologists added questions about things like relationship satisfaction and how many times the research subjects had thoughts about separating to the mix, they could predict which marriages would end in divorce 93% of the time.

The figure, which comes from a 14-year study of 79 couples living across the US Midwest (21 of whom divorced during the study period), was so striking it spurned the researchers to label the four behaviors “the four horsemen of the apocalypse.”

While that initial study, published in 2002, was small and focused on a specific population, a decade of research into marriage and divorce has lent further support to the idea that divorce is associated with specific negative behaviors.

One recent study of 373 newlywed couples, for example, found that couples who yelled at each other, showed contempt for each other, or shut off conversation about an issue within the first year of marriage were more likely to divorce as far as 16 years down the road.

So what do these four “apocalyptic” behaviors actually look like in a relationship?

1. Contempt

Contempt, a virulent mix of anger and disgust, is far more toxic than simple frustration or negativity. It involves seeing your partner as beneath you, rather than as an equal.

This behavior alone, says Gottman, is “the kiss of death” for a relationship.

Take an everyday argument about buying groceries, for example. When you come home and realize your significant other has picked up habanero peppers rather than bell peppers for tonight’s stir-fry dinner, do you listen while he explains that perhaps you didn’t ever tell him what type of pepper you wanted? Do you think this over, and, when you realize that maybe he’s right, do you apologize? Or do you adopt an attitude and think to yourself, What kind of an idiot doesn’t know that bell peppers are for stir-fry and habaneros are for salsa?

The reason contempt is so powerful is because it means you’ve closed yourself off to your partner’s needs and emotions.

If you constantly feel smarter than, better than, or more sensitive than your significant other, you’re not only less likely see his or her opinions as valid, but, more important, you’re far less willing to try to put yourself in his or her shoes to try to see a situation from his or her perspective.

2. Criticism

Like contempt, criticism involves turning a behavior (something your partner did) into a statement about his or her character (the type of person he or she is).

Say your partner has a nasty habit of leaving his or her used cereal bowl — calcified, uneaten cereal-and-milk remnants and all — around the house.

Do you wait until he or she gets home to mention that the behavior bothers you, and gently suggest that he or she put the emptied bowl in the sink or dishwasher instead? Or do you think to yourself, “Why am I dating the type of person who abandons half-eaten cereal bowls around the house?”

Over time, these personal detractions can add up, feeding darker feelings of resentment and contempt.

3. Defensiveness

If you find yourself regularly playing the victim in tough situations with your partner, you might be guilty of being defensive.

Take being late to a cousin’s wedding, for example. Are you the first to say, “It wasn’t my fault!” when you finally arrive? Or do you think it over before you accuse the other person, realizing you probably shouldn’t have taken a 2-hour shower when you only had an hour to get ready?

Taking responsibility for your role in a tough situation can be uncomfortable, but it’s often what keeps a bad situation from escalating, says Gottman.

He’s found that for couples who divorce within the first several years of their marriage — one of the times when divorce rates are highest — “entering negativity is like stepping into a quicksand bog. It’s easy to enter but hard to exit.”

4. Stonewalling

You know when an argument is about to start. You can feel your heart rate increase and your voice get just a tiny bit louder. But the moment things start to get heated, do you pull out your phone, walk away, or simply ignore your partner?

Stone wall

Stonewalling

Blocking off conversation can be just as toxic for a relationship as contempt because it keeps you from addressing an underlying issue.

We know: Getting into arguments with your partner is the opposite of a good time. But these temporarily uncomfortable situations are oftentimes the place where you can start to come to big realizations about your own behavior and solve potentially damaging problems.

Don’t panic

It’s important to keep in mind that occasionally displaying any one of these behaviors — or all of them, even — is completely normal.

It’s when these negative behaviors happen so frequently that they replace more positive interactions with your partner that can be cause for concern.

Simply recognizing that you’re doing something that could be hurting your relationship is the first step to actively combating it. If you can figure out how to avoid the behavior or replace it with a more positive one, you’ll probably make the relationship even stronger.

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