I have been married almost eight years and still going, Alhumdulilah. I do not think, however, any married person even stops questioning the meaning of marriage, in general. Every married couple is different, their circumstances vary with ups and downs and whatever lingers in between. In that case, naturally, married couples questions what his or her marriage is or means, on a personal level. However, I am going to tackle the question of marriage from an Islamic perspective and you will see why.
Shaykh Yasir Qadhi, explains that in order for a marriage to work, the men need to understand 7 points about women and women, 7 points about men. The first point is that men like to be “respected” and women like to be “loved or reassured of love.”
Even Yasmin Mogahed writes in her book, “Reclaim Your Heart,” that if a man feels respected, he will love his wife even more. In this way, respect goes both ways. She also writes, “Once you begin to see everything beautiful as only a reflection of God´s beauty, you will learn to love in the right way: for His sake. Everything and everyone you love will be for, through and because of Him. The foundation of feeling such love is God” (69).
These scholars, though defining marriage in different ways, share one common source of their knowledge and that is the Qur´an and Hadith.
Therefore, the foundations of marriage is trust and respect for one another. Love is established and grows between the husband and wife with every ounce of love they have for Allah because it is through His guidance that a marriage can be successful:
-“And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Undoubtedly in these are signs for those who reflect.” [Noble Quran 30:21]
-“And Allah has made for you your mates of your own nature, and made for you, out of them, sons and daughters and grandchildren, and provided for you sustenance of the best.” [Noble Quran 16:72]
-“When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his religion, so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half.”
And so, marriage goes beyond the fairy tale extravagance of the actual ceremony and reception. To say, “Qabool” three times is the easiest part, although it comes with mixed emotions as in joy or apprehension of starting a new life with someone and sadness of leaving one´s old life behind. Sustaining a marriage, however, is the most difficult part and there are a whirlwind of other emotions that come with it.
Shaykh Nouman Ali Khan says, “Marriage is all about trust. The foundation of two families coming together, if not with trust, transparency and openness, there´s going to be clearly problems after marriage.”
You will need to be open about your feelings and willing to compromise as a team. You will require a lot of “sabr” or patience. Sometimes, there will be an exchange of words that one later regrets. There will even be an exchange of smiles and laughs that one never wants to forget.
Marriage is based on trust, respect and love for one another. A successful marriage is one that is based on the remembrance of Allah, the One who has brought you two together.