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Umm al_khair

Nurturing Marital Love

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Nurturing Marital Love


Salmaan ibn Fahd al-'Awdah



He bounded up the stairs so energetically that it was hard for me

to believe that here was a man of more than eighty years. He had

the vitality of a youth. Then I learned the reason why:


Though he had gotten married back in 1947 when he was about thirty

years old, he was able to say to me: “I do not recall that I ever

once got angry with my wife or that she was even once annoyed with

me. And if I had a headache, it was impossible for her to sleep

until after I fell asleep.â€


Then he said with feeling: “I can never think of going out

somewhere, even to purchase some household needs, without taking

her with me and holding her hand. It is as if we are newlyweds.â€


When, due to a medical operation, she had become unable to bear

children, he said to her: “You are more precious to me than



He told me: “As long as she walks upon the Earth, I could never

even think of marrying anyone else.â€


That man is a good example of how devotion can last even into old

age. Unfortunately, when we look at the state of the majority of

people of any age, we can appreciate that his relationship is a

rarity indeed, a sort of ideal.


Of course, we do not have to be held to such an ideal. Moreover, we

should not go to our spouses and expect them to be like that when

we ourselves have so many shortcomings.


Marriage is love and affection. Allah says: “He created for you

mates from among yourselves so that you can seek comfort in them

and He has placed between you affection and mercy.†[sûrah al-Rûm:



This is why each sex is drawn to the other in the first place, as

if each person is looking for his missing other half.


When the wife of the famous jurist Abû Rabî`ah died, he carried out

her burial himself and had to wipe the dirt from his own hands.

However, when he returned home, he was overcome with grief and

lamented to his Lord, his eyes filling with tears: “Now…my home has

died as well. The home only lives for the woman who dwells inside



Marital love requires extraordinary effort from both parties if it

is to last and remain vital. The difficulty of marital love does

not lie in those small disagreements that are a normal part of

everyday life and that all couples haves to work out. Indeed, such

problems sometimes revitalize the relationship, like spice in a

savory dish.


The real problem lies in three things:


The inability of one person to understand the other. Indeed

sometimes a person even has difficulty understanding his own self.

The inability of a person to adapt to the partnership that is

marriage and the inability to cope with the life changes that it

brings. Many people expect things to remain the same as they were


The most important problem is a lack of commitment to the

relationship and to making it last.


This is why it is necessary for people to understand “the rules of

the game†when it comes to love.


Ten ways to achieve lasting love:


Since marital love is prone to sickness and even death, it is

imperative for couples to constantly work to revitalize and

preserve it.


Husbands and wives must do the following:


1. They have to get in the habit of saying things that are

positive, like offering compliments and like making little prayers

for each other.


A husband could say to his wife: “If I were sent back to the days

of my youth, I would not choose for a wife anyone besides you.†Of

course, the wife can easily say something similar to her husband.


Affectionate words have an effect, especially on women. They have,

indeed, often been the weapons used by unscrupulous men to gain

access to what is not theirs.


Sweet words arouse a woman’s heart. A husband should take care to

say them to his wife before someone else does.


2. Husbands and wives have to get into the habit of doing those

little things that mean so much. If a man comes home to find his

wife asleep, he can cover her and tuck her into bed.


A husband can give his wife a call from work just to say hello and

to let her know that he is thinking about her.


If a wife finds that her husband has fallen asleep, she can give

him a little kiss on the forehead, even if she thinks that he will

not be aware of it. Indeed, on some level his senses are working

even though he is asleep and he may very well be aware of it.


The Prophet (peace be upon him) emphasized the value of these

little things, “…even the morsel of food that you place in your

wife’s mouth…†[sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]


It may very well be that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was

alluding to the expenditure of a man for his wife’s needs.

Nonetheless, the Prophet (peace be upon him) chose to express it in

the way he did for a reason. Most importantly, this is the way the

Prophet peace be upon him) conducted himself with his family.


This type of behavior is governed by the tastes of the people

involved. It may take some getting used to, but it really does not

take a lot of effort.


A person who is not accustomed to such things may feel embarrassed

just hearing about them and may prefer to leave matters the way

they are rather than try to change his behavior and do things that

he might see as ridiculous.


Still, we must be willing introduce new habits into our lives if we

do not want our problems to go on forever.


3. The husband and wife must set aside time to talk to each other.

They should talk about the past; reminisce about the good times.

Talking about them keeps them fresh in our minds as if they had

happened only yesterday. They should talk about the future and

share their hopes and their plans. They should also talk about the

present, both the good and bad of it, and discuss different ways to

solve their problems.


4. Keeping close physical contact is good for the relationship.

This is not just for times of intimacy, but at all times, like when

sitting in the lounge or walking down the street. This is

regardless of the fact that there are still men in our society who

are ashamed to have people see them walking in public with their

wives at their sides.


5. Emotional support should be guaranteed whenever it is required.

When the wife is pregnant or on her monthly period, she may need

her husband to lend her a little moral support. He should take her

mental state into consideration. Medical experts attest to the fact

that when women go through pregnancy, menstruation, or postpartum

bleeding, they suffer from psychological stress that can aversely

affect their behavior. It is at times like these that a woman needs

her husband’s support. She needs him to let her know how much she

means to him and how much he needs her in his life.


Likewise, the husband might fall ill or come under a lot of

difficulties. The wife must take these things into consideration.

If people want their relationship to last, they must let each other

feel that support.


6. There have to be some material expressions of love. Gifts should

be given, sometimes without there being any occasion for it, since

a pleasant surprise is always welcome. A good gift is one that

expresses feelings of affection. It does not have to be expensive,

but it has to be appropriate for the other’s tastes and

personality; something that will be cherished.


7. The husband and wife have to learn how to be more tolerant of

each other and overlook one another’s shortcomings. It should

become a habit to forget about the little mistakes of daily life

and not even bring them up. Silence in these trivialities is a sign

of noble character.


A woman said to `Â’ishah: “When my husband comes home, he becomes

like a cat. When he goes out, he becomes like a lion. He does not

ask about what might have happened.†[sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh



Ibn Hajar explains her words as follows:


They might mean that he is very generous and tolerant. He does no

make a big fuss about what goes missing of his wealth. If he brings

something for the house, he dies not enquire about it later on. He

does not make an issue of the shortcomings that he might see at

home but instead is clement and tolerant.


It is wrong to go overboard in considering the faults of others but

when it comes to ourselves, keep a running account of all our good



There is a tradition that goes: “One of you sees the dust in his

brother’s eyes and forgets about the dirt in his own.â€


8. A husband and wife must come to an understanding when it comes

to matters of mutual concern, like the raising of children, work,

travel, expenses, and problems that might pose a threat to the

marital relationship.


9. Husbands and wives need to do things to liven up their

relationship. Each one of them can read a book or listen to a

cassette that might give them some ideas on how they can revitalize

their marital life and bring more meaning to it. They can vary

their habits when it comes to relaxing together, dining, taking

refreshments, decorating their home, and in relating to each other

both openly and intimately. These are the things that keep up the

excitement and interest in a relationship.


10. The relationship must be protected from negative influences

that can harm it. One of the worst of these is the habit of

comparing one’s spouse to others. Many men tend to compare their

wives to those of other men. Some even compare them with the faces

they see in magazines and on television. Women also compare their

husbands with other women’s husbands in things like wealth, looks,

and how many times he takes her out. All of this makes people feel

bad and insufficient and it can ruin the marital relationship.


If we must compare ourselves to others, we should do so with those

who have less going for them than ourselves. Allah’s Messenger

(peace be upon him) said: “Look towards those who are beneath you

and do not look towards those who are above you. This is better so

that you do not belittle Allah’s blessings.†[sahîh al-Bukhârî and

Sahîh Muslim]


We must accustom ourselves to living in the real world and to

finding contentment in what Allah has decreed for us. We should not

look longingly at what others have been given. Whatever little that

we have will be a lot if we utilize it well.


It is quite possible that many who speak about their marital bliss

and go on boasting about their husbands and wives are untruthful in

what they say. They just like to brag.


The grass often does seem greener on the other side, but only

because we are not looking at it up close.

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"Though he had gotten married back in 1947 when he was about thirty years old, he was able to say to me:


“I do not recall that I ever once got angry with my wife or that she was even once annoyed with me. And if I had a headache, it was impossible for her to sleep until after I fell asleep.â€




Real family

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asalaamu alaikum,

Umm al_khair thanks for sharing this great piece of writting with us. This is truly how a real marriage should be.But, most somali families that i know, parents hardly show affection in the public. They think it is something to be ashamed of. insha-allah we will change that wrong ideology, when couple are married it should be acceptable to show affection, ofcourse i am not saying copy the western way of life. To some extent parents should show affection, for instance holding hands when walking in the streets, showing that they truly care for one another.


wa salaam

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^^ i can now see some farax telling his wife, dont u know, i love u? and when she asks how?.. he'll respond with question.. Dont i hold ur hand on the streets .... :D

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^^^^lol but I dont need to hold my girl's hand in public to show love, love is natural it should flow, dont need to follow no to do list. Come from the heart, its not learned....some ppl cant do all dat its out of character but that don’t mean they don’t love.



To the sisters curious not a saqjaan: what about kissing on the mouth, not mac on lips and dats it, but like tongue-long kissing? How many would do that be real.

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asalaamu alaikum,


well that was just an example, i meant they need to start showing luv, whether it is holding hands or showing affection is some other way.


wa salaamu alaikum


p.s. there is nothing wrong with doing french-kiss with your husband , as long as it is private.

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