Many people have been talking to me about marriage lately. I wonder why. I still remember this one occasion when a friend of mine asked,
“Lutfi, are you married?”
“What!? No! Do I look like I’m married?”
“No, I’m not. why?”
“Why don’t you get married?”
“Well now that you ask, marriage is not that simple for me. And you didn’t answer my question.”
“What’s so difficult? You’re an able man. Get married quick.”
“Easier said than done, brother.”
“Look Lutfi, I got married at the age of 27 and the first thing I thought was ‘Why in the world didn’t I get married sooner?'”
Laughs. OK, he might have a point. I mean, he’s not the President for nothing.
Why is marriage not that easy for me? Surely, there are so many reasons why it’s not easy. It shouldn’t be easy for anyone! Why do you think marriage is considered as half of our deen? There is such a heavy weight on marriage in Islam such that it is so highly regarded by Allah in many narrations of our Prophet PBUH. Many people do not consider the implications of a pure relationship between a man and a woman in a marriage. That’s why many of them end in divorce. What are the typical questions someone asks when considering marriage? Spouse? Money? Education? Job? Wedding? Guests? Food? And the list goes on. Material things.
How many people even ponder on the most essential points? And this is especially so for the man. When I inquire about a woman for marriage, I do not want to know what she should do for me, I want to know what I should do for her. In my opinion, marriage in Islam is not for satisfying my needs. It’s not for me at all. It’s for Allah. It’s for Islam. It’s for my wife. It’s for my children. It’s for my family. It’s about responsibility. It’s about providing love and care to another soul as Allah has commanded.
If I marry, I will ask my wife of nothing, except that she obeys Allah and His Messenger. For I know that on the Day of Judgement, I will bear the weight of her sins on my back if she doesn’t. Islam says, what’s mine is hers, what’s hers is hers. Islam says, she will be rewarded with the good deeds that I do, and I will be punished for the bad deeds that she does. My wife in this life, is my wife in the next. Marriage is eternal and transcends death. A marriage for Allah’s sake may bring me to Jannah, while a marriage based on anything else may bring me to Jahannam. It’s more than just ‘tying the knot’.
But Allah knows, I want to hold her hand and guide her when she is lost. I want to protect her when she is in danger. I want to be her crying shoulder and wipe away her tears when she is sad. I want to laugh at her jokes. I want to be patient and understanding with her when she is angry. I want to forgive her faults when she makes a mistake. I want to accept her flaws and imperfections. I want to be kind and gentle to her. I want to be her friend and companion. I want to be her guardian and supporter. I want to be her teacher, leader and imam. I want to be the father of her children. I want to be there for her through sadness and sorrow, hardship and grief. I want to be there for her in happiness and ease. I want to please her for the sake of Allah.
I want to show her compassion and affection like the Prophet PBUH, who used to show a great deal of affection towards his wives. Aisha reported that the Prophet would only enjoy his meals when she would sit next to him. They would drink from one cup and he would watch where Aisha would place her lips on the cup so that he could place his lips on the exact position. He would eat from a bone after she would eat from it, placing his mouth where she had eaten. The Prophet used to also help around the house. Aisha narrated, Prophet Muhammad used to stitch his clothes, milk the goats and help in the chores inside the house. I want to emulate our beloved Rasulullah SAW, and I know, this is why it isn’t easy.
So ask yourself now, is marriage easy?