10 Best Pieces of Marriage Advice for Muslim Newlyweds

You’re probably going to receive all sorts of tips and advice as you embark on this wonderful journey called marriage. It’ll be hard to decipher between the good advice and the not-so-good advice. So with that being said, we’ve compiled a list of 10 best pieces of advice for newlyweds.

Here they are:

newlyweds

  1. Always, always treat each other with respect. No matter what.
  2. Watch your finances and learn to have healthy conversations about money.
  3. Delay starting a family until it’s right. You will feel the pressure of this as soon as you get married, but as long as you have a plan you agree on between the two of you, you’re fine.
  4. Learn how to give a massage. This is a great non-verbal way to show appreciation to your spouse.
  5. Be close, but give each other space. It’s important to know when to give each other space, but it’s also important to ask your spouse for this in a positive manner.
  6. Pay attention to the small things, they add up. As newlyweds, it’s going to take some time to adjust so pay attention.
  7. Maintain boundaries with family and friends. Again as newlyweds, this will be difficult at first, but everything will fall into place as long as you establish those boundaries early on.
  8. In-laws are not out-laws, but you must deal with them with sensitivity and respect.
  9. Don’t worry or get stressed out about sex. You and your spouse will find what works for the both of you. Communication is key!
  10. Never go to bed angry.

These pieces of advice will ensure both you and your spouse feel respected and comfortable. It’s all about balance and really understanding each other’s boundaries, and respecting them. It’s also important to put your trust in God at all times, that is probably the ultimate piece of advice we can give you.

4 Lessons in 4 Years of Marriage

My husband, Ahmed, and I have known each other our entire lives. Our parents were always such good friends and our interest for one another sprung from there. We were both born in Marietta, Georgia by the same nurses (and at home…no really), and we’re about 1 year apart. His family then settled in Missouri and my family in California. We got married on July 6, 2012 and had our wedding reception on July 8, 2012 here in California.

marriage

Which means we have been married for a whopping 4 years. Meaning: we’re still very new to this wonderful journey of marriage. However, we have learned some of the basics of marriage that I’ll share with you. In this day and age, it is important to establish a true friendship with your spouse. Someone you can laugh with and someone you can share all your pain with. Someone you know will never judge you and will always cheer you on. Someone who knows your strengths and weaknesses, and knows what buttons to never push.

No one can really prepare you for marriage. They may give you great advice, but the fact of the matter is everyone is different, and therefore, every marriage is different as well. So going off of that fact, I’m sharing with you some of things I’ve learned from my own marriage. So here are 4 significant things I’ve learned:

  1. We are all different. This is really important because when you first get married you’ll start to notice a whole lot of differences. Not bad differences, but just natural human differences. Things such as cleaning habits, eating habits, sleeping habits, etc. We all need to be mindful and respectful of our different habits. They do play a significant role in your marriage. For example, I love to stay up late and have a not-so-normal obsession with coffee ($$). Ahmed on the other hand, is an early bird and his cleaning skills are 100 times better than mine (amazing really).
  2. We have entirely different personalities. This probably could have gone with number 1, but I think it is important to discuss on it’s own. This can refer to whether you’re outgoing or shy, or how you cope when you’re upset or happy. There is a whole lot to consider when it comes to personalities. The key is to pick up on these cues from your spouse and the bigger key is to be respectful. You’ll start to realize when they need their space, or when they want to talk.
  3. Appreciation is key. This is huge. When you get married, you are choosing to spend the rest of your life with this person. You are moving out of your parents’ or guardians’ home and all that you’ve ever known, to create a new life with this person. You and your spouse are coming together with your different life experiences and you’re assuming new roles in a new household. It is important to be mindful and appreciate all the things your spouse does whether it’s solely for you or your marriage as a whole.  One thing you should also remember is that no role is superior to the other. Don’t ever make your spouse feel that they don’t do enough. However, you should both be aware of balance in the relationship. It’s not all about taking, you have to give just as much.
  4. Communication is extremely important. As with all relationships, communication is probably the key to a successful one. It is important to discuss with each other your expectations, your dreams, your fears, etc. However, one important thing to add is to be mindful of your tone. Without the right tone, communicating is simply pointless. If you are expecting something from your spouse, you need to communicate it to them in a respectful, calm tone. It is also important to note that if you need to discuss something serious, you and your spouse need to find the right time to sit down and talk. Springing a serious discussion on your spouse will most likely cause an argument.

So there you have it, 4 things about marriage coming to you from a not-so-newlywed newlywed. Remember its all about being mindful and respectful. We are all created different and we have all experienced different things in life. If we’re all mindful of our natural differences, our relationships would be that much stronger, inshAllah. Remember to always be patient, and take the time to show your appreciation for your spouse. Marriage is truly a beautiful journey. May we all marry our best friends and live happily ever after in this life and the next, inshAllah.

P.S. Ahmed and I recently started a YouTube channel to share our journey as a Muslim-American couple. Check out our first video here! Videos coming to PMW’s YouTube channel soon inshAllah.

Marwa Diaf
Editor
editor.perfectmuslimwedding@gmail.com

How Do You Know When He or She is the One?

The pendulum has swung, the tables have turned, and you have heard the oft quoted “Where are all the good men in our community?” The reality is that for both young men and women the idea of “romantic love” from the wider society we live in has permeated our diverse and differing cultures.

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Arranged marriages are or were for the dinosaurs. With so much choice and so little commitment, what are we to do? What happens if I commit today and six months down the road I find that perfect partner who I should have married?

These and many other doubts, about the grass being greener (actually it’s not) keep our fantasies alive about meeting our perfect partner rather than committing and being the perfect partner.

Although there are a thousand and more questions you may want to know about your prospective spouse, the prophetic answer (distilled down) is very simple. Look at the person’s piety and faith.

The problem and challenge for our times is that faith has become so narrowly defined. That as communities we are hurting from the same ailments that are impacting the wider society we are part of. Faith is all-encompassing.

It is easy to get drowned in the details of how they make you feel, the way they communicate, and more, that it sometimes feels like a lost cause.  We have been culturally programmed to look for signs like the violins playing each time you meet.

Forget Hollywod, Bollywood, and even Lollywood (look it up, it does exist). Forget for a moment the music, and the romance novels. Get a dose of gravity and meet real people and role models, and find out what it takes to build a successful marriage.

Now do a little homework and make three lists for your future husband or wife.

  1. Must-have qualities
  2. Nice-to-have qualities
  3. Deal-breakers

Here are examples:

  1. Must-have qualities: Practicing Muslim, Honest, Trustworthy, Educated, Attractive, Generous, Hard Working, Caring, Humble, Appreciative, Creative.
  2. Nice-to-have qualities: 3 years younger/older than me, fun, sense of humor, likes my hobbies etc.
  3. Deal-breakers: Sarcastic, Loud, Drinks or Gambles, Secretive, Financially Irresponsible, Controlling, Anger-problem, Won’t support my career goals, In-law expectations.

Now the heart of the question, How Do You Know when He or She is the One?

  1. Ask yourself: Is this someone I would like to spend the rest of my life with? Remember it is impossible to know everything about a person before you get married. Just look at the fundamentals and then ask can this person become my best friend, confidant, partner?
  2. Does he or she, get along with my family? Marriage is not just a bonding of two people but two families. No matter how different we think we are from our parents, the reality is we will mirror our parents with time, so take a good look at your in-laws. If you are a guy, take a look at her mother, that’s who you will be married to in 40 years (we are speaking metaphorically). If you are a girl, take a look at his father, that’s who you will be married to in 40 years.
  3. Is there something major you want to change about your potential spouse? If there is, the bad news is people rarely change because someone forced or coerced them into it. Can you live with their weaknesses and you aware of what they are?

That’s it just three questions with many sub-questions. You have to take that leap of faith, which humanity has been making since Adam and Eve. Watch out for red flags like divorce in the family, bad character or reputation. Other than that the most critical decision of “yes or no” should be made with prayer for consultation with God, istikharah.

Wishing you well.

 

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage During Ramadan

Ramadan is such a beautiful and holy month. A great time to not only strengthen ourselves, but our relationships as well. This is the perfect month for some major bonding time with your spouse. Here are some ways that’ll strengthen your marriage during this blessed month.

1. Try your best to pray every prayer together. What better way to strengthen your marriage than working together to get closer to Allah (swt)?

2. Have suhoor/sehri every morning together. Having a fulfilling breakfast with your spouse is the best way to start the day.

3. Take a walk just before iftaar. Avoid staring at the clock aimlessly and letting the hunger get to you. A nice stroll when the sun is just about to set will relax you and your spouse.

4. Have dinner/iftaar together and clean up together. This will strengthen your bond and allow you to work together as a team.

5. Have a moment after taraweeh and ishaa prayer to sit and read Quran together. One can recite while the other listens, or switch off. This will allow you to help each other get closer to Allah (swt), because that is the most important relationship each and every one of us has.

These are just suggestions. There are many things you and your spouse can do that can strengthen your bond with each other and with Allah (swt). Ramadan is a beautiful time, enjoy it and take advantage of it while you can inshAllah.

The 5 Pillars of Marriage

The Islamic faith is built on five pillars.  A pillar is an interesting metaphor. It is important to a building as it provides the framework and structure around which the floor, walls and ceiling are constructed. Of course then you have the doors and windows. In a storm, earthquake, tornado or tsunami, it is the pillars that hold the building together and so it is with marriage. Not to take the analogy too far, but here are Perfect Muslim Wedding’s 5 Pillars of Marriage. The pillars are broad and include many other sub-pillars, in some cases they may appear to overlap.

Perfect Muslim Wedding and DossaniPlus Studio 3 (1)

  1. Faith: What ever one’s faith, this is the bedrock upon which marriage is built. Being Muslim this means having the awareness and accountability to God. It is knowing there is something larger than one’s self, and that we have rights and responsibilities. There is accountability not only in this world but the hereafter. It is knowing that marriage is a blessing. It’s not only one plus one making a pair, but the bountiful blessings of joy and creation that comes from it.
  2. Compassion: This includes forgiveness, kindness, and love. Each is inclusive in some way, shape or form of justice, fairness, common sense, consultation and fulfilling ones rights and responsibilities. Forgiveness is not the seed of power it is the flower of liberation. Forgiveness heals where no other medication can. Kindness is both giving and receiving and in its purest form is unconditional as are the other attributes like unconditional acceptance of your spouse. Compassion manifests in many ways and a love that leads to God’s pleasure through humility and an all-encompassing mercy and compassion goes a long way.
  3. Mutual Respect: It is a given from the outset that you will have differences. Even in your most tense moments, playing by the rules, and knowing that you have to value and respect who each of you are, your backgrounds and values will secure your marriage. Respect is the way one treats something they value. Think of something, anything that is precious to you, how do you treat it? Each one may feel respected in different ways. She, by talking and feeling understood, he, possibly by his accomplishments.
  4. Empathy: Sometimes confused with sympathy, it is one of those things like patience that we know about, but is difficult to practice. It is really getting outside your head and heart and seeing that other perspective. It is not just an intellectual exercise it requires heart-to-heart communication. It requires active listening and so much more. It requires a lifetime of trying to explore and understand each other as we, moment by moment, continue to grow and evolve.
  5. Commitment: When you face challenges and hardships, commitments remind you of the boundaries of this institution we call marriage.  Amongst other things it is based on honesty and faith. A common purpose helps commitment by aligning for short and long-term goals. Commitment is based on trust, and is built up over time and earned like a bank account or brick by brick for retaining a wall.

Marriage is a house, a shelter from all the elements that surround it. It can be blown away, washed away, rocked to the ground, or burnt to cinders. That is unless it is built on a strong foundation that hits the bedrock and built on upright pillars.  The dirt and the weeds are continually cleaned up. Windows provide our view of the world and the doors our entry and exit. Their roles should never be reversed.

We have identified five pillars that are essential for marriage. They need to be laid down, set, erected and maintained in order to be strong and continue providing support. Marriage in the Islamic realm should provide peace and tranquility in the home. However, when hardships and tragedies come their way which they always will, they can be countered by Faith, Compassion, Mutual Respect, Empathy and Commitment.

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