She looked forward to preparing the wedding of her dreams. Preparations started a year before the grand occasion. She travelled to Turkey and then India and Pakistan to buy dresses for her trousseau. Her wedding was to be held in a private resort with elaborately exquisite décor. She took four months to finally choose the perfect dress. And as the day approached, all thoughts were invested in the “perfect” wedding day. Her father spared no expense for his little princess. Her wedding dress had to be a truly special one, with the longest train and delicately fine embroidery and pearls; her skin was cleansed and diligently prepared for the bridal glow and so she could look her best, with the make up artistically applied by one of the best make up artists.

As the day approached, all her hopes and dreams were placed on this magical day which will bring her the “prince” of her dreams. He was a young billionaire who came from a famously wealthy family. He was rich, handsome, intelligent and considerate to her… They were a perfect match. His mother lavished her with flattery and gifts and seemed to be the perfect soon to be mother in law while her father in law simply acknowledged her shyly.

The day arrived and everything went perfectly as planned. The venue and décor was impressive, the food was delicious, the couple seemed perfectly matched and attentive to each other and everyone’s eyes were on the gorgeous bride who clad in her fairy like dress, was the perfect princess. The couple and their friends and family posed for pictures that encapsulated the romance and beauty of this magical day and after that, the couple went to their hotel in a beautiful red Porsche for their honeymoon.

The honeymoon seemed to go well, her husband loved her very much but his mother phoned constantly. After the honeymoon, she was taken to the family home. Initially, everyone treated her cordially but as time went on, there were snide remarks from the mother in law;” you should consider yourself lucky, married to my son”. They made sure to make her feel unwelcome, their admiration for her turned into jealousy as her mother in law and sister in law gossiped behind her back. She tried hard to please, to be part of their family, to cook delicious meals, to bake amazing cookies but it was never enough. All she got were sneers and looks of displeasure. Her husband did not understand why his family didn’t see how amazing his wife was nor could he understand how to deal with his family. Her bubbly sweet personality turned into a quiet reticent one and her eyes reflected the pain and despair she felt.

She turned to her Lord.. crying to Allah in sujood for the isolation and hurt this family brought on her….

A common advice that we hear is that marriage is not just between two people but between two families. Sometimes, we misinterprete this to believe in laws have a say in our marriage and our way of life. The connection between families is established through marriage where they become like our family however our parents have brought us up to form our own family one day. This means taking responsibility for our life once married, living our lives islamically our own way based on the times we are living in. yes, they may advise us but they cannot live our lives for us or dictate us on what to do or how to do things. Times change and you will not be able to live your life the way your parents did because we are in a different time frame.

Moreover, marriage is between two people and when we allow outside influences in our marriage, no matter who it is, we doom ourselves to failure in the relationship. This is why boundaries must be drawn at the beginning of a marriage. A man should put strong boundaries between his parents and his marriage and likewise should a woman with her parents. Boundaries mean establishing that this is my life now, you may have rights over me as you are my parents but you may not impose on my spouse or expect from my spouse what you expect from me. If your parents mistreat your spouse, contact must be limited between your spouse and them and you should be supportive and understanding to your spouse until your parents understand that this is not acceptable. Jannah may lie under a mother’s feet yet at the same time, she may also become a source of your jahannam if she oppresses your spouse and attempts to break this sacred bond. Remember, it is you who have entered this bond with the name of Allah and you will be accountable if you allow any form of emotional abuse done to your spouse.

Narrated by Anas(RA):

Allah’s Apostle said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.” [Bukhari]

Allah enable us to fulfill our responsiblities to our spouses as ordained by ALLAH. ‘They (your wives) are your garments and you are theirs’ [surah baqarah:187]. This aayah reveals that the way our clothes provide warmth, protection and shields our most vulnerable and intimate parts, our spouse must strive to provide safety and comfort, enabling us to feel our best and give the best of ourselves to the world, with all confidence and security…

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