As the human race has ventured into the advanced world of technology, his wild ambitions have dimmed out the need within himself to find a partner to build a stable family life. With more and more women entering the workforce, this primal need has taken a backseat and now the main focus for both genders, has become to build the empire of their dreams. With this new trend in ways of thinking, we see society collapsing slowly as its most basic component(the family) is built on shaky foundations.
Islam on the other hand, reminds the human race of this need within human nature to find one’s other half and build a home together.. The Quraan mentions: “And among His signs is this, that He created mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquillity with them and He has put love and mercy between your hearts; verily in that are signs for those who reflect.”(surah Ar Rum:21). Human beings are created social beings and require social connection; that is why Adam(as), the first man was given all the pleasures of paradise yet he still felt lonely.. hence Allah blessed him with his spouse, Hawwa.
Islam describes marriage as being “half of faith” which emphasizes on its undeniable importance. Islam sets guidelines towards choosing a life partner to ensure its success as well as clear injunctions regarding the roles of both the husband and wife in a marriage. This step by step guide ensures the relationship is built on clear foundations with definite expectations on how it should unfold.
According to Islam, the main criteria to choose a partner is one’s piety i.e. one’s commitment to Allah and good character. Beauty, status in society, education, family background are all important considerations however, the main criteria is one’s commitment to Allah. From a logical standpoint, it makes sense that if a person is committed to his Creator, undoubtedly, he will be committed to his life partner and live with him/her according to the precepts of Islam. Compatibility in lifestyle, family background, ways of thinking and goals is also necessary to ensure the welfare and happiness of the couple.
Compatibility in lifestyle, family background, ways of thinking and goals is also necessary to ensure the welfare and happiness of the couple.
Just like any other institution, the family unit, the most basic component of a society requires a leader to shoulder its responsibilities and ensure its smooth running. The man is entrusted this role and his disposition is physically suited to protect and provide for is family. The Quraan mentions this in Chapter 4:Verse 34:” Men are in charge of women by(right of) what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend(for maintenance) from their wealth….” The woman, on the other hand is entrusted the nurturing role, to take care of the emotional needs of the family and provide balance. This doesn’t in any way infer the superiority of the one gender over the other, but rather a complementary sharing of tasks based each one’s strengths and constitution.
In Islam, kindness to one’s partner is emphasized. The Prophet Muhammad(saw) highlighted on treating one’s wife with compassion: “The most complete of the believers in faith is the one with the best of character and the best of you are those who are best to their women” [At Tirmidhi]. The Prophet Muhammad(saw) also said;” A believer must not hate a believing woman(i.e his wife); if he dislikes one of her traits, he will be pleased with another”. [Muslim]
Umar(Ra) a close companion to Muhammad(saw) gave a beautiful advice regarding dealing with one’s partner in moments of tension, He said:” If your partner is angry, you should be calm, when one is fire, the other should be water”.
To sum up, Islam, being a religion which is illustrates a complete way of life based on the injunctions of our Creator, aims on catering for the needs of each person as well as the society as a whole. In this way, not only is each person able to live a full life within the strong support system of his family but he is also able to give his best to his community and hence help create a happy and thriving society!