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Resolving Problems In Marital Relationships: Islamic Perspective

By Ibn 'Abdillah As-sudaisiy | September 18, 2016


In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship except Him. I testify that Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم is His Messenger and Apostle.

As we must have known, relationships are of different kinds. Muslims are only allowed to engage in lawful relationship. Hence, relating with one another to commit a crime or sin is not allowed by the shari'ah. The best way to identify lawful relationships is to be guided by the principles of shari'ah (Qur'an and Sunnah). As such, Muslims can relate with one another in business and other lawful social activities following the laid down procedures in the Qur'an and Sunnah.

or moving near it is haram. Allah and His Messenger صلي الله عليه وسلم make marriage lawful and zina unlawful. Islam provides everything for us as Muslims including the way and manner to manage our relationships. There is a branch of Islamic law known as Mu'amalaat (Islamic law of transaction) and Akhlaaq (Manner of relating with one another in the society). In order not to be bored these legal terminologies, it is important to move on the focus of this discussion, which is marriage as a relationship and how it can be managed effectively to achieve the pleasure of Allah in this world and the hereafter.


The main cause of problems in marriages is lack of proper knowledge of Islam, inpatience and poor understanding of contracting parties. If both husband and wife do not understand the deen, then who is going to check who, and could they be said to have perfected half of their religion in this manner? Allah's aid is sought against the evils of our hearts and hands. The primary essence of marriage in Islam is stated in the Qur'an and Sunnah. It is important for us to know them. This would enable us to understand the hadith on "half of the deen" very well. It is not proper to interpret a hadith in isolation of other relevant verses of the Qur'an and hadiths of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. The scholars of Usul Al fiqh would not pardon that.

The essence of marriage is for both couples to assist one another to achieve Al-jannah. If none of the parties to a marriage understands the deen; how will they strive for Al-jannah? This question is the same as: who will check who? Couples would strive to attain Al-jannah on the basis of the extent at which they can check themselves with the provisions of the Qur'an and Sunnah. This takes us to the statement of the Rosul صلىوالله عليه وسلم by which he instructed every Muslim to strive to learn at least elementary aspects of the deen in order to achieve the objective of their creation, and that Muslim should not stop learning at any point in life. This is where many Muslims of this generation are getting it wrong. Some people think it is just the work of few to learn the deen. Whereas, learning the deen is the individual responsibility of all Muslims. There is no excuse for this. This is clear in the hadith. Al-Bayhaqi narrated in Shu’ab al-Eemaan from al-Raqaashi:

“When a person gets married he has completed half of his religion, so let him fear Allah with regard to the other half.” [Graded Hasan by Al-Albaani].

By the phrase "half of the deen", a marriage that is conducted in accordance with the Qur'an and Sunnah is 50% of the assessment of parties in this life. The reason for this is obvious in the provisions of several verses of the Qur'an and Sunnah. When a marriage is conducted, many traps of shaitan are blocked if both couples or at least one of them applies the knowledge of the deen. It is even better if both husband and wife are conscious of the deen. For instance, if either of the parties errs, the other would tell him or her to fear Allah based on the provisions of the Qur'an and Sunnah. In the same vein, if one of them is learned, he or she would teach the other party and this would lead to mutual checking.

The Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

“O young men, whoever among you can afford it, let him get married, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and guarding chastity…” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Anas also reported that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

“Whomever Allah blesses with a righteous wife, He has helped him with half of his religion, so let him fear Allah with regard to the other half.” [Narrated by Al-Hakim].

The sum total of this hadiths is that if a marriage cannot stop parties or either of the parties from engaging in zina, their half of religion is zero. If a marriage does not lead the couples towards mutual respect and maintenance of peace in the home, where is half of the deen? If a marriage does not train children correctly in accordance with the Qur'an and Sunnah, where is the half of the deen? If a man does not provide to the best of his ability, his family's needs, where is his half of his deen? Where marriage does not stop a woman from tabarruj, where is her half of the deen? Where a woman loses the pleasure of her husband before leaving this world, where is her half of the deen? We beseech Allah to assist us on this general course that carries 50%. The mark is too expensive to lose because none of us is sure that the remaining 50% would be easy for us to achieve. Part of the remaining 50% is our toaheed, akhlaaq, solawaat and other aspects of ibaadah. In fact, a bad marriage can even lead someone to lose the remaining 50% if proper care is not taken.

In addition, a friend of mine mentioned something about the criteria for choosing a wife or a husband. The question is highly relevant to this topic. The main area where some people got it wrong is this. That is why the Prophet صلىوالله عليه وسلم gave a hint in a hadith where he mentioned beauty, piety, lineage and wealth. The most important aspect of the criteria is piety. It should be noted that one cannot attain piety without knowledge. So, a man or woman should take this very serious in choosing a spouse. If piety is missing in your criteria, the half of the deen is in danger. The importance of knowledge in the attainment of piety is further buttressed by the hadith,

"من يرد الله به خيرا يفكهه فى اللدين"

"Whomever Allah wishes goodness for, He grants him understanding of the deen" [Bukhari and Muslim]

A man especially should seek knowledge to build his home. Even if a woman is knowledgeable, she is still subject to her husband's reasonable control. In the same vein, we should strive more on the Islamic education and proper upbringing of our women because they are closer to the children. May Allah make the deen easy for us to practice.

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