In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
"Do not spy one another,
nor let any of you backbite others..." (Hujurat 49: 12)
MY wife and I are in the 60-s; now its our turn to marry off our children one by one and we too are receiving numerous wedding invitations from relatives, friends and 'kampung' folks which are usually held during weekends.
Perhaps for the Malaysian Muslims, 'kenduri kahwin' (marriage feasts) invitations would be pouring in until the end of 'Syaaban' (the 8th month of the Muslim calendar) before the coming of 'Ramadan' which is the fasting month.
In a recently 'tazkirah' (Islamic lesson) in a 'masjid' near my 'kampung', an 'ustaz' (religious teacher) advised parents not marry off their children at the end of 'Syaaban' because the tendency of newly-weds to 'smear' the holy month of Ramadan were high!
He said 'ilmu kahwin' (knowledge about marriage) is a must to not only to would be husband and wife but also to 'veteran brides and bridegrooms' (parents) because marriage is an 'ibadah' (act of devotion to Allah SWT). We must know what is 'halal' (permissible) and 'haram' in weddings, thus wrongdoings such as fighting regarding 'wang hantaran' (dowry) which had happened in a 'masjid' di Kuala Lumpur recently could be checked.
Not long time ago, I stumbled upon a 'timely' old article entitled 'In good times, in tough time' by columnist Soo Ewe Jin in the Sunday Star in which he reminded all of us that a wedding is just a day, it is the marriage that is forever and one that we must focus on.
Among others he wrote: "Weddings can be simple or expensive, but however memorable that day may turn out to be, we have to acknowledge that is just one day. The marriage, however, is a different story altogether...
"In this current world of easy divorces, broken relationship and same-sex marriages, some may wonder if the original institution of marriage that brings a man and a woman together can really withstand the test of time. What then is the secret to a long and fulfilling marriage...?
"It is a question that cannot be easily answered because every relationship is unique. Bringing two different people - and probably also two families - together is a challenge in itself."
I agreed with Eve Jin that weddings are just a one day affair...in the Malay society the 'pengantin baru' (bride and bridegroom) are called 'Raja Sehari' - remember that you are 'king' and 'queen' for only a day...immediately after both of you had been made husband and wife in the 'majlis akad nikah' (marriage agreement ceremony) then your responsibilities and duties as a married couple begins.
Even most weddings are only a day, many 'pengantin baru' and their parents 'throw everything' they have to make the event look grand, the Malay used the phrase 'bergolok gadai'. Nowadays weddings are an expensive affair, perhaps a simple one would burnt about RM30,000 from a groom's pocket money - for example for the 'hantaran' it is RM10,000 (which is considered low), the food for the feast is about RM10,000 and other requirements such as such as 'pakaian pengantin' (the newly wed robes), 'hadiah' (presents), tents, decorations and transportation would amounted to another RM10,000. Perhaps RM30,000 is not enough...
Subhanallah (Glory be to Allah SWT), after becoming 'Raja Sehari', your good times and tough times started to unroll..the husband is the 'captain' of the new ship while the wife is his 'assistant'. The ship would then sailed off in the open sea. Often there would be laughter when everything were okay, but when huge and 'angry' waves hit the ship, would the 'captain' hold on while his 'assistant' being 'royal' to him or always by his side?
As mentioned above, RM30,000 is not enough for a simple wedding...perhaps for their wedding, the newly weds had to borrow money 'heavily' from other sources...then when their honeymoon was over they had to face reality for example one factor that contributed to domestic violence is quarrels about money. It is common that couples fight over money...
Even though courting couples seldom think about their future regarding financial burden as they are absorbed in ‘cinta’ (love), when they are married and then have their own families, they will realize that they can’t have ‘cinta’ only, they have to have money to run a place name home. ‘Cinta’ cannot satisfy hunger; you need money to buy food to please your stomach!
A wedding is only a day but the marriage is forever...the question is why many among us plan 'like mad' the wedding but take for granted preparation to be a good husband and wife in a holy knot named 'marriage'?
First of all, to have a ‘religious’ wife, you should be ‘religious’ too. A good man is for a good woman and vise versa. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him – s.a.w.) in a 'hadith' by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim said: “A woman may be married for four things: for her wealth, for her noble descent, for her beauty or for her religion. Choose the one who is religious, may your hands be rubbed with dust!”
So to dear young men and women out there, remember that the character of a good husband is not the one who provided for all the material pleasures demanded by his wife but who was able to guide her for her safety in this world and more importantly in the Hereafter.
The Qur’an says with the meaning: “O! You who believe, save yourself and your families from Hell-fire, whose fuel are humans and stones (idols) over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who flinch not (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do (precisely) what they are commanded.” (At-Tahrim 66: 6)
Yes, provide for and save your wife from Hell-fire; you are on the right track to be a good husband. Unfortunately in today’s material world, a man who could provide worldly pleasures and fulfill the lust of his wife is looked upon as a good husband.
The wife’s crave for those pleasures are fulfilled. ‘High class’ women demand ‘high class taste of living'; perhaps these included shopping in top fashion and capital cities of the world such as New York, London and Paris looking for Birkin handbags, diamond rings and so on. She also demands to stay in top and exclusive hotels of the world and attending star-studded party.
A religious wife is a precious treasure to a man for example she would not demand from her husband worldly pleasures which are not within his means. She knows his limitation and acknowledges her obligation to obey and please him.
In Islam, the husband is the ‘qawwaam’ (maintainer) of his wife so that he will be a ‘real man’ knowing how to steer the ship of family life towards the shore of safety and guidance.
Islam warns all men against the trail and ‘fitnah’ (temptation) of women, which may make them heedless and weak, and lessen their religious commitment, so that they turn a blind eye to the waywardness and unIslamic behaviour of their wives.
In such a case a husband has no say: his wife is controlling everything in the home, so that he dare not disobey her, or answer to her back, or refuse any of her wimps. The Prophet (s.a.w.) was right when he said that this is the most damaging of trails and temptations that a man can be faced with: “There will be no ‘fitnah’ after my death that is worse for men than the ‘fitnah’ of women.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
The Muslim husband is a man who is not weak in dealing with the trial of a wayward wife, no matter how difficult that ‘fitnah’ is. He gently makes it clear to her that no matter how much he loves her, he loves Allah and the Prophet (s.a.w.) more, and his desire to please Allah is stronger than his feelings for her: Say, [O Muhammad], "If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people." (Qur’an 9:24)
In this way, the female waywardness which we see in many so-called Muslim homes will be done away with. The man who sees his wife, daughters and sisters going out in the street with make-up, uncovered heads and bare arms, clothed but seeming naked and does nothing to stop this disobedience in Islam, has surely lost his manhood, abandoned Islam and earned the wrath of Allah SWT. He is a ‘dayus’. There is no way out of this predicament but sincere repentance which will wake him up, restore his manhood and set him back in the straight path.
Islam considers women to be a trust which has been given to men for safe-keeping. As the wife is usually influenced by her husband, he may take her with him to Paradise or lead her to Hell. Therefore Allah SWT ordered the believing men to protect both themselves and their families from the Fire and gave a terrifying picture of the awful fate that awaits them if they neglect their responsibilities towards their wives and families and fail to compel them to adhere to the truth.
To achieve a harmonious family, what more blessing from Allah SWT The Almighty; scholars gave these advises:
1. Before being married, the future husband and wife would have to have the intention of being a good partner.
2. Thanks the Almighty for giving us a partner, the husband should think that his wife is the best for him and vice versa.
3. An exemplary husband makes his wife proud.
4. Smile when the husband returns home, the husband too should be jovial when returning from work.
5. Make sure husband and wife have time to talk to one another.
6. The husband and wife communicate with one another by SMS, telephoning etc.
7. Make the wife happy by telling her stories.
8. Have lunch or dinner together with family members.
9. Husband and wife are encouraged to take their bath together.
10. Help the wife in doing household chores such as mending shoes and shirts.
11. Practice having meetings with family members.
12. Do not divulge each other’s secret.
13. Be respectful on the wife’s family members.
14. Becoming a forgiving person.
15. Fulfill the wife’s need.
Not long ago, our government launched an ambitious program named ‘Rumahku, syurgaku’ (translated literally as ‘My home, my heaven) so that families could have homes that were peaceful heaven – like abode for them.
The most important requirement in making ‘My home, my heaven’ for Muslims is that family members should perform ‘solat berjemaah’ (hold congregational prayers). They too have to practice reading and understanding the Qur’an, reading and studying religious books and ready to help one another.