To get off to a good start
every day, a husband should smile when he meets his wife and vice versa. This
smile is an introductory announcement of agreement and compromise.
"A smile in your
brother’s face is charity."
And the Messenger of Allah
(bpuh) always wore a smile on his face.
(Greet one another with a
greeting from Allah [i.e. say: As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum] blessed and
good) (Qur’an 24: 6l)
(When you are greeted with a
greeting, greet in return with what is better than it or (at least) return it
equally) (Qur’an 4: 86)
Also, upon resuming one’s
domestic life, by which I mean, upon entering one’s home, one should always
make the prescribed supplication:
"O’ Allah, I ask you
for the best of entries and the best of exits. By Allah’s name do we enter and
by Allah’s name do we exit. And upon Allah, our Lord, do we place our trust."
To speak in a friendly tone
also breeds understanding in the home:
(And say to my slaves [i. e.
the true believers of islamic Monotheism] that they should (only) say those
words that are the best.) (Quran 17: 53)
Would that both husband and
wife remember the good points of the other, forgetting the negative ones. When
a husband keeps the positive aspects of his wife in his mind while forgetting
(or at least blocking out) her defects, he will find peace and happiness.
An Arab poet said:
"Who is the one who has
never erred? And who is the possessor of pure good?"
(And had it not been for the
Grace of Allah and His Mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure
from sins. But Allah purifies [guides to [slam] whom He wills, and Allah is
All-Hearer, All-Knower) (Qur’an 24: 2l)
Minor and trifling matters
are the causes of most domestic problems, and l myself have witnessed many
marriages that ended in divorce, not because of irreconcilable differences, but
because of something small and unimportant. One such domestic strife began because
the house was not clean; another resulted because dinner was not cooked on
time; the cause of yet another was the woman’s objection to the inordinate
number of guests coming to see her husband. A list of these and other problems
can end up tearing a family apart, leaving children without a father or a
It is incumbent upon us to
live in a world of reality (especially as regards to our spouses) and not to
dream up a utopia, one that has to be realized in the home. We as humans can
become angry and irritable, weak and erring. Therefore, when we speak about or
search for domestic bliss, we should keep the concept of relative happiness in
mind, and not total happiness.
The agreeable nature and
good companionship of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal deserves mention here. He said
after the death of his wife, "She has been my companion for forty years,
and in that span of time, I never had a disagreement with her."
The husband must remain
quiet when his wife becomes angry and vice versa, at least until the anger
subsides and the storm abates. Ibn al-Jawzi said in Sayd al-Khaatir:
"When your companion
becomes angry and says something that is unwanted, you should not take it too
hard. His situation is that of a drunken person who is not aware of what is
taking place. Instead, be patient, even if it means only for a little while. If
you reciprocate his words with harsh words of your own, you become like the
sane person who seeks revenge on a madman, or the conscious person who seeks
retribution from an unconscious one. Look at him with a merciful eye and pity
him for his actions."
Know that as soon as he
awakes from this state, he will feet regretful for what happened, and he will
come to recognize your value because of your patience. You should especially be
patient if the angry person is either a spouse or a parent. Let them say
whatever they want until they calm down and do not hold them accountable for their
words. Whenever the angry person is met with anger, his anger will fail to
subside, even after he has revived from his state of drunkenness.