Finding the "Perfect" Partner
Marriage is ultimately a quest for peace and tranquility.
Finding someone for marriage is one of the most discussed topics among single people and specifically among our Muslim youth today since relationships between males and females in Islam are not considered right except through the ties of Nikah. For those who have chosen to abide with the laws and principles of Islam and hold on to chastity and patience, marriage discussions are so fascinating, promising and one of the best outlets of relief. Young people who are struggling, dreaming or even fantasizing about a potential spouse (one they have in mind or hope to find) often do so because the romantic possibilities seem endless; they hope with abandon and trust in God to help them find that person.
Marriage in the Quran
“And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in peace and tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): Verily in that are signs for those who reflect.”
“O Humans revere your Guardian Lord, Who created you from a single person created of like nature its mate, and from this scattered (like seeds) countless men and women. Reverence Allah through whom you claim your mutual rights.”
The Key to a Successful Marriage: Good Character
In the Qur’an, the Prophet is addressed directly, “Truly, you are of tremendous character.” [Qur’an, 68.4] The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) himself emphasized that, “I was only sent to perfect noble character,” [Ahmad] and said, “The believers most perfect in faith are those best in character.” [Tirmidhi]
What is good character?
Good character, Imam Ghazali explains in his Ihya’, is an inward disposition that causes one to incline towards praiseworthy inward traits and praiseworthy outward actions.
How is good character manifest?
Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali and others relate that the sum of Prophetic teachings is that good character is manifest in five matters:
(1) Fulfilling the rights of others
(2) Avoiding hurting or harming others
(3) Being cheerful and positive in one’s dealing with others
Fundamentals of a Happy Marriage
Faith: The most basic and essential attribute of a Muslim marriage is the common faith that binds the couple.
Since Islam is a way of life and not just a religion confined to weekly worship it becomes an integral part of a Muslim's life. The frame of reference shared by the couple eases communication and sharing of values which is not possible in an interfaith marriage. It is highly recommended that faith play an important role in the developing a loving relationship.
When the Prophet Muhammad asked his Companions ‘do you wish that Allah should forgive you' they said, of course O Prophet of Allah. He responded, ‘then forgive each other'.
How Porn Can Hijack Your Brain
By Marnia Robinson
A few years ago, men from all over the world began arriving in my website’s forum complaining that they were unable to stop using Internet porn. Google had sent them -- perhaps because my site shares information about the effects of sex on the brain.
My site, however, is about relationships, not recovery. Yet their obvious distress, and porn’s impact on their relationships, motivated me to welcome them. As I listen, these visitors support each other in the struggle to leave porn behind.
Often they report dramatic changes as porn use recedes: more energy, increased social confidence, better concentration, greater gains from workouts, stronger erections, a return to earlier sexual tastes, increased optimism, and more enjoyment from life’s subtler pleasures.
In short, many men are happier without Internet pornography.
Shura in the Family
Gender relations in Islam are not based on male-female competition as is seen in a number Western societies today. Rather, this relationship is based on gender cooperation (Quran: 4:32).
The Muslim family, therefore, like all other Muslim institutions, formal or informal, must be run with mutual consultation.
One major cause of problems in the Muslim society today is the absence of Shura. The Shura process, if adopted as a personal behavior and nourished by the family as a way of life, will benefit the Ummah in the long run.
by Aicha Benayoune, MSW
Is counselling for me?
If you have a problem or a difficulty in your life, you may benefit from speaking to a counsellor. A counsellor can help with problems such as martial conflict, abuse, intimacy issues, communication difficulties, and problems with in-laws. While it can be a little intimidating speaking to a complete stranger, it can be very beneficial to hear an outsider’s perspective.
How does counselling work?
The first time you meet with your counsellor, you will have an opportunity to express your concerns. You should also have an opportunity to get to know your counsellors and ask any questions concerning their expertise and methods. Being comfortable with your counsellor is a very important aspect of effective counselling and successful change.
Benefits of Marriage Counselling
by Abeer Faruqui, M.A. - Psychotherapist
I have never met a couple who has regretted marriage counselling. Despite the cultural taboos that prevent people from seeking professional help, counselling has helped many people in one of their most important human relationships. The gains achieved through marriage counselling far outweigh the taboos: Counselling not only sets the stage for marital success, but it also carves an organized process to move the relationship forward, and provides knowledge and insight in resolving relationship problems.
The Role of Listening in Family Shura
Islam is a way of life, and Shura, or mutual consultation in all affairs, is part of it.
Whether it's community affairs (42:38) or family issues (2:233), Shura is a blessing for all members of the Muslim community.
In a family setting, Shura is a beautiful tool for building family closeness and cohesion. It allows all family members to voice concerns and opinions in an open and honest manner; it teaches young and old the proper etiquette of communication, and most importantly, it allows all members to feel that they are part of a team that shares common values and goals for the sake of Allah.
But Shura doesn’t just happen. It requires time, commitment, and skill. One of these skills is good listening.
As the pace of life hastens, many of us find it difficult to fit many tasks, duties and obligations in our everyday life. There are deadlines to meet, kids to drop off, and dry cleaning to pick up – so many things to do that we increasingly neglect the needs of our bodies and our souls. Many of us are sleep deprived, over-worked, chowing down junk food and not getting enough exercise. Just as our bodies need to be well-rested, well-fed and hydrated for maximum endurance, so too our souls need purification, refreshment and energizing. Daily prayers, meditation, reading and learning, attending study circles and spending quality time with the loved ones are definitely some of many activities that can contribute positively to our spiritual and mental health.
Mercy at Home
Children are our treasure; we must cherish them as such and nurture them with mercy.
As-Salaamu alaikum and Peace be with you! In Islam, children are a great blessing from Allah Almighty, to be cherished, loved, respected and guided to imbibe the values of Islam. The family is a pre-eminent unit of society and both parents and children are commanded to honour one another. A child is considered as such until he/she hits puberty, after which he/she is considered a young adult.
In the Islamic tradition, believers are constantly reminded of the divine ordinance to be just and responsible starting from one's home to the society at large. Under the leadership of parents and the cooperation of children, a Muslim family strives, on a daily basis, to strike a balance between spiritual and physical needs.