The ability to learn, protect and preserve the rights of your spouse is one of the ways of ensuring a happy home. Most failed marriages could have been as a result of disrespect for each other especially when dealing with tough situations. Every marriage, no matter how stressful, boring or happy it may be, can be given a boost. The first thing to note is that you have to take cognizance of your spouse’s rights as required of us by Allah and His prophet (peace be upon him.) What married couples often forget is that Muslim marriage, just like the entire life of a Muslim, is governed by the laws of Islam. These divine laws were communicated, commanded and taught to us by the prophet (peace be upon him) through the Quran and the traditions of Hadith.
So, the first reminder is nothing more than to become ever conscious that the moment you entered your marriage, you became obliged to respect your spouse’s rights as defined under those divine laws. Claiming ignorance about those rights or your lack of resolve in upholding those rights therefore is not a valid excuse.The problem in this regard is usually twofold. First, many couples simply aren’t even aware and knowledgeable about rights that both husbands and wives have over each other. It’s not uncommon for many to rush into marriage with all the fanfare but neglecting to learn Islamic teachings regarding marriage and the rights that husbands and wives have over each other. It’s only when they hit roadblocks in their marriage that they start seeking those answers. Problems surface because each spouse assumes certain rights over the other and each spouse’s personal interpretation of what’s right or wrong complicates relationships even further.
The second problem is that while many of us may take the time to understand how our partners are not meeting their individual rights, we often neglect to learn our obligations toward our spouses. Driven selfishly, each spouse gets preoccupied with how their partner isn’t contributing to the relationship rather than realizing how one is deficient in fulfilling their own obligations.In the daily routine of give and take therefore, if your relationship is hitting hurdles, both of you ought to invest the time and effort to learn about those rights and obligations. Use this reminder to make a permanent mental note to help you become conscious of how knowingly or unknowingly you transgress and violate your spouse’s rights. Remember, you will be questioned about them.
Again, every relationship is bound to have disagreements, day to day challenges pertaining to family life or your spouse may just be having a “bad day.” This shouldn’t be mistaken for a bad relationship. When relationships go sour, it means couples don’t respond to situations. When response to such situations involves disrespect for the other individual, cracks start appearing in relationships. This “disrespect” includes but isn’t limited to putting down the other individual, disregard for the other’s opinions, raising one’s voice disrespectfully etc. This then leads to a communication breakdownwhere disagreements turn into full-fledged disputes and small mistakes by one are perceived as crimes by the other, and just an ordinary “bad” day turns worse when spouses ending up in major fights – sometimes climaxing to points of no return.
We should recognize that Allah created us humans and has codified dignity and respect as part of our being. Therefore, when we trample over our partner’s rights leaving him or her feeling disrespected, we are bound to invoke an equal or worse response from our spouse sowing in their hearts the seeds of animosity, hatred and mistrust. Every action begets reaction. So, remember that a happy marriage is one in which couples find ways to tackle and resolve challenges without being disrespectful to the other. You can have your tough talks as long as you don’t cross the lines in disrespecting each other. Remember Islam teaches never sanction to denigrate human dignity even in times of war. The Prophet (saw) said: “The entire world is full of resources and among them, the best resource is a righteous wife.” (Reported by: Abdullah ibn Amr (r) Source: Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, #3465).Again, he said:”the most complete believer is the best in character and the best of you is the best of his womenfolk.”