The major factor in determining the longevity of a good Islamic marriage can be summarized by the correcthadith of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):
“No one likes seeking excuses (for people) more than Allah, and for that He had sent the givers of glad tidings and the warners.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
The magic word is tolerance. As we mentioned in the first article, the bedrock of a successful marriage lies in selecting the correct partner. It’s the partner with good Islamic manners, along with suitability and attractiveness factors.
If a spouse was successful in finding such good Islamic husband/wife, then the continued success and fruits of that marriage is simply the matter of following that hadith. It is basically the art of tolerance.
If we understand that everyone makes mistakes, then it will be logical to forgive your spouse because you also – and I guarantee it – will make mistakes that beg for forgiveness.
It’s conceptually like a mother who’s facing her own crying, annoying, and ill child. The weird thing would be to cry back at the child that she loves, while very well understanding that he/she is ill or has a high fever. In the same way the spouse, either husband or wife, could be angered or irritated, whether rightfully or for an unacceptable reason, he/she will still be the same beloved husband/wife in the end. Risking the entire marriage and relationship just for that moment of anger is as ridiculous as that mother crying back at her own beloved child.
Another factor that endangers good marriages is discovering a bad manner in the spouse that was not known prior to the marriage. The secret here is still tolerance, but it should be tolerance that relies on the rest of the good manners that the spouse has – that’s why he/she was chosen to begin with. But after tolerance come persuasion, courteous gestures, and polite communication at the right moment. Such gentle reminders like “don’t you think that it’s better to do this that way”. Or, “what is your opinion about this?”
Communicating in an indirect way that is wrapped in a proposition or a question is always effective, especially if it is the man that we are trying to convince to drop a bad habit or do something that he is supposed to be doing, but is not.
One point I need to clarify is that tolerance and forgiveness are not opposites to good communication. A spouse can tolerate and forgive, but it is a must almost every now and then that the couple communicates what is bothering them, or better, how things can improve between them, their way of life, and their living conditions. The accumulated residuals of lack of communication can backfire in an irreparable way, destroying marriages between good Muslim husbands and wives. Always communicate, always thank (“the one who does not thank people, is not thankful to Allah” as Prophet Muhammad said) for any good deed done by the spouse and most importantly, choose the right moment to politely communicate about something that bothered you or that could be changed.
One story that symbolizes this fact, which actually happened in my family, is when my aunt, one of the best Muslim women I’ve seen in my life, had finished preparing dinner for her husband and repeatedly called him to dinner. However, he was busy reading an interesting article in a newspaper, and kept telling her that he’ll be right over. At that moment, his wife made the mistake of allowing the Satan to get her angry and walked straight to him, snatched the newspaper, tore it to pieces, and threw it on the ground. What would you do if you were that Muslim man?
Here is what he did: Very quietly, he kneeled on the floor, gathered the pieces of the newspaper, brought scotch tape, sat again, and patiently taped together his newspaper without blaming his wife with one look or one single word!
My aunt told me that her husband’s politeness in response to her anger was worse than somebody whipping her mercilessly. She felt so ashamed and respected him for forgiving and tolerating her in that Islamic way. What the husband did was not only something that saved the couple and their marriage from a potential disaster, but it also opened a guaranteed credit of forgiveness with his wife the next time Satan may deceive him into anger!
Finally, there are times where it has absolutely nothing to do with the husband or the wife, but simply with the hectic burdens of responsibilities, children, and work of the day-to-day life. Sometimes the couple is the only target of releasing that built-up pressure after a while. The solution, regardless of how pressing the demands and burdens are, is that either each spouse should take a couple of days away from the family completely by visiting their parents or relatives out of the house, or, for lesser chronic situations, take a mini vacation for one day to indulge themselves and break that inflaming daily routine of work, then children.
The responsibility, at the end of the day, lies upon the shoulders of the husband, who is the president of that human business called marriage, for the Prophet himself said:
“The best among you is your best to his family, and I am your best to my family.” (At-Tirmidhi)
This is even more significant when you realize that the last three pieces of advice the Prophet had said while he was dying were to never lose prayers, never be distracted by the materialism of this world, and that he is leaving all Muslim men a trust to treat women well.
May Allah guide us all and reward our forgiveness and tolerance in the highest places of His Paradise.
Those who spend in good times and bad times, swallow their anger, pardon and forgive people, and Allah likes those who excel in their deen. (Al Imran 3: 159)
source : onislam.net