All of us have faced a situation at least some times in our lifetime where we were wronged by another person. That is indeed a test from Allah.
When someone wrongs us, hurts us, or refuses to give us our right, it is natural to feel angry and hurt. If a certain person hurts us several times, we are prone to slowly develop a deep-rooted hatred for them in our heart.
No wonder there are so many divorces happening in Muslim households.
The person most well situated for hurting you is your spouse. He or she know your every single fault, even the ones no one else knows. They have to live with us constantly, and when two people live together constantly, it is natural to have disagreements.
These disagreements, when not forgiven or forgotten, slowly keep piling one on top of another until you have a mountain full of negative emotions towards your spouse.
Lessons from the “Ayah of Marriage”
Allah has revealed to us a verse which speaks specifically about the marital relationship:
And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you mawaddah and rahmah. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought. (30:21)
The purpose of us having spouses is to find tranquility in them. In another verse Allah says (translation):
It is He Who has created you from a single person, and He has created from him his wife, li-yaskuna ilaiha. (7:189)
Yaskunu has the same root as sukoon or sakeenah. You might be familiar with the word. It means tranquility, peace. We also have sukoon in Arabic writing, where it denotes letters on which there is no voweling, which are ‘motionless’.
Our spouse was created so that we could find sukoon in them, so that we would feel relaxed, at ease, peaceful and happy with them.
But in many cases it’s the opposite. This indicates that there must be something very wrong going on, something against the natural laws which Allah put in place. What are we doing wrong?
In the first ayah quoted above, Allah said that He placed between spouses mawaddah and rahmah. These two are the keys to marital success.
Oftentimes when the marriage is still new, spouses are head over heals in love with each other. That love often persists, but the times that we express it begin to drop. We still care about them, but maybe we don’t really go out of our way to show it, like we used to during the honeymoon period.
Mawaddah is the kind of love which is very apparent. It’s caring about someone, being friends with them. One of Allah’s beautiful names is al Wudood, from the same root.
His love for us is apparent all around us in the countless blessings He has given us. He has not just provided us nourishment, being ar Razzaq, He has made our food delicious and palatable, beautiful to the eyes, and aromatic, thus pleasing our senses.
This is al Wudood.
Mawaddah is about keeping the honeymoon period alive and functional at all times. No matter how many problems there are in the marriage, if we have mawaddah towards each other, if both spouses care for the other and show it, and feel that the other cares about them, that creates an extremely strong bond between them.
Rahm means the womb. Rahmah is the kind of mercy, protection and cushioning which a fetus enjoys in the mother’s womb. Where mawaddah is something you need to practice during times of peace, rahmah is to much more effective at the battle ground.
During times of extreme provocation, if we remember to have rahmah towards each other, then nothing can keep us from enjoying true sakinah in your marriage in sha Allah.
And not just that, Allah the Most Merciful will in turn shower His mercy upon us.
The merciful are shown mercy by Ar-Rahman. Be merciful on the earth, and you will be shown mercy from Who is above the heavens. The womb is named after Ar-Rahman, so whoever connects it, Allah connects him, and whoever severs it, Allah severs him. (At-Tirmidhi)