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Are There Happy Moments Within Marriage?

Question and answer details
Shakeara Anher Saema Uddin
2014/02/25
Salam. Thank you for this website it is really very informative and refreshing. I would like your knowledge and advice. Recently my husband has become so very immersed in learning Arabic and understanding the Quran. Alhamdulillah, I am proud of him, but whereas we used to spend time together and go for days out and really bond. Now he claims that its not necessary and its wrong and materialistic to have such desires as wanting to go out together to visit and sightseeing. Is this really wrong? I mean Islamically? Please give your much needed advice.
Dalia Salaheldin
Answer
Salam dear Shakeara,


Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.


Let me start with confirming that your husband's studies of the Quran, and its language is highly appreciated. One of the best deeds in the Muslim's life is to memorize the Quran.


But what we need here is to draw his attention that what might be more rewarding is his in-depth understanding of its message, not only its literal meanings.


Please have him look at the following Quranic verse, which says what means:


{Say: "Look at what is in the heavens and on the earth."…} (Yunus 10:101)


This Quranic statement, among many, is directing us to look around and contemplate. The Quran is always addressing believers and non-believers, asking them to look around and contemplate in God's open book of universe. One of the best ways that help us to get a closer realization of God's ability is by looking into this great open book, the universe.


Looking at the majestic creation of the sea, for example, is a helpful tool that makes us kneel and prostrate in owe in front of God's creative and powerful ability. Have your husband look at the waves and how they smooth down from their high thunder echo to a tender touch that reaches the shore.


Let him look at the vast world and the colorful festivals pulsing under the seas. Let him think of the fresh breezes reviving the seashores, without transferring to us the odor of the decaying sea life dwelling beneath.


Looking at and contemplating such natural phenomena are means of worship and never a waste of time. The Quran clearly states that worship in not only in daily rituals.


Worship encompasses all the Muslim's life. One of the best ways to worship and to help us get closer to God is to contemplate and appreciate His powerful ability of creation.


This does not mean that all we do when we look around is to contemplate. No, we also have the right to enjoy and still be in a state of worship.


Joy is never prohibited in Islam. On the contrary, it is the target of so many things that Allah has ordered us to do. God created us with love. Why would He ever want us to miss the lawful joys of life? Whatever God has prohibited, is always because it is harmful, never because it is joyful.


Let your husband think about Prophet Muhammad's mentioning that the man is rewarded for practicing his intimate physical relation with his wife. When the Companions asked the Prophet about how such an act could be rewarded, he answered by drawing their attention that their alternative was to enjoy the same need unlawfully, through non-marital sex. He never said that the alternative was not to practice their natural human needs.


The mentioned hadith explains that Islam never prohibits joy. But it prohibits taking pleasure in what is harmful or prohibited. Actually, if your husband makes more in-depth studies in the Quranic message, he will find that Islam has left all doors of joy open, as long as we do not cross the limits Allah has set for us.


The Quran simply says what means:


{Say: My prayers and sacrifice, my life and death, are all for God, Lord of all the Worlds} (Al-An`am 6: 162)


Please let your husband notice the Quranic mentioning of "life" in the context of the previous verse. God didn't limit what is for Him here to prayers or sacrifice. But all our lives, short or long, can be dedicated to His love, if only we maintain a sincere devoted heart.


Of course, I am not suggesting here that you go on outings that would drive you or your husband to forsake your religious rulings. I am not suggesting that you go watch daring shows or attend alcohol parties.


I am not suggesting that you would go swimming publicly in an exposing swimming suit or go dancing together in a pub. These things are among many unlawful outings that are not what I mean by encouraging you both to plan joyful moments together.


On the other hand, there is nothing wrong in going out for a walk together or for spending a nice time in natural settings like forests, seashores or mountains. There is nothing wrong in going to the funfair or visiting your friends or relatives. There is nothing wrong in going out for a romantic dinner or even a quick lunch.


My dear, there is nothing wrong in living and enjoying lawful life. There is nothing wrong in being human and practicing life as vital souls and beings.


If your husband's intention in taking you out, for any of the mentioned outings, among many not mentioned, is to please you and to make you happy, then he is a good, practicing Muslim. If such outings get you closer to one another and result in you both enjoying a more tender and smooth marital life, then it is highly recommended.


Please have your husband look at the Quranic verse that says what means:


{And among His signs that He has created for you — from your very selves — spouses, to dwell to one another. And He ordained between you tenderness and mercy. There, truly are signs in this for those who reflect.} (Ar-Rum 30:21)


If the Noble Quran has visualized for us the marital scene to be based on tenderness and mercy, then why would we, human Muslims, declare that sharing the joy of life with spouses to be "materialistic"?


What is materialistic in having a walk by the seashore at sunset together? It seems to be an emotional spiritual scene to me. That is, in better words: "romantic". According to the contemporary meaning to the word, as it is used today, there is nothing wrong to enjoy romance with one's spouse.


Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself, the best of mankind, used to take his wife out. He used to go racing with his wife, Lady Aishah, out in the desert.


When they were first married, Lady Aishah was young and small in size, so she used to win the race. Later, when she became heavier in weight, she became a bit slower and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to win. He used to tease her tenderly about that by telling her that his later winning of the race was in return of the one she won when they were younger.


What kind of Prophet is this? A materialistic prophet, dare we say? On the contrary, he was the best of mankind and the seal of prophets.


He was the best of worshippers, the best of worriers, the best of fathers, and the best of husbands. He was the human prophet. May peace and blessings be upon him, amen.


Shakeara, I hope my answer is of help. In case you or your husband need to discuss the matter further, please don't hesitate to contact us.


Salam.


Useful Links:


Muslims and Fun: Culture or Religion?


Fun and Celebrations in Islam


Recognizing True Joy in Life


The Joy of Life


Enjoying the Goodness of Creation


My Prayer, Life and Death… for Allah


Marriage Is the Prophet's Sunnah


Towards a Successful Islamic Marriage



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