The following is a summary of the transcript from Shaykh Muhammad Mendes’ public lecture on marriage entitled “The Union of Souls: Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough.” The lecture was organized by Sout Ilaahi in 2016.
The crisis that we are facing, I’m not sure about Singapore but in America, a little over 50% of our marriages end in divorce, and many of the people who don’t get legally divorced are really divorced emotionally from each other.
People live this marriage where they’re not living a life together, they’re living a death together, but they feel like if I can just have sabr, if I can just be patient, just for 50 years that I’ll have reward from Allah swt. And I’m here to tell you that your marriage does not have to be miserable, your marriage does not have to be unhappy.
There’s hardly any marriage that does not have challenges, tests, or trials, even when you marry a good brother or sister who prays and who is very righteous and pious. The nature of this world is that we’re always tested and the greatest test that we receive is from another human being. The more you prepare yourself and equip yourself, the more likely you are to be able to address and confront the challenges of nikah and marriage with more steadfastness and perseverance, and with a smile on your face.
6 Keys To a Blissful Marriage
1. TRANQUILITY, LOVE, MERCY
These are the three qualities that govern the marriage in Islam in the way of surrender, which is what Islam means; to surrender, unconditional surrender. One of the primary manifestations of marriage that is done for the right reasons is that you attain tranquillity and serenity. Marriage is supposed to be a bringing down of Paradise to earth, and this is what Islam is all about: making these meadows of Paradise, finding these meadows of Paradise. This deen, this way, is all about discovering the celestial meadows that are in this world, and your marriage is meant to be one of them, if you approach it the right way.
2. KNOW YOURSELF & YOUR LIFE PURPOSE
You don’t have to be a perfect saint, a wali, to be married, but you should understand yourself as a spiritual being. What I mean by that, is in understanding your temperament: how you’re designed and how you react to the world.
A lot of us get married in our 20s and no one has talked to us about our life purpose and our mission. So we get married, and maybe in our 30s and 40s, we start to have a midlife crisis. You don’t feel fulfilled. You worked hard, you’re respected in your community, you’re respected at your job, but you still don’t feel happy, and so you go and buy a Ferrari. Or you blame your husband, or you blame your wife, and you marry a younger husband, or a younger wife, people get into affairs, they commit adultery, because they haven’t found out what their life is really supposed to be about. They’re looking for the happiness in their spouse, your spouse can’t bring happiness to you. Your happiness depends on the thing that Allah has created you to do in this world. Do you know your life purpose? Do you know why you are here? Why did the creator sent your spirit to this world?
3. SPEND MODERATELY
It’s very important to understand the financial aspects of the marriage. [But] this is something that people sometimes don’t talk about before getting married: how do you handle money. Usually one of the spouses is a spender: they buy things on impulse, whether they’re religious or non-religious things, and then the other spouse is very disciplined with money, they budget, they save, they’re very careful. So, you have to know who you’re marrying, so that when you get married, you can have a plan that is based on harmony of how to deal with money. Most marriages in America end over two things: arguments over finance and lack of sexual fulfilment.
4. KNOW EACH OTHER’S LOVE LANGUAGE
If you don’t know the temperament of your spouse, you don’t know how to communicate with them properly. The 5 love languages are the ways that you communicate with your spouse, that’s dominant in them. So there’s quality time, words of affirmation, giving gifts, there’s service, and there’s affection. If your wife’s love language is quality time, it doesn’t matter how many gifts you give her. You can buy her all the chocolates and all the roses, but if you don’t spend time with her, she won’t be happy. And if your husband’s love language is words of affirmation, you have let him know that you love him: “I appreciate you”, “I respect you”.
5. WEATHER THE 3 SEASONS OF MARRIAGE TOGETHER
The Honeymoon Season: Where you don’t notice the shortcomings and the faults of your spouse. The blessed Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “Love blinds and deafens”. During this honeymoon period, Allah blinds you and deafens you to the faults of your spouse. But it usually doesn’t last. For some people, it may last three months, for some people, may last three years.
The Pressure Cooker Season: That’s the stage you get to notice, my spouse has flaws, you begin to go through life with them, you start to see the good and the bad qualities. For many people, because they don’t understand that this is a natural season in your marriage, when it gets very difficult, they want to escape. They go through divorce, talaq. We tell people that if your marriage doesn’t have problems with physical, emotional, verbal abuse, or addictions to drugs, alcohol, pornography, or problems with adultery and zina, then generally your problems are problems that can be worked through, if you have patience and your spouse has patience. It will help you develop as a human being and will help you develop in your spirituality.
The Forgiveness Season: Now, you have true knowledge of this spouse, you know their good aspects, you know their strengths, you know their weaknesses, and you accept them as they are. You understand that the reason there is maybe some darkness in them and why there is some blameworthiness in them is because of their own experiences, with their own family, with their own community, and you reach this place of forgiveness, which is true rahmah, and you pardon them.
6. RENEW YOUR COMMITMENT
Make tajdid, renewal, of your commitment together regularly. It doesn’t have to be a whole ceremony, which some people do have a ceremony and what not. It can be just between you and your spouse. You make commitment to each other to renew your vows and commitment.
Alhamdulillah, Shaykh Muhammad Mendes (USA) will be coming to Singapore on 1st and 2nd April 2017 for a series of spiritually invigorating, enlightening and soul-replenishing lectures and workshops.
Delve into the depths of your inner being, seek and find the Light of the Divine within yourself, and heal the brokenness inside through witnessing the Majesty and Beauty of Muhammadan Love with Shaykh Muhammad Mendes.
1 APRIL 2017, 9AM – 1PM, MASJID MYDIN AUDITORIUM
Prophetic Parenting: Raising God-Conscious Children in the 21st Century
Workshop Ticket Price: $28
Purchase here: http://propheticparenting.eventbrite.sg
1 APRIL 2017, 8PM – 10PM, MASJID SULTAN AUDITORIUM
Spiritual Awakening: Cultivating Positivity in Life
Lecture Ticket Price: $15
Purchase here: http://cultivatingpositivity.eventbrite.sg
2 APRIL 2017, 9AM – 1PM, MASJID SULTAN AUDITORIUM
The Way of Love: Joys and Realities of Marriage
Workshop Ticket Price: $28
Purchase here: http://wayoflove.eventbrite.sg
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Shaykh Muhammad Adeyinka Mendes embraced Islam at 17 years old and went to obtain a B.A. in Arabic Studies. Subsequently, he embarked on the study of traditional Islamic sciences for more than 20 years in Mauritania, Syria, and Nigeria, under the tutelage of scholars like Shaykh Murabit al Hajj, Shaykh Muhammad al Yaqoubi, Shaykh Muhammad an Ninowy, Shaykh Khalil Abdur Rashid, and Shaykh Mustafa Turkmani. He holds ijazaat in Islamic Jurisprudence, Islamic Spirituality, Theology, Prophetic Narrations, Qur’anic Exegesis, Logic, and Grammar.
Currently, aside from serving as the Founding Director of SacredService for Human Liberation, he also serves as the Imam of the Atlanta Masjid of al-Islam, and is a researcher and Lead Qur’anic Arabic Instructor at Fawakih Institute Atlanta.
He is a teacher, father, husband, servant of the community, and lifetime student of knowledge who devotes much of his time and energy to inviting people to live lives of spiritual and material significance, unite based on their shared humanity and appreciate their God-given diversity.