Being a spouse and a parent are among the most important jobs you’ll ever have. Marriage education, premarital advisement and counseling can help singles and engaged people obtain the knowledge and skills they need to be successful wives and husbands and have healthy marriages.
In any field of study there are things one should know to be successful. College and vocational training provides the knowledge and tools needed for the professional. College and medical school provides doctors with the opportunity to gain the knowledge and training they need in anatomy, physiology, how to assess patient health and how to treat various conditions.To be a successful lawyer one needs to know about various aspects of the law, the United States constitution, and how to help clients obtain their rights under the law.
Social workers need to know how to develop relationships with clients, assess their needs and problems, and develop a plan to address their concerns and work to improve their situation.
To be a successful spouse it is important to get to know yourself, who you are and what you value in life. It is important to develop your relationship with Allah and to know what place married life has in the overall purpose of the human being and in Islam. You need to learn skills to have a loving relationship with your spouse. You want to learn about the responsibilities husbands and wives have toward each other and how best to fulfill them.
It is essential to learn how marriage helps us serve Allah and can help us get to Heaven which is our ultimate goal. It is important to learn about the example that the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, provided in his married life.
Research indicates that the inability to communicate with one another is one of the biggest problems married people experience. It is therefore important to learn how to communicate with each other, to share our feelings, expectations, goals and dreams for the future of our family.
Most of us feel angry from time to time. It is important that single and engaged people learn how to manage the anger they will inevitably feel from time to time. In this way, they will prevent themselves from saying or doing something that will hurt the person they love most for the sake of Allah, their spouse.
Stress management is also essential because at times maintaining a successful married life and doing what it takes in marriage given the outside forces in society can be stressful. So learning how to manage one’s stress makes for a happier, healthier marriage.
Ways to solve problems and resolve conflict are skills single and engaged people need before they get married so they will begin using this very important skill early in marriage.
Sex education is a topic which hardly finds a forum in our mosques and Islamic centers. However, sex and intimacy are a natural part of married life. Most Muslims marry with very little knowledge of this very important area of married life which too often tends to lead to unfilled marriages for many.
It is also important to learn appropriate ways to get to know someone for marriage to see if he or she is compatible for you. Too often, the biggest problems in marriage are related to lack of compatibility in temperament, religious practice and perspective, goals and dreams, socioeconomic status, and personality.
Singles and engaged Muslims need to learn how to get to know the person they may want to marry in a Halal manner beforehand. Asking and answering each other’s questions are an important part of the process. It is also invaluable to have a premarital advisor or counselor help assess the meaning of the answers each person gives and how these answers and each other’s perspective will reflect upon the marriage.
Marriage education classes and seminars provide a way for single and engaged Muslims to learn these skills and information before they get married. Learning what you need to know for a successful marriage early on gives you the opportunity to get off to a good start in your marriage.
Marriage and family life education is offered regularly in the larger society by marriage and family life educators, counselors, and social workers. It is also offered in schools and at churches around the country. Single and engaged Muslims can avail themselves of the services the larger society has to offer.
As well, the Muslim community needs to provide greater access to marriage and family life education in Islamic schools, mosques, youth centers, and Muslim social service agencies around the country.
The Muslim community needs to commit to making marriage education available and accessible. Parents need to encourage their children to get this education just as they encourage them to do well in their school work in high school and college. Career knowledge is highly valued but needs to be balanced with religious education and marriage and family life education.
Single Muslims and those who are engaged need to make a commitment to enroll in marriage education class or seminar way before the wedding day. Newlyweds who didn’t take a marriage education class before the wedding need to enroll in a course soon after the honeymoon.
Remember, being a husband or wife is one of the most important jobs you’ll ever have. Get your marriage and family life education to help you prepare today for your future married life so that it will be one filled with love, compassion, mercy, and tranquility.
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Dr. Aneesah Nadir is a marriage and family life educator in Mesa, Arizona. She provides marriage education seminars throughout the country. Her book, “So You Think You’re Ready for Marriage” is coming soon. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.