Married to the Mobile Gadget

By Maria Zain

While all these gadgets have been part of marriage, how much of your marriage is being spent speaking to each other?

He’s on his mobile phone; one eye is on the TV screen. She’s just made dinner and is tapping away at the iPad. She’s posting: “Tonight’s dinner: lamb stew and mashed potatoes.” She uploads the picture. He sees the picture on his mobile phone through his newsfeed. There are “likes” already. Right, dinner is ready. “Going for dinner,” he updates his status. They sit down. They say “Bismillah.”

They eat. Tap, tap, tap… Tap, tap, tap, more screen tapping. They smile. They converse. So-and-so said this on this network, she says – while searching for the particular thread. So-and-so uploaded this-and-that picture. It was gross, he explains, between sips of water. More scrolling, more tapping. Answering e-mails during dinner. Tapping “likes” through a long thread of a popularity contest.

Is this a normal (or maybe a slightly exaggerated) scene between you and your spouse? Are your mobile phones constantly signaling updates and the two computers – the one in the living room and on the kitchen counter – in your house, logged into both your social network and email accounts so you don’t miss a notification if you have to move from the television to the fridge, and back?

While all these gadgets have been part of marriage, how much of your marriage is being spent speaking to each other… without a fancy piece of technology as an interface?

Without doubt, technology makes the world grow closer, sometimes even fonder. Facebook has done wonders for some in their fields of da’wah, parenting, the sharing of interests with like-minded friends across the globe, geared for positive interaction. But there’s the ugly flipside as well. Name-calling and reputation flaming, the inciting of racist threads, the uploading of pictures of enraged drivers on the road, are all common misuses of Facebook, which many Muslims are not alien to.

But closer to home, how are the streams of e-mails from work and notifications from a myriad of social networks affecting your relationship with the person who is meant to be your closest confidante.

silhouette photography of man facing opened MacBook Pro with iTunes display
Photo by Kal Visuals / Unsplash

Do the sparks of your marriage seem pale compared to the flavorful topics in public forum? Is taking time to speak to your spouse more energy consuming than tapping away at the Galaxy Tab? Are quiet evenings spent together mostly focused in front of different screens… chatting with other people?

While all these modern forms of communication enlist us the rights to speak to friends hailing from the four corners of the globe and complete our work assignments in a flexible manner. On the other hand, the overuse of “anything” in Islam, can lead to misconduct and affect our faiths, especially if we begin to disrespect the sanctity of marriage in lieu of the fun and fancies of Facebook..

Marital Privacy

And what about protecting the sanctity of marriage? We see it all the time. Brothers and sisters speaking of their spouses through status updates and comments; some may have something positive to say, others may not.

person holding space gray iPhone 5s taking picture
Photo by Antoine Beauvillain / Unsplash

The uploading of pictures of one’s spouse taking a nap or playing with the children or the cat; this may seem as harmless to some but an insight into a private moment, to others. How about communicating in a “social” capacity with someone who lies outside ourMahram-ship? Is that all right, because it’s in public and your spouse can “see” the interaction or is it still an interaction that is “forbidden” even if it may be of a beneficial discussion.

God-consciousness in life is obligatory upon every Muslim. Would Allah be pleased with me if I did this? If Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) would visit me today, would he walk away if he heard me speaking like this? If I were one of the Sahabah (companions), would one of these actions cause me to repent immediately?

These thoughts need to flood us constantly, and even more so with the advent of technology, as while we’re plodding away on our keyboards of touch screens, all of what we do or say are also recorded as our deeds. Sometimes we tend to forget that while sharing information, and we continue to share just because we CAN share.

Would Allah be pleased with me if I participated in this discussion? Would Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) – if he were alive – “like” my comment? Would a Sahabah respond to my email if I wrote it in this manner… (Maybe I should keep my spouse on cc)? But even more so, how would all this affect my marriage?

What Spouses Stand For

The Qur’an describes the role of spouses as being garments for one another; to protect each other and to beautify each other for the sake of Allah. How many pictures of our wife do you upload? and how many “friends” can look at her, even if she is covered? How much of your husband do you share with your “Mummy Groups,” when you consider commenting in a thread?

Like it or not, these forms of communication may make or break your marriage. Perhaps it is through mutual consensus that spouses share their accounts, but at the same time, it is still permissible for spouses to have friends mutually exclusive of each other, and sometimes this is necessary to avoid Fitna that could arise in non-mahram relationships. For example, a husband shouldn’t be friends with his wife’s best buddies and vice versa.

In the end, it boils down to control and maturity. Every adult should be discerning enough to put Taqwa and modesty first before the whims and fancies or socializing online. While there is no “shame” in asking questions, even relating to content which is sexual in nature (in the halal context), there is a line that is crossed if details of an intimate relationship are revealed in public. Every Muslim adult has to be aware of proper rules when interacting in public, and nowadays, social media content is no less private.

When it boils down back to the relationship though, do you feel that there’s a machine between you and a spouse and that it constantly harasses him or her for his or her attention? Are you suffering because you can’t communicate without some gadget-like sound going off? Or if you haven’t suffered as yet, do you feel like you haven’t spoken to your spouse properly as of late – with proper eye contact? Do you want to change that?.

Turn Your Mobile Off

If yes, make a pact. Work on your time management. There is time for this, and there is time for your spouse. Turn it off. Time management is critical in Islam, and even more so to create time and space for husbands and wives; garments that were chosen for each other. Turn off those gadgets during meal times, during quiet times, and during “together” time. If it is work, it can wait for a schedule. If it is a social call… then that can also wait. Turn off those gadgets… or just ignore them.

Photo by Marc Schäfer / Unsplash

Withdrawal symptoms may set in if you’re so used to being on a social network or reading emails every 90 seconds, but once that wanes, finding the sparks of romance would probably come second nature, and you’ll find there are plenty of creative ways to communicate with your other half once again.

Complimenting each other, actually talking to each other with eye contact, sending each other love notes and buying gifts for each other are probably normal means of couples of yore. And they did perfectly fine without technology. Spousal relationships are personal and require personal interaction. Things are not going to work out in the end if spousal priorities fall below the likes of Facebook. Go on dates or take a walk. If there are children already between the two of you, this is even a bigger reason to work on your family.

But again, it’s not all bad. Technology is a positive asset of life as long as it doesn’t interfere or compromise your faith, in which could compromise an important avenue of worship – your marriage. Remember that you have free will and control over these  gadgets, and you owe your spouse a responsible outlet of communication, one that is personal, kind and caring in nature. With that, your maturity and integrity in interacting with others, with or without your spouse’s knowledge is also under your own control.

I heard recently that the average person scrolls the height of Big Ben in a day. Whilst waiting for a delayed train in Bath I spotted this line of hands on phones – all endlessly scrolling.
Photo by ROBIN WORRALL / Unsplash

Once you’ve gotten some rational schedule down to place and worked leap and bounds (or with baby steps at first) to make changes for your relationship, you can always pick up your phone and text your husband a love-note. Technology can work in our favor too. LOL it out over emoticons or share pictures privately of the children, moments that the other half may have missed while he or she was away. Your wife may appreciate an e-card in her e-mail box are even a bouquet of roses. I’m pretty sure there’s an emoticon for that too.

Technology and communication do us a great favor, but they should not  and must not get in the way of our personal relationships. Especially not the one between husband and wife; the garments that are made for each other, the one person you need to shower with kindness and undivided attention and praise. So let the frivolities of technology take the back seat for most of your marriage, unless you’re sending a virtual heart, and spend time with your spouse, talking, laughing, and planning for the future, all for the sake of Allah.

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26 days ago

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South African Match! #muzmatchsuccess

My name is Halima and I'm from Gauteng, South Africa and my husband (Arshad) is from Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa; we are both South African Indians.

He liked my profile on muzmatch on the 8th of April 2018 and on the 9th we started chatting and Alhamdulillah, today we are husband and wife.

We did our Nikah last month (March 9th 2019).

About a month before I joined muzmatch I remember speaking to my mother in the kitchen as we cooked supper and she had full confidence that I'd be getting married soon.

I told her that I felt that maybe I'm just not meant to get married and be happy, taking into consideration that I personally felt like one could never find a decent man whose intention is to make Nikah in this day and age.

My Moulana had recommended that I join Nikah/Muslim match-making groups and muzmatch populated amongst my searches, so I downloaded the app and registered. After a while I had lost hope so I deleted the app from my phone but did not deactivate my profile.

It was a Monday morning, I had woken up to get ready for work,

I checked my phone and I had an email notification from muzmatch which read "Arshad likes you".

I was quite surprised; I looked at his profile and his biography was quite captivating but it seemed so surreal - this was too good to be true.

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I used the link in his bio to view his Facebook profile, we had a mutual friend which was my cousin that also resides in Kwa-Zulu Natal, so I felt a bit more assured that this is definitely real considering that I had started to think that this could potentially be a catfish.

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We had realized that we are most definitely soulmates.

Within 2 weeks he called my parents to ask for my hand in marriage. In July 2018 (21st), I booked a flight to visit him and his mum for the day and after spending time together we knew that this was the right decision and that Allah SWT had created us for each other.

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We then saw each other once again in August 2018 (25th - A surprise for my 21st birthday planned by him and my mum); and again in November 2018 when he flew up to attend my younger sister's wedding with his mum, younger sister and brother-in-law.

Slowly the long distance had become difficult, our younger sisters were both already married and settled and we started wondering when would we actually get married. In February this year he decided to relocate to Gauteng and found a temporary job.

His dad visited my parents and they decided to set a Nikah date, Alhamdulillah once the date was set everything fell into place by the will of Allah. He found a job as a PC Engineering lecturer and we were able to find our own place with our parents help and support.

Today I am happily married, living my dream with my husband and I have wonderful in-laws that love me as much as they love Arshad.

The most important quality I wanted in a husband was someone that could take my family as his own and Alhamdulillah I found that in Arshad.

We are now a huge happy family Alhamdulillah.

Jazak'Allah muzmatch! Arshad has found me due to the creation of this wonderful app (He always says that he found me, not the other way around).

I would advise everyone to put their trust and faith in Allah SWT, never give up hope that Allah SWT will send the one who is meant for you when the time is right - for Allah is the greatest of planners. May all the other individuals find their spouses through this app as well Insha'Allah.

Halima & Arshad

7 days ago

Egyptian Romance #muzmatchsuccess

My name is Yasmeen and I found my husband, Taymoor, on muzmatch on the last day of last ramadan. We were both divorced.

The first time we talked on muzmatch was in June and we got married one month later in August 2018. I always wanted to send our story to inspire others who are searching for a good husband and wife.  

We are both Egyptians, from Cairo, we even work & live very near to each others in New Cairo city. I am a digital marketing manager and Taymoor is an IT manager. I am 37 years old and he is 40.  

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I have a daughter who is 12 years old, and I was searching for a real Muslim man who would be a good husband and father. Finally I found Taymoor, who is a good man and a good Muslim, he is very kind.

I am telling my friends that I found someone who really looks like me from the inside.  He was divorced and also has a kid, who is 5 years old. When we first chatted on muzmatch we spoke for over 6 hours, he was surprised much we got on, he even thought that this was a prank!

I couldn't believe that I finally found the man I was looking for. The first time we met, was after Eid al futr, in the House of Cocoa, as Taymoor knew that I loved chocolate. We talked about ourselves for over six hours, I did not want to leave and neither did he.

After we met I told my family and friends, and he did too. He and his family visited us and we got married in only two months, I never imagined that I would find my soulmate and marry him that fast.

I always wanted to find a man to trust and love, after being a single mom for years, I found out that my dream man was hard to find, but alhamdullah I found him on your app.  

Alhamdullah, we are very happy together, my daughter lives with us and his son visits us on the weekends. You cannot imagine how much I am now recommending muzmatch to all my friends.

It didn't even take me long to find my husband. I used the app for almost one month or less.

I am so happy alhamdullah now that I married a real muslim I always wanted.  

8 days ago

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Close Call #muzmatchsuccess

My name is Sara and I just wanted to thank muzmatch and let you know that I finally got engaged on 24th December 2018 and found my Fiance - Ghazunfar on the App.  

We are really happy Alhamdulilah and just wanted to thank you for creating a platform for Muslims to find a suitable match for marriage!    

I believe it's a real blessing because initially we matched but we didn't talk as he hadn't read my messages and was not appearing online. After around 4 weeks, I unmatched however after some weeks I logged in and I came across his profile again. After some giving it some thought I decided to rematch and give it a try again.

The next day he replied to me and the is history.  Its been a almost a year since we matched on Muzmatch and we have set the Nikkah date which will be 1st March 2019 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.  

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One last thing to everyone using the  muzmatch App - please do not give up, there is someone out there for us all!  

8 days ago

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