New Years Resolutions

رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا

Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous. [Qur’an 25:74]

It’s a minute before midnight. January 1st, 2019… The palpable feeling of excitement of a new beginning, a fresh start sets in. Some wait for that moment to erase the mistakes of the past and start over. “This year will be different. It’s going to be great! I feel it!” some say, as they think up resolutions. This lasts for a few days at best, before we begin to make excuses and say,

Insha’Allah next year, 2020.

It happens to the best of us. Last night, my Social Media feed was covered in posts about change as my friends posted their new year’s resolutions varying from some form of weight loss or health goals to increasing organisational skills to spiritual goals. And though these are all great personal and individual aspirations, I thought to myself, with the growing rate of divorce amongst Muslims, why not create relationship resolutions?

For 2018, I decided I wanted to create my own calendar. Something simple, but beautiful. Eye catching, and very minimal. I created it and loved it so much I shared it on my wellness blog, we can all get a little more organised with our lives don’t you think?
Photo by Maddi Bazzocco / Unsplash

There is no need to wait until the ball drops at midnight. Your new year begins when you decide to make change, be it January 1st or March 21st. So why not now? Today is a perfect time to sit down with your spouse and set some resolutions for revitalising and improving your marriage (or any other familial, social or professional relationship). These may be the most important set of resolutions you can make this year.

We need to know that it’s not going to be easy; like with everything else in life, if you want something great, you need to work for it.  Remember that we are doing this for the sake of Allah and with the intention of gaining reward from Him. Insha’Allah we find the strength to overcome shaytan and our nafs (desires), as shaytan is determined to ensure you don’t fix your relationship with your spouse.

Jabir reported:

The Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Verily, Iblees placed his throne over the water and then he sends out his troops. The nearest to him are the greatest at causing tribulations. One of them says: I have done this and this. Iblees says: You have done nothing. Another says: I did not leave this person until I caused discord between him and his wife. Iblees says: You have done well.” [Sahih Muslim, 2813]

That being said, below is a set of seven resolutions that insha’Allah may improve, and maybe even save, your marriage. No matter where you are in your marriage journey, whether you have a happy and healthy relationship or are experiencing some difficulty, these seven resolutions are for you.

1. FORGIVE AND FORGET

Many studies have shown that people who forgive are happier and healthier than those who do not. A very wise person once said,

A happy marriage is a union of two good forgivers.”

The Messenger of Allah said:

All of the children of Adam are sinners, and the best of sinners are those who repent.” [At-Tirmidhi]

We all make mistakes so, starting today, overcome shaytan’s whispers and strive to forgive your spouse as soon as they apologize. There are so many verses in the Qur’an and sayings of the Prophet which encourage us to forgive. Don’t hold on to a grudge or bring up the past. Holding on to grudges harms your own health by acting as a chronic stressor. Just let go and forgive your spouse; do it for the sake of Allah.

Remember the man at the time of the Prophet who walked into the masjid for three days in a row and the Prophet said that he was from the people of paradise. Abdullah bin ‘Amr wanted to know what quality this man possessed that made the Prophet say that about him, so he spent three nights with that man. He noticed that the man did not pray the optional night prayers during any of these nights, but if he woke up during the night, he would simply mention Allah. So before he left, he asked him what he did that was so special that the Prophet identified him as a man of Jannah. The man replied:

My deeds are nothing more than what you saw.”

When Abdullah left, he called him back in and said:

My deeds are nothing more than what you saw, but the only thing I do is that I do not hold any grudge against any Muslim or envy anyone for what bounties Allah has granted them”

thereupon ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr said to him:

This difficult quality to obtain is what granted you this rank.” [Ahmed]

So start forgiving, as this will lead to a happier self, a happier marriage and ultimately Jannah, insha’Allah!

2. SPEND MORE QUALITY TIME TOGETHER

Unfortunately, many couples find themselves spending very little time together. Date night, breakfast together, cuddling on the sofa… All things which might have been something you did years ago, have now seemingly disappeared. Instead, you now sit in separate rooms scrolling through your phones/tablets/computers. It is time to turn off your gadgets (including the TV), and just sit, talk, and listen. Remember the key is to give your spouse your undivided attention. Whenever the Prophet spoke to someone or when someone spoke to him, he would turn his body and his face towards them, and give them his undivided attention. He would often touch them and repeat what the person said, so that they knew that he was actively listening.

Invest, invest, invest! Research shows that in most happy and long-lasting marriages, couples spend at least 5 hours per week of quality time together. No matter how tired you are at the end of the day or on theweekend, remember to nurture your marriage by making time for each other. Even the Prophet, with his busy schedule, made time every day to spend with each of his wives. Spend some time together every day. It can be doing something simple like going for a walk together, having a cup of coffee or tea together, going out on a formal date, or it can even just be a commitment to sit together on the couch and talk to each other without your devices for 15 minutes.

Whatever you do, make time for your marriage. Pick a day each week to do something out of the house, just the two of you. Make it a priority and don’t cancel that date. And if something comes up, take a moment to reschedule it. If you had an important meeting at work, you would do whatever it takes to move things around your calendar to ensure that you can make it.  Make time for your spouse and, ultimately, make time for your marriage. The more time you invest in your marriage, the more it will grow and flourish.

3. SAY “I LOVE YOU” EVERY DAY

Many times it is easy to assume that our spouse knows we love them. But there are so many different ways to say and show that you love them. This year, don’t let a day go by without saying it. Resolve to say, “I love you” in a special way every day. Before you leave to work, pair it with a kiss, send a text, leave a letter on your spouse’s desk or in their purse. There are so many ways to express your love… get creative and use your imagination.

It was narrated from Anas ibn Malik:

A man was with the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) when another man passed by and he said: O Messenger of Allah, I love this man. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said to him: “Have you told him?” He said: “No.” The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “Tell him.” So he caught up with the man and said: “I love you for the sake of Allah.” The man said: “May the one for Whose sake you love me also love you” [Sunan Abi Dawud, 5125].  In some reports of the hadeeth it says: “Tell him for it will strengthen the love between you” [Narrated by Ibn Abi’l-Dunya in al-Ikhwaan].  The Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “If one of you loves his brother for the sake of Allah, let him tell him, for it does good and makes the love last” [Al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 1199]

4. CRITICIZE LESS COMPLIMENT MORE

When it comes to criticism, most people dislike it immensely. No one wants to be criticized. Criticism can be hurtful when you spend a lot of time with someone. It becomes easy to overlook the things that are great about them and focus on bad habits. Unfortunately, that is when we start criticizing our partner and hurting them deeply. Instead of dwelling on your spouse’s bad habits and attacking their character, focus on what they do right and remind yourself of the reasons you fell in love with them. Then remind him or her! Couples who have been together for a long time tend to forget to compliment one another. Be generous in giving compliments. It’s amazing how a person will light up with kind words. Compliment your spouse on their looks, personality, and the things they do. When they do something right, let them know. That will bring out a genuine smile from your spouse. Try to reduce criticism and to compliment your spouse at least once a day.

5. SHOW/COMMUNICATE APPRECIATION

The Prophet said,

He has not thanked Allah who has not thanked people” [Sunan Abu Dawud, 4811]

It’s natural to fall into habits in a marriage and forget to verbally express your appreciation to your spouse. We all tend to do this from time to time, especially when we get so busy and consumed by everything else going on around us. We start to just assume that our partner “should” take out the trash or “should” cook dinner, instead of remembering to appreciate the fact that they did. Using words of appreciation seems like such a simple thing to do, but it slips away in many marriages. Make a resolution together to appreciate the little things you do for one other.  Do your best to show your appreciation for all the big and small things, and genuinely speak words of encouragement, thanks and love to your spouse.

There are many ways you can express your appreciation. Try a hand-written thank you note from time to time. Acknowledge them publicly. Give them a thank you hug. Make duaa for them.

One of the most beautiful and simple duaa you can make for them is “JazakAllahu khairan.” The Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “He who is favored by another and says to his benefactor: ‘Jazak-Allah khairan (may Allah reward you well)’ indeed has done his utmost to thank him” [At-Tirmidhi].

Thank them with a gift and remember, it’s not about the material value but, rather, it’s about the thought that went into it. Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet (saw) said,

Give each other gifts and you will love each other” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, 594]

This doesn’t have to be something huge and extravagant. Small tokens of appreciation, like their favorite chocolate, a thank you card with a personal note, or even making them something, will have a huge impact. Tell them right away. Don’t let a good deed go unnoticed. For the best effect, recognize them and thank them as soon as possible. If you wait too long, they may feel overlooked and unappreciated.

Be happy around them, as nothing shows appreciation like a genuine smile. Smiling is an impactful way to let your spouse know that you truly appreciate what they’ve done and that they’ve made your life better somehow. The Prophet (saw) said:

When you smile to your brother’s face, it is charity” [At-Tirmidhi]

SMILE! Research has shown that smiling, even when you don’t particularly want to, will make you, and the person you smile at, happier.

6. RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS

Aisha, the wife of Allah’s Apostle reported that Allah’s Messenger said,

O Aisha, Allah is kind and He loves kindness in all matters” [Sahih Bukhari, 6528]

Happy and stable marriages have two key factors: couples treat each other with kindness and generosity, and they don’t keep tabs on each other. Don’t think of kindness as a trait you either have or you don’t; think of it as a muscle. We all are born with the kindness muscle, and though some are naturally stronger than others, strength is built by frequently and consistently using it. Although it is hard to be kind during disagreements or stressful moments, that is when it is most important for the health of your relationship.  Be generous with your kindness, your forgiveness, your love, your time, your hugs, your kisses and your words of appreciation and praise. Not only will your spouse love you more, but you will grow to love your spouse more.

I know our schedules are busy and it’s challenging to change, but try to be mindful of things your partner generally does and do it instead. This can be really easy: take out the garbage, do an errand, help the children with their homework, or simply bring home a dessert next time you’re at the supermarket.

The Messenger of Allah said,

Every act of kindness is sadaqa. Part of kindness is that you offer your brother a cheerful face and you pour some of your bucket into his water vessel” [Al-Albani]

Whoever does you a favor, respond in kind and, if you cannot find the means of doing so, then keep praying for him until you think that you have responded in kind” [Abu Dawud].

7. GET RID OF UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

So now you’ve made your resolutions and you’re excited to start. But I’d like to remind you of an important point that’ll save your good intentions from going to the Resolution Archives – keep it practical. Any expectation of your spouse turning into Mr. or Mrs. Perfect overnight is impossible! Make your spouse feel valued and important along the way. Discuss plans and strategies to implement the change you want to see in your marriage. Realize that, like with anything in life, you need consistent efforts over time to see any results; these aren’t magical quick fix solutions! The good news is that insha’Allah the changes you do see eventually will be long-lasting and well worth the effort.

Allah’s Messenger said,

Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even if it were little” [Sahih al-Bukhari, 6464]

وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ شِقَاقَ بَيْنِهِمَا فَابْعَثُوا حَكَمًا مِّنْ أَهْلِهِ وَحَكَمًا مِّنْ أَهْلِهَا إِن يُرِيدَا إِصْلَاحًا يُوَفِّقِ اللَّهُ بَيْنَهُمَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا خَبِيرًا
…If they both desire reconciliation, Allah will cause it between them…” [Qur’an 4:35]

Time to GET STARTED… make the intention, start today and know that Allah will help you along the way, insha’Allah!

Written by Dunia Shuaib
Article Source: Muslim Matters

If you would like to write for us, email us: marketing@muzmatch.com

22 days ago

Get married, free, on muzmatch.

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.

Wintery iPhone Flat Lay Mock Up
Photo by Emma Matthews / Unsplash

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.

We started chatting that very morning and there was an instant click. It felt like we were long lost friends because of how well we understood each other and could complete each others sentences. We had the same interests and the same intention; we could speak for hours on end without running out of things to say.

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.

Photo by Ross Parmly / Unsplash

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

3 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.  

Influences of the past —
Stories, desire and a vivid imagination
attract people to this place.
Photo by Simon Matzinger / Unsplash

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.  

4 days ago

Get married, free, on muzmatch.

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.  

Our families are very happy and we are looking forward to entering into the blessed union of marriage Insha'Allah. We just wanted to say keep up the good work, may Allah bless you and request that you keep us in prayers.  

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

4 days ago

Get married, free, on muzmatch.



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