Towards a Healthy and Blissful Marriage
A Healthy Marriage is One of the Goals of Islam…The hesitancy to address this topic is more cultural than Islamic. The Quran and Sunnah are quite frank regarding procreation and sexuality; they are explicit without being obscene or unnecessarily graphic. In the famous hadith of Jabir b. Abdillah, in which the Prophet salla Allah alahyi wa sallam asked the young man why he hadn’t married a young wife, the Prophet salla Allah alahyi wa sallam expressly stated the reason for this was, “…so that you could play with her and she could play with you” [Reported by al-Bukhari]. The hadith is crystal clear: the Prophet salla Allah alahyi wa sallam clearly wanted Jabir to find as much sexual satisfaction as possible in his marriage. In fact, the encouragement was forboth partners to find satisfaction in each other. Hence, in contrast to ancient Christian beliefs or medieval Victorian notions of sex being a ‘necessary evil’ which should not be enjoyed, Islam has always viewed marital relations as being a blessing that should be enjoyed by both men and women, but only within the confines of marriage.
The Problem of Conservative Muslims in a Liberal World…Today, we live in a world of contradictions. While society around us is over-sexualized and hyper-erotic, it appears that many Muslims have reacted to this by becoming prudish and attempting to insulate themselves from the topic of sexuality. Perhaps as a result of this attitude, one finds that one of the most common problems of Muslim couples is a lack of healthy intimacy in their marriages. It does not take a da’ee or Islamic activist to point out the growing problem of divorce amongst our ranks, and while such a high rate of divorce is not solely linked to sexual problems, these problems do exacerbate other situations and are potentially lethal for the survival of any marriage. Some of the main issues in this regard are:
- - IgnoranceIn days gone by, both partners in a new marriage were just as ignorant as each other about marital relations. Therefore, they both entered marriage on a similar level, and taught each other along the way. These days, with the preponderance of the internet, movies, and, (unfortunately) sometimes even personal experiences, it is common that one of the partners is far more aware of this topic than the other. This disparate level of knowledge could potentially lead to problems.
- - ExpectationsBecause of the stereotypes and outlandish representations of each gender’s role in marital relations, it is common that one party might have unrealistic expectations of the other, and this many times leads to growing resentment. The ‘real world’ (as is always the case) is radically different from that of Hollywood.
- - EmbarrassmentThis is, obviously, a highly sensitive topic, and one that people feel very awkward talking about.
- - Haram ElementsSince the topic of sexuality is linked to many haram issues, such as pornography and explicit language and pictures, many Muslims rightfully feel extremely hesitant to read works or internet websites in order to increase awareness in areas that might otherwise be halal.
The Islamic Solution!With all of these factors in mind, it is essential that issues of intimacy be discussed in an Islamically permissible manner. Therefore, in a series of emails and articles, I will be beginning the discussion of some of these issues in light of the Quran and Sunnah, and with quotations from some of our scholars and other experts. Additionally, the anonymity of the internet, and the absence of awkward classroom moments or personal interactions, make online classes the ideal manner to communicate these issues.
I intend to move beyond the clichéd one-line counsels, and give practical, beneficial advice that is relevant to our modern world. Additionally, I will be conducting anonymous surveys in order to gain a better understanding of the problems that Muslim men and women of our time face.
I encourage you to sign up in the box on the right in order to start receiving these emails (around two a week). Also, send this message to a few friends (or your spouse!). The more people who participate in the survey, the more accurate and representative the data will be!
Jazak Allah khayr!
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