However, before we begin, some might question whether we as Muslims are allowed to benefit from Western sources regarding these topics (of intimacy and love). The response is that our religion encourages us to take wisdom from all peoples and cultures. The Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “Wisdom is the lost item of the believer – wherever he finds it, he takes it.” [Tirmidhee, Ibn Maajah]
Just as we take from all societies their knowledge of medicine, engineering, and chemistry, so too there is no problem in taking good and beneficial knowledge regarding intimacy from different cultures as well. In fact, even our Prophet salla Allahu alahyi wa sallam did so. He said, “I was about to forbid you from having intercourse with your wives while they are breastfeeding children, but I saw that the Romans and Persians did that and it did not harm their children” [Reported by al-Bukhari].
Therefore, the fact that the Romans and Persians engaged in intimacy while the mother was breastfeeding, and it did not harm the child, was used by our Prophet to allow intercourse during this time.
Jazakum Allah khayr!
[Extracted from LikeAGarment]
We mentioned earlier that Allah has created men and women differently. One of the most pronounced differences between genders when it comes to issues of intimacy is arousal. Each gender has been keyed to respond to different senses. If a couple wishes to maximize feelings of closeness and intimacy, it is essential that each party understands the other’s arousal mechanism.
For men, the primary sense of arousal is physical. Seeing the figure, smelling the aroma, and touching the body of a woman is what arouses a man. When a man’s physical needs are satisfied, he is most likely to reciprocate with emotional responses.
For a woman, on the other hand, the primary sense of arousal is emotional. Feeling loved, appreciated and cared for are the underlying emotional factors that will mostly make the woman love back in return. When a woman’s emotional needs are satisfied, she is more likely to reciprocate with physical responses.
One of the biggest sources of conflict in a marriage is this simple lack of understanding. Women feel used when their husbands take advantage of them physically but ignore their emotional needs. On the other hand, men feel frustrated that their wives are so withdrawn and cold during acts of intimacy, complaining both at the quantity and quality of these acts. Both parties need to give more of what the other party wants, in order to receive back what they themselves desire.
A marriage is a give-and-take relationship. It is a two way street. You must give the best of what your partner wants in order to obtain the best of what you wish to receive. Men need to learn to be more sensitive and understanding, and women need to learn to be more physical.
Jazakum Allah khayr!
Email 12 of LikeAGarment
Love has many languages. By this, we mean that there are different ways that people express love and recognize it. Many times, the way that a person expresses love is not the same way that their partner wants to hear it.
Imagine, if you will, two people who are speaking different languages to one another – say, Chinese and Swahili. Even though one of them might be saying ‘I love you’ in her language, the other person simply has no clue that this is a message of love. They are not communicating in the same wavelength.
Many times, a person feels unloved by his or her spouse because the expected language to hear that love never materializes. Yet, if the spouse were asked about his or her feelings, it would become clear that true love does actually exist. It’s just a matter of not communicating the feeling of love properly to the other party.
For example, some people express their love by wanting to spend quality time with their beloved. This is generally more common amongst women. If a wife does not get to spend quality time with her husband, she might feel unloved, even if he is showing his love to her in other ways (by spending his money on her, for example). On the other hand, other people express love by physical acts, such as kissing and sexual activity. This is more common amongst men. When a man regularly approaches his wife, he is showing that he loves her. Yet, the wife is not ‘hearing’ this love because in her vocabulary, love must be expressed in a different language – that of time. Unless and until she sees this aspect, she will find it difficult to understand that her husband loves her.
Ibn Mas’ood (ra) related that the Prophet (saw) said; “When a man spends on his family seeking the reward for that from Allaah, then it is charity on his behalf.” [Saheeh Bukhaari]
Sa’d Ibn Abee Waqaas (ra) related that Allaah’s Messenger said; “Indeed, whenever you spend seeking Allaah’s Countenance for doing so, you will be rewarded for it – even for what (i.e., the food) you put in the mouth of your wife.” [Saheeh Bukhaari]
Abu Dharr related that Allaah’s Messenger said; “In the private part of each of you there is charity.”
The companions asked; “O Messenger Of Allaah, does one of us fulfil his (sexual) desire (i.e., have sexual relations with his wife) and still get rewarded?!”
He said; “Yes, do you not see that if one were to use it for haraam (i.e., if one was to have sexual relations with a woman other than his wife) – there would be a sin upon him? And similar is the case of the one who uses it for halaal (purposes)! He has his reward!” [Saheeh Muslim]
Fundamentals Of A Happy Marriage
Faith: The most basic and essential attribute of a Muslim marriage is the common faith that binds the couple.
Since Islam is a way of life and not just a religion confined to weekly worship it becomes an integral part of a Muslim’s life. The frame of reference shared by the couple eases communication and sharing of values which is not possible in an interfaith marriage. It is highly recommended that faith play an important role in the developing a loving relationship.
For example, as the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, that when a husband feeds his wife, he gets a reward for this act and Allah increases the bond of love between them. So when we love each other for the sake of Allah WE ACTUALLY INCREASE OUR FAITH.
Forgiving: When the Prophet Muhammad asked his Companions ‘do you wish that Allah should forgive you’ they said, of course O Prophet of Allah. He responded, ‘then forgive each other’.
One of the main components of a happy marriage is that the spouses are able to forgive, that they do not hold grudges or act judgmental towards each other. It is expected that when we live with someone, situations may arise when we end up saying or doing things that hurt our spouses. The challenge is not to dwell on it or lay blame but to move past it. This can only happen if we are not too proud to ask for forgiveness and we are not stingy to forgive.
If we expect Allah to forgive us than we must learn to forgive.
Forget: When we constantly remind our spouses of all the times they let us down or hurt us we have not truly forgiven. Things that happened in the past must be left there and not be used as fresh ammunition in new situations. Couples who use this technique usually fall in a rut and become victims of their own pettiness, unable to break free.
Forbearance: Sabr (patience) is the most useful tool to have in managing a healthy lifestyle. Being patient and forbearing puts us in a proactive frame of mind it brings us closer to Allah through Tawakul and reliance .We develop an inner mechanism that empowers us to handle life’s difficult moments. As Allah states in Surah al-Asr: “Surely by time humans are at loss, except those who believe and do righteous deeds and counsel each other to the truth and counsel each other to Sabr’ (Quran, chapter 103).
Flexible: Many couples unnecessarily make themselves miserable because they are unwilling to bend a little.
We should not expect our spouses to be our extensions. They are their own selves with personalities, likes and dislikes. We must respect their right to be them selves as long as it does not compromise their Deen (religion). Being inflexible and not accommodating for individual differences leads to a very stressful and tense home atmosphere.
Friendship: This aspect of marriage has three components.
First is to develop a friendship with our spouses.The relationship based on friendship is more able to withstand outside pressures.
We honor, trust, respect, accept and care for our friends, in spite of our differences. These are the aspects of friendship we should bring to our marriages.
Why Marriages Fail
By Shaykh Haitham Al-Haddaad
Part 1: The Scale Of The Problem
Part 2: causes For Divorce
Part 3: Effects Of Pornography