A snippet for you to think about. There are certain things that are key to a happy marriage, regardless of what society we live in, how modern we are, how successful our careers are or whether our husbands are farmers, doctors or businessmen. Read the following with an open mind, with the main issue being, do you want a happy marriage, or is it more important to promote your own personal desires, to win every argument, and to put your own personal demands above the harmony of the marriage?
A Bedouin woman, in the early stage of Islam, gave this advice to her daughter before her wedding. The women said to her, O My Beloved Daughter, I will give you ten pieces of advice. Remember them and try to live them, you will gain the happiness and respect of your husband.
First: Lead a life of contentment. Be content even with simple food. The dry bread and water that have been eaten with contentment is better than a sumptuous meal that has been eaten after your persistent complaint forced him to grudgingly provide it for you.
Second: My beloved daughter, always listen attentively to what your husband says. Give importance to what he says and do as he says. In this manner, you will soon win a place in his heart because it is not really a person who is beloved, but what the person does that is most loved.
Third: Beloved daughter, tend to your beauty carefully so that whenever he will look at you, he will be pleased with his choice. Within the limits of decency, use as much fragrance as possible and remember that no part of your body or dress should repulse him. [i.e. make sure you are always clean, neat and in a good conduct and good fragrance.]
Fourth: Beloved daughter, To be always attractive to him, put surma or kajal to your eyes (meaning al athmad or powdered kohl), for beautiful eyes makes a person’s whole being beautiful in the eyes of the beholder. Bathe and do ablution regularly, as this is the best perfume and the best way to cleanliness.
Fifth: Beloved daughter, prepare his meals before it is time as hunger becomes a flame if not satisfied. During the hours of rest, keep it quiet and peaceful as disturbed sleep makes a man morose and angry. [i.e. be alert and sensitive to his needs, instead of doing something that aggravates the situation]
Sixth: Beloved daughter, protect his home and his treasure: let no one enter the house without his permission and do not waste his treasure by indulging in exhibition, for treasure can only be tended through good management and the family, only through good sense.
Seventh: Beloved daughter, never disobey him and always keep his secrets, for disobeying such an honourable man would put fuel to fire and revealing his secrets would destroy his trust in you. And you yourself will not be safe from his retaliatory double standards. Someone has rightly said: “To be trusted than to be loved.”
Eighth: My beloved daughter: If he is grieved over something, then do not mention to him anything that has pleased you. Share his grief. When he is happy, don’t disclose your hidden grief and do not complain to your husband. For any of his behaviour. Be happy with him. Otherwise, you will be regarded as one who confuses him. [i.e. there is a time and place for everything. Respect his feelings and what he is going through. Show solidarity, empathy and consideration to the situation. If you do not do so, either, he will see you as lacking emotional respect and will be irritated or annoyed by your lack of understanding.]
Ninth: My beloved daughter: If you wish to be respectable in his eyes, then honour and respect him and act according to his wish. Then, at every stage of your life, you will find him to be your best companion.
Tenth: My beloved daughter: Hold fast to this advice from me. Sweet smelling flowers will not blossom in your life as long as you do not suppress your wish for his pleasure. Many times and the longings that arise in your heart to let his word reign supreme. My dear daughter, my darling! I bid you farewell with this word and give you in Allah’s care. May He put goodness and barakah in you. [i.e. you will never reach what you are looking for to what is beloved to you until you prefer his pleasure over your pleasure, like what he likes over what you like. Put him first, and over time, you will see that he will appreciate you and make you happy.]
Look at this Bedouin woman, living in the desert, who has neither been in school or college, nor graduated from a civilised nation. Look at her understanding of life and her advice to her daughter. And today, look at the majority of the mothers and what advice they give to the daughter before they enter into their matrimonial vows?