Don’t misuse Talaq, make your marriage work!

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By Haroon Ishola-Balogun

Allah (S.W.T) could have ruled that the Prophets had a perfect marriage without any marital dispute. But He chose otherwise. In the seerah, you will find out that the best human being ever created by Allah is Prophet Muhammad and the best wives ever made for him are his beloved wives, Ummuatul-Mumineen, yet they had marital disputes. The Bukhari and Muslims recorded minor arguments between them just as in the Glorious Quran, Allah reveals how marital disputes can be settled.
If Allah had wanted, He could have decreed that the Prophets had a marriage without any dispute. But He chose to do it that way mainly to teach us that the best example of human being about all issues of life is in His Prophet and beloved Messenger, Muhammad bin Abdullah. (s.a.w).
Again, if He had done that, it wouldn’t have been a marriage we can look on to as a model. It would have been angelic marriage which would not have been beneficial to us. The fact that Allah willed that even the best human being had marital issues.
There was a time Aisha (r.a) raised her voice against the Prophet following a disagreement, Abu-Bakr As-Sidiq (Aisha’s father) came in about that time, the Prophet was sitting quietly, then Abu-Bakr said: “You dared raised your voice against the messenger of Allah”, and he raised his hand to hit her then Aisha ran to the Prophet for protection. Abu-Bakr was furious and he left immediately in anger. He returned after 20 minutes. He was surprised but happy to see two of them laughing and joking. This is marital life and a perfect example for us.
Also, we read in the seerah that Hafsah bint Umar was very intelligent and sometimes argue with the Prophet and would always maintain silence and they would come together in the next minute.
Hafsah was a brave and tough wife and very intelligent too. She most time, she maintained her ground when discussing issues with her husband and even argued and disputed with him sometimes. But the next minute, they were happy together.

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One day, while speaking to Hafsah’s mother, Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) was reproaching his wife Hafsah’s mother for arguing and raising her voice against him, then Hafsah’s mother said: “Your daughter keeps arguing with the Messenger of Allah until she upsets him for the whole day. What will you do to her?”
Umar immediately put on his cloak and went directly to his daughter’s house and asked her: “Is it true that you argue with the Messenger of Allah?” Hafsah relied “Indeed I do.”
Umar was just about to chastise her for what he considered were bad manners, when the Prophet (s.a.w) came into the room and stop him from touching her.
I have personally adopted the model. May Allah make it easy for us all. I have been in marriage for 18 years now and I can tell you the best moment of your life and also the most painful moment of your life will come from your partner. The sweetest and the most bitter is encapsulated in your spouse, husband or wife attitude or behaviour to you. You have got to manage him or her. He or she is your life partner, the father or mother of your children, she would be your mother after your biological mother had gone and your father after biological father had gone, (both ways) and that is the reality of marriage life. That is the absolute truth. Unfortunately, those who are not yet married think the experiences they garnered from movies and dramas on television are only what it takes. They have a very warped idea about marriage. You cannot talk about marriage if you are not in it. What will suffice is the consummation of marriage and living with one another. If you are 40 and you are not married, you can argue back and forth, bring up some theories and gender rights or equality and juxtapose it with your movie experience. But if you are 20 and married with kids you will have more experience and look at issues in difference perspective, vis-a-vis your roles as a father or mother and husband or wife. Don’t make mistake, this is not in terms of economic power, it is in terms of emotion, love and relationship.
Again, your experience is still not also full even if you dashed out of marriage. This is because it is not meant to be dashed in and out. That is not the purpose of marriage. We understand there some extreme cases, but it is all about endurance and love. Allah only prescribed divorce as the last resort and not something to use to satisfy your whims.
As Muslims, yes, we may be influenced by culture sometimes, but the life of the Prophet is a pattern to follow. We should understand our roles as husband and wives. It is not a matter of which role is more important, we should also know that both roles are complementary.
Dear couple, you need to prioritize your marriage. It is better to make Allah and the Quran your Guidance. It is better to model you marriage in the marriage of Prophet and his wives. Allah says in the Quran 33:21, “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.”
Marriage is a commitment, it’s commonly interpreted as a roller-coaster ride by many. Once you get into the roller coaster you have to make a commitment to ride it out. All may not be rosy but you have to make a commitment to save the marriage. It is only when this commitment to save it is present that is only when Allah makes it work. It is only in this part of the world especially the northern part of the country where Talaq is pronounced with ease of it and discard their wives. It is here where we have lots of Ulama who teach consistently about the religion that we misinterpret Talaq and other issues in Islam and go further to do the wrong thing. Yes, like I said earlier, Talaq is prescribed but only as a last and final resort. It is not an immediate thing on the slightest of provocation like it is done today. The Quran prescribed it as an escape route. Like in a plane, when everything is not working again, after all efforts to save it have failed and it is leading to a crash; and death is imminent, that is only when you are required to take the escape route and other safety measures. The Quran prescribed it as safety measure which we take before flying in a plane. We only need to know it, we don’t pray to use it.
No matter what happens, the couple should know that Allah has made marriage to have its ups and downs, highs and lows. What is required is that commitment to rise above the unpleasant time and make the union lasting. They need to make certain sacrifices and compromises to make the marriage work. Allah says: “ If they desire reconciliation, Allah will restore harmony between them. Surely Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware” (Quran 4: 35). This means that both couples must first desire conciliation, then Allah will bless it and make it work. I will leave any warring couple to read and ponder on this verse: “If a woman fears indifference or neglect from her husband, there is no blame on either of them if they seek settlement, which is best. Humans are ever inclined to selfishness. But if you are gracious and mindful of Allah, surely Allah is All-Aware of what you do.” (Quran 4:128)

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