islamic topics

Managing the Pain and Pleasure of Relationships

Managing the Pain and Pleasure of Relationships

Relationships are the lifeblood of our journey through this world. Good relationships not only can help us navigate through the challenges of this life more easily but they can be fulfilling and as well invigorating. Bad relationships on the other hand can put one’s life dead in its track. Ask a divorced person who has left a married life – or a person who ended up changing his work due to bad relationships – or ask family members devastated and shattered due to family squabbles. They will all attest to the powerful impact of bad relationships in changing the course of one’s life, while leaving them debilitated in the process.

It’s a no-brainer that good relationships provide the energy that blooms our lives. Building and maintaining good relationships is an art as well as a science, the underlying principles of which come together in a mesmerizing way to make it one of the most important subjects for the human species. Whether realized earlier in life or later through heat of experience, one eventually comes to grips with the fact that the principles of relationships must be learned – and when mastered effectively, enables one to use good judgment, to become more empathetic, become more sensitive to human emotions, better understand personalities, and so much more. All of a sudden, life changes – feels less complicated, more fulfilling, and more controlled.

But one wonders why we humans have made such a promising pursuit of building and maintaining superb relationships not only very complex, convoluted and confusing but many of us fail miserably even at the very basics. Even more baffling is that many of us Muslims fail to follow the ready made recipes that Islam provides us along with the living example of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS), who among many other things was a master of human relationships. No wonder that books on relationships sell more than any other specific topic.

So, a review of the basics is in order –

Relationships can be painful –

No one would argue that being in relationships has the potential to cause enormous mental pain and agony. Whether it’s a spouse verbally assaulting the spouse, a child defying parents and family values, friends violating a trust, or a supervisor putting an employee down, these relationship potholes can wreck souls, can cause us to get a heavy heart and a burdened mind, makes us cry, leaves us frustrated and indifferent and at times leaves us wondering about the value of such relationships in the first place. What’s worse is that when we continue to live in such relationships, we rob our lives of the energy and enthusiasm that could have shaped our lives so much differently than what it ultimately becomes.

The “blame game” rules such relationships. One’s ego is the master. People’s self worth is trampled. Others are at fault. Justice is not present. Life does not seem “fair”. One feels victimized. Insensitivity to feelings rules and the emotional roller coaster seems endless.

Such relationships are in need of serious repair.

Relationships can be pleasing and fulfilling –

On the flip side, healthy relationships can be so much rewarding. Ask a parent about how proud they feel to have raised good and respectful children. Ask a husband or wife about the respect they get from each other. Ask fast friends about the trust they have for each other. Ask strong business partners about the respect they have for each other and so on. Love, trust, and respect uplift our souls, make our lives more fulfilling and meaningful, and make us thankful for our relationships.

Such relationships need not just be cherished but more importantly they need to be maintained.

Relationships must be actively managed (build, maintain, and if necessary repair) –

So, how do we manage the pain and pleasure associated with such relationships? It’s actually quite simple – in theory at least. You manage a relationship by actively working on it and by constantly renewing it. If you are even a moderately practicing Muslim, you know how that works. You know that relationship with your Creator is the most important one. Even in those cases, the relationship must be renewed.

Consider the saying of the Prophet (SAWS) who said, Faith wears out in your heart as clothes wear out, so ask Allah to renew the faith in your hearts.” (narrated by al-Haakim in his Mustadrak and al-Tabaraani in his Mu’jam with a saheeh isnaad).

So, again – you manage relationships by actively working on them. And that means that if you are having challenges with your relationships, you should step out of your “default mode” in how you deal with relationships.

You see, most of us manage relationships in a “default mode”. That’s the mode that we learn and develop subconsciously while growing up. The default mode is the way we are mentally wired to deal with people and relationships in general. The better our relationships were managed at home while growing up, the better our default mode would be and the better we would be to build and maintain good relationships with others, our spouses, and other acquaintances. Growing up while observing families in lousy relationships makes ones default mode develop in the same manner – something that other people can’t live with – unless of course one takes concrete steps to change those learned behaviors. For example, did you know that research has established that most criminals come from broken homes, where they were abused as children while growing up? Although this scary fact applies to only a small fraction of people, it serves to illustrate the point that when unchecked, bad relationships can lead to devastating consequences.

Shifting out of your default mode of dealing with relationships is about a change in attitude toward other people – it’s about a change that others can notice – it’s about expressing your appreciation, and doing things for others. For some of us it’s easy and for some it’s not.

Ideally, one should start learning from early childhood the basics of building and maintaining good relationships. No wonder that a number of schools now have adopted curriculum that teaches building good relationship skills right from pre-school years. In parallel, parents should strive to maintain a healthy social environment at home as well. Although no formal research done on this topic, many observations attest to the fact that unfortunately in most Muslim countries, the awareness for such education is far less than what exists in western societies. That is very unfortunate as the life of the prophet (SAWS) is exemplary in how well he treated people, families, children and encouraged parents to treat children.

Once children are raised in homes where they are taught to respect and manage relationships, it in turn helps them to grow up to be strong individuals as they become adept at building and maintaining very strong relationships with people in all walks of life. Doing so becomes a second nature and helps the person in relationships with family, friends and work. The “default mode” of such people thus turns out to be quite healthy.

Have you ever wondered about what your default mode is in dealing with people? Do your loved ones cherish your behavior or do they run from your verbal assaults? Reflect on this hadith: ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘As, may Allah be pleased with them, said: A person asked Allah’s Messenger (may peace and blessings be upon him) who among Muslims was better. Upon this (the Holy Prophet) remarked: One from whose hand and tongue Muslims are safe.

So, assess your default mode of dealing with people, families and friends – if you don’t like it and if you believe that your loved ones don’t like it too, may be it’s time to consider making some changes – starting today – starting now!

Once you start making the change, you will notice that it is not rocket science. In fact, most of you exercise those skills in business settings regularly. For example, what will you do to maintain a good business relationship that is very vital for your business and income? More commonly it involves some of the following:

  • Being empathetic to your client needs – listening with an open mind and heart
  • Being very serious and sincere to eliminate any misunderstandings
  • Going of your way to be appreciative of the relationship that you have with them
  • Going out of your way to be apologetic
  • Always keeping a pleasing and charming attitude
  • and so on…

Many of us in our business and professional dealings do the above constantly. The sense of purpose in the need to keep our business going and flourishing, makes us not only do the above but makes many of us come up with the most creative and innovative ways to keep our business partners happy. It’s a no-brainer. It’s common sense.

But not very surprisingly, the same “brain” and “sense” starts to malfunction when it comes to personal relationships within our families. That’s where something gets lost in the process. So, it’s not that we do not know how to manage relationships – we just prioritize things differently and we don’t make the right connections in our minds.

Prioritize your relationships –

Do you know anyone who spends more time strengthening relationships with their friends and business partners than their own families? Does that make sense? Let’s face it – certain relationships are more important than others and therefore deserve more time and effort than others. For example, it just would not make sense for you to hold your friends in high respect while you mistreat your parents. You can’t abandon your own children and be helping other children. Charity always begins at home.

Even in Islam that teaches respect, love, patience and understanding as the cornerstone of all relationships, certain relationships are given more priority over others. There are numerous accounts in the Quran and Hadith about the importance given to certain relations. For example, in a well-known hadith, Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “A man came to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, who among the people is most deserving of my good companionship?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ The man asked, ‘Then who?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ He asked, then who?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ He asked, ‘Then who?’ He said, ‘Your father.’”

It is also reported, on the authority of Ayesha (R.A.) and Ibn Umar (R.A.) that the messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said “The Angel Jibra’il (A.S.) counseled me so frequently regarding the rights of the neighbor that I feared, he too would be declared an heir.”

Just because you are “around” your family members more, doesn’t mean that you spend the least amount of time nurturing those relationships.

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship? Such are they whom Allah has cursed, so that He has made them deaf and blinded their sight” [Surah Muhammad 47:22]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “No one who severs the ties of kinship will enter Paradise.” Narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh.

Relationships can be repaired –

Look around you and you won’t have to look far to see a broken home, or a community at odds with itself. Everyone probably knows someone (if not within our own circles) who walks angry at someone, hurt by someone, frustrated with someone, irritated by others, and sick of life in general.

Such relationships that involve people holding grudges against others, accompanied by emotional roller coasters, verbal assaults and emotional outbursts obviously involve a lot of pain and thus need an active reparation process.

More often than not, spousal relationship topics top all other form of relationships that need repair. So, it needs specific mention. How would you classify your relationship with your spouse? Is it bad or routine at best? Once relationships become routine, spouses in a troubled relationship are less forgiving, amplify mistakes, and throw verbal assaults more than they are cheerful to each other. What one spouse does for the other as part of a routine activity of running household errands, working to make a living, raising children, etc. is taken for granted. For example, “appreciation” does not cross the wife’s mind for her husband working hard to make a living and the husband does not see anything extraordinary in the mother keeping the house on track and raising children.

As the focus in such “boring-to-get-worse-soon” relationships shifts from the good to the bad and even more to the ugly, there is a need to break that thinking pattern and to start focusing on the “good”. With time, the tendency is to start ignoring the qualities and instead to focus on the negatives. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “No believing man should hate a believing woman: if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will like another.” (Reported by Muslim, 36). The prophet (SAWS) also said as narrated by Abu Hurairah: “He who does not thank people, does not thank Allah”. (Ahmad, Tirmidhi)

So, sprinkle a few words of understanding and appreciation in the routine or not so routine relationships and you will see your relationships improve, hearts clamed and souls less jittery. You just can’t repair a relationship without these basics – else, you either get a boring relationship or could be headed for more trouble.

Relationships are defined by a person’s character and mental strength –

A person’s strength in many ways is a reflection of the strength of his or her relationships. A person who is weak succumbs to unbridled emotions, uncontrolled anger and erratic thought processes. These in turn are a perfect recipe for poisoning relationships. Contrary to some misunderstood cultural beliefs, uncontrolled anger and emotional outbursts show a person’s weakness rather than his “manly” attributes. Such a character stems from a person’s upbringing that lacked focus on Islamic values. The truth as Islam teaches us is that a strong person manages his emotions and directs them appropriately to build and manage relationships rather than using them to damage relationships.

To get a glimpse of how anger should be handled, we need to study the life of Prophet. When we study the prophet’s behavior and the behavior of his companions, we will likely understand that verbal assaults are NOT the way to manage anger. But obviously, when we are weak, we succumb to the whims and desires of the untrained mind and in the process unleash such behavior. Abu Hurairah narrated that Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said: ” The strong man is not the one who is strong in wrestling, but the one who controls himself in anger ” (Bukhari, Muslim).

The ultimate relationships is the one with our Creator –

Finally, let’s not forget that the ultimate relationship that any one of us can have is that with our Creator. Establishing such relationship is the cornerstone of an Islamic faith. Such a relationship also helps fills the gap left out by the anxieties, loneliness, depressions and other emotional roller coasters that one goes through in life.

In a Hadith the Prophet (PBUH) said that Allah said: “..my servant does not come closer to Me with anything more dear to Me than that which I made obligatory upon him. My servant keeps coming closer to Me with more volunteer deeds, until I love him. When I love him, I become His ear by which he hears, his eyes by which he sees, his hand by which he holds and his foot by which he walks. If he asks Me any thing I shall give him. If he seeks My protection I shall grant him My protection… “(Al-Bukhari 6021)

Use good old common sense –

Before closing, we all need to remind ourselves that building and managing healthy relationships and avoiding the potholes of bad relationships involves the use of basic common sense. Stepping away from the heat of the moment – correcting others respectfully without destroying their self worth – disassociating oneself from negative emotions – reflecting on the cause and effect behavior that shapes good and bad relationships, and other such basics can bring about clarity and a change in our attitudes. It can help us break the pattern that we can get repeatedly pulled into. Remember, what Einstein said – “The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. If your relationships are bad then change how you are contributing to those relationships. You will be surprised to see how things change.

If we think and reflect, we will begin to get the answers to the common day to day problems that many of us face in our daily lives. We will learn that in close relationships, sometimes love and respect need to supersede the desire to prove oneself right and the other wrong. Some more thinking and reflection will lead us to the fact that a daughter-in-law and mother-in-law relationship can rarely be strong if the man in the middle does not have a good relationship with both. We will learn that children ought to be taught the essentials of relationships early on in their life – something that an Islamic education will teach more than their secular education at school or elsewhere. Thinking and reflection will make it dawn on us that love and respect in most cases needs to be earned by one’s own behavior and not demanded and forced. And the list can go on…

Parting remarks –

Finally, if you think these tips apply to others and not to your situation – think again. The foundation of most of these insights was taught by our Prophet SAWS and he came with practical guidelines for the entire humanity at large. That is where we may need to become strong and change our attitudes.

What do you think? Do you have any tips and stories that you want to share with others that will help others strengthen their relationships? Please share them with everyone below.

PS: Please do not forget to rate the article below…

The IqraSense.com Blogger

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42 comments… add one
  • Assalamualekum WRWB

    Masha Allah very nice and thorough article
    Jazakallahi Khair

  • Salam aleikum, this is such an uplifting and excellent article. Thank you.

    One of the main problems in society is the broken home. The married couple in Britain (where I come from) is praised with awe if they have remained married for more than 10 years. Divorce is rife, families split assunder causing generations of grief and patience in relationships has withered due to pressure from media. We are taught our ‘rights’ in womens’ magazines but not our responsibilities. Teenagers are encouraged to break away from too-strict parents/carers. The ‘id’ is fed with t.v. soaps, instant meals, greed for material wealth and drinking/drugging, ‘living-on-credit’ culture so that we live in a twilight world of so-called ‘comfort’ when in actual fact we are slaves. We need to get the basics of good family values back and that would be a good beginning. I have always said that a broken home is a broken society and therefore a weakened country. Education for young Muslims is absolutely urgently necessary and we should all strive for this.

    • NOORJAHAN

      AS SALAM WA LAKUM.I totally agree with your thesis i would just like to add to it that our muslim families and communities are adopting the ideals and culture of the western society during the late 19th century.The western family is now reverting to the original teachings our Beloved Prophet PBUH and doctrines of islam involuntarily.Where as the muslim ummah are far from it.Educating our youth and elders of this plight is absolutely necessary…thank you and salam.

  • Aysha

    salamz….

    well this is a great article about
    relationships…..

    jazakallah…

  • Dr. Bushra

    Assalam-o-Alakum,
    It is a very nice article which covered all aspects in brief.
    May ALLAH give us Hadiyat & strength to preach Islam.

  • As salmu alaikum, I appreciate this article. It allowed me to see my faults and make and effort to reflect on them. I want to add that many of these relationships, marital I mean, are because many of us revert to Islam and have no real islamic training at home on how to be husbands, wives and on how to raise children. The Prophet(SAW) is the best example for us and insha ALLAH we all learn how to impliment His(SAW) example. Ameen. It’s not as hard as we make it seem. Masha ALLAH.

    Wasalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

  • Salam Alikom,
    It is a very nice article and if you allow me I may add:

    In all matters including relation with other pepole as I always say “Frustrations come from high expectations”, so do what you have to do (your job, caring about your family, and sharing with ideas on how to improve you residence work, neighberhood, city, country, Islamic world and even the whole world) but expect less. God will pay you on good intensions and hard work not on the results “if you succeed or not”, even if the others dont apperciate or pay you back even with a simple thanks or a smile.

    Be forgiving and try to find excuse for bad behaviour of other pepole. The simplest excuse is the lack of good faith. Dont be angry with pepole try to explain the rules of nice relations in Quran and Sonna to them without trying to be authoritative and ask God to show them the right way in you prays.

    Always try to look at matters of debate from the others’ point of view and remeber that they may be right or you dont have a real difference it is just you look at the same thing from different angle.

    Learn the art of “let Go” for unimportant issues and for fruitless debates.

    Apart from the established religious believes different points of view should never be a reason for having bad relations.

    Try to be nice to others by saying kind words to them, call them by their beloved names or nick names ask the about their children and family specially their loved ones say hello and if possible shake their hands when you meet them specially those who are less than you and you will be the Prince or Princess of Charm in your community.

    Be serious in serious matters and be nice, kind, pleasent, caring and forgiving in all other matters as was profit Mohamed (Sala Allah Alih Wa Sallam) with his family, maids, friends and neighbours even with his Jewish neighbour who used to leave his trash in front of his house.

    Thank you for giving me the chance to share ideas with you and Salaam Alikom WRB

  • Zakiya

    Assalamu alaikum, the posted article has struck a chord with me. Just to share on how I dealt with a bitter relationship which turns out good…after 6 long years. My husband has a good heart but was a constantly angry man. Some may say the way I dealt with the situation is down right old fashioned or passive but it worked…and maybe some one else can benefit from my sharing….

    I find that relationships is not just about skills but it has to do a lot with our attitudes, to start with. This was what constantly going through my head and my heart over the years :
    I reckoned that Allah puts me in this marriage for a reason and through His wisdom. Also reminded by the ayah “that Allah does not put a burden unto a man more than he can carry”. That I have contracted into this marriage Lillahi Taala. That the marriage contract entitles the husband to a certain rights and the children have rights to lead a happy beginning. Constant zikr helps to reduce the pain and to get close to Allah. I simply assume he is not mature enough to deal with his ego and emotions and Allah has sent me as his teacher.

    Allah helped me….I managed to stay happy, simply refused to be sucked into his bitterness. Shared with him how Rasulullah deals with situations and what are his priorities in life. It takes him so many years to confront his insecurities and come to his senses and build emotional strength. All of us need to recognise that Rasullullah has shown us a beautiful way and by practising his attitudes towards life and mannerisms will save us a lot of pain (plus monies from relationship books. Yes, that too)…..and gain rewards in both worlds. Wassalam.

  • Assalamalaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu. The main thing in maintaining relationship even in between 2 persons or a society is, only adjustment and tolerance – difference in ideology is a natural thing. Even two sisters, two brothers, will have their own stand on same issue. only we have to become tolerant and try to adjust with others.

    Hadi – Hyderabad India

  • ahmed

    Asalam alykum warahmatullahi wabarakatu, jazakallah kheir for your contribution in educating muslim brothers and sisters

    ‘their is no relationship that ALLAH loves like when two people love each other becouse of ALLAH and on the right path e.g praying together reciting quran and hadiths together and giving good advice to each other and if they are to break their relation also becouse of ALLAH that is if your friend start persueding you to do things that ALLAH prohibits e.g zina ,drinking alcohol and not praying’

  • Zohra Lasania

    Assalam Alaikum WW,

    Thanks for a very insightful aritcle, very much applicable in today’s world. Humans are full of faults, that is what makes us humans. But we have to strive to better our conduct and such articles remind us where we lag behind, and where we need to correct our selves in order to function in harmony with people around us, following the path laid down in the Qur’an and the hadiths.

    Jazakallah.

    Zohra Lasania

  • Syed Ehtram Ali

    Salaam Alaikum
    It is a good blog about cordially maintaining relationship in family, friends and world but at family level one who is always nice but all others take advantage of him of being nice and give him names and brand him as naive, weak, and coward then what should he do? Years and years of endless support to his kith and kin did not make them think that he is being kind, generous and forgiving for all their faults and mistakes and all their insults and dishonoring remarks – then what should one do? If he severs his relationship after testing the sincerity of lovedones for over a two or three decades – will he become bad in the eyes of Allah and his messenger?

    I believe maintaining of relationship should be from both sides and cordial. It should not be or never one sided. So I would suggest this article should consider an aspect of respect for each other (elder and young) father and son, mother and duaghter, mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, father-in-law and son-in-law, friends and neighbors, etc. etc.

    Love and respect should be on reciprocal basis. It should not be from only one side and the other side is only on the receiving end. I know one should not expect anything in return from the others except Allah s.w.t. but we are simple human beings and and definitely expect atleast simple words of thank you or may Allah reward you or your help is appreciated by us.

    I am willing to share all personal experiences and life stories of me and my parents…..

  • fatin mohamed

    Salaam U Alaikum This ariticle has uplifted me so much because i am in a painful marriage right now and I kept praying to Allah to help and protect me because i have a husband who does not listen to me on anything he severed the ties of my family he spent 10 years in prison after committing adultery and i waited for him and finally moved away to Egypt with him…i am suspicious about women here i talk until i am blue in the face I can admit to my faults and ask Allah to forgive me for my shortcomings I think that i become so angry because he does not listen to me and he tell me that everything i talk about is petty but this is all a show for him not to think he is doing anything wrong well i could go on and on but the most important thing is that this article has made me feel so good that I know Allah put it here for me to find may he bless the one who printed this article because it has defitnately made my day and made me want to praise Allah every chance i get because i love Allah more than anyone and he has made guidelines for me to have a wonderful llife All Praise be to Allah Allahu Akbar

  • Syed Zafar

    Excellent article. I pray that all of us including myself put this into practice. Nobody is stopping us from doing that except ourselves and our false pride.
    Top companies spend millions of dollars on training their staff in such courses of management.
    We are blessed to have received it free from our Prophet SAW, his life and Allah SWT book -The Holy Quran. May ALLAH guide us and allow us to lead by example.
    As parents, it is our duty to make sure that our children learn about Islam, its history and teachings.
    I want to thank the contributors for such a nice article and discussion. Salam alai kum.

  • Hayat

    Salam – and Good morning.

    I am a recently converted Muslim.
    This one short statement envelopes all aspects of the (very nicely written) article.

    After 42 years of life I have the one observation I would like to offer to share with the readers:

    You will never please everyone. If you do right by your family, you will probably do wrong by the in-laws, if you do right by your spouse (either husband or wife) hormones, the moon, the kids will get in the way and the next quarrel is inevitably looming on the horizon, if you do right by your kids chances are you are crossing your spouse, if you do right by your boss your coworkers will call you a brown nose – if you do right by your coworkers, the boss may call you a trouble maker, if you are successful with your hard work people will be envious – if you do just enough to make ends meet (and despite the fact that You are happy) they may call you lazy.

    Comment #2 by Nour states all the facts of the deterioration of family values and the subsequent braking apart of the family unit, while Syed in #11 is worried about falling from grace for drawing a protective line between himself and his own kin.

    In my – hard and painfully gathered – experience, there are only two people in life whom you have to – and whom you CAN – please: your God and yourself. If you make the utmost effort to please your God (incl. respecting His creation) and if in the deepest depth of your soul you are convinced you are doing the best possible to be a considerate, kind, compassionate and generous human being within your world – in my eyes you have fulfilled all requirements.

    Why does my initial statement encompass all aspects of the article – because when I converted I did it for my God and for myself, to be closer to Him, to strengthen our relationship – in the knowledge that as long as he is pleased with me, He in His infinite wisdom will lead me in the right direction (sometimes gently, sometimes I need a nudge – sometimes I even need a good kick in my posterior) and keep me on the right path.

    I could not care what my parents said – in the end though grateful to them, I have to live my life. I did not care what my friends said – I actually lost most of them due to their uneducated fear and misconceptions. I lost my job – because I worked in politics… I lost my husband – because his country is at war with my fellow believers, and he did not have the courage to love me against all odds. BUT: although my father is estranged from me, I have a much deeper relationship with my mother now, those few friends that are still around have turned out to be the cream of the crop, a sheer delight in my life (and my family), I am slowly building my own business, and my new partner is embracing and learning about Islam along with me, with even his parents coming to terms with the facts because they have met me and realize WHO I am as opposed to WHAT I am. It is more than I can say for my own kin.

    My life has gotten better, richer, more sincere, my relationships have a new quality – and life is easier and lighter now that the pressures to keep up others’ standards have gone – more rewarding now that I receive the respect for my decisions and my faith.

    Relationships and their daily confrontations require COURAGE –
    courage to believe in your God and your Faith, courage to believe in yourself and your judgement, courage to say NO to the imposed so-called “values” set by others, courage to maintain the strength to progress in your own development, courage to defy peer pressure, courage to drown out all the noisemakers and listen to your own thoughts and intuitions – courage to put others and their needs first, courage to show gratitude, courage to ask for and accept help, courage to listen, courage to love despite all odds and at the risk of being hurt, courage to keep an open mind and open heart, courage to accept others and yourself for who we are with all our faults and “defaults”.

    Although humans fare better with some code of conduct, a guideline, a legal system (because we tend to choose the path of the least resistance, because it is so much easier to be a follower than a leader) – in the end we need to follow our heart to hear His voice.

    I wish you all courage – and His blessings
    respectfully yours – Hayat

    • Deqa

      I had to respond to your comment because it really spoke to me personally. I am going through somewhat a rough patch and I was amazed to hear your story. It sure speaks courage in all angles and areas. Jazakallah for your efforts. Ameen for your dua, May allah give us all courage and May Allah help you in all your endeavours and guide you to the right path and all muslims.

  • Anonymous

    Salam, Alhamdulillah! this blog is so educating and interesting.
    Keep it up

  • Yasin Ali

    Assalaam aleikum, well written out article. We havent mentioned the real cause of stress in relationships( marital is the major concern here). Lets try and list out problems and be practical. 1-No longer attracted to your partner? 2- problems arising from financial aspect and pouring over to cause strife at home? Behaviour incompatibility? the list is endless. These problems are real and there is no book or therapy that is going to give a quick relief and answer. The solution requires patience and understanding and above all the fear of Allah. The shaitan praises his emmisarry who manages to break a marriage in a days work. Poverty can only be solved by Dua to the Almighty. The hadith that was quoted in the article the prophet (p.b.u.h) said one shouldnt hate a believing woman, one of her characters will be good. It shows that nothing is ideal. If one is no longer pleased with her looks then her character will be pleasing which is more long lasting good than the looks. The point here is that with are on war against our desires.We will always be in trouble if we follow our desires contrary to what ALLAH (SWT) instructs us to do. The pain of relationships is here to stay. Even the prophet ( pbuh) faced challenges with his relationship with his wives(may ALLAH be pleased with them). The way we handle the situation is what is important. If we stick to the Quran and Sunnah then Allah willing we shall be able to control the situation. All the misery in this world has something to do with Emotions and this is the real weapon of Shaitan. Being in control of our lives stems from our following the Quran and the Sunnah. These will provide solutions and i again reiterate there is no ascaping the pain the way we handle it is the issue.

  • Halima

    Assalam Aliekum, this is a very nice and timely article cos i believe Allah sent it to me as a succour. Just cried this morning over the turn of thngs in my marriage. Tried to see if we could talk things out and make thngs work out but he shouted at me that he needed his sleep.
    Dont know if i should be telling you this, but i feel my relationship is simply that of a “master- servant” kind. we dont laugh together, seek advice from each other, discuss issues together or even have a spouse relationship anymore! Initially i tried in my way to make things work out, later i got fed up cos am always the one making the “peace- initiave” and left things the way they were but now i just feel for the sake of the kids we should try and talk things over and now i feel hurt, rejected and deflated.
    It will probably take sometime for me to summon up courage to initiate things again but at least i feel better now that i have let out my emotions through this article.
    These things are rampant and tell on the kids.
    Maasalam.

  • Assalamu alaikum,
    THANK YOU FOR THIS THOUGHT PROVOKING ARTICLE! IT IS REALY TIMELY BECAUSE OF THE MANY DISTRACTIONS IN OUR LIVES, BOTH YOUNG AND OLD.WE TRUELY HAVE TO GO BACK TO THE TEACHINGS IN THE QURAN AND HADITH.

    MAASALAM.

  • Inuwa Ya'u

    Assalamu Alaikum,
    This article is quite enriching and informative.it give hope to battered relationships and will therefoer go along way in correcting the squableswe see in our homes today.keep the good work and May Allah(SWA) give you the wisdom and the direction to write more on this excellent topic and many more important ones.
    Maassalam

  • Wonderful article…Inshallah the one who makes his seerah like that of the Prophet will be the one who can maintain and build beautiful relationships.

  • A.sadiq

    jazakumullah bi khairin what an interesting article.as for me i’ve been encouraged more to continue developing and managing good relationships with those around me & hope muslims brothers and sisters will try to do so.

  • ummu ali

    Assalamu alaykum,

    Wonderful & very informative article.

    My marriage is not very happy. Generally, my husband is good in many ways, to other people. i often asked him if he can be good to others why not to a person who supported him most of his life in every single thing that i could possibly do, in the true meaning of the word. sadly so, my efforts are never appreciated.

    He is insensitive to my needs, most of the time if i am going through a difficult situation i am dealing with it alone. There are times that he will not even asked me how i am if i am sick.

    I turned to Allah several times when i wanted to live him, prayed Istikharah several times, but it is always resulting to going back to each other.

    I do not fail praying Allah to him a better husband. & i am holding on to this Hadith: “No believing man should hate a believing woman: if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will like another.” (Reported by Muslim, 36).

    • parveen

      dear ummu ali,
      i guess we are sailing in the same boat all we can do is wait for allah’s hidayat nothing else can melt their hearts

  • sarah

    good article. you surely have helped other Muslims. May Allah reward you.

  • Abdullatif Manjothi

    Very Good Advice and hopefully lot of ignorant muslims will take heed of the advice

  • ABDULHAFIZ

    I can only say thank you. thank you very much and jeza’ekumelah kHEIR

  • s.begum

    Brilliant article

  • Dr.Shahul Hameed

    Thought provoking article.May Allah reward those who are working on this.May Allah give us thoufeeq to follw the path of our beloved prophet SAW in all the matters of life including relations with parents ,family and friends.My humble request is to avoid misunderstanding and avoid assuming things especially in the matters of family relations.Quran has strongly warned agaist assuming things and the consequences of the same.Also beware that Saithan is vigilantly watching to inflame the situation.We seek refuge from his fitna from Allah.SWT.Ameen

  • RAHAMA AHMED

    salam, Jazzakallahu khair. am educated i bliv most Muslims are 2. may Allah reward you Abundantly.

  • Mumtaz

    Lots & lots of Dua to all who helped on such beautiful article.

    Thanks

  • Minhaj Mansoor

    assalamu alaikum wr wb
    JZK .The article is interesting and it will definitely help me a lot to secure relationships which had turned bad.

  • sheik

    ASSALAMWALAEKUM
    BEAUTIFUL ARTICLE.CLEARLY EXPLAINED–ABT RELATIONSHIPS.
    THANKS,
    I KNOW WHERE I AM WRONG.
    HOPE OTHERS WILL AS WELL….

  • Assalmu Alaikum,

    I’ve been reading the articles on this site since last week and I must say that I have been truly enlightened. I’m experiencing marital challenges myself. So much so that I have considered a legal seperation but then I realized I have for a better part of my thirty years on this earth been driven by my emotions. Now that I am working on my iman I’ve realized that I really need to make a change. I will continue to pray. It has not been easy but Allah (swt) knows why I am facing these challenges today.

    • parveen

      dear sister farida, never ever think of a seperation if you have children always make them your foremost priority because nothing can replace a mother

      • Ansari

        Dear Sister Parveen Very good advice. I request every mother ro think 10 times before taking a decision. May Almighty Allah quide us the right path. Amin.

  • parveen

    jazakallah for the detailed article
    yes its very true to ignore the other person’s fault but may allah guide us always and our children to be on the right path ameen!

  • Amera

    Assallamu Alikeum – I am very grateful for iqrasense.com – I have read so many articles that have given me reason to beleive that I need to make a change within myself. Yes, I pray, read Quran on a daily basis, and Elhumdillah do whatever I can to better myself. However, I kept looking at the faults of my spouse instead of realizing that I had to change. Yes, I always supported my spouse in everything he did, I stood by him. But inside of me was an emotional roller coaster – expression was and sometimes still is difficult for me – needless to say a lot was bottled up. I have since learned the importance of honest communication – The importance of treating a person the way you would want to be treated and treating your spouse like a friend/co-worker – a few kind words go a long way and bring many kind words right back.

  • Halimah

    Salam Alaikum.
    May Allah in his infinte mercy make it easy for us all. well written article. may Allah continue to increase your iman.

  • Saima Iram

    Assalamualaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barkatuhu,

    To all my dear Muslim brothers and sisters who feel “at the hang” of their respective relationships with people around them, to them I suggest a rather direct and the best way to tackle their problems. When we build a firm and a warm relationship with our Creator, Allah Subahanahu wa Ta’alah, it is only then that we become emotionally and mentally stable to deal with others. Obviously, then, our relationships will automatically fall into their places, with Allah’s Will. We should also constantly pray to Him to reconcile between our hearts and place love, out of His Mercy, between them.

    May Allah reconcile everything between those who despise each other and keep them from the Fire and it’s dwellers (and any of their qualities).
    Ameen.

    With love and Islamic greetings,
    Saima.

  • Sameena

    Alhamdulillah! JazakAllah Khair for a wonderful article – a real eye opener to all that’s going wrong in relationships and the urgent need to correct it the right way. Some points worth repeating are:
    1. Correcting others respectfully without destroying their self worth
    2. Love and respect need to supersede the desire to prove oneself right and the other wrong.
    3. A daughter-in-law and mother-in-law relationship can rarely be strong if the man in the middle does not have a good relationship with both.
    4. Children ought to be taught the essentials of relationships early on in their life – something that an Islamic education will teach more than their secular education at school or elsewhere.
    5. Love and respect in most cases needs to be earned by one’s own behavior and not demanded and forced.

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