Dr. Aneesah Nadir –
Ramadan is a time to restrain ourselves from bad habits and to establish or reestablish good habits. It often takes 20-30 days to establish a new habit and Ramadan provides this period. It is also time to reestablish and improve our relationship with Allah and His messenger. Reading Qur’an, studying the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), praying more and doing good works are just some of the ways we can establish and reestablish good behavior. This very special 30 days is also an opportunity to reestablish our relationship with our spouse and our family. And if we are single, to develop good habits that we will take into our future married lives. Have you gotten out of the habit of showing gratefulness to Allah for your spouse and all that he or she does to take care of your family and home? Have you stopped showing appreciation for the long hours your spouse spends away from home to bring in a good and steady income for you and the family? Have regular arguments crept into your marriage? Are you praying together less and less? Are you sharing household chores less as a team and expecting that the load is all the wife’s responsibility? When was the last time you sent flowers or prepared a favorite meal or went on a date without the children? Are you like beautiful silky smooth garments for each other or more like a rough scratchy burlap?
The National Muslim Marriage Week Campaign of Islamic Social Services Association-USA (ISSA-USA) coincides with the beginning of Ramadan by design. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life many of us have let go of our good manners and good behaviors toward each other. The real test of how much we’ve learned from the Qur’an and gained from our prayers, khutbahs and classes, is how we treat our spouse and our families. What better way to put into practice the good behaviors and lessons we learn than to increase our love and kindness toward our spouse.
During Ramadan, try a few of the following activities. Note how your relationship is on a scale of 1-10 before Ramadan and how it is by the end (1 = rough and course like a burlap bag. 10 = soft, smooth and silky).
- Pray together more often.
- Read Qur’an together.
- Take a moment after prayer for a short talk about Islamic history, principles or trivia.
- Study the married life of the Prophet and learn and implement his marital character.
- Do something kind for one another each day of Ramadan.
- Be more forgiving.
- Go to taraweeh prayers together or take turns going if you have young children.
- Eat suhoor and iftar together.
- Attend the National Muslim Marriage Week Iftar on Sunday, June 21.
- Celebrate and continue your new habits on Eid ul Fitr and beyond!
Aneesah Nadir, MSW, PhD, is a marriage and family life educator. She is also the president of the Islamic Social Services Association-USA. With an awesome team she coordinates ISSA-USA’s National Muslim Marriage Week Campaign and Annual Iftar. See more at https://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Muslim-Marriage-Week/