Every single day you learn something new about marriage and the meaning of love.
The bottle of love is filled with many different contents — patience, listening, compromise, consideration, trust, faith. You develop a desire to be the best version of yourself, while helping your spouse do the same. You hope and pray that you never hurt your significant other or take advantage of them. You try to be an example for them when it comes to their shortcomings. And you learn how to express your love and care for them, even when you don’t necessarily “feel” like it (because deep down, you really do.)
My husband and I got married just less than a year ago and this was our first Ramadan together. This blessed month is filled with numerous lessons. You learn so much from simple day-to-day interactions, even more so when you’re married. Since you’re so focused on your relationship with God in this month — your relationship with your spouse is inevitably going to thrive. That doesn’t mean you won’t have arguments or be tested, but it means that you’ll understand each other in the most beautiful way, because you’ll go through situations you wouldn’t have experienced at any other time in the year.
Listed below are my top three tips for other married couples who would be spending their first (or one of their first few) Ramadan(s) together in the near future.
If you’ve ever fasted, you know how hungry and easily irritated you (and others) can become before sunset/iftar time. Some individuals have a tendency to develop mood swings, others can lash out from anger, and others get extremely quiet and unexpressive because of their low energy levels. Be aware of the various tendencies all individuals may have while fasting, and be patient with your spouse is he/she falls into one of the categories. It’s important to find signs that may lead to a negative comment, action, or mood — catch them before you can’t and salvage the situation before you don’t know how to respond.
In Surah Ibrahim, Allah SWT tells us that if we are grateful, He will surely increase us in favor. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS. Really. Even if you think you don’t need to, write down a list of 5 things you are grateful for every day and see how your mindset shifts into a much more positive state.
Ramadan is a busy month, especially when you’re in school and/or working full-time. It’s so important to make sure you both take out time for each other and find peace in the sacred times of day — suhoor, iftar, the 5 prayers, taraweeh prayers, and the last third of the night. There’s also immense blessing in making food with each other and helping each other clean up. Use these times of the day as a means to bond with each other, strengthen your relationship, and of course, earn so much reward from the Almighty. Although the bottle of love seems like a complex one, it’s actually really simple. You just have to channel its bad into good, like any other feeling. You have to to use it in ways it can benefit you and those around you, spreading even greater love. You’ll feel internally revived by how simple yet powerful love truly is. You’ll crave the feeling when it’s not there. You’ll want to keep strengthening your love.
But you don’t just strengthen the feeling by words or actions. You strengthen it by holding your ties with the One who created that love, and placed it in your heart. The depth of your love for Him dictates your love for any of His creation. When your love for Him increases, the love your heart knows becomes a more purified, simple love.
As the month comes to an end, you’ll find how you can now close your eyes and not lose sight of the beauty you feel. You’ll find that love is in the divine moment you lower your head and heart, and place your forehead on the ground in humility. Your entire body declares, “O Allah, glory be to You, the Most High.” It’s in the enlightenment that feels almost tangible when you rely on nothing but Him and His word. It’s in the awareness of all love being encompassed by His greater love and mercy.
It’s in the dreams you dream, and the work you do to turn those dreams into reality. It’s in silent reflection and loud observation. Love is the sparkle in his eyes, the light in your heart, the affection in the touch. It’s everywhere, and in everything.
As a Muslim-American Pakistani, Irum's passion for storytelling is rooted in a desire to raise awareness of societal and cultural injustices [in light of combating them.] The young storyteller aims to bring together her passion for raising awareness of societal/cultural injustices and creative storytelling, in order to humanize the "other" in conflict. She also hopes to continue learning and achieving her dreams, all while inspiring other young creatives to do the same.