Ideally, a Muslim marriage represents a beautiful, blessed journey of a woman and man united in their values to serve Allah through their soulful companionship and a daily intentional practice of good thoughts, good words, and good deeds.

As a psychotherapist in the Muslim community, I’ve observed a rise in the number of divorces and separation due to disharmony in marriage.

Despite the hundreds of religious texts, practices, self-help books, and podcasts that teach us ways to demonstrate love, compassion, care, and kindness, marital problems continue to soar.

So, what exactly are we failing to understand about human connection and soulful companionship?

Is it that we use words without practising the essence of those words? For example, we use words like love, kindness, compassion, empathy, and so on, but we don’t really understand how to translate these words into action.

Take the following examples:

Husband surprises his wife by cleaning the pantry, but when wife sees the pantry, she tells him off for putting everything in the wrong place. She doesn’t thank him, instead storms off in anger.

Another example is when the husband is glued to his phone instead of helping with household chores and the kids.

Or when spouses are constantly trying to find fault with one another through incessant arguments, bickering, and nagging, grudge-holding, and passive-aggressive behaviours, such as silent-treatment.

These examples show what love, compassion, respect, and kindness doesn’t look like.

So, what does love, compassion, kindness and respect look like? How does one translate these words into action?

It’s in your tone, your gaze, and your touch. It’s in your ability to hold space while you listen to your spouse’s words without judgment or reaction. It’s in your expression of gratitude, first and foremost, for everything your spouse is already doing for you.

It’s in your choice of words – are you accusing or seeking clarification? Are you name-calling? Are you blaming? Are you using respectful words, kind words and speaking them in a kind, respectful tone?

Love, kindness, compassion – these are just empty words unless you translate them into deeds that are in harmony with the essence of these words. 

 One Simple Strategy

Have at least one hour every day with your spouse where you are not on any gadgets – no phones, tablets, laptop, smartwatch, or TV – nothing that you are wired to. Just try to be in each other’s company without depending on any external forms of connection.

Try to soulfully connect with each other. Hold space for an organic conversation to happen and flow. Hold space for your spouse to speak while you listen, without interrupting even once.

Make this a daily teatime or coffee time or juice time or smoothie time, whatever you both prefer. Learn to once again be with each other and learn to enjoy being with each other.

May Allah bless your marriage and keep you safe and healthy. Remember, marriage is all about daily efforts in the actual practice of kindness, compassion, patience, care, love, and respect.