Habeeby… Chapter Three

They say that trials and tribulations can either make or break you. The same goes for couples. The ones who have weathered the worst of storms, come through stronger. For every tribulation is a Mercy from Allah Subhanwata’la.

Our featured couple are one such whose lives haven’t been a bed of roses, but they have worked hard for that garden to blossom into what it is today. They have gone through times which haven’t been easy. And I believe, have been blessed by Allah Subhanwata’la with an immeasurable amount of love for each other. May they keep loving each other for the sake of their Creator, for that is the purest form of love. And may they be raised in a successful Akhirah with their loved ones , to spend eternity in pure bliss…Ameen…

Allahumma barik lahum. 

Tell us something about yourselves

Saud: “Saud Amin here from Mumbai, India. I am a perfumer and Alhamdulillah I successfully run a perfume brand.”

Humaira: “Myself Humaira Saud from Mumbai, India. I am a freelance illustrator and designer.”

How long have you been married?

Saud: “We have been married for eleven years Alhamdulillah. Ours was a typical arranged marriage.”

Humaira: “I used to be an Islamic studies teacher in a school, where his youngest brother was my student. My mother in law met me there and the rest is history.”

How has this time gone by?

Saud: “Entire time has been a huge blessing from Allah. It feels like we have known each other since eternity.”

Humaira: “Sometimes I wonder, does the life before I met him existed, like this togetherness is since forever. Love for Allah is how we define our marriage.”

What role does Islam play in your marriage?

Saud: “Islam plays a vital role in our lives. Of course, we are humans we tend to err, but one can’t put Islam aside and live.”

Humaira: “That is not how it is meant to be. You can’t leave the laws of Allah and expect your life to be blissful. Islam must be in every aspect of your life.”

Saud: “Yes and no both.”

Humaira: “We fall short on additional ibadah like nawafil fasts and Qur’an recitation etc. But Faith, it grew stronger with time. Like reliance on Allah, submission to his decree etc.”

Did you have any preconceived notions about marriage before getting married?

Saud: “I wouldn’t say notion, but yes I believed marriages can be happy and healthy if both sides are dedicated enough, which I vowed to be and prayed for a spouse who would be dedicated.”

Humaira: “I did not have many thoughts about marriage because I was married by the time I was 19. Just didn’t get enough time to dwell on that. But yes, somewhere in my mind marriage was not a fairytale with fantasies. It required actual hard work and I knew it.”

Do you have set roles in your relationship? Have responsibilities changed your relationship?

Saud: “Yes we do have set roles, but not rigid. They are flexible.”

Humaira: “Like I take care of house chores, that is my role. And he lends his hand often, especially when I need it. Similarly, he is the main breadwinner of the family. It is his role, but I extend support in whatever way I can.”

Saud: “Responsibilities increased over time gradually, so did our understanding and strength of our bond.”

Humaira: “We grew more in love. Responsibilities didn’t outpace us, they brought us closer.”

Are boundaries important between spouses? Why?

Saud: “I don’t believe in boundaries. Boundaries create space and empty space creates a void. There is no such thing as boundaries in our marriage.  We respect each other’s choices, decisions, activities, relationship with others, priorities etc. We call it respect, not boundary.”

Humaira: “In marriage, you are meant to be together, you are a pair. Allah made you zauj, it means pair. We are together always and in everything. Have we ever pondered why Allah chose the word ‘garment‘ when describing the relationship between spouses? How far can you keep your garment from your body? We both have access to each other’s everything. From mobile passwords to bank accounts and everything in between. But we both are sensible enough to not invade each other’s privacy and misuse the trust one has on the other.”

Which part of your marriage are you the proudest of?

Saud: “Trust, and zero communication gap. We both can smoothly talk with each other about almost everything ” 

Humaira: “Proudest part is our growth together in everything. How two totally different people raised with different lifestyles grew into entwined souls.”

How do you deal with a difference in personality and perspective in your marriage? What impact has your spouse had on you? What quality of theirs do you admire?

Saud: “By chucking the ego outside. Making her feel heard, seen and acknowledging her position. All our decisions are mutual. I don’t impose my views on her.”

Humaira: ” We both have different personalities and instead of trying to change each other we learn from each other and adapt the positive traits.

As for the difference in perspectives, we talk our way through everything. Small conflicts do happen, differences of opinions  are a small part of life. Sensibility is in resolving them tactfully. We have an interesting story. We made a promise during the initial days of our marriage that no matter what, we will never go to bed without solving any issue that arises. So Alhamdulillah not a single night spent with grudges in our heart for each other. 

Saud: “She taught me to love selflessly.”

Humaira: “He gave me strength to face the world. ”

Saud: “I love her behavior. Strong minded woman with a gentle demeanor.”

Humaira: “His honesty. He is the same inwards and outwards, no double standards, no sugar coating.”

What is the best part about being married to your spouse? What is your biggest strength as a couple? What has been your biggest challenge together and how did you overcome it?

Saud: “She dishes out the most delectable food. Kidding apart, she herself is the best part. What could a man ask for if he has a wife as such.”

Humaira: “He doesn’t boss around. He gives me importance. He knows the actual meaning of ‘qawwam’ and he lives by it. And he is an ideal father to our kids. ”

Saud: “Our biggest challenge was to have to go through the time when our 4-month-old son was diagnosed with myocarditis and passed away after 2 months.”

Humaira: “Overcoming challenges and sticking with each other in tough times is what strengthens your bond. From my poor health to his financial crises, we have seen it all and stood together hand in hand, and emerged stronger than ever. ”

What practical aspects should a couple intending to get married be prepared for?

“We both have a message for couples intending to marry.

1. Be clear in your intention. You should be marrying for a broader vision not only because it is a cultural practice. Your intentions should be pleasing Allah, following the sunnah, and the intention of creating a family that follows the path of Deen. This way you will contribute towards the betterment of the Ummah and humanity.

2. Instead of being well versed with what your own rights are, educate yourselves on the rights of your spouse. This way, both the individuals will focus on fulfilling each other’s rights and no chaos and drama will occur; hence a happy life.

3. Stop fantasizing a picture-perfect marriage and an ideal spouse of your dreams. Remember marriage is not a bed of roses, but you can make it one with your devotion and dedication. No one is flawless, not even yourself.

4. There is more to a marriage than candlelight dinners, themed parties, and destination weddings.

6. Never compare your marriage and your spouse to anyone else. Grass may look greener on other side, but it may be fake. What works for someone else’s marriage might not work for you. Every marriage is different, every individual is different. 

7.He is not here to bankroll your lifestyle and she is not here to clean up after you. Your union should be more than just about chasing the world.”

How have you evolved in your marriage, individually and together?

Saud: “I have become more focused and productive. And I have developed a tenderness in my personality.”

Humaira: “I have become confident, which I lacked a lot.”

Both: “Together we have grown strong mentally and emotionally.”

There is such negative stereotyping regarding marriage in these times. What do you have to say about it?

Both: “Negative stereotyping regarding marriage is way more dangerous than we presume. It is to brainwash the youth against the sanctity of marriage and to promote immodest practices. Sadly, our societal norms are contributing to this by presenting unhappy, unhealthy and abusive marriages to the young generation, resulting in the youth falling for the overly glamorized sinful and unlawful relationships presented by the media.”

What is the best piece of advice you have received for your marriage? How do you implement it?

Saud: “I was 22 when I thought of marriage. That was too early for many. Financial instability made me reluctant, and I discussed this with a very close person who is also an aalim. He said:

              “Allah says in Qur’an if they are poor Allah will enrich them from his bounty (24:32).”

Eventually I married by the time I was 23 and within a year of my marriage I was settled with my business earning a healthy income.”

Humaira: “‘You and your spouse are one. There shouldn’t be any other between you’. 90% fights are caused when spouses share their problems with others instead of talking among themselves and sorting them out. Alhamdulillah in 11 years not even once have I shared my issues to anyone outside of my home.”

Do you think family/friends/communities play an important role in the married life of a couple? What has been your experience?

Saud: “This is where one should make boundaries. Your family, your friends, the community should not have the power to create havoc in your married life. That does not mean you cut ties with everyone. Especially the immediate family members. Allah made a family for a reason. They play an important role in your life.”

Humaira: “Marriage includes two families. Compatibility between two individuals is a task by itself, let alone the compatibility between two different families. Expecting this is an absurdity. There should be a happy balance. You keep your ties secure, try to fulfill everyone’s rights, but don’t let anyone meddle with your relationship and your spouse. No victim playing to gain sympathy. No entertaining unsolicited advice. And respecting each other’s family members. Treating them as your own. Giving your spouse a positive space to maintain the relationship with his/her family. As for our experience, we can’t talk about everything on social media, can we?”

What does it mean, according to you, to be a good husband/wife?

Both: “We both think that the credibility of you being a good spouse depends on how good your spouse thinks you are.”

What hopes do you have for the rest of your lives together?

Both: “We have 4 children Alhamdulillah-2 daughters and 2 sons. We hope to raise them into good Muslims, In’Sha’Allah. And spend our older years together, still as much in love as we are now, maybe more In’sha’Allah.”

Lastly, what is the recipe for a successful marriage?

Both: “The recipe of a successful marriage is the ‘Akhirah centric marriage goals’. When you dream of Jannah together you work for it together. When your hustle revolves around eternal life, your bond becomes eternal.”

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