Managing Marital Discords

Managing Marital Discords: The essay is an excerpt from a lecture given by Shaykh Doctor Lukmaan Idris Sekoni (Hafidhahu Llāhu wa ra’āh). This would be divided into three sections, because of its lengthiness, Bi idhni Llāh.

Due praises and adorations are unto Allah, may His peace and blessings be upon the soul of His noble Prophet (Salla Llāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), his household, his companions and the generality of the Muslim ummah till the day of accountability. We beseech unto Allah to reward the moderators of this beneficial foundation (Markaz Ahlil Athār) immensely. May Allah make it beneficial to us all, count it among our good deeds and make it a sabab (course) for the reformation/uphold of our respective homes.

The topic of discourse is “managing marital discords” which implies, effective ways we can proffer solution to incessant or unavoidable disagreement that do occur in a marital setting. So that, it becomes less rampant/ reduced to the lowest minimum because, it can not be totally avoided, rather, we should try as much as possible to curb it from occurring frequently and resolve it when it happens.

Firstly, the marital life is one embedded with immense goodness/happiness in the life of an individual. As Almighty Allah has said in His Glorious Book: (( And among His signs is that, He created for you from yourselves, mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed, in that are signs for a people who are thoughtful)) [Ar-Rūm ; (21)

Among the essence of getting married is to have succor and experience tranquility. Marriage is among the great favours of Allah that we should be forever grateful for, if only we reflect. It is also among the great achievements when Allah makes it easy for someone to be married. Allah also puts love/affection and compassion between husbands and wives. No one can know the value of a blessing until he is deprived of it. The one who lacks it would surely appreciate its value. A man that has everything but hasn’t gotten married would know the value of being married so also is a lady whose hand hasn’t been requested in marriage for a very long time or someone tried by the death of her husband and lives on her own thereafter, would know the value of being under a man. We ask Allah in His benevolent mercy to grant those in this situation pious spouses.

It Is being affirmed here that, a marital life is a great favor from Allah which we should be grateful for. He forbids fornication and legalizes Nikaah for us. Although, marital life may be clear at times and muddy at other times. That the marital life embodies varieties of benefits doesn’t implies there wouldn’t be occurrence of discords. Because, the style in which Allah used in creating this universe, in His sublime wisdom, disagreement would surely occur, be it on the affairs of the religion or life in general. As pure as the heaven is, there are still traces of black therein. As there exists a lot of blessings in getting married doesn’t guarantee absence of disputes happening occasionally. And this is in relation to the topic of discourse. Allah says: ((If Allah had willed, He would have made you a nation, but He leads astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And you will certainly be questioned about what you used to do)) [An-Nahl 93)].

Almighty Allah has made it known to us that, we would not cease to have different of opinions/ideologies. If He had wished, He would have made us to be upon a religion, have same mentality, view things through the same lens but, NAY! He created us to be different. If this is so, “An-Nushūz” which is an Arabic term means disagreement/ dispute in a marital setting. This phrase is originated from the noun “An-Nashuz” which can mean an elevated place and can also be used to describe a situation where an individual suddenly rise from a spot. The evidence for the literal meaning can be seen in this wording of Allah: ((And when it is said to you; “Rise up”, then rise up; And Allah will raise those who have been given knowledge by degrees and Allah is All-aware of what you do)) [Al-Mujādilah 11)]

It can also mean that something move from a certain position to an higher one ( i.e elevation) as Allah has said: ((And ponder on the bones (of the donkey) how we tore them apart and then clothe them with flesh…)) [Al-Baqarah 259)]. This definition is also equivalent to that of the Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) which is that a wife equates herself with her husband. Shaykh Ibn Qudāmah in his book «Al-Mugniy» defines it to mean “ a wife that disobeys her husband most especially on a thing that Allah has made compulsory upon her to obey him on.

In the tafseer (exegesis) of the verse that the word “ Nushūz” was evident, where Allah says; (( As for those from whom you fear treason…)) [An-Nisaa verse 34] Shaykh Ibn Abbās said; the meaning of the phrase (An-nushūz) in the verse is that a woman disobey her husband particularly among the ones legislated upon her to follow.

It is then understood that, if a woman should disobey her husband on a thing that isn’t obligatory on her, she wouldn’t be regarded as a “Nāshiz” (disobedient wife). For instance, if a husband should command his wife to disobey the commandment of Allah and she disobeys this command of her husband, then she isn’t disobedient. Or, if a husband should order his wife to attach something to her hair, she must not obey this kind of commandment for it is clearly against Allah’s commandment. And Allah’s Apostle (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) has asked Allah’s wrath to be on a lady who attaches to her hair and the one who helps her with it. Summarily, the meaning of Nushūz is when a wife disobeys her husband on an act obligated upon her.

As it has been explained earlier, there is no household devoid of discords, the frequency might just vary. A close illustration is that of an illness, the nature of human being is to fall sick but the frequency is different. And whenever anyone is sick, he strives to seek cure for the sickness and desires to be swiftly healthy. This indicates that, discord is bound to occur among people as it is the natural trait of human being. So, if they should occur, what are the cure? “An-Nushūz” can occur in two different ways;

• It can materialize from the wife. One of the manifestations of a bad marital relationship is the woman’s disobedience to her husband

• It can also arise from the husband. The two have their distinct explanations by the Shari’a and how to provide solution to them.

To Be Continued, In shaa Allah!
Transcribed by: Hikmoh Ajoke Waliyullah.


The Issue Of Marriage In Terms Of Religion And Culture

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