How to Have Taqwa in Marriage?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

Can you please explain to me how taqwa works in marriage? Is it sinful to argue with one’s husband? I’m now married for seven years, and it has all been a struggle. He doesn’t appreciate or respect me, my parents, or his parents. He never has time for our son and me. He is self-centered, doesn’t see his mistakes, and blames me for everything.

Is this enough reason to get divorced? In the Quran, Allah Most High promises a way out if we have taqwa, but I don’t know how taqwa works in marriage. If I remain silent, I go crazy; if I speak, he just blames me. He won’t do marriage counseling.

Answer

Sister, I empathize with your situation. Living the kind of marriage you are living in daily is stressful and hurtful. May Allah Most High strengthen your bond and unite your hearts in respect, love, and faith.

Learn about Marriage

The first thing that I recommend you do is take these free courses on Seekers. It would be optimal if he took them with you, as learning together will strengthen your bond, but it will still benefit you to learn about the spirit and law of marriage. Kindly check these links:
Keys to Successful Muslim Marriages: Practical lessons that explain the Prophetic Spirit of Marriage
Making Love Last: Prophetic Principles for a Successful Marriage
Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriage

Learn How to Communicate

I also recommend you look up these resources to help manage conflict resolution, so you don’t have to stay silent but communicate effectively. I encourage you to do what you can to improve your end of this relationship.

See this:
Manage Conflict: The Six Skills
The Four Types of  Behavior And How To Identify The One You Need

Quranic Verse

Allah, Most High, says, “When they have completed their appointed term, either keep them honorably or part with them honorably. Call two just witnesses from your people and establish a testimony for the sake of God. Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should heed this: God will find a way out for those who are mindful of Allah.” [Quran, 65:2]

This sura was revealed when Allah Most High was teaching the men not to divorce women during their menstruation and this verse, in particular, is about taking one’s wife back after her waiting period or parting from her amicably. [Ibn Abbas, Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas]

The meaning of “God will find a way out for those who are mindful of Allah” is the following: “(those who are mindful of Allah) upon committing a transgression and remain steadfast, (Allah will appoint a way out for him) from hardship; it is also said that this means: He will appoint a way out for him from transgression to acts of obedience; it is also said this means: from the Fire into Paradise.” [Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas, trans: Mokrane Guezzou]
Another meaning of the verse is: And whoever fears God He will make a way out for him from the distress of this world and the Hereafter. [Jalal-Din al-Sayuti, Tafsir al-Jalalayn]

Taqwa

Generally speaking, if you have taqwa in your marriage and everything you do, you can expect Allah to give you baraka and good in your life, with a few tests along the way. Allah tells us in the Quran that a person’s honor or rank in the sight of Allah Most High is according to who has the most taqwa.

This fearful awareness (taqwa) means seeing Allah Most High watching you before you do or say anything. This way, you would communicate with him instead of arguing or yelling. You would tell him how you feel instead of complaining about him. And you would be proactive in getting him to spend time with you and your son, perhaps by planning a picnic, enrolling in an activity or new hobby or learning a skill together, eating out together, spending time in nature together, or exercising together. Strive to fulfill your end by being the best wife you can be.

See these articles on taqwa:
People Have Virtue Over Another by Their Fearful Awareness of Allah (Taqwa)– Spiritual Counsel: Wisdom on Turning to God from the Islamic Tradition -Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Taqwa: Definition, Discovery and Disposition ~ By Sidi Yousaf Seyal

Finally, pray istikhara and ask Allah Most High whether this man is for you or not, although I advise you to work it out. His behavior can change, and your situation doesn’t seem like a deal-breaker from what you have said. I pray that you get a deeper connection with him, align your views and goals, and treat each other with love and respect. May Allah Most High bless your family in this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.