Rayees Ahmad Kumar
Marriage is strongly recommended in Islam. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Marriage is a part of my sunnah, and whoever does not follow my sunnah has nothing to do with me.” He further said, “Whoever has the means, let him get married and whoever does not, then he should fast, for it will diminish his desire.”
After marriage, though, challenges arise for both the individuals who, despite all their efforts to make their married life pleasant and joyous, find themselves in a difficult situation. It is often thought that only the woman faces problems due to being in a new home, which requires her to adjust according to the likes and dislikes of her husband’s family. The behaviour of the in-laws is famous for being a source of constant harassment to the woman. She feels alienated, lonely, and depressed when her voice isn’t heard or when she is taken for granted. She keeps remembering the love, respect and freedom she had at her own home. There are cases when the situation had become so gruesome that the woman committed suicide. To prevent such distressing situations, the government has made many laws, such as against dowry, domestic violence, etc.
However, it is not just women who face problems or have to adjust to a new way of life after marriage. Men have their own struggles to face. There are times when a man’s family members do not understand that he (their son) has the responsibility of taking care of his wife and that she is in their home only because of him. Every problem that she faces must be sorted out primarily by her husband. When this does not happen and other family members begin to interfere, the wife feels dejected and alienated, which spoils her relationship with her husband. She begins to always complain and lament before her husband, who feels in a bind as he has duties towards his parents and siblings as well. He tries to make his wife believe that with the passage of time everything would be fine, but that seldom happens. The situation, on the contrary, keeps worsening. Thus the sacred relationship between man and woman becomes weak and sometimes leads to divorce – which, according to the Prophet (PBUH), is the most hateful thing that is permissible.
Sometimes the wives unreasonably put pressure on their husbands to live separately. They regard it as a burden to accommodate the parents and siblings of the husband. In this disastrous situation it is the man who is the most hurt. In one way he wants to prove himself a most sincere son of his parents, a good brother to his brothers/ sisters, but at the same time he loves his wife and children, too. Most people are of the view that it is up to the husband to keep relations in harmony between his family members and his wife. I strongly disagree with this view. It is the husband’s parents and siblings who have to treat his wife like they treat their own daughter or sister. If they don’t do so, it is very difficult for the husband to maintain harmony in domestic relations. A husband can prove himself a sincere son/ brother only when his family members support him in his new life. Thousands of families have broken due to the lack of respect and love given to the woman by her husband’s family members.
The ultimate and perfect solution lies in the teachings of our dearest Prophet (PBUH). He said, “Best among you is the one who is good to his wife.” He (PBUH) has taught us the duties of children towards parents and of husbands towards wives. He has also taught how parents should treat their children, how a daughter in-law should be treated in her new home, how the daughter in-law should treat her in-laws. If these sacred rules are followed in letter and spirit, our homes will be no less than heaven. There the husband and wife will both feel stress-free and the daughter-in-law will consider her husband’s family just like her own.
The writer teaches at Govt BHS Anderwan Ganderbal