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Is it time to marry?

Is it time to marry?

By Zaki Imtiaz

Today at lunch time, I had a small discussion with two of my friends.  We were looking for an answer to the question, “What is the right age to get married?”

We concluded that it actually depends on some factors.  The right time is when a combination of some qualities and some resources are achieved in life.  Some people achieve them in their early 20’s and some don’t seem to achieve them even in their late 30’s.

For me, the most important factors are two: Maturity and livelihood.  Both of these terms are ambiguous and require some explanation.

(1) Maturity:

I personally think maturity is not just being physically mature, or being able to grow a beard, having all the necessary hormones to get things done.  Maturity is a state of mind- a state in which you know the realities and difficulties of life, a state when you are able to differentiate between right and wrong, when you can reason things according to the actual realities and not your self-created paradigms and myths.

(2) Livelihood:

The other matter is related to your and your family’s livelihood. One needs to have an appropriate amount of income to be able to provide the five basic necessities of one’s partner.  In Islam, it is the men who are solely responsible to provide for their families.  These necessities are:

(1) food

(2) clothes

(3) shelter

(4) medicine

(5) education

If you have a room in your house, you can feed yourself and your wife with a decent meal three times a day, you can provide her enough clothes to be able to cover herself decently and some special clothes for occasions (like Eid, Ramadan, Friday, Weddings), when you can take her to the doctor when she is ill, you have all the required resources.  You don’t need anything else, technically.

Isn’t it simple enough?  Why make it complex when it is not?  Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala has made the relationship of Nikah (marriage) a means to tranquility, mercy and affection.  Allah says in the Quran:

وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” [Surah Ar-Rum: ayah 21]

Allah also says:

اللَّهُ لَطِيفٌ بِعِبَادِهِ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ ۖ وَهُوَ الْقَوِيُّ الْعَزِيزُ

“Allah is very Gracious and Kind to His slaves. He gives provisions to whom He wills. And He is the All-Strong, the All-Mighty.” [Surah Ash-Shuraa: ayah 19]

Prophetic guidelines with respect to marriage

There are two narrations worth mentioning here.  They would suffice to explain a lot of matters. 🙂

1- What to do when you want to marry?

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدَانُ، عَنْ أَبِي حَمْزَةَ، عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ، عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، عَنْ عَلْقَمَةَ، قَالَ بَيْنَا أَنَا أَمْشِي، مَعَ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ فَقَالَ كُنَّا مَعَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ الْبَاءَةَ فَلْيَتَزَوَّجْ، فَإِنَّهُ أَغَضُّ لِلْبَصَرِ وَأَحْصَنُ لِلْفَرْجِ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَعَلَيْهِ بِالصَّوْمِ، فَإِنَّهُ لَهُ وِجَاءٌ ‏”‏‏.‏

Narrated ‘Alqama:

While I was walking with `Abdullah he said, “We were in the company of the Prophet and he said, ‘He who can afford to marry should marry, because it will help him refrain from looking at other women, and save his private parts from committing illegal sexual relation; and he who cannot afford to marry is advised to fast, as fasting will diminish his sexual power.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]

2- How will you know who is the right person for you?

حَدَّثَنَا زُهَيْرُ بْنُ حَرْبٍ، وَمُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْمُثَنَّى، وَعُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، قَالُوا حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى، بْنُ سَعِيدٍ عَنْ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ، أَخْبَرَنِي سَعِيدُ بْنُ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ تُنْكَحُ الْمَرْأَةُ لأَرْبَعٍ لِمَالِهَا وَلِحَسَبِهَا وَلِجَمَالِهَا وَلِدِينِهَا فَاظْفَرْ بِذَاتِ الدِّينِ تَرِبَتْ يَدَاكَ ‏”‏ ‏.

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying:

“A woman may be married for four reasons: for her property, her status. her beauty and her religion, so try to get one who is religious, may your hand be besmeared with dust.” [Sahih Muslim]

May Allah make ease for all the unmarried brothers and sisters in their marriage.

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The writer majors in Software Engineering and can be contacted at zakiimtiaz1@gmail.com.

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Would you like it Blessed or Wretched?

Would you like it Blessed or Wretched?

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Marriage is a colorful artwork gifted to you by Allah, specially designed for you to find repose in.  It is an institution where real love is nurtured for the family to bask in its warmth and light.  It is the building where the foundation of future is laid in the present.  It is falling in love with the same person over and over again each day.  Yes, over and over again with that beautiful creation of Allah with whom you sign the contract under His Eyes while you say, “Qabool Hai” (“I do”).  And, this bond is meant to give you sukoon (tranquility) which in itself is one of the greatest blessings of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.

Well, isn’t it ironic then to see that most of the marriages that take place these days turn out with negative results!  All the dreams get smashed in one go and turn into a nightmare.  The number of couples who can say that they are living in sukoon (tranquility) has reduced drastically.  Every second person you bump into these days seems to talk about their marriage related woes.  The reason is often plain and simple: being away from the Qur’an and Sunnah thereby incurring Allah’s wrath in all the affairs including those of marriage.  How can a journey that starts with disobeying Allah and displeasing Him be smooth and enjoyable?

If you are among those who are already married but did so while having crossed the limits set by Allah then know that the doors of repentance are still open and Allah will make easy your affairs if you turn to Him in sincerity.  And, if you are among those who are either looking for a spouse or counting the days left to your wedding, and you want to see unlimited blessings in your wedding, then read on carefully.

1. Check your intentions

Is it for the sake of Allah that you are taking this decision i.e., to safeguard yourself from Haram while wanting your wishes to be fulfilled in a Halal manner?

2. Plan it simple

If you’ve already ticked the check box about your intention then receive the glad tidings of Allah’s promise and know that Allah never breaks His promise!  Now, plan your marriage and get your parents and the parents of your potential spouse on board for this noble cause of simple Nikah.  Be sure that it is going to be in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention).

3. Be strict and firm

When it comes to the limits of Allah, be strict and firm.  Don’t compromise with regards to the issue of inter mixing of opposite genders.  Ensure that there will not be extravagance.  You may already know that the spendthrifts are the brothers of Shaytan.  Say a big “No” to music.  Brothers, shaving beard isn’t a good idea either.  Sisters, be cautious of long hours of make up lest you should miss your Salah and you needn’t even boast about your Mahr.

4. Rely on Allah alone

If you are of those who have always lowered your gaze, given charity, offered voluntary prayers, fasted much then Insha Allah the time is near when you will peacefully lock your eyes with your spouse without any hindrance, get the provisions ceaselessly, find the absolute tranquility and enjoy the lovely relationship with her/him; but no matter what, you must always remember to rely on Allah alone without associating others for asking help in any of your affair.  You must trust His Perfect Planning and His Perfect Timing.  So, make sure that you begin the preparation for a journey filled with abundant blessings, a journey where the desired destination is always Jannatul Firdaus, and the eyes remain transfixed on the prize.

Let the journey begin! Bismillah.

Caught between the Mother and the Wife

Caught between the Mother and the Wife

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By Zaki Imtiaz

 The best thing about getting married is partnership, isn’t it? Ask those who are happily married. A marriage may survive without money, but can’t survive without the mutual partnership. Newly married couples enjoy their lives in the most halal way. Allah has described them as Libas (garments) of each other, covering each others physically, covering each others faults and helping each other to cope up with the external damaging elements. SubhanAllah, what great wisdom there is in this analogy! [1]

 Whilst they enjoy themselves, they might not realize the change that this union has brought not just in their lives, but also in the lives of their parents and siblings. If we see it from the groom’s perspective, before marriage, he just had to take care of his family and be dutiful to his parents. After marriage, he has to take up the responsibility of his wife also, the woman who has left her comfortable home and loving parents far away, and has come to live with him, despite all of his negative and bad habits.

Every house has a pre-defined set of norms, and it takes time for a new person to settle in and get accustomed with everyone. In such situations, there may arise conflicts between the wife and the husband’s family over simple issues. They will obviously have a difference of opinion on how to handle everyday big and small affairs: be it cooking, handling the home chores, arranging and scheduling daily tasks, dealing with the the servants etc. The notoriously famous battles are the ones which take place between the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law. If timely firefighting is not carried out, minor tussles can erupt into major fights.

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 Stuck between a rock and a hard place is the poor man, the son and the husband, trying to restore calm in the house, and keep the two most important women in his life happy. The role of this poor man is indeed very crucial. He has to balance the rights of his wife and his mother. He has to ensure that no injustice takes place. He has to walk the tightrope. He has to be the firefighter, the juggler and the peace maker. My whole-hearted sympathies are with this man! For the benefit of this man, here are some tips and tricks that I have learned through different experiences in my own life and in the lives of others:

  •  Never say no to your parents, especially if it doesn’t harm your personal life. Allah says:

وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حُسْنًا ۖ

“And We have enjoined on man to be good and dutiful to his parents”. [Surah al-‘Ankaboot: 8]

  •  In case of conflict between wife and parents, listen to both sides carefully and analyze the situation. Don’t jump to conclusions. Allah says:

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ

“The believers are nothing else than brothers (in Islamic religion). So make reconciliation between your brothers” [Surah al-Hujurat:10]

  •  Talk to each party separately and try to clear the misunderstandings by explaining the matter, without making it seem that you are taking sides. Trust me, this works. They want someone to listen, sympathize and talk rationally.
  •  Love your wife much and unconditionally. Avoid scolding her and gently explain the importance of being good to the your family and its benefits. The Prophet (sallalahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said:

 “The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.” [Ibn Majah]

  •  Love you parents unconditionally and lower your wings of humility over them, no matter what. They are old now; bear with their quirks; their age may have left them with no other choice apart from behaving the way they want to behave. They still love and care for you. Allah says:

وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُل رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا

“And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.” [Surah al-Israa: 24]

  • Make everyone understand that things shouldn’t be based on the way they are carried out, rather they should be based on results. Make them sit together and decide the outputs of things which are causing friction. As long as everyone agrees upon the output, they do not have to fight on how things get done. Focus on the destination, rather than the route taken. [This principle taken from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey works wonders.]
  •  Be emotionally strong; be the man. Forgive them and hold no grudges.

وَإِن تَعْفُوا وَتَصْفَحُوا وَتَغْفِرُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“But if you pardon (them) and overlook, and forgive (their faults), then verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Surah at-Taghabun :14]

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May Allah make our homes among the gardens of Paradise.  May He make us the coolness of our parents’ eyes, and make our wives and children the coolness of our eyes.

[1] See Tafsir Ibn e Kathir 2:187 for details

You’re dying to marry, but are you ready to marry?

You’re dying to marry, but are you ready to marry?

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By Zaki Imtiaz

Do you know what is the most discussed matter among the Muslim youth these days?  At least, among those whom I know.  Yeah, you guessed it right: Marriage.  You say the word and you see these Colgate smiles on their faces.  Everybody wants to get married, don’t they?

Indeed, Nikah is an amazing blessing from Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala; it is a Halal way out for fulfilling our emotional and physical needs.  Muslims are advised in the Quran to lower their gaze, guard their chastity, and keep themselves away from all sorts of indecent acts.  The culture of Islam disciplines the society by encouraging marriage and by disapproving all relationships outside wedlock.

I have observed over the past couple of years that our educated youth are zealously reverting to these Islamic principles and values.  I’ve been teaching at a university, and whenever I interact with the youth, I find that they are motivated and ready to get married, wanting to keep themselves safe from the indecent and highly sexualized society around them.

I often advise them to take bold steps and talk to their parents about this issue and get married.  It’s better to have daal roti (a simple meal) prepared by your lovely wife in a single room apartment, which is filled with Iman (faith), instead of luxuries and unlawful relationships with nothing to claim in the hereafter.  However, these youngsters often do not have the guts to talk to their parents seriously, nor are they ready to compromise on their luxurious living and beauty standards.  The brothers continue to dream of a Hijabi Miss Universe, and the sisters continue to wait for their Prince Charming.

Most of the time, such brothers and sisters think that marriage is the solution to all their problems: their getting up late, their time mismanagement, loss of focus due to the fitnah (trials) posed by the society, untamed temper, bad relationship with parents and what not.

Let me bust this myth.  Marriage is not the solution to all your problems!  Write it down and paste it on your wall.  Marriage is not the solution, it can only facilitate some things for you.

Consider these scenarios:

“Oh Mom! Give me a break.  Don’t scold me all the time.  I’ll learn this stuff when I go to my next house.  Let me enjoy for now.” 

Remember what Allah says:

وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ

“And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy” (Surah al-Israa: 24)

“Dude, I just can’t seem to wake up for Fajr these days.  When my wife will come, she’ll wake me up inshaAllah!”

Fix YOURSELF because Allah says:

فَإِذَا جَاءَتِ الصَّاخَّةُ يَوْمَ يَفِرُّ الْمَرْءُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ وَأُمِّهِ وَأَبِيهِ وَصَاحِبَتِهِ وَبَنِيهِ

“Then, when there comes the second blowing of the Trumpet, that Day shall a man flee from his brother,  and from his mother and his father,  and from his wife and his children.” (Surah ‘Abasa: 33-36)

“Dad! I gotta dine out with friends.  Please give me some more money.”

If you can’t bear your own expenses, how will you bear those of your wife, who will be solely your responsibilty?

The affairs of marriage are not joke and play.  Nor is marriage a solution to all your discipline and personality issues.  If you are not willing to change and sacrifice, then no one can help you.

Here are some pointers to these youngsters who are over-zealous to get married soon, and are obsessed with this matter:

 1- First and foremost, you need to get your faith and deeds corrected.  If you yourself don’t pray, observe proper Islamic dress code, speak truth and be just, you should then least expect to have a pious spouse.

2- Learn how to respect your parents. If you are unable to respect them before marriage, you won’t be respecting them after it as well. Remember, your spouse and children will learn from you.

3- Talk to your parents about your intention for Nikah. Don’t just tell them but show them through your actions by acting wise and not childish all the time, by dealing with them respectfully and submitting to their their lawful demands.  Show them that you’re ready to say #QaboolHai (“I do”).

4- Get yourself financially stable.  At least, you should be able to support a couple of dresses for your wife for one season, her daily requirements, a separate room and three meals/day to stay healthy.

5- Begin with the end in mind.  Write down what kind of tarbiyyah (upbringing)you want your kids to be given.  If your potential spouse himself/herself fails to live up with these values, then there is no compatibility whatsoever.

6- Get yourself disciplined.  You need to throw your dirty clothes in the basket yourself, tidy your room, straighten your bed and be responsible for your own actions.

7- Last but definitely not the least, pray to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala to help you out.  Make dua especially in the last part of the night, after the obligatory prayers and beg Allah of His forgiveness and Mercy.  For all affairs are in the Allah’s Control, and he who is given Allah’s Mercy is indeed successful.

May Allah make our spouses and children the coolness of our eyes! Ameen.

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The writer is a software engineer and can be contacted at zakiimtiaz1@gmail.com

#QaboolHai – Theme for the Marriage Season!

#QaboolHai – Theme for the Marriage Season!

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Qabool Hai??
Qabool Hai!!

Winter is here, and so is the marriage season.  Nikah contracts are in the air!

For us at YouthClub, 2013 has been an extraordinarily beautiful year, with many of the YC brothers and sisters getting married! It sure is a promising prospect for the future of the Ummah when Dawah carriers, with noble ambitions and goals, say their “Qabool Hai” (“I do”) and settle down!

On the one hand, we have the pristine institute of marriage.  On the other hand, we have the non-stop onslaught of messages from advertisements, movies and social media, telling us to fall head over heels in love and have all the fun before marriage.  Even sex before marriage is now seeping into our society.

The propagandists of this agenda portray marriage as a drab ‘stuck-with-one-person-for-the-rest-of-your-life’ situation.  They fail to realize that every time they promote this way of thinking, they are slowly chipping away at the building block of any human civilization: the family!

Caught between a rock and a hard place are those single Muslims who are struggling to preserve their modesty and get married, in the face of unhealthy social and cultural practices.  How do you deal with a delayed marriage and ensuing social pressures?  What is the right way to find Mr. Right or Ms. Right?  How do you simplify things and tie the knot without creating a Bollywood extravaganza?

And after you get married, and the honeymoon ends and life starts, how do you keep the spark alive?  What are the tips and tricks to make your marriage a success?

This December, the Youth Clubbers, are utilizing their God-given talents to explore these questions, to find solutions, and to counter the unhealthy media onslaught by promoting the beautiful institution of marriage (all this while we also attend the Walimas and eat the biryanis)!

Let’s do this together! Let’s promote marriage for the beautiful Sunnah and amazing journey that it is.  Let’s curb this filthy and nonsensical trend of having boyfriends and girlfriends.  Be a part of our latest campaign.  Be the reason to encourage ‘halal love’.  Be a means to influence two amazing people getting together in Islamic matrimony and producing amazing Muslims for the next generation.

 Use the hashtag #QaboolHai in your articles, blogs, status updates, tweets and conversations at your campuses!  Enjoy the marriage season!

“Our Lord! Bestow on us from our spouses and children the coolness of our eyes, and make us leaders of the righteous.” (Surah al-Furqan: 74)

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Ramblings of a Closet Feminist

Ramblings of a Closet Feminist
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By Mariam Riaz

All of us reach a certain point in our lives when directly, or indirectly, pressure is exerted on us to “settle down”. I have nothing against the institute of marriage, for indeed, it is a sacred Sunnah. However, I do have some scores to settle with our twisted society regarding what this institution has become. Some may think that I’m confused between being a closet feminist and a “fundo” (pet word for fundamentalists or extremists, if you please). However, when you start your post wondering what people would think, you know something is wrong, somewhere! This goes on to show exactly what our society has reduced women to being.

When your purpose in life is reduced to just one thing – marriage – that’s all your life starts revolving around. It doesn’t matter how many books you have read, or how much you have learned from life in general, at some point the main concern of our lives as Pakistani women seems to be acceptance. How many times have you come across statements like,

“If you become too career-oriented, no one will marry you”,

“Dress modestly; men don’t like women who are too bold in their dressing”,

“Don’t be so dowdy; educated men prefer smartly dressed women.”

As I write this, the marquee next door reverberates with Bollywood beats accompanied by sounds of cheers – obvious signs of a wedding. It makes one wonder whether it is really worthwhile to spend one’s life savings on a circus show without giving deeper thought to the actual union between the two people? Is the marriage just an outcome of society’s expectations from a conventionally brought up woman who is so heady with the excitement of the wedding that she prefers not to think about what follows? Or is it the union between two souls that share the same purpose in life, and see marriage as a source of support as opposed to the only source of happiness? Don’t take me wrong; I’ve seen some examples of the latter as well, but they are as rare as unconventionally brought up women.

While we’re on the subject of our purpose in life, how is an intelligent woman, who is capable of doing so much greater good not only for this world, but for her Hereafter as well, supposed to achieve just that if all she is spending her energies doing is fitting into a mould that she does not belong to? While she is so busy conforming to society’s expected version of an ideal candidate for marriage, how will she grow herself in knowledge and benefit others from it?

As I hear heart-breaking tales of women being rejected on issues as trivial as the length of their nose, it makes one realise how much thought and effort needs to be put into bringing back the essence of this beautiful institution!

The Barakahs of Islamic Injunctions

The Barakahs of Islamic Injunctions

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By Mohammad Ali

I remember a married couple who attended my wedding. I remember hearing the wife complaining to her husband that he did not compliment her despite the fact that she had spent so much time adorning herself. This is not just the story of one couple, but it is a occurence and cause for friction between couples. Wives complain that their husbands get bored of them or don’t like them anymore.

I don’t know how this happens. I can’t give an exact reason but there is one thing that I can tell. The benefits of following Islamic injunctions are immense, and only a person who acts on them can see the fruits. Imagine a man, controlling his desire, lowering his gaze, abstaining from intermingling and sitting with non-mehrams, abstaining from chatting, gossiping and joking with non-mehrams. Imagine when such a person gets married. When this man, who has waited patiently for a fulfilling gaze on this one woman, looks at his wife and when he sits with her, and talks to her; who can explain the incredible emotions that this person is feeling? I find it hard to believe that such strong and pure emotions can be felt by a man who has always been in company of non-mehram females, holding their hands, hugging them, talking to them, joking, and playing around with them. Same goes for the females too.

Allah prohibited intermingling of sexes and commanded women to do hijab and there is great great hikmah in it. Its not just about the unique feeling and excitement, but its about stable running of the family. Its about that promised love that Allah will put in hearts, about which He mentioned in the Quran:

“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.” (30:21)

Yes, indeed there are signs in this for those who reflect. Anything that is put by Allah in hearts is pure and long lasting. Anything that is put through movies and songs and other such filth is impure and fleeting.

And then there are the benefits of Niqab. Ah, how unfortunate are the people who don’t understand these benefits. A woman who adorns and beautifies herself ONLY for her husband. And then when they go out, people look at her but in vain; she is totally covered and safe from all eyes. This is something that pleases the husband to an immense level. Gheerah (Jealousy) of a man is a natural feeling, and the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) called those men duyooth who do not feel any gheerah regarding their women folk; he stated that a duyooth shall not enter Jannah. This gheerah is there in every man, in the subconscious, but it often gets buried deep down because of the behavior and values dictated by the media and the society around him. Such injustice! When this gheerah is buried deep down, and a man does not feel this great honor that his woman adorns herself ONLY for him, then friction does appear in the marriage.

The fact is that Islam is nothing but a mercy and a spectacular way of life for human beings. It is Deen ul fitrah. If someone acts on its commands, that person will soon witness its fruits. The barakah that is put by Allah in relationships cannot be substituted by any material blessings of the world. May Allah fill with barakah the life of every person who is striving to act on the hudood of Allah, and may Allah keep the married couples happy and fill love and mercy in their hearts and keep them steadfast on his Deen. Ameen.

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