Remembering the Goal

Before getting married, marriage was all we thought about. We thought about it while attending conventions, walking to class, in class, leaving class, and surfing the Internet. “Who will complete half my deen?” It was an all-consuming thought that would sneak into our very core, putting our intentions into question. We even used to say, “Once I’m married, it will be so much easier to memorize Qur’an.” “Once I’m married, I can more easily work for the sake of Allah.” “Once I’m married, I can begin raising a righteous family.” And then, it happens. You meet the perfect person who has the same goals and you’ve even compiled a list of what you want to achieve together.

In the beginning, things seem clear enough. The goal is getting each other into Jannah. Somewhere along the journey, however, the goal becomes muddled with lesser goals. “How can we push your career forward?” “How many kids should we have?” “Where do we send our daughter to school? Should we home school?” “Is it wise to buy a house?” “Where should we settle; close to family or further away if an opportunity presents itself?” On top of all these major life decisions, our days are filled with dirty diapers, crying, consoling, groceries, bills, work, cleaning, and dinner making that by the end of it, we often ask ourselves where the day has gone.  Days quickly turn into weeks, which blur into months and years that sometimes it takes such a gut-wrenching experience of losing a friend and sister in Islam to help us realize why we’re doing everything in the first place.

We are all going to die.  Our parents, spouses, and children will also die. Dying it seems is no longer part of our everyday conversation. It’s uncomfortable to talk about, imagining what will happen to those closest to us. It’s easier to talk about and strive towards those lesser goals.  However, if we don’t have the end in sight, will those goals be enough to carry us through? How can we, as a couple, strive towards Jannah together?

Here is a small list that we’ve compiled and we look forward to reading more from you:

  1. Make a commitment to pray together, even if it can only be one or two prayers.
  2. Hold each other accountable. This is difficult to do for fear of hurting the other’s feelings, but there are ways one can act as a reminder without hurting the other. Remember that you are a mirror to one another and that often the best reminder is leading by example.
  3. Do something for the sake of Allah together. What is a special project outside of the many different committees each one is on that can be done between the two of you? What strengths do you each bring to the table that can increase your faith and good works?
  4. Compete with one another in doing good deeds. If Marwa does the dishes, then I’ll do the laundry and vacuum. This healthy competition can help raise our degrees in Jannah, insha’Allah. Be the first to forgive if you both get into an argument.
  5. Get rid of the TV. It’s almost obsolete anyway.
  6. Set times to unplug and stick to it. Use this time to have an evening Qur’an halaqa.
  7. Constantly renew intentions out loud in front of one another.
  8. Pray istikhaara together for all decisions you take as a family.
  9. Remind one another to keep in touch with family and friends and help them whenever possible.
  10. Make constant dua’a for one another.

What else?

By Marwa Aly and Ahmed Eid

This post was inspired by a couple that we both truly admire, Rehab El-Buri and Zaied Abbassi. May Allah have mercy on Rehab’s soul and may He grant them both the highest level of Jannah.

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  • Anonymous

    Thank you for these great reminders.

    If I may I add an additional tip for those who are less fortunate and end up in marriages with spouses who do not share similar goals…

    We all know that surrounding oneself with good people is an important part of our deen. When one friend goes down spiritually, it is very easy for the other friends to follow.

    It is rarely discussed, likely due to the cultural stigma attached to it, but the same is true with married couples. Sometimes, despite the best of intentions going into a marriage, one spouse may not support the other in her or his deen and may instead bring the person down. And despite the best of efforts to ameliorate the situation, it just doesn’t work out the way a true Muslim union should, in which both spouses support one another to achieve a shared goal of entering jannah.

    It may seem counter-intuitive and not very positive, but an additional tip to add to the list above would be… If all else fails, sometimes spouses should put aside cultural stigmas and decide whether going their separate ways would better enable them to achieve jannah, insha Allah. Yes, divorce is the worst of the halal, but it is halal nonetheless, and there is a reason for that… and Allah knows best.

  • hagar

    Jazakum Allahu Khairun for a beautiful post. SoubhanAllah, I didn’t know the sister, but was so very deeply affected when I heard about her death. This sentence especially spoke directly to me: “Days quickly turn into weeks, which blur into months and years that sometimes it takes such a gut-wrenching experience of losing a friend and sister in Islam to help us realize why we’re doing everything in the first place.”

    I’d also add,

    -encourage each other towards good deeds. (For example, my husband teaches Quran & Arabic and whenever someone new asks for lessons, I can find myself slightly annoyed because it takes time away from me.)

    -eat meals together as a family

  • suma

    JAK for the inspiring reminder.

    I would add:

    -Fast together at least three times a month

    -Wake each other up for night prayer

  • blessed

    Gotta agree with Anonymous. I would also say that perhaps a spouse doesn’t help you in obvious acts of worship and bringing us closer to Allah, but maybe they remind us with their patience with our outbursts, or really kind manners of how we should act-and that is key to entering Jannah. But like Anon said, don’t feel so down if you’re situation isn’t the perfect -Jannah-encouraging couple- siutation.

    And, read a bedside book together.

  • Duaa

    A beautiful reminder! I often ask myself where has the time gone and realize that this life is worth absolutely NOTHING.

  • Khadija

    Mashallah, excellent post. As mothers, we work so hard on raising our kids it is easy to loose sight on the importance of working on our relationship with our spouse. That is why I think this is a very important post to have on a parenting blog. Thank you both very much.

  • sarah

    Salaam this is beautiful reminder! Jzk. I wanted to correct though that intentions are to be stated in the heart; once they are stated aloud, they are actions. So intentions are not to be stated aloud to others. Please take into consideration. Jzk