“When the servant marries, then he has completed half of the deen. Then let him fear Allah with regard to the remaining half” (Saheeh ul-Jaami no.443)
Marriage as an Institution
It is the oldest practice of mankind, an act whose existence coincided with the first creation: Adam and Hawa, the first man and the first woman were nothing less than husband and wife. Since then, the institution of marriage has been held as the only divinely accepted form of companionship between a man and a woman. Even in our so modern society, marriage is still recognized as a positive event, a union that celebrates and brings together two families. We are raised to understand that marriage and weddings are happy events that should be welcome, brides and grooms congratulated and blessed. Even mere strangers are joyful and happy when they randomly see an unknown bride and her groom taking pictures on a random street.
Picture perfect weddings, amazing food, entertainment that is to die for, those are the things people expect at a wedding. A union of two people is indeed an extraordinary thing in our so ordinary world. Islam in particular deems this union so important that it states that marriage is equivalent to half of the deen (religion).
Half of your deen
People often understand this as meaning that it is half of your deen to get married. The act of getting married in itself is considered the accomplishment of half of your Islamic obligations. Thet couldn’t be more wrong. Indeed the act in itself is just the picture-perfect fairytale that we are raised to believe, forgetting that the only perfect couple is the one sitting on top of the wedding cake. They are the bride and groom who have an unconditional, eternal smile on their face because ironically they never have to talk to each other.
When the Prophet saw said that marriage was half of our deen, what he meant was the way you behave in the marriage and your actions as husband/wife should draw you closer to Allah. In other words, about half of all of our Islamic virtues such as love, patience, honesty, fidelity, tolerance, chastity, forgiveness, compassion, striving, family, parenthood, mercy…. find their natural expression through married life. Indeed the excellence of a husband’s manners towards his wife, or that of a wife towards her husband will draw them closer to their Lord.
Love and Compassion Photo Source
In the Holy Quran, Allah says
And one of His signs is that He created mates for you from among yourselves that you may find rest in them, and He put between you love and compassion; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect. (Ar-Rum 30: 21)
In this verse, Allah in His Infinite Wisdom used the expression “from among yourselves” to remind us that our spouses are an extension of ourselves and we are an extension of our mates. There is no room for selfishness in a marriage, only oneness. ‘I’ and ‘Me’ don’t exist anymore; they should be replaced with ‘Us’ and ‘We.’ Decisions are made together, not individually. They should reflect the wellbeing of everyone, and not just one member of the family unit. Love,mutual understanding and Compassion are what should be felt not resentment, animosity or enmity. These are not my words; these are the words of the One who Created words, Allah Himself. Words that when followed, two different people can strive to achieve one of the most beautiful institutions that He legislated.
How Much Will you pay?
This is why good character and taqwa (God-Consciousness) are at the top of the list of things to look for in a spouse. When a husband and a wife can’t find it within themselves to behave in a loving and compassionate manner towards themselves, then they need to reevaluate their Islam and their devotion to Allah. In the words of our beloved Prophet Muhammad saw :
The best of you, is the one who is best to his wives, and I am the best of you toward my wives.
A Muslim man can acquire no benefit after Islam greater than a Muslim wife who makes him happy when he looks at her, obeys him when he commands her, and protects him when he is away from her in herself and in his property.
When you have a good marriage, most likely you will have a good Islam. It is so much easier for spouses to express and practice the Islamic virtues that are an integral part our faith when they are in a good marriage. So brothers and sisters, how much will you pay for half of your deen? Will you give up your ego to practive half of your deen? Will you give from yourself to attain excellence? How much can you afford? Name your price, how much is half of your deen worth?