Love is deep, meaningful and beautiful. It can never be compared to a commodity on display. However, small kindnesses, gestures and a listening ear can show the special person in your life how much you care.
Let’s not forget how Almighty Allah describes the marriage relationship:
(And among His Signs is this, that He created for you spouses 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) (Ar-Rum 30:21).
A Successful Marriage
The financial crisis has touched countries all across the world and many people are forced to be careful with their money, so if a couple has defined the expression of their love through materialism, they will certainly not be satisfied. Where does this leave such a couple?
If they base their relationship on the myriad of feelings and emotions that bind them; they will not be dependent on exchanging gifts and giving material items to keep that connection alive.
The greatest foundation that connects a couple is feelings of friendship.
If a couple can have realistic expectations of each other, and focus on enjoying positive interaction they are much more likely to have a happy marriage.
A loving relationship is not sustained just by romance, but by the everyday activities the couple shares, keeping promises, being there for each other, being honest especially in times of conflict and each maintaining a character that is easy to love and be loved. As the honeymoon period wears off, it is the friendship that exists between the couple that drives them to a higher level in their relationship. This can only happen when each person is aware of their weaknesses and acknowledges that the relationship must always be worked on; it must be continually nurtured.
Importance of Forgiveness
The greatest gift a couple can give each other is forgiveness. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) asked his Companions,
'Do you wish that Allah should forgive you?' They said, 'Of course Prophet of Allah.'He responded, 'Then forgive each other'.
We are human beings and will ultimately hurt each other despite the love we feel. Therefore, one of the main components of a happy marriage is that the couple is able to forgive. They should never hold grudges or be judgmental towards each other. The challenge for both parties is not to dwell on the wrongs said or done or to lay blame, but to move past it. If the couple is too stingy to forgive, this higher level in their relationship will not be achieved.
When it comes to exchanging gifts, we should remember the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him):
'Exchange presents with one another, for they remove ill feelings from the hearts.'
At the same time, however, we should fully realize that the long-lasting love we all hope for does not have a price tag and grows from a place in our hearts that is far removed from this materialistic world.
Selma A. Cook is an Aussie Muslim writer who lives and works in Egypt. She has written a number of books including: Buried Treasure (An Islamic novel for teenagers), The Light of Submission (Islamic Poetry). She has also edited and revised many Islamic books.