Alhamdulillah, allazhi la ilaha siwah, assalatu wassalam ala sayyidina Muhammadin wa ala alihi wa sahbihi wasallem.
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar… God is Great… God is Great…
Today we are celebrating the wedding of two wonderful people… But through this event, we are celebrating God’s glory… When you see around you, you will see smiling faces and warm hearts… Who is the source of all this happiness that is reflected upon us? Glory be to Him; the Loving Compassionate that has put this happiness in our hearts in this very special day…
The prophet Muhammad (p) is reported to have said that “Whoever marries has achieved one half of belief.” But, why is marriage so important? And what should we do to cherish this gift?
A good starting point to understand the significance of marriage in our spiritual journey is remembering why we are here on earth. When we look at our surroundings with an open mind, we realize that what is happening cannot be the result of mere chance. The entire universe is full of art and purpose, and everything points to the Artist. Indeed, the perfection in everything testifies that they are created by the All-Knowing, All-Wise, and All-Loving Creator.
We did not choose to be created, but the Divine has chosen this for us, and has created us in the best of forms. He has given us the ability to think, to love, to experience life in its fullest. From this we can be sure that God cares for us and loves us… Everything we have is a gift from Him.
And why did He create us? To know, to love, and to adore/worship Him. Everything around us serves that very purpose.
Now, the One who creates everything out of His love has given us a precious gift: marriage. And he has given the gift of marriage as one of the major ways to realize and to fulfill our purpose of creation.
God says in the Quran:
“And among His wonders is this: He creates for you spouses among yourselves so that you may dwell in tranquility with them (you may become home to each other), and He engenders love and tenderness between you: in this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who think!” (Quran 30:21)
Marriage is about finding our true home. Not the material home; since we are not material beings. We are spiritual beings, and love in marriage is our spiritual home. It is a home where we receive God’s love and tenderness through our spouse.
Our spouse acts as a most tender gift box from our Loving Creator, and each time we receive compassion, we are reminded of the One who has given us this most precious gift. We are reminded of the unending love that is pouring from the One who has created us because of His love.
The Quran uses the word ‘Rahmah’ in the verse I just mentioned, which means much more than mercy and compassion. The word ‘Rahmah’ is derived from the root ‘Rhm’ which means womb. So, spouses can act like wombs to each other, and heal their pains, take care of their deficiencies, and support each other until they are born into the real life, the everlasting life…
Marriage is a gift for us to observe and to feel the reflections of God’s Attributes. We begin to get a glimpse of what God’s love means by feeling love towards each other. Through the feelings He gives us, we experience the meanings of love, mercy, compassion, patience, perseverance… And through these, we come to know God and love Him more!
God also says in the Quran regarding spouses:
“… they are a garment for you and you are a garment to them …” (Quran 2:187)
Spouses are garments to each other. What are garments for? Garments protect us and comfort us. If we are garments to each other, it means we are created to merge, to become one through marriage… Marriage is an opportunity to recognize the beauty of oneness.
But, this means that we have to get rid of our egos, which like to be independent. We need to kick our egos out of our spiritual homes.
Struggles in marriage are opportunities to do house cleaning… Marriage is like a mirror, which reflects everything about us. Guess what, sometime we won’t like what we see. In marriage, we will notice lots of our shortcomings that we haven’t seen before. The spiritual home of marriage is a place where we can be healed of these shortcomings.
Sometimes, we might not be able to feel gratitude to our Lord for the gift of marriage. In fact, we may start to blame our spouse, blame destiny, and blame God… But we need to open our minds and hearts and realize that these internal struggles are for our own benefit. Through this wonderful spiritual school of marriage, God is giving us the opportunity to grow, an opportunity to learn and come closer to Him.
We do so by mirroring the Beautiful Attributes of God in our relationship with our spouses. As prophet Muhammad (p) said: “The best of you are those that treat their spouses best….”
We receive the most effective spiritual and character training through marriage and parenting. Family is a 24/7 school with no spring breaks! We are to melt our egos and submit to God’s will in every aspect of our family lives. Or else, marriage becomes nothing but a pointless war between two egos.
Let’s say we like the idea of becoming more fit and exercising to be healthier. No matter how many books we read about how to exercise, no matter how much we talk about the benefits of exercising, the only way we will benefit from working-out is actually sweating in the gym!
Similarly, no matter how much we talk about the virtues of being a forgiving, loving, and giving person in theory, we cannot become more mature, more understanding, and more giving without going through the actual training.
No matter how much we talk about God’s forgiveness, patience, compassion, and love, we won’t know and appreciate Him experientially unless we practice these virtues in our lives.
For instance, when I show compassion towards my spouse, I can begin to understand how God shows His compassion to all creation. As a result I would feel and say the following: Thank you God for showing me your Compassion through letting me show compassion towards my family!
Even though every human relation, like friendship for instance, is a school to train us in these virtues, none is as effective as family. Because we only spend a limited amount of time with friends, and can easily walk away at the slightest disagreement. Yet relationships in the family may expose all our faults and shortcomings that we did not even know we had.
God says in the Quran:
“It is He who created you from a single soul, and made its mate of like nature in order that you might dwell with her in love….” (Quran 7:189)
Today is a very big day…
Today, we are witnessing two servants of God, choosing to become one…
You are choosing to forget about “I”, and say “we” instead… Because love means dissolving in the other…
You are choosing to build a paradise like family, where angels will dwell…
You are choosing to be helpers and protectors of one another…
You are choosing to be a refuge and a comfort to one another…
You are choosing to be beautiful garments for one another… To cover the deficiencies of each other, and to cherish your strengths… to forgive one another, and to hold hands when it is needed the most…
You are choosing to receive God’s precious gift, so never forget God, in your ease or difficulties… Never mistreat God’s trust to you.. Never look down to God’s great gift to you… He entrusted each of you to the other, so be truthful to your trust.
You are choosing to hold your hands in the journey or love and melt in your love…
You are choosing to be blind to others and just look at each other…
You are choosing to be together forever, here, and in the hereafter…
Today is a very big day… Today God has invited us to witness His love, so that we can all take our shares from it… Glory be to God! God, let us feel your Love…
بارك الله لكما، وبارك عليكما، وجمع بينكما في خير
“May God bless you and shower His blessings on you and place goodness between both of you”
Please feel free to use this talk in wedding ceremonies… Our gift to all couples!
By Dr. Omar and Dr. Eren Tatari
And here is a beautiful song for your marraige from Maher Zain: Barakallah