By: Dr. Aqeel Azmi
What is our purpose in this life? We were Created to worship Allah. What is worship or ibadah? It is not just restricted to performing our daily prayers or reciting the Holy Quran as most people may tend to think. Everything that you do can be a form of worship, if, that was your intention.
For example, there is a man who is hungry and is eating. He doesn’t really care about what he is eating or how he is eating, but he just eats with the intention of satisfying his hunger.
Then there is another man. He eats with different thoughts in his mind. His intention all the while is “I am eating so that I will have the strength to be able to worship Allah and do good deeds for His sake and to earn His pleasure”
Isn’t there a difference?
The basic act of eating can be an act of ibaadah provided that one’s intention is such. Likewise, all our daily actions that do not conflict with what Allah has ordained can become acts of Ibaadah if we intend for them to be. And also, if we try to do these deeds just as how our Prophet (saws) did, then we will earn more reward for following the sunnah of Allah’s Messenger.
Therefore with regards to Ibaadah with your spouse, what a husband does for his wife and what a wife does for her husband will all come under acts of ibaadah provided that the intention is intact.
So, if a wife takes care of her household and takes care of her husband to please Allah, it becomes ibaadah for her. And if a husband is just with his wife and provides for her intending to earn Allah’s pleasure then it becomes an act of ibaadah for him. And they will both earn their respective rewards in shaa Allah.
The husband and wife are partners with a mutual desire to support and encourage each others’ footsteps towards Jannah and away from the Hell-fire.
A husband and wife should try to read and understand the Quran and memorize its verses together – This can be done in a way that is fun. For example, they can set a time everyday where they sit down together and repeat the verses that they are memorizing to each other multiple times following by understanding the message conveyed by them by referring to a tafseer. Then later on when they are travelling etc, they can recall the verses in such a way that the husband reads a verse and then the wife would read the following verse and then the husband would read the next one and so on. They can also discuss what is meant by those verses which they had memorized. The Prophet used to recite the Quran while lying on Aisha’s lap. So why not follow the example of the Prophet and spend this lovely quality time together while at the same time reciting from Allah’s Quran.
A husband and wife should pray in Jamath, when both are home for prayers – The husband can be the imaam and lead the wife in prayer. This way they will remind each other about prayers and perform it together. Also they will earn the reward of praying in a jamath than alone.
The husband and the wife should regularly remind each other to do dhikr – Sometimes we pass time doing mundane tasks that do not need much thought. During these times we can earn rewards by repeating praises of Allah and also sending blessings to the Prophet. So an example would be if a couple is travelling somewhere, waiting for an appointment etc. instead of sitting together in silence, they can remind each other to do dhikr.
The husband and wife should make dua for each other –They should do this in each other’s absence and should also ask for Allah to reward and bless each other by regularly saying, Jazaak Allah khair (for the man) and Jazaaki Illah khair (for the woman) and also Allahumma baarik laka (for the man) and Allahumma baarik laki (for the woman). This is also a protection from each others’ evil eye which is a reality. They should also make it a habit to help each other memorize the beautiful duas from the Quran and the duas of the Prophet and use them in their prayers.
The husband and wife should regularly offer Tahajjud – They should try their best to form a strong regular habit of waking up during the last part of the night so that they may offer Tahajjud together. This is one of the best deeds that one can ever do. The benefits and the rewards of this deed cannot be emphasized enough.
The husband and wife should try to support each other in performing voluntary fasts- They should try to make it a habit and help each other to fast on Mondays and Thursdays or they can try to fast on the three white days of every month(13th, 14th & 15th).
The husband and wife should watch beneficial Islamic videos, attend lecturers & Quran classes together – The husband and wife should take interest in increasing their knowledge and also should keep their levels of imaan high by encouraging and suggesting to each other different lectures of trustworthy scholars and other beneficial Islamic videos which are based on authentic sources. They can watch these videos together or even separately but a discussion should always follow.
The husband and wife should encourage each other to give charity to those in need – If either the husband or wife is talented in making handicrafts for example, then they can utilize free time and spend it together in making different items that could be sold and the proceedings could be given in the form of sadaqah. And while making these items the couple can revise verses of the quran, help each other with memorization of duas, or they can even do dhikr together.
The husband and wife should also feed the hungry together – This can be done to a great extent during the month of ramadaan. The wife may cook extra food that the husband can give to deserving households or people who are needy. They can also form good relationships with the neighbors’ around them by sharing with them some of the food cooked at home.
The husband and wife should always be kind and loving with each other – Treat each other with gentleness and respect. They should remember that intimacy is also a form of ibadah and it is a source of reward. The husband and wife should both be approachable. If there are issues then it should be dealt with patiently and with sensitivity.
These are some of so many deeds that can be done together as acts of ibaadah. The main thing is that there should be a genuine mutual desire to want the best for each other in this life and in the next life then worshipping Allah together as partners will come naturally. And also it will be a source of Mercy and Blessings and a means by which Allah may increase the love and understanding between the husband and wife so that they may live a truly blissful married life.