The search for a perfect life partner is high up in most people’s life goals. And once we discover our perfect match, the highs and lows of relationships consume much of our energy and emotions. The Review of Religions is pleased to launch this new series ‘Life Lessons for a Happy Marriage.’ What can you expect in this series? We present the English translations of the guidance imparted by His Holiness (aba) on such occasions of Nikah We have included only those parts of the Nikah sermons in which His Holiness (aba) has imparted advice, and left out specific details such as names and dowry. This is the first time these have been translated into English. From time to time we will feature guidance from His Holiness (aba) on marriage and relationships on other occasions as well. We are keeping these segments short, bite-size, and digestible so you can take away short tips every time you read any part of this series.
Nikah is the Islamic marriage announcement, where two sides declare acceptance of their new matrimonial union. In doing so, they vow to abide by the commandments of God and treat their spouse in the best manner and make righteousness the basis of their relationship.
On certain occasions, while announcing a Nikah, The Fifth Caliph and Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) imparts invaluable words of advice. These should be heeded not only by the new couples but by all who wish to establish true peace and success, in their relationships and homes.
On 8 April 2012, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) announced two Nikah ceremonies in the Fazl Mosque, London. After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz, and the Qur’anic verses of Nikah, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) read out the names of the parties whose Nikah would be announced. Following this, His Holiness (aba) stated:
‘The Nikah is a special occasion and a time of tremendous joy, especially for the two families who are joining together in matrimony and forming a new relationship. [They are not joyful] simply because they are forming a worldly relationship, building a foundation for the next generation and fulfilling the desires of both parties. These are not the only objectives [of marriage], rather, there is a much greater objective for a believer, and especially for an Ahmadi, who has taken the Bai’at in this age and pledged to give precedence to their faith over the world. They should always be mindful of the objective they are reminded of by Allah the Almighty when joining in matrimony, not just the bride and groom, but both their families as well, to build their relationship upon righteousness. Only then will their relationship climb to success, and only then will it reach the standard as is expected from the life of a believer. Observe righteousness in every matter, whether big or small and in respect to honoring family ties. Both the bride and groom should respect the relationships and ties of the kinship of one another. It is upon the bride to care for her in-laws and respect and honour them, and it is upon the groom to respect and honour the family and close relatives of his wife. A relationship should not be established to realise worldly ambitions, but to attain the pleasure of Allah the Almighty. Worldly desires are naturally fulfilled through the bond of marriage; however, a true marriage is that which is solemnised while giving precedence to faith, one that gives primacy to the pleasure of Allah. Then, Allah the Almighty states that these marriages will only persevere if in every matter, along with honouring ties of kinship, the standards of honesty and righteousness are raised. You should exemplify honesty at every moment. Mutual trust can only be established when there is a certainty that both parties are truthful to one another. Many a time, there are disputes based on a wife’s complaint that the husband is concealing things from her. This is not the standard of honesty. On the other hand, the husband also complains that the wife conceals things from him. This is not the standard of honesty either.
Allah the Almighty, considering this aspect of human psychology, has commanded both the bride and groom on the day of their marriage, that their marriage will only be successful if it is based on the highest standard of honesty. One should always be mindful of this.
Furthermore, in summation, Allah the Almighty states that one mustn’t neglect Him on account of their worldly relationships. One should always be mindful about what they have prepared for their future, for when they will pass on from this world; what is it that they can present before Allah the Almighty. As long as one is mindful of this, they will also remain diligent toward all sorts of good deeds. As a result, their relationships will remain intact and the next generations to come will be firm in their faith and will seek to achieve the objective that an Ahmadi Muslims seeks to achieve when taking the Bai’at of the Imam of the age. May Allah bless the marriages taking place in every respect and may there be such a sense of mutual trust as has never been seen before. May the coming generations be firm in their faith and dutiful to Khilafat. May they be of service to their faith. With these brief words, I will now make the announcement of Nikah.’
Original Urdu published in Al-Fazl International Edition: 28 February 2014