Life Lessons for a Happy Marriage – The Rights of One Another & Family

His Holiness (aba) leading a Nikah Sermon

On certain occasions, while announcing a Nikah [Islamic marriage announcement], the Fifth Caliph and Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) imparts invaluable 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.

The Review of Religions is pleased to 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.

Members join His Holiness (aba) in silent prayers after a Nikah (photo taken pre-pandemic)

On 2 January 2013, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) announced two Nikah ceremonies in Fazl Mosque, London. After reciting TashahhudTa‘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:

‘At this time, I will announce a few Nikah ceremonies, some of which are taking place between relatives, while others between those that are establishing new relationships. At the time of marriage when a new relationship is being formed, it should always be borne in mind that Allah the Almighty has enjoined for us to fulfil two rights; one is the right of Allah the Almighty, and the other, the right of humankind. What exactly are these rights in the context of marriage and forming a new relationship? At present, I will speak about the rights of humankind. 

At the time of marriage, Allah the Almighty has commanded both the bride, bridegroom, and both families to fulfil the due rights of one another, especially those which Allah the Almighty has appointed and established for them. You must look after your ties of kin; among the ties of kin are the bride’s immediate relatives, including her mother, father, brothers and sisters, and then other close relatives. Then there are ties of kin for the bridegroom and his immediate relatives. Having said that, after establishing this new relationship, both the bride and the bridegroom are commanded to fulfil the rights of the immediate and close relatives of one another. Because this new relationship is being formed between two families, everyone should try to give each other their due rights. One such right that has been given great importance is honesty, such that one speaks truthfully and straightforwardly. There should be no sense of deceit, nor should there be any chance of a misunderstanding taking place. The reason for this is that even the slightest of things can produce such misunderstandings that cause hearts to become estranged. Sometimes it is not the wife and husband that become resentful but the parents of the two or their close relatives, which negatively impacts the couple. As a result, what was once a happy and harmonious home becomes entrenched in problems. 

Thus, Allah the Almighty states that if you wish to uphold these relationships, the most fundamental principle is that you must adhere to honesty and truthfulness, such that is free from any sort of ambiguity. Allah the Almighty has given a long list of rights which cannot all be stated here, but He commands us to seek out the rights we owe. If you are mindful of fulfilling these rights and discharging your responsibilities – all with good intention – then even if minor disputes do arise between the two families and the couple, Allah the Almighty will provide the means to prevent those disputes from producing negative impacts. In fact, Allah the Almighty will provide a solution to the problem because you demonstrate taqwa (righteousness) in submitting to Him. Allah the Almighty will create means for your forgiveness. The forgiveness of Allah the Almighty does not only constitute a pardon for serious sins, but a pardon for the small and minor mistakes we make and protection from their ill effects. Thus, all those embarking to establish a new relationship, as well as those who are already related, should always bear this in mind. 

[In the Quranic verses recited at the Nikah], the reason why Allah the Almighty has commanded us five times to act with taqwa (righteousness) is so that we are always inclined toward Him, and so that these relationships remain strong and never become rifted. Those marrying today and establishing a new relationship should remember that only if they act with taqwa (righteousness) will they be able to go from strength to strength in their marriage, God willing. In doing so, future generations will also be pious servants of their faith. 

Furthermore, in respect to new marriages taking place, Allah the Almighty also states that you must be mindful of advancing toward the future, and by forming this new relationship, embark toward seeking a better future. The future is of two kinds. One future is that of this world; after today, there is tomorrow, and after this year there is another year to come. Life passes on. If you are mindful of the rights of one another, only then will the future turn out to be positive. In doing so, you will also be considerate of each other’s feelings and emotions, and your worldly relationships will strengthen thereby. Your present-day self and your current relationships should move forward in a manner that they become stronger in the future, and when your tomorrow becomes your today, then think about the future that is to come even after that. In this way, there begins a continuous cycle until one’s death. 

Similarly, there is another future that begins once this life ends. In this regard, Allah the Almighty informs that whatever good actions you perform and whatever rights of Allah the Almighty and His people you fulfil will yield results in the hereafter as well. If we consider the current time of a person’s life to be the present, then [we should also be mindful that] there is a future to come in the hereafter which is everlasting. Thus, Allah the Almighty has exhorted us about how to spend our lives and how we must take our deeds from this life and enter the life that is to come. May Allah make it so that the newlyweds are mindful of these things, they care for the emotions and feelings of one another and understand the responsibilities each of them must uphold. 

In these countries, girls often get educated and then find a career or job thereafter. Allah the Almighty has stated that a man is responsible for running the home. One should not be dependent on the fact that his wife is earning money and working, or that she is bringing money into the home and so the needs of the home can be met. Running and carrying the responsibility of the home is the husband’s obligation. The husband has been declared Qawwam (guardian) [by Allah the Almighty] and thus, he must run the home instead of keeping his eyes on the earnings and income of his wife. If such things occur, distrust may arise , resulting in rifts in relationships. Thus, a believer should always endeavor to abide by every single commandment of Allah the Almighty. One should strive to act upon [these commandments] so that this life can be beautified by living in accordance with God’s commandments. It is this same beauty that makes one the recipient of the favours of Allah the Almighty in the next life. One should endeavour to obey [these commandments] so that this life might be made more beautiful by living in line with God’s commands. This very beauty qualifies one to receive Allah the Almighty’s favours in the hereafter. May Allah provide all the newlyweds the ability to do these things, as I have previously spoken, and may they have pious children who serve their faith.’