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3. The benefit of marriage is not only to the wife and children and to the society at large, but also to the husband. Recent studies in the United Kingdom have revealed that while divorce causes suffering to both partners it appeared to cause even more depression among husbands than wives. The value of a wife in providing psychological comfort as well as physical love should not be under-estimated. The man without the responsibilities and comforts of a wife and family is more exposed to temptations of unlawful sexual relations and deviant behaviour. It cannot be a mere coincidence that the decline of marriage in the western world today has been accompanied by a rise in aggressive homosexuality, pornography, child sexual abuse and the danger of rape - even of small girls and old women.
The Qur'an has referred to the marriage relationship as one of Allah's wonders that enshrines the greatest and most transforming of all human emotions - love:
'And among His wonders is this: He creates for you mates out of your own nature so that you may incline towards them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you. In this, behold, there are signs indeed for people who think." (Qur'an 30:21)
In another verse of the Qur'an Allah says:
"They (wives) are your garments and you are their garments." (Qur'an 2:187)
Comfort, protection and intimacy are all comprised in these descriptions of the marriage relationship as it is intended to be. The Prophet (SM) commented: "You have seen nothing like marriage for increasing the love of two people." (Hadith from Ibn Majah.)
Marriage is not intended to be a prison but a base, a safe haven, a source of contentment, tranquility, consolation and spiritual strength through shared commitment and experience. If it is turned into an arena for strife, discontent, abuse, or oppression it is failing to fulfill its proper function.
Therefore every effort should be made to ensure that there is compatibility between a man and woman before they are betrothed and every precaution should be taken to avoid the souring of a marriage once it is established. What follows is based on the guidance of the Qur'an and Sunnah to help a wife on how to keep her marriage a happy one that conforms to the descriptions of marriage in the Qur'an.
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