Towards the end of the first quarter of the year 2015, I happened to view a very passionate video lecture presented by a Muslim sister. In it she expounded her understanding on how the modern woman, as a spouse, should see herself within the framework of the Islām marriage. Much of what she passionately explained I identified and concurred with, but at the end I was left with the distinct impression that there were subtle gaps in her presentation that pointed to the absence of a complete grasp of the original basis and the components of the Islāmic institution of marriage. Her knowledge appeared somewhat skewed as it its purpose and foundation position. I knew nothing about her but soon learned that she was either separated or divorced.
Her apparent intelligence, passion and evident deep-seated quest to offer and manifest sincere worship of Allāh (swt) attracted my attention. Even more impressive and inspiring was her fervour to share her knowledge and understanding. Quite unusually, I felt compelled to share with her the knowledge and understanding I have on the subject of her lecture, in the hope that it might serve to adjust her mind-set and be of benefit to her.
The means of contacting her was established and there then followed a series of exchanges between the sister and myself. That electronic mail conversation ended because I felt she, quite understandably, did not trust my motives for wanting to establish dialogue with her. The author then decided to write a small article and then booklet to complement her lecture and address its areas of weakness. But that soon expanded into what is contained in this effort because, in truth, this was not about the sister, but women and men generally. What apparently was missing from the sister’s discourse was a clear understanding of the ancient pre-Earth perspective of the purpose of Islām marriages, on which the success of spouses, in their relationships, critically was dependant.
Allāh’s (swt) Most Gracious and Instructive Sayings (DIVINE ḤADITH), in His Arabic Qur’ān, plainly shows that the context of marriage, as a divine structure for the development of societies, is no longer understood. Its original and true position has been, in many ways, misinterpreted, confused, and concealed. With each succeeding generation, it would appear that human beings have become ignorant of the value, position and application of the knowledge regarding marriage, by accepting friendship, shelter, mentorship, and an unholy alliance with the entity called Shay’tān, also known as Iblis. As a consequence of that fellowship humans have allowed themselves, like their ancient Al-Akhira ancestor, to become seduced further and further away from the real truth and a coherent understanding of the wisdoms behind marriage as a Divine institution and a social framework.
The purpose of this humble effort is to (a) try to refresh and restore human knowledge and understanding about: (i) the honoured social centre stage position that marriage has held since antiquity; and (ii) the sacredness, tremendous blessings, and overwhelming benefits human beings can derived from the Islamic marriage; and (b) to explain the origin of warfare and that its very first occurrence was in the form of an attack upon the human intellect, to create nushooz within the institution of marriage; the framework of peace and tranquillity on which the survival of the human race depends.
This effort represents just one facet of the author’s series of works under the umbrella title of “Islām From The Foundation Up”. The basic thinking and aim behind the series is to try and illustrate a sensible and practical understanding of the Most Gracious; one that is properly justified on the basis of the Glorious Arabic Qur’ān, and authentic Sunnah. There is always a degree of personal possession in respect of any acquired excellence in knowledge, understanding, and wisdom, from the experiences of each individual, however, true ownership, as a matter of law and righteousness, properly belongs to Allāh (swt).Humans are compelled to return and hand over those possessions, not directly, but through obedience to His every command, including the edict that requires the proclamation and sharing of Allāh’s (swt) bounties and prohibits the refusal of kindness. To that end, it is the right of author’s fellow man that he should draw on his: (a) experiences in the challenging journey of life; (b) intense hunger and desire not to short-change and commit Bakhila; (c) deep love for all that is Islāmically good and excellent; and (d) sense of responsibility not to pollute intellect and reason, to ensure that whatever the Islāmic knowledge, understanding and wisdom he has acquired, internalised and manifested, it: (i) genuinely leads to betterment in the ego; and (ii) is conveyed in a manner that speaks to every atom of the material, spiritual, moral and psychological natures of the living human structure, and fits every cog within its common operational bio-chemical systems.
The focus in this particular effort is on the following five matters:
identification delineation and illumination of the actual and manifest form of the common “State” in which Ādam and Ḥawwā , and their every descendant, are created in by Allāh (swt).
Providing a practical understanding of how the “State” (in which human beings how created) came to be affected by an endowed limited freedom of choice and will, together with the dynamics of human faculty of desires;
Identifying and explaining why Bakhila and nushooz are the core and real destructive human attitudes;
Demonstrating that from a practical perspective, the matters mentioned in points 1-3 above were and continue to be impacted by reason of their exposure to the active and successive contents forming the human “life-time”;
Proving that fundamentally, the Islāmic Institution of Marriage was and remains the only real and viable traditional framework in which humans can realistically: (a) spend “time” to establish and substantiate sincere belief in and resignation and submission to the “Oneness of Allāh (swt); (b) cultivate, during the succession of states, the qualities of Bakhila and nushooz; and (c) become challenged with their faculty to desire becoming exposed to external forces, thereby obligating them to exercise their endowed limited freedoms to impact, either negatively or positively, their “State”.
The plain Islāmic understanding is that human beings were created in a divinely defined “State”, and endowed with a limited freedom of choice and will, together with the dynamics of human desires. The fact that the primal humans were created in the Al-Akhira (Arabic, which is rendered the Other//Next realm of existence) and their descendants on planet Earth, in the realm of Ad-Dunyaa (Arabic, meaning, “Connected/Related to”), makes no difference to the qualitative nature and occurrence of this natural and inescapable common experience that was derived form their “State”. In Islām, that difference in realm does not change the fitra (pattern/design/structure) of the “State” in which humans are created, hence, in every human being there is always a sense of cognizance of it and, at some point in time in their life, they will reflect, talk and yearn for it.
The effect of the differences in the realms is in relation to the impact upon the level and extent to which the bliss that emanates from the active presence of the “State”, is experienced and enjoyed. The unequivocal position is that, in this realm of Ad-Dunyaa, the occupants are allowed to undergo and enjoy things that are similar to what will be enjoyed, if permitted by Allāh (swt) to live in Jannat, in the Al-Akhira (Sūrah Al-Baqarah [Ch.2]: 26). As a direct result, the greatest possible bliss that can achieved in life on planet Earth, pales into insignificance when compared with supreme bliss that will be achieved in the real abode of Jannat.
The Divine evidence will show, that is only when Ādam and Ḥawwā’ were exposed to the external influences of the contents of “time”, and called upon to practically exercise their limited freedoms (in the operation of developing the human ego), that they used their faculties improperly. The two potentials of desiring and exercising the limited freedom of willing whatever is desired and chosen, which together form the greatest possible innate human strength (capable of lifting them to the highest level of obedience, resignation and submission to Allāh [swt]), became exposed as also being a weakness (Sūrah An-A’rāf [Ch.7]: 20); one that caused the primal humans to suffer the loss of the noble “state” in which they were created. The simple but crucial reminder from which human beings ought to benefit (by applying the knowledge to all their everyday practical experiences) is that lurking in the background of every exposure to the contents of time and space, is the propensity in all human beings to change things for the worse and cause themselves injury (Sūrah An-A’rāf [Ch.7]: 43). And the reasons for this are the innate human capability of choosing between alternative courses of action, and the connection of that process to the exposure of the members of the human race to:
The possibility of becoming tempted towards transgressing the Divine commands (Sinning) with the attendant evil (misery, corruption and confusion) which follows a wrong choice in disrupting the Divine order;
becoming distracted and unappreciative of their created “State”; treating it as insignificant, worthless and with disdain; and
dismissing as utopian (now that the human race was exiled from Al-Akhira to this realm of Ad-Dunyaa, and also because the human knowledge and memory of their experiences while an infant, are nebulous) that priceless gift of the divinely given “State”.
Allāh (swt) was fully aware of the abovementioned deficiency, and that it would occur if humans are not keen on preserving and maintaining the divinely endowed “State”, and protecting themselves against the potential difficulties and harm that would ensue its abuse. As clear proof of that, the Divine Witness Statements, contained in the Glorious Arabic Qur’ān, provide that Ādam and Ḥawwā’ were required to establish and develop the practice of discipline, restraint and firmness in leaving things in the good state and condition in which they are found (Sūrah Ṭā Hā [Ch.20]: 115).
The object then is to provide insight as to the nature of the “State” that forms the optimum achievement in life on planet Earth and the supreme achievement in Jannat (Paradise/Bliss). The intention is to re-establish its exalted position and illuminate it as a precious and tremendously valuable thing; one that is indispensable to the existences of a real, truthful, and meaningful relationship with the Creator, between spouses, and as a sincere follower of the Deen of Al-Islām. Attaining that goal will involve, not just the act of merely identifying what, in Islām, constitutes real success and the ultimate achievement in life, but also elucidating on why it has been minimised and overlooked; discussing what has occurred as a consequence of it being reduced to a diminutive rank in the human societies; how and by what means it can be restored; what are the required qualitative attributes to maintain real appreciation and the continued presence of that condition of success; and what are some of the forms that manifest the actual existence of the achievement itself.
The subject is clearly vast and extremely deep, so it is not possible in the work to deal with all the different manifestations of the mental conditions that blind people to the reality of what constitute ultimate success. Nor is it the aim to enumerate the many and growing number of things that distract human beings from appreciating and assigning the correct value to that divine gift.
Also, it is beyond the ability of the author and scope of this effort to comprehensively, graphically, and precisely depict the “State” that forms the reality of the “supreme achievement”. In its purest form that is a “Next Realm” experience that must be tasted, lived and appreciated. All that one is able to do is to point out the divinely carved out path (Shari’ah), and the tools the Creator has provided for qualifying as a prospective candidate for the measure of success.
The major part of this effort will be concentrated on looking at the State within the context of the fundamental purpose in creating human beings and Islāmic institution of marriage. Serious and careful deliberation must therefore be given to the divinely expressed reason behind a male and female taking each other as husband and wife; the main effects of the later Al-Akhiranushooz of the rebellious humans on the “State” in which they were created; how the two Al-Akhiranushooz were dealt with by Allāh; and the core mischief caused by nushooz that the Sūrah An-Nisā’ [Ch.4: 34-35] regulations are designed to correct.