Sakinah, Mawaddah, and Rahmah
Marriage means forging love and cooperation, putting forward other people’s behalf and sacrificing, establishing tranquility and loving environment, a noble spiritual relationship, and lawful physical attachment.
Marriage means home, which pillars were Adam and Eve, from who families and descendants derived, then houses, then communities, soon followed by various nations and countries sprouted. Allah the Glorified and Exalted has decreed regarding this fact, which can be translated as,
“And He it is Who has created man from water and then produced from him two sorts of kindred: by descent and by marriage. Your Lord is All-Powerful.” (Chapter al Furqan/The Criterion:54)
Mushaharah is the family tie forged by marriage, such as son-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, and so on. Marriage is a fortress that could repress the wildness of human’s sexual desire, restrain his carnal desire, protecting his honor and prevent him from falling into the pits of immoralities and indecencies.
We’ve seen how the Qur’an roused from each couple the feeling of need of each other, and perfecting other’s imperfection. In essence, woman is like a branch of man, and man is like a root for woman. Thus, the root will always need its branch, and the branch will always in need of its root. Regarding this fact, Allah the Glorified and Exalted decreed, which can be translated as,
“It is He – Allah – Who created you from a single being, and out of it He made its mate, that he may find comfort in her.” (Chapter Al A’raf/The Height:189)
A single being in this verse refers to Adam, and his mate was Eve. Therefore, in Islam, marriage is not just a tool to preserve the human’s existence, but more than that, it is meant to carry out Allah’s order –Glorified and Exalted be He- as in His verse, which can be translated as,
“then marry the women that seem good to you: “ (Chapter an Nisa/The Women:3)
Under the teaching of Islam, a couple can live their life in synergy and unity in everything; their feelings, their hearts and motivations, their ambitions and end-goals, etc.
One of the magnificence the Qur’an and a sign of its perfection is that we could see all of those meanings, be it Already being mentioned or not, reflected in a verse, namely:
“They are your garment, and you are theirs. ” (Chapter al Baqarah/The Cow: 187)
The meaning of Sakina, Mawadda, and Rahmah
The Qur’an has depicted about the instinctual and emotional ties between a husband and a wife, as one of the signs of Allah’s greatness and His uncountable favors. Allah the Glorofed and Exalted decreed, which can be translated as,
“And of His Signs is that He has created mates for you from your own kind that you may find peace in them and He has set between you love and mercy. Surely there are Signs in this for those who reflect.” (Chapter Ar Ruum/The Romans:21)
A husband’s proclivity towards his wife and the peace that he feels from being with her, and the attachment of a wife to her husband is something natural and befit their instincts. The above verse is foundation of a life that is always filled with utter comfiness. A wife is like a shelter to her husband, after a day full of struggle to earn some living, and the place to find a comfort after all of his tiredness and weariness. In the end, it is onto this place all his exhaustions will be unloaded. It is true, to his wife, who should welcome him with fondness, cheery and smiley face. At that time, her husband will find in her, ears that listen to him well, compassionate heart, and comforting talk..
The qualities of a righteous woman is emphasized in the aim of her creation, namely, becoming a tranquility for man, with all the meanings of the word “tranquility (sakinah)” itself. And for a tranquility to be addressed as proper, it (read: the woman) has to meet some criteria, the most important which are: its owner shall fill please whenever he looks at it, it is capable of preserving his family and his wealth, it doesn’t let anyone who defy him live with it.
Pertaining to chapter Ar Ruum:21 above, there are some morals to be reflected upon:
Firstly: Abu al Hasan al Mawardy said about the meaning of the verse, “that you may find peace in them and He has set between you love and mercy.” (ar Ruum:21) “There are four opinions regarding this verse:
First: that the meaning of Mawaddah (love) is al Mahabbah (love) whereas the meaning of ar Rahmah (mercy) is asy Syafaqah (compassion).
Second: that the meaning of Mawaddah is al Jima’ (sexual intercourse) and Rahmah means al walad (children).
Third: that the meaning of Mawaddah is loving the elder and Rahmah means being compassionate to the younger.
Fourth: that the meaning of both words is to love one another between a couple (See: (al-Mawardy: an-Nukat Wa al-‘Uyûn).
Ibn Katsir said, “Among the signs of His greatness that showcases the grandeur and perfection of His power is that He created women to be your mate, from among your kind, thus you may incline to them and find peace in them. Had He created all of the children of Adam (mankind) being male, and created women from other than their own kind, for example, from jinn or animal, it is certain that there will no unity of hearts between them and their wives, rather, it will chase them away, if their mate belongs to other kind than them. Furthermore, among the perfection of His mercy upon the children of Adam, He made for them their mate from their own kind, and created between them the feeling of love (mawaddah), that is, love, affection, and compassion. Since it is likely that a man ties a woman to him based in his love and affection to her, thus he’ll be able to obtain an offspring from her, or she (the woman) needs him in order to provide a loving for her, or in order to forge a closeness of hearts between them, and so on.” (See: Tafseer Ibn Katsir)
Secondly: Lets reflect for a momet, upon Allah’s verse, “from your own kind”. A wife is noble human being, in which there is a resemblance between her and the husband, whereas man has a level of Qiwamah (leadership) upon woman. (See: Chapter al Baqara/The Cow: 228)
The right of leadership owns by a husband doesn’t necessarily means that he could act authoritatively and oppressively by shutting down other people’s opinion (his wife’s). It is like a traffic sign that regulates people’s journey, but not to stop it. Therefore, that leadership doesn’t mean to dismiss a woman’s role in stating her opinion and giving her help in building their family.
Thirdly: Security, peace, and stability could bring salvation to the children, that will protect them from anything that could threaten their existences and misguide them from the straight path, since they are growing inside a clean “institution” which is free from corruptions or negative interventions, in which each people’s rights and life aim are clear, each individual does his obligation, as the Messenger of Allah –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said,
“Every one of you is a leader, and every leader is responsible over what he leads.”
Leadership has been decided, and each individual are pleased with one another, by refraining from doing transgression. This is the meaning of Allah’s decree in chapter An Nisaa:34.
Fourthly: Each husband and wife should respect other’s opinion. There should a discussion that is based on affection, but it should not be too long to the extent of debate. It is better for one party to give in to other’s opinion if that other opinion appears to be stronger, since objective discussion that is nurtured with love and affection will be able to conquer any kind of obstacles for the sake of preserving a happy household.
Fifthly: A love and affection that is grow at the beginning as the nature that Allah the Glorified and Exalted bestows upon a husband and his wife will increase along with the increase of goodness in each of them.
Contrary to it, love and affection will lessen along with the lessening of goodness in both of them because naturally, a soul will love a person who treats it gently and always does good to it; moreover if that person is husband or wife, between whom Allah the Glorified and Exalted has created love. For certain, that love will grow larger and stronger. The Messenger of Allah –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, “The world is like adornment, and the best adornment is the righteous woman.”
Sixthly, the best impression derived from the Prophet’s household is the preservation of rights between husband and wife, during their lifetime, and even after their death. It could be seen from what ‘Aisha said – may Allah be pleased with her- , she of the beloved wife of Allah’s messenger –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- who was so acutely jealous of Khadija –may Allah be pleased with her-, the Prophet’s first wife, who was already passed away and who, she never met with. It is simply because he always remembered her kindness and merits.
May Allah the Glorified and Exalted make the households of the muslims as households that are filled with tranquility , love, and compassion. And it could be realized whenever the muslims return to their Prophet’s teachings, and take examples from his marriage life.
Reference: Tsulâtsiyyah al-Hayâh az-Zawjiyyah: as-Sakan, al-Mawaddah, ar-Rahmah by Dr.Zaid bin Muhammad ar-Rummany.