Ramadan is a busy time, especially for Muslims who live in non-Muslim countries in the northern hemisphere where the nights are short and the days are stretched to their limit. Sleep is almost impossible as there is a minimal gap between returning from the masjid after Taraweeh prayers and preparing/having suhoor. As much as we may try to be the best that we can be in Ramadan, the lack of sleep and hunger can catch up to us, causing strain on our relationships. This blog will cover some tips on how to build a successful partnership in Ramadan, focusing on the husband-wife relationship in different departments.
The Problem: During Ramadan, the kitchen becomes the most used room in the house. Some women may even begin feeling a love-hate relationship with their kitchens. It’s not the just preparation of the meals but everything else that leads up to it (i.e., the dishes!). Women may feel the extra burden of Ramadan because on top of all the fasting and be striving to do as much worship as possible, the wives not only have to cook but also clean the kitchen afterward. This is not only exhausting but also deprives the woman of the valuable time she could utilize towards her worship in this blessed month.
Tips: Husbands should realize that the Sunnah is to help around the house. Ramadan is all about developing healthy habits that you can continue throughout the year. Helping with chores in Ramadan will reduce the amount of time the preparation takes, decreasing the burden on your wife, and help build a successful partnership.
The Problem: Some working men and women may feel that time flies by at the office, so they spend more time working. However, keep in mind that there is someone at home, possibly alone or with children, who may not have that luxury of keeping busy.
Tips: Fasting alone can be difficult. Build a successful partnership this Ramadan by coming home early to spend more time with your spouse so that the time goes by for both of you. You can also spend this time together by worshiping together.
Problem: What is Ramadan without a trip to the grocery store every week? But it may be really exhaustive in Ramadan especially on an empty stomach. So better try to join your partner while going for grocery. Discuss with each other that what is the most convenient and healthy options for Ramadan and shop for that. Choose the food item that is easy to cook and is healthy too.
Tip: Just do it together! Whether you love it or hate it, be in it together!
The Problem: You have young kids who you cannot take to Taraweeh prayers, but both of you want to participate.
Tips: If possible, take turns attending Taraweeh prayers. One night, the husband attends all Taraweeh prayers, and another day the wife has a chance to visit. Since it is recommended for men to pray in congregation, I would suggest that the husbands pray Isha in the congregation and then return home to take care of the kids during their off days. This will divide the time somewhat and help develop a successful partnership.
Learn & read the Quran together:
The Problem: In your daily busy schedule, you are not able to spare time to read and healthily learn Quran.
Tip: Ramadan is indeed the best time to start learning the Quran. So, it’s better to hear and read it together so that utmost barakah in your home and life. Search for any institute or something where you can start learning the Quran. If you have young kids and both of you cannot go together, then it’s a good idea that one of you attend the class and discuss and teach your partner when you get home after attending class. This way you can have healthy discussions and increase your knowledge as well.
Joining any Online Quran learning center is also an excellent idea. Select a time when you both are available to learn Quran online. Modern technology has made it easier so, why not take advantage of it!
The Problem: I’tikaf is an excellent way to end Ramadan. However, if you are planning to make I’tikaf, let your spouse know as this decision affects them. Conversations about the number of days you plan on staying in the masjid, whether you will be using any technology, how often will be calling, whether you will return at all, etc.
Tips: It is always courteous to have a conversation about these things. Ramadan is about enhancing your spirituality, but that should not come at the expense of causing harm. Talk to your spouse and compromise if you have to. Ultimately this will lead to developing a successful partnership.
Also, those who pray together, stay together. If you are newly married or don’t have children, perhaps perform I’tikaf at the masjid together.
These are just some problems and tips on how to develop a successful partnership with your spouse this Ramadan. It is by no means an exhaustive list. I am no marriage expert, but I know that emotional support and conversation are two important things that often are overlooked, especially in busy times like Ramadan. But Ramadan is about developing positive habits within ourselves, and I think the best reflection of that is in how we treat those closest to us.
May Allah bless us in our efforts this Ramadan. Ameen.
“Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous” (25:37).