The Marriages Made in Heaven e-book and the bonus report of “Seven Fatal Mistakes That Can Destroy your Marriage” have been written and put together by Pure Matrimony. Pure Matrimony are a matrimonial website who state that they developed the organisation by consulting shuyookh (Islamic scholars) “ ..to ensure that our platform is 100% shariah compliant” and that it “adheres to the strict guidelines that Islam demands when searching for a spouse.”
Marriages Made in Heaven is an e-book that explores the Muslim marriage and addresses it by looking at aspects of the ideal Islamic relationship alongside what can go wrong and ways to address these issues. The layout and the way in which the e-book proceeds are both flowing and comprehensive, starting by asking us to check how healthy our marital relationships are. This is done by asking us to consider the three Ds of Distraction, Distance and Despair and making use of an emotional connection rating scale. This is in keeping with any form of in depth work of the self or relationships: we have to recognise where we are before we can decide and put into action the direction we need to take.
My personal favourite chapters, although I like them all, are possibly ‘The Attitude of Gratitude’ and ‘Putting Each Other First’. Gratitude is something which helps us to re-focus and it is a tool I use myself and encourage in others to utilise, whenever and wherever we are able to. The chapter reminds us of the benefits of gratitude, highlights the signs of ingratitude and gives us tips on how to cultivate gratitude (including the one my clients will know: keeping a gratitude diary). The chapter, “Putting Each Other First” helps us contemplate that we often marry the right person but the distraction, distance and despair that may have seeped into the marriage is what might be why we are thinking that they are the wrong person.
I also like how the e-book addresses both brothers and sisters and takes into account that a successful marriage requires the commitment to betterment from them both, of each of them as well as a team. The e-book rounds itself off with some “Concluding Thoughts” which remind us that “the ideal Muslim marriage is one that is rooted in patience, prayer and perseverance. You need to be patient in waiting for your marriage to improve, since problems don’t disappear overnight!”
The bonus report looks at what it calls “The Seven Fatal Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Marriage” and it is here that it touches upon abuse within a marriage when discussing the first fatal mistake made by individuals/couples: “Lack of Respect”. All the things mentioned in terms of “What are the signs of disrespect for one another?” are like the signs of ingratitude all signs of abuse and I, as a psychotherapist who works with couples and with domestic violence issues, can vouch that for abuse to occur there needs to be an absence of respect; for if you respect another individual, whoever they are, you will struggle to abuse them or do them an injustice consciously. The bonus report also points you back to the e-book for ways to address and remedy these issues.
The content is, to me, obviously a good solid work upon which to base a course. It seems thoroughly researched and comes across as something done with time, hard work and effort which is what relationships need. Also it seems evident to me that the people involved in writing this have had experience of marriage. As with anything in life, it is our focus that determines its trajectory and our focus as Muslims needs to be our faith and belief in Allah (SWT) and all that He has asked of us. And Alhamdulillah (all praise and thanks belongs to Allah (SWT)) everything seems to fall into place when we actually manage to achieve that.
Just two very minor matters arose, to me as reading, that could perhaps make it even better than it already is:
1) Exploring and addressing some of the language it uses, which might cause readers to feel lacking and unable to fulfil what is being asked of them.
2) Positive pictures, perhaps of nature rather than of people or couples, might be nice as they can have calming affects on the brain and enable us to engage our rational minds whilst reading.
Overall I would recommend both the e-book and the bonus report as good and useful reads for both spouses to go through individually and together and if necessary even with a mediator/counsellor. I believe there is much to benefit us, in them bi’idhnillah (by Allah’s leave). Marriages Are Made In Heaven an the bonus are available directly from Pure Matrimony at https://purematrimony.leadpages.co/marriages-are-made-in-heaven/
Khalida Haque is a qualified and experienced counselling psychotherapist, clinical supervisor and group facilitator. She is founding director of Khair Therapeutic Services (www.khair-therapeutic.com). She enjoys reading, writing and building up other people so that they can bi’idhnillah become who they are meant to be. She can be followed (and contacted) at https://www.facebook.com/#!/khalida.haque.9