Why this book is different

Much of available literature on marriage for Muslims are inclined towards its fiqihi or legalistic aspects: i.e,the halal-and-haram, rulings, and dos and don’ts of marriage. As important as that is in providing us vital guidance, there is also a need to step back and look at marriage from its other aspects to properly appreciate its full potential to our development as Muslims. After all, syariah is only one aspect of the comprehensive message of Islam.

As an addition to the prevalently fiqihi outlook towards marriage, this book invites readers to appreciate the significance of marriage in the overall message of Islam: namely, how central or peripheral it is to our life as a Muslim. We can do this systematically by looking at its significance in our belief systems (aqidah), divine laws (syariah) and formative guidance (akhlaq) respectively, as Islam develops the mind, body, and soul of believers towards their iman, amal and ihsan – i.e faith in God, its manifestation in deeds, and embodiment in character. So, the running theme throughout the book is the interconnectedness between the conceptual, legalistic and relational aspects of marriage themselves as well as the holistic message of Islam itself.

Furthermore, marital guidance books by and for Muslims have an enduring tendency to prescribe. Muslims could do with a little bit of reflections on the ideals and spirit behind these prescriptions. This book essentially shares the writers’ reflections through the decades of observing the disconnect between Islamic marital ideals and Muslim marital practices gleaned from their marital counselling experience. It will illustrate, using real-life case examples, the flexibility of Islamic marital guidancein addressing contemporary marital issues in family leadership, management, financing, and conflict management – which many fail to appreciate.

 Lastly, the book synthesizes Enon’s university education in the social sciences as well as a combination of her professional and Osman’s para-counselling experience in marital counselling – on the one hand – with their traditional Islamic upbringing and more than two decades of gradual study of Islamic literature on marriage – on the other. As such, the book is a bridge between old and new, theory and practice, religion and science, and ideals and realities – regarding marriage, family, love, and relationships. In addition, their experience educating converts and non-Muslims helps them present these age-old ideals in ways appreciable to discerning, critical, and even sceptical modern adults.