Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: I am passionate about Islam but my wife is not. I try to motivate her to read Qur’an and pray together, but she doesn’t like it. She gets irritated if I talk about Islam, and prefers that I speak about worldly things. She constantly wants my attention and dives into worldly things like TV. What should I do?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for seeking out a solution to your dilemma.
Allah Most High says, “And of His signs is that He created for you, of yourselves, spouses, that you might repose in them, and He has set between you love and mercy. Surely in that are signs for a people who consider.” [Qur’an, 30:21]
My advice is to make sincere dua for your wife, lead by example, and choose your timing for giving advice.
It sounds like your wife misses you, and feels annoyed that when you do talk to her, all you do is lecture her. Try a different tactic. Help her feel loved, in a way which she understands. What is her love language?
Build more rapport with her. Right now, she sounds closed off to discussions about improving her practice of Islam. Make the intention to advise her when the time is right. Choose to nurture your marriage and be a kind, attentive, forgiving husband. This is a lot harder than just telling your wife what to do. I pray that Allah rewards you immensely for your effort.
When registration reopens, I encourage you to complete Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life. InshaAllah this course will help you understand the spirit and the law behind a successful Islamic marriage.
Think of better ways to handle conflict in your marriage. Please read this article: No Yelling…And 9 Other Rules For Fair Fighting
“Give gifts and you will love one another.” [Bukhari, Al-Adab al-Mufrad]
Please be patient with your wife. Although it would seem easier for her to just listen to you, think of this as an opportunity to refine your character, as well as hers. Ask yourself what you can do better. Can you spend more quality time with her? Can you express your love for her more frequently? Can you improve your own individual acts of worship?
Go straight to the Source and perform The Prayer of Need. Ask Allah to guide your wife, and for Him to help you remain patient with her.
The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “The best of you is the one who is best to his family and I am the best among you to my family.” [Tirmidhi]
Focus on what your wife does right, instead of what she does wrong. Soften her heart through gifts. Don’t use them as bribes for better behaviour, but give sincerely, out of love and appreciation for her.
Make a daily choice to overlook her faults and thank her for what she does well. She is, at the end of the day, your wife and your closest companion. InshaAllah, over time, your positive regard for her will incline her towards wanting to please you and Allah.
Please refer to the following links:
Should I Advise My Husband Islamically or Remain Silent?
My Husband Doesn’t Pray: How Do I Advise Him?
My Husband Is Not Practicing: What Can I Do To Make Him A Better Muslim?
A Reader on Calling to Allah, Giving Advice, and Commanding the Good
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah
What Are Some Prophetic Supplications That Can Help Me Deal With Trials in My Life?
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani