Nikah is the legal binding of a man and a woman in marriage. This relationship leaves deep impressions in the social life of the partners involved, their children, and the stability of the whole community through the institution of family. Therefore, choosing a spouse is one of the most important decisions we make in our lives. It is for this reason that Islam establishes this relationship to be a sacred bond that provides an individual with numerous things: a halal source of love, affection, sustenance, children, companionship and a path of trials and tribulations that ultimately ends with our Creator. Accordingly, in the Qur’an, it has been termed as a firm pledge:
“…And they (women) had taken from you a firm pledge.” (Al-Nisa 4:21)
Two key elements to any relationship, particularly in marriage, are trust and loyalty. Although we assume that the importance of these elements is ingrained in us through our upbringing, it is a topic that is losing ground in modern day societies. From my observations, I can say with certainty that the breaking of trust and loyalty leads to devastating effects for those involved.
The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) reported that Allah said, “Whenever I intend to gather the good of this world and the hereafter for a Muslim, I give him a heart which is humble [to Me], a tongue which praises [Me], a body which can bear [worldly] affliction and a believing wife who is a cause of his pleasure whenever he looks towards her and who protects herself and his property when he is absent.”
This is obviously a duty of the husband as well because trust is an essential constituent of love. When trust is betrayed and faith in one’s spouse is compromised, love loses its very essence. It is the duty of a spouse to remain loyal to their partner at all times, especially during times of difficulty. Although love may be temporarily lost, marriage remains a sacred tie. Every relationship is a profound emotional bond and it is universally acknowledged that being unfaithful is one of the worst crimes one can commit against their partner.
It is important that we conduct ourselves in a manner that is pleasing to Allah as well as an additional duty towards our partner. Eyes can wander and unnecessary interaction with non-mahrams has become the norm. Protecting ourselves from all forms of fitnah and keeping away from such a ‘norm’ is also a part of being loyal.
Harun Yahya once said, “Someone who loves his or her spouse for their belief and character will, in married life, be respectful, loyal, and decent. Losing one’s youth, health, or beauty will not affect the love and consideration among spouses for each other, and neither will losing one’s wealth or social status.” Thus real love between a husband and wife does not rest on material or superficial factors. No matter the circumstance, one should always remain loyal to their partner, even if their relationship may be coming to an end.
Acts of infidelity of every magnitude have become far too common and lost their gravity in today’s society. We see signs of adultery in many places, so much so that they have made their way into comic situations in the media and have slowly become a part of the norm. The days when adultery was considered illegal and punishable are gone. Islam protects communities from such an evil, but we are now facing a situation where infidelity is becoming widespread within the Muslim community as well, especially amongst the younger generations.
In addition to protecting ourselves from fitnah, loyalty entails keeping each other’s intimate affairs private, hiding your partner’s flaws, and not complaining about one’s spouse to others because this would cause great pain and tension between the husband and wife. It also includes, as was mentioned in the hadith, protecting one’s property in the spouse’s absence.
Loyalty is a cause and result of the ideal marital relationship that existed between the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) and his wives (may Allah be pleased with them). We need not look further than the example of our Prophet and the Mothers of the Believers to learn how to be a good husband/wife through the stories of untainted love, honesty and sincerity.
Additionally, loyalty can involve keeping a positive attitude among partners. This can be expressed through various ways that provide continuous nourishment and life to the relationship. This is why Islam puts much importance on maintaining a healthy relationship with your partner through kind words, appreciation and affection. Islam truly beautifies marriage and upholds its laws which ensure both partners enjoyment of the wonderful blessing of companionship provided by Allah.
Trust in marriage has a special place. Unlike other relationships that tend to require more time and patience for trust to develop, the one between a man and a woman naturally escalates quickly and strongly. Marriage is the closest bond that one can have with another person. It is one where two people share their joys, their sorrows, their desires, their goals, their highs and their lows with each other. The support, patience, beauty and peace that one finds in marriage are unmatched with any other relationship. A relationship built on the foundations of trust and loyalty will blossom into the most beautiful emotion we can experience: love.
May Allah grant us all a righteous partner who will forever remain loyal, be the coolness of our eyes, the tranquility in our soul and a means by which we can gain the pleasure of Allah and fulfill our duties to Allah.
I would like to end with these words I heard from a sister that summarize the concept of loyalty in love: “Love is honesty without cruelty and loyalty without compromise.”