This is a question I get asked a lot – and I totally get it, because I have asked the same question myself, a lot! It may seem as though if a book is written for exclusive women, it is reinforcing the notion that the duty is on the woman to create a healthy marriage. My take on this is that the onus on YOU to cultivate a nourished life – whether you are a man or woman, if something is not working, then do something different – do anything different![i]
A Female Perspective
I am a woman, so bring the female perspective. I personally would like it if had a woman guiding me on how to improve my marriage – I would be able to ask her about issues that she had been through or could at least identify with. I’ve written this book in the hope that it will cover the gaps that I found in the marriage books that I had read which were also written by women.
Feminine energy brings its own beauty and charm, along with its own challenges. For example, a woman may be more prone to neglecting her self-care than a man as she gives more of herself due to the simple fact that she is a woman, grows babies inside her, feeds them of herself and gives her body to them for the first two years – and that’s for each baby!
She is a woman, she has a womb, (‘rahm’ in Arabic – from which the word ‘rahma’ comes from, meaning mercy) and thus she has a tendency to be merciful because that is how she was created by The Most Merciful, Ar Rahman. Yet if she doesn’t manifest justice, she may just forget about her own needs. That’s where justice helps her to look after herself before giving herself away. This book hopes to address these sorts gifts and tests, and if a man reads about these, he can better understand his wife, which can only be a good thing!
A woman, perhaps due to this very mercy, is more intuitive. She knows. And from this knowledge she can work wonders – she attracts, charms and has the ability to draw those around her closer.
- Read The Cat That Walked By Himself by Rudyard Kipling to see how she worked that magic since time immemorial!
- And once you’ve done that, check out Miss Farrel showing Oliver Warbucks how it’s done in Annie[ii]: (please ignore kipper and his friend reading stories on the side!)
Men need addressing by men… who understand men
Men need to be addressed just as much as women – perhaps, even more, seeing as not that many men are being exclusively addressed. There are some male coaches and therapists who are doing great work in empowering men and getting them to connect with their leadership and love traits. We need more!
A woman’s primary go-to trait is love – she tends to have a strong connection with her inner lover. Justice comes secondary to her, and often it the second one she needs help with developing. Inversely, a man’s primary go-to trait is justice and he has a strong connection to his inner warrior. Love comes secondary to him, and not so readily or comfortably, and it is this side he often needs help with.
Yet in our day, women may struggle with love due to the preconceived ideas that it is more important for her to be warrior-like, and men may struggle with justice as they have been impressed with the notion that it is better for them to, be more tender and gentle than warrior-like. We need a mix of both, and we often need guides to help us get the balance!
It’s Up To You!
We have to be the change we want to see in the world and not wait for other people. In his new book ‘Handbook of a Healthy Muslim Marriage’ Shaykh Abdur Rahman Ibn Yusuf Mangera hits the nail on the head when he describes how when coaching men alone, he tells them that they must make 70% of the sacrifice, and when he speaks to women alone, he tells them they must make 70% of the sacrifice. Brilliant!! And why not? Is the reward for good anything but good?[iii]
Victims cry ‘why me?’ Leaders, on the other hand, shout ‘It’s up to me!’[iv] – you get to make the choice to be a victim or leader in any situation. Working on one’s marriage, developing the traits of leadership, love, wisdom and justice only bring fruits. If one’s spouse doesn’t want to bring fruits to the garden of your marriage, does that mean you shouldn’t either? I don’t think so. Remember: ‘Whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allah, better and greater in reward.’[v]
Change Cultivates Change
But here’s the most important thing – when one spouse cultivates healthy traits in their marriage, they start planting seeds of change and removing weeds that are stopping the marriage from flourishing. For women whose husbands don’t want to change, what better skills to learn and implement than effective, firm communication and healthy and just boundaries? Applying these skills in a difficult marital situation may be just what he needs to kick-start a change! I’m reminded here of the NLP presupposition that states that when one person changes, the other person cannot not change.
Decoding Underlying Wisdom
King, Warrior, Magician Lover is a book series written for men promoting male empowerment. I used the theory of these books to write my book The Four Traits of a Cherished Muslimah and modified the premise for women. The same can be done with a woman’s book: its premise can be utilised for men. Taking my book as an example, men need to connect to their purpose, live a balanced life and embrace their guardianship roles with diligence, just as much as women do. They need to manifest gratitude and give love to their wives. They need to communicate effectively and heal just as much as women. They need to respect their wives and honour their own boundaries.
The Quran is primarily addressed to the ‘masculine’ yet Allah is addressing both men and women. We see it as a universal message, decode it for our own gender. Women have to do more of the decoding with the Quran, so, come on, menfolk, you can decode a marriage book written for men! To conclude, if my book is written for women it doesn’t mean it’s wisdom cannot be utilised by men – I hope that it can help men as much as women.
Their Lord has answered them: “I will not allow the deeds of any of you to be lost, whether you are male or female, each is like the other in rewards”[vi]
Shukran, Ya Rabbi!
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P.S. By the will of Allah, my book will be published THIS FRIDAY! There are just 4 days left till you can buy your very own copy of The Four Traits of a Cherished Muslimah! Save the date (6th December 2019, inshaAllah) and buy your copy and copies for your sisters, friends and loved ones who will benefit from nourishing their marriages!
P.P.S If you are interested in learning about how a feminine power and leadership can cultivate change in your marriage, then get in touch with me so we can arrange an Introductory Coaching Call to discuss how you can start cultivating your life and/or marriage! Let’s discuss the areas you would like to improve in your life, and make a plan of how to go about it. I am passionate about helping women and couples to nourish their lives and marriages and would love to work with you. To book a call, click here.
[i] NLP Presupposition
[iii] Surah Ar Rahman (55:60)
[iv] Sharma, Robin, The Leader Who Had No Title
[v] Surah Al Muzammil (73:20)
[vi] Surah Al Imran (3:195)