Channel: Fatima Barkatulla
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Bismillah Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala rasulillah dear brothers and sisters As salam aleikum, wa rahmatullah wa barakato. And welcome to another m feed podcast. I'm your host Fatima Baraka tola, and today I've got another excellent guest. And we've got some amazing topics that we're going to be talking about. I have with me today on
on talha is founder of marital arts, a Muslim women's organization that empowers women to have better and stronger family lives through having better and stronger marriages.
Tell her has also been a homeschooler Mashallah. She studied Islamic Studies and Tajweed also in Cairo in Egypt, Mashallah.
Her teacher and mentor is Chef Abu talha, who happens to be a husband and he's a scholar who Mashallah graduated from the University of Medina.
She's been part of mosque committees. She's been involved with youth projects. She's got a Islamic preschool that she runs across preschool.
Mashallah, really Superwoman, I think. So. I'm really glad to have you here today with us on the hearts and I'm welcome.
And I must say, her greatest quality is that she's one of my best friends. Mashallah. And so, you know, it makes it even more special that we're getting to have this conversation
on tell her
I found it so romantic that Mashallah, you know, your husband is your mentor.
And that's really a special gift, I think.
What do you mean by your husband being your mentor? Actually, when the proposal of my husband came back in 2001, I was really eager to learn about Islam. So one of the things that I was really looking for in a husband is that a person who can teach me and guide me because there are so many groups, Islamic groups out there and I was thinking, Okay, I don't want to go into a wrong group, you know, as you you know, worried because everyone wants to follow the correct path, you know, the Quran and Sunnah. So, when, when the proposal came Initially, I declined, because I thought he is such a knowledgeable person, and I'm such a newbie, but then I thought to myself, you know, he could
be actually good for my Deen. So if all else fails, then and it has to be his student. You know, that's the kind of because I was only 19 then. And, sorry, I was 21 when I got married. So I started practicing when I was 19. So I was very keen to marry somebody who would actually guide me, you know, who would be my teacher, you know, who would be my mentor. So when his proposal came, I thought, you know what, he can be actually really good for my Deen. So with that frame of mind, I looked into it and hamdulillah he was so down to earth. And then one of the things that I discussed during my marriage talk was that, you know, I really want to learn, would you teach me and I
remember one of the things that he asked me during the marriage, you know, talks is how my Quran is, so he asked me to recite Surah Fatiha on the phone. So I decided to refer to her and he was like, Okay, I didn't know what he meant by that. But then afterwards, you know, he was very supportive. And he said, Would you like to study abroad? And I said, Yeah, of course. It was, like my dream coming to. Initially I wanted to go to Jeddah, but he said, No, we'll go to Egypt, but Qatar, Allah, when I went to Egypt, the teacher of Jeddah was in Egypt. So I had the best of both worlds. But from then onwards, you know, he's been very supportive, and he's so much into education. And from there
onwards, you know, I always fall back on him to consult him and you know, ask him, sometime pester him, or give me the source of this hadith and the Hadith. And I tell him, you know, you don't realize how much goodness you actually taking from, you know, giving me that time because the leaders I'm teaching, you know, everything that you teach me, it goes back to you. So I sometimes laugh and joke with him, I say, you know, and the daodejing you'd be like, yeah, Allah we resolve these deeds from and you know, you wouldn't know, sometime I did tell him, you know, you don't realize how much you actually support me in doing what I did. So important, though, isn't it? I
mean, like, having a husband, a spouse, who not only has the same vision as you, right, but also is actually invested in your, your progress, your development. I think that's priceless. And it's really good that that was something that you were mindful enough to think of, because I think a lot of the time today, you know, you'd find a lot of especially younger people wouldn't necessarily bear some of those things in mind. I mean, Fatima, it sounds like you know, it was
To easy sell, but actually, it was quite a challenge to pursue him in my marriage because obviously, you know, people in my family, they were a bit, you know, unsure because they were thinking, well, because I don't know about you, but in Bangladesh, we have this thing where the Northerners don't get married to the southerners, you know, so he's from the south, from the north, it was such a, like, you know, a struggle, but some struggles are worth it, you know, you have to be mindful of the hardness of the process, and, you know, like, people marry for different reasons. And if you marry for the dean, you know, Subhan Allah, it is so true, you know, you do find that eventually, you do
see the benefits of it, you just have to hold on, you know, and that is something that I saw in not only my life, but in other sisters, you know, marriages as well, if you if you make the focus of marrying because of the deen, Allah blesses it in a way that you cannot imagine. You know, so yeah, so much. I've already mentioned that you're originally from Bangladesh. Tell us a little bit about, I know that you're very active in London, and especially in East London. I mean, everybody knows you. Mashallah, from what I can see. So you've much touched a lot of people's lives.
But tell me a little bit about your childhood and kind of like, you know, where did I come from? Where were we raised? Which part of London and and what kind of family situation were you from? Well, I came to Britain when I was five or six in 1985. Really? Yes. With my, by the way, a lot of this stuff I don't know, as well, even though I'm a very good friend of him that has, you know, it's amazing that we haven't actually necessarily discussed some of this stuff. So it's, it's really nice. Yeah, it's nice for me to be able to talk to you like this. So, yeah, sorry, carry on. Yeah. So I came with my family in 1985. And my father became very ill. So we had to go back to Bangladesh,
was diagnosed with cancer. So he wanted to basically have lost days in Bangladesh. So we went back to Bangladesh, and at seven years old, he passed away in Ramadan, Allah have mercy on his soul, then we came back. And then basically, I was orphaned, you know, when I was about six, seven. So I grew up as an orphan, and it was very difficult to see life, you know, without a father figure in my house, you know, we were children of like, say, three, three girls. And one, one boy, my mother became a widow when she was in her 30s. So as you can imagine, you know, it was very difficult for her. And, you know, of course, we had male relatives, but there's nothing like having a father, who
would stay. So that was my childhood. hamdulillah. And I think, you know, it's really, you know, amazing, to, to kind of see how even the professor some, you know, he had a, you know, upbringing as an orphan. And I can really relate to that. And I think, I think growing up as an orphan gives you such a great power of empathy with other people, you really can feel other people's pain. And I think when I see my role in the community, how differences would confide in me and how they would tell me certain things that they're going through. And I just think to myself, why, why why did they disclose all these information, but naturally, I feel if you feel that somebody has genuine interest
in your life, you would want to open up to them. So Allah had a better plan. You know, I grew up as an orphan, perhaps to feel the pain of what people are going through, you know, and I'm telling you, Fatima, sometimes sisters will tell me things, and I would be thinking to myself, Subhanallah, that's such a great trust that they have included me in their life or in their trials. And I will just keep, like, you know, quiet. But I think to myself, I feel so honored to be part of the struggles, or the difficulties, and I know, they would not tell anyone about what's going on. But it has really given me an insight of what sisters really go through. You know, and some, sometimes I
feel so privileged that I'm part of somebody's life, and I'm able to help people in the ways that maybe they can't seek help. SubhanAllah like, just hearing about you being an orphan. You know, it reminds me of my mom, actually, because my mom was an orphan her father passed away before she was born.
And so she grew up with a mom, but she was raised by her elder brother. And one of the things that when she talks to me about her childhood I really get is that
you you can't be spoiled as an orphan. No, you really can't be spoiled. And, in fact, in a way you start fulfilling the role of being at other people's service at quite a young age. Yeah.
And I definitely can see, you know what you're saying about having empathy. I think my mom also became that kind of person, you know, who people felt they can confide in, and who just had this human touch. And I see that in you, you know, seeing the work that you've you've been doing over the years and Mashallah, you've got that kind of
quality of being a mentor of being somebody who really cares. And that's such an important quality, isn't it? Especially when we're talking about the delicate topic of marriage. So tell us like,
going from that experience, right, growing up as an orphan, and then moving to the UK. Growing up here was in East London that you grew up? Yeah, yeah, it's London is my place.
I've been living in here for a long time. And when I started to learn about Islam, one of my good friend from primary school, she introduced me to a circle that was taking place from around the corner to here in Whitechapel, and that's a circle that really made me find myself because I was continuously going to halakha weekly halaqa. And, interestingly, I still attend the halachot. The only difference is I teach in 100 ila, and it was through the halaqa that my husband was introduced to me, you know,
that Halak is very special, full of Baraka, you know, I mean, I started attending in 1999. And the circle is still continued to this day. And don't you think that helicopters are so important, like so in people don't realize the importance of doing something weekly, on a regular basis on a regular basis, but even weekly, you know, because that's very regular. And just having that little space to go, refocus, rethink about a lot, you know, because the dunya is just like all around you, constantly pulling you away from alarm, constantly telling you other things are important. You come together with your Muslim brothers and sisters, you have those moments where you refocus and then
you go back out into the world. Yeah, refreshed, right? Absolutely. I mean, the brothers, they have the weekly Juma, you know where they go, and they get reminded, but sisters, what did they have? I mean, not if not, July 17. Can Mashallah. But majority they can't, you know, so I feel they need a time to come together and be reminded, you know, about the purpose of, you know, why they here. And, you know, this is one of the things that the promises of is to do is to give allocated time to the women, you know, so it's very important that women's growth is also something that's taking care of, you know, so, yeah, why marriage? Why tell us first, a little bit about marital arts, and the sorts
of activities that you've been in the marital arts is involved in. And I've been involved with different our organization or different community activities. But what I realized is that home is like a very important space. And if the culture of the home is healthy, and Islamic, then that actually develops everyone in the home. So it's important, the person who is in charge of the home, which is the homemaker, mother, wife, her needs needs to be taken care of, you know, because she is the one who's taking care of the needs of others, but who's taking care of her need. So that's when I, you know,
a lot of my work in the community has been taken care of her being like the older sister or the mentor, I think it's about time that we actually did something so that we can create a bit of an awareness of the need of the homemaker, the mother, the wife, you know, the one who's always giving because, as you know, you cannot give if you don't have, and I don't like this whole notion of people just giving, giving, and not having anything for themselves. Because, you know, you don't want to be like a candle that gives light to others that burns itself out, you know, or you don't, you can't pour from an empty vessel. So if you imagine the mother, the wife, she's like, the vessel,
she needs to keep refueling, you know, and metalized helps her to refuel, by making sure she takes care of herself, her spiritual growth, her you know, mind body and soul growth, because it's important that a person, like a woman is taking care of herself, and that is done with no guilt. So we like an organization that helps her to think okay, what am I doing for myself? What is my passion? What is my, my time, you know, one of the ways that we encourage her to find her time is by attending the circle on a regular basis. So that's her time. That's her space. And that's her moment. And it was fun, a lot of stuff. They told me that I you know, every time when I come to the
circle, I go away, feeling refreshed, like new sense of energy, and I'm thinking that's the idea.
Because every one of us, we need to feel refueled. And that Saturday holiday is that, you know, some of the attendees, they described it as it's like a spiritual lifeline.
Yeah. Because they feel really like, you know, whatever, they've gone through the week, and they come to the Holocaust, it's time to refocus. It's time to reconnect with their purpose of being here, because being a parent and being being married and being a parent is tough, right? Yes. You do have ups and downs. Absolutely. And I think one of the things that people often underestimate is, you know, when you see somebody who has a great marriage, and it's very visible, that they've got a great marriage, and then, you know, sometimes people often assume that, okay, this person has had it lucky. You know, they got lucky, they met this perfect person, and they just happen to click, and
they're living happily ever after, because they're lucky, right? I don't think people realize or appreciate sometimes that actually everyone who has a great family culture, and has a great marriage, they've had to put work into that, right? Absolutely. 110%, I always say in my marriage, a workshop and talks, they're having a healthy marriage is a bit like having a healthy weight, you know, where you have to make sure you do the exercise, you have to eat well, and you have to be mindful of, you know, how you're, you know, leading a lifestyle, you know, you have to have a healthy lifestyle choices. So similarly, Healthy Marriage is not just going to have come No, not at
all, not at all, you know, I mean, overnight, if you think if there was one marriage, that was problem free, it would have been the marriage of the professor. So even then, we know, there were times where he had to move away. And we think, you know, and we know, the story is mentioned, so that, you know, where, you know, the wives, you know, they were given the choice, what do you want? Do you want the glitter of this to pneumonia? Yeah. But the process itself? So what why is it is to show us that, you know, in relationship, things are gonna happen based on the arrow downs, yeah. It's about how you manage it, you know, and even, you know, in my marriage, I've had, you know,
arguments, disagreements, but it's not the end of the world. It's how you manage it, you know, it's human being, it's human nature, that when you have a relationship, you are going to have some ups and downs, but it's how you manage those challenges. And so yeah, I think it's very important that we have a strong commitment to making a marriage work, and not not think, Oh, you know, I'm having a bit of problem that's, you know, not be so quick to rush to the, you know, D word, you know, because they didn't hear the D word, divorce, the D word, the J word. These are the, like, dangerous words, right? Because I do find that nowadays, you know, people feel that, you know, if there's some
difficulties you're going through in a marriage that say, you know, divorce should be the last thing that comes to mind, not the first thing, you know. So do you think that like,
do you think that divorce is something that comes to people's minds? too quickly? nowadays? Of course, I've worked with so many different, you know, sisters, that they feel, okay, I'm going through this problem, you know, I don't think I can manage and we say, No, no, okay, hold on. Why can't you manage, you know, what's going on? And then, you know, sometimes I will see that, you know, actually, the marriage is not the problem. She is going through her own personal issues, you know, she feels overwhelmed. There was one particular case, the panel, obviously, I'm not going to the details, you know, just to give an idea, you know, I had to, you know, sister, she was saying,
you know, I feel so overwhelmed, and he doesn't do this, he doesn't do that. And then I was listening to her. And I was thinking to myself, Oh, my gosh, she just sounds like a very over exhausted person, you know? So then I said to her, so what do you do for yourself, she said, I don't do anything, like, I don't have time to do anything. And I've got little ones, the typical story. And as you know, what, it's really important that you do something for yourself. And you know, that whole aspect of self care I was talking about. So then I just left it. And, you know, every so often, you know, people would call me up and there was, you know, I'm telling you don't realize that
piece of advice he gave me, I tried to implement and I can't tell you how much of a difference he has made in my marriage. And I would be thinking to us, what did I say to you? Because I'm speaking to so many different people. And she would remind me, you know, you said to me to take care of my needs, you know, to take care of myself. And that's what I did. As a result. It had an impact in my marital life. So I thought, well, you know, sometimes, you know, we think marriage is the thing that's creating problems in our life, but it could be that we have our personal issues, maybe we over exhausted, maybe we have an emotional wound that we need to attend to, you know, because Don't
forget, marriage is about two people. And if you the
one party is going through some difficulties, of course, it's gonna come into the marriage, life or marital life. So it's very, very important that women take care of themself before they think, okay, you know, my marriage is actually not working, you know, they need to look out. Okay, what are the things that's actually contributing to the problems or issues? I'm not saying that, you know, there are genuine concerns with regards to marriage. I'm not saying that what I'm saying is that sometime, if you're going through difficulties, try to analyze what is it, that's creating the problem? And don't think divorce is a solution? You know, just just think, before you rush to or before you even
think about, okay, this is not working. Ask yourself, why isn't it working? So I guess marital art is about making people think deeply about their marital life, VSS, all your focus. So I've noticed that you you have an annual conference, right? You do Ramadan preparation seminars, you have a dazzle and dine event? Yes, we do. So that's definitely about self care. Right? Definitely. And a hug preparation workshop, and you have courses and you have the regular halaqa that you mentioned. So what I really liked was three things that I noticed that you marital arts likes to focus on, I wanted you to go into some of those, the first I think you've already started talking, and that is
self care, self care. The second is relationships. And the third is parenting. So could you just go into like, what what do you mean by each of those? Definitely? Well, self care is the most important aspect of what we do we try to get women to think about who they are, what are they doing, and they general self, you know, well being, you know, because it's very important that when a woman is well within herself, you know, her mind, body and soul. Because if she's well within herself, whatever she does, whether it's work, family, parenting, that will have an impact, you know, she will be conscious in a period when she's parenting, she'll be a present wife when she's actually dealing
with the husband. So it's about how wellness, you know, it's like the whole airplane scenario, you know, when when, when they do the intro, when you when you enter an airplane, they say, if anything goes wrong, you put the oxygen mask on yourself first. Yes. Before you attend to the kids, right. Whereas, like a parent's instinct is kids, kids kids. Yeah. Other people first, especially as mothers. Yeah, we have that instinct. Yeah. But if you were to do that, yeah, an aeroplane scenario, for example. Yeah, you'd be dying and or you'd be suffering and then other people would also suffer in the end. So yeah, it's kind of like that absolute take care of you've got to take care of your
basic needs. Absolutely. And nurturing. Yeah, first. Yeah. In order to be able to serve your family. better, right. Yeah, absolutely. Like, you know, when a laser tells us in the Quran in surah, taleem, the ayah that's usually mentioned in the family conferences, and, you know, marriage, you know, talks, cool and forsaken wily. coonara. You know, interestingly, are less original mentions the self first, you know, save yourself who dares? Yeah, then your family? Yeah. So I think it's very important that we prioritize our needs. Because if we are good within ourselves, then inshallah we have more good to give to our loved ones. And, you know, an interesting little thought that came
to my mind, as you mentioned, that was, I was reading the biography Autobiography of
Barack Obama's wife, what's her name? Michelle, Michelle Obama, of course, Michelle Obama. And, you know, I love reading biographies. Because I feel like you really get into understanding people. And so one of the things I loved about her autobiography, she talked about her marriage, and she talks about and you know, how they are, right, like, when you see Michelle Obama and Barack Obama, forget about their politics and all that, right. But just as a couple, I, you know, they seem to be really like, exit and amazing couple, right, like, really get on and, and, and I think the book really proves that as well. Like if you know, her account of their marriage, etc. However, she does
actually talk about having marriage marriage counseling. And what I found interesting about it is that she, during her marriage counseling found that it was actually issues that she had, personally things that she wasn't feeling good about.
That she realized her husband couldn't fix, you know, but she was expecting her marriage to fix. And because she wasn't getting that she was blaming the marriage or blaming husband, whereas it was actually something that she needed to do like self work, right and she had to go away and
work on that, and work on have her own happiness and well being
in order to bring that sense of well being into the marriage, rather than expecting marriage to be or your husband, your spouse to be the one who's
going to fulfill you or complete you. Yeah. And blaming them when that doesn't happen, right? So, absolutely, yeah, that quite insightful. This is something that I can really appreciate. Because when I see sisters who are going through problems or some issues in their marriage, I would encourage them, Look, you need to do things for yourself, you need to meet up with your, you know, say, friends, or people that you'd like to spend time with. Because when you do that, you feel a sense of, you know, fulfillment, and you feel a bit more happier. So when you feel like that you will bring more to the marriage. And often, they will think to themselves, well, I can't do that,
because I don't have no time. I know, you need to make time. Yeah, that is not, you know, a luxury, that's a need.
Often, they will look at me as if like, you know, I really don't have time. No, I say, look, where is it that you can make the time? You know, because sometimes we have it in our mind, we don't have time, but it's about making time for a need that you have. But very often, I don't know what it is in a Muslim community, there is a sense of guilt, that if I do things for myself, and I tell them no, don't feel guilty, because this is for you. When you feel fulfilled, when you feel like refresh, then you have much more to give to your family. So look at Eli, this is an investment. It's not something that you are taking as as a privilege, it's a need. So when they do that, you know, it
really does make a huge difference, you know, and sometimes benefits absolutely children. But Alexis was telling me that you know, because when they come to the HELOC, obviously they are having that tea time because we have a tea break, where we get the sisters to mingle and have a chai and a chat. And that would really, you know, helps us to feel like there's a sense of belonging the girlfriends as long time women like to chat with other women and all we need is having a few girlfriends to you know, talk about our emotions, what we go through sometime, men, they don't they may not understand our emotional need, we need certain companionship, I think there's different people who, like my
mom, she says there's different types of love. Exactly. Love has different compartments, the love you have for your best friend or for your friends is a different thing and what you get from them. Yeah, and from that relationship is different to what you get from your relationship with your spouse, yes. And then your relationship with your children, your relationship with your siblings. So I think recognizing that all of those relationships are part of the rich tapestry of being a human being, and being willing to invest in them. I think that's what you're saying, isn't it? Absolutely. And I think women should take care of their companionship, you know, their friends, the girl
definitely as I'm getting older, I'm, I really feel that I really feel that, you know, investing in my girlfriends and my relationship with women is just amazing. It's just so important. It's so enriching. And it's so like, it fills me up, you know? Absolutely. I mean, whenever I meet up with you for my, you know, my husband knows, no, I will tell him that, you know, I'm meeting up with my friend, Fatima, he would tease me, and you know, when I meet up with you, and we have a nice, you know, chop, chop, you know, and then I go back. Yeah, he can really see that I feel so like, you know, in high spirits, you know, it's like a buzz, you know, you have you think, Oh, my friend, and
you talk about the things that you want to talk about, you know, I mean, sometimes you have different needs to what they want to talk about, they talk about things that interest them, that's fine. But it's not something that you have, you know, like, great enthusiasm, a great enthusiasm in talking about but with your friends, girlfriends, you want to talk about things that interest you, and you could talk for hours isn't enough. And that's something that I think every woman should prioritize. Every woman should actually seek out to do on a regular basis. And and again, as we were saying, you know, like, just as marriage needs nurturing friendships, and you've
got to make the time you've got to consider them important enough to actually spend time with that person. Yeah, do things that will deepen that relationship. Yeah, have experiences you know, go out spend time together at home even get together you have kids as well. You know, I think all of those different aspects have helped us to deepen friendships because even though we live in like an amazing massive city like London, I think a lot of people are lonely. In a flatter more can I say a lot of the sisters you know, in London in a city I find that although there are so many ways to like, you know, communicate with people, but there is still the sense of feeling isolated and
lonely. And I can't tell you you know, like recently I've observed that there are many sisters. They
You know, say that they are very lonely. And one of the things that they want from their husband is to spend more time with them. But that's quite impractical because the man is working. And when he comes home, obviously, the time is limited. But to fill that void of loneliness, I think it's important that we seek out company, and we don't always depend on others to actually feel that void for us. So having girlfriends having good companions, having people that you can see, who would speak to you about things that you want to talk about is such a wonderful way to come out of that loneliness, you know, hole, and I don't think anyone should feel, you know, bad or few, you know,
like, you know, that they are actually seeking out, you know, attention because that's something that every human need has, and it's okay. To feel. I mean, I think women feel guilty a lot, right. Especially mothers, they feel very guilty. Oh, yeah, I'm actually doing something fun. And I don't have my kids with me. But Subhanallah, you know, there's no need to feel guilty. You know, you're, you're taking care of their needs. Yeah. Time time is the time for that, isn't it? You have to be mindful, okay. No, there are times where you're going to be at home, taking care of the family, both of the needs to be a time where you can actually attend to your needs as well. Yeah. You don't need
to be a martyr. No, no, definitely not. So the first thing that you said that martial arts likes to encourage and focus on is self care. The second is relationships. What do you mean by relationships and relationship in marriage is very important focus for us, we find there's a lot of attention out there in the in the community or in businesses, where people focus on giving you a great wedding, you know, like the wedding day, there's so much out there to encourage you to have this type of wedding or that type of wedding, then we have nothing, then we have, you know, Sharia Council, where you go there to get your divorce, you know, things like, Okay, get married, and then the divorce,
you know, counsel where they can help you to get holla or divorce, but there's nothing in between to actually help you to strengthen to you know, nurture the relationship so that you are having a long lasting, fulfilling relationship. So we are trying to focus on giving sisters or other I would say, sharing the recipe, because as women we like to share good recipes is a sharing the recipe for a good happy, long lasting marriage. So that's what we try to do through our workshops. So we give them tools. And we try to encourage like positive, you know, interaction between spouse taking, you know,
guidelines from the Quran and the Sunnah in the 21st century, 21st century context so that people can understand, okay, you know, what, if we look at our life, you know, he has to work or I have to work sometimes. So how can we manage our marital relationship in that, you know,
setting? So we talk about communication a lot. Yeah. And we talk about understanding roles and responsibilities. So you can see yourself in this, you know, big puzzle, where do I fit in? So one of the things that we like to encourage is how can we build from the beginning, a positive, healthy relationship with our spouse? So we try to discuss issues relating to say,
compassion in marriage, you know, how allegedly he says, you know, we're jollibee nakoma, the Torah, and we have made between them.
love and compassion, mercy. So we talked about, you know, being compassionate with your spouse a lot. And then we talk about, you know, the love languages, you know, how it's important. Five Love Languages. Yes, yes. You're into that. Yeah. Yeah. Because I think it's such a brilliant way of actually teaching the western audience about not just love, but express love. So just just in case somebody doesn't know what what the love languages are, they're, it's a book, right? Yeah. It's a book by Dr. Gary Chapman. He's a Christian pastor and some of the things that he discusses in the book. It's really wonderful. And we find a lot of teaching is from the Quran and Sunnah. Anyway, so
it's something that is Congress with Yeah, and it is such a beautiful way of actually seeing Okay, what is my love language? And what is what does it mean love language, basically, how you communicate love to your spouse, because every one of us we have ways in which we express our love, you know?
And it's about knowing, okay, how do I feel loved? How do people show me that they love me? So maybe like if I was to ask you, okay, Fatima.
How do you know that somebody loves you? What are the ways that they can show you that they love you? So he's identified like five key areas,
or five things five languages. We call them love languages. They're
usually need in order to feel loved. And from what I understand, he says that, you know, there's like one or two dominant Love Languages each of us have. And if you don't understand your spouse's love language, it's like you're, you're both speaking two different languages. One of you speaking Chinese, the other one speaking, you know, I don't know.
Farsi. Okay. And, and so you're just like missing each other. But if you understood what the dominant language was for your spouse, in other words, the dominant way in which they feel loved, then you could tap into that and do more of that. Yeah. So that your spouse would feel loved. And you know, what? This, what I discovered, you know, the five love languages, it really changed things for me and my husband, because we realized there were certain things that, for example, for me, I think one of my love languages is gift.
It's gift, right? I think a lot of sisters would, you know, identify with that, you know, the whole kind of, I never buy me flowers thing, right?
So, but once once, my husband realized that, okay, gifts are a big deal, right? In a way that it's not, that he doesn't really identify with gifts as one of his love languages, right. And so that's why it probably is kind of like a blind spot. Sometimes people like when you don't realize that, this thing that doesn't seem like a important thing to you, because you express love in other ways. It's actually very important to that person. So even so now, now that he's aware of that he will go out of his way to exactly to buy gifts, or it doesn't have to be material things, it can be just like, doing something that is like a gift, you know, and that's from the sun, not because the
prophet SAW Selim literally said to her do the Habu, right that you give gifts, and you will love one another? So I think for us, for example, that really helped and I think one of the other love languages that we identified with was acts of service. So I think one of my one of my husband's love language is, is acts of service. So just feeling like somebody is willing to make the tea for you, and you know, just go out of their way and do the things that you need done. Yeah. That meant a lot to him. Yeah. And so me knowing that Yeah, man. Now I can actually do more of that. Yeah. So should we should we actually mentioned what the five love languages are? These are really brilliant, you
know, ways to actually, you know,
express love to your loved ones. Because sometimes the first is words of affirmation. Right. So that's like, saying, actually saying, I love you look great.
Or you make me feel so special? Yeah. You know, and, you know, between husband and wife, you don't have to be 100% honest. That's an area where you can, you know, what are you encouraging people to do? No, we know, like, there are times where you can say things. Yeah, because, you know, the outcome would be a very good one. And that is Oh, you mean, like when you're dressed up? And yeah, it says, You look lovely. You don't
look lovely. But yeah, we know what you mean. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, what's up affirmation is such a brilliant way to express love for your loved ones. The second one is, you know, spending quality time being present. And when I say being present, is that nowadays, people are with each other, but they're not present. They're on the phone. Yeah, that's not quality, time divided attention. Absolutely. And we know that from the process of when he's to speak to people, he's to turn the whole body like, right, I'm speaking to you, you know, I'm present. I'm interested. And and they used to feel like they were the most important. Exactly, exactly. Yeah. You know, with the words of
affirmation, reminded me. You were mentioning earlier about how the Prophet sallallahu Sallam actually expressed that he loved Arusha. Right. Yes. publicly, he actually said it. So yes. He was willing to express verbalize that.
Yeah. And also, when he was asked then who because one of the companion male companion asset officers and he said abou her, her next person is her father. In you could have seen a Booker Siddiq, but no, he tied it to her. Right. It's upon Allah so you can see how the profitsystem was very expressive. Also is love you. Yeah.
So you said the second one was undivided attention. Yeah, quality time.
Yeah, and the third is gifts. We already had
come about. So it can be any gestures of giving. Right?
The fourth is acts of service. So yeah, literally, yeah, feed the market, right. And I think spine Allah, the secret to a happy marriage is to really invest your time in Hitman. Because when you serve others, you know, you make others feel so special, and you almost make them feel as if you know, they can't live without you. And that's what you want to do is make them feel so dependent on you that they can't imagine a life without you. You know? And I know that sounds.
So yeah, exactly, you know, and she passed away. Yeah, and these little things, you know, I will say, when your husband comes home, he's had a very busy, very tiring day, you know, attend to his needs. I know you've got your vent, but wait for a while, attempt to his needs, you know, when he's eating, just be there for him. And just to kind of Listen, and you see that after you've done that bit, He's all yours. He wants to listen to what you've got to say, you know, simple thing. And I know it's difficult, but it's not impossible to tell him about my day. I know, I know. But hold on, hold on, don't forget what what I'm telling the system is not something that I'm just experimented,
I do it myself. If it is working for me, I think to myself, well, if it's working for me, I'm sure it can work for others. And when I share it with others, they sell home that high, it really does work. And that's a time for when I say team, you know, I've got after feeding and you know, attending, and so I need to go to a party, you know, he's so willing to allow me and take care of the kids. You know, so sometimes you have to know like how to, you know, be with your spouse, because we have moments where if you feel relaxed and happy and pleased, you're more likely to give in to the demands and requests, isn't it? It's just human nature. So the fifth the love languages,
physical touch, touch, right? So actually expressing love through connection physically, physically, yeah, yeah. And we know that, you know, even with our friends, you know, when we, when we want to show them our love, you know, sometimes we embrace them, we hug, we kiss them, you know, but between husband and wife, it's a special type of touch. And that intimate touch is so important. And this touch is something that, you know, it's it's, it's so it's a sacred thing, you know, that you have to take care of. And not underestimate. I mean, without going too much into details. You know, there's a very beautiful Hadith where, you know, one of the companions is in the process of jasola,
when we are intimate with our spouse, do we get rewarded for it? And the process of said yes, because if you were to do it in her own way, you will get punished. So they were astonished that we fulfill our needs. And this, this reward for it is upon Allah. So when we look at it like this, you know, it changes our perspective on things, you know, and you think, Okay, this is something that Allah has made halala between two strange people, because of Annika and we have to take care of it. You know, intimacy in marriage is something that we really highlight a lot. And we've had workshop where we talked about intimacy in marriage, you called it the bed of roses, talking about different
aspects of, you know, intimacy, in marriage, marriage, married life, because I think sometimes, you know, we can have this tendency of being prudish, you know, but we have to realize, this is a area that, you know, we have to take care of, and lots of problems that stem from each spouse feeling unfulfilled, and we know that that department, yeah, that department, you know, this is the only way that you can fulfill yourself and it has to be taken care of, and communication is key in improving the intimate aspect of your marital life. And after all, is one of the, you know, hello. And you're Helen Habibi. Yeah, it's one of those. It's one of the beautiful things of life, right? gifts that
Allah Subhana Allah gave us in this life, that ability to have that intimacy, you know, I'm just thinking some people, you know, might be listening. And they might be thinking, Well, you know, are we demonizing divorce, you know, is divorce being demonized here? Because at the end of the day,
you know, it is a permissible thing. It's not, you know, and in some cases, it might actually be a necessity, and it might even be the better thing to do. Right. Yeah. So I guess you would agree with me that, you know, nobody's denying that. Yeah. And there are, you know, abusive situations, situations where people need to get out. Yeah.
So it's not to kind of demonize it but I guess what you're saying is, let's not make divorce come true.
easily and let's not make it the first thing that comes into our minds, you know, when we start facing problems right after the honeymoon period, usually, you know, when you've had your first child and your your nerves are frazzled, you your lack of sleep, you know, there, there's a physical toll, you know, to all of that. And I guess that's probably a time when people start having their first kind of clashes.
And at times, it can feel really overwhelming. Do you think that
people like, nowadays tend to,
you know, take their problems outside of the marriage too quickly. Because I'll tell you what I mean, by that, like, I know that my parents generation,
and even our generation, I guess, like, or some of us would avoid, you know, like, if we have a problem with our spouse,
it would have to be really like bad, it would have to be something that really goes like we've tried everything within their marriage to do our best, you know, before anyone would even hear about it, right? Like, even your parents or even people who love you,
you know, you wouldn't
be quick to allow them to know that there's any kind of issue between you as a couple and, and I think there was actually a lot of benefit in that, you know, in keeping it together, in order to sort it out between yourselves. Because, as we all know, like, as human beings, sometimes you have a bad day, you know, sometimes you have a massive argument. And the next day, you think, what was it about? You know, it's completely back to normal. And, you know, just the fact that two people are living together for so long. And in such an intense situation, there are going to be times when things are bad. And if you're the sort of person who quickly goes outside of the marriage and talks
about it to other people, then doesn't that kind of make the problem bigger? Like, do you think that's one of the issues? One of the things that I have to see is that fighting my you know,
there is a hadith that some of us know that, you know, when when it leaves gets his kind of
accounts of which of the devil has done what you know, and he feels Okay, you haven't done much, you know, but then one of them says, today, I've managed to break between a cup of tea and a couple of, you're the one why now, why does the delegates so happy, because when a marriage breaks down, it makes all those who are in the marriage, family, children, open devices, you know, and that's why it's very important that, you know, Benny, Adam, children of Adam, we are actively working towards saving all the marriages in as many marriages as possible. I personally have Hamdulillah, I've been able to through positive and, you know, intervention, able to save about three marriages that comes
to mind. Yeah, these three marriages were people that I knew in the community. And now if I was to show you those three marriages, you wouldn't believe that they went through really like difficult struggles, you know, without going to too many, like they were at the point where they just, they just had it holla Yeah. But hamdulillah with the support, and with the, you know, guidance, and with the time to think things through, they decided, no, we're gonna make it work. And what made the marriage work is because they became committed to making it work. And I want people in the community, I want everyone listening to this podcast, have this
commitment to encourage others to make the marriage work, to give it a try, and not to feel the pressure to break marriage at the first strike of a calamity. You know, and I feel that in this society, there's too much pressure to just end the marriage because he's doing this because he's doing that at some time. I've seen sisters, they genuinely want to give it a second go, but people around them, they're so pro divorced. They're like, No, you can't, you can't handle this, you can't do this, but you don't really the reality. Yeah, I would have thought that for like families. Because, you know, especially like, if you're from a certain background, you this taboo. So I think
nowadays, you know, people are more, you know, open to the idea of, you know, well you don't need him, you know, you can cook by yourself, you know, it's okay, you know, in this country, you know, people can, you know, fend for themselves, but what they don't realize, the woman herself, you know, she feels that the pressure is so strong to leave the marriage, that sometimes she feels like okay, I have to leave the marriage because that's what I'm being advised. But I want people to
To look at marriage, like a project where they tried to save, so that it can have a
better impact in the wider society, but you can't have a good community is made of families. Right? Exactly. And families cannot be strong if marriages aren't strong. Yes, yes. I don't want a society where, you know, divorce becomes normal and widespread and you know, common, because then what would happen, people would lose the kind of sanctity of, you know, the importance of being in a marriage, you know, and a healthy society is one where families are strong, and how did families become strong through the strength of marriage? So I remember you were saying to me, once that,
you know, we need more voices that bind people together, we need more voices advocating for marriage, yes. Rather than for, you know, fleeing from difficult situations and play, you know, etc.
You said to me, I think that one of the things that you've noticed is people often when they do turn to people for help, right? If they do get too into a very difficult situation, and they they need help from others, and they've reached out that it's not that they the fact that they reached out, that is a problem. It's that the people they reach out to Yes, yes, that caused them problems that is so going to that. I mean, sometimes when sisters Tell me, they're going through some marital problems, I would ask them, who else have you told? And they will say, Well, I'm thinking of telling so and so. And I will say, look, be mindful of who you are sharing this piece of information.
Because you want to share it with somebody who has your best interest at heart, you know, and that's very important, because if you look at our health, we would not just tell anyone who would go and tell a person who's qualified to deal with our health and diagnosis, isn't it? And who cares? And who cares? Yeah. And who's invested in it succeeding? Exactly, exactly. So I would always encourage them, Look, keep it in confidence, only tell people who can do something about your problem. And I will say to them, Look, if your family members, certain family members, they don't need to know, don't tell them? No, because you don't want it to be like a news round where everyone hears it. They
don't do anything about it. A tabloid? Exactly. Sometimes they will return in a strange way. But then I would explain to them look, at the end of the day, he's still your husband, and you don't know where it's going to go. Maybe you will stay with him. And if you want to stay with him, you don't want other people to view him in a negative way. Because he is still after roll your children's father. Yeah. And you may have moved on with the relationship, but they still have certain biases against him. They still thinking, Okay, he did this. He did that. Basically, there's some things that you might say that can't be undone, or they can't be answered. Yeah. And you don't
want other people to remind you of that. So the more people you tell, the more voices you will have reminding? Or do you remember, he used to be like this, and you don't want to keep on remembering things in the past? You want to move on? Yeah. So I would really encourage people to think, okay, they've got marriage problem. Yeah, this is reality of life. We have problems in our you know, life. And we have problems with work, we have problems with health, we have problems with marriage, you know, this is part and parcel of life. What I'm saying is, when you do have a problem, think carefully, who's the best person to consult regarding your problem. And that could be somebody who
is in the family, who's mature, who's like an warabi. So you can speak to them about it in confidence. If you feel okay, I don't think I can go to my family. Well, you can speak to people outside of the family, but be sure you're going to the right person. And everyone knows who's that right person is this has to do a bit of thinking, yeah, because I think like I've heard of stories where, you know, sisters will have come to the end of their tether, for example, and they reach out to somebody and that person instead of, you know, helping them work through it in a positive way, or trying to help them think of ways to mend the relationship will literally pour petrol onto the fire
and, you know, make them feel worse. And so you don't you don't want that to happen. No, absolutely not. And, you know, it's quite scary, actually. Because every one of us we can be a potential
person to break the marriage, you know, like saying things that will make the person feel like Yeah, that's true. I don't want to move
or a Muslim was like, yeah, or you can, you know, mend the marriage, you know, so sometime
everyone in the community needs to take that responsibility, active responsibility of saving the marriage, you know, because when you save a marriage, you save a commission.
Unity. You know, I know sometimes you may think, okay, that's a bit of a big, bold statement. But it's true. Because think about our children, they grow up. And when they see, okay, a lot of marriages are failing, they might think, you know, what's the point of getting married, you know, and I know quite a few youth therapists, you know, put off the idea of marriage because they think marriage equals two problems, you know, and that's not a very healthy way to go on. So it's about changing the narratives in our community where we say, okay, you know, what, there are marriages that break them, but there are also positive marriages. So marital is, is what, what marital life is
trying to do is refocus the light on to marriages that are working, so people can see, okay, you know, what? Marriage does mean? Having a companion marriage does mean having a good life, marriage does mean having the support network so that you can raise the future generation. You know, we hear often bad things in the community. But I think it's about time we change what we hear, you know, and that's what feed is all about. Absolutely. And I wonder to know, if you've noticed, yeah, enfys videos and content, you know, spotlights for me, I always look forward to, you know, looking at feeds videos, because I know, I'm going to feel positive at the end. I'm going to hear some good
news. Exactly. And I think we need that because we live in a culture full of bad news. Absolutely. negative stories. Absolutely. And that can have an impact on your mindset, your mental health. Yeah, definitely. Recently, I went to this event, it was like a launch event for young sisters. And they asked me to do a talk about intention. So of course, I'm going from martial arts, I'm going to talk about intention to get married. And so one of the organizers was telling me that that young girl, she was a teenager, but she was asked, What did you find amazing about the event? And she said, Well, what I like the most is that there was a speaker and she was talking about marriage. And she
was telling us that we should think about getting married. And the organizer was quite surprised that out of everything in the event, she took that point that we should start to think about marriage. And she's only 14 and I thought to myself, panela that's quite powerful to have youngsters thinking or planting a seed about marriage, because as you know, this is the only way that you can progress into a relationship through marriage, you know, so much talking about marriage in a positive light, not about marriage, or that means arrange or force or this that no, it's about, yeah, we all grow up. We have needs human needs. And that needs to be fulfilled in their Halloween,
and that is through marriage. So it's wonderful that we can talk about marriage sing the praises of Yes, right. Yeah, absolutely. And talk about marital life in a way that sounds exciting. And it is exciting. Yeah. I think you're right, that sometimes, our events and you know, sometimes there is this focus on when things go wrong, and then the things that do go wrong, or things that people are doing that, you know, are harming marriages, and we don't get to hear the positive stories so much. Yeah. The The third area that you that marital art says it focuses on is parenting.
So you brought parenting into the whole mix of marriage marriage, because sometime I find when when sisters have children,
for some reason, they forget that they they were once a wife, you know, the focus goes so much into the children's needs, because it's so hard, it is hard to forget, you know, you're not just you know,
embracing a new role of motherhood and forgetting about your role as a wife, wife, hood, you know, we have to multitask, you know, and martial arts gives tools to parent, the children, but also reminds the woman you're still
a wife. And that's something you need to take care of, and you're still standing individual, which is self care, you didn't take care of. So it's important that in different roles, we are still able to balance and balance is the key to success, having that balance and you know, he I just want to mention with regards to balance a very beautiful hadith of Solomon and Pharisees, you know, salamander fallacy nabooda that they were like companions, they were buddies. And once a manifester came to visit a Buddha and he saw, a Buddha does wife was in a shabby state that was before hijab was revealed. So he asked, like, why are you in that state? So the desert that your brother has no
need in the luxuries of this world? Meaning he's so into his spirituality, he's got no time for me. So salmonella faricy he stayed the night and he noticed certain things. Like for example, when a Buddha was giving him food he would not eat because a Buddha does fasting. So then someone said, you know now you have to break for us otherwise I'm not gonna eat so he broke for us. Do you think
time so the magnifier is he noticed is that about that that he's so anxiously getting up to do camera lane. So he tells him like go to sleep.
And then he wakes up again it says go to sleep. Third time salamander. So you know, wake up, like, you know, let's pray. And then after they prayed Salah manifests he's telling his friend, you know, spatola, the blessing of having good companions, he says, Look, you're not has a right upon you. Your body has a right upon you and your family has right upon you. So give everyone they do right. Now when I would have heard this, he wasn't too sure. So he went to the professor Sam, he said, some man came. And he did this. He made me break my fast and he said that to me. But to the bosses I'm saying, because semana fallacy was seeing his friend do something very spiritual, like in a good
deeds. Yeah. But even then he will say no, you to give time for your buddy, you need to seek me. You need to give time for your family, you need to give time to your Lord. You have to give everyone they do right. So he replied, and he said South Africa, Solomon, Solomon spoke the truth. So from this hadith we see, balance is key. Even if mutuality, satin was our time for this time. So that's why we say okay, you know, you've got children, you have to parent them. But don't forget yourself. As a wife, don't forget yourself as a individual who is a servant of God. So it's all about creating balance. And I guess this hadith is one of those powerful editor we advocate a lot to show people
look, Islam is not about just being at the servitude, or some kind of Yeah, yeah, sometimes we have the dunya completely, exactly. Sometimes in our events desert and and we will dress up and it's about displaying, look, there are times where we need to take care of our looks. Allah is beautiful. He loves beauty. So you know, in our, you know, gladrags attire, we would be giving talks and to us, and our guests are like cellfina satin wasa time for this in time for that. Yeah, you know, and I think sometime, the practicing community, we feel like we always have to be in black and you know, looking serious, no, there is life to be lived, to live it. And that's the that's the middle path.
You know. So I think that's really important for our younger people as well. Like, yeah, I realized that with my daughter, for example, that she loves to see me dressed up, she loves to see me She loves going to parties, and, and I'm gonna find and I have been finding, you know, helpful ways for us to do that. And he's important, and, and making the time for that. Yeah, you know, putting the effort in and being, being able to be glamorous, being able to be women, right. Be ourselves embracing our femininity, and that's something I feel we don't do enough of, you know, yeah. Because I think then when our daughters see us, then they realize, yeah, you know,
Mama, she's dressed like this, and she does this, because this is what Allah subhanaw taala asked her to do public, but then, you know, we have, we have our life, you know, we have the other side of life as well. It's not, it's not too one sided right now. We have different dimensions to our self and being isn't it? And that's such a good way of modeling to our youngsters. Who can see, okay, there is a time where you have to pray. And there is also time for when you can have a party, you know, and there is a time where you, you know, learn, and there's a time for when you socialize, you know, so that's a balance and we find the balance was given to us by the prophet sallallahu sallam,
you know, when when he was with his companions, you know, there had, you know, certain times where they were, you know, in a serious situation, and they had to be serious, but there are times where he felt a loss and he laughed and joked, and he had a good time. And that's the best way of actually teaching people how to be in a modeling positive behavior. Mashallah, you know, I'm really talking to you about all of these things, it makes me realize that, you know, we need more people like you in the in the community, because, you know, those positive voices, those people who are willing to engage with people, but to help them find solutions, but, you know, I think in the past generation,
they were, that was a common thing, you know, like, I don't want to, like, make you feel bad or anything, but you know, like the anti right. I'm not saying you're an anti, but you know, like the Auntie's that we used to have, you know, who actually cared who actually not that they were nosy, but they kind of were available and they would concern right. So for example, I got married through an auntie, right? So a lady who actually was a friend of my mom and happened to be a friend of my husband's mom, and, you know, she, she wanted to bring us together. So,
that kind of
role in society, you know, even with the Prophet salallahu alaihe salam, there was nothing
Who Khadija confided in, and then she brought the proposal, the suggestion to the profit center celeb, that kind of figure, the person who, and I think women have traditionally played that role, you know, had that role of actually being a kind of a matriarch. figure in society where,
who has wisdom, you know, who has
who's willing to be a Muslim, or Muslim meaning somebody who's willing to mend and bring people together, help fix the situation and and I found that my mom naturally being the wife of a scholar, you kind of full stop fulfilling that role, you know, of being
somebody like a connector in the community.
So, do you have any kind of final message or any kind of lasting word that you'd like to give to our listeners and viewers? I would like to say that if there's one thing that I would like people to take away from today's podcast, is that be become a marriage mentor. Everyone will face some interaction with a marriage problems some time in their life, you know, directly or indirectly. So be the voice who tries to mend the marriage, you know, even if the marriage is not being mended, but at least you've done your bit to become the the one who Muslim Muslim. Yeah, so be the marriage mentor, not the marriage breakup. I really hope that you know, our listeners and our viewers, I hope
that you've really benefited from that conversation with Uncle Hodges Akela here and I really appreciate you coming and sharing all of that with us the Five Love Languages really important, you know, for us to bear in mind, and I wish you you know the best of luck with your work and dollars and May Allah subhanaw taala make your work successful. May Allah Subhana Allah strengthen our marriages and the marriages of the next generation and through that strengthen our families and communities.
JazakAllah Heron brothers and sisters, we've come to the end of another m feed podcast. Please do subscribe, you know on iTunes and also on YouTube and share this podcast with other people. I'm sure there are people you know who could benefit from this podcast. And I'm your host Fatima barkatullah and I will leave you now satanic Aloma or be handed a Chateau La ilaha illa Anta esta Furukawa to bhulekh salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato.