Islamic Character as our Foundation

Islamic Character as our Foundation

These days, many young Muslims fight over the technical details on what are the rights of the husband or wife. These disputes are heated, emotional and often devoid of any understanding of the Quran and Sunnah. Marriages are reduced to contracts in which rights are exchanged in a formal manner without any positive feelings towards the other. However, Islam does not encourage this kind of attitude towards relationships, whether it is a marital relationship or our relationships with our parents, siblings, children, friends, and neighbours. The focus in Islam is not on law, but on manners and character.

Islam lays down some very clear laws regarding relationships, but also leaves other aspects open to interpretation. For example, the hadith states that women must obey their husbands, but the details of what that entails are often decided by cultural and economic norms. Likewise, the Quran teaches that men must provide for their wives, but what exactly they need to provide and how much they should provide is dictated by cultural and economic norms, as well as individual needs. The laws exist to prevent abuse and to establish the parameters of the Shariah. Within these parameters, there is a lot of room for flexibility.

Islam’s laws related to marriage dictate the bare minimum that is required for a marriage to work. This has never been the standard recommended by the Shariah. That standard is a loving mutually beneficial relationship based on good character and kindness. Meeting the bare minimum does not make a person a righteous Muslim or an ideal spouse. If anything, it indicates laziness and a lack of commitment to the relationship. The true measure of success in a relationship is one’s character and manners with one’s spouse. 

The Prophet said, “The best of you are the ones who are best to their families, and I am best to my family.” (Tirmidhi 3895) He also encouraged women to marry men of good character (Tirmidhi 1084) and emphasized in multiple narrations the importance of kindness in a marriage (Muslim 1218, 1468). All of these narrations clearly indicate that marriages are not built on meeting minimum Fiqh standards, marriages are built on kindness, good character, and wanting to please each other. 

Our marriages should not be built on meeting minimum Fiqh standards or arguing over the details of the law. We need to clarify these laws so people know their rights and responsibilities, but we should build our marriages on kindness and love. This verse of the Qur’an should be the foundation of how we build our marriages, “And among His signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find peace in them, and He has put between you love and mercy.” (Surah al-Rum 30:21)

Read the full article here.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Islam
New Course: Foundations of a Strong Marriage

New Course: Foundations of a Strong Marriage


Alhamdulillah, we are excited to announce, in collaboration with Izzah Academy, the launch of our latest online course Foundations of a Strong Marriage.

In this course, we will the tackle contemporary issues related to marriage like:

1) How to understand the traditional gender roles in Islam

2) How to make an Islamic marriage work in the modern world

3) Should you get married young? Should you have children young?

4) How to resolve conflict with your spouse and in-laws?

and more!!!

The course begins today with the launch of our first two videos and our free ebook. More videos and notes will be added each week over the next 10 weeks.

Be among the first to sign up for this exciting new course.

Early Bird Discount ($15 off) applies to the first 100 students to sign up via this link:

Do not miss out on this exciting opportunity to join us on this life-changing journey of practical knowledge.

Sign up now:

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Islam, Life Hacks

A Married Muslim’s Guide To Avoiding Adultery

A Married Muslim's Guide To Avoiding Adultery

Adultery in the Muslim community

Zina is of two types: fornication and adultery. Fornication refers to pre-marital sex, while adultery refers to sex with someone other than one’s spouse after marriage. Every Muslim knows that Zina is a major sin, and one of the worst sins a Muslim can commit. It is often listed with Shirk and Murder as a major sin, like in the following verse:

“(The righteous are) those who do not call on another god besides Allah, do not murder a soul that Allah has prohibited without due cause, and do not commit Zina. Whoever does these will be thrown into Hellfire. Their punishment will be multiplied on the Day of Judgment, and they will dwell therein forever. Except for those who repent and do righteous deeds. For them, Allah will change their sins into good deeds. As Allah is Most forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah Al-Furqan 25: 68-70)

Despite the clear prohibition of this sin, zina in all its forms has become rampant in the modern world. The sexual revolution of the Western world has had ripple effects across the globe. As a result, Zina has gone from a secret shameful sin to a way of life for many Muslims. Some are even questioning its prohibition!

The level of adultery in some Muslim communities has reached that of an epidemic. Yet we continue to sweep the topic under the carpet and pretend everything is fine. No more!

Let’s talk about adultery, why it happens and what Muslims can do to avoid it.

The causes of adultery

Before I begin, let me state that I am a religious scholar and not a psychologist. So my viewpoint is built upon religious scripture and my personal studies in human psychology, and my experiences working in the Muslim community.

There are several patterns I have noticed in most adultery cases. They can be identified as follows:

1. Spiritual crisis

By a spiritual crisis, I am referring to points in a person’s life when Imaan (faith) is low. It is during such times, that we are most vulnerable to sinful impulses, and may act upon them, even if it is out of character. The solution to this is to recognize the spiritual crisis one is experiencing and seek immediate help from a spiritual guide/Islamic teacher to help you overcome it.

2. The Effects of Pornography

The harmful effects of pornography on the Muslim ummah cannot be understated. It would require a separate discussion on how to overcome pornographic addiction and avoid this sin. However, we must face reality. A large percentage of the ummah is addicted to pornography, or at the very least exposed to it.

The impact of pornography on the human mind is devastating. Many people are unable to differentiate between these acted scripted fake sex scenes and real sex. As a result, they find real sex boring and seek out what they see in the movies. This leads them straight into adultery which also leaves them disappointed, but now also guilty of a major sin.

The single most important step here would be to give up pornography altogether. Hopefully, we can address how to do so in a follow up article. A primary step, however, is to recognize that pornography is not real. What is witnessed in these forms of media (which includes novels that graphically describe sex scenes) is the imagination of the author. It really has no semblance to real like, and expecting reality to resemble a movie sex scene will set you up for a lifetime of disappointment.

Avoid these sinful media forms like they are a plague. Focus on the Halal that Allah has blessed you with, and re-learn how to enjoy the real thing. These are the first steps to a fulfilling marriage and avoidance of adultery.

3. Lack of Self Respect

Islam is a religion of honor and self-respect. A Muslim guides his/her honor and avoids any sins that are dishonorable. This may sound like a medieval  concept to some but it is a powerful aspect of Islamic morality. Avoiding adultery often boils down to self-respect.

Self-respect is a powerful character trait. It helps one avoid cheating, stealing, bad manners and yes, even adultery. A self-respecting Muslim will think trice before falling into such a sin. Rebuilding self-respect is key to avoiding adultery.

4. Lack of respect for one’s spouse

Another trends I noticed in couples that face adultery situations is that the spouse who falls into it, at times, does not respect his/her other half. The spouse is considered dispensable, a mistake,  a jail sentence, and other derogatory terms. As a result, cheating on such a spouse becomes easy.

Focus on building love and respect for your spouse. If you love and respect someone, you can never bring yourself to cheat on them, even emotionally. You will even avoid Facebook conversations of a doubtful nature out of respect for the person you love. Respecting your spouse is just as important as self-respect in this regard.

5. Influence of promiscuous cultures

The modern media bombards us with messages that adultery is fun, exciting, an adventure, normal, natural, or just okay. While a thinking person can pick up these messages and filter them out. The average viewer eats up everything he/she views in the media and this build a desire to try it out.

In this case, the solution is simple: filter any media you are exposed to with the lenses of Islam. Let Islam shape your morals, and let those morals decide what you will accept from the media. Do not make the media your Bible!

How to avoid adultery

Above, I listed some of the more common causes of adultery. In this section, I want to highlight the most important steps to avoiding adultery.

1. Focus on your relationship with Allah

Build a strong relationship with your Creator through worship and studying the religion. This will create a barrier between you an major sin. It will build in you an aversion to sin, and a guilty conscience. It is the first and most important step to avoiding any sin.

2. Focus on continuously rebuilding your relationship with your spouse

Marriage requires constant effort. The connection between spouses slowly dwindles, if the marriage isn’t being worked on. Make an effort every day to invest in your marriage.

Spend quality time with your spouse. Enjoy hobbies and Halal entertainment together. Assist each other with life’s challenges. Kiss, hug, hold hands, gaze into each other’s eyes and maintain an active sex life. These are all crucial to keep the flames of marriage going for decades. If the marriage is strong, adultery is something you won’t even think about.

3. Write down your principles and commit to them for life

Every Muslim has principles. Even the biggest sinners among us have lines that we won’t cross. Build such principles that adultery is one of those lines you will never cross. You can do this by writing out your principles.

Write out what you stand for, what you choose to live by, and make a commitment to yourself to stick to those principles for life. This is part of self-respect and living a honorable life.

4. Do not overlook minor sins

Minor sins lead to major sins. This is the path that the devil has set. This is why the Qur’an prohibits approaching Zina. Because the paths to Zina are many, and they all include minor sins.

Flirting, emotionally close relationships with Non-Mahrams, private Facebook and Whats App conversations that you need to hide or delete, pornography, and lack of modesty are all gateways to Zina. Do not consider any of them as small. When you slip up, repent and try to avoid them again.

If we treat our minor sins as a big deal, repent from them often and feel guilty for them. Then we are more likely to avoid the major sins too.

5. Repent often and avoid the major sins

We are all human and fall into sin often. If those are minor sins and we are repenting often, then we have hope for forgiveness. Allah says:

“(Allah will reward) those who avoid the major sins and immoral deeds, but fall into minor sins. For indeed, Allah is full of Forgiveness,” (Surah An-Najm 53:32)

When asked what minor sins (lamam) in the above verse refers to, Abu Hurairah (RA) replied, “Kissing, winking, looking and embracing,” (Tasfir Ibn Kathir)

This verse lays down the foundation for forgiveness. Avoid the major sins, and limit your minor sins. Treat your minor sins seriously and ask Allah for forgiveness often. This will keep things in perspective and help us avoid the major sins.


Avoiding the sin of adultery requires five main steps: connecting with Allah, respecting yourself, respecting and loving your spouse, avoiding the minor sins, and having reasonable expectations. These steps should help us all avoid these major sins.

If you have sinned in the past, you can repent and move forward. As Allah says about the adulterer who repents:

“Except for those who repent and do righteous deeds. For them, Allah will change their sins into good deeds. As Allah is Most forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah Al-Furqan 25: 68-70)

Our religion is one of moral principles, honor, respect, and hope. These foundations, when strong, can help you avoid any major sins. May Allah protect us all from falling into major sins.

Sh Ismail Kamdar is an Islamic Studies graduate of Islamic Online University, Founder of Islamic Self Help, and author of multiple eBooks and online courses.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Inner Peace