There are many different partnerships in this world, and each has its own purpose. The purpose of a business partnership is to make money, while the purpose of a political partnership is to gain dominance, power and rulership.

Similarly, nikaah is a life-long partnership which has multiple objectives. If raising the Muslims of tomorrow and gaining financial and social security are considered as objectives, then one of the primary objectives of nikaah, without a doubt, is definitely that of the imaan and Deen of the spouses to become complete and remain protected. Hence, a marriage in which each passing day finds the Deeni condition of the spouses better than it was the previous day is a successful marriage. Conversely, a marriage in which the husband and wife invite, tempt and encourage one another to engage in sin is an unsuccessful marriage.

Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) made du‘aa saying, “May Allah Ta‘ala shower His mercy upon the man who stands during the night, performing salaah, and he awakes his wife (so that she may perform salaah as well). If she resists (awaking), then he sprinkles water on her face (to assist her in awaking). May Allah Ta‘ala shower His mercy on that woman who stands during the night, performing salaah, and she awakes her husband (so that he may perform salaah as well). If he resists (awaking), she sprinkles water on his face (to assist him in awaking).” (Sunan Abi Dawood #1308)

We should thus all strive to encourage one another to strengthen our Deen. However, we should bear in mind that different people are encouraged in different ways. It will not be appropriate for one to sprinkle water on the face of her husband, at the time of tahajjud, who is in a deep sleep, after a long day at work. Similarly, a husband will probably not react positively if his wife corrects him in front of his children. Hence, when encouraging one another, we should always first think carefully and try to determine the method of encouragement that will promote the most positive result, as it is the person whom we want to ‘improve’, not a point that we want to ‘prove’.