Iron is a substance renowned for its strength and resilience. Hence, iron, in its various alloys (a form where it is mixed with another metal) is used extensively in the building industry, especially to support concrete slabs, reinforce foundations, etc. However, have we ever wondered how iron is shaped? After all, we find it available in a multitude of sizes and shapes!

The answer is that for iron to be shaped, it must be heated in a furnace. Once the iron is red-hot, it softens to some extent, becoming malleable (easily shaped without breaking) and accommodating. It is then easy for the blacksmith to mould the metal into the shape he desires.

In a similar manner, some husband’s have temperaments of ‘iron’. They are ‘hard’ men, unyielding and firm. This certainly has some positives, as such people rarely, if ever, compromise on their standards and values. Furthermore, such people tend to be steadfast, committed, principled and punctual. However, just as everything in life has cons, there are some cons to this as well.

Such a husband may be ‘unaccommodating’ and unable to view things from other people’s perspective. He may refuse to budge and yield, and for better or for worse, he will insist on things being done his way. Attempts to reason with him fail and end in confrontation and frustration.

What is the solution? The solution is certainly NOT to persist with the confrontational approach. Rather, we should light the furnaces of love. We should show the husband such love, care and devotion that even his iron heart will melt. Naturally, iron is not heated in an instant. Rather, it requires a period of time in which the heat is constantly applied. Eventually, the iron melts – and is happy to do so.

Remember, if we adopt the route of confrontation, we may even win the argument on some occasions, but we will lose the man. We may even find a way to force him to submit and surrender, but his compliance will be grudging and with unhappiness. In essence, the marriage will be miserable. However, when he voluntarily submits and surrenders out of love for his wife, he does so happily. He does not view it as humiliation forced upon him, but actually derives happiness from accommodating the needs and requests of his beloved.

It is important to understand that the behaviour of an unreasonable and unaccommodating husband is not in any way being condoned or deemed acceptable. However, since he is unwilling to change his ways, and we cannot control his behaviour, then wisdom, tact and prudence demand that to save the marriage, we should change that which is within our control – our behaviour – to try and find a solution to the challenge. If we are not prepared to adopt this solution, we will either remain in a marriage of misery, or we will eventually try to end the marriage, resulting in a divorce, Allah Ta‘ala forbid.

In conclusion, we need to fire up the furnaces of love. We need to win the love of our husbands to the point where even if they are the firmest of people, they will be soft and gentle with us. Sometimes, it can be the smallest of gestures that can convey the most love. Whether it’s cooking his favourite meal, dressing up for him (within the limits of sharee‘ah), or even something as small as slipping a love note into his bag when he goes to work, or giving him a small present (even if it be a chocolate bar, as it’s the thought that counts) – it all adds up and makes a difference.

Together with this, most importantly we should make du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala regularly and refrain from all sins.

May Allah Ta‘ala bless us all with marriages of happiness, aameen.