From a kurta to an abaya, and a pair of pants to a shirt – almost all items of clothing are made in the same way – by joining different pieces of fabric together.

The process, in essence, is as follows:

First, different pieces of cloth are gathered. Then, they are trimmed and cut to size and shape. Finally, they are all joined together with thread and further strengthened through a process commonly known as ‘over locking’.

Now, believe it or not, marriage is exactly the same as sewing a garment. Two different people come together for the purpose of nikaah. In order to ‘fit’ one another and form a prosperous marriage, both have to ‘trim’ and ‘reshape’ themselves, by making adjustments to their ways, and certain sacrifices, for the sake of their partner, as far as their preferences, likes and dislikes are concerned. Finally, they are connected and joined by the thread of love.

However, just like with any garment that is worn on a regular basis, a marriage will also be subjected to certain periods of stress which will place a strain on the seams holding the marriage together. It is in these periods that the significance of the over locking becomes apparent. If the over locking was done well, the seams will not tear apart and begin to fray. On the contrary, if the over locking is found lacking in any regard, it will split and leave the garment in tatters.

In a marriage though, it is not over locking that keeps the seams together – it is OVERLOOKING. If the husband and wife are not prepared to forgive and overlook each other’s mistakes, the strain may become too great for even the thread of love to bear, resulting in a torn, tattered and frayed marriage.

Once the garment of marriage is torn, it cannot always be patched and repaired, as sometimes, the damage is so great that the entire marriage lies in shreds. Even in the case where it can be repaired, it often leaves the garment marred and unsightly, with its former beauty forever lost.

When the seas get stormy and the ship is unsteady, many people opt to abandon ship. However, on jumping overboard, most of them fail to land in a lifeboat and are left to drown. Hence, once you are out at sea, even an unsteady ship is better than no ship at all! When jumping off the ship is not an option, then we will have to make the best of the ship that we have – and this will only be possible if we have the heart to overlook.

Remember, if we overlook the mistakes of others, perhaps Allah Ta‘ala will overlook our many mistakes on the Day of Qiyaamah.