Growing up in North America, I always had little patience when things went wrong or not according to plan. It frustrated me and made me really upset. I do hold the culture blameworthy because everything and I mean EVERYTHING is a quick fix and at our fingertips.
But my husband, also growing up here had a very different outlook, which was very eye-opening for me.
When I’d be running late for someplace despite leaving home on time, and I’d be getting frustrated, he’d just look at me and tell me to say “AlHumdulillaah”: All thanks and praise belong to Allaah.
He will always make me realize that there is no point of getting upset or stressed. Just be grateful.
Initially, it was very hard for me. I’d mumble it but will still be frustrated in heart. But slowly, I began to realize that our job is to do the effort on our end, and leave the consequences to Allaah subHaanahu wa ta’aala. We do our part and let Allaah subHaanahu wa ta’aala take care of the rest. He is the Master, and we are the slaves. Even if things don’t turn out the way we had visioned them, then why is that such a big deal?
And being married, this is something which is a constant reminder for me. Let’s say for example, I plan to cook a delicious meal (which rarely happens) and I try my best to make it good. But for some reason or other, if the meal doesn’t cook up to my expectations, should I be a) angry, b) upset, c) sad, or d) grateful regardless?
Looking beyond the emotional tornado, the most logical answer is to be grateful. Being angry, upset or sad over the cooked meal is not going to change the way it looks or tastes. It might even add more bitterness to it! But by being grateful and content, I will bring peace to my heart and actually eat the meal!
And I won’t have to worry about my husband criticizing. AlHumdulilllaah for the husband who practices what he preaches. :)
(But if your family does criticize, A) they shouldn’t as it’s against the sunnah, B) with your calm demeanor you won’t get upset at the MEAL and your family. You can talk to them peacefully and not verbalize your frustration over the meal.)
A non-kitchen example is of buying a product on sale. I had my eye on this couch and while I was going to speak to the sales lady, there was another couple who was also interested in buying the couch. I let my husband know and he spoke to the sales lady privately (not in front of the other couple) so she can reserve it for us. When we came back after an hour to pick the couch up, I didn’t know whether she reserved it for us or has the other couple bought it. But I was ready to say AlHumdulillaah regardless of the outcome.
Marriage has taught me many more lessons like these and I am still learning. I have slowly start to understand why it is half of our deen.