And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquility with them; and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts); verily in that are signs for those who reflect. [Qur'an 30:21]
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Advice
This Advice section is available to all visitors. It includes articles on marriage, and of particular importance, articles on the selection process for those who are using the Intelligent Matching service to search for a spouse. The articles also cover topics pertaining to parenting and self-transformation. Articles include both conceptual material and practical application for daily living. Our entire collection of articles is available within the Intelligent Guidance service.
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Posted: 10/21/2014

Progressive Relaxation

Learn a technique that can be used to practice relaxation of the muscles throughout your body, helping to eliminate anxiety, any area of tenseness or strain, or a feeling of agitation or uneasiness. (Read full article...)

Posted: 04/16/2014

Activity and Energy - Seeking Both Quantity and Quality

It is important to find a balance between relaxed, leisurely time at home and outdoor activities, sports, and/or social activities. A balance is very healthy and conducive to physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. (Read full article...)

Posted: 01/30/2014

Staying on the Same Track

n an article by Anna Pulley, "9 Signs Your Relationship Might be Doomed", the author writes about the work of John Gottman, a psychology professor who has long researched marital stability and what makes relationships successful. Pulley notes that Gottman has "studied hundreds of married couples and can scarily predict who will stay together and who will separate." She continues, "... (Read full article...)

Posted: 12/10/2013

The Spiritually Alive Parent or Teacher - Part Three

In part 2 of this article we ended with the reminder that the teacher has to convey that the journey, the traveling of the path toward excellence and freedom of the soul, is the most profound and exciting manner of living — indeed a way of life that brings fulfillment and reward in this life and in the hereafter. We shift our attention now to discipline, and focus on disciplining children without threat, intimidation, or physical punishment. First it is important to mention is that there must be a foundation of organization and structure, whether in the home or in school, in order for children to feel secure and relaxed, open to learning and open to correction when necessary. (Read full article...)

Posted: 10/06/2013

The Spiritually Alive Parent or Teacher - Part Two

As parents and teachers, we should bring a depth of conviction and inspiration to our raising and teaching of children. And we will do that if we live according to the principle that "Each day a man is a vendor of his soul – either freeing it or bringing it to ruin" (Muslim). The parent or teacher has to convey through their demeanor, attitude, and behavior that choosing to embark on the journey, the traveling of the path toward excellence and freedom of the soul, is the most profound and exciting manner of living, and that Islam is more than a set of rules to follow and a duty to discharge. (Read full article...)

Posted: 09/13/2013

The Spiritually Alive Parent or Teacher

On the website incultureparent.com, London-based writer Umm Salihah described the authoritarian upbringing she experienced: “My parents and grandparents grew up in Pakistan where it was the norm to be smacked by your parents, extended relations and anyone else that happened to be around and in a bad mood. It was also okay to be given a smack ’round the head for doing something you shouldn’t have, for watching someone else doing it, maybe for not stopping them or maybe again because someone was in a bad mood… (Read full article...)

Posted: 08/10/2013

I Can’t Believe He is so Irresponsible!

We all have an inner dialogue that chatters away in our heads continuously throughout the day. Many people never really take time to observe those inner thoughts and take note of whether they are, for the most part, positive or negative, tolerant or intolerant, kind or unkind, and so forth. Below are examples of a negative inner dialogue and a possible positive replacement. Keep in mind that it takes time to become skilled at catching ourselves when we entertain a counter-productive thought and being able to spontaneously replace it with a thought/statement that serves our faith, character, and goals in a more productive way. (Read full article...)

Posted: 07/18/2013

Love to Listen, Listen to Love

Possessing effective listening skills can be the most powerful tool for healthy communication, while the lack of these abilities can be very destructive to a relationship. The ability to listen and to reason is what differentiates us humans from Allah’s other creatures. Despite its importance, many of us listen half-consciously or pretend to listen while we are distracted by our own thoughts. (Read full article...)

Posted: 05/22/2013

Communication with Teenagers

We recently received a question through the Ask the Counselor section of the Intelligent Guidance service. The question was about how to improve communication with a teenage daughter. Our answer provided some general suggestions for ensuring that channels of communication stay open, about focusing more on positive than negatives during conversations with teenagers, and about creating opportunities to have conversations that create connection, affection, and simple, positive interaction. Another important point is to make sure that when your teenager confides in you, that you affirm their emotional experience while giving advice rather than undermining what they feel. (Read full article...)

Posted: 04/10/2013

Marriage and Good Character

In marriage, we can commit to take care of the needs of the spouse, nourishing them and treating them like we would automatically treat a guest. Unfortunately, it is very common that spouses start treating each other in ways that take for granted the role they can play in making for not only a happy relationship but also a happy life. When spouses retreat into their own little world of work, paying bills, dealing with the children, and all the other everyday responsibilities, it is easy to forget that each spouse provides for the other what they cannot provide for themselves – companionship, comfort, support, affirmation, and so on. (Read full article...)

Posted: 03/24/2013

I Am to You as My Mother was to My Father

The Qur’an speaks of males and females as partners who support and protect one another (9:71), they are "members, one of another" ( 3:195), and with regard to husband and wife, they are garments for each other (2:187). (Read full article...)

Posted: 01/26/2013

Women and Men: Twin Halves

Dr. Badawi writes in "Gender Equity in Islam," "According to Prophet Muhammad's (s) saying, 'Women are but shaqa'iq (sisters or twin halves) of men.' This hadith is a profound statement that directly relates to the issue of human equality between the genders. If the first meaning of shaqa'iq is adopted, it means that a male is worth one half (of society), with the female worth the other half. Can 'one half' be better or bigger than the other half? Is there a more simple but profound physical image of equality? (Read full article...)

Posted: 12/20/2012

Balance and Moderation

We can only teach our children how to live in moderation once we have ourselves learned moderation. (Read full article...)

Posted: 11/29/2012

Three Levels of the Soul - A Diagram of Their Expression

In Islamic teachings there are three levels of soul. Following are their basic definitions and then a diagram using the example of a young woman, Laila, who is searching for a spouse. The diagram shows examples of the inner thoughts that might flow from each of the levels of soul when she is frustrated with the spouse-selection process. (Read full article...)

Posted: 10/25/2012

Stonewalling: Shutting Down and Opting Out

A spouse will sometimes shut down emotionally and withdraw into silence in order to avoid dealing with the uncomfortable issues and feelings that arise during a time of conflict. These times are inevitable in any marriage relationship and the way we handle the challenge can either strengthen or damage the relationship. (Read full article...)

Posted: 09/03/2012

Daddy, It's a Box Full of Kisses...

One day a man came home from work tired and frustrated from the day's many challenges and problems. After dinner he saw his three year-old daughter blowing into a box, over and over again. He was trying to watch t.v. and the sound was very annoying to him. He yelled at his daughter to stop doing what she was doing. She looked up at him with a sad look on her face, picked up the box and walked out of the room. The father heard her bedroom door shut gently. He felt badly that he had overreacted but was just so tired so he continued watching t.v. until he fell asleep on the sofa. (Read full article...)

Posted: 08/16/2012

Sincerity: Aligning Our Lives with That Which Endures

In the June article, "Sincerity in Marriage," we discussed aspects of sincerity including seeing things for what they truly are, having no false pretense, no motive to manipulate or fool, and really meaning it when we say or do something. There are other aspects of sincerity that we can examine. (Read full article...)

Posted: 07/16/2012

Finding Your Way Home to the Heart

In studies about successful marriage, most couples who scored high in marital adjustment and happiness reported that when they met or soon after, they felt "at home" with each other. Even in the beginning when they didn't know much about the other, they felt that they were a right fit. Yet too often, when an individual is looking for a spouse, he or she overlooks warning signs that indicate a mismatch — if the individual does not listen to you with genuine interest and patience, if he or she does not share their feelings or communicate their opinions, if they don't respond in a relevant way to what you have to say, never ask questions about you and your life, your goals, your dreams, etc., get defensive easily, criticize you when you convey your views — all these are indications of a mismatch. Relatives and friends may tell you to be careful and not get carried away by infatuation. That bit of wisdom floats around in the head and is only known intellectually. (Read full article...)

Posted: 06/21/2012

Sincerity in Marriage

In "The Alchemy of Happiness," Imam Al-Ghazali writes: "His five senses are like five doors opening on the external world; but, more wonderful than this, his heart has a window which opens on the unseen world of spirits. In the state of sleep, when the avenues of the senses are closed, this window is opened and man receives impressions from the unseen world and sometimes foreshadowings of the future. His heart is then like a mirror which reflects what is pictured in the Tablet of Fate. But, even in sleep, thoughts of worldly things dull this mirror, so, that the impressions it receives are not clear. After death, however, such thoughts vanish and things are seen in their naked reality, and the saying in the Qur’an is fulfilled: ‘We have lifted from you your veil, and keen is your sight today.’ ” (Read full article...)

Posted: 05/14/2012

Surrendering Hearts

Each day is an opportunity to renew our devotion to striving for purity of heart. That effort not only strengthens the relationship with Allah SWT, it also beautifully magnifies the positive qualities of a healthy and happy marriage relationship. One positive quality of a strong marriage is knowing how to keep the relationship fresh and alive. Toni Coleman, a psychologist and relationship coach, recommends "acting out of character" at appropriate times. She says, "Couples develop a particular dynamic: the way they relate to each other that repeats itself over and over. If you break that pattern and act against type — in a positive way — you inject new life into the relationship." (Read full article...)

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