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5 Ways Faith Contributes to Strong Marriages

“Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way… Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” — I Corinthians 13

The words of the apostle Paul are a familiar text at weddings, a time when hope is least tempered by experience.

But several new studies suggest the biblical text with its emphasis on consideration for others also may provide the foundation of a spiritual blueprint for lasting, satisfying unions.

Four studies published in the Journal of Family Psychology indicate that cultivating practices such as selfless prayer, spiritual intimacy and compassionate love can help keep couples happily together through the challenges of marriage, from becoming parents to caring for one another amid the infirmities of old age.

And another study in the fall issue of Sociology of Religion finds that individuals who attached great importance to their faith and entered into marriage for religious reasons are less likely to commit adultery.

The latest findings are part of a developing effort to delve deeper into the connection between religion and marriage to identify specific practices and beliefs that predict stronger unions.

Here are five ways faith may help lead to a lifetime of wedded bliss:

Praying for your partner: Asking God for help with one’s own needs did not predict stronger romantic relationships, one study of 316 college students found. What did matter in the study of college students, and a separate study of 205 married couples, were divine appeals praying for the welfare of their partner and asking God to watch over her or him. Praying for others was associated with increased commitment and more satisfying relationships, researchers from Florida State University and the University of Georgia found.

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Zakat eligibility of The FYI

The Family & Youth Institute, or The FYI, is a well-known Muslim organization in the United States. It works to promote mental health and wellness by strengthening and empowering individuals, families, and communities through research and education. It has been working for many years to bring Islamic perspectives to understanding and promoting mental health in our communities.

It is dedicated to serving and supporting Muslims – safeguarding our deen, our families, and our future generations. Therefore, the work of The FYI comes in the category of ‘fi sabeelillah’ or the Path of Allah, within the eight categories where Zakat money can be used.

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed for it and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah, and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah, And Allah, is Knowing and Wise.”
(Al-Tawbah 9:60)

According to scholars who widen the meaning of fee sabeelillah to include any activities that promote Islamic growth, The FYI is indeed eligible to receive part of the Zakat funds for its programs and services. I urge Muslims in America to support this organization through their donations, general charity, and through their Zakat. I ask Allah swt to strengthen and guide The FYI to continue its good work in supporting Muslims.

Shaikh Ali Suleiman Ali, PhD

About Shaikh Ali

Sh. Ali Suleiman Ali was born in Ghana where he spent his childhood studying with various Muslim scholars. He then moved to Saudi Arabia and enrolled in the Islamic University of Madina.  He graduated with a degree in both Arabic and Islamic Studies. Dr. Ali went on to complete his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sh. Ali serves on the Advisory Council of The Family & Youth Institute. He is the Senior Imam and Director of the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs in Canton, Michigan. Additionally, he serves as the Director of Muslim Family Services in Detroit and is a council member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA). He is also a member of the North American Imams Federation (NAIF) and the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).