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7 Simple Ways You Can Become a Better Partner

Romantic relationships are dynamic. They continuously change, reflecting circumstances, stresses, and the everyday ups and downs experienced by both partners. What happens to “me” and to “you” ultimately affects “us.” The healthiest relationships have partners who routinely (if subconsciously) check in with themselves, their partner, and their relationship to see how things are going and to make changes as necessary.

How can you respond to relationship changes? A great starting place is to evaluate your own contributions to your relationship. What are you doing that helps—or hurts—your relationship happiness? How are your actions and beliefs influencing the quality of your and your partner’s everyday interactions?

Scientific evidence supports the idea that each partner is responsible for the health of his or her relationship. To do your part, consider these simple, empirically-based changes as a guide toward a happier and healthier partnership:

  • Get more sleep. Taking care of yourself is a win-win for you and your relationship, and sleep is at the top of the list. Not only can sleep deprivation affect your energy, mental alertness, and mood, but it reduces glucose levels, which adversely affects self-control (Gailliot & Baumeister, 2007). And self-control plays a big role in relationship success: Those with higher self-control are more able to respond in constructive ways to their partners (Finkel & Campbell, 2001), and the more self-control couples have, the higher their relationship quality tends to be (Vohs, Finkenauer, & Baumeister, 2011).
  • Take action. Certain behaviors make a difference in relationship happiness. These maintenance behaviors often come naturally, but intentional efforts to engage in them could benefit relationships. Research (Stafford, 2010) underscores the power of these seven behaviors in particular in predicting relationship satisfaction, liking, love, and commitment:
    1. Positivity. Express happiness and pleasure when spending time together.

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The Prophet (SAS) said, “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days”
(Bukhari).

Guarantee your blessings!

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).