Ramadan is so romantic!

Let’s play a game of word association. When I say Ramadan, what is the first word that comes to mind? If you’re like most people, you probably said fasting, blessings, iftar, taraweeh, or something else along those lines. You probably didn’t say romance, sex, or marital satisfaction, but Ramadan can be a very romantic time for couples. Yes, there is fasting and abstinence and extra prayer and charity and early mornings and late nights, but is that it? Is Ramadan only about self-restraint and increased service, or is it also about refreshing and renewing every aspect of our lives? My vote is for the latter. As Muslims, our worship does not begin and end on Fridays. It does not begin and end at certain pre-assigned times of the day. In our thoughts, our interactions, our public and private deeds, we worship (or choose not to worship) our Creator.

There is no time where we are more aware of this fact than in Ramadan. So why not take advantage of this special time? Why not use this holy month to strengthen the one relationship that weighs so heavily on all others? Fasting increases awareness. It makes us think more about what we’re doing, what we’re thinking, and what environments we put ourselves in.

But how often do we use that awareness to the benefit of our spouses? Aside from holding our tongues and cooking a bigger-than-usual breakfast, do we typically increase our focus on and interest in our spouses? Do we think of them more, hug them harder, and kiss them longer?

Do we assess our connections to them and what we can do to make them stronger? Typically, the answer is no. Because Ramadan is about restraint and restriction, right? It’s about avoiding your spouse until after iftar and after taraweeh, right? It’s about the struggle of internal reflection and external service. Certainly all of this is true, but let’s not remove Allah’s beautiful mercy from this month.

Let’s not miss a chance to reflect on our marriages and be of service to our spouses. As kind and generous as our Prophet (peace be upon him) was, he increased his efforts during Ramadan. He increased his kindness. He increased his giving. Do you think his wives were not the first recipients? His peripheral relationships, with friends, community members, and even opponents, were but extensions of the loving environment he created at home. No one knew more than his wives how much Ramadan opened his heart.

We should all want our spouses to hold a similar understanding. Rather than avoid our spouses or think of them only after our obligations are complete, we should seek them out in lawful ways. We should read with them, recite with them, make ourselves of service with them, go out of our way for them. The benefits of such deeds would be magical and multiplied. What better time to beseech Allah, to ask for clarity and resolution, to ask for love and understanding—and to ask for passion! Don’t be afraid to ask Allah to renew your attraction and yearning.

Those qualities are part of His mercy. They should be intact. We all face marital strife. We all get frustrated and angry, and grow uncertain of how to proceed. And perhaps in all the chaos of discord, we forget Allah is near. May Ramadan remind us all. Allah sees our efforts and hears our prayers. He wants us to live in peace and tranquility with our mates, but those qualities will never be achieved by those who don’t work to create them…