There’s a marriage within every relationship, and that’s the one between Love & Respect. Love seems obvious. And respect seems universal, right? While we can all agree that it is extremely important for all relationships, we need to go a little deeper. Respect is foundational in every relationship.
And here’s why:
Respect comes and fills that gap that love may have missed.
Respect is often confused with one of its relatives: Etiquette (which is more about the expected behaviours and mannerisms expected by society.) Now, if you grew up with a family of, well, any culture, you could probably list a series of expected behaviours at gatherings, with elders, particularly around mealtime! Etiquette is about external behaviours, simply based on what others expect, which is judged by your outward gestures.
Respect, on the other hand, is something that you’ve got to be really honest with God about before anything. God’s breath flows through you and through every person you interact with. Do you realize this when you’re speaking to each person in your life? Do you acknowledge this about someone you’re beginning a new relationship with? Do you remember this when someone has deeply frustrated you, and you’re about to tell that person how you feel?
This deep acknowledgement: that EVERYTHING around us belongs to Allah the Almighty is the key to developing a mindset and attitude of respect. In all our relationships, we will come face-to-face with our frustrations, desires, ego, pain, and our (unmet) expectations. However, when you remember that in every relationship, you are first in union with God, and then in a relationship with the person you’re with, it changes things.
Instead of gunning for what you want, respect will help you pause and remember that person’s rights. Rather than getting angry with the person in front of you for how you felt by their action, respect will come and help you talk about how you feel rather than judging your intentions. You can see how respect is a complete game-changer when it is centred around God. It’s not about you, nor about the person you’re in a relationship with, it’s about how you will stand before God and take accountability for the way you dealt with His humanity.
Even after a disagreement with his wife, the Prophet Muhammad, may God nourish our connection to him, he never treated her with any less respect. On the contrary, he continued to refer to her as Umm-Al-Mu’mineem (the Mother of the Believers) because that remained her stance with God no matter what circumstances came and went.
So I encourage you to bring this mindset into your conversations with your future partner. If you’re in the early stages of getting to know someone, remember that this person is not on the stand for whether they please you or not. This is a whole human that God put on your path so you may explore together, if there is room to deepen your relationship. And if there isn’t, you respectfully let them know that you don’t feel the two of you are a match and that you’re ready to go your separate ways. When the day comes, inshaAllah, that you deepen your connection with someone for the intention of getting married and starting your lives together, remember that this is a soul that God lent you, that this person does not belong to you, that they belong to God and to Him we shall all return.
This respect and honour is the aim of the team at Khadijah Elite and along every step of the process we pray that our members pursue their connections respectfully and throughout their lives as we all continue to learn and grow towards our Dear and Unconditionally Loving Lord.
Blog written by Dhouha Haddad
Family Social Worker
Certified Life Coach Practitioner
Proud Wife and Mother