(Comic) Life in General

100 PRE MARITAL QUESTIONS (BEFORE MARRIAGE CHECKLIST)

checklist
  1. What is your concept of marriage?
  2. Have you been married before?
  3. Are you married now?
  4. What are you expectations of marriage?
  5. What are your goals in life? (long and short term)
  6. Identify three things that you want to accomplish in the near future.
  7. Identify three things that you want to accomplish, long term.
  8. Why have you chosen me/other person as a potential spouse?
  9. What is the role of religion in your life now?
  10. Are you a spiritual person?
  11. What is your understanding of an Islamic marriage?
  12. What are you expecting of your spouse, religiously?
  13. What is your relationship between yourself and the Muslims community in your area?
  14. Are you volunteering in any Islamic activities?
  15. What can you offer your zawj (spouse), spiritually?
  16. What is the role of the husband?
  17. What is the role of the wife?
  18. Do you want to practice polygamy?
  19. What is your relationship with your family?
  20. What do you expect your relationship with the family of your spouse to be?
  21. What do you expect your spouses relationship with your family to be?
  22. Is there anyone in your family living with you now?
  23. Are you planning to have anyone in your family live with you in the future?
  24. If, for any reason, my relationship with your family turns sour, what should be done?
  25. Who are your friends? (Identify at least three.)
  26. How did you get to know them?
  27. Why are they your friends?
  28. What do you like most about them?
  29. What will your relationship with them after marriage be?
  30. Do you have friends of the opposite sex?
  31. What is the level of your relationship with them now?
  32. What will be the level of your relationship with them after marriage?
  33. What type of relationship do you want your spouse to have with your friends?
  34. What are the things that you do in your free time?
  35. Do you love to have guests in your home for entertainment?
  36. What are you expecting from your spouse when your friends come to the house?
  37. What is your opinion of speaking other languages in home that I do not understand? (with friends or family)
  38. Do you travel?
  39. How do you spend your vacations?
  40. How do you think your spouse should spend vacations?
  41. Do you read?
  42. What do you read?
  43. After marriage, do you think that you are one to express romantic feelings verbally?
  44. After marriage, do you think that you want to express affection in public?
  45. How do you express your admiration for someone that you know now?
  46. How do you express your feelings to someone who has done a favor for you?
  47. Do you like to write your feelings?
  48. If you wrong someone, how do you apologize?
  49. If someone has wronged you, how do you want (s)he to apologize to you?
  50. How much time passes before you can forgive someone?
  51. How do you make important and less important decisions in your life?
  52. Do you use foul language at home? In public? With family?
  53. Do your friends use foul language?
  54. Does your family use foul language?
  55. How do you express anger?
  56. How do you expect your spouse to express anger?
  57. What do you do when you are angry?
  58. When do you think it is appropriate to initiate mediation in marriage?
  59. When there is a dispute in your marriage, religious or otherwise, how should the conflict get resolved?
  60. Define mental, verbal, emotional and physical abuse.
  61. What would you do if you felt that you had been abused?
  62. Who would you call for assistance if you were being abused?
  63. Do you suffer from any chronic disease or condition?
  64. Are you willing to take a physical exam by a physician before marriage?
  65. What is your understanding of proper health and nutrition?
  66. How do you support your own health and nutrition?
  67. What is you definition of wealth?
  68. How do you spend money?
  69. How do you save money?
  70. How do you think that your use of money will change after marriage?
  71. Do you have any debts now? If so, how are you making progress to eliminate them?
  72. Do you use credit cards?
  73. Do you support the idea of taking loans to buy a new home?
  74. What are you expecting from your spouse financially?
  75. What is your financial responsibility in the marriage?
  76. Do you support the idea of a working wife?
  77. If so, how do you think a dual-income family should manage funds?
  78. Do you currently use a budget to manage your finances?
  79. Who are the people to whom you are financially responsible?
  80. Do you support the idea of utilizing baby sitters and/or maids?
  81. Do you want to have children? If not, how come?
  82. To the best of your understanding, are you able to have children?
  83. Do you want to have children in the first two years of marriage? If not, when?
  84. Do you believe in abortion?
  85. Do you have children now?
  86. What is your relationship with your children now?
  87. What is your relationship with their other parent?
  88. What relationship do you expect your spouse to have with your children and their parent?
  89. What is the best method(s) of raising children?
  90. What is the best method(s) of disciplining children?
  91. How were you raised?
  92. How were you disciplined?
  93. Do you believe in spanking children? Under what circumstances?
  94. Do you believe in public school for your children?
  95. Do you believe in Islamic school for your children?
  96. Do you believe in home schooling for your children?
  97. What type of relationship should your children have with non-Muslim classmates/friends?
  98. Would you send your children to visit their extended family if they lived in another state or country?
  99. What type of relationship do you want your children to have with all their grandparents?
  100. If there are members of my family that are not Muslim, that are of different race or culture, what type of relationship do you want to have with them?

The Sanctity of Life

Violence seems to be one of the distinctive characteristics of the times we live in, it seems that mercy have been taken away from the hearts of our generation. But I believe, we can still do something about that, we can lead by example.

The Sanctity of Life

Violence seems to be one of the distinctive characteristics of the times we live in, it seems that mercy have been taken away from the hearts of our generation. But I believe, we can still do something about that, we can lead by example.

Whether it is a bomb going off in a market place, or the hijacking of an aircraft where innocent people are held at ransom to achieve political ends, we live in an age, where the manipulation and loss of innocent lives has become commonplace, where sanctity of life has became an obsolete concept.

Such is the all-pervasive nature of indiscriminate violence, that “terrorism” is considered as one of the prime threats to peace and security in our societies.

The word terrorism came into wide usage only a few decades ago. One of the unfortunate results of this new terminology is that it limits the definition of terrorism to that perpetrated by small groups or individuals. Terrorism, in fact, spans the entire world, and manifests itself in various forms. Its perpetrators do not fit any stereotype. Those who hold human lives cheap, and have the power to expend human lives, appear at different levels in our societies. The frustrated employee who kills his colleagues in cold-blood or the oppressed citizen of an occupied land who vents his anger by blowing up a school bus are terrorists who provoke our anger and revulsion.

Ironically however, the politician who uses age-old ethnic animosities between peoples to consolidate his position, the head of state who orders “carpet bombing” of entire cities, the exalted councils that choke millions of civilians to death by wielding the insidious weapon of sanctions, are rarely punished for their crimes against humanity.

It is this narrow definition of terrorism that implicates only individuals and groups, that has caused Muslims to be associated with acts of destruction and terror, and as a result, to become victims of hate violence and terror themselves. Sometimes the religion of Islam is held responsible for the acts of a handful of Muslims, and often for the acts of non-Muslims!

Could it be possible that Islam, whose light ended the Dark Ages in Europe, now propound the advent of an age of terror? Could a faith that has over 1.2 billion followers the world over, and over 7 million in America, actually advocate the killing and maiming of innocent people? Could Islam, whose name itself stands for “peace” and “submission to God”, encourage its adherents to work for death and destruction?

For too long, have we relied on popular images in the media and in Hollywood films, for answers to these pertinent questions. It is now time to look at the sources of Islam, and its history to determine whether Islam does indeed advocate violence.

Sancity Of Human Life

The Glorious Qur’an says:

“…take not life, which God hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom.”
[Al-Qur’an 6:151]

Islam considers all life forms as sacred. However, the sanctity of human life is accorded a special place. The first and the foremost basic right of a human being is the right to live. The Glorious Qur’an says:

“…if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.”
[Al-Qur’an 5:32]

Such is the value of a single human life, that the Qur’an equates the taking of even one human life unjustly, with killing all of humanity. Thus, the Qur’an prohibits homicide in clear terms. The taking of a criminal’s life by the state in order to administer justice is required to uphold the rule of law, and the peace and security of the society. Only a proper and competent court can decide whether an individual has forfeited his right to life by disregarding the right to life and peace of other human beings.

Ethics Of War

Even in a state of war, Islam enjoins that one deals with the enemy nobly on the battlefield. Islam has drawn a clear line of distinction between the combatants and the non-combatants of the enemy country. As far as the non-combatant population is concerned such as women, children, the old and the infirm, etc., the instructions of the Prophet are as follows: “Do not kill any old person, any child or any woman”[1]. “Do not kill the monks in monasteries” or “Do not kill the people who are sitting in places of worship.”[2] During a war, the Prophet saw the corpse of a woman lying on the ground and observed: “She was not fighting. How then she came to be killed?” Thus non-combatants are guaranteed security of life even if their state is at war with an Islamic state.

Misconceptions of Jihad

While Islam in general is misunderstood in the western world, perhaps no other Islamic term evokes such strong reactions as the word ‘jihad’. The term ‘jihad’ has been much abused, to conjure up bizarre images of violent Muslims, forcing people to submit at the point of the sword. This myth was perpetuated throughout the centuries of mistrust during and after the Crusades. Unfortunately, it survives to this day.

The word Jihad comes from the root word jahada, which means to struggle. So jihad is literally an act of struggling. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that the greatest jihad is to struggle with the insidious suggestions of one’s own soul. Thus jihad primarily refers to the inner struggle of being a person of virtue and submission to God in all aspects of life.

Secondarily, jihad refers to struggle against injustice. Islam, like many other religions, allows for armed self-defense, or retribution against tyranny, exploitation, and oppression. The Glorious Qur’an says:

“And why should ye not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? – Men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!”
[Al-Qur’an 4:75]

Thus Islam enjoins upon its believers to strive utmost, in purifying themselves, as well as in establishing peace and justice in the society. A Muslim can never be at rest when she sees injustice and oppression around her. As Martin Luther King Jr. said:

“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.”

Islam enjoins upon all Muslims to work actively to maintain the balance in which God created everything. However, regardless of how legitimate the cause may be, the Glorious Qur’an never condones the killing of innocent people. Terrorizing the civilian population can never be termed as jihad and can never be reconciled with the teachings of Islam.

History Of Tolerance

Even Western scholars have repudiated the myth of Muslims coercing others to convert. The great historian De Lacy O’Leary wrote:

“History makes it clear, however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims, sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated.”[3]

Muslims ruled Spain for roughly 800 years. During this time, and up until they were finally forced out, the non-Muslims there were alive and flourishing. Additionally, Christian and Jewish minorities have survived in the Muslim lands of the Middle East for centuries. Countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan all have significant Christian and/or Jewish populations.

This is not surprising to a Muslim, for his faith prohibits him from forcing others to see his point of view. The Glorious Qur’an says:

“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And God heareth and knoweth all things.”
[Al-Qur’an 2:256]

Islam – The Great Unifier

Far from being a militant dogma, Islam is a way of life that transcends race and ethnicity. The Glorious Qur’an repeatedly reminds us of our common origin:

“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).”
[Al-Qur’an 49:13]

Thus, it is the universality of its teachings that makes Islam the fastest growing religion in the world. In a world full of conflicts and deep schisms between human beings, a world that is threatened with terrorism, perpetrated by individuals and states, Islam is a beacon of light that offers hope for the future.

[1] Narrated in the collection of traditions of Abu Dawud

[2] Narrated in the Musnad of Imam Ibn Hanbal

[3] Islam At Crossroads, London, 1923, page 8

The article first appeared on whyIslam.com

Odyssey Quote on life

Life is perplexing and fascinating and messy but incredible. At times, it can be difficult to see why events must occur as they do.

However, if you trust that whatever is meant to be will be, and allow that fact to free you, life seems a whole lot simpler, and you can relish in the fact that if something is truly destined to happen, it will materialize when the time is right

-Odyssey-

The Motivation Spectrum

If people are already motivated, the question now is, how motivated are they? The answer lies in the 6 “motivational outlooks” on the spectrum of motivation.

These outlook do not form a continuum. At one moment, we might operate in one particular motivational outlook and later, we may operate with an entirely diferent one.

To illustrate how motivaional outlook work, consier them in light of a routine meeting where 6 different employees are each operating individually based on a different mode of motivation:

  1. Disinterest – This one hated the meeting and considered it as as waste of time.
  2. External – This one leverage the meeting to show off his power and status within the organization.
  3. Imposed – This one is forced by his or her superiors to attend the meeting. Their superiors might be angry if they missed the meeting.
  4. Aligned – This one loved attending meeting, and felt they might gain valueable knowledge from that meeting.
  5. Integrated – this one enjoyed the meeting because her life has a noble purpose, and the meeting focused on that purpose.
  6. Inherent – This one is gregarious, loves being around people and attends all meetings.

“Setting measurable goals and outcomes is important. Having a defined finish line in front of you can be positively compelling.”

The first 3 motivational outlook are in the suboptimal motivation category and they represent the low-quality motivation or motivational junk food.

People operating based on suboptimal motivational modes often say things like,

“I have to”

“I must”

“I should”

“I’m requied to”

“It’s necessary”

“Because it’s my duty.”

“Everyday, your employees’ appraisal of their workplace leaves them with or without a positive sense of well-being. Their well-being determines their intentions, and intentions are the greatest predictors of behavior.”

The remaining 3 motivational outlook are the optimal ones. They show the kind of motivation which we want, for ourselves, our employees and the people we care about.

They are motivational “health food”.

Outlook based on alignment, integration and inherent motivation generate high-quality energy, vitality and positive well-being which leads to a sustainable results. People with optimal motivation outlook often say,

“I get to”

“I have decided to”

“I am lucky to”

“I elect to”

“External Motivators”

Organization at times would turn to external motivators to influence their employees. These motivators include money, incentives or a bigger office or even bigger title which are tangable, or approval, status, shame or fear, which are intangible. These forces work directly against the important psychological requirements employees have for autonomy, relatedness and competence.

External motivators actually undermine motivation.

“The quality of our beliefs determines the quality of our leadership values. Our leadership values ultimately determine how we lead and the quality of the workplace we create.”

External motivators can take control over our employees, driving and compelling them to act in a certain way, thus robbing them of autonomy. And eventually, the employees will come to resent the loss of control.

A self-defeating inherent message accompanies any external motivator:

“If you do as I say, then you will be rewarded”

This ham-handed message can gain only temporary, “conditional support” from the employees.

“Not all beliefs are values, but all values are beliefs”

Optimal Motivation

For most organizations, motivation is what their employees can do for them. But this reverses crucial priorities.

The magic of motivation kick into overdrive when managers address what the can do for their employees.

Answering that question fulfills one o the basic rules of motivation:

“When we focus on what we want for people, we are more likely to get the results we want from people.”

So, instead of trying to drive or control employees with carrots and sticks, or pigeon pellets, help promote thriving employees by meeting their crucial autonomy, relatedness an competence psychological needs, which are their “basic desire to thrive.”

Organizations need to move beyond a strict focus on corporate priorities which usually centered around “results, performance and productivity.”

“Great leadership takes great practice. When it comes to motivation, leadership practice includes being a role model.”

And when companies focuses on autonomy, relatedness and competence, they and their people will stand to benefit. Organizations that focus on ARC develop sel-governing workforce who believe in accountability. Such companies promote strong personal relationships, which motivate examplary “citizenship behaviors” among employees. This emphasis on competence and professional development helps create and sustain learning organizations.

Therefore, organization should help their employees to understand why they are motivated. Adopting a motivational strateg based on ARC values which ensures that our employees have an optimal motivational outlook. And when leaders model this attitude, it can become a defining characteristic of our organization, a win-win-win for employees, manager and the company.

And hence, a much holistic working culture.