What comes to your mind when you hear the word "power couple"? Most likely, it is a famous celebrity/athlete couple which regularly graces the covers of supermarket tabloids. It could be a couple that has its own reality show, which displays the problems of its dysfunctional families on TV for the world to see. Or it could be a couple that is very wealthy and regularly travels to exotic places all over the world.
Wikipedia defines a power couple as, "a popular and/or financially wealthy pairing that intrigues and fascinates the public in an intense or even obsessive fashion." People love power couples. We love seeing what they do, where they go, what they say, and very importantly, what they wear. For some people, they set the standard of what a couple should be like, and many of us will do all we can in order to emulate them.
Now that we have defined society's view of a "power couple", let's go into what Islam's view is.
The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) sums it up nicely when he says, "Join your children in marriage (boys or girls), because thereby Allah renders their tempers good, adds to their sustenance, and increases their sense of honor." He also said, "The person who marries gains half of his Faith; then he must be conscious of God for the remaining half." So according to these narrations, an Islamic power couple is faithful, has a good temper, and is honorable – quite a departure from society's definition of a power couple!
Here are just some examples of the differences between a regular power couple and an Islamic power couple:
A regular power couple is very concerned with what they are wearing and how they are being judged by society. An Islamic power couple is very concerned with making sure they are dressed modestly and how they are being judged by God.
A regular power couple spends most of their time beautifying themselves and making sure they have the latest gadgets and cars. An Islamic power couple spends most of their time beautifying their soul and making sure that they are meeting their religious obligations.
A regular power couple spends their evenings partying and gossiping until they can't take anymore. An Islamic power couple spends their evening together peacefully, trying to get closer to their Lord.
A regular power couple accumulates as much wealth as they can and then spend it on the most luxurious vacations. An Islamic power couple is not concerned about hoarding wealth, but makes enough to meet their needs and fulfill their religious obligations.
A regular power couple makes sure they know the latest and greatest trends in fashion and music. An Islamic power couple makes sure that they avoid the allure of this world, keeping in mind the allure of the Heaven and the close proximity they will be with their Lord.
A regular power couple makes it their business to know the business of their neighbors and those around them, so they can always have something to gossip about and to ensure that they are always a step ahead of them materially. An Islamic power couple makes it their business to find out who needs help in the community, and does their best to help them while maintaining their honor and not embarrassing them.
A regular power couple hears about major world events and only thinks about how they will affect them and their status in society. An Islamic power couple hears about major world events and only thinks about how others are being affected and try to look for the best way to help them.
A regular power couple does not actually spend much time with each other, as each spouse is most concerned with their individual pursuits, not giving the necessary time to nurture their relationship. An Islamic power couple spends the necessary time at their individual work and pursuits, but makes it a priority to give their spouse and children the time they need.
A regular power couple is so consumed with being on top materialistically that they forget their family and loved ones, often not talking to them for months or years. An Islamic power couple recognizes the importance of maintaining good, regular relations with the family, as this is an order of God, and provides support and relief for everyone.
Finally, a regular power couple leaves behind no positive mark on this world and takes nothing with them to the Hereafter. An Islamic power couple leaves behind the knowledge and charity that they freely gave, while having a large repository of good deeds to save them on the Day of Judgment.
Many more examples can be given to show the contrast between power couples who aim for this world and those who aim for the next world. Imam Ali (peace be upon him) very simply and eloquently describes what it is to be part of an Islamic power couple. When asked what kind of a wife Lady Fatima (peace be upon her) was to him, he responded that she was the best of wives because she was the best support for him in the worship of God. And in the end, that is the criterion of a true Islamic power couple.