Marriage is a beautiful milestone in our lives. We often than not, dream of a perfect wedding. We’ll be too busy planning the grandest wedding, choosing the most exclusive outfits, however, to have a great marriage after the wedding is what should matter most.
To successfully sail the yacht of marriage, a couple needs to have a lot of love for one another, learn to accept differences and most importantly, have the proper skills set to overcome the odds.
What is a Marriage Guidance Course?
Right after fixing the date of marriage at ROMM, a couple (especially young couples) is highly encourage to attend the Marriage Guidance Course also known as “Kursus Rumahtangga”. Marriage Guidance Course, initiated in 1968, compulsory for couples with at least 1 person below 21 years old, serves as a guiding tool to couples to embark on this journey.
A two-day course often held at mosques or community centres, covers useful topics like learning to identify needs & wants of one another, ways to overcome challenges & setbacks, financial planning and a 3 year plan for the couples after marriage. The investment of not more than $300 per couple for this course is certainly worth it as by the end of it, the couple will be equipped with the right skills to build a strong foundation for their marriage.
What will be the takeaway from the course?
It is a highly interactive course with many activities and role play to participate in. Many would picture a marriage guidance course to be boring and dry, however, the course is always engaging and humorous. The course includes lunch & tea time refreshments. If the course is held in a mosque, it could be a useful opportunity to perform a Jemaah together with the other participants.
The class is usually divided into two – female & male. Activities are mostly done as an individual or as a couple, with one or two activities example, financial planning, will be done as a group. The facilitator will often call out a few participants to present their final work.
Learn more about one another
Through this marriage guidance course, the couple will learn more about one another, in a perspective they have never seen before. They get to understand what their partner have in mind for the marriage and how their take on marriage can be similar or different to their partner.
Facilitators will also teach the 5 love languages so couples will understand that love can be shown in many ways other than verbally expressing it. Financial planning is a very important part of a marriage. Money makes or break a relationship and being able to take control on the finances together will be an essential to make the marriage work. Issues such as staying with in-laws will surface and the facilitators will share tips on how to cope with sharing spaces and respecting one another.
Present problems such as the increased in divorce rates among young Muslim couples will be touched on and the reasons behind it will be explained. Help centres such as Inspirasi PPIS and Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP) will be introduced as it has been formed to guide and motivate young couples to go through the challenges they face during the initial stage after marriage.
Couples will also be advised to consult the help of professionals from these associations post-marriage, should they require assistance. These associations also conduct post-marriage gathering sessions to check in on the how the couples are coping along the way.
From another point of view…
An ustaz or an ustazah will have a session to share marriage life from the Islamic point of view. Sensitive topics like intimacy are discussed carefully in mind of the different genders present.
Popular questions like “How much should a mahar be worth?” or “How high should a dowry price be placed?” will be answered. Usually the ustaz or ustazah will advise that the dowry price should be lower than the price to conduct the pilgrimage as the pilgrimage is one of the 5 pillars of Islam, making it compulsory. However, the dowry in this modern day & age is a form of culture.
Important factors of solemnization
He or she will also share the important factors of solemnization, that without it, the solemnization will be considered invalid. The factors are the bride & groom, the wali, 2 witnesses and ‘ijab dan Kabul”. During the entire duration of the course, couples are constantly reminded that successfully attending the course do not determine 100% success in marriage life as one will still continue learning from making mistakes after marriage.
Couples will get tips on family planning and how to educate the children from young. The men will be taught to say the call of prayer when the child is born. The rights of a husband & wife will be touched on to educate the young couples. It is commonly thought that once a wife is married, her husband has all the rights over her & her decisions.
However, the ustaz or ustazah will explained thoroughly the different rights that a couple have and how or when to exercise their rights. Besides discussing the rights, duties of the husband and wife will be shared. Opinions will be asked if they felt it was fair on certain duties. This encourage logical thinking between the couple and to understand how to delegate the duties fairly to ensure that both parties will be happy and no arguments or fights will ensue.
What will you receive at the end of the course?
Towards the end of the course, couples will be encouraged to jot down the things they appreciate about their partner. Through this activity, couples will reminisce the good things their partner has done or sacrificed for them or the relationship and this will strengthen their bond as they feel appreciated. Each couple will then present what they have written down.
Facilitators will wrap up the 2 day course with a debrief over all the topics that was covered. Photographs will be taken for memories sake and couples will be asked to fill up a feedback form so that the course facilitators can improve on shortcomings for future sessions. Certificates will be handed out to individual couples. Facilitators and the ustaz or ustazah will stay around to answer questions or to clarify topics that were explained but did not seem very clear to the couples.
The marriage guidance course will be of good use, hence, take the time off for 2 days, attend the course and indulge in the knowledge that will be shared.