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Marriage is like sailing a boat for an adventure, with two key people in it. Amidst strong wings, one may have to set the sail, while the other tries to steer the wheel. It is essential to have the right mindset, knowledge and preparation before they decide to tie the knot.

Imam Asim Hafiz MA OBE, having been approached by many for insights in regards to marital relationship issues, can definitely attest to the importance of engaging in premarital assistance.

Imam Asim Hafiz receiving his OBE from Prince William

Currently serving as the Islamic Religious Advisor to Chief of the Defence Staff and Service Chiefs as well as an Imam to the Forces, this UK-based imam is often contacted regarding relationships in spite of his ability to serve a wide range of other services.

“There are no quick fixes. One counselling session won’t fix it all.” He speaks frankly about being approached by couples facing problems. He adds, there is no such thing as a perfect marriage and even the most solid couple will face episodes.

“Marriage is a journey, not a destination” said Imam Asim Hafiz. “For some, it is the same journey with two different vehicles because we still have our interests and abilities. That’s fine but when one vehicle slows down, sometimes the other has to slow down too.”

Marriage is a journey, not a destination - Imam Asim

You might enter marriage thinking you know your partner well. Imam Asim advises however, once you live together getting to know the quirks and the qualms, you begin to know the individual’s true colours. Hence, every couple must be open and prepare to grow into the marriage. It’s important to have a good mindset early on.

There are no quick fixes. One counselling session won’t fix it all - Imam Asim

The origin of a speech at a wedding which sometimes comes in the form of a do’a, essentially originated from the sunnah of the nikah sermon done by the Prophet (pbuh). Likewise, premarital advice is one of the services offered at ImamConnect and Imam Asim Hafiz has helped to shed some light to the importance of seeking advice especially from someone beyond the familial circle.

Beyond getting past the taboo of seeking input for a marriage, what helps is also being able to engage confidentially. The process is also done in such a way that it helps to empower people to seek help with fewer barriers. For example the messaging pre-booking, it being online and transparent profiles and payment terms.

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