A message to all smokers

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و رسائل لكل مدخن على وجه الأرض على شكل صور كلها إبداع وعبر 

 تساؤلات صريحة

هل تصنف الدخان من الطيبات ؟ أم من الخبائث ؟
هل تسمي الله حينما تبدأ بشرب الدخان ؟ أو تحمده حينما تنتهي ؟
هل هناك مأكول أو مشروب حينما تنتهي منه تطأه بحذائك ؟
هل تشرب الدخان في بيت من بيوت الله ؟
هل حققت من الدخان كسب مادي أو صحي أو اجتماعي ؟
ما هو موقفك حينما ترى أحد أبنائك أو إخوانك يدخن ؟

يطير فرحاً حينما يمسكها بيده . . ويزداد نشوة حينما يقبلها بفمه . . ! يستوحش لفقدها . . ويأنس لقربها . . أسعد لحظاته حينما يخلو بها . . وأشقى ساعاته حينما يفارقها . . تحدد أصدقائه وأماكن جلوسه . . قد ينحرف بسببها . . قد يرتكب المحرمات لأجلها ، بل قد يموت بتأثيرها . . ؟ إنها السيجارة ! ! !

إذا فلنضعها في قفص الاتهام ! !

                                               عبرة ! !

شاب في الخامسة والعشرين من عمره ، ابتلي بشرب الدخان لعدة سنوات . . . وذات يوم أدخل المستشفى بسبب ألم مفاجئ وهو هبوط في القلب . . ووضع عدة أيام بغرفة العناية المركزة تحت مراقبة الأجهزة الطبية المتطورة ، حيث أن الطبيب المشرف على علاجه أصدر أوامره لهيئة التمريض بعدم إدخال الدخان للمذكور لأنه السبب الرئيسي لمرضه ، وتفتيش الزوار خوفاً من تسلل الدخان له خفية . .
تحسنت صحته وبدأ يستعيد نشاطه . . إلا أنه لم يتقيد أخيراً بتعليمات الأطباء ؛ حيث عاد إلى التدخين ، وفي أحد الأيام فُقد هذا الشاب . . بحثوا عنه فوجدوه في أحد الحمامات وقد فارق الحياة ( وبيده سيجارة ) ! !

التدخين هلاك للدين

حيث يبتعد المدخن عن أماكن الخير والصلاح فتجده يتوارى من الناس من سوء رائحته ، بل قد يكون سبباً في ارتكاب بعض المحرمات ، ناهيك عن كونه محرماً شرعاً، والله تعالى يقول : { ويحل لهم الطيبات ويحرم عليهم الخبائث } .

هلاك للصحة

حيث يؤدي إلى الإصابة بضعف النسل ، وضعف في جهاز المناعة ، والتهاب الجلد ، والسرطان في الرئة ، والحنجرة والشفة ، والذبحة الصدرية ، والسل الرئوي ، والبلغم وضيق النفس ، وهذا إهلاك للنفس والله تعالى يقول : { ولا تقتلوا أنفسكم إن الله كان بكم رحيماً } .
يا من يريد دمار صحته ويهوى الموت منتحراً بلا سكين
لا تيأسن فإن ذلك واجد كل الذي يرجوه بالتدخين

هلاك للمال

حيث يؤدي إنفاق المال في المحرم ، بل فيما يضر ، وهذا مما سُيسأل عنه يوم القيامة حيث سُيسأل ” عن ماله من أين اكتسبه ، وفيما أنفقه ” .
ولا عجب في ذلك فالذي يتناول 10 سجائر يومياً ينفق 1000 ريال سنوياً ، في حين أنه لا ينفق عُشره صدقة لوجه الله .

ماذا قال العلماء عن التدخين ؟

قال ابن باز – رحمه الله – : ” والدخان لا يجوز شربه ، ولا بيعه ، ولا التجارة فيه كالخمر ، والواجب على من كان يشربه أو يتجر فيه البدار بالتوبة والإنابة إلى الله سبحانه وتعالى ، والندم على ما مضى ، والعزم على أن لا يعود في ذلك ” .
وقال ابن عثيمين – رحمه الله – : ” فنصيحتي لإخواني المسلمين الذين ابتلوا بشربه أن يستعينوا بالله عز وجل وعقدوا العزم على تركه ، وفي العزيمة الصادقة مع الاستعانة بالله ورجاء ثوابه ، والهرب من عقابه ، ففي ذلك كله معونة على الإقلاع عنه ” .

ماذا قال الأطباء عن التدخين ؟

يقول الدكتور / كليفورد أندرسون : ” لقد دلت الإحصاءات التي قامت بها جمعية السرطان الأمريكية أن الانقطاع يفيد ، ويقلل خطر الإصابة بالسرطان بمعدل النصف . . ومن المحقق أن الذين لا يدخنون هم أقل الناس تعرضاً للإصابة بهذا المرض ” .

ويقول الدكتور كنعان الجابي:” لقد مضى على معالجتي للسرطان 25 عاماً فلم يأتني مصاباً بسرطان الحنجرة إلا مدخن ”
وجاء في تقرير الكلية الملكية للأطباء بلندن : ” إن تدخين السجائر في العصر الحديث يسبب من الوفيات ما كانت تسببه أشد الأوبئة خطراً في العصور السابقة . . وجاء فيه أن 95% من مرضى شرايين الساقين هم من المدخنين ” .

وجاء في تقرير لأحد من مراكز البحوث الأمريكية : ” إن التدخين يؤدي إلى أعلى نسبة وفيات في العالم بالمقارنة للحروب والمجاعات “

معلومات تهمك

إن ضحايا التدخين في العالم لا تقل عن مليونين ونصف المليون شخص .
إن السجائر التي تورد إلى دول العالم الثالث أكثر ضرراً من غيرها بسبب احتوائها على كمية أكبر من القطران والنيكتين .
إن التدخين هو العتبة الأولى في طريق المخدرات .
إن المدخن شخص عاجز بالمفهوم الرياضي .
إن المدخن شخص غير مرغوب فيه اجتماعياً .

أخي الحبيب . . وبعد هذا كله ألم تفكر في الإقلاع عن التدخين ؟ ! ستقول – كعادتك – بلى ! وأقول متى ستقلع عنه إذاً ؟ ستقول غداً أو بعد غد ، أو بعد ذلك سأحاول الإقلاع عنه . . . إذاً أنت لم تقتنع بما قرأته آنفاً بل ستستمر على التدخين ، ولن تقلع عنه أبداً ! ! ستقول لا ! إنني مقتنع تماماً بما مضى ، ولكن صعب علي الخلاص منه وأخشى ألا أستمر على تركه . ! !
إذاً ما الحل أخي الحبيب ؟ . . هل سنقف معك في طريق مسدود ؟ ستقول لا لم يصل الأمر إلى هذا الحد . . إذاً ما العمل ؟ ربما تقول : ” لعلي أسلك طريقاً آخر أنجو من أضرار التدخين سأتحول إلى الغليون أو الشيشة ونحوها ، فعلها أقل ضرراً وأهون خطراً ” ، وأقول لك ما أنت إلا كالمستجير من الرمضاء بالنار ، أما علمت أن ما مضى ذكره من أضرار التدخين ينطبق على الشيشة والغليون وغيرها ، ربما ستقول إذاً سأنتقل إلى نوع خفيف من السجائر التي تحتوي على كمية قليلة من النيكوتين والقطران وهذه خدعة كبرى ، قد ثبت ضررها وعدم جدواها ، وذلك لأن هذا سبب لتدخين أكبر عدد من السجائر ، وهذا يؤدي إلى امتصاص المزيد من النيكوتين والقطران ، وهذا يحدث بطريقة لا إرادية . فهل نلجأ إلى هذا الحل إذاً ! .(من كتاب نفيس في موضوعه بعنوان : لماذا تدخن ؟)

إذاً ما الحل ؟

ليس هناك حل أيها الأخ الحبيب إلا أن تترك الدخان فوراً وتهجره بلا رجعة فعشمي بك كبير ، وهمتك أكبر من أن تعجز عن الفكاك من أسر سيجارة حقيرة ، وليس تركه بذاك الأمر الكبير العسير إذا صاحبهُ عزيمة صادقة وهمة عالية وإرادة قوية .

الأمور المعينة على ترك التدخين

* الاعتماد على الله سبحانه وتعالى والتوكل عليه .
* الرغبة الصادقة والعزيمة الأكيدة والإرادة القوية في الإقلاع عنه .
* خطط لطريقة تقلع فيها عن التدخين كأن يكون تدريجياً أو فورياً .
* أخبر أصدقائك ومن حولك أنك ستقلع أو أقلعت عن التدخين .
* لا ترتدْ الأماكن التي يكثر فيها التدخين .
* استعمل السواك أو اللبان ” العلك ” إذا وجدت حنيناً للتدخين .
* أكثر من شرب الماء والعصير لتخفيف تركيز النيكوتين بالدم .
* حاول زيارة طبيب مختص تستشيره .
* غاز ثاني أكسيد الكربون سينخفض من جسمك بعد يومين من الإقلاع عن التدخين .
* تذكر أنك الآن أقلعت عن التدخين وأضراره وانظر لنفسك أنك شخص غير مدخن .

ولغير المدخنين همسة !

أخي في الله . . احمد الله سبحانه وتعالى على أن عافاك من هذا البلاء وسلمت من أضراره ، ولكن بقي أن تعلم أن أولئك المدخنين كانوا من قبل أناس أصحاء لا يشربون الدخان ، بل إن بعضهم يكرهه كرهاً شديداً ، ومع لك إلا أنهم وقعوا في ما هم عليه الآن ، وما ذاك إلا لأنهم تساهلوا في بعض الأمور التي تؤدي إلى الوقوع في التدخين ومنها :
* العبث بالدخان .
* شربه مجاملة أو حياء .
* شربه بدعوى التجربة .
* الجلوس في أماكن يشرب فيها الدخان .
* الاغترار بفعل المشاهير لهذه العادة السيئة .

9 Ways Students Can Use Social Media to Boost Their Careers

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If you’re a Generation X-er or older, you likely use social media to cut it in the real world. You may also use social networks for personal reasons, but it’s always with the understanding that you’re a professional.

Here are a few things students should consider when starting to use social media professionally.

1. It’s Not the Same


Most teens and young adults have used social media to connect directly to friends and share personal experiences casual conversations with their networks. Yet interacting on social networks with an eye toward your career is different than doing so for purely personal reasons.

Using social media for professional purposes doesn’t mean you have to give that up. In fact, oftentimes it makes a person come across as more genuine and more approachable. But refining your language, highlighting content and information that’s more career-focused, and connecting and conversing with more people outside your immediate group of friends signifies that you’re interested in more than just the personal.

 

2. Power in Connections


Social networks offer endless ways to connect with a wide-range of people with little effort and to organize those connections — through lists, circles or groups — so you can use them more effectively.

Build each network to create relationships that can be nurtured through interaction and conversation. Bycultivating and organizing the network you create, you’ll be more effectively able to act upon professional opportunities.

 

3. It Can Help You Find a Job

Beyond the ability to connect and converse with people and groups from a professional standpoint, social media can actually help you find that job. Nearly every social networking site posts loads of job opportunities.

Less obvious, but perhaps more effective, is the ability to connect directly to the brands you’d love to work for, as well as the people behind those brands. While you keep your eyes peeled for job postings, take some time to engage with these brands and people, and establish a relationship with them.

4. Learning Is Still Good for You


By interacting with professionals, industry media outlets and experts in your desired field of work, you’ll be able to deepen your own level of knowledge of that field and stay on top of trends and current issues. It’s an excellent supplement to your in-class work and good preparation for the continuing learning you’ll need to do when you graduate.


5. You Can’t Hide Behind the Curtain


The speed and virtual aspect of social networks can tempt people to act less than professional. For instance, sometimes harsher or more sarcastic interactions are acceptable on social media. And some people believe that because social media is generally a public forum, they should be able to speak freely and openly.

No matter your stance, disrespectful interactions with others (strangers or colleagues) is a huge no-no. If you wouldn’t say something to a person face-to-face, it probably means it isn’t appropriate for social media either. The same social norms apply whether online or offline, and the same level of respect and collegiality is expected on these channels.

 

6. It’s Not Just About You


Constant self-promotion is almost always frowned upon in social media. Keep most of your posts (I suggest at least 80%) to conversation, third-party content, general comments and questions, and keep the sales pitches at a minimum. David Armano, EVP of global innovation and integration, discusses the overuse of the#humblebrag hashtag. You get the point.

Instead, think about what types of content will give your audience the most value, especially when it also suggests you’re open to educating yourself on a wide-range of ideas.


7. Strut Your Stuff


Social networking is a fantastic way to showcase your knowledge on your field of interest. Using many of the tactics suggested above shows you’re paying attention to your target industry and demonstrating a certain level of critical analysis.

By tweeting relevant articles, or commenting on industry trends on a personal blog, you can show your own level of interest and personal development outside of classwork and internships.

8. You Will Get the Once-over


Employers, future colleagues, industry leaders and other professionals do look at your social media activities. That being said, it’s a great opportunity to show your interpersonal skills, in addition to your own level of knowledge and interest in the field. College students sometimes get a bad rap, but by engaging with professionals, you can demonstrate your skill set and level of maturity.


9. What You Do Now Will Pay Off Later


Much like searching for a job, if you start curating your social media presence after you graduate, you’re already behind. By thinking about how to use social media professionally while you’re still in school, you can position yourself as forward-thinking, forge stronger industry connections, and strengthen your on-paper credentials, making you a much more attractive candidate to your future employers.

What other tips do you have for students to improve their professional social media presence? What can they work on and where do they excel?

How to Time Your Facebook Posts to Reach the Most Fans

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 “How frequently should I post on my Facebook page? When is the best time to post?”

Answer: Post whenever the most recent status update for your page stops showing up in your fans’ News Feeds.

If you post often, you will see an immediate spike in News Feed impressions, but it’s generally not worth the cost in lost fans. When your fans see two status updates from you in their News Feeds, they’ll likely get annoyed, and will consequently unsubscribe or un-fan. There are few exceptions to this rule.

If you post too infrequently, you’re missing out on opportunities to reach your fans. Over the course of a year, a page with 10,000 fans that posts only half as often as they could misses more than 1 million chances to get their content in front of a hyper-targeted Facebook audience. The larger your fan page, the more often you should be posting — without annoying your fans.

The kicker: Each post performs differently. Some posts last ten hours, and some posts last thirty hours.

Calculate the average post lifetime by using the method below, but remember it’s just that — an average. To get really in-depth, figure the average post lifetime for photos vs. articles, or the average lifetime when you post Thursdays at 3 p.m. vs. Saturdays at 10 a.m. However, it’s still just an average; each post is unique, so you can never exactly predict how it will perform.

How do you know when a post stops appearing in your fans’ News Feeds?

The good news is that when you track your posts’ performance, you’ll be able to see, in real-time, when that post drops out of the News Feed. If it flops five hours sooner than you expected, then immediately stick up a new post.

Each status update drops out of different fans’ News Feeds at different times, depending on how long Facebook’s algorithm EdgeRank calculates that particular fan will be interested in that particular status update. Then, the best we can do is look at how each status update performs across all your fans’ News Feeds.

You’ll actually see a slowdown in new impressions, clicks, likes and comments as a post starts dropping out of News Feeds. The following graphs show cumulative numbers, so when the graph flattens, the post has dropped out of News Feeds.

Each of these metrics has pros and cons.

1. Impressions per-post: Impressions per-post is a single aggregate count of how many times a particular status update has been viewed. Facebook updates this number as more and more people view the post; however, it often won’t update for several hours at a time when Facebook’s computers are calculating for millions of posts across millions of fan pages. On the bright side, when it works, it’s great — you can literally watch as your post gets viewed by fans.

2. Comments per-post: All the comments on any status update are time-stamped, so you can measure on a minute-by-minute basis exactly when a fan saw the status update. Unfortunately, most status updates receive so few comments that there aren’t enough data points to determine whether your fans are choosing not to comment or simply aren’t seeing the post in their News Feeds.

3. Likes per-post: In general, this is the most accurate way to see when your status update starts dropping out of News Feeds. Facebook updates the post’s like count in near real time, so it’s more reliable than the post impression count. And because posts tend to get more likes than comments, the data presents an accurate picture of how long a post stayed in News Feeds. On the other hand, likes aren’t time-stamped, so you have to check the like count regularly to see when new likes are added.

So how do I actually measure?

Post a status update. Every hour, record the number of impressions, likes and comments. Figure out when the rate of new impressions or likes slows down.

Try recording all the raw data in Excel, then graph the data just like you see above. Visually estimate the post lifetime based on when the graph flattens out.

After you calculate the post lifetime for 10-20 posts, you’ll start to generate an average post lifetime unique to your fan page.

What’s the average post lifetime?

I don’t know.

However, I surveyed 20 posts across five fan pages that had 2 million+ fans, and calculated an average post lifetime of 22 hours, 51 minutes. Theoretically, this implies most fan pages shouldn’t post more than once a day.

I strongly recommend keeping track of your posts in real-time because post lifetimes vary widely, even across the same fan page. In my sample of twenty posts, the shortest post lasted only 10 hours, while the longest post lasted a full 50 hours!

If you weren’t tracking those posts, you would have been invisible in the News Feed for 13 hours when the post flopped at the 10-hour mark. Similarly, you could have delayed your next post when the high-performing post showed no sign of slowing down.

Lastly, feel free to experiment and break the rules.

You won’t know if your fans respond better to a different posting strategy until you try it. Use these analytics to augment your intelligence, not replace it.

Happy posting!

100 Uses of Social Media Monitoring

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Companies that are new to social media monitoring and engagement frequently wonder where to begin. This can even be a bigger challenge if nobody is talking about your company or brand. We wanted to provide a few examples, okay, well 100 examples, of things that you can listen and monitor for across the social web.

The list is divided into 10 categories, so if you are looking for help in a particular category, see if it is listed below. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are some categories that didn’t make the cut. If there are other ideas you would like to see explored in a future list, let us know in the comments below.

Brand Monitoring
1. Listen for online mentions of your brand
2. Listen for positive mentions of your brand
3. Listen for negative mentions of your brand
4. Listen for direct and indirect questions from customers
5. Discover brand advocates
6. Discover brand detractors
7. Discover influencers for your brand
8. Learn where customers are talking about your brand
9. Listen for the most popular topics about your brand
10. Monitor public perception of your company
11. Listen for mentions of executive team
12. Listen for mentions of product misuse

Competitive Intelligence
13. Discover online mentions of your top competitors
14. Discover competitors’ latest product releases
15. Discover competitors’ recent company news
16. Listen for customer comments about competitors
17. Monitor competitors’ blogs for company insight
18. Monitor competitors’ employees social profiles
19. Monitor competitors’ content for levels of customer engagement
20. Discover negative mentions of competitors and treat as opportunities

Industry Monitoring
21. Listen to mentions of your industry
22. Listen for mentions of your brand compared to your industry
23. Listen for mentions of your competitors as part of your industry
24. Monitor share of voice in your industry
25. Monitor industry trends
26. Discover industry issues
27. Monitor industry news
28. Discover industry influencers
29. Monitor perception of industry by larger business community
30. Monitor changes in social media adoption in your industry

Thought Leadership
31. Monitor changes in conversation volume around key issues
32. Discover industry posts that require comment by your company’s subject matter experts
33. Monitor spread of company thought leadership blog posts
34. Identify online opportunities to share thought leadership
35. Identify speaking opportunities for subject matter experts
36. Determine perception of company as a thought leader
37. Determine perception of company employees as thought leaders
38. Discover other industry thought leaders
39. Monitor influence of company thought leaders
40. Monitor influence of industry thought leaders

Lead Generation and Sales
41. Monitor for buying indication terms within your product category
42. Monitor for recommendation requests within your product category
43. Monitor for discussions of your product category
44. Monitor target prospect personas to confirm accuracy
45. Monitor questions and conversations about your product category
46. Discover topics for remarkable content
47. Share relevant content with prospects
48. Answer direct questions from prospects
49. Discover competitive insights
50. Expand pool of prospects

Customer Service
51. Identify customer service issues as they emerge
52. Monitor volume of conversation around customer service issues
53. Respond to customer service issues in real-time
54. Determine if customers are willing to take issues offline
55. Gather customer feedback to share with other teams
56. Build relationships with customers
57. Answer customer questions
58. Respond to positive feedback
59. Share helpful company information
60. Monitor ongoing customers concerns

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
61. Discover relevant industry keywords
62. Monitor selected keywords for content ideas
63. Discover influencers using selected keywords
64. Determine which keywords are performing best
65. Determine which keywords are not performing
66. Monitor spread of content to determine better titles
67. Connect with people in industry to enhance social search
68. Discover relevant blogs to consider asking for backlinks
69. Monitor SEO influencers to keep up with search engine changes
70. Monitor search engine social profiles to keep up with changes

Crisis Communication
71. Monitor community news sites around facilities
72. Listen actively to conversations around the crisis
73. Establish a baseline for potential threats
74. Establish a baseline for potential failures
75. Find sites that are critical of your brand
76. Find people that are critical of your brand
77. Look for channels to use for crisis outreach
78. Determine potential issues before they escalate
79. Determine the volume of critical conversations
80. Determine sentiment level changes which could indicate a crisis

Product Development
81. Listen for comments on current products
82. Listen for comments on competitors’ products
83. Discover new uses for existing products
84. Discover opportunities for product offerings
85. Solicit product feedback and monitor comments
86. Conduct beta testing
87. Monitor new industry opportunities
88. Listen for potential new product features
89. Understand how customers are using your product
90. Identify points of difference about your product

Advertising and Marketing Effectiveness
91. Track advertising-specific keyword usage
92. Listen for social response to advertising messages
93. Gauge sentiment toward advertising campaigns
94. Monitor conversations from trade shows
95. Monitor unique URLs on your ads
96. Monitor unique phone numbers on your ads
97. Find sites relevant to your brand for online advertising
98. Learn the language of prospects
99. Monitor campaign or brand specific hashtags
100. Solicit user generated content and monitor results

10 ways to avoid marrying the wrong person

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There is a right way and a wrong way to get to know someone for marriage. The wrong way is to get caught up in the excitement and nuance of a budding relationship and in the process completely forget to ask the critical questions that help determine compatibility. One of the biggest mistakes that many young Muslims make is rushing into marriage without properly and thoroughly getting to know someone. A common myth is that the duration of a courtship is an accurate enough measure of how compatible two people are. The logic follows that the longer you speak with someone, the better you will know them. The problem with that premise is that no consideration is given to how that time is spent. Increasingly, young Muslim couples are engaging in “halal dating,” which is basically socializing with each other in the company of friends and/or family. This includes going out to dinner, watching a movie, playing some sport or other leisure activity, etc. Depending on the family or culture, conversations are either minimal & chaperoned or worse, unrestricted and unsupervised. When you consider these limitations it makes one wonder when exactly, if ever at all, would the critical conversations take place? Unfortunately, for many, the answer is never and they live to suffer the consequences. If you or someone you know is in the “getting to know someone” phase, the following guide offers advice on exactly what to look for and avoid:

1) Do Not Marry Potential: Oftentimes men consider marrying a woman hoping she never changes while a woman considers marrying a man she hopes she can change. This is the wrong approach on both accounts. Don’t assume that you can change a person after you’re married to them or that they will reach their potential. There is no guarantee, after all, that those changes will be for the better. In fact, it’s often for the worse. If you can’t accept someone or imagine living with them as they are then don’t marry them. These differences can include a number of things such as ideological or practical differences in religion, habits, hygiene, communication skills, etc.

2) Choose Character over Chemistry: While chemistry and attraction are no doubt important, character precedes them both. A famous quote follows, “Chemistry ignites the fire, but character keeps it burning.” The idea of falling “in love” should never be the sole reason for marrying someone; it is very easy to confuse infatuation and lust for love. The most important character traits to look for include humility, kindness, responsibility, & happiness. Here’s a breakdown of each trait:

  • Humility: The humble person never makes demands of people but rather always does right by them. They put their values and principles above convenience and comfort. They are slow to anger, are modest, and avoid materialism.
  • Kindness: The kind person is the quintessential giver. They seek to please and minimize the pain of others. To know if a person is a giver, observe how they treat their family, siblings, and parents. Do they have gratitude towards their parents for all that they’ve done for them? If not, then know that they will never appreciate what you do for them. How do they treat people they don’t have to be kind towards (i.e. waiters, sales associates, employees, etc)? How do they spend their money? How do they deal with anger; their own anger and their reaction to someone else’s anger?
  • Responsibility: A responsible person has stability in their finances, relationships, job, and character. You can you rely on this person and trust what they say.
  • Happiness: A happy person is content with their portion in life. They feel good about themselves and good about their life. They focus on what they have rather than on what they don’t have. They very rarely complain.

3) Do Not Neglect The Emotional Needs of Your Partner: Both men and women have emotional needs and in order for a partnership to be successful those needs must be mutually met. The fundamental emotional need of a woman is to be loved. The fundamental emotional need of a man is to be respected and appreciated. To make a woman feel loved give her the three AAAs: Attention, Affection, & Appreciation. To make a man feel loved give him the three RRRs: Respect, Reassurance, & Relief. It is the obligation of each partner to make sure the other is happy and this extends to intimacy as well. As long as each partner is fulfilled by the emotional needs of the other, the intimate relationship will thrive. When a man takes seriously the emotional needs of his wife she will feel more encouraged to fulfill his sexual desires. Likewise, when a woman takes seriously the emotional needs of her husband he will feel more encouraged to give her the affection, love and appreciation she wants from him. Working together in this way encourages both giving and receiving.

4) Avoid Opposing Life Plans: In marriage you can either grow together or grow apart. Sharing a common purpose in life will increase the chance that you will grow together.

  • You must know what the person is into. In other words, what are they ultimately passionate about? Then ask yourself, “Do I respect this passion?” “Do I respect what they are into?”
  • The more specifically you define yourself, i.e., your values, your beliefs, your lifestyle, the better chance you have of finding your life partner, your soul mate, the one you are most compatible with.
  • Remember, before you decide who to take along on a trip, you should first figure out your destination.

5) Avoid Pre-Marital Sexual/Physical Activity:

  • Recognize that there is incredible wisdom in why God has ordered us to refrain from intimacy before marriage; they are to prevent great harms as well as to keep sacred what is the most blessed part of a relationship between a man and a woman.
  • Aside from the obvious spiritual consequences, when a relationship gets physical before its time, important issues like character, life philosophy, and compatibility go to the wayside. Consequently, everything is romanticized and it becomes difficult to even remember the important issues let alone talk about them.
  • Intellectual commitment must be established before emotional or sexual commitment.

6) Avoid Lack of Emotional Connection: There are four questions that you must answer YES to:

  • Do I respect and admire this person? What specifically do I respect and admire about this person?
  • Do I trust this person? Can I rely on them? Do I trust their judgment? Do I trust their word? Can I believe what they say?
  • Do I feel Safe? Do I feel emotionally safe with this person? Can I be vulnerable? Can I be myself? Can I be open? Can I express myself?
  • Do I feel calm and at peace with this person?

If the answer is “I don’t know, I’m not sure, etc.” keep evaluating until you know for sure and truly understand how you feel. If you don’t feel safe now, you won’t feel safe when you are married. If you don’t trust now, this won’t change when you are married!

7) Pay Attention to Your Own Emotional Anxiety: Choosing someone you don’t feel safe with emotionally is not a good recipe for a long-lasting and loving marriage. Feeling emotionally safe is the foundation of a strong and healthy marriage. When you don’t feel safe, you can’t express your feelings and opinions. Learn how to identify whether you are in an abusive relationship. If you feel you always have to monitor what you say, if you are with someone and you feel you can’t really express yourself and are always walking on eggshells, then it’s very likely you are in an abusive relationship. Look for the following things:

  • Controlling behavior: This includes controlling the way you act, the way you think, the way you dress, the way you wear your hair/hijab and the way you spend your time. Know the difference between suggestions and demands. Demands are an expression of control and if the demands are implied, than you must do it or there will be consequences. All of these are clear indications of abusive personalities.
  • Anger issues: This is someone who raises their voice on a regular basis, who is angry, gets angry at you, uses anger against you, uses put downs, and curses at you, etc. You don’t have to put up with this type of treatment. Many people who tolerate this behavior usually come from abusive backgrounds. If this is the case with you or someone you know, get help right away. Deal with those issues before getting married or before even thinking about getting married.

Beware of Lack of Openness In Your Partner: Many couples make the mistake of not putting everything on the table for discussion from the onset. Ask yourself, “What do I need to know to be absolutely certain I want to marry this person?” “What bothers me about this person or the relationship?” It’s very important to identify what’s bothering you, things that concern you, and things you are afraid to bring up for discussion. Then you must have an honest discussion about them. This is a great way to test the strength of your relationship. Bringing up issues when there’s conflict is a great opportunity to really evaluate how well you communicate, negotiate, and work together as a team. When people get into power struggles and blame each other, it’s an indication they don’t work well as a team. Also important is being vulnerable around each other. Ask deep questions of each other and see how your partner responds. How do they handle it? Are they defensive? Do they attack? Do they withdraw? Do they get annoyed? Do they blame you? Do they ignore it? Do they hide or rationalize it? Don’t just listen to what they say but watch for how they say it!

9) Beware of Avoiding Personal Responsibility: It’s very important to remember no one else is responsible for your happiness. Many people make the mistake of thinking someone else will fulfill them and make their life better and that’s their reason for getting married. People fail to realize that if they are unhappy as a single person, they will continue to be miserable when they are married. If you are currently not happy with yourself, don’t like yourself, don’t like the direction your life is going now, it’s important to take responsibility for that now and work on improving those areas of your life before considering marriage. Don’t bring these issues into your marriage and hope your partner will fix them.

10) Watch Out For Lack of Emotional Health and Availability In Your Potential Partner: Many people choose partners that are not emotionally healthy or available. One huge problem is when a partner is unable to balance the emotional ties to family members, the marriage ends up having 3 (or more) people in it rather than two. An example of this would be if a man is overly dependent on his mother and brings that relationship into the marriage; this is no doubt a recipe for disaster. Also important to consider are the following:

  • Avoid people who are emotionally empty inside. These include people who don’t like themselves because they lack the ability to be emotionally available. They are always preoccupied with their deficiencies, insecurities, and negative thoughts. They are in a perpetual fight with depression, never feel good, are isolated, are critical and judgmental; tend to not have any close friends, and often distrust people or are afraid of them. Another clear indication about them is they always feel their needs are not getting met; they have a sense of entitlement and feel angry when they feel people should take care of them and they don’t. They feel burdened by other people’s needs and feel resentment towards them. These people can not be emotionally available to build healthy relationships.
  • Addictions can also limit the level of availability of the partner to build a strong emotional relationship. Never marry an addict. Addictions are not limited to drugs and alcohol. They can be about addictions and dependency on work, internet, hobbies, sports, shopping, money, power, status, materialism, etc. When someone has an addiction, they will not and can not be emotionally available to develop an intimate relationship with you!

Additional Points to Consider:

  1. The fact is no one looks 25 forever. Ultimately, we love the person we marry for more than their appearance. When we get to know someone we love and admire, we’ll love them for their inner beauty and overall essence.
  2. Once we find someone, we consciously or subconsciously want so badly for it all to work that we decide not to question or see what is clearly in front of our eyes: they were rude to the waiter, speaks ill of others, is rude to you, etc. We don’t stop to ask, “What does all of this mean about their character?”
  3. Never separate someone from their family, background, education, belief system, etc. Asking clear questions can clarify this. Ask questions like, “What does it mean to have a simple lifestyle?” “What are your expectations of marriage?” “How would you help around the house?” Compare your definition with theirs.
  4. Be flexible. Be open-minded!
  5. Giving in a happy marriage should not be confused with martyrdom. It should be about taking pleasure and seeing the other person as happy because of your connection with them.
  6. Morality and spirituality are the qualities that truly define someone in addition to beauty, money, and health. The morally upright and spiritual person will stand by your side during adversity and hardship. If someone isn’t God-conscience and doesn’t take themselves into account with God then why should you expect them to fulfill their rights owed to you? The ideal partner is someone who considers giving a gain and not causing a loss. Having a mutual and shared spiritual relationship will foster a successful marriage. Furthermore, a successful marriage is one that keeps the laws of family purity which require a certain degree of self-control and self-discipline, as well as the belief that the physical side of the relationship includes the spiritual and emotional side as well. Finding commonality and balance between the spiritual and emotional aspects of a relationship is a strong key to a healthy and thriving marriage.
The above article was [in part] inspired by and adapted from a presentation by Rabbi Dov Heller, M.A.