Guidelines For Women, Before Marriage To After.

The Institution of Marriage

The Quranic point of view with regard to the institution of marriage is based on the following principles and laws:

Interdependence of man and woman in ensuring fullness of life for each other through mutual affection, mutual confidence and mutual protection, as husband and wife has been stressed by using a metaphor of profound beauty: “They are a garment unto you and you are a garment unto them” (2:187)

For those who can afford it, marriage is an obligation. The Quran says: “Marry those among you who are single, and the pious among your slaves, male or female: if they are in poverty, Allah will give them means out of His Grace: Allah is of ample means, and He is aware of all things.” (24: 32)

Contrast it with the attitude of those religions, which advocate celibacy and idolize it as the ideal of perfection, considering sexual satisfaction even in the bond of marriage as a positive evil from the spiritual point of view. Thus, in Christianity: “As an institution, Jesus regards marriage as essentially physical and intended only for the present age. Those who were to share in the blessings of the eschatological kingdom would neither marry nor be given in marriage but would be possessed of the non-physical body in the resurrection.”.

It was this outlook on sex which led to the rule that no man or woman, married or unmarried, who had performed the sex act the previous night, should take part in a Church festival or in the Eucharist..

Christianity, writes the Sociologist Ludovici, “preaches that sex is to be deplored, to be avoided, and, if possible, negatived. And the Puritan, who may be regarded as the extreme Christian, is notorious for his implacable loathing of sex.”.

Marriage is a social contract. The word Nikah, used for marriage in the Holy Qur’an, originally means Aqd, according to Imam Raaghib Asfahaani.(alaihir rahmah). Thus, the very word Nikah implies that marriage is a social contract, and not a sacrament, although it is a sacred contract. Moreover, the Quraanic permission to terminate the relation of marriage, if it becomes absolutely impossible for the husband and the wife to continue that relation, proves that the Quraan regards marriage as a social contract only.

Women are not to be treated as property. The Qur’an says: “O ye who believe! You are forbidden to inherit (as property) the women against their will.” (4:19)

Marriage with persons of certain categories has been prohibited. The Holy Quraan has prohibited marriage with all those who may stand in the relations of consanguinity, or affinity, or fosterage. Almighty Allah states; “Forbidden to you are your mothers and your daughters and sisters and your father’s sisters and mother’s sisters and your brother’s daughters and your sister’s daughters, and your mothers who have such to you and your foster sisters and the mothers of your wives and daughters (your step-daughters) who are in your care from the wives with whom you had intercourse but if you had no intercourse with them, then there is no Haraam in their daughters, and the wives of your sons who are of your loins and to have two sisters together except what has already passed. Undoubtedly, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” (4: 23)

Choosing a Husband

Islam has established that every marriage must be preceded by the consent of the woman who is to be married, whether she is a virgin or a woman who had a previous marriage. Her consent must be obtained before her father or the guardian can act for her in any marriage contract.

Indeed, when a marriage is conducted, the government registrar or other official or the Qaadi must satisfy himself that he has the woman’s full agreement. If someone is acting for her as her guardian, the Qaadi will ask him to produce two witnesses who testify that she has authorized him to act for her in this marriage. Several Hadith tell us that a previously married woman has more authority over herself than her guardian. A virgin must be asked concerning her marriage. Her consent may be given by keeping quiet. The distinction here between a previously married woman and a virgin is merely in the form of how consent is granted. A virgin may be too shy to state in words that she accepts to be married, while a previously married woman has learned practically that there is nothing to be shy about in marriage.

Matchmaking

After the girl attains adulthood, her parents should find a good match and marry her. During the matchmaking exercise, the parents should abstain from establishing matrimonial relations with families of wrongdoers like Wahabis, Deobandis, Shi’ites, Ahl-e-Hadith. etc. They should give the hand of their daughter into the hand of a Sunni boy who sincerely follows the Sharee’ah and the ways of the Ahle-Sunnah wa Jama’at.

The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has said: See four things before marrying a woman:

Wealth,
Status of the family,
Physical looks and
Piety.
The Holy Prophet of Islam (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) added that religiousness should be given priority at the time of matchmaking. Marriage fulfils the purpose of expanding the generation. It also saves man from illicit relations with other women. Nikah carries high rewards.

A Hadith says: It is written in the Torah, “If a man’s daughter attains the age of twelve and he does not arrange her wedding and if the girl gets involved in immoral activities, the father will be punished for the sins of his daughter.”

Another Hadith says: The Apostle of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Allah the Almighty has taken the responsibility of helping three persons:

The slave who pledges to pay an amount to his master to get freedom and has total conviction to fulfill the pledge.
One who fights in the way of Allah.
The man or women who intends to go for marriage to avoid illicit relations with the opposite sex.”
Forced Marriage is not acceptable

The idea of a woman being forced into a marriage against her own wishes is not acceptable from the Islamic point of view. A woman came to the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and complained that her father had married her to his nephew without asking her consent first. She stated that the purpose of that marriage was that her father wanted his reputation enhanced through that marriage. The Glorious Prophet of Islam (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) annulled that marriage. When he had done so, and the woman was free again, she said to the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam): Now I am free. I willingly consent to this marriage. I only wanted it to be known that men have no say over women in their marriages.

It is often thought that because a father acts for his daughter in marriage, he can marry her to whomever he likes, without seeking her consent. People, who suggest this, make a very superficial judgment. By requiring a father or a guardian to act for the woman in her marriage, Islam emphasizes the woman’s honor. Marriage in Islam is the way to establish a family, and this is conducted through families. Therefore, the woman appears to have the consent of her family to her own marriage. She does not appear as the weaker party in a civil contract.

There is no rigid process of choosing a husband. If a man proposes to a family seeking to marry one of their daughters, then he must have based his choice on either first hand knowledge or proper investigation. Similarly, if the woman’s family makes the approach, then it must be based on a good knowledge of the man and his character.

As we all know, Islam does not permit the sort of free-mixing between the sexes, which is known in Western societies. If some aspects of that social mixing is practiced among certain sections of society in Muslim countries, then that is something Islam disallows. In a certain situation, a woman is able to know the character and nature of a man and she feels, on the basis of her knowledge, that he can make her a very good husband. It is perfectly conceivable that a woman can acquire such knowledge of a man, either because he is her colleague at work, or because she has had a chance to see him acting in different situations. Such knowledge would enable her to understand his character and to find out that he can be a good family man.

When a woman has known such a man and wishes to marry him, she should speak to her family about it. Her father or guardian will take over and speak to the man either directly or through intermediaries. All this is appropriate. What is not appropriate from the Islamic point of view is that the woman should try to get the man into a love relationship with her as it happens in films or in Western societies.

If a woman selects a man as her future husband and he is considered to be good for her from the social point of view, then the father is required to facilitate her marriage.

Sayyidah Hafsah bint Omar (razi Allahu anha), Sayyiduna Omar’s – radi Allahu anhu daughter, became a widow when her husband, Khunais bin Huthafah (radi Allahu anhu), who was a companion of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), passed away in Madinatul Munawwara Munawwara. Sayyiduna Omar (razi Allahu anhu) reports: I went to Uthman bin Affan (razi Allahu anhu) and offered him Hafsah (razi Allahu anha) saying, If you wish, I will give you Hafsah (razi Allahu anha) as a wife. He said, I will consider the matter. I waited for a few days, then Uthman (razi Allahu anhu) met me and said, I have considered the matter and I do not wish to be married now.

Sayyiduna Omar (razi Allahu anhu) goes on in his report: I then met Abu Bakr (razi Allahu anhu) and said, If you wish, I will give you Hafsah (razi Allahu anha) in marriage. Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) kept quiet and gave no answer whatsoever. I felt more aggrieved with him than I was with Uthman (razi Allahu anhu). After a few days, Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) proposed to marry Hafsah (razi Allahu anha) and I gave her away in marriage to him. I then met Abu Bakr (razi Allahu anhu) and he said, You might have felt something against me when you offered me Hafsah (razi Allahu anha) and I gave no reply. I answered in the affirmative. He said, What prevented me from answering your proposal was that I had learned that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had expressed his wish to marry her. I am not one who reveals the Prophet’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) secret.

Witnesses are necessary in Nikah

Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is quoted to have said: “No marriage may be made without the presence of the woman’s guardian and two responsible witnesses.”

The majority of Ulama concur that a woman may not give herself away in marriage, but her guardian (as a representing Wakeel) must act on her behalf by the virtue of her permission in her Nikah to a man. Nor can she give an authority to anyone else to act for her in marriage. Moreover, a woman cannot act (as a Wakeel) for another woman in a marriage contract. (That is to say: even a mother cannot.)

As for the person who should be her guardian for marriage purposes, there is no doubt that it is her father. If he is available, then no one else may act for her. If her father is not available, either because he is dead or mentally deranged, then her paternal grandfather or great grandfather may act for her. If she has no father or grandfather, her brother will act for her or any family elder as agreed by the family and woman.

It should be said that the condition of a guardian to act for a woman in her marriage does not detract from her the ability or the qualification to make the right choice. Indeed, any such guardian should have her consent before he goes ahead with the marriage arrangements. His presence is required not as a witness but as her representative. This is an aspect of the honorable position that Islam assigns to women. Moreover, it reflects on the seriousness with which Islam views marriage. It is a family matter, which is conducted by families. Moreover, when family represents the woman, this is more conducive to ensuring that her husband respects her rights. Besides, the nature of society Islam builds is one in which the woman normally takes her natural position, looking after the future generation. That is bound to limit her social activities a little. Her judgment of people, especially of men and their characters may, as a result, needs to be supplemented by that of other men in her family.

If a woman marries herself away without the presence of her father or appointed guardian, then her marriage is invalid because there no witnesses as required by the Sharee’ah. The Beloved Habeeb (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is quoted to have said: “A woman does not marry another woman away and a woman does not marry herself away. Only an adulteress gives herself away in marriage.”.

Sayyiduna Imam Ahmad (alaihir rahmah) and Abu Da’ood relate on the authority of Sayyidah Ayesha (razi Allahu anha) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Any woman who marries herself away without the consent of her guardian, her marriage is invalid, invalid, invalid!”.

Thus we are to understand that the Sharee’ah requires one to announce Nikah either in public or in the presence of witnesses so that the Muslim society does not fall into any doubt about the legitimate relation of two individuals.

A woman, until she gets married, is called the daughter of her parents. After the marriage, she becomes somebody’s wife. Now she has much more responsibilities and duties than ever. She has to fulfill additional duties towards her husband. She should be sincere and faithful to her husband and serve him with utmost dedication.

[1] Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible, II, p.138

[2] Scott: History of Prostitution, pp.72, and 73

[3] Woman, p.5

[4] Refer Mufradaat-ul-Qur’an by Imam Raaghib Asfahaani; Aqd means contract

[5] A woman in marriage is not a slave but a partner in trust which should not be abused in any way. They should the coolness of the husband’s eye and likewise, the wife should not do things to offend the husband and become a thorn in his eye.

[6] To have two blood sisters in marriage at the same time is Haraam in Islam. One may marry another sister only after the death of one.

[7] Nisaai, Ibn-e-Majah

[8] The corrupted Sects that have deviated from Islam due to their false Aqaa’id.

[9] The Group of Salvation or the Majority Group about whom Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said would enter Jannah.

[10] This Hadith Shareef refers to those who marry in secrecy without any witnesses. This is forbidden in Islam as such secrecy creates great doubts in the Muslim society and the identity of the child.

[11] This Hadith Shareef supports the above Hadith Shareef.

Her Duties towards the Husband

The Holy Qur’an says: “So the righteous women are obedient (to Allah and submissive to their husbands), and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard (i.e., their chastity and the prestige and property of the husband)” (4: 34)

As a wife, side by side with enjoying equal fundamental human rights, a woman has been placed one degree below the husband in the matter of administering the affairs of the family. The Qur’an says: “but men have a degree (of advantage) over them” (2:228)

For those who can afford it, marriage is an obligation. The Quran says: “Marry those among you who are single, and the pious among your slaves, male or female: if they are in poverty, Allah will give them means out of His Grace: Allah is of ample means, and He is aware of all things.” (24: 32)

Compare this with the following verdicts of the exponents of modern scientific thought on this problem.

Says Nemilov: “Man, perhaps even down to the protein molecules of his tissue cells, is biologically different from woman. From the very moment of sex formation in the embryo, the biological ducting of the sexes develops along entirely divergent paths. We must recognize the unquestionable existence of the biological inequality of the sexes. It goes deeper and is of far greater import than it would appear to those not familiar with natural science.”.

The desires and conduct of the two sexes, says Mercier, “are not similar but are complementary and reciprocal. In courtship the male is active: his role is to court, to pursue, to possess, to control, to protect, to love. The role of a female is passive. Consequent on this fundamental difference are certain others. For pursuit, greater ardor is necessary than for mere reception; and the courting activity of the male is, throughout the whole animal kingdom, more ardent than that of the female; and this greater ardor is connected with certain other differences.”.

Julian Huxley observes: “I venture to prophesy not only that the inherent differences between the sexes will not tend to diminish in the course of evolution but that man will continue, as now and in the past, to emphasize them by custom and convention.”.

It should, however, be clearly kept in mind that, in the Qur’anic teaching, the husband and the wife stand in complementary relation to each other, and never in the relation of the ruler and the ruled. The Qur’an enjoins upon men: “They (women) are your garments and you are their garments.” (2:187)

In the presence of the husband, the Holy Qur’an has not chosen her to function as the head of the family, because owing to his masculine constitution and appropriate mental make-up, the husband is better equipped to earn livelihood for the family, to bear the physical strains, and to avert dangers to the family in general. The Holy Qur’an refers to these functions of the husband when, speaking of his role for the wife. It says: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they spend of their wealth (for supporting them and other members of the family).” (4: 34)

Of course, the husband has to administer the family jointly with the wife, according to the Quraanic Law: “(Believers are those) who conduct their affairs by mutual consultation (and not arbitrarily).” (42: 38)

As a follower of the Qur’an, it is only in extreme cases that the husband may differ irreconcilably with the wife. But, then too, he cannot transgress the bounds of justice and mercy of the Holy Quraan, which commands him to be always just, merciful and considerate.

The second position of the wife as administrator is, thus, not a source of suffering for her but a source of strength and a blessing.

Every woman must obey the legitimate commands of her husband. Appeasement of husband is a great virtue while the displeasure of the husband carries heavy prosecution. The Holy Prophet of Islam (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has said: “If I were to command humans to prostrate before anyone other than Allah, I would have commanded the women to bow down before their husbands.”

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has also said: “If a woman dies in a state that her husband is happy with her, she would enter the Paradise”.

The Glorious Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has also said: “When the husband calls his wife for some work, she should immediately attend his call even if she may be sitting by the side of her hearth (for cooking)”. The Hadith means that the wife should give top priority to attend to her husband.

Another Hadith says: “If a husband says to his wife to transform a yellow mountain into a black one or turn a black mountain into a white one, she should obey his orders”. The Hadith means that the woman should try to perform the hardest of the hard job assigned by her husband.

The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Allah’s Angels curse the woman throughout the night whose husband calls her to bed but she refuses and the husband goes to sleep in anger”.

Relations between husband and wife have been conceived as based on mutual cooperation, love and compassion. The Holy Qur’an says: “And among His Signs is this that He created your mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts); verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.” (30: 21)

It means that: -

marriage is essentially a spiritual bond of union, rather than a mere physical relationship;
marriage should be contracted with the firm resolve of maintaining the relation for life;
Monogamy should be ideal, because that is the ideal condition in which mutual cooperation, the common man can practice harmony and love normally and smoothly.
Polygamy

The Holy Qur’an has permitted polygamy on humanitarian grounds, under exceptional circumstances, and with severe restrictive conditions. The only Qur’anic verse which contains the permission for polygamous marriage, says: “And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry of the women who seem good to you, two and three and four; and if you fear that (in case of having more wives than one) you shall not be able to deal justly (with them) then (marry) only one (free woman) or (a captive) that your right hands possess. That will be more suitable to prevent you from doing injustice.” (4: 3)

‘Polygamy’, says Roberts, “was the rule among the Eastern peoples before Mohammad’s time.”.

Important points, worthy of being carefully noted are:

This verse doe not enjoin polygamy, but only permits it.
Unrestricted polygamy, which had been rampant among the pre-Quraanic Arabs and many other nations of the world, has been restricted to the maximum four. Fixing the maximum at four seems to be based on the natural law relating to monthly courses, whereby the husband can do justice in respect of conjugal relations even if he has the maximum of four wives.
The permission relates to situations of emergency, and not to normal conditions of life and society. This verse was revealed after the Battle of Uhud, which gave rise to a situation of emergency. Appreciable numbers of Muslim men were killed in the battle, leaving behind orphans and widows, and giving rise to many adult females. Also, there were some women captives of war. Polygamy was prescribed for those who were Allah-fearing and whose sole mission in life was spiritual refinement and pursuit of Divine Pleasure. Notice the conditional clause about orphans, introducing the rules about marriage. This reminds us of the immediate occasion of the promulgation of this verse. It was after the Battle of Uhud, when the Muslim community was left with many orphans and widows, and some captives of war. Their treatment was to be governed by principles of the greatest humanity and equality. The occasion is past, but the principles remain. Marry the orphan if you are quite sure that you will in that way protect their interests and their property, with perfect justice to them and to your own dependants, if you have any. If not, make other arrangements for the orphans.
The permission is based, not on considerations of lust, nor on any benefit accruing to the marrying male, but on the principle of sacrifice – of providing protection and support to orphans, while undergoing a severe tension of dealing with all the wives.
The permission is conditioned by one’s ability to deal equitably with his wives, which even at the formal level is an extremely difficult condition to fulfill except for those who are thoroughly disciplined, stick to spiritual and moral values above everything else, and enter into marriage for spiritual considerations – for the sake of obtaining Divine Pleasure.
Thus, this verse, instead of inducing the men to practice polygamy, recommends to them monogamy.
Finally, looking at the Qur’anic permission for polygamy with an unbiased mind, every rational person is bound to be convinced that in situations of emergency, namely, whenever there is an abundance of females – as it happens after the wars – and whenever there is the problem of the uncared for and unsolicited widows and orphans, it becomes a moral duty of Allah-fearing people to practice polygamy, whereby alone the individuals can be saved from disaster and the community can escape the horrors of prostitution.
There is, wrote Dr. Annie Besant, the renowned English leader of the Theosophical Movement, “pretended monogamy in the West, but there is really a polygamy without responsibility; the ‘mistress’ is cast out to be the woman of the street, for the first lover has no responsibility for her future and she is a hundred times worse off than the sheltered wife and mother in the polygamous home. When we see thousands of miserable women who crowd the streets of western towns during the night, we must surely feel that it does not lie in the Western mouth to reproach Islam for polygamy. It is better for woman, happier for woman, more respectable for woman, to live in polygamy, united to one man only, with the legitimate child in her arms, and surrounded with respect, than to be seduced, cast out into the street  perhaps with an illegitimate child outside the pale of law  unsheltered and uncared for, to become the victim of any passer-by, night after night, rendered incapable of motherhood, despised by all.”

The Holy Qur’an repudiates polyandry (or, plurality of husbands) and the Hindu custom of Niyoga (or, loaning the wife to another person for getting an issue), and the custom of exchanging wives practiced by certain savage tribes.

Temporary conjugal relations are prompted purely by lust, and in no case for establishing that sublime spiritual relation between man and woman, which alone can form the basis of building up the family. Therefore, the Holy Quraan disallows temporary and compassionate marriages. It says: “Except for these (prohibited relations), all others (i.e., other women) are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property (as dower-money), desiring chastity (in permanent companionship), not lust (in any form of temporary marriage)” (4: 24)

The wife has several duties towards her husband. Following are some very important duties:

The wife should not go out of the house without the permission of her husband. She should seek prior permission of her husband to visit her relatives and friends.
It obligatory on her part to safeguard her husband’s house and other properties in his absence. She should not allow anybody to enter the house without her husband’s permission. She should not give her husband’s minor or major belongings to anybody without his permission.
She should not indulge in any activity that her husband may dislike.
She should look after his children carefully.
She should keep herself and her house clean. She should decorate herself with ornaments and suitable make-up to attract the attention of her husband and to win over his love and affection. A Hadith says: “Best is that woman who comforts her husband by her good looks and loving gestures and fulfils the pledge of her husband and plays the role of a guardian and a well-wisher in safeguarding her chastity and the belongings of her husband in his absence.”
How to live happily with the husband

Remember, the relationship between a husband and his wife is a very strong and life long association. The affinity and understanding between the two is the greatest grace of the Almighty Allah. Once this understanding gets disturbed, the life on both the sides gets spoiled.

The domestic quarrels between husband and wife have become very common these days. Several Muslim houses are burning in this fire. The difference of opinion between wife and husband reaches a stage when both of them pray for death. It is very easy to eliminate this difference of opinion and a state of civil war within the household.

Here are some ways to establish permanent peace on the home front:

Every wife should try to appease her husband day and night. This would satisfy his ego and he would feel that there is someone in the house that cares for him. A husband likes a wife who obeys his orders without arguments and without asking why and how. If the husband asks her to massage him throughout the night, she should bear that much pain and patiently obey his command. This little trouble would bring to her immense love from her husband.
Every wife should understand the temperament of her husband. She should know the likes and dislikes of her husband. By living with him for years together she may excel in knowing what makes him happy and what annoys him. She should master in her husband’s habits and tastes.
It is obligatory on the part of the wife never to fight with her husband. She should not pass sarcastic comments to him nor should she criticize him bitterly. She should not give him a sharp and rigid reply nor should she pass any left-handed comment. She should also not find out defects in things brought by him nor should she describe his house and other property as useless and base. She should not pass adverse comments about the parents of her husband as this may lead to unnecessary arguments and will ultimately end in hatred towards each other. This hatred gradually aggravates to the extent of separation. The wife will leave her husband’s house and go to her parent’s house where her brother’s wife and unmarried sisters may make her life miserable by taunting at her. This may lead to a bigger fight between the family of the woman and the family of man. The matter ultimately goes to the Court and drags for years together.
The wife should not ask her husband to give her money beyond his capacity. Whatever her husband gives her for running the house; she should accept it smilingly and run the household within the budget. Let the husband himself ask her what she would like him to bring for her. And when the husband brings something for her, she should appreciate it and express happiness in accepting the gift.
The wife should never pass comments on the looks and physique of her husband nor should she ever be ungrateful to him. She should not complain: “I have never been happy in your house. Oh Allah! My whole life spent out in sorrows and hardships. What I saw after coming to this ruined house. My parents have thrown me into this hell. They married me to a pauper and unlucky man like you.” This sort of groaning will make the husband disappointed and disgusted. This frustration gradually will lead to constant fights and face-to-face confrontation and finally to the divorce. The Glorious Prophet of Islam (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “I saw plenty of women in the Hell”. The Companions asked: “How come, O Allah’s Apostle (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)” He said: “For two reasons: First, the women indulge much in taunting and criticizing others. Secondly, the husbands may be treating them well for years but once they experience something less than their expectations they would say: “We have never seen any good from you.”
The wife should show utmost restraint and respect in front of her husband. Whenever the husband returns home, she should welcome him leaving all the work aside. She should arrange for his comforts. She should not talk to him in a way that may annoy or confuse him. If the husband gets annoyed with the wife over some issue, she should keep silence and should not utter anything that may aggravate his anger.
If the husband gets annoyed over some of her mistake and rebukes her, she should not feel it bad. She should unconditionally beg his pardon and bring him back to his good mood by persuasive methods. If the husband rebukes her without any fault, she should not repay him in the same coin. This would be her greatness to make her husband happy.
The wife should not ask her husband the account of his debit and credit. The husband gets irritated over this accountability and this irritation leads to conflicts. Similarly, the wife should not investigate her husband’s whereabouts and engagements nor should she express any doubt on the character of her husband, as it would disturb the mutual trust.
As long as her husband’s parents are alive, she should obey them and attend their requirements. The husband is their son and if they incite him against the wife, he will be annoyed at her that will ultimately result in deterioration of relations. Similarly, she should treat her husband’s brothers and sisters nicely. She should never try to divide the family. She should never insist on her separate household. However, if the parents of her husband themselves decide to live separately; she should welcome their idea happily. But after this separation she should always visit her in-laws and find out their difficulties and help them promptly.
If the wife faces any hardship in her husband’s house, she should never narrate it to her parents and relatives. This creates tension between the two families.
The wife should concentrate more on her looks – her clothes and personal hygiene. She should take into account her husband’s likes and dislikes. She should occasionally apply Mehndi (Henna) in her hands and feet. She should not keep her hair shattered and disturbed. A little carelessness with regard to the physical fitness may compel the husband to go to other women who make special arrangements to look good to the husbands of careless women.
The wife should take food last of all in her husband’s house. She should arrange food for her husband, his parents, his brothers and sisters. She should always play a hostess at the dining table.
The wife should not develop a habit of admiring her parents and other relatives in her husband’s house. This would create an impression in the minds of her in-laws that she is lowering their status.
The wife should not spy upon her in-laws. She should not try to listen secretly to the conversation of other women in her husband’s house. It is very foolish of her to presume that they might be talking bad about her.
The wife should share housework with the mother-in-law and the sisters-in-law/s. This would create a feeling of helpfulness in the hearts of the women in her husband’s house. The women folk will start liking her and cooperate with her in all matters. She should attend to her ailing mother-in-law or other sick members in her husband’s house, as this would give her a dignified status in that house.
If the husband is poor and has no capacity to employ a maid-servant, the wife should not make any complaint of doing the work herself. Many tradition of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) reported in Bukhari indicate that the beloved daughter of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), Sayyidah Faatima az-Zahra (razi Allahu anha) personally attend to the domestic affairs of her home. She went to the community well herself, filled up the container with water and carried it on her back to her home. She used to grind the flour at home and due to this rugged exercise, her palms got wounded. Similarly, Sayyidah Asma (radi Allahu anha), the daughter of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique (razi Allahu anhu) did the entire domestic work alone in the house of her husband Sayyiduna Zubair (razi Allahu anhu). She brought date seeds from distant orchards to feed the camels and massage the horses.
The wife should keep a balance between the income of her husband and the expenditure of the house. If the husband is very poor, she should not insist upon him to bring items of luxury. She should be content with whatever is available within the limited resources.
The wife should not demonstrate any obstinacy and stubbornness in her husband’s house. This is a general habit of women that they get furious very soon. Their parents may bear this fury but the in-laws will not bear this. The stubbornness of a woman in her husband’s house becomes an issue of great criticism. Her obstinacy earns her a very bad name.
The house of the husband is a new place for every woman. She comes across with so many strange faces with different habits and behaviors. There is a possibility of difference of opinion and a clash of interests between the two parties. But the wife should keep patience and be kind to the mother-in-law and other members of her husband’s house. One day or the other, the family of her husband itself will feel ashamed of their rude behavior and extend a hand of friendship and cooperation towards the new comer.
The wife should live in her husband’s house with discipline. She should neither talk too much nor too less. She should talk sense. Her diction and intonation should be soft, clear and sublime. Her speech should not hurt any body.

Duties Towards Parents After Marriage

There are various incidents in our society when the husband refuses to allow his wife to visit her parents. What right does a man think he has over his wife’s feelings and duties to stop her from seeing her parents. Does he, by chance, think that by marrying her he has come to own her. Does he put her in the same category or the same relationship to a goat he buys. If so, he is certainly mistaken. From the Islamic point of view, the relationship between a man and his wife is one between two human beings of equal status. Each of them has certain duties, but neither of them can negate the independent personality of the other.

It is simply unacceptable from the Islamic point of view that a husband should consider that the marriage divides his wife’s life into two separate stages and that each stage is completely isolated from the other. If he tries to impose this situation, then he will have a wife who is disillusioned, broken-hearted and totally lacking in the ability to impart to her children the proper values of kindness to family relations and dutifulness to parents. How could she, when she herself is denied the right to maintain her relationship with her parents.

The fact is that dutifulness to parents is a duty imposed by Allah on all children, boys and girls, men and women, single or married. This dutifulness does not stop at any particular stage in anyone’s existence. It extends throughout the parents, and the children’s lives. Being dutiful to one’s parents is not considered to have been completed when they die. Their children are required to continue to show dutifulness to them by showing respect and kind treatment to their friends and relatives, supplicating on their behalf, praying to Allah to have mercy on them, reciting the Holy Qur’an and giving Sadaqah or charitable donations on their behalf, etc.  When parents have such a claim against their children, how is it possible that a husband prevents his wife from visiting her parents.

If he does, then he is certainly unjust to her, unless he has a very good reason for his action that can only be imagined in isolated cases. A man should consider what his feelings would be like if her unreasonable husband prevented his sister from seeing their parents. He should extend to his wife the same treatment he would like to see extended to his dearest sister.

If an elderly couple has only daughters and they all are married, and the couple needs to be looked after, then their daughters should try their best to look after them. Islam does not accept that such elderly parents should be abandoned simply because their daughters are married.

If a husband threatens his wife with divorce for visiting her parents, he is unjust to her and to them. Injustice is forbidden in Islam. Almighty Allah says in a Qudsi Hadith: “My servants, I have forbidden injustice and have made injustice forbidden to you. Do not be unjust to one another.”

Nor is it permissible for a Muslim to obey anyone encouraging him to be unjust to his wife, not even his parents.  If your parents insist that you treat your wife harshly or unjustly, you should realize that injustice represents disobedience to Almighty Allah. The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) says: “No creature may be obeyed in what constitutes disobedience to the Creator.”

The Best Wife

The best wife is she,

Who considers attending her husband as her foremost duty.
Who never leaves any requirement of her husband unfulfilled.
Who appreciates the merits of her husband and neglects his demerits.
Who takes pains in comforting her husband.
Who does not put any demand before her husband that is beyond his capacity and leads a life of contentment.
Who never looks at strange and unknown men nor allows them to look at her.
Who lives in Pardah and keeps her chastity safe.
Who safeguards the wealth, the property and other belongings of her husband including herself.
Who proves her dedication to her husband by sacrificing everything to salvage her husband from any calamity.
Who keeps patience over the atrocities inflicted to her by her husband.
Who is looked upon respectfully both in her father’s house and in her husband’s house.
Who is humble and kind to the neighbors and whose humility everyone appreciates.
Who carries out her religious duties with punctuality and fulfills the rights of the Creator and creatures.
Who tolerates with cool mind the bitterness of the members of her husband’s family.
Who first feeds the other members of the house and eats herself in the last.
Conflict with mother-in-law

This is one of the darkest chapters in human history. The diagreement between mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law has been a centuries old tradition. Almost every house faces this crisis. How surprising is the matter that the mother brings up her son with utmost care and love. She longs for her son to grow up soon and when the son reaches his youth, she as the mother sets out to choose a suitable bride for her son. In the process of matchmaking she insists on the most beautiful girls of the world to be her daughter-in-law.

But when that most beautiful girl leaves her father’s house and enters her new house, the mother of her husband suddenly appears as an avowed enemy. The reason of this conflict is purely a psychological one. The mother, who has been reigning over this house for the last so many years, suddenly finds that a new woman has come to share not only the monopolistic authority of this house but also the love and affection of her son. The newcomer woman not only diverts the attention of her father-in- law but also the attention of other male members of the house. The son also gets more involved in her newly married lady than his mother. He does not call her mother for attending his requirements. The father-in-law also gets immense pleasure to call his daughter-in-law for his needs. This becomes unbearable for the old lady and she develops a feeling of jealousy against the new comer. Gradually, this feeling takes the shape of severe hatred. The newcomer lady is quite young and enthusiastic in her approach to life. She wants to bring about some innovation in the old style of the house. The mother cannot tolerate this as she thinks that the house still belongs to her. She is not prepared for being neglected by the members of the family. Thus, starts a cold war between the old lady and the new lady. Slowly and quite unknowingly the entire house gets involved in this conflict.

The only way to end this conflict is that all the parties of this conflict – the mother, her son and the daughter-in-law should appreciate their respective rights and duties.

How the Mother-in Law should behave

Every mother-in-law should treat her daughter-in-law as her own daughter. If the daughter-in-law, due to her inexperience, commits a mistake, she should not be rebuked. Rather, the mother-in-law should gently teach her the correct way of doing things. The old mistress of the house should always bear in mind that this new lady has come to this house by leaving her parents and relatives and friends. She is facing a new environment here with so many strange faces around. The old lady should come forward and become a useful companion of the new comer.  She should accept the wife of her son as her own daughter. Once this relationship develops between the two ladies, the house will surely turn into a heaven on earth.

How the Daughter-in-Law should behave

Every daughter-in-law should treat her mother-in-law as her own mother. She should pay due respect to her, obey her commands and attend to her needs. If the old mistress of the house rebukes her on some matters, she should not answer back. Similarly, she should treat her father-in-law as her own father and look after his requirements. During the lifetime of her husband’s parents, she should never think of dividing the family by raising the demand of a separate house for herself and her husband. She should be kind to other ladies in her husband’s family such as the wives of her husband’s elder and younger brothers. She should be friendly with the sisters of her husband.

How the Son should behave

The son should treat his bride with love and kindness. But at the same time, he should not neglect his parents. He should show the same vigor in loving his parents as was before his marriage. He should not make his mother feel that her authority has been minimized following the arrival of a new lady member. He should carry out all transactions through his mother. He should also instruct his bride not to undertake any work without the permission of his parents. This would give the mother a confidence that she is still the mistress of the house and both the son and the daughter-in-law have allegiance to her authority.

The Rights of the Wife

Almighty Allah has prescribed certain rights of the husband towards their wives. The Holy Qur’an says: “The women have almost the same rights over men as men have certain rights over the women in kindness.”

Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has said: “Best among you are those who behave well with the women.”.

The Prophet of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has also said: “I make a Wasiyyat to you about the women, so obey my will.”.

In another Hadith, the Beloved Habeeb (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is reported to have said: “No believing man should have enmity and hatred against a believing woman. If he dislikes certain habits of that woman, there would certainly be some virtues in her too.”.

The Hadith means that the woman must be having both good and bad habits. Man should not always point out her bad habits only. He should also appreciate her good habits.

There are certain obligations that men owe to the women and these obligations should be fully appreciated.

Every husband has the obligation to provide for the sustenance of his wife. She should be provided with adequate food, a comfortable home, suitable clothes and other basic amenities of life. He should always bear in mind that this woman has disassociated herself from her parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends and has joined him to share all the ups and downs of life. Hence, it has become his duty to look after her basic needs and comforts.
It should be remembered that husbands, who never bother for the sustenance of their wives, commit a severe crime of depriving Allah’s creatures of their rights. Such people would be dealt with severely in the Court of Allah. The Holy Quraan says: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means.” (4:34)
The husband should satisfy his wife’s physical needs. The Sharee’ah has not prescribed any limit for this. But, he has to ensure that woman’s minimum sexual requirements are met so that she may not commit a sin by eyeing other men in order to quench her thirst. There are certain men who, after marriage, do not take care of the sexual needs of their wives. Such people are great sinners and will be severely convicted in the Court of Allah. Almighty Allah has granted women the right to conjugal relations with their husbands. The importance of this right can be well understood by the following example of Ameerul Mohmineen Sayyiduna Omar al-Farooq (razi Allahu anhu): It is reported that he was on his routine inspection round at night in Madinatul Munawwara when he heard an old lady moaning and reciting melancholic couplets. The Caliph stopped there and listened to the wailing lady. He investigated the matter and came to know that the husband of the woman had gone for Jihad long time ago and this woman has been remembering her husband with these sad couplets. The Ameer was deeply moved and immediately issued an official Decree to all chiefs of his army that no married man should be away from his wife for more than four months..
The husband should not beat up his wife without her committing a most severe crime. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has said: “Nobody should beat up his wife as he does beat up his slave. He should make love with her later some time.”.
However, if the woman commits a bigger crime, the husband can beat her not in vengeance but with the intention of reforming her and as a warning.  While beating, he should take care that she should not be hurt seriously. The Books of Fiqhah have mentioned that the husband can punish his wife for four things:

If the husband orders his wife to decorate herself with ornaments and legitimate make-up but she disobeys and remains dirty.
If the husband invites her to bed and she refuses without any legitimate reason.
If she does not take bath to purify herself after menses.
If she abstain from performing Salaah without a legitimate reason
In the above circumstances, the husband should first persuade the wife. If she does not agree to comply with his requests, he may threaten her. If she still does not obey him, he can beat her barring her face. He should not beat her so severely to the extent of a fracture or a severe wound.

In order to bring peace and prosperity in the married life, both the wife and the husband should take care of each others sentiments and emotions. The anger of husband brings to the wife nothing but tension, depression and confusion. Similarly, the anger of the wife brings to the husband nothing but disappointment, mental torture, frustration and bitterness. It is, therefore, advisable to both husband and wife to be patient and compassionate in their dealings.
The husband should never appreciate the beauty and other merits of strange woman in front of his wife. This may lead to create jealousy and suspicion in the mind of his wife. She would think that her husband has some illicit relations with that woman. This thought is a poison that kills matrimonial relations. If a man cannot tolerate that his wife should wrongly be associated with another man, the wife also cannot tolerate another woman to share her husband. The woman cannot listen to praise and admiration of another woman through the lips of her husband even if that another woman happens to be his mother or sister or some other close relative.
Man is, undoubtedly, made a ruler over the woman but it does not mean that he should ask her to do a work, which is beyond her capacity, or a work which she would not like to do. If the husband still insists his wife to do the work against her will, she would accomplish that job unwillingly and this would create a sort of disgust against her husband, which would ultimately mar their matrimonial life.
The husband should from time to time censure the life style of his wife – sometimes in a harsh tone, sometimes with love and affection and sometimes with persuasion. There are husbands who always keep a rod hanging with their moustaches and never treat their wives in a good manner other than rebuking and beating them. Such wives get frustrated and start hating their husbands. There are other hen-pecked husbands who over-pamper their wives even after they commit severe blunders. Their wives become stubborn and outspoken.
The husband should implement this couplet of Sa’di of Shiraz in their life. He says: “Strictness and pampering are very good things but at appropriate times”. For example, the surgeon cuts open the wound but at the same time apply soothing ointment. Likewise, the husband should not be very strict nor very soft. A middle path always brings good results.
The husband, while setting out on a tour, should go to his wife and informally seek her consent in a loving manner and as a matter of goodwill. He may ask her to invoke the Almighty Allah that the journey may prove safe and beneficial for him. Similarly, while returning from the tour he should bring some exclusive gifts for her. This gesture would encourage the wife to think with satisfaction that my husband loves me to the extent that even if he was away engaged in his business activities, he remembered me. Thus, a simple initiative on the part of the husband will win over the heart of his wife.
If the woman brings anything from her father’s house or prepares herself and presents it to the husband, he should express gratitude and appreciate it. This will please her. The husband should never reject or discard or criticize any gift offered by his wife.
If the wife falls sick, the husband should dedicatedly look after her. He should take extra pain in her nursing, feeding, etc. This little service will win over the heart of the wife and she will be very grateful to the husband.
The husband should express his full confidence and trust in his wife and, to prove this, he should hand over the domain of the house to her so that she may feel dignified and involved. The Holy Prophet of Islam (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has said that the woman is the guardian and caretaker of her husband’s house and Almighty Allah will take an account from her in this regard on the Day of Judgment.
The very benefit of relying on the wife would be that she would feel herself responsible for a vital department in the set up of the household. This will give the husband an opportunity to freely think of other things regarding the promotion and progress of his business.
The husband should never share the secrets of her wife with others. Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has said: “Worst is the person in the sight of Allah who goes to his wife and then discloses her secrets and lowers her status in the eyes of others.”.
The husband should be neat and clean as he expects the same from his wife. He should look smart, dynamic and a loveable person.
The husband should provide her with the paraphernalia of personal hygiene such as soap, hair oil, comb, Mehndi, perfumes, etc.  so that the wife may keep herself neat and clean and in better looks.
The husband should not level charges of corrupt practices against his wife without going into the depth of the matter. The relationship between a husband and a wife is based purely on mutual understanding. They have to trust each other. Any baseless suspicion against each other would kill the relations of the husband and wife.  A Hadith says: “One Bedouin came to the court of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and said, “O Allah’s Apostle (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), my wife has delivered a child who is dark complexioned and does not resemble me. I am sure it is not my child. The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Do you have some camels? He said, Yes, I have many camels.  The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) asked, What is the color of those camels? He said, They are brown. The Prophet of Islam (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) asked, Are there some grey camels among them? He said, Yes, a few of them are grey. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, Tell me how those brown camels gave birth to these grey camels? He said, Some camel among the ancestors of my brown camels would have been of grey color and these grey camels might have taken their origin from that particular camel. The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, Similarly, it is possible that anyone among your ancestors would have been of black complexion and your child might have inherited his genetic influence.
If there is some difference of opinion between the husband and wife, the husband should not make a hurry to pronounce divorce to her.  He should exercise restraint. After his anger subsides, he should ponder over the entire matter with a cool mind. He may seek the advice of his elders in this matter and decide whether or not there is a chance of reconciliation and settlement. If a point of understanding and reconciliation emerges, he should act accordingly and refrain from breaking the wedlock. The Beloved Habeeb (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has said that the divorce is the most disliked things among the permissible things in the sight of Almighty Allah.
If both husband and wife feel that there is no way out except the separation, the husband should pronounce one Talaaq after the woman clears her menses.  There will be a temporary separation between them. This period will give them enough time to review their decision of separation. If they think that reconciliation is in their interest, the husband should take his wife back in his arms and forget what had happened between them.  But if they think that they can no more live together, the husband should pronounce the second Talaaq after she clears her menses. The second pronouncement separates both of them. They have still time to think of reconsider. If they decide to live together, they have to perform the Nikah afresh after the period of Iddat is over. If they do not go for any reconciliation till the completion of the Iddat period, the third Talaaq will automatically come into force bringing a permanent separation between them. They cannot enter wedlock unless they go for Halalah. Halalah means that the woman should marry another man and have physical intercourse with him. The husband number two should divorce her. After the completion of the period of Iddat, she can marry the husband number one again.
There are some ignorant persons who play with the word Talaaq. They pronounce the divorce over minor clashes with their wives. After the pronouncement of divorce they repent and rush to the theologians and Muftis and force them to give a verdict in their favor. Some persons, while approaching the theologians, tell a lie that they had pronounced only one Talaaq. The Mufti has to allow them to retain their wives according to the Law of Sharee’ah. Thus, these ignorant people get themselves involved in establishing relations with a woman who is otherwise not to be taken as wife without Halalah.
If a man possesses more than one wife, it is obligatory on him to do justice with them. There should be equal treatment among wives in respect of living conditions and personal attention. He has to spend equal time with every one of them. The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has said that if a man has two wives and does not treat them equally, he would be raised on the Day of Judgment with half his body paralyzed..
If the husband faces some trouble because of the misbehavior of his wife, he should try to avoid her and keep patience. Woman’s arrogance and foolishness is a natural phenomenon. The Glorious Prophet of Islam (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has said: “Woman has been created from the bent rib of Adam. If somebody tries to make the bent bone straight, it will rather break instead of becoming straight. Similarly, if someone tries to set his wife right, there will be more a chance of separation instead of improvement in her nature.
The husband should not behave as a miser in meeting the materialistic requirements of his wife nor should he go for extravagance in her maintenance. He should define his expenditure as per his capacity.
The husband should not confine his wife within the four walls of his house. She should be taken to her parents and relatives from time to time provided these visits do not bring any trouble to the peace of his house.

Equality of Man and Woman

The religion of Islam gave women an honorable status and true dignity. Before the advent of Islam, women had no rights of any kind, or an independent identity in any form. The great importance of the Muslim woman’s role – whether as wife, sister, or daughter, and the rights that are due to her and the rights that are due from her – have been explained in the Glorious Qur’an, and further details of this have been explained in the purified Sunnah.

With the advent of Islam came the verse from the Qur’an condemning those who practiced female infanticide: “And when one among of them receives the glad tidings of a daughter, his face turns black for the day, and he remains seething. Hiding from the people because of the evil of the tidings; “Will he keep her with disgrace, or bury her beneath the earth?”; pay heed! Very evil is the judgment they impose!” [Surah an-Nahl : 58/59]

The Holy Qur’an makes no distinction between man and woman as regards to the fundamental human rights. Here we may specifically state that woman, like man, is the possessor of free personality, and enjoys equality with man, in respect of:

Her spiritual and moral status:

The Qur’an says: “…Unto men the benefit of what they earn (of virtue) and unto women the benefit of what they earn (of virtue)” [Surah al-Nisa : 32]

i.e. in matters of spiritual grace both, man and woman, enjoy equal status and are independent of one another. A woman’s responsibility in faith is exactly the same as that of a man. Women are to pray, fast, give charity, perform the pilgrimage and perform other forms of Ibadah. A woman is rewarded for this just like a man. A woman must believe in the Oneness of Almighty Allah, the Books of Almighty Allah , the Angels of Almighty Allah, the Prophets of Almighty, the Day of Resurrection, the Day of Judgment and Heaven and Hell, and Predestination.

Her economic rights:

The Qur’an says: “Unto the men (of a family) belongs a share of that which parents and near kindred leave, and unto the women a share of that which the parents and near kindred leave, whether it be little or much – a legal share.” [Surah al-Nisa : 7]

Her legal rights:

The Qur’an says: “…And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them, according to what is equitable…” [Surah al-Baqarah : 228]

Islam ensured a dignified life to the fair sex, which was treated in an unfair manner. Woman became the mistress of the household. Man was not allowed to beat or manhandle them them of their share in the property. The Holy Qur’an declared:  “A mother should not be made to suffer because of her child, nor he to whom the child is born (be made to suffer) because of his child (because both are equal before the law)…” [Surah al-Baqarah : 233]

Her right for gaining the Knowledge:

Islam has made it a duty on every Muslim male and female to gain knowledge, which is considered to be a superior act of worship in Islam. In Islam, therefore both men and women are credited with the capacity for learning, understanding and teaching. Knowledge is not only limited to the religious knowledge but includes all forms of knowledge. Acquiring knowledge will enable Muslim women and men to get a better perception and understanding of the world around them and make them more conscious of Almighty Allah.

Conclusion:

The status of Muslim women as defined in Islam is very important because women make up half of society and they are responsible for nurturing, guidance and reformation of the subsequent generations of men and women. It is the female who imbues principles and faith into the souls of the nation. Indeed, the Muslim woman is the initial teacher in building a righteous society. Islam brought a new lease of life to women. Islam elevated the status of women to great heights so high that she stood shoulder to shoulder with man. In the Islamic family, the role of men and women is complementary rather than competitive. Their duties are described as equal in importance but not identical in substance.

Now, the issue of feminism in Islam is meaningless. The coming of Islam has brightened the life and future of women, in which Islam has lifted up their level. Islam upholds women to the highest and most respected position.

We hope our effort will be appreciated and our sisters in faith will surely remember us in their prayers for peace and prosperity, health and happiness and Allah’s  Mercy and Favour. May Almighty Allah , through the Waseela of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam accept this humble effort; and may He give us the Toufeeq and Hidayah to restore the true rights to our Muslim women as dictated by Islam. Ameen!

N.B.: We do not intend to restrict the readership of this note to sisters only; brothers also can benefit from this note. May Almighty Allah’s blessings be always with us and our families. Ameen!

A Woman Duties towards her Husband

All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds, our Cherisher and Sustainer. All praise is due to Allah, who created spouses for us from ourselves to gain rest and kept love and mercy between the Husbands and the Wives. Countless Durood and Salaams be upon the most perfect and unique of creation, our Leader, our Master, the Beloved of Allah, Muhammad Mustafa SallAllahu Ta’ala Alaihi wa ala Aalihi wa SaHbihi wa Baaraka wa Sallam.

The Holy Qur’an says: “…So the righteous women are obedient [to Allah and submissive to their husbands], and guard in [the husband’s] absence what Allah  would have them guard [i.e., their chastity and the prestige and property of the husband]…” [4: 34]

As a wife, side by side with enjoying equal fundamental human rights, a woman has been placed one degree below the husband in the matter of administering the affairs of the family. The Qur’an says: “…but men have a degree over them…” [2:228]

Compare this with the following verdicts of the exponents of modern scientific thought on this problem.

Says Nemilov: “Man, perhaps even down to the protein molecules of his tissue cells, is biologically different from woman. From the very moment of sex formation in the embryo, the biological ducting of the sexes develops along entirely divergent paths … We must recognize the unquestionable existence of the biological inequality of the sexes. It goes deeper and is of far greater import than it would appear to those not familiar with natural science.”

“The desires and conduct of the two sexes”, says Mercier, “are not similar but are complementary and reciprocal. In courtship the male is active: his role is to court, to pursue, to possess, to control, to protect, to love. The role of a female is passive … Consequent on this fundamental difference are certain others. For pursuit, greater ardour is necessary than for mere reception; and the courting activity of the male is, throughout the whole animal kingdom, more ardent than that of the female; and this greater ardour is connected with certain other differences.” .

Julian Huxley observes: “I venture to prophesy not only that the inherent differences between the sexes will not tend to diminish in the course of evolution but that man will continue, as now and in the past, to emphasize them by custom and convention.”

It should, however, be clearly kept in mind that, in the Qur’anic teaching, the husband and the wife stand in complementary relation to each other, and never in the relation of the ruler and the ruled. The Qur’an enjoins upon men: “They are your garments and you are their garments….” [2:187]

In the presence of the husband, the Holy Qur’an has not chosen her to function as the head of the family, because owing to his masculine constitution and appropriate mental make-up, the husband is better equipped to earn livelihood for the family, to bear the physical strains, and to avert dangers to the family in general. The Holy Qur’an refers to these functions of the husband when, speaking of his role for the wife. It says: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more than the other, and because they spend of their wealth …” [4: 34]

Of course, the husband has to administer the family jointly with the wife, according to the Qur’anic Law: “… who conduct their affairs by mutual consultation …” [42: 38]

As a follower of the Qur’an, it is only in extreme cases that the husband may differ irreconcilably with the wife. But, then too, he cannot transgress the bounds of justice and mercy of the Holy Qur’an, which commands him to be always just, merciful and considerate.

The second position of the wife as administrator is, thus, not a source of suffering for her but a source of strength and a blessing.

Every woman must obey the legitimate commands of her husband. Appeasement of husband is a great virtue while the displeasure of the husband carries heavy prosecution. The Holy Prophet of Islam sallallahu alayhi wasallam has said: “If I were to command humans to prostrate before anyone other than Allah , I would have commanded the women to bow down before their husbands.”

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhi wasallam has also said: “If a woman dies in a state that her husband is happy with her, she would enter the Paradise”.

The Glorious Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam has also said: “When the husband calls his wife for some work, she should immediately attend his call even if she may be sitting by the side of her hearth ”. The Hadith means that the wife should give top priority to attend to her husband.

Another Hadith says: “If a husband says to his wife to transform a yellow mountain into a black one or turn a black mountain into a white one, she should obey his orders”.  The Hadith means that the woman should try to perform the hardest of the hard job assigned by her husband.

The Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: “Allah’s  Angels curse the woman throughout the night whose husband calls her to bed but she refuses and the husband goes to sleep in anger”.

Relations between husband and wife have been conceived as based on mutual cooperation, love and compassion. The Holy Qur’an says: “And among His Signs is this that He created your mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your ; verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.” [30: 21]

It means that : -

Marriage is essentially a spiritual bond of union, rather than a mere physical relationship;
Marriage should be contracted with the firm resolve of maintaining the relation for life;
Monogamy should be ideal, because that is the ideal condition in which mutual cooperation, the common man can practice harmony and love normally and smoothly.

A Husband Duties towards his Wife

Almighty Allah has prescribed certain rights of the husband towards their wives. The Holy Qur’an says: “The women have almost the same rights over men as men have certain rights over the women in kindness.”

Beloved Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam has said: “Best among you are those who behave well with their women.”

The Prophet of sallallahu alayhi wasallam has also said: “I make a Will to you about the women, so obey my will.”

In another Hadith, the Beloved Habeeb sallallahu alayhi wasallam is reported to have said: “No believing man should have enmity and hatred against a believing woman. If he dislikes certain habits of that woman, there would certainly be some virtues in her too.”

The Hadith means that the woman must be having both good and bad habits. Man should not always point out her bad habits only. He should also appreciate her good habits.

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