The rights of a husband and wife
Question: What are the rights of a man on his wife?
A man, too, has many rights on his wife. A woman should get on well with her husband. It is declared in a hadîth-i sharîf:
(The jihâd [holy war] of a woman is to get on well with her husband.) [Tabarânî]
A woman used to welcome her husband and try to attain the contentment of him by saying beautiful words. Because of this behavior of hers, our Master the Prophet declared to her husband:
(Tell your wife, she has acquired half the blessings of a martyr!)[Shir’a]
It is easier for women to enter Paradise compared to men. A hadîth-i sharîf purports:
(If a woman performs the five daily prayers, fasts, protects herself from the nâ-mahram [not one of the eighteen men whom the Sharî’at has prescribed as a woman’s close relatives] and obeys her husband, she enters Paradise.) [Ibni Hibbân]
There is no fear for a woman who has attained the consent of her husband. Two hadîth-i sharîfs purport:
(A woman who dies with she having attained the consent of her husband enters Paradise.) [Tirmudhî]
(If a woman shows love for her husband, bears child and does not sleep until she reconciles her husband when she gets angry or when her husband gets angry with her, she is for Paradise.)[Tabarânî]
Jewelry is permissible for women. A woman should not put her husband into a difficult situation for buying jewelry and must not show her jewelry to the nâ-mahram [not one of the eighteen men whom the Sharî’at has prescribed as a woman’s close relatives]! If women observe these, their jewelry does not prevent them from entering Paradise. A hadîth-i sharîf purports:
(I saw that women were few in number in Paradise. I asked for the reason. They said: “Gold and jewelry kept them busy.”) [I. Ahmad]
She should be cheerful towards her husband, show her love and should not hurt him with her tongue. It is declared in a hadîth-i sharîf:
(On Doomsday, Allahu ta’âlâ makes the tongue of a woman who tortures her husband with her tongue 70 arshins long [an arshin is half a meter] and wraps it around her neck. In addition, He puts a woman who gives bad looks to her husband in such a situation that her head is cut off and her body is cut into pieces.) [Shir’a]
She should not be ungrateful to her husband by saying (You didn’t give me anything!) Two hadîth-i sharîfs purport:
(If they were not ungrateful to their husbands, those who performed namâz [ritual prayer] would immediately enter Paradise.) [Shir’a]
(I saw that women constituted the majority of the dwellers of Hell. The reason is that they curse frequently and are ungrateful to their husbands.) [Bukhârî]
If she did a favor for her husband, she should not taunt him with that. She should not hurt her husband for such things as food and dressing and should not demand from him what he cannot afford! She should keep her husband’s glory, try to attain his consent and try to please him in every deed! It is purported in a hadîth-i sharîf:
(The rights of a man on his wife are just like my rights on you. Therefore, she who does not observe the rights of her husband will have failed to observe the rights of Allahu ta’âlâ.) [Shir’a]
A woman should not hurt her husband.
(One day, Hadrat Fâtima came crying before her father. Rasûlullah [the Messenger of Allah] declared:
– O Fâtima, why are you crying?
– Alî got angry with me because of a word of mine which I said unintentionally. I apologized to him but I am crying since I hurt him.
– O my daughter, don’t you know, the consent of Allahu ta’âlâ is conditioned on the consent of husband. How lucky for a woman who always seeks the consent of her husband and with whom her husband is contented. The most superior act of worship for a woman is to obey her husband. When a man is contented with his wife, that woman earns the right to enter Paradise from any door she wants. A woman who hurts her husband will be under the curse of Allahu ta’âlâ until she makes him contented.) [R. Nâsihîn]
Observing the rights of her husband causes a woman to earn thawâbs [blessings] as if she made jihâd [holy war]. It is declared in hadîth-i sharîfs:
(Observing the rights of husband is just like making jihâd in the way of Allah.) [Tabarânî]
(A woman cannot perform supererogatory fast without her husband’s permission. If she does so, she will have remained hungry and thirsty; she cannot earn any thawâb. She cannot get out from home without her husband’s permission. If she does so, the angels in the sky curse her until she comes back home.)[Tabarânî]
(If a man calls his wife for his need, let her answer his need immediately, even if she is around a tandoor!) [Tirmudhî]
(If a man calls his wife to his bed and she refuses to come, the angels will curse her till morning.) [Bukhârî]
(Without her husband’s permission, a woman cannot spend her own property, either.) [Tabarânî]
(If a woman gets out from home without permission, everything on which the sun and the moon rise curses her until her husband is contented.) [Daylamî]
(A woman cannot let anyone [including her mother, father and siblings] in the house and cannot perform supererogatory prayers without her husband’s permission.) [Tabarânî]
(Prevent your wives from ornamenting themselves! The women of Banî Isrâîl [sons of Israel] were cursed because they ornamented themselves and walked to the masjid [the place where they worshipped] arrogantly.) [Ibn-i Mâja]
(Salats [ritual prayers] and any good deeds of a woman will be unacceptable until her husband is contented.) [Tabarânî]
The spouses should get on well with each other and try to attain each other’s consent.
Rights of wife
Question: What is the way to get on well with our wives?
He who wants his wife to have beautiful morals should himself have beautiful morals first! In the Qur’ân al-karîm, it is declared that calamities striking people are caused by their sins. Thus, he who observes the commandments and prohibitions of our religion gets on well with his wife.
Hadrat Fudayl bin Iyâd declares:
“By means of my wife’s bad temper, I used to understand if I made something religiously inappropriate. If I made repentance for that thing immediately, the bad temper of my wife would disappear as well. This way, I would realize that my repentance was accepted.”
Hadrat ’Aliyy-ul-Havâs’ wife had been cross with him. His wife would use a separate cruse and a separate cup in order to oppose her husband. One day, because Hadrat ‘Aliyy-ul-Havâs had mistakenly drunk water from his wife’s cruse, she immediately broke the cruse. Hadrat did not even say “Why did you break the cruse?” and he behaved as if nothing had happened.
Nûraddîn Shûnî Effendi, the neighbor of Hadrat ’Uthmân al-Khattâb, tells: One night, I went out and saw a person covered with an old straw mat sleeping and said to him “Who are you? Why are you sleeping here?” He said: “O my neighbor, I am ‘Uthmân al-Khattâb. I went out to the street because my son’s mother expelled me from the house and I decided to sleep here until she calms down.”
Hadrat Ibn-i Ab-il-Hamâyil-i Sawrî’s wife was bad-tempered. She used to rail and not give him a break. On the other hand, that pious person would always be patient. Again one day, he escaped from the bad temper of his wife by flying. His wife looked from behind and said “Look at him, he thinks he will be saved from me by flying.” Since it is not possible for people like us to fly, we should try to stay away from any disputes and quarrels. We should not make an attempt to prove that we are right!
It is declared in hadîth-i sharîfs:
(Let not any Mu’min [Believer] get angry with his wife! If she has bad habits, she also has good habits.) [Muslim]
(Woman is weak. Defeat her weakness by keeping silent! Try not to see her faults at home!) [Ibn-i Lâl]
(The most superior of Muslims in terms of îmân [belief] is he who has the most beautiful morals, who treats his wife in the best, in the most gracious way.) [Tirmudhî]
(The best, the most beneficial of Muslims is he who is the best, the most beneficial towards his wife. Among you, I am the one who is the best, the most auspicious, the most beneficial towards his wife.) [Nasa’î]
(The salâts [ritual prayers] and fasts of those who do not observe the rights of their wives and children will not be acceptable.)[Murshid-un-nisâ]
(Namâzes [ritual prayers] and any good deeds of a woman will be unacceptable until her husband is contented.) [Tabarânî]
“Namâzes will be unacceptable” means that she will get clear of debt but will not earn the great thawâbs to be gained by performing namâz. It does not mean that her namâz will be wasted. If a woman’s husband is not contented with her, she will enter Paradise after suffering the punishment of her sin. Only kâfirs [disbelievers] cannot enter Paradise. Muslims will enter Paradise in the end even if they have many sins. It is purported in the Qur’ân al-karîm:
(Good women obey Allah and observe the rights of their husbands. When their husbands are absent, they guard their honor and property with the help of Allah.) [Sûrat-un-Nisâ 34]
When a man comes home, he should greet his wife, ask how she is and share her sadness and happiness because she is the one who is hopeless of others, his friend accustomed to him, the fellow sufferer, who makes him happy, raises his children and satisfies his needs. It is declared in hadîth-i sharîfs:
(On Doomsday, I will be the enemy of him who hits his wife unrighteously. He who hits his wife will be rebellious towards Allah and His Messenger.) [R. Nâsihîn]
(Do not torture your wives! They are entrusted to you by Allahu ta’âlâ. Be mild towards them and do favors!) [Muslim]
(The thawâb [blessing] of emancipating a slave is written in the deed-book of him who looks at his wife with a smiling face.) [R. Nâsihîn]
(Allahu ta’âlâ loves him who gets on well with his wife and banters with her and He increases their sustenance.) [I. Lâl]