The Wife in Islam
Marriage is an important part of human life. The main aim of marriage is love, comfort and peace. Allah says in the Qur'an, 'and of his signs is that he has created wives for you from yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquillity with them, and he put between you love and affection'(Qur'an 30:21)
From the above verse, it can be seen that the relationship between the husband and wife should be one of love, kindness, mercy and compassion. However this does not seem to be the case in many marriages in 'England’ partly due to the husband. It is true that Islam has given the husband a superior rank and made him the ruler of the house, because of his physical superiority and power of endurance, but many husbands have begun to abuse this power given to them by Islam. Husbands nowadays, think that the wife is a play thing in their powerful hands; they think they can treat them how they like and do what they want. This ABUSE of power leads to the act of divorce, resulting in the break up of the family that harms the life of the children.
The most important duty of the husband is to make the marriage LAST and this can only happen when both parties make sacrifice (wife & husband) and follow the way Islam has set for them. This leaflet deals with the qualities and attributes of a GOOD HUSBAND.
The following could be identified as characteristics of a pious husband, which the husband should take heed to and try to live by them so that success can enter once again into their family lives. A pious husband is:
(1) One who acts upon Islam, teaches his wife Islam and is worried about her religious progress and insists upon her to do good.
Allah says in the Qur'an 'Order your families (wife and children) to pray salaah and you yourself be steadfast in it'
(2) One who treats his wife with kindness, love, respect and politeness so that there is happiness in the family. There are many verses of the Qur'an and Ahadith that stress the importance of being kind to one's wife and that the one who treats his wife with kindness is the best of all men and he will receive the reward of 100 martyrs.
Allah has said in the Qur'an 'Treat them kindly'(4:19)
The Prophet (SAW) has said, '0 men! Accept my advice regarding good treatment to your wives. I advise you to treat them with kindness and politeness…….' (Bukhari)
In part of a long hadith it has been said, 'The best amongst men, on the other hand are they WHO TREAT THEIR WIVES WITH THE KINDNESS OF A MOTHER TO HER CHILDREN'. To each of such men is sent down a reward equivalent to that of a 100 MARTYRS.'
(3) One who does not abuse, assault and mishandle his wife. The husband who ill treats his wife for no apparent reason, for no shar'ee (religious) reason will NOT enter Jannah (paradise) and Allah's wrath (LA'NAH) is upon such a person.
The prophet (SAW) said, 'One who treats badly those who are under his authority, shall not enter paradise' (Tirmidhi) (Note that the wife is under the husband's authority)
The Prophet (SAW) has said 'Verily we have been prohibited from assaulting those who perform salah'
From the above hadith it can be seen that it is Haraam (forbidden) to assault even a complete stranger who performs salah (namaz). So how can it be allowed to hit or assault the wife who gives the husband comfort and performs many household duties which are not even compulsory on her to do in Islam.
(4) One who helps his wife in simple household jobs like sweeping, sewing, washing, etc The Prophet (SAW) who is the highest and best of all creation used to help his wives in many of the domestic jobs (in the house). Hadhrat Aa'isha (RA) has reported that the Prophet (SAW) used to mend his own shoes, sew his clothes and work in his household just as one of you works in his house. (MISHKAT)
She also reported that HE (SAW) was a man amongst men, he used to patch his clothes, milk his goat and engage himself in work.
(5) One who is tolerant and forgiving. Sometimes a woman acts childishly, at times like these the husband should exercise restraint and have SABR (patience).
Ibn Umar narrates that a man came to the Prophet (SAW) and said '0 Rasool-allah, how many times should we forgive the servant?' The Prophet (SAW) remained silent. The man repeated his question at which the Prophet (SAW) remained quite again. The man again asked and the third time the Prophet (SAW) replied 'Forgive him 70 times a day'
In the above hadith if only a servant has to be shown so much tolerance then how much should the wife be shown?
Note: The husbands tolerance is limited by the commands of the Shari'ah. For example, a husband's tolerance which permits his wife to discard the hijaab (purdah); to neglect salah and to do anything which Allah has prohibited is NOT the tolerance and SABR (patience) that the Prophet (SAW) has instructed. This type of toleration is evil and unlawful.
(6) One who overlooks her bad qualities and rather looks at her good qualities which Allah has created in her. The Prophet (SAW) has said, 'The believer (husband) should not show enmity or hatred toward the wife, if he dislikes anything within her qualities then surely he will be pleased with another quality in her'. (MUSLIM)
Note: It is unlawful for the father to engage himself so much in business and other worldly things that he finds no time to teach his children about the deen (religion). In relation to his worldly pursuits, the deeny ta'leem (religious education) of his family holds greater priority.
(7) One who spends time with his wife and loves her. Many husbands spend all day with their friends and only find time to come home for dinner, this is completely against the spirit of Islam. A husband should spend time with his wife and love her as he will be rewarded and his sins will be forgiven for this.
The prophet (SAW) said, 'when the husband holds the hand of the wife with love, the sins fall from the gaps of the fingers of the hand which is held'.
Abu Huraira (RA) has said, 'Allah loves a man who caresses his wife. Both of them are rewarded (thawab) because of this loving attitude. Their rizq (earning) is also increased'.
According to another tradition the mercy of Allah cascades on a couple when the husband glances at his wife with love and the wife returns his glance with love and pleasure. In part of a long hadith it is stated: 'Nor is their a man who walks with his wife hand in hand, but that Allah sets it down as virtue for him, and if he puts his arm around her neck in love then the virtue is increased ten fold'.
(8) One who fulfils all her rights, gives the wife her mahr (dowry), provides her maintenance and a roof over her head and he treats all his wives with equality (if he has more than one) in every respect.
Haakim bin Mu'awiya reported from his father, 'I asked the Prophet 'What are the rights the wife has over her husband?' He (SAW) replied, 'feed her when you take your food, clothe her when you clothe yourself. You should not slap her, nor revile her, nor leave her at home except within the home' (Abu Dawud)
My Muslim brother, The Prophet (SAW) advice to you is that think of your wife as a gift from God, love and respect her, If she makes a mistake then overlook it and try to rectify her mistake, without breaking her bones. Meet her needs with the best of your ability and practice patience. Always be there for your wife. I finish off with a beautiful, hadith, in which the prophet (SAW) has said, 'The best amongst men are those who treat their wives with the kindness of a mother to her children'. To such men is sent down a reward equivalent to that of a 100 shaheed (martyrs)'