The Right of the Husband and The Wife
Marriage tie have great impact and a significance in any given society all over the old. It is, in the first place, a tremendous bond that ties the husband and the wife . As a result of this blond, many rights and requirements are imposed on both, towards each other, their children, their in-laws, their relatives and their social obligations.
As financial relation is also established , which, at times, might strain the ties between the spouses. Moreover, their are certain physical the rights that constituted for both spouses as a result of the martial relationship. All these items, and more, are properly addressed in the light of Islam, the religion of Allah, the Almighty, and in accordance with the practices of Allah’s Apostle, Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam. Such obligations ties and relationships are, at its best, inccord with Islam, as will be discuused herein. This coincides with the paure, innate nd human nature of man who is eager to lead a sensible, meaningful, affectionate, emotionally sound, physically comforting and spiritually meaningful life.
Both husband and wife must commit themselves fully to each other in the light of Islam, or for this matter, in light of the requirements of pure human nature. Both must be kind, good, sincere, affectionate, caring, polite, respectful and generous to each other. Each will constitute a half in martial relation. Therefore, each must bear the responsibilities of his share . Each must honor this tie, be pleasant to their companion and offer the utmost possible to make the relation lasting, pleasing, meaningful and coherent.
Allah, the Almighty, stated in the glorious Quran concerning the treatment of one’s spouse, the wife in particular:
“On the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take dislike to them it may hat ye dislike a thing, and God brings about through it deal of good.” 4:19
Perfection, of course, belongs to Allah, the Almighty, Many times, one finds defects in the relationship one has with friend, n associate, a partner , teacher, a tremendously important to both individuals. It is, therefore, necessary to bear some inconveniences for the sake of generally good and everlasting relationship. That is why Islam, as a way of life, impose practical principles upon its followers.
On the other hand, Islam offers man an edge in the relationship due to the fact that man, in general, has better discipline, more logical judgment, less emotion and different position in society all over the world from primitive societies to most advanced, technical and industrial societies . Also man generally has a better income, which makes him more financially responsible for welfare of his family members, as it is the case all over the world . Man is, in general the “ bread- winner” of the family and t times subjects his life and body to terrible dangers to perform a skilled job that requires a lot of sacrifice .For these reasons and many more, Allah, the Almighty stated in the glorious Quran concerning man’s edge in the martial relation:
“ And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have degree.” 2:228
We know that woman is equal to man in all religious rights, as it is well explained in the glorious Quran and the Sunah practices of Allah’s Apostle, Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam. There are only minor differences between male and female rights in accordance to Islam, such as inheritance,authority, testimonies, Code of dress and other things to be discussed in a separate book.
Woman mist offer her husband what he is entitled , and man must offer his wife what she is entitled based on the mutual fruitful relationship they have established in accordance with Islam. Truly, if both parties live up to these standards, both will be extremely happy, and society will become better and more pleasant . When both parties, or even one, fails to abide to these rules, a miserable life the household in general will prevail, as the unhappiness of parents will be reflected on the entire family. Both husband and wife will become unhappy, unproductive, unbearable and miserable if they do not appreciate the rights of each other and live by them.
Islam greatly emphasized that man must be kind to woman, in general, ,whether it be a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a grandmother, a niece or even someone unrelated to him. Allah’s Apostle, Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam, said: “ Be kind to woman, woman have been created from bent rib. The most dent of the rib is its top. If you try to straighten that dent you will break it. If you left it alone it remains as is. Therefore, be as kind, nice and good to women as you could”. This Hadith is reported by both Bukhari and Muslim.
Muslim reported a similar Hadith saying: “ Woman has been created from (man’s) rib. That rib is bent somewhat . If you attempt to straighten the dent you will never be able to do so. Therefore, you may enjoy your relation with the woman with understanding that she has a dent (i.e. minor defects). If you attempt to correct the dent, you will break the relationship, which means you break the marriage and the martial relations between both.”
Muslims also reported an another statements of Allah’s Apostle, Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam saying: “ A believing Muslim husband must not hate his believing Muslim wife ( and break the marriage relation ties) If a husband dislikes one thing of his wife, ( let him remember ) he likes other things and points in her character.”
The prophet, Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam in the previous statements, guides, taches and establishes the way that the woman should be treated and dealt with. This is meant for all the Muslims Ummah regardless of social; status. No one person on the face of Earth, with the exception of the prophets and Messengers of Allah, Almighty, is infallible .Although the prophets themselves claimed that they may commit minor mistakes in terms of worldly things other than divine revelation descended to them by Allah, the almighty, from heaven. Perfection is a relative term. Man should accept his mate as is. Woman also should accept her husband as is. Both must exert every effort to improve one another. But they must remember that both are entitled to certain specific rights that Islam has established for them and they should enjoy. On the other hand, Islam imposed certain requirements from both that they must also fulfill. If both accept each other on these premises, the family will enjoy a healthy atmosphere and they will lead splendid, wonderful and very happy life under the umbrella of Islam.
We can vividly notice how Islam again and again coincides with the natural, innate nature of a man . Man desires a happy, flowery, rosy, cozy, neat and nice home with most beloved person to him, or her, after the love of the creator, the prophet and parents. Islam urges both the husband, in the first place, to be extremely kind, keen and nice in his relationship with his spouse and provide her with all due rights imposed unto him by Allah, the Almighty. And the teachings of Allah’s Apostle, Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam. Similarly, the woman is expected to do the same, and obey her husband as long as he respects her, fulfills her rights, makes her feel loved, cared for and wanted, and does not impose any unlawful or illegal things upon her.
That is Islam. There is nothing else that matches its innate quality.
The Rights of the Wife upon her Husband
The wife is naturally entitled for food, clothing, housing and other related items with expenses to be born by the husband. This natural right has been given by Allah, the almighty, to the wife based on the verse from the glorious Quran:
“ The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years, if the father desires to complete the term. But he shall bear the cost of their food and clothing on equitable terms.” 2 : 233
Moreover, Allah’s Apostle, Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam said: “ (Wives) are entitled for food and clothing from their husbands in equitable terms.” Also the prophet, Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam was once asked: “ What is the right of the wife unto her husband?” He, Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam said: “ she is entitled for the same food you eat, offer her clothing whatever you buy yourself clothes, do not hit her on the face, do not insult her and do not abandon her unless you do so in the same house ( under the same roof). “ This Hadith is reported by Abu Dawood.
Similarly, other rights to which the wife entitled is to be treated justly and fairly incase of multiple marriages. In such case the husband must be fair and just to both wives, treat them fairly in terms of expenditure, housing, time and all other items of which the husband is capable . Being biased or even inclinated and preferring one wife over the other is considered one of the major sins in Islam in the sight of Allah, the Almighty. Allah’s Apostle, Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam said: “ If a man married two wives and preferred one over the other, he will come on the Day of the Judgment with a distinctly slanted side of his body.” This Hadith is reported by Imam Ahmed and reporters of the book of Sunan.
Man, as the husband, however, will not held responsible or accountable for things that he has no control over, such as love, affection and self comfort . Allah, the Almighty stated in the glorious Quran:
“ Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire: But turn not away ( from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her ( as it were) hanging ( in the air). “ 4:129
It is also reported that Allah’s Apostle, Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam used to divide things amongst his wives fairly and equally, then saying: “ O Allah! This is the fair distribution that I can do best in accordance to my abilities . O Allah! Please blame me not for what you own and I do not own( i.e. the acts of the hear in terms of love and affection.”) This Hadith is reported by Abu Dawood, Tirmithe, Ibn Majah and Nasaiee.
However, if a husband preferred one wife over another in terms of spending the night with, based on the approval and acceptance of the other wife, then in such a case, there is no harm. That, in fact, was the case with Aishh and Swadah, two of his wives, may Allah be pleased with them, when Sawdah agreed to grant her night to Aisha, Radhi Allahu Anha toward the end of the life of the prophet, Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam. Yet, when the prophet, Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam, became very ill, he continuously asked : “ Where shall be tomorrow (i.e in whose house)?” All his wives agreed to let him stay at the house of Aisha m where he wanted to be until his death, Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam.” This Hadith was reported by both Bukhari and Muslim.
The Right of the Husband Upon the Wife
The rights of the husband upon his wife are greater than the rights of the wife upon her husband for the simple reason that Allah, the Almighty, stated in the glorious Quran:
“ And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable ; but men have a degree.” 2:228
Man is the care-taker of his wife and house hold. He is responsible for all the affairs. He is responsible for training, direction and discipline in needed. Allah, the Almighty stated in the glorious Quran:
“ Men are the protectors of women, because God has given the one more ( strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means.” 4:34
It is an essential right of man over his wife to be obeyed so long as his commands don not conflict or contradict the commands of Allah, the Almighty, Allah’s Apostle, Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and the general teachings and codes of ethics of Islam. A Muslim wife must also protect her husband ‘s secrets and privacies . She also must protect his wealth, finance and belongings as much as possible. Allah’s Apostle ,Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam said :” If I were to command a single person to bow in prostration to an other person, I could have commanded a women to bow down ( in obedience and respect, not in worship) to her husband.” Furthermore, Allah’s Apostle, Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam, said : “ If a husband calls his wife to his bed, but the latter refused to fulfill the call ( for any reason other than a lawful one), which drives the man become upset with his wife, then angles will curse such a wife until she gets up in the morning.” Both Hadith are reported by both Bukhari and Muslim.
An other right of the husband over his wife is that husband ask his wife not to do something, including, but not limited to voluntary acts of worship, other than obligatory, which cause her to lesson the time that her husband may have to enjoy her. Allah’s Apostle, Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam stated :” A wife is not allowed to observe fast ( other than fasting in the month Ramadan, the prescribed month for fasting) in the presence of her husband, unless she has his permission, She may not allow any one to come into his house, unless he permits.” This Hadith is reported by Tirmithee, who said: “ It is a sound and fair Hadith.”
Moreover, Allah’s Apostle, Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam placed the satisfaction and pleasure of a husband to be one of the reasons to enable the wife to enter paradise . Tirmithee reported from Ummu Salamah, the mother of the believers, Radhi Allahu Anha, that Allah’s Apostle, Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam said: “ Any woman whose husband dies while he is pleased, happy and satisfied with her ( acts, attitudes and behavior) will enter Jannah”.
There are but few items of the many rights that Islam, the religion of truth, imposes upon those who commit themselves to follow and practices it as a way of life.
We vividly see that such rights, if maintained properly, will lead a society to peace, happiness and tranquility. A husband becomes caring, affectionate, loving and responsible, yet directing and capable and discipline when needed to improve a trouble some situation, regardless of his tender care and love for his wife, so that vise and wickedness will not spread in the society, A wife becomes more respected, adored, cared for, highly needed and appreciated if she respects the rights of her husband and equally given the rights she is entitled for by Islam.
In such a coherent way, the religion of truth, goodness, justice, equity, and all fairness coincide with basic requirements of life including harmony between all the members of the society, especially between husband and the wife.
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