Rights of the Husband and Wife in Islam

22nd June 2008

Allah (swt) says: (‘O Mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, who created you from a single person, and from him (Adam) He created his wife (Hawa), and from them both He created many men and women, and fear Allah through whom you demand your mutual rights and do not cut relations of the wombs, surely Allah is ever an All-Watcher over you’ (Surah An-Nisa, Ayat 1)

In the above ayat, Allah (swt) relates how Insaan (humans) were created, and illustrates that the relationship between husband and wife should be based on Taqwa (fear of Allah). Good morals should be attained using mercy and equality and not by wronging and oppressing the spouse.
True equality is only attained through the law given by Allah (swt) in the Shariah and the way of Rasulullah (saw). Allah (swt) is the Creator and knows best the situations and needs of His creation, manifesting the method of implementing His law through the examples shown by His Nabi (saw).

For this very reason, any manmade law cannot fulfil the requirements of mankind. When men are given more rights, women are wronged and when women are given more rights, men are wronged. Partners use manmade laws to fulfil their whims. For this reason, only when Allah’s (swt) laws are followed, as exemplified in the Qur’an and Sunnah, will a couple experience growing love in this world and peace in the hereafter.

Instructions to the Husband
• Hazrat Jabir (ra) relates, ‘In Rasulullah’s (saw) last moments, he gave three pieces of advice, in giving them his voice softened due to his situation (1) Salaat! Salaat! (meaning the success of Muslims is only in Salaat) (2)Those who are under you, do not enforce on them more than they are able to bear (3) Fear Allah in the regards to your women, for they are a trust given to you and Allah made them Halaal for you through nikah.’ (Muslim)
The husband is obliged to have good, pleasant dealings with his wife/wives and make sabr and have mercy on her/them in all conditions.
• Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates, ‘Rasulullah (saw) said ‘Any Mu’min male should not have dislike (in his heart) towards his wife, for if there is one action of hers that he dislikes, then verily, there could be some other action of hers which pleases him.’ (Mishkat)
For one individual to be perfect in all matters is not possible, as we are normal humans.
• Rasulullah (saw) said, ’A man should feed his wife from what he eats, clothe her with what he clothes himself (A husband should care for his wife), he should not hit her on the face and should not swear at her.’ (Miskat)
• Hazrat Maimoona (ra) relates, ‘Rasulullah (saw) said, ‘In my Ummah, the best of men will be those who keep the best relation with his wife/wives, and gives her religious advice, and instils the fear of Allah within them, and makes sabr on any difficulty from them.’ (Gania-tul Talibeen)

Instructions to The Wife
• Hazrat Anas (ra) narrates that Rasulullah (saw) said, ‘On the day of Qiyamah, women will first be questioned as to her Salaat, then she will be asked regarding her treatment of her husband.’ (Qanzul Amal)
It is therefore most important that a woman, in addition to the obligation of five times salaah, treat her husband in the correct manner.
• Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates that Rasulullah (saw) stated, ‘If I was to give the order of prostration to anyone other than Allah, then I would give women the order to prostrate to her husband.’ (Tirmidhi)
• Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar (ra) states that Rasulullah (saw) said, ‘Allah (swt) does not look with Rahmat (mercy) at that women who is ungrateful to her husband.’ (Muzmul Zawahid, Nasai)
The house where a woman is ungrateful to her husband in action and speech, believing they are being wronged (oppressed) and does not love him for that reason, does not have any peace.
• Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates that Rasulullah (saw) stated, ’When a women (due to anger) sleeps apart from her husband, the angels continue to curse her until she returns to her husband.’ (Bukhari)
• Rasulullah (saw) said:’ That woman who passes away in the state that her husband is pleased with her, for her this is enough to guarantee Jannah.’ (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Miskat)

May Allah (swt) grant all married Muslims such relationships that they will attain His pleasure in this world and the next according to the perfect ways shown by his Prophet (saw). Aameen.

Mufti Yusuf Danka