The Qur’aan Majeed commands:

“Deal with women correctly and with kindness. If, then you dislike them, then it is possible that you dislike something while Allah has created abundance of goodness in it.”(Surah Nisaa, aayat 19)

This Qur’aanic aayat as well as other verses and Ahadeeth define man’s role as the ruler of the wife. Arrogance and harshness have no role in a husband’s discharge of his duties in his capacity as the ruler. The Qur’aan compulsorily imposes on him justice and kindness. In fact, the kindness and toleration which the husband has to show, should accommodate all the petty indiscretions and outbursts of the wife. The husband is not permitted to react violently or harshly because of the hurtful and cutting statements which his wife stupidly makes. He must understand that Allah Ta’ala has created her naaqisul aql or of deficient intelligence. A woman by nature is extremely short-sighted. On most occasions she is blind to the consequences of her statements, attitudes and misdeeds. In contrast, the husband has been endowed with superior aql (intelligence). He should not demean his intelligence by reached vindictively in womanish style. Some husbands, unable to tolerate the indiscretion of their wives, react violently. In a fit of temper they do not hesitate to manhandle, mishandle and cruelly assault their wives. It is essential that such husbands understandthat their display of violence on their wives is not an act of heroism. On the contrary, they are disgracefully exhibiting their cowardice. There is absolutely no honour in silencing a wife by means of violence and abuse.Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:”Strength is not by overwhelming (an adversary) in combat. Verily, a strong man is one who controls his nafs at the time of anger.”The poor wife is not even an adversary!The Muslim husband is thus commanded to react with dignity, honour and kindness. He is under Shar’i order to swallow his anger and acquit himself like a true ruler who keeps in mind the Ruler of all rulers – Allah Azza wa Jal. Tomorrow, on the Day of Qiyaamah, he will have to answer for his abuse and injustice perpetrated against his helpless wife who is a sacred Amaanat (Trust) assigned into his care by the Creator of that Amaanat.

The husband must at all times remember that his wife is not his property. She is the property of Allah Ta’ala. She has been made lawful to man on the Name of Allah Ta’ala. This was the declaration announced by Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) on the occasion of Hajjatul Widaa (the Last Hajj). The husband should now reflect and realize that he has no licence to unleash the fury of his temper on the Property of Allah Ta’ala. He has to respect, honour and treasure the Amaanat which Allah Ta’ala has awarded to him for his comfort, peace and rest in this ephemeral earthly abode.

In one Hadith, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Piety is a beautiful character.”

A man attains piety with his beautiful moral and spiritual character. Minus an uprighteous character he is a demon, surpassing the lowly beasts in bestiality.

According to Nabi-e-Kareem (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) the Muslim who is kindest to his wife, is the one with the best character.Undoubtedly, some traits and attributes in women are detestable to men. But, the Qur’aan Hakeem says that Allah Ta’ala has created much good in her. The Qur’aan Hakeem exhorts the husband attributes and look rather at the abundance of goodness which Allah Ta’ala has created in her. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) instructed the husband:

“The Mu’min (husband) should not harbour enmity for his wife. If he dislikes something in her, then surely, he will be pleased with another quality in her.” (Muslim)

The husband should expect disobedience and indiscretion from his wife. If he keeps in mind this expectation, he will not be frustrated and disappointed when his wife acts in conflict with his wishes. When she annoys him with her inconsiderate behaviour, he should dispel his anger and annoyance by recalling her goodness and by remembering that she is a free person, not a slave who could be handled and abused according to the husband’s desire.

Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:”The Mu’min with the most perfect Imaan is one who has the best character and who is the kindest to his wife.”

A requisite for the perfection of Imaan is kindness to one’s wife. It is abundantly clear from the Ahadeeth of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) that kindness to the wife is an independent act of virtue.It is not a reciprocal deed dependant on the wife’s obedience. It is not the effect of the wife’s loving and obedient attitude to her husband. The husband has to behave honourably and kindly towards his wife at all times notwithstanding her intransigence, obstinacy and indiscreet behaviour. Insha Allah, much of his sins will be forgiven by virtue of his kindness towards his wife.

Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“The best among you are those among you who are the best to their wives.”

Thus a man’s nobility is linked to his kind treatment of his wife, an unkind and uncaring husband cannot be a pious man even if he engages in abundance of nafl acts of ibaadah (worship). His piety will be a true piety only if his attitude towards his wife is noble.Kindness towards the wife is an act of thawaab (reward) even to the extent of placing a morsel of food in her mouth. Overlooking her faults, assisting her in her home duties, giving her presents, seeing to her needs in general, refraining from imposing unnecessary demands and duties on her and generally showing her a happy and cheerful disposition are all meritorious acts of reward exhorted by Islam.On the occasion of his last Hajj, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) commanded:

“Be kind to women for verily they are prisoners by you…”

The wife is fully under the jurisdiction and control of her husband. She is entirely dependent on him. She goes out of her way to please her husband and see to his needs and comfort. It, therefore, does not behove the Muslim husband to exploit her by maltreating her. It is only a cowardly man, lacking in moral excellence, who will ill-treat his wife and ignore Rasulullah’s (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) command to show kindness and love to his wife.

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