The Pious Husband

“Men are the rulers over women because Allah has bestowed ranks to some of them above others and because they (men) spend of their wealth (for the maintenance of women).” (Surah Nisaa’, Aayat 34)

In describing the man, Allah Ta’ala in this aayat, mentions the word qawwamoon which is the plural of qawwaam.

In Arabic, qawwaam refers to someone who has the responsibility of administering a system. He is in charge of executing the affairs and operation of the system which has been entrusted to him. A qawwaam is, therefore, a ruler. The Qur’aan-e-Hakeem uses this term in this very meaning. Thus, Allah Ta’ala says that, “Men are the rulers of (or over) women.” Just as a community or a nation requires a ruler for proper and efficient functioning of the affairs of society, so too does the home unit stand in need of a ruler to ensure that the home affairs progress smoothly and correctly along the divinely-ordained pattern conceived in by the Shariah. The man in the house has, thus been appointed the ruler or overseer.

While Islam has bestowed many rights to women, the Qur’aan-e-Hakeem confirms his superior rank and announces his appointment as the ruler of women. There is no gainsaying that man is the ruler/guide/overseer in the home. The Qur’aan Majeed is explicit in this declaration and the Ahadeeth of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are replete with his significance and superiority over woman.

While this is indisputably so, the husband should not commit the grave error of assuming that his superiority and his appointment as the ruler/leader permit him to rule his family at his whimsical and temperamental behest.

It is essential that the husband understands that along with his rank and position comes responsibility of a grave and sacred nature. His appointment as Ruler of Woman is not a licence for misdirecting authority. His position as the head of the family does not entitle him to introduce a reign of misery in the home. His superiority over his wife does not bestow to him the right of enslaving her. The wife’s obedience to her husband, emphasised and made incumbent by Allah Ta’ala, does not allow him to adopt a master and slave relationship at home. His elevated rank is not permission for violating, denying and neglecting the rights (huqooq) which Islam orders for women and children.

On the contrary, all such violations and behavioural attitudes not conducive for the correct functioning of an Islamic home, are heavily proscribed by the lofty office he as the husband/father occupies. In short, the husband is not allowed to adopt a bullying attitude. He does not enjoy the right to impose on his wife his wishes, whims and fancies just as he desires and in any way he feels. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Every one of you is a shepherd and every one of you will be questioned about his flock.” The husband is the Shepherd of his home. On the Day of Qiyaamah he will have to answer in the Divine Court how he treated his flock. Their rights and obligations he has towards his wife and children are sacred injunctions ordained by Rabbul Aalameen (Allah – the Creator and Sustainer of all the worlds). An account of the reign of his home will be demanded from him. Thus, he should understand that commensurate with his rank as the ruler, is the sacred and weighty responsibility of correctly and adequately discharging the amaanat (sacred trust) imposed on him by Allah Ta’ala. On that Day of Terror – Yaumul Qiyaamah – when the unjust and cruel husband who had misused his lofty position and misdirected his authority here in this transitory abode, will be hauled to stand trial in Allah’s Court of Justice, he will wish that he never was a husband nor a father nor the ruler in the home. About the awful state of that Day of mighty upheavals, terror and fear, the Qur’aan Majeed says: “(That Day) will be a day when a man will flee from his brother, his mother, his father, his wife and his children.”

It is, therefore, imperative that the husband/father takes a reckoning of his rule of the home before a reckoning will be demanded from him at a time when he will be ill-prepared or wholly incapable of submitting and appropriate account of his worldly conduct.

This is precisely the purport of Rasulullah’s (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) saying:

“Take a reckoning (of yourself) before a reckoning will be demanded (from you).”

Az-Zaujus Saalih

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