General Guidance for the Muslim Wife:
It is essential that the Muslim woman understands that of all people, be it parents or children, her husband commands her first
and has the highest allegiance. He is the pivot of her salvation in both worlds. He is her ruler, guard and guardian here on earth. (This is provided commands comform to the Shari’ah)
This is what the Qur’aan Majeed declares in the following aayat:
“Men are the rulers over women because of the excellence which
Allah has granted to some of them over others and because of that
which they spend of their wealth (to maintain women).”
And, this is what Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) declared in
“O woman! Look! Verily, he is either your Jannat or your Fire.”
(Tabqat Ibn Sa’d)
Some Ahadith emphasising the superior rank of the husband and the essential need for the wife to obey him shall now be presented
so that the Muslim wife understands well the attitude and conduct which she has to adopt in her relationship with her husband.
(Note: The husband at no time should use these Ahaadith to claim superiority, rather it is to encourage the wife)
Rectitude in relationship and conduct in home affairs produces, enduring love, peace and happiness in the home.
Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:
(1) “The la’nat (curse) of Allah is on a woman who is angry with
(2) “A woman who dies whilst her husband is pleased with her, will enter Jannah”.(Ibn Majah)
(3) “A woman who asks her husband for divorce, the fragrance of Jannat becomes unlawful for her”. (Tirmizi)
(4) “The best of women is she who makes her husband feel happy when he glances at her; she obeys him when heinstructs her and she does not oppose him in regard to herself and her wealth by doing what he dislikes”. (Baihaqi)
(5) “The similitude of an adorned woman in the company of strangers (i.e. ghair mahram males) is like the darkness of the day of Qiyaamah. There is no noor for her”. (Mishkat)
(6) “When the husband calls his wife to bed and she refuses, causing him to sleep displeased (with her) then theMalaaikah (Angels) curse her until morning”.(Bukhari)
(7) “There are three types of persons whose Salaat is not accepted nor does any of their good deeds rise (towards heaven)……” (Among these three, one is) “A woman whose husband is angry with her”.(Baihaqi)
(8) “If I had to order anyone to make Sajdah for another person, I would have commanded the wife to make Sajdah to her husband”.(Ahmad)
(9) “If the husband orders her to transport stones from a yellow mountain to a black mountain and then from the black mountain to a white mountain (i.e. from one mountain to another), then it will be proper for her to do it”.(Ahmad)
(10) “Whoever has been given four things, verily, he has been given the best of the world and the Aakhirah: a grateful heart; a tongue engaged in thikr’, a body patient in adversity and a wife who does not betray him, neither with regard to herself not his wealth”. (Mishkat)
These Ahadith of Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) adequately illustrate the kind of behaviour the Muslim wife has to adopt in her relationship with her husband.
These divinely statements of our Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) form the framework of conduct for the Muslim wife.
From these narrations, the Muslim women will understand her role as a wife.
“He is either your Jannat or your Fire” – your Paradise or your Hell-fire. In other words, Allah’s pleasure and displeasure in so far as the wife is concerned, are dependent on her husband’s pleasure and displeasure. Thus, for attaining happiness in this world and the Aakhirah, it behoves her to court her husband’s pleasure at all times. She must necessarily abstain from all things and every kind of behaviour which find disfavour with her husband. She should mould herself to wholeheartedly submit to his whims and fancies. His likes must become her likes and his dislikes, her dislikes. She must acquaint herself with his moods and act accordingly to cultivate his pleasure. She should step out of her way to comfort him and to console him in his worries and distress. She should never do anything to augment his worries. On the contrary, she should strive to be a source of comfort for him. After all Allah Ta’ala has created her for her husband’s comfort and peace. Stating this fact, the Qur’aan Majeed says:
“He created from it (the one life) its pair so that he (man) may find solace (peace and comfort) in her”.
Thus any activity or behaviour of the wife, even if permissible and meritorious in the Shariah, but which conflicts with the lawful wishes, desires, whims, fancies, likes and dislikes of the husband will be negatory of her role of wifehood and in contradiction of the aim and the purpose of which Allah Ta’ala had created her.
This aim is declared in the aforementioned Ayat and is further conformed by the creation of Hawwa (Alaihas Salaam) to provide companionship and solace to Aadam (Alaihis Salaam) whose loneliness – inspite of his presence in Jannat at the time – was the overt reason and cause of her creation.
Lest anyone seeks to question the contention that the husband’s lawful wishes in relation to his wife, enjoy priority over even lawful Shar’i acts of merit, we tender the following hadith of Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam): “It is not permissible for a woman to fast (Nafl fast) while her husband is present except with his consent”.
Nafl Salaat and Nafl Saum (fasting) are among the highest acts of Ibaadat. However, notwithstanding the importance and merit of these acts of Ibaadat which are greatly encouraged by the Shariah, Islam had ordained obedience to the husband to be an act of greater importance and higher merit. Nafl Ibaadat is not only permissible, it is exhorted by Islam which elaborately explains its virtues and significance. Despite this fact, the wife is ordered by Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wassallam) to refrain from engagement in Nafl Ibaadat if she had not obtained the consent of her husband. From this will be abundantly clear that the Shariah has accorded the husband the highest degree of authority over his wife.
Likewise it will transpire that the wife has to offer the higher degree of submission to her husband, hence the Qur’aan Majeed decrees:
“Men are the rulers over women…….”