Justice in Islam is very important and the status of man and woman should be equal in all aspects of their lives, such as Deen, lineage, wealth and so forth.

If we take an outside look at both men and women we will realize that each is designed to perform different tasks and roles in life.

Allah has placed feminine qualities, such as sensitivity and gentleness, in the woman’s nature and prepared them for the tasks of pregnancy, childbirth and household chores.  There is nothing built in their physical make up or nature that makes them able to endure the burdens of the struggle outside of the home, for life’s problems must be met head on with sternness, determination, strong will and iron resolve.

However, the creator has placed masculine qualities such as physical strength in man.  They have the ability to fight hardships and to acquire provisions.

Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Women possess rights similar to those held over them to be honored with fairness; but men have a degree above them.”  (2:226)

This means that the rights and duties of husband and wife balance each other, not that women’s rights are identical to men’s rights.  Every duty incumbent on the man corresponds to an equivalent duty for the wife.  For example, the husband’s duty of maintenance corresponds to the wife’s duty to look after children and so on.

Justice, although it is not a condition upon which the validity of the marriage depends, is a factor in the long-term success of a marriage.  There are many cases where marriages have failed because this condition was ignored when the decision was made.

In order for justice to be established in a marriage both the husband and wife have certain rights over each other, which must be met for the marriage to have the best chance of success!

The rights and responsibilities of the husband and wife in marriage are extremely important and if they are adhered to the bonds of marriage will hold firm, stability will reign in the family life, and the children will be brought up on the right path.

Islamic Law is in complete harmony with the natural form of men and the natural form of women thanks to the rights and duties that it has granted to each of them thereby bringing about harmony, love and tranquillity to both their lives when they are married.

Rights Of The Wife And Duties Of The Husband
The Dowry

This is known in Arabic as the mahr or the sadaq, and is the money, which the husband must pay the woman upon marrying her.
Allah says:
“Give women their dowry as an outright gift”.  (4:4)

The fact that the dowry is only obligatory on the man, not the woman, is the first thing in a marriage that lets her know that if she obeys him he will treat her with care and kindness.

There is no specific amount or gift in Islam for the dowry.  What is given for the dowry is the choice of the woman however it is important for her to choose something within the means of her husband.

Maintenance is the duty of the husband from the moment the marriage contract is concluded, but only remains binding so long as the wife fulfills her duties towards her husband.

Maintenance includes all the food, clothing, shelter as well as anything else within reasonable limits.

The level of maintenance varies according to the financial circumstances of the husband, as Allah says:
“He who has plenty should spend out of his plenty.  But he whose provision is restricted should spend from what Allah has given him.  Allah does not demand from any self more than he has given it.  Allah will appoint ease after difficulty”.  (65:7)

Living Together Courteously And Correctly

It is the duty of the man that he is just and fair in his dealings with his wife and that he acts well with her in the intimate moments they share together.

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said:
“The best of you is the one who treats his family best, and I am the best of you towards my family.”  (Ibn Hibban)

He also said:
“Only a noble man honors women, and only a lowly man humiliates them.” (Related by Ali)

Being Patient And Merciful Towards Your Wife

It is related that a man came to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, May Allah be pleased with him, to complain about his wife’s behaviour.  While he was standing in front of his door waiting from him to come out, he heard ‘Umar’s wife speaking to him in an insolent manner and quarrelling with him, while ‘Umar remained silent and did not respond.  The man turned round to leave and said,

“If this is the way that ‘Umar acts in spite of his harshness and severity and his position as Amir al-Mu’minin (Commander of the Believers), then how am I meant to behave?”

‘Umar came out and saw him walking away from his door.  He called him, saying,
“What do you need, my good man?”

He said,
“Amir al-Mu’minin, I came to complain about the bad behavior of my wife and her insolence towards me.  But when I heard your wife acting in the same way with you I decided to return home.  I said to myself, ‘If this is the way the Amir-al- Mu’minin is with his wife, then how is it with my situation?”

‘Umar said,
“My brother, I put up with her actions because of the rights she holds over me.  She is the one who cooks my food, bakes my bread, washes my clothes and nurses my children, even though she does not have to do any of these things.  It is she who stills my heart and keeps me from falling into the unlawful.  For these reasons I put up with her and her faults.”  The man said, “It is also like that with my wife.”

‘Umar said,
“Have patience my brother for it is only a short period of time.”

Seeking The Counsel

It is important for the husband to seek the advice from his wife when making important decisions, especially when it comes to marrying off their daughter.  The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said,
“Seek the advice of women when it comes to their daughters.”  (Abu Dawud & Al-Bayhaqi)

Flirting With her

Joking and flirting with her helps to sow the seeds of love in the heart, fulfil the rights of the nafs to innocent pleasure and enjoyment, and free it from its sorrows and worries.

Taking Care Of His Personal Appearance and Tidiness

The Physical appearance of the man is important to the wife just as her personal appearance is important to him.  ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas used to say,
“I dress myself up for my wife just as she makes herself pretty for me.”

That He Guards Her Jealousy But Within Boundaries

A man should kindly advise his wife if she falls short of her duties towards him or if her behaviour or actions are displeasing to him.  He should do this before his wife becomes in the habit and gets used to doing these actions.  Prevention is better than cure – the disease must be halted in its tracks before it spreads too far.  It is the duty of both the husband and wife to advise each other in enjoining the good and forbidding the evil.  Allah says in the Qur’an:
“You who believe, safeguard yourselves and your families from a Fire whole fuel is people and stones.  Harsh, terrible angels are in charge of it.  They do not disobey Allah in respect of any order He gives them, and they carry out what they are ordered to do.”  (66:6)

Being Concerned With Her Deen And Protecting Her Nobility And Reputation

Just as it is the responsibility of the husband to take care of his wife’s physical needs he is also responsible of protecting her Deen and reputation and character.  The husband should in fact kindly and softly encourage his wife to fulfil her duties towards Allah and to always behave in a respectable manner both inside and outside the home.  However he should only concern himself with her to the extent that he makes sure she fulfils her religious duties and so gives himself peace of mind.  Allah, Exalted is He says:
“Instruct your family to perform the prayer, and be constant in it.”  (20:132)

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him, and grant him peace, said:
“Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock…The husband is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock…”  (Bukhari & Muslim)

Teaching Your Wife
It is the duty of the husband to ensure that his wife knows at least the basic rulings concerning women in Islam such as menstruation, postnatal bleeding and so on.  If she is unable to learn this from other women its is the duty of the husband to find out and teach her.

Being Generous

A Husband should be generous with his wife, especially on special occasions such as ‘Ids.  This helps to improve the atmosphere of love and intimacy between the husband and wife.  Allah, may He be exalted, says:
“He who has plenty should spend from his plenty.”  (65:7)

Not Disclosing Her Intimate Secrets

Private matters of the home such as arguments and quarrels as well as private secrets a wife may share with her husband should remain in the home and nobody else should come to know of them.  The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,
“One of the greatest violations of trust in the sight of Allah on the Day of Rising is when a man and a woman come together and then he divulges her secrets.”

Helping Her With Household Chores Especially If She Is In Need Of Help.

As well as having good manners outside the home it is equally important for Muslims to have beautiful manners inside their home when dealing with their families.  A husband should know that it his duty to be kind and helpful towards his wife if she is need of it.  They should speak softly to their wives and if they are in need of anything should request it from her politely rather than ordering her.  There are many examples of how the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace would help his wives with household chores.

‘A’isha, may Allah be pleased with her, was asked about what the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did in the home.  She said:
“He would perform his family chores and then, when the adhan was called, would go out to the prayer.”  There are other ahadith which relate that

“The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sewed his own clothes, mended his own shoes, and did what other men did in their homes.”  (Al-Hakim)

It is the wife’s right, more than anyone else, to receive help, be looked after and be treated well.  A husband should always remember that a smile on his face or a kind word upon entering his home serves to help his wife to forget her tiredness and relieve her anxieties.

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said,

“A kind word is an act of charity” “Greeting your brother with a smile is an act of charity.”  (Muslim)

If this is how we should act with strangers should we not be behaving in a more beautiful way with our families?

It is important for both the husband and wife to realise that marriage is a give and take partnership which needs both sides to be willing to help the other, listen when needed and to comfort and support each other at all times.

Islam has provided both the husband and wife with their individual rights and it is up to them to fulfil them.

By giving each their respective rights the ingredients for a happy marriage will be fulfilled and a lifetime together of joy and happiness and be shared In sha Allah!

The Rights Of The Husband And Duties Of The Wife

The family is the first brick of the foundation upon which the Islamic Ummah is built, but no group can function properly unless it has a leader to manage it and lead it in the right direction.

If we look at what Allah says in the Qur’an, which was mentioned in the introduction
“Women possess rights similar to those held over them to be honoured with fairness; but men have a degree above them.”  (2:226)

The degree that men have over women is that they have a charge over them.  This degree is a human necessity for the well-being of the family, but does not mean that mean are free to tyrannise and oppress them in that way, it would lead to the destruction of the family unit.  The aim of this verse from the Qur’an is not destroy stability, which is the ultimate goal of marriage, but to preserve and strengthen it.

The fact that the husband has more right to leadership over his wife also follows her dutifulness to him in everything he asks of her except in anything that contravenes the Laws of Allah.  It is always important to remember that there is no obedience to creation if it involves disobeying Allah.

A woman should look forward to pleasing and obeying her husband as the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said,

“Any woman who dies while her husband is pleased with her will enter the Garden.”  (Ibn Majah & At-Tirmidhi)

Living In The House

Just as it is the duty of the husband to provide a home for his family and to make provisions from them it is the duty of the wife to take care of the upkeep of the house.  This would involve looking after the children and upholding her honour and the honour of her husband and safe guarding his wealth and reputation.

The wife is not allowed to leave the home except with the permission of her husband or is she is forced to do so by necessity.  This does not mean that a woman does not have the right to work.  It is allowed for women to work as long as it is not at the expense of bringing up her children.  She may undertake certain jobs, which suit her nature such as teaching young children or being a nurse or doctor, however it is essential that she obtains the agreement of her husband first.  If she does choose to work she must stay within the boundaries of the Islamic code of conduct.  She must wear her full hijab, not wear any perfume or make-up and she should not draw any unnecessary attention to herself or causes temptation for others.

 Not Disclosing His Intimate Secrets

Private matters of the home such as arguments and quarrels as well as private secrets and faults her husband may have should remain in the home and nobody else should come to know of them.

 Bringing Up Children

It is the duty of a wife to bring up her husband’s children, whether they are her own children or his children from another marriage.  Allah, may He be exalted, says,

“Mothers should nurse their children for two full years – those who wish to complete the full term of nursing.”  (2:231)

A wife should be loving, kind and gentle to her children.  The Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said

“The righteous woman of Quraysh are the best of women who ride camels; they are tender towards young children and most careful with their husbands possessions.”  (Bukhari, Muslim & Ahmad)

It is obligatory on Muslim women to ensure that her children are brought up firm in the Deen and that they are raised in accordance to the Qur’an and Sunnah.  It is her duty to teach them the correct manners (adhabs) of Islam.  Some of these would include the manners of talking, sitting, walking, dressing and eating.  Concerning the manners of eating she should teach them in accordance to the hadith of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.  ‘Umar ibn Abi Salama, May Allah be pleased with him related,

“One day, when I was a boy in the care of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, I ate with my hand, eating from all parts of the plate.  The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said to me, “Lad, say ‘Bismillah (In the Name of Allah)’ and eat with your right hand.  Only eat from that which is in front of you.”  From that time on I ate in the way the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace taught me.”

Being A Good Example To The Children

A mother should only teach her children what she herself practises.  The truthful mother, who is quick in the obedience to the command of Allah, seeking His pleasure and preferring that which is with Him, passes this quality on to her children, a quality which the world is in great need of today.  It is important for a mother to keep good, righteous company and to respect her husband in order for her children to adopt these good characteristics.

A mother should be in the habit of keeping herself, her children and the home smart, clean, tidy and well organised.

The best way in teaching children about cleanliness is making them firm in wudu’ (ablution) and the prayer.  The prayer teaches the child about good time keeping where wudu focuses on cleanliness.

“Order your children to perform the prayer when they are seven years old, when they are ten years old, beat them if they do not do it, and keep them apart in their beds.”

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, considered a mother’s lying to her child to be a major crime no matter whether it was a big lie or a small one.  A woman once called out to her son saying

“Come here I will give you something.”

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace heard and said,

“What are you going to give him?”  “A date” she said.  He said,

“If you do not give him anything then a lie will be recorded against you.”  (Abu Dawud)

The first school of a child is its mother so it is essential that she fulfil this duty her utmost best in accordance to the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Despite all that has been said here, the task of bringing up the children is one, which the man and wife should share between them for it, has many aspects – physical, psychological and financial.

Making Herself Pretty For Her Husband

This duty is obligatory on the wife because it helps the stability of the family.  It increases the intimacy between her and her husband and helps to strengthen his love for her.

A wife should make sure that her husband should not see anything ugly in her nor should he small anything unpleasant on her.  Protecting his eyes and nose from what they may dislike is her duty.  Just as it is the wife’s right that he husband always keeps himself clean and tidy for her it is also the right of the husband that his wife makes every effort to be beautiful for him and it remains his right no matter how old she gets and no matter how long they have been married.  It is a noble quality in a woman that she rush out to meet her husband, wearing her best clothes and brightest smile and done up in all her fiery for that is the best way to his heart.

The cleanliness of the wife is even more important that her beauty.  Cleanliness is strongly recommended in Islam as Allah says in the Qur’an,

“Allah loves those who repent of their wrong doing and he loves those who purify themselves.”  (2:220)

Good Character

Islam encourages both men and women to take on a noble and good character.  It encourages us all to aim to be the best in our behaviour towards others.  A wife who has a good character and speaks well to her family will bring joy and happiness to their lives and in turn she will gain their love and respect.

A wise man said,

“All the good things in life come from a wife who is joyous, happy, faithful and righteous, while all the bad things in life come from a wife whose company provides no peace for the heart and whose appearance provides no joy for the eye.”

A wife who has a good character and is righteous plays an important part in keeping a successful and happy marriage.  The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,

“Shall I tell you of something that is better than all the treasure amassed by a man?  It is a righteous woman.  If he looks at her, she pleases him; if he commands her she obeys him; and if he is absent from her, she safeguards herself and his wealth.”  (An-Nasa’I)

Remaining Calm With Her Husband When He Is Angry

In times when the husband may fall into a state of anger and therefore say something he should not say, the wife should not become angry but should overlook his words and should retain her calm and self control.  She should not respond with like for like, unless for an instant to allow her husband to realise the error of his ways.

The Noble Qur’an guides us to this lofty code of conduct when Allah, Exalted is He, says:

“Repel the bad with something better, and then if there is enmity between you and someone else, he will be like a bosom friend.  None will obtain it but those who are truly steadfast.  None will obtain it but those who have great good fortune.”  (41:33-34)

A wife who is patient and understanding towards her husband in times of difficulty will earn his love and respect and more importantly she will gain the pleasure of Allah, exalted is He.

 Treating His Family Kindly

A Righteous wife should treat the family of her husbands well especially his mother.  She should meet his mother with love and affection and should treat his family as if they were her own family.  That is the quickest way to win the hearts of all those people who have close ties to the married couple.

Mourning Period

In the event that her husband passes away before her it is the duty of the wife to observe a mourning period, which lasts four months and ten days.  This is an exceptional circumstance, as the mourning period if anyone else dies must not last longer those three days.  During this period of mourning she may not wear any perfume or make up or leave the house except when absolutely necessary or if the court grants her legal permission.

It is important for both the husband and wife to realise that marriage is a give and take partnership which needs both sides to be willing to help the other, listen when needed and to comfort and support each other at all times.

Islam has provided both the husband and wife with their individual rights and it is up to them to fulfil them.

By giving each their respective rights the ingredients for a happy marriage will be fulfilled and a lifetime together of joy and happiness and be shared insha’Allah!

A husband and wife
A talk by Shaykh Abdullah Adhami

By marrying you are not just getting a husband or wife, you are getting your whole world. From now until the rest of your life your spouse will be your partner, your best friend.

Your Spouse will share your moments, your days and your years. They will share your joys and sorrows, your successes and failures, your dreams and your fears. When you are ill, they will take the best care of you; when you need help they will do all they can for you.

When you have a secret, he/she will keep it; when you need advice he/she will give the best advice. Your spouse will always be there with you. When you wake in the morning the first thing you’ll see is their eyes; during the day, he/she will be there with you, if for a moment they are not with you, he/she will be thinking of you, praying for you with all his/her heart, mind and soul; when you go to sleep at night, the last thing you see will be him/her, when you sleep you’ll see them in your dreams.

You’ll be their whole world and he/she will be your whole world.

The best description that I have ever read describing the closeness of the spouses is the Qur’anic verse which says: ‘they are your garments and you are their garments’, (surah Al Baqarah 2:187). Indeed, spouses are like garments to each other because they provide the soil has to be sustained, maintained, watered and nurtured.

Remember that the prophet peace and blessing be upon him, had found the time to go out to the desert and race with A’isha. She out ran him and later after she had gained some weight, he out ran her.

Remember that the prophet Peace and blessings be upon him took his wife to watch the young Ethiopians playing and dancing their folk dances. The show of emotions is necessary to keep the marital bond away from rusting and disintegrating.

Remember that you will Rewarded by Allah Glory to him, for any emotions you to your wife/husband as the prophet pbuh said ‘one would be rewarded for anything he does seeking the pleasure of Allah even the food that he/she puts in the mouth of his wife/husband’.

Never underestimate the importance of seemingly little things as putting food in your partner’s mouth, opening the car door for them, etc. Remember that the prophet pbuh used to extend his knee to his wife to assist her up to ride the camel.

Try to always find some time for both of you to pray together. Strengthening the bond between you and Allah glory to him, is the best guarantee that your own material bond would always remain strong. Having peace with Allah the all mighty will result in having more peace with your family.

Remember that the prophet peace be upon him gave glad tidings for those couples who woke up at night to pray together. The prophet peace and blessings be upon him urged the spouse who rises up fist to wake the other spouse up even by throwing water on their face.

Always try your best to be good to your wife/husband, by words and by deeds. Talk to him/her with kind words, smile, seek her/his advice, ask him/her opinion, spend quality time with them and always remember that the prophet peace and blessings be upon him said ‘the best of you are those who are the best to their wives’.

Finally, it is common that spouses vow to love and honour their spouses until death do part them. This vow is good or even great, but not enough! It is not enough that you love your husband/wife. You have to love what they love also. Their loved ones must become your loved ones also. Love your wife/husband even when they pass away love them forever, as we do believe that there is life after death and those who will be raised among the righteous will be joined with their spouses and offspring’s (surah al Zukhruf 43:70)

The best example is the prophet peace be upon him, whose love for Khadija, his wife of 25 years extended to include all those she loved and continued even after her death. It was many years after her death and he never forgot her and whenever a goat was slaughtered in his house he would send portions of it to Khadija’s family and friends and whenever he felt that the visitor at the door might be Khadija’s sister Hala, he would pray saying ‘Oh Allah let it be Hala’

One another with the protection, the comfort, the cover, the support, and the adornment that garments provide to humans. Just imagine a journey in the winter of Alaska without garment! Our spouses provide us with the same level of comfort, protection, cover and support in the journey of our lives on this Earth.

The relationship between the spouses is the most amazing of all human relations: The amount of love and affection, intimacy and closeness, mercy and compassion, peace and tranquillity that fills the hearts of the spouse is simply inexplicable. The only rational explanation for these most amazing of all human feelings is that: it is an act of Allah Glory be to him and ‘Allah has made for you mates (companions) of your own nature…’ (surah Al Nahl 16:72) only our Almighty Allah, Glory be to him in his infinite power, boundless mercy, and great wisdom can create and ingrain these amazing and blessed feelings in the hearts of the Spouses. In fact Allah is reminding those who search for his signs in the universe that these feelings in the hearts of the spouses are among the signs that should guide mankind to his existence as he says in the Qur’an, ‘And among his signs is this, that he created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquillity with them and he has put love and mercy between your hearts: Verily in that are signs for those who reflect’ (surah Al Rum 30:21)

But Allah Glory be to him, knows that the human heart is not a static entity; it is sometimes weak and at times dynamic. Feelings can and do change with time. Love may wither and fade away. The marital bond might weaken if not properly cared for. Happiness in marriage cannot be taken for granted; continuous happiness requires constant giving from both sides.