The Righteous Wife (Sifāt Zawjatus Sālihah) – Muhammad Shūmān | Dāwūd Burbānk

The Righteous Wife

By Muhammad Shūmān
Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood ibn Ronald Burbank (rahimahullaah)

Contents

  • Introduction to the English Edition
  • Author’s Foreword
  • The Seriousness of the Rights of the Husband
  • Encouragement of Obedience to the Husband and Seeking to Please Him
  • The Warning Against Causing the Husband to Become Angry, Disobeying his Orders and Neglecting his Rights
  • The Excellence of a Righteous Wife
  • Attributes of a Righteous Wife
  • Means to Help the Wife to Attain these Attributes
  • Epilogue

Introduction to the English Edition

All praise and thanks are due to Allaah, Lord of the worlds. May His peace and prayers be upon Muhammad and upon those who follow his Sunnah.

More than likely this book shall attract much attention. Perhaps it shall be a gift from a husband to his wife or perhaps those of us awaiting marriage will eagerly study these few pages to better understand what is expected of us and how we can strive towards it. Nevertheless there will be some who shall huff and utter annoyances under their breath claiming that yet again this is targeted at women (not men), censuring and restricting them. Unfortunately such people will rarely study the text but on flicking through these pages shall come to the conclusion that this has been written by a fanatical male Muslim to tyrannise and discredit the role of women.

In six short, concise chapters Muhammad Shūmān has brought together a collection of authentic ahaadeeth and many Aayaat to aid the Muslimah towards righteousness and advise and encourage her with regards to her husbands rights upon her and how she can attain the pleasure of her Creator by doing so. You may find some of the wording harsh, or even strange, but the fault isn’t in the text, rather in ourselves due to this society where the ‘choices’ are only the western liberal choices and hence we have become accustomed to moulding ourselves in a particular way – sometimes quite alien from Islaam.

Our duty above all is to worship Allaah, obedience to Him taking precedence over the rest of creation. If He asks us to do something then that should become an aim we try our hardest to fulfill. With this in mind, when we now approach the issue of marriage then it should be made clear that obedience to one’s husband is an Islamic duty and hence earns the pleasure of our Lord. It must be pointed out that the author has kept his own words to a minimum and instead has based this book on the Sayings of Allaah and His Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) (with the explanation of some prominent scholars) – thus the Believer has no choice but to submit to it wholeheartedly. Allaah, the Most High says,

وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ ۗ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُّبِينًا

“It is not fitting for any believing man or woman, when Allaah and His Messenger have decreed any matter that they should have any option in their affair, and whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger has strayed in plain error.” (Soorah al-Ahzaab 33:36)

If we read this and digest it with a sincere heart and recognise that there isn’t hardship imposed on the woman and ease for the man, rather that which is mentioned shall only lead to greater comfort, ease and satisfaction for both parties. A marriage which starts on the right footing where the husband and wife identify their own roles and compliment each other according to what is contained in the Qur’aan and Sunnah then theirs shall be the marriage in which there is happiness and joy – success in both worlds, for they have put their entire trust in Allaah, He who knows what benefits and rectifies the servants and what harms and corrupts them.

Although the pages are few, the lessons are many and even if we were to act on half of them we would feel an immediate change in ourselves and our homes. It is about time that a book of this nature and dealing with such an important topic has become available to the Muslim women in the west where we are in much need of instruction from the Qur’aan and Sunnah so that we can easily reject western models and replace them with the best of examples.

We hope that this book will not be misused by husbands but rather that it will serve as a reminder to them also and a warning that they are not left to their customary conduct in this affair. There is advise and encouragement for the husband to live with his wife in a good and honourable manner, taking care of her – highlighting that the success and tranquility of the marriage does not just fall upon his wife, rather it is a shared responsibility.

We ask Allaah to reward the author for this service and his efforts, and may all the Muslim women who read this try to mould their characteristics upon this noble way and may all the Muslim men help and encourage us towards attaining the rewards and excellence for being a righteous wife.

Written by
Umm Nusaybah
31st Otober 1996

Author’s Foreword

All praise is for Allaah. We praise Him, we seek His aid and we ask for His forgiveness. We seek Allaah’s refuge from the evils of ourselves and from our evil actions. Whosoever Allaah guides, there is no one who can misguide him; and whosoever Allaah misguides, there is no one who can guide him.

I testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, alone, who has no partner; and I testify that Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) is His slave and Messenger.

This treatise, “The Righteous Wife” is concise in its wording, important in its subject and valuable for the points of benefit it contains. We ask Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, to make this treatise of benefit to our Muslim sisters, and to all those who read it, and that He makes it a work done purely and sincerely to seek His Face. Indeed He is the one who gives bounteously and generously.

Written by
Muhammad Shūmān
1st Dhul-Qa’dah 1410H.

The Seriousness of the Rights of the Husband

Allaah, the Most High, says:

الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ وَبِمَا أَنفَقُوا مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ

“The men have authority over the women due to the excellence which Allaah has given to the man over the woman, and due to the wealth that they spend upon them.” [01]

Ibn Katheer says, “The man is in charge (qayyim) of the woman, i.e. he is the one in-charge of her, her chief, the one having authority over her and the one who corrects her if she inclines away from what is correct.” [02]

Abdur-Rahmaan as-Sa’ dee said (regarding the above mentioned Aayah),

“That is due to the excellence of men over women, and the eminence which they have been given over them. So the pre-eminence of the men over the women is from many aspects: holding positions of leadership and authority is particular to men, likewise Prophethood and Messengership. They are also particularised by many acts of worship such as jihaad , the eids and the Jum’ah prayers. Also due to the characteristics given to them by Allaah, the like of which are not possessed by women such as sound intellect, composure, patience and endurance. Likewise they are particularised with having to spend upon their wives, and indeed spending in many ways which are particular to the men – which distinguish them from the women. So perhaps this is the reason for His saying: وَبِمَا أَنفَقُوا  “…due to the wealth that they spend…” – and exactly what they spend is not stated to indicate that the spending referred to is general. So from all this it is known that the man is like a governor and master for his wife, and she is with him like a captive. So his role is to take care of that which Allaah has placed him in-charge of, and her role is to be obedient to her Lord and to obey her husband.” [03]

Al-Qaasimee said,

الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ ” ‘The men have authority (qawwaamoon) over the women’ [04] – qawwaamoon is the plural of qawwaam. Qawwaam is the one who is responsible for taking care of their welfare, managing their affairs and disciplining them. That is, they are in-charge of and are to take care of the manners and behaviour of the women; ordering them and forbidding them, just as the ruler is responsible for his subjects. This is due to two reasons: (i) Due to the nature which Allaah gave them, and (ii) due to the role which they carry out.

The first is indicated by the Saying of Allaah:

بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ

“Due to the excellence which Allaah has given to the man over the woman.” [05]

This refers to the relation between the men and women, and means that the men have a position of dominance over them due to the superiority which Allaah has given to the men over the women.” [06]

Allaah, the Most High, says:

وَلِلرِّجَالِ عَلَيْهِنَّ دَرَجَةٌ

“Men have a degree over the women.” [07]

Ibn Katheer said, “Meaning: in excellence; in the nature given to them; in manners; in status; in the obedience due to them; in their spending and taking care of the (women’s) welfare; and in excellence in this life and the Hereafter.” [08]

The Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

Every soul from the children of Aadam is a master; so the man is the master of his family, and the woman is the mistress of her household. ” [09]

Allaah’s Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“If I were to order anyone to prostrate to other than Allaah, I would have ordered the woman to prostrate to her husband. By Him in whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, the woman will not fulfill the rights of her Lord until she fulfills the rights of her husband; and even if he were to request her for herself (i.e. to have intercourse with her) whilst she was sitting upon a camel’s saddle [10], she should not refuse him.” [11]

The Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“It is not right that any human being should prostrate to another human being, and if it were right for a human being to prostrate to another human being I would have ordered the woman to prostrate to her husband due to the greatness of his right upon her. By Him in whose Hand is my soul, if from his foot to the crown of his head there was a wound pouring forth pus, and she (the wife) came and licked that, then she would (still) not have fulfilled his right. “ [12]

The Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“The right of the husband over the wife is such that if he had a wound, or his nostrils were pouring forth pus or blood, then she were to swallow that down – then she would (still) not have fulfilled his right.” [13]

Aboo Hurayrah, radiyAllaahu ‘anhu, reports that Allaah’s Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“It is not right for a woman to fast [14] whilst the husband is present except with his permission; [15] and whatever wealth she spends in charity without his order, then half of the reward is for him. ” [16]

Shaykh al-Albaanee said, “Since it is an obligation upon the woman to obey her husband with regard to fulfillment of his desire with her, then it is even more fitting that it is obligatory upon her to obey him with regard to that which is even more important than that – such as what pertains to bringing up the children, correcting her family and the like – all such rights and obligations.” [17]

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr said, “The hadeeth shows that the right of the husband upon the wife has priority over her performing optional good deeds, since his right is an obligation, and fulfillment of an obligation takes precedence over carrying out something optional.” [18]

Also Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, rahimahullaah, was asked about a man who has a wife who fasts during the day and stands in prayer throughout the nights. Whenever he calls her to his bed she refuses and gives precedence to praying in the night and fasting during the day over obedience to the husband. So is this permissible? Shaykhul-Islaam replied, “That is not permissible for her by agreement of the Muslims. Rather it is obligatory upon her to obey when he calls her to the bed, this is a binding obligation upon her. However standing the night in prayer and fasting during the day is optional, so how can a believing woman give precedence to something optional over an obligation… and there is no right, after the rights of Allaah and His Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) more binding upon the woman than the rights of the husband.” [19]

Mu’aadh ibn Jabal, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, said that the Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“If the woman knew the right of the husband, she would not sit when his morning and evening meals were presented until he finished. “ [20]

Encouragement of Obedience to the Husband and Seeking to Please Him

Aboo Hurayrah, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, said that the Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“If a woman prays her five (daily prayers), fast her month (i.e. Ramadaan), guards her private parts, and obeys her husband, it will be said to her, ‘Enter Paradise through whichever of the gates of Paradise you wish.'” [21]

The Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“Your women from the people of Paradise are the beloved and fertile, the one who is an asset to her husband, who if her husband becomes angry- comes and places her hand in the hand of her husband and says, ‘I will not taste sleep until you are pleased (with me). “‘ [22]

The Warning Against Causing the Husband to Become Angry, Disobeying His Orders and Neglecting His Rights

Fadaalah ibn ‘Ubayd, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, said that the Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“There are three who are not to be asked about: [23] A man who abandon s the Jamaa’ah [24] and disobeys his ruler [25] and dies in a state of disobedience – so do not ask about him; a female slave or a male slave who flees from his master; and a woman whose husband is away, and he has provided for her worldly needs, yet she adorns and displays herself [26] and roams around freely [27] without him – so do not ask about them. ” [28]

The Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“There are three whose prayers will not be raised above their ears: the runaway slave until he returns; a woman who spends the night whilst her husband is angry with her; [29] and one who leads a people in prayer and they dislike him.[30] [31]

The Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“Allaah will not Look at a woman who does not give thanks to her husband and she cannot do without him. “ [32]

Aboo Hurayrah, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, reports that the Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“By Him in whose Hand is my soul, there is no man who calls his wife to his bed and she refuses him except that the One who is in the heaven is angry with her until he (her husband) is pleased with her. “ [33]

The Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“When a woman spends the night forsaking the bed of her husband, then the angels curse her until she returns. “ [34]

The Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“If a man calls his wife to his bed and she refuses, and he spends the night angry with her, then the angels curse her until morning. “ [35]

The Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said to a woman, “Indeed he is your Paradise and your Fire.” [36] Meaning her husband.

So whichever woman obeys Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, with regard to her husband and fulfills his rights, then he will be her Paradise – meaning he will be a cause for her entering Paradise; and if she is disobedient to her husband – then the Fire.

Mu’aadh ibn Jabal, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, said that the Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“A woman does not harm her husband in this world except that his wife from the large eyed hooris (al-Hoorul ‘Een) [37] says, ‘Do not harm him, may Allaah kill you,for he is just a passing guest with you and is about to leave you and come to us.’ “[38]

The Excellence of a Righteous Wife

‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, said that the Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“All of this world is a utility and the best utility is a righteous wife. “ [39]

Sa’d ibn Abee Waqqaas, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, said that the Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“Four things are from prosperity: a righteous woman, a spacious dwelling, a righteous neighbour and an agreeable riding beast; and four things are from adversity: an evil neighbour, an evil woman, a bad riding beast and a cramped dwelling. “ [40]

Thawbaan, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, nararted, “When revelation was sent down concerning silver and gold, [41] they said, ‘So which wealth shall we possess?’ ‘Umar said, ‘I shall find this out for you.’ So he hastened upon his camel and went to the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) and I followed him. So he said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, which wealth shall we possess?’ So he (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

Let one of you possess a heart which is thankful, a tongue which makes mention of(Allaah), and a believing wife who helps one of you upon the affairs of the Hereafter.‘” [42]

The righteous wife is the one whom the Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) advised should be obtained right from the beginning. As Aboo Hurayrah, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, narrated from the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) that he said,

“A woman is married for four reasons: for her wealth; for her lineage; for her beauty; and for her religion (Deen). So marry the one who is good in her religion (Deen) – may your hands be covered in dust.” [43]  [44]

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr said, “The meaning is that what is fitting for a person upon the religion and of good manners is that the religion should be the aim which he gives importance to in all of his affairs – particularly those affairs which he will be involved in for a long period of time. So the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) commanded him to obtain a woman who is good in her practice of the religion – which is the goal that is desired.” [45]

Attributes of the Righteous Wife

1. Devotion and obedience to Allaah, the Most High, such that she fulfills His rights, such as the prayer, fasting, chastity, covering herself, withholding her gaze and so on.

2. Obedience to her husband in that which does not involve disobedience to Allaah, the Most High, such that she fulfills his rights completely, and fro m them are what has proceeded in the first chapter.

3. That she guards and preserves herself and her honour, in the absence of her husband, from the hand of anyone wishing to touch her, the eye of anyone wishing to look upon her, and the ear of anyone wishing to listen to her.

Likewise that she preserves her husband’s children, home and wealth.

Allaah, the Most High, says:

فَالصَّالِحَاتُ قَانِتَاتٌ حَافِظَاتٌ لِّلْغَيْبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ اللَّهُ

“Therefore the righteous women are obedient to Allaah and their husbands, and guard that which Allaah has ordered them to guard (their chastity and their husbands property) in the absence of their husbands.” [46]

As-Sa’dee said, فَالصَّالِحَاتُ قَانِتَاتٌ meaning they are obedient to Allaah, the Most High; حَافِظَاتٌ لِّلْغَيْبِ meaning they are obedient to their husbands even when the husbands are absent, she guards herself and her husband’s property.” [47]

The Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“If a woman prays her five (daily prayers), fasts her month (i.e. Ramadaan), guards her private parts, and obeys her husband, it will be said to her, ‘Enter Paradise through whichever of the gates of Paradise you wish. ‘” [48]

4. Serving her husband. First of all by carrying out what is required in his house, such as bringing up and educating the children, preparing the meals and the beds and so on.

From Husayn ibn Mihsan who said that my paternal aunt said,

“I came to Allaah’s Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) for some need, so he asked, ‘You there! Are you married?’ I replied, ‘Yes.’ He then asked, ‘How are you towards your husband?’ She responded, ‘I do not fall short in his service except with regard to what I am unable to do. ‘ He said, ‘Then look to your standing with him, for indeed he is your Paradise and your Fire .”‘ [49]

Here is an example of how Asmaa’ bint Abee Bakr, radiyallaahu ‘anhumaa, served her husband. She said,

“Az-Zubayr married me and he did not have any property or slaves or anything upon the earth except for a camel which drew water from the well and his horse. So I used to feed his horse, draw the water, stitch his water bucket, and prepare the dough, but I was not proficient in baking bread – so ladies from the Ansaar who were my neighbours and were honourable used to bake the bread for me. I also used to carry the date-stones upon my head, from the land given to az-Zubayr by Allaah’s Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) – and it was about two miles away. One day when I was coming with the date-stones on my head, I met Allaah’s Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) and a group of the Ansaar were with him. So he called me and said, ‘Ikh, ikh.’ [50] in order to carry me behind him upon the camel. But I felt shy to proceed along with the men, and I thought of az-Zubayr and his sense of jealousy, and he was one of the most jealous of the people. So Allaah’s Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) saw my shyness and so passed on. So I came to az-Zubayr and said, ‘Allaah’s Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) met me while I was carrying the date stones upon my head and with him were a group of his Companions. He caused his riding camel to kneel, but I felt shy and remembered your sense of jealousy.’ So he said, ‘By Allaah your having to carry the date-stones is harder upon me than that you should ride along with him.”‘ She said, “Then later on Aboo Bakr sent me a servant to look after the horse, so it was as if he had set me free.” [51]

The scholars differ with regard to the ruling about a woman serving her husband. Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said, “The scholars differed about whether she has to serve her husband with regard to the like of household bedding, preparing food and drinks, baking the bread, grinding the corn, and providing food for his slaves and cattle – such as providing fodder for his riding beast and so on. “Some of them say: It is not obligatory for her to serve him – and this is a weak saying, like the weakness of the saying that it is not obligatory upon her to live together with him and have intercourse with him! However what is correct is that it is obligatory to serve him, since the husband is her master according to the Book of Allaah, and she is a captive with him according to the Sunnah of the Prophet [52] (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم), and the captive and the slave have to serve – and this is something known.

…the Saying of Allaah, the Most High,

فَالصَّالِحَاتُ قَانِتَاتٌ حَافِظَاتٌ لِّلْغَيْبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ اللَّهُ

“Therefore the righteous women are obedient to Allaah and their husbands, and guard that which Allaah has ordered them to guard (their chastity and their husbands property) in the absence of their husbands.” [53]

“This Aayah shows that it is obligatory upon her to serve her husband unrestrictedly, including: serving him, travelling along with him , making herself available to him, and so on – just as it is obligatory to obey the parents, since the obedience due from her to the parents transfers to the husband.” [54]

5. Keeping the husbands secrets. Particularly what occurs between him and her in private – with regard to sexual matters and the private affairs within the marriage. Disclosing the husbands secrets will hurt him and anger him and this contradicts obedience to him and seeking to please him. Furthermore preserving his secrets is one of the duties of the righteous and obedient women, as described in the Saying of Allaah,

حَافِظَاتٌ لِّلْغَيْبِ

“Guarding that which (Allaah has commanded them to guard) in the absence of their husbands.” [55]

Part of their guarding what they are to guard in the absence of their husbands is that they should not broadcast their secrets.

From Asmaa’ bint Yazeed, radiyallaahu ‘anhaa, who said that she was in the company of Allaah’s Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) and men and women were sitting, and he (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“Perhaps a man mentions that which he did with his wife, and perhaps a woman informs of what she does with her husband?!” So the people were silent, so I said, “Yes, by Allaah, O Messenger of Allaah! The women certainly do that, and the men certainly do that.” He (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said, “Then do not do so, since that is just like a male devil meeting a female devil upon the way, and he has intercourse with her while the people are watching. “ [56]

6. She should appear before the husband in the best appearance, such that if he looks at her it pleases him. Aboo Hurayrah, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, narrates the Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) was asked,

“Which of the women is the best?” He replied, “The one who gives him [57] pleasure when he looks;[58] obeys him when he orders; and does not go against his wishes with regard to herself or her wealth by doing that which he dislikes. “ [59]

7. She should not spend any of his wealth or her wealth except with his permission.

From ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘ Aas, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, who said that Allaah’s Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

” It is not permissible for a woman to give a gift except with the permission of her husband. “ [60]

Al-Albaanee said, “However it is not becoming for the husband – if he is a sincere Muslim – that he should use this ruling to play the tyrant with his wife and to prevent her from utilizing her wealth in a manner which will not harm either of them. Indeed this right is very similar to the right of the girls guardian – who is such that she cannot get herself married except with his permission. But if he unjustly prevents her, then the matter is raised to the Islamic judge for justice to be attained. Likewise is the ruling with regard to a woman’s wealth if her husband oppresses her and prevents her from spending her wealth in a lawful and prescribed manner – then the judge will also bring about justice for her. So there is no problem with the ruling itself, rather the problem is in how it is misused.” [61]

8. She should not permit anyone to enter her husbands house except with his permission.

From Aboo Hurayrah, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, who said that the Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“It is not permissible for a woman to fast when her husband is present except with his permission; nor may she permit anyone to enter his house except with his permission; and whatever she spends in charity without his order – then half of the reward is for him. “ [62]

9. She should not ask her husband for divorce without a reason necessitating that.

From Thawbaan, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, who said that the Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“Whichever woman asks her husband for divorce without a strong reason – then the fragrance of Paradise will be forbidden for her. “ [63]

10. Avoidance of cursing.

Aboo Sa’eed al-Khudree, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, said

“The Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) went out to the prayer-ground for the (prayer of) Adhaa or Fitr, and he passed by the women and said, ‘O women! Give in charity,for I have been shown that you shall be the majority of the people of the Fire .’ So they asked, ‘Why is that, 0 Messenger of Allaah?’ He replied, ‘You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. ‘” [64]

11. Being thankful to the husband for the good he does and for his good treatment of his wife.

This is accomplished by good words, and by her obedience to him in what is good, and by not forgetting his good treatment and avoiding denying this, since that is one of the reasons which brings about entry into the Fire.

From Ibn ‘Abbaas, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, who said that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“I was shown the Fire and found that the majority of its inhabitants were women, due to ingratitude. It was said: “Is it that they disbelieve in Allaah?” He said: They are ungrateful to their husbands and deny the good they do. If you were to treat one of them well always, and she then saw something (displeasing) from you she would say: ‘I have never seen any good from you. ‘” [65]

Allaah’s Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“Allaah will not look at a woman who is not thankful to her husband and she cannot do without him.” [66]

12. She should not remove her clothes outside her husbands house.

Allaah’s Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“Whichever woman removes her clothes in other than her house, then Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, will tear down His cover from her. “ [67]

Al-Manaawee said, ‘”Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, will tear down His cover from her’ since because she has failed to take care of what she has been commanded with regard to covering herself from strangers, then this is the recompense she receives, the recompense being of the type of the action. What is apparent is that removal of her clothing means uncovering herself to strange males, for the purpose of sexual intercourse or that which leads to it. As opposed to the case if she were to remove her clothes amongst women, whilst covering her private parts, since there is no reason for that to enter into this warning.” [68]

13. Striving to please the husband by every possible means.

The hadeeth has already preceded containing the saying of the righteous wife, “… I will not taste sleep until you are pleased (with me).”

There also occurs in al-Kabaa’ir of adh-Dhahabee, “What is obligatory upon the woman is that she seeks the pleasure of her husband, and avoids angering him, and does not refuse him whenever he wants her. The woman must also know that she is like a slave to her husband, so she should not do anything affecting herself or her husbands wealth except with his permission. She should give precedence to his rights over her rights, and the rights of his relatives over the rights of her relatives, and she should keep herself clean and be ready for him to enjoy her. She should not boast at his expense of her beauty, nor rebuke him for any ugliness found in him. The woman must also be always modest and reserved in the presence of her husband, lower her eyes in front of him, obey his commands, remain silent when he speaks, keep far away from everything which angers him, avoid treachery when he is absent, with regard to his bed, his wealth and his house. She should ensure that her aroma is pleasant, be accustomed to using musk and perfume and cleaning her mouth with siwaak. She should be constant in adorning herself in his presence and not when he is absent. She should treat his family and relatives honourably, and consider something small from him as something great.” [69]

Means to Help the Wife to Attain These Attributes

Knowing the greatness and exaltedness of Allaah, the Most High, and that He is the True God, the One who watches over His creation, and that His Religion is the true and straight way, and the laws He had prescribed are the straight path, and to know the perfectness of His Wisdom in whatever He orders and forbids, and whatever He decrees and chooses.

Furthermore that His knowledge comprehends everything to be known, what is apparent and what is hidden: so He knows what benefits the servants and what harms them. He knows what will rectify them and what will ruin and corrupt them. He, the One free of all imperfections, is also the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy, so He does not order His servants except with that which is good for them in their Religion and their worldly-life, and brings about felicity for them in this world and the Hereafter; and He does not forbid them except from that which will bring misery for them in this world and the Hereafter.

So whatever He, the One free of all imperfections, has prescribed is a mercy and a blessing; and whoever proceeds upon that way and follows it will be one of those who are happy and successful in both worlds, and will live a fine life filled with happiness and joy, they will not be miserable at all except in those things where they contradict the commandments of their Lord, the Mighty and Majestic. Allaah, the Most High, says:

مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

“Whoever does a righteous deed, whether male or female, and is a true-Believer, we will give him a good life (by granting him contentment) and we will reward them in the Hereafter in accordance with the best of what they used to do.” [70]

He, the One free of all imperfections, says:

وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَن ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنكًا

“And whoever turns away from my reminder, then there is for him a life of hardship and wretchedness.” [71]

So if the wife is aware of the greatness of Allaah, the Most High, and His perfect wisdom, and His all-encompassing knowledge, and His extensive mercy, then she will strive to obey Him, the Majestic and Most High, and to be obedient to her husband as He has commanded her. She will hasten to fulfill his rights without hesitation or laziness, and she will not say: ‘why is it the case that the man is in authority over me?!’ ‘why do I have to obey him?!’ ‘why … why?!’

Allaah, the Most High, says:

وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ ۗ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُّبِينًا

“It is not for any believing man or woman, when Allaah and His Messenger have decreed any matter that they should have any option in their affair, and whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger has strayed in plain error.” [72]

And He, the One free of all imperfections, says:

فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

“So no, by your Lord, they cannot be Believers until they make you, 0 Muhammad, judge in all disputes between them, then they do not find any opposition in themselves against your judgements, and they accept them with full submission.” [73]

And from the means which will help her to attain the attribute of the righteous women is:

• Desire for that which Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, has prepared for the righteous women in Paradise

The comprehensive good and the huge reward which is such as has been seen by no eye, heard by no ear, nor imagined by any human heart.

• Fear of the retribution and Anger of Allaah, the One free of all imperfections and the Most High

Fear of all that He has prepared for the disobedient in the Hereafter with regard to punishment, disgrace, and severe and painful torment, may Allaah save us from that, by His grace and favour.

We have also already brought two chapters: one in encouragement of looking after the rights of the husband, and the other warning against neglecting his rights.

• Seeking the Aid of Allaah, the Most High

Since the attainment of the smallest good is not possible unless Allaah, the Most High, guides and sets one straight. Concerning this Allaah, the Exalted, says:

فَالصَّالِحَاتُ قَانِتَاتٌ حَافِظَاتٌ لِّلْغَيْبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ اللَّهُ

“Therefore the righteous women are obedient to Allaah and their husbands, and guard that which Allaah has ordered them to guard (their chastity and their husbands property) in the absence of their husbands.” [74]

So the meaning of  بِمَا حَفِظَ اللَّهُ  is:’by Allaah’s guarding and protecting them when they become like that.’ This is what at-Tabaree [75] and a group of the scholars of tafseer said.

From the greatest aids to a wife’s righteousness is:

• That she keeps company with righteous and pious women, that she listens to them, and seeks to be like them; and that she avoids the company of corrupt women, and avoids sitting with them and listening to them.

Indeed she should beware of observing their making a display of themselves, and showing their nakedness, and their evil manners, whether this is seen by means of television, video or whatever.

Allaah’s Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“The example of the righteous companion and the evil companion is like that of a seller of musk and the blacksmiths bellows. From the musk seller you will either buy some musk or at least enjoy its good smell. But the bellows of the blacksmith will either burn your house or your clothes, or at least you will receive a bad smell from it. “ [76]

An-Nawawee said, “It shows the excellence of sitting with the righteous, and the people of good, and those possessing good character and fine manners and piety, and the people of knowledge and refinement; and the forbiddence of sitting with the people of evil, and the people of innovation, and those who backbite the people, or those who are commonly involved in shamelessness and idleness, and such reprehensible folk.” [77]

Ar-Raaghib said, “This hadeeth indicates that it is a duty upon a person to strive to the utmost of his ability to accompany and sit with good people, since this may cause a bad person to become a person of good, just as accompanying evil people may turn a person from good to bad. So just as it is seen that water and air can be corrupted by being next to a rotting corpse, then what do you think will be the effect upon human souls which are such that they accept and take on the good and the evil which they see?!” [78]

Also from that which will make it easier for a woman to attain the attributes of the righteous women: is that she should choose a righteous husband, and the woman should straight away reject any proposal of marriage unless they come from a person who is good in his practice of the Religion and his manners, who is such that he will assist her upon the affairs of the Hereafter.

Allaah’s Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“If there comes to you [79] one [80] whose character and Religion are pleasing to you, then marry (her) to him; if you do not do so it will result in tribulation upon the earth and widespread corruption.” [81]

Epilogue

As it is the case that the woman is commanded to be obedient to her husband, and to seek to please him, and to take care of his rights, then it is also the case that the husband is commanded to treat her well, and with kindness, and to have patience with any bad characteristics and the like that may be seen from her. He must give her rights of provision and clothing, and that he lives with her in a good and honourable manner, as Allaah, the Most High, says:

وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

“And live with them in a good manner.” [82]

Allaah’s Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said, “Take care of the women.” [83]

He (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said, “The most complete of the Believers are the best of them in manners, and the best of them are those who are best to their women.” [84]

From Iyaas ibn ‘ Abdullaah ibn Abee Dhubaab, radiyallaahu ‘anhu , who said that the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

”Do not beat the female servants of Allaah. So ‘Umar came to the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) and said: “O Messenger of Allaah! The women have become emboldened towards their husbands. [85] So he gave permission to strike them, so they were struck. Then many women came to the wives of Muhammad (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) (complaining about their husbands), so in the morning he said: Seventy women have this night visited the family of Muhammad, each of them complaining about her husband. So you will not find those [86] [87] men to be the best amongst you.”

This concludes what we wished to draw attention to in this brief treatise, which, if Allaah wills, will be beneficial. “How free and far removed from all imperfections You are, O Allaah, and all praise is for You. I declare You free of all defects and praise You alone. I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but You. I seek Your forgiveness and turn in repentance to You.” [88]

Footnotes:

[1] Soorah an-Nisaa’ (4):34.

[2] Tafseerul-Qur ‘aanil-Adheem ( 1/194).

[3] Tayseerul-Kareemir-Rahmaan ( 1/344).

[4] Soorah an-Nisaa’ (4):34.

[5] Soorah an-Nisaa’ (4):34.

[6] Mahaasinut-Ta ‘weel (abridged) (5/1 30).

[7] Soorah al-Baqarah (2):228.

[8] Tafseerul-Qur’aanil-Adheem ( 1/271).

[9] Reported by Ibn as-Sunnee in ‘Amalul Yawmwal Laylah and it occurs in Saheehul Jaami’is Sagheer (no. 4565).

[10] They used to sit upon that whilst giving birth – as is mentioned in an-Nihaayah: “Its meaning is an exhortation for the women to be obedient to their husbands, and that it is not for them to refuse them even if they are in that state – so how about at other times? !”

[11] Reported by Ibn Maajah (no. 1853), Ibn Hibbaan (6/1 86 – Ihsaan) and Ahmad (4/381) from ‘Abdullaah ibn Awfaa. Shaykh al-Albaanee declared the chain of narration of Ahmad to be saheeh to the standard of Muslim in as-Saheehah (3/ 202).

[12] Reported by Ahmad (3/159) and others. Its chain of narration is declared to be good by al-Mundhiree in at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (3/75), and it occurs in Saheehul Jamni’ (no. 7250).

[13] Al-Bazzaar reports it (no. 1465: al-Kashf) from Aboo Sa’eed al-Khudree, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, with a good chain of narration whose narrators are reliable and famous – as declared by al-Mundhiree in at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (3/74). Also reported by Ibn Hibbaan (6/184, Ihsaan), al-Haakim (2/189) and others, and it occurs in Saheehul-Jaami’ (no. 3148).

[14] Translator’s note: i.e. optional fast.

[15] An-Nawawee said (Sharh Saheeh Muslim [7/115]), “Its reason is that the husband has the right to enjoy his wife on all days, and his right is an immediate obligation and not to be denied him due to something optional nor something obligatory which may be performed at any time.”

[16] Reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. transl. 7/94/no. 123).

[17] Aadaabuz Zifaaf, p.282, Ist. Edition.

[18] Al-Fath (9/296).

[19] Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa (32/274-275).

[20] Reported by al-Bazzaar (al-Kashf, 2/1 80) and others. It occurs in Saheehul Jaami ‘ (no. 5259).

[21] Reported by Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh (6/184 – Ihsaan) and others. Declared saheeh due to witnessing narrations in Aadaabuz Zifaaf, p.286.

[22] Sisilatul Ahaadeethis Saheehah (no. 287).

[23] This contains a warning of the seriousness of their crimes.

[24] i.e. the Sunnah and its people.

[25] The Khaleefah or those in authority on his behalf.

[26] Showing her adornment to strangers in order to commit adultery, or that which leads to it, such as seeing and touching and the like.

[27] Roaming around as she pleases intending evil.

[28] Reported by al-Bukhaaree in al-Adabul Mufrad (no. 590), Ibn Hibbaan (no. 50 of al-Mawaarid) and others. It occurs in as-Saheehah (no. 542).

[29] Due to a valid reason, such as evil manners or disobedience.

[30] Due to something that is blameworthy and censured in the Sharee’ah.

[31] Reported by at-Tirmidhee (no. 360) and others from Aboo Umaamah, radiyallaahu ‘anhu – and it is a saheeh hadeeth as mentioned by Ahmad Shaakir.

[32] Silsilatul Ahaadeethis Saheehah (no. 289).

[33] Saheeh Muslim (Eng. transl. 2/732/no. 3367).

[34] Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (Eng. transl. 7/93/no.1 22).

[35] Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (Eng. transl. 7/93/no. 12 1).

[36] Saheeh, reported by al-Haakim (2/1 89).

[37] The women of Paradise.

[38] Reported by at-Tirmidhee (no. I 174), Ibn Maajah (no. 2014) and others. It occurs in as –Silsilatus Saheehah (no. 173).

[39] Reported by Muslim (Eng. transl. 2/752/no. 3465), an-Nasaa’ee (6/69) (the wording is his), and others.

[40] Reported by Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh (no. 1232, al-Mawaarid) and others. Its chain of narration is declared saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaanee and to be of the standard of al-Bukhaaree and Muslim in as-Saheehah ( I/509).

[41] Meaning the Saying of Allaah, the Most High,  “Those who hoard gold and silver…” Soorah at-Tawbah (9):34.

[42] Reported by at-Tirmidhee (no. 3094), Ibn Maajah (no. 1856), Ahmad (5/282) and others from other than Thawbaan, and the wording of at-Tirmidhee is, “‘If we were to know which wealth to possess?’ So he said, ‘The most excellent of it is a tongue which remembers (Allaah), a heart which is thankful, and a wife who helps him with his eemaan. ‘”

[43] A phrase indicating encouragement and incitement.

[44] Reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. transl. 7/18/27) and Muslim (Eng. transl. 2/749/3457).

[45] Fathhul Baaree (91135).

[46] Soorah an-Nisaa’ (4):34.

[47] Tayseerul-Kareemir-Rahmaan (1/344).

[48] Saheeh due to supporting narrations as has preceded.

[49] Reported by al-Haakim (2/189) and others, he declared it saheeh and adh-Dhahabee agreed; and Shaykh al-Albaanee agreed with them in Aadaabuz-Zifaaf (p.285).

[50] A word said to make the camel kneel down

[51] Reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. transl. 7 / 111/no. 151) and Muslim (Eng. transl. 3/1 190/no. 5417) and others.

[52] As the Messenger of Allaah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said in the sermon of the Farewell Pilgrimage, “…treat your women well,for they are captives with you. ” Reported with this wording by at-Tirmidhee (no. l 163) and he said , “hasan saheeh. ” and Ibn Maajah (no. 185 l). Declared strong by al-Albaanee in Irwaa ‘ul Ghaleel (7/52).

[53] Soorah an-Nisaa’ (4):34.

[54] Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa (abridged) (34/90).

[55] Soorah an-Nisaa’ (4):34.

[56] Reported by Ahmad (6/456) and there are witnessing narrations which raise it to the level of being saheeh or hasan at the very least. These are mentioned by al-Albaanee in Aadaabuz Zifaaf(p.144).

[57] i.e. the husband.

[58] Meaning when he looks at her outer beauty, or at the inner beauty of her good character and how she devotes herself to obedience to Allaah and taqwaa … (As-Sindees commentary on an-Nasaa’ee).

[59] Reported by an-Nasaa’ee (6/68), al-Haakim (2/61) and Ahmad (2/25 1, 432 and 438). Al-Haakim said, “Saheeh to the standard of Muslim” and adh-Dhahabee agreed. Al-‘Iraaqee declared its chain of narration to be saheeh in Takhreejul-Ihyaa’ (2/39) and al-Albaanee declares it hasan in as-Saheehah (4/453).

[60] Reported with this wording by Aboo Daawood (Eng. transl. 2/1007/no. 3540), an-Nasaa’ee (5/65-66) and Ahmad (2.1 79 & 184). Al-Albaanee declares it hasan in as -Saheehah (2/493).

[61] Silsilatul Ahaadeethis Saheehah (2/420).

[62] Reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. transl. 7/94/no. 123) and Muslim (Eng. transl. 2/491/no. 2238).

[63] Reported by Aboo Daawood (Eng. transl. 2/600/no. 2218), at-Tirmidhee (no. 1187) who declared it hasan, ad-Daarimee (2/162), Ibn Maajah (no, 2055) and others. AI-Albaanee declares it to be saheeh to the standard of Muslim in al-Irwaa’ (7/100).

[64] Repo1ted by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. transl. 1/181/no. 30 I & 2/313/no. 541) and Muslim (Eng. transl. 2/418/no. 1931) and others.

[65] Reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. transl. 1/29/no.28; 2/91-92/no.16 & 7/95-96/ no.125) and Muslim (Eng. transl. 2/43 1-432/no.1982) and others.

[66] Silsilatul-Ahaadeethis-Saheehah (no. 289).

[67] Reported by al-Haakim (4/289) and others, and it occurs in Saheehul-Jaami’ (no.2708).

[68] Faydul-Qadeer (3/1 47).

[69] pp. 188-190, abridged.

[70] Soorah an-Nahl ( 16):97.

[71] Soorah Taa Haa (20): 124.

[72 Soorah al-Ahzaab (33):36.

[73] Soorah an-Nisaa’ (4):65.

[74] Soorah an-Nisaa’ (4):34.

[75] Jaami’ul-Bayaan (5/39).

[76]Reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. transl. 3/179/no.314; and 7/315/no.442) and Muslim (Eng. transl. 4/1383/no.6361) and others.

[77] Sharh Muslim (16/178).

[78]Quoted in Faydul-Qadeer (5/507).

[79]i.e. to the guardians of marriageable women.

[80] i.e. one asking for the girls hand in marriage.

[81] Reported by at-Tirmidhee (no. 1084), Ibn Maajah (no. 1967) and others, from Aboo Hurayrah, radi yallaahu ‘anhu. Shaykh al-Albaanee declares it hasan due to supports in as-Saheehah (3/20).

[82] Soorah an-Nisaa’ (4): 19.

[83] Part of a hadeeth reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. transl. 7/8 l/no. 114) and Muslim (Eng. transl. 2/752/no.3468) and others.

[84] Reported by at-Tirmidhee (no.1162), and he said: “Hasan Saheeh “, and Ahmad (2/250 &472) and others from Aboo Hurayrah, radiy Allaahu ‘anhu, and al-Albaanee declared it hasan in Aadaabuz-Zifaaf(p.281).

[85] i.e. become bold and disobedient, and this is to be rectified by admonition, then if necessary by abandoning them in their beds, then if necessary by striking them lightly, not in the opposite order as is done by some husbands [and see Aayah 34 of Sooratun-Nisaa].

[86] i.e. those men who beat their wives severely and frequently.

[87] Reported by Aboo Daawood (Eng. transl. 2/575/no.2141), Ibn Maajah and others. al-Albaanee said of it in Saheeh Ibn Maajah: “Hasan Saheeh”.

[88] Reported by al-Haakim ( I/537) and others from Jubayr ibn Mut’im, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, who said that Allaah’s Messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said,

“Whoever says, ‘How free and far removed from all imperfections You are, 0 Allaah, and all praise is for You. I declare You free of all defects and praise You alone. I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but You. I seek Your forgiveness and turn in repentance to You’, saying it in a sitting of remembrance (of Allaah), then it will be like a seal upon it, and whoever says it in a sitting of loose talk, then it will be an expiation for it. ”

AI-Haakim said: “Saheeh to the standard of Muslim” and adh-Dhahabee agreed, and al-Albaanee agreed in Silsilatul-Ahaadeethis-Saheehah (no.8 1).

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