View Full Version : All references for Children and Wife to be obedient to the Father.

Sami G.
03-15-2010, 09:00 PM

I am looking for all references in the Quran and Hadith relating to the obedience of Children to the Father and Wives to the Husband.
I know that there are those of you who are more knowledgeable than me concerning the Quran and Hadith and so I hope that you can help me find all of these references as it is very important.

Thank you very much

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Hamza Asadullah
03-19-2010, 04:24 AM
Originally Posted by Sami G.

I am looking for all references in the Quran and Hadith relating to the obedience of Children to the Father and Wives to the Husband.
I know that there are those of you who are more knowledgeable than me concerning the Quran and Hadith and so I hope that you can help me find all of these references as it is very important.

Thank you very much

The obligation of a woman obeying her husband

It is obligatory on you O Muslim woman to obey your husband in matters of good. Abu Hurairah reported that Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

“If a woman prays her five (daily) prayers and keeps her private parts chaste and obeys her husband, she will enter Paradise from any of the doors of Paradise she wishes.” [Reported by Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh]

From Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu anhu), Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:

“It is not lawful for a woman to fast while her husband is present unless she has his permission. And she must not allow anyone in his home except with his permission.” [Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]

Also from Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu), Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:

“When a man calls his wife to bed and she does not come to him, and he spends the night angry with her, the angels curse her until the morning arrives.” [Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]

And in the report of Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:

“By the One in whose Hand my soul is, there is no man that calls his wife to bed and she refuses him, except that the One who is above the heavens is displeased with her until he (the husband) becomes content with her.”

From the rights the husband possesses over his wife is that she fulfills the duty of tending to his household and not coming out from it except with his permission. The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:

“The woman is the caretaker of her husband’s household and she will be questioned as to her responsibility.” [Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]

Another right he possesses over her is that she fulfills the duties of the household and that she does not make him hire a female servant, which will cause harm and due to which there will be a risk of danger for himself and his children.

Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah (rahimahullaah) said commenting on Allaah’s saying:

“Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in the husband’s absence what Allaah orders them to guard (i.e. their chastity).” [Surah An-Nisaa: 34]:

“This mandates the unrestricted obligation of a woman obeying her husband, in all affairs, such as serving him, traveling with him, assisting him and other matters, as is indicated in the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger.” [1]

The great scholar, Ibn Al-Qayyim, said: “Those who say that it is obligatory for the woman to serve the husband use (this ayah) as proof in that those who Allaah directed His Speech to (on this occasion) considered this to be from al-ma’roof (good). But as for the woman relaxing and having the husband serve her, sweep, grind the flour, knead the bread, wash the clothes, fix the bed, and serve the household, then that is from al-munkar (evil).

And Allaah says:

‘And they (women) have rights (over their husbands) similar to those (of their husbands) over them.’ [Surah Al-Baqarah: 228]

And Allaah says:

‘Men are the protectors and maintainers over women.’ [Surah An-Nisaa: 34]

So if a woman doesn’t serve her husband, but instead he acts like a servant to her, then this means that she is the protector and maintainer over him.”

He further said: “For indeed Allaah obligated him to spend on her, to clothe her and to provide her with a place of dwelling in exchange for his enjoying her and her serving him, as well as what the habits of the spouses call for.

Likewise, the binding marriage agreements require that the spouses live in kindness. And kindness means a woman’s serving (her husband) and taking care of the inner affairs of the household.”

And he said: “And there is no difference as to whether the woman is prestigious or lowly, or if she is poor or rich. Just look at this woman who was the most prestigious of women in the world…” [2]

He is referring to Faatimah (radiyallaahu anhaa) for she would serve her husband and come to the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) complaining to him, but he would not complain about her.



[1] Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa (32/260-261)
[2] al-Hadee (5/188-189)

AUTHOR: Shaikh Saalih bin Fawzaan Al-Fawzaan
SOURCE: His book “Tanbeehaat ‘alaa Ahkaam takhtassu bil-Mu’minaat” (pg. 97-99)
PRODUCED BY: Al-Ibaanah.com

Rights of the Husband Over the Wife

In the this section, we will discuss the following rights of the husband over the wife or obligations of the wife toward her husband:

Being head of the household
To be obeyed
Physical relations
Control over who enters the house
Wife leaves the house only with his permission
Housework and being served by his wife (two opinions)
To be shown gratitude for his efforts
She does not fast (voluntary) except with his permission

Being the Head of the Household

When one thinks of the rights of the husband, this is probably one of the first things which comes to mind. However, a serious question must be asked: Is this a right of the husband or another right of the wife? Allah said:

{Ar-rijaalu qawwaamoona 'alaa an-nisaa'i bimaa fadh-dhala Allahu ba'dhahum 'alaa ba'dhin wa bimaa anfaqoo min amwaalihim. Fa as-saalihaatu qaanitaatun haafidhaatun lil ghaibi bimaa hafidha Allahu...}

{Men are in charge of women by that with which Allah has preferred some of them over others and by that which they spend from their property. So the pious women are obedient protecting in absence that which Allah has protected...} An-Nisaa:34

The verse seems to present a great right of the husband over the wife. Upon deeper thought, it is clear that this verse actually points to a right of the wife and an obligation of the husband. The word for "in charge of" in Arabic indicates also support, protection and responsibility on the part of the husband for his wife. This does not just mean that he is the "boss" or the dictator in the house and whatever he says goes. Rather, it means that he has a heavy obligation to lead his family. Remember the hadith from the previous section, where in one version of the hadith about the "shepherds", the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) continues:

"...hattaa yus'ala ar-rajulu 'an ahli baitihi: a aqaama feehim shar'a Allahi am adhaa'a?"

"...until the man will be asked about the people in his household: did he establish among them the law of Allah or did he allow it to become lost?"

Like any kind of leader or ruler, he will be held accountable before Allah Most High: did he make the decision that is most befitting for his family in this life and the hereafter or did he simply follow his desires? Did he do what was just and right or simply do what he liked to do?

In Allah's infinite wisdom, he did not leave the basic foundation of Islamic society - the family - without organization, leadership and guidance. It is clearly upon the husband's shoulders and is his responsibility. It is upon him to fulfill that responsibility in the correct manner.

Likewise, Muslim women must learn to accept this situation and this ruling of Allah Most High. They should resist becoming like the disbelieving women, particularly in the "West", who are trying to take over as head of the household or think that it should be shared equally between the two spouses. The rapid degeneration and disappearance of the institution of marriage since the spreading of this corrupt belief is the clearest proof of all that it is not only against Allah's order and His plan for us, but also against human nature and completely out of touch with reality and unworkable. I believe that the latest figures are that over HALF of the children in the U.S. are being raised in single-parent homes!

Women who follow the kuffar and their own desires in being jealous of the man's role and trying to claim some or all of it for themselves should think about the hadith of the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam):

"La'ana rasoolu Allahi (sas) ar-rajulata min an-nisaa'i."

"Allah's Messenger (sas) cursed manly women."

Again, like all rights and obligations in Islam (in marriage and other areas), it is important that BOTH parties understand them and exert their best efforts to apply them in the way that is pleasing to Allah Most High.

To Be Obeyed

As we saw in the verse from An-Nisaa quoted previously, it is the right of the husband that his wife obey him. This obedience, however, does not include anything which is disobedience to Allah. The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said:

"Laa taa'ata fiy ma'siyatin. Innamaa at-taa'atu fiy al-ma'roofi."

"No obedience in what is sinful. Obedience is only in what is right." Muslim & Bukhari

Two things are now clear: 1) a woman is obligated to obey her husband, and 2) no Muslim may obey anyone in what is disobedience to Allah. Additionally, one strong opinion limits the required obedience of the wife to those duties being described in this chapter. In other words, the husband should not seek to control every detail of her life, even in things which have no direct impact on his rights as her husband.

What happens if there is a conflict between obeying one's husband and obeying one's parents? Scholars have taken two opinions on this matter. One that obedience to the husband always takes precedence over obedience to parents. Others have taken the position that obedience to one's parents takes precedence since Allah has described being undutiful to one's parents as one of the greatest sins after associating partners with Allah.

First of all, it is clear that the obligation of every Muslim toward their parents is very great just as the obligation of a Muslim wife to respect and obey her husband is very great. Parents should be aware that they have entered their daughter into a contract which requires her to obey her husband. Likewise, husbands should be aware of the fact that their wives have a great obligation toward their parents. When these two come into conflict, someone is probably not acting properly.

When the two do come into conflict, it seems clear that the strongest opinion is that the rights of the husband take precedence over the rights of her parents, as in the following hadith from Aisha:

"I asked the Prophet (sas): Who has the greatest right over a woman? He (sas) said: Her husband. I said: And who has the greatest right over a man? He (sas) saiid: His mother." (Al-Haakim - taken from Fiqh As-Sunnah)

Physical Relations

It is the obligation of the wife to respond whenever her husband calls her to come to bed unless there is a strong reason why she cannot. Again, like in the issue of leadership, this is the way which Allah has given us to live which is best for us - since nothing we do or do not do cannot in any way harm or benefit Allah Most High. Thus, when women resist this and insist on being the ones who call the shots in this regard or that it is somehow 50/50, it is only the two of them who will suffer. It will lead to frustration, marital discord and the husband's desire to seek fulfillment of his needs elsewhere. If he ends up turning to the haram, then a very great harm indeed has been inflicted upon society. This point is clear from many hadith, among them:

"Idhaa ar-rajulu da'aa zaujatahu li haajatihi tal ta'tihi wa in kaanat 'alaa at-tannoor."

"Whenever a man calls his wife for his desire, let her come to him even if she is occupied at the oven." At-Tirmidhi (sahih)

Thus, a wife must be responsive to her husband even if that involves the wasting of some wealth (by burning the bread). Because the social consequences of this breaking down are so serious, so the danger to a woman who fails to respect it is very serious. The Prophet (sas) said:
"Idhaa da'aa ar-rajulu imra'tahu ilaa firaashihi fa abat an tajeepa la'anathaa al-malaa'ikatu hattaa tusbiha."

"Whenever a man calls his wife to bed and she refuses to come, the angels curse her until morning." Al-Bukhari

Even extra acts of prayer and fasting must be curtailed if that interferes with a man's desire for his wife's company.

Control Over Who Enters the House

It is established from many hadith that the wife is not to allow anyone inside if she knows that her husband does not like for that person to be in the house (male or female). This is the second right of the husband over the wife, as the Prophet (sas) mentioned in the hadith:

"...Wa laa ta'dhana fiy baitihi illa bi idhnihi..."

"...And that she should not admit anyone to his house except with his permission..." Muslim & Bukhari

The permission referred to here does not have to be explicit for every individual. If the wife knows or has good reason to believe that her husband would not object to a particular individual, then she may allow them into the house.

That She Not Leave the House Without His Permission

The best place for a Muslim woman is in her house. When Allah addressed the wives of the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) and ordered them (and, by extension, all of the Muslim women) to remain primarily in their homes, he associated the desire of women to be "out" and to display themselves with the jahiliya (the age of foolishness):

{Wa qurna fiy buyootikunna wa laa tabarrujna tabarruji al-jahiliya al-oolaa wa aqimna as-salaata wa aateena az-zakaata wa ati'na Allaha wa rasoolahu...}

{And stay in your homes and do not display yourselves like the ways of the time of ignorance. And establish the prayer, pay the zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger...} Al-Ahzaab:33

The scholars of tafseer state that, although the verse is explicitly directed at the wives of the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam), the general principle applies to all Muslim women and wives in particular - that they should not leave the house except for a legitimate purpose such as going to the masjid, seeking knowledge, shoping for household needs, etc. and that if they are married, they may not do that except with their husband's permission. This is a point of very wide agreement among the scholars, although there doesn't seem to be any clear and sound hadith which states it. Although the following hadith VERY strongly indicates that this is the case:

"Idhaa ista'dhanat imra'atu ahadikum ilaa al-masjid falaa yamna'haa."

"If the wife of any of you seeks permission to go to the masjid, he may not prevent her." Muslim & Bukhari

As with any right which a person may possess, this right should be used in the right fashion and not be misused such that it leads to harm and distress.

The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said: "No inflicting of harm and no reciprocating of harm." A contemporary author, Faihaan Al-Mutairi said about this:

"If a man disallows his wife from leaving the house, out of fear and honor for her, then he must not let her feel that she is a prisoner in the house and that she was only created to serve him and serve the children. Instead, he must choose a day out of the week, or less or more, according to the need and ability, to walk with his wife and children in a place that is free of temptations so that they may become happy in their hearts and out of fear of boredom. The one who studies Shari'a finds this aspect to be very clear, that is, the aspect of one sproting with his wife and trying to make her happy.

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) went out with his wife, the Mother of the Believers, Aisha(R.A.) and raced with her. It is confirmed that Aisha said: "The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) raced with me and I beat him. After a while when I became heavier, he raced me and beat me and said: This one is for that one."

So those Muslims who expect their wives to stay in the house 24 hrs. per day and 7 days per week are not truly following the sunnah. Rather, they have invented an innovation which will only server to drive women and children away from Islam.


The rights which have been stated so far are non-controversial and agreed upon among the scholars. The duty of the wife to take care of housework such as cooking, cleaning and generally serving her husband in the house is an issue about which there are different opinions. Definitely, this is and has always been the custom of the Muslims, all the way back to the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) and his Companions. It is part of the ihsaan (good treatment) which should be exchanged between husband and wife. That is not quite the same, however, as saying that it is the husband's right. If that is the case, then she would be committing a sin if she failed to fulfill it.

Clearly, the safe way is the way of all of the female Companions of the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) who used to serve their husbands in this regard. If they had servants to help them, fine. If not, they used to handle the housework, cooking and cleaning. The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) himself, our best example in this regard, used to help his wives with these chores.

There are many scholars on both sides of this issue as to the obligatoriness of these services. The strongest argument that they are is the following hadith of Husain ibn Muhsin that the Prophet (sas) asked his aunt if she was married. When she answered in the affirmative, he said:

"How are you with respect to him?" She answered: 'I do not fail in obeying him save in those things that I am incapable of doing.' The Prophet (sas) told her: "Look to how you are with respect to him for he is your paradise and your hell-fire." Ahmad & others

This hadith is proof that a woman must serve her husband according to her ability, the first of such obligations is the bringing up of the children.

To Be Thanked for His Actions

Gratitude is one of the most important characteristics of a believer. A Muslim is grateful both to Allah for His infinite mercies and also to people who do well by him/her. The Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said:

"Inna ashkaru an-naasi lillahi tabaaraka wa ta'aala ashkaruhum lin-naasi."

"The most grateful people to Allah Blessed and High are the most thankful of them to others." Ahmad

"Laa yashkuru Allaha man laa yashkuru an-naasi."
"Those who do not thank people do not thank Allah." Abu Daud & others

Although it is an obligation of the husband to look after his wife, this does not mean that she should not be thankful to him for his kindness and his efforts in looking after her welfare and happiness. This is something fundamental which should exist between husband and wife. Each of them should acknowledge the efforts of the other, show them gratitude and repay them in kindness. Allah said:

{Hal jazaa'u al-ihsaani illa al-ihsaanu}

{Is the reward for good deeds extended anything other than good deeds (returned)} Ar-Rahman:60

It would seem from various hadith that it is specifically necessary for the wife to remind herself of this principle. Perhaps since a large part of the husband's contribution to the household takes place as working outside of the home, she may tend to overlook it.

This seems to be a common characteristic of women as can be seen in the following hadith of the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) after his night journey to see heaven, hell and Jerusalem:

"...wa ra'aitu akthara ahlihaa an-nisaa'a. Qaaloo lima yaa rasoola Allahi. Qaala: Bi kufrihinna. Qeela: Yakfurna billahi? Qaala: Yakfurna al-'asheera wa yakfurna al-ihsaana lau ahsanta ilaa ihdaahunna ad-dahra thumma ra'at minka shai'an qaalat maa ra'aita minka khairan qattu."

"...and I saw most of its inhabitants (i.e., hell-fire) women. They said: Why, O Messenger of Allah? He said: Because of their kufr. It was said: Their kufr toward Allah? He (sas) said: Their kufr toward their mate and they commit kufr (ingratitude) of good deeds extended even if you extend good deeds to one of them forever but then she sees something from who (which she dislikes) she says: I have never seen any good from you." Muslim & Bukhari

In another hadith, the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) warns wives in a similar manner:

"Laa yandhuru Allahu ilaa imra'atin laa tashkuru li zawjihaa wa hiya laa tastaghniy 'anhu"

"Allah does not look at a woman who does not thank her husband while she cannot do without him." Al-Hakim

She Does Not Fast (Voluntary) Without His Permission

The Prophet (sas) said:"Laa yahillu lilmar'ati an tasooma wa zawjuhaa shaahidan illa bi idhnihi."

"It is not lawful for a woman to fast while her husband is resident except with his permission." Muslim & Bukhari

Conclusion:The Importance of Fulfilling the Husband's Rights
The Prophet (Pbuh) gave an all-encompassing advice to Muslim women in the following hadith:

"Idhaa salat al-mar'atu khamsahaa wa saamat shahrahaa wa hasunat farjahaa wa ataa'at zawjahaa qeela lahaa udkhuliy al-jannata min ayyi abwaabi al-jannati shi'ti."

"When any woman prays her five, fasts her month, guards her body and obeys her husband it is said to her: Enter paradise from whichever of its doors you wish." Ibn Hibban

03-19-2010, 04:48 AM
^ The husband has more rights over his wife than her parents do? I never knew that.

Hamza Asadullah
03-19-2010, 05:57 AM
:sl: since i have posted the rights of the husband over the wife it is only right that i also post the rights of the wife over the husband:

Rights of the Wife Over the Husband

Dowry (Mahr)

This right of the wife has been discussed in some detail. Allah said in the Qur'an:

{Wa aatoo an-nisaa'a saduqaatihinna nihlatan. Fa in tibna lakum 'an shai'in minhu nafsan fa kuloohu hanee'an maree'an.}

{And give women their dowries as a gift. Then, if they are pleased to give some of it to you, consume it with good health and enjoyment.} An-Nisaa:4

The payment of the dowry to the wife is an obligation and a debt upon the husband until he pays it and there is no escaping it unless the wife freely and willingly gives up her right to it. In the past, and in many cases today, the father tries to take the mahr away from his daughter. In the jahiliya, this was justified by saying that the father was merely recouping all the expenses he put forth for his daughter who is now a member of another family and benefits them.

Nowadays, it occurs often in this country that the husband tries to take back the dowry (if it is even paid in the first place) or make use of it in forms of spending which were obligatory upon HIM in the first place. This is a lowly practice and is completely forbidden unless she explicitly allows it without any coercion or pressure. Otherwise, it is HER property and she may dispose of it (or not) as she alone sees fit.

Support (Nafaqah)

Allah says:

{...Wa 'alaa al-mauloodi lahu rizquhunna wa kiswatuhunna bi al-ma'roofi laa tukallafu nafsun illa wus'ahaa...}

{...And upon the father is the mother's sustenance and her clothing according to what is reasonable. No person shall have a burden on him greater than he can bear...} Al-Baqara:233

Her support is one of the most important rights of the wife over her husband. Ibn Katheer commented that the above verse implies that he must provide for her without extravagance nor the opposite, according to his ability and the standards set by his society at his time. When the Prophet (sas) was asked by a man, "What is the right of our wives upon us?", he (sas) answered:

"An yut'imahaa idha ta'ima wa an yaksoohaa idhaa iktasaa wa laa yadhribi al-wajhi wa laa yuqabbih wa laa yahjur illa fiy al-baiti."

"That he should feed her whenever he eats and cloth her whenever he clothes himself, that he not hit her face, that he not call her ugly and that he not boycott her except within the house." Ibn Majah

A woman is even allowed to take from her husband's property without his knowledge if he falls below this basic level of supporting her. In a hadith recorded in Muslim and Bukhari, the Prophet (sas) told Hind bint Utbah, after she complained that her husband, Abu Sufyan, was stingy and was not maintaining her and she asked if she could take from his property without his knowledge:

"Khudhiy maa yakfeeka wa waladaki bi al-ma'roofi"

"Take was is sufficient for you and your child according to what is customary." Muslim & Bukhari

Support of one's wife is one of the most important obligations of the husband. It is one of the distinguishing aspects of "husbandhood". Allah said in the Qur'an:

{Ar-rijaalu qawwaamoona 'alaa an-nisaa'i bimaa fadh-dhala Allahu ba'dhahum 'alaa ba'dhin wa bimaa anfaqoo min amwaalihim...}

{Men are in charge of women because of what Allah has given to some more than others and because they support them from their property.} An-Nisaa:34

If a husband does not support his wife, she has no obligation to fulfill her obligations to him. If a woman goes to a judge and shows that her husband will not support her, the judge may immediately separate them according to numerous scholars.

The verse makes clear that the man being "in charge" goes back to the two causes mentioned. This means two things:

1) both men and women need to be aware of this right and this obligation and that the woman is under no obligation to stay in the marriage if she is not supported - regardless of his wealth and hers and

2) Muslim society must be organized in such a way that Muslim men are able to get the means to support a wife.

This second point is critical. If society reaches a state where women are more able to earn a living than men, this will undermine the "in charge" status of many men in their households. It wil in fact undermine the Islamic household altogether. This is what is happening in virtually every Muslim land today with U.N. and other organizations giving primary attention to helping women to be economically viable and independent even when a large percentage of the men still cannot find the means to support a family. (It is the same destruction they inflicted on families in the U.S. in the 50's 60's with the welfare system.) The corrupting influence this will have on society as a whole cannot even begin to be described.

Women are absolutely ALLOWED in Islam to pursue business ventures (the Prophet's first wife Khadija was a major business woman in Makka), employment and other means of earning money. They are, in fact, needed in various sectors such as women doctors and women teachers. However, facilitating the ability of men to earn a living and support a family is the FIRST priority in an Islamic society. All economic planning and social/economic programs must be in line with this principal.

Kind and Proper Treatment

Allah says:

{...Wa 'aashiroohunna bi al-ma'roofi fa in karihtumoohunna ta 'asaa an takrahoo shai'an wa yaj'ala Allahu feehi khairan katheeran.}

{...And consort with your wives in a goodly manner for, if you dislike them, it may well be that you dislike something which Allah makes a source of abundant good.} An-Nisaa:19

Commenting on this verse, Ibn Katheer wrote:

"That is, have kind speech for them, deal with them with kind deeds and in a beautiful manner to the best of your ability. In the way that you love that from them, behave in that way towards them. As Allah has said, "They have rights similar to those upon them according to what is right" (Al-Baqarah:228).

The Messenger of Allah (sas) said: "The best of you is the best of you to his wives and I am the best of you to my wife."

It was from his behavior that he would treat them in a beautiful fashion, with a smiling face. He would sport with his wives, be gentle with them and spend generously upon them. He would laugh with his wives and he even raced Aisha... Every night, he would gather his wives together in the house of the one with whom he (sas) was going to spend the night and eat dinner with them on occasion... After he prayed the night prayer, he would enter his house and talk to his wife a little bit before sleeping, making them comforted thereby. And Allah has said: {You have in the Messenger of Allah the best example.}"

Part of the problem is Muslims buying into the fantasy world being propagated in television, movies and other media. The hadith about the rib makes it clear that it is rare to find a "perfect wife" and in the same manner, no woman should expect to find the "perfect husband". If one is living in some fantasy world, they are apt to be greatly disappointed with real life.

Physical Relations

In Sahih Ibn Hibban, the following was narrated:

"The wife of 'Uthman ibn Madh'oon complained to the Messenger of Allah (sas) that her husband had no need for women. During the days he would fast and at night he would pray. The Prophet (sas) asked him: "Am I not the best example for you to follow?" He answered: "Certainly, may my father and mother be sacrificed for you." The Prophet (sas) then told him: "As for you, you pray during the night and you fast during the day. Certainly, your wife has a right upon you and your body has a right upon you so pray and sleep and fast and break your fast."

There are several similar incidents narrated where Companions of the Prophet (sas) gave similar decisions in similar situations. In one story which took place in the presence of Umar, the Companion who was judging told the husband that since Allah had given him the right to four wives and he had only one that he could practice his praying and fasting three out of four nights, but that at least one in four had to be reserved for his wife.

Not to be Beaten

It is the right of the Muslim wife that she is not to be struck except in the case of nushooz (rebellion against the husband's authority). Even in that case, the husband is only allowed to "strike" her, but in a way which does no harm, similar to the proper disciplining of a child. It is never lawful for him to strike her face or cause her any bruise or injury. Allah says in the Qur'an:

{...Wa allaatiy takhaafoona nushoozahunna fa'idhoohunna wahjuroohunna fiy al-madhaaji'i wadhriboohunna fa in ata'nakum falaa tabghoo 'alaihinna sabeelan inna Allaha kaana 'aliyyan kabeeran.}

{...And (as for) those (women) from whom you anticipate rebellion, admonish them, avoid them in the sleeping place and hit them. If they obey you, do not desire and further way to (harm) them. Surely, Allah is Knowing, Great.} An-Nisaa:34

It is incomprehensible how so many translators have translated the word "wadhriboohunna" in the above verse as "beat them" or, even more laughable:
"beat them [lightly]". This is wrong, wrong, wrong.
It is an abomination which has caused much misunderstanding and opened the door to the enemies of Islam. The word in Arabic means to "strike" or "hit". It inludes everything from a tap with a tooth-stick to what in English we call beating. If it is stated that so-and-so "hit" so-and-so without further description, it would be assumed to be a single blow and it could be of any magnitude.

When the Prophet (sas) took a tiny stick and tapped one of the Muslims on the stomach to straighten the ranks in preparation for war, he "hit" him with this meaning. Contrast this to the English phrase: "beat them". The meaning is totally different. If you took a shoe lace and hit someone on the hand with it, you could properly say dharabtahu in Arabic but in English you could never say that you had "beaten" that person. Please get this straight and correct anyone you hear distorting the meaning of this verse in this way.

The verse mentions admonition, boycotting and hitting in the case of nushooz. This refers to a rebellion against the husband's authority within the marriage which amounts to a breach of the marriage contract on her part. Ibn Taimia said about this:

"Nushooz in the verse: {...And (as for) those (women) from whom you anticipate rebellion (nushooz)...} means that she is recalcritrant to her husband and she is estranged to him inasmuch as she does not obey him when he calls her to bed, or she leaves the house without his permission and other similar things in which she is required to obey him."

Many scholars have stated that the three steps must be taken sequentially, i.e, admonition then separation in sleeping and finally hitting, making hitting a last resort only in extreme situations. Thus the vast majority of whan men do to their wives in spontaneous fits of rage often over trivial issues is absolutely haraam and not sanctioned by Islam in any way. An-Nawawi said about his:

"At the first indication of disobedience to marital authority, a wife should be exhorted by her husband without his immediately breaking off relations with her. When she manifests her disobedience by an act which, although isolated, leaves no doubt to her intentions, he should repeat his exhortations and confine her to the house but without striking her... Only when there are repeated acts of disobedience may a husband strike his wife."
As we said, this can NEVER be a "beating". A husband is never allowed to strike his wife in any way which causes injury or leaves any kind of mark. The Prophet (sas) said:

"Fattaqoo Allaha fiy an-nisaa'i fa innakum akhadhtumoohunna bi amaani Allahi wa istahlaltum furoojahunna bi kalimati Allahi wa lakum 'alaihinna an laa yooti'na furushakum ahadan takrahoonahu fa in fa'alna dhaalika fadhriboohunna dharban ghaira mubarrihin wa lahunna 'alaikum rizquhunna wa kiswatuhunna bi al-ma'roofi."

"So beware of Allah regarding women for you have taken them as a trust from Allah and you have made their bodies lawful with the word of Allah. You have the right over them that they should not allow anyone on your furnishings who you dislike. If they do that, hit them in a way which causes no injury. And, they have the right over you to provision and clothing according to custom." Bukhari & Muslim


It is actually the right of both spouses that the other not discuss their private moments with anyone else. Note the following sahih hadith:

"Is there any man among you who goes to his wife, closes the door behind them, covers themselves and conceal themselves by Allah's concealing?" They said: "Yes." He then said: "Then he sits after that [with others] and says, 'I did this and that.'" They were silent. He then turned to the women and said: "Do any of you talk about such things?" They, too, were silent. Then a young girl stood up on her toes so the Prophet (sas) could see her and hear her and she said: "O Messenger of Allah they [the men] certainly talk about that and they [the women] also talk about it." He (sas) said: "Do you know what they are like? They are like a female devil who met a male devil in the street and they satisfied their desires with the people looking on." Abu Daud (sahih)


If a man has more than one wife, he is required to do justice between them in terms of physical things (housing, clothing, food, etc.) and nights spent with each. Allah said:

{Wa lan tastatee'oo an ta'diloo baina an-nisaa'i wa lau harastum. Fa laa tameeloo kulla al-maili fa tadhharuhaa ka al-mu'allaqati. Wa in tuslihoo wa tattaqoo ta inna Allaha kaana ghafooran raheeman.}

{And you will not be able to effect justice between the women no matter how hard you try. So do not incline [toward some] completely such that you leave [another] as if suspended. And if you reform and fear Allah, surely Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.} An-Nisaa:129

The Prophet (sas) indicated that there are forms of justice which are required just as there are forms of justice which are beyond human ability. Those which are required are money, housing, cloting and the like as well as nights spent with her. Those beyond human ability are feelings of the heart and things like that. He (sas) said:

"Allahumma hadhaa qismiy feemaa amliku falaa talumniy feemaa tamliku wa laa amliku."

"O Allah, this is my division in what I control, so do not blame me regarding that which You control and I do not." Abu Daud (some graded it weak, others graded it hassan).

Also, the Prophet (sas) warned of the dangers of not fulfilling justice where it is required between wives, saying:

"Man kana lahu imra'taan fa maala ilaa ihdaahumaa jaa'a yauma al-qiyamati wa shiqquhu maa'ilun."

"Whoever has two wives and favors one of them will be resurrected on Qiyama with one of his sides hanging down." Abu Daud (sahih)

To Be Taught Her Religion

The Prophet (sas):

"Kullukum raa'in wa kullukum mas'oolun 'an ra'iyyatihi. Al-imaamu raa'in wa mas'oolun 'an ra'iyyatihi wa ar-rajulu raa'in tiy ahlihi wa huwa mas'oolun 'an ra'iyyatihi."

"All of you are shepherds and all of you will be asked about your wards. The ruler is a shepherd and shall be asked about his wards. The man is a shepherd of his family and will be asked about his ward." Bukhari

Knowledge in Islam is of two types: 1) that which is obligatory upon each and every Muslim and 2) that which must be learned by some among the Ummah. Of the first type, it is obligatory for every Muslim woman to know her beliefs, how to pray, how to fast, as well as issues particular to woman such as how to purify herself from her monthly course, etc. She must also know her obligations toward parents, her husband (and his obligations toward him), her children, her neighbors, etc. as well as her rights over each of those.

It is the obligation of the husband to make sure that she acquires all the knowledge which it is obligatory for her to acquire. If this means that he has to spend money on books or tapes, then he must do so. The scholars have emphasized the importance of this right of women to the extent that many of them have given her permission to leave the house to attend a lecture at the masjid even without her husband's permission.

It is well-known that the Prophet (sas) said that seeking knowledge is incumbent upon every Muslim mail and female. Allah said in the Qur'an:

{Yaa ayyuhaa alladhina aamanoo qoo anfusakum wa ahleekum naaran waqooduhaa an-naasu wa al-hijaaratu 'alaihaa malaa'ikatun ghilaadhun shidaadun la ya'soona Allaha maa amarahum wa yaf'aloona ma yu'maroona.}

{O you who believe guard yourselves and your family members from a fire whose fuel is people and stones. Over it are tough and fearsome angels. They do not disobey Allah in any order they carry out that which they are ordered to do.} At-Tahreem:6

Part of the meaning of this verse is that the husband/father (the "shepherd" of the household) must take all necessary means to ensure that all those under his guardianship (wives and children) have the opportunity and the means to acquire all the knowledge they need to worship Allah and live their lives as Allah has prescribed that we live our lives. If he has fulfilled that, then he has fulfilled his obligation and will not be asked about the sins of his wife and children. If he fails to fulfill this, then he himself will be asked about their sins and their going astray based on HIS shortcomings in not fulfilling his obligations in this regard.

In another version of the hadith about the "shepherds", the Prophet (sas) continues:

"...hattaa yus'ala ar-rajulu 'an ahli baitihi: a aqaama feehim shar'a Allahi am adhaa'a?"

"...until the man will be asked about the people in his household: did he establish among them the law of Allah or did he allow it to become lost?"

To Defend Her Honor

A man should be "jealous" with regard to his wife's honor and standing. He should defend her whenever she is slandered or spoken ill of behind her back. Actually, this is a right of every Muslim in general but a right of the spouse specifically. He should also be jealous in now allowing other men to look at his wife or speak with her in a manner which is not appropriate. The Prophet (sas) mentioned in a sahih hadith that "Three will never enter paradise... ad-dayyooth." Ad-dayyooth (sometimes translated "henpecked") is the weak husband who has no jealousy toward his wife and other men.

"Jealousy" in this sense means fervor for the boundaries of Allah and anger when they are transgressed. The Prophet (sas) said:

"Inna Allaha yughaaru wa inna al-mu'mina yughaaru wa ghairatu Allahi an ya'tiya al-mu'minu maa harrama 'alaihi."

"Verily, Allah has jealousy and the believer has jealousy. Allah's jealousy is due to a believer committing that which He has forbidden him." Muslim

This does not mean, however, that a Muslim should go overboard on this point suspecting his wife at every turn and trying to spy on her. This becomes Adh-dhann (suspicion) which the Prophet (sas) warned us about in the following hadith in Bukhari and Muslim:

"Iyyaakum wa adh-dhanna fa inna adh-dhanna akdhabu al-hadith."

"Stay away from suspicion for suspicion is the most lying of speech."


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