The family is the foundation of the community, and from it nations are produced which then spread and increase. The core of the family is the husband and wife; Allah says that (which translates as): "O Mankind! Indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another..."
Allah has made the family a place where people resort to for peace, tranquility and stability. Marriage is the means to increase the population of the earth, to attain tranquility of the heart and to enjoy the pleasures of life. The marital home organises ones life and establishes chastity and protection; Allah has made marriage a way of joining different and distant families; Allah assured us that this is a sure way of increasing ones provisions, as He says: "... If they [i.e., your wives] should be poor, Allah will enrich them from His bounty ..."
Married couples have many worries, but good treatment and kindness to each other make them disappear; Allah says: "...And live with them [i.e., your spouses) in kindness. For if you dislike them - perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good"
The condition of one's family is constantly fluctuating between calm and complaint and contentment and discontent; man should always forgive mistakes and overlook shortcomings and be kind and compassionate, because woman was created from a bent rib. It is by persevering and being patient through that which the husband hates of the wife's behaviour that things improve. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said: "Take good care of women, for they were created from a bent rib, and the most curved part of it is its top; if you try to straighten it you will break it, and if you leave it, it will remain arched, so take good care of women."
(Bukhari & Muslim).
Whoever comes from a kind and compassionate background will have a tender heart and so such men must bear in mind that their wife is the one who gave birth to his children, takes care of his wealth and maintains his secrets. So be kind to your wives and openly express your joy for smiling livens the heart and wipes away hatred and praising the wife for her appearance, cooking and adornment wins her heart. Moreover, Islam has allowed husbands to lie to their wives in order to increase the love between them.
Exchanging gifts is the key to winning a heart and is a reflection of one's love. Being easy upon one's wife, abandoning ambiguity and bad communication and arrogance are ways to achieve a lasting happy marital life. 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said: "A man should be like a child with his wife, happy and easy going, but when he sits with men, he should act as they do."
Be an upright and straightforward man and your wife will thereby also improve and become more righteous, by the will of Allah; do not look at that which is unlawful for you to do so, because the evil consequences of this sin will impact upon your house; Watching women on satellite television causes one's wife to appear ugly and unpleasant, and lowers one's rank in her sight, which is a reason why hearts become distant and love diminishes, which in turn causes conflicts to emerge.
Deal with your wife as you would like her to deal with you in all areas, because it is natural that she would like you to be with her as you would like her to be with you, Ibn 'Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: "I like to take care of my appearance for my wife just as I would like her to beautify herself for me."
Listen to your wife's criticism with an open mind and heart because the wives of the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, would discuss his opinions without him becoming angry.
Also a husband should not take from his wife's wealth without her permission, because it belongs to her; treat her kindly and be generous with her and do not be stingy; remember that your wife likes to talk to you regarding all her affairs, so be attentive and listen to her, indeed this is a reflection of perfect manners; never go home with a gloomy face because your children need to clearly see your love and sympathy; be kind to your children and make them enjoy your presence, guidance and instructions and always listen to them.
Whenever the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam would see Faatimah, may Allah be pleased with her, he would say "Welcome, O my daughter!" then he would seat her to his right or left.
Being kind to the members of one's household reflects real manhood, as Al-Baraa', may Allah be pleased with him, said: "I entered upon Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, in his house; he saw his daughter 'Aa'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, lying down with a fever, so Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, kissed her on the cheek and asked: 'How are you feeling my daughter?' (Bukhari).
Helping at home is a sign of one's faithfulness; 'Aa'ishah may Allah be pleased with her, was asked what the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam would do while at home, she replied, 'He was just like any other human being, he would sew his garment, milk the sheep and serve himself.' (Ahmad).
Being generous with one's family is the best charity that one can give and time spent with one's friends should not be at the expense of that with one's family, for they are worthier to spend one's time with. Never remind your wife with mistakes that she may have made, nor hint about her shortcomings; conceal your problems from the children because it has a negative affect on them and reduces the respect they have towards their parents.
Anger is the cause of all disputes, and the relation between a man and his wife is far too valuable to ruin in a moment of anger; remain silent whenever you become upset and remember that forgiveness is closer to piety and wisdom, 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said: "Women should be kept at home and their anger dealt with by remaining quiet."
The rights of the wife are great and only a noble man will fully honour his wife and respect her. 'Aa'ishah may Allah be pleased with her, said: "The Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam would always mention Khadeejah, and he would always slaughter sheep, divide them, and then distribute it among her friends, He did this so much that I once said to him: 'You act as though there are no other women apart from Khadeejah'" (Bukhari).
The smart wife is the one who makes her heart an abode of relaxation and tranquillity for her husband, and who makes him feel joy just by talking to her; she lives with him in contentment and deals with him kindly. She obeys him in all matters except when it entails disobedience to Allah and she acknowledges the favours that he has done for her.
Also, she fulfils all her rights and accepts that he has a superior standing and a higher rank than her, as the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam said: "If I were to command anyone to prostrate to another human, then I would have commanded the wife to prostrate to her husband." Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy upon him, said commenting upon this Hadith: "There is no right after those of Allah and His Messenger sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam which is of a higher priority to fulfil than that of the husband."
The righteous wife reminds her husband about Allah when he becomes heedless; if she sees that he is becoming indulged in this life, she reminds him of the Hereafter; she helps him through the hardships of life and never exposes his secrets; she always obeys him and supports him in his dutifulness to his parents because she realises that they were the ones who raised and cultivated him; she seeks her Lord's pleasure by pleasing her husband and never focuses on his mistakes or exposes his shortcomings.
She looks after him when he is present and absent; she honours him when he is around and defends him when he is absent; she never overburdens him with unnecessary expenses; her main concern is to please Allah by virtue of pleasing her husband; she cultivates his children upon righteousness and never disobeys any of his commands.
The Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam gave his wife Khadeejah, may Allah be pleased with her, glad tidings of a house in Paradise which is made out of pearls and in which there will be no displeasure nor anxiety; Imaam Ibn Katheer, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: "This was because she never raised her voice over that of the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam and was never displeased with him, even for a day, and she never harmed him in any way".
A wise woman once advised her daughter at the time of her wedding by saying: "O my daughter! You will never get what you desire from him until you give precedence to his pleasures over yours and his desires over yours whether you like them or hate them."
Chastity is the core of a noble life, and the real beauty of a wife is realised when she remains at home, as 'Aa'ishah may Allah be pleased with her, said: "It is better for the woman that men never see her and she never sees them."
A religious woman who is obedient to her Lord will never deal with her husband with arrogance, nor will she rebel against his guardianship; she will never try to assume his role; she always seeks his comfort and is always at his service; she will never go to sleep while he is angry with her, until she has pleased him, because she realises that her success and her gaining of Paradise is subject to her obedience to her husband, along with fulfilling her obligations to her Lord.
Gratitude for a favour from Allah can never be expressed by sinning; the wedding night is one of the greatest favours of Allah upon the husband and the wife, and it is impossible that one's gratitude to Allah for it is expressed by the women being practically nude (i.e., wearing clothes that expose too much of the body) even if that is only in front of other women, for this is a contradiction of chastity and bashfulness. We must know that women are weak and must be prevented from doing such acts by their guardians.
Music during weddings is also prohibited, except that which Islam has made permissible, such as women beating a tambourine; Photography is also prohibited and the person doing it is cursed and promised Hell, as the Prophet sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, said: "Every depicter (of animate object) is in Hell." It is possible that photographs of women could accidentally get into the hands of those for whom it is not permissible to view, which would lead the marital house being ruined. Moreover, the scholars of Islam have ruled that this is forbidden.
Also, accepting an invitation to a wedding which includes prohibitions is not permissible unless one is sure that they can prevent such prohibitions from taking place. We must also know that excessive expenditure during weddings and flaunting this has a very bad effect on the husband and is one of the traps of Satan, if only people would spend this money to build a home for the couple or pay off the husbands debts, then it would be much better for them.
Some women are too shy to complain, their screams are hidden deep within their wounded hearts; their lives are an emotional struggle, they go to bed with worry and sorrow, the concern for their valuable days and nights keeps them awake; every sunset makes them feel desperate and anxious that they will not fulfil their dreams - that of enjoying a happy married life; their fear is that they will become spinsters and never enjoy marital bliss or motherhood; they fear that their lives will be wasted due to the impossible conditions set for their marriage, which any potential husband could never agree to.
Other women have preferred the completion of their studies to getting married and have then suddenly realised that men are not interested in them anymore because they are too old; what is the value of a degree that deprives a woman of a husband and children?
Some fathers have oppressed their daughters and made them suffer by delaying their marriages out of greed; some wanted usurp their daughter's salary; others forcefully make their daughters marry their cousin in accordance with oppressive traditions and customs which contradict Islam.
Let us live Islam practically so that our young men and women will prosper by having early marriages, and let us facilitate their marriages in order for our communities to develop and be safeguarded against immorality, because every day new trials emerge which makes this an ever more serious issue.
From a khutbah by shaykh Abdul-Muhsin al-Qaasim