Husband and Wife Relationship
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I have a question regarding husband and wife relationship in Islam. I have read many literature on the husbands rights but have seldom come across any literature which articulates a wifes right other than to be fed, clothed and sheltered?
Should a brother dictate to his wife every move she makes over and above what is required by Shari'a. Should he get angry at her for the smallest of things and push her around and shout and scream at her at the top of his voice with no consideration to others in the house or the neighbours?
This is a repeated scene. When the sister can bear no more she asks for a divorce but the brother says she has no right to it? The brother sets one set of rules to his wife and everyone and tries to dictate to everyone how they should live and yet when it suits him he bends the rules for himself.
The brother has stopped his wife from working. He spends too much money on friends and family, kafir and muslims, when he has not enough to sustain himself. He has debts to pay and has not paid the sisters Mahr yet. The sister cannot express an opinion but be attacked for it. The brother is trying to practice Islam to the best of his ability but he has a lot of personality problems. But he does not see it. He has a very bad temper which he lets loose on a daily basis mostly on the sister. As far as the brother is concerned everything is everyone else's fault.
I know this is a lenghy question.
I apologise. But there are some questions that cannot be summarized and I have tried my best to give a brief scenario. What rights does a wife have if any? Is the brothers behaviour right or wrong?
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
Husband and Wife Relationship
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Your question: What rights does a wife have if any?
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 228:Wives have the same rights as the husbands have on them in accordance with the generally known principles. And men are a degree above them; and above all is Allah, the All Mighty, All Wise.
Islam has given both man and woman certain rights, responsibilities and duties according to their nature. All the financial responsibilities of the household is the responsibility of the man. Even if his wife is a millionaire, she is not required to spend a penny of it on the household, if she does not wish to. It is the responsibility of the man to provide for her food, clothing and shelter according to his means.
In Islam, each family can be considered a small State, and Allah has appointed the man as the leader of the state, because of certain natural qualities and because they provide for the family from their means. But having been given the position of a leader in Islam does not mean that the man becomes an arrogant and oppressive dictator like the leaders of the world! In Islam, when one is made a leader, his duty is to fear Allah, and serve, protect and maintain harmony in his state, by being a just, benevolent, and a loving servant-leader.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 30 Surah Rum verse 21: And of Allahs Sign is that He has created for you wives from your own species, so that you may find peace with them, and (Allah has) created love and mercy between you. Surely in this there are many Signs for those who reflect.
Allah himself says that he has created the relationship of husband and wife, so that we may find peace and tranquility in this relationship. And Allah has put love and mercy between the spouses, in this sacred relationship of marriage. But this love, respect, harmony, peace and tranquility can only be experienced if both the husband and wife fear and obey Allah Subhanah, and give all the rights that are due to their spouses.
The Messenger of Allah (saws) said in an authentic narration: The Best amongst you, if the one who is Best to his wife.
Thus, in conclusion, what is required for a peaceful and loving marriage and a good wholesome life, is first and foremost the fear of Allah Subhanah; that one day everyone will have to stand alone in the Court of Allah Subhanah to give a full accounting of all his deeds. Once this God-consciousness and piety is developed in the person, he will always try to obey Allah and thus do all his deeds in the best manner, giving each the rights that are due to them.
Your question: Is the brothers behavior right or wrong?
From the information that you have provided us, it surely seems that the brothers behavior is wrong and unjust. The Quran and Sunnah commands the spouses in a marriage to take extreme care of each others rights, like and dislikes, needs and wants, and love, honor and cherish each other. The brother must fear Allah Subhanah, and fear his standing and accounting on an Inevitable Day in the Court of Allah, where he will be brought as an unjust oppressor and criminal.
If what you have related to us in the letter is indeed true; the sister has two options according to the teachings of Islam.
1. She may either bear these atrocities with patience, and accept these unjust atrocities as a trial from her Lord. If she can bring herself to do this, she will earn a huge reward from Allah Subhanah on the Day of Judgment; for Allah is indeed watching over everything.
2. She has the option of divorcing her husband, and if Allah Wills and has Mercy on her; He may give her another husband who is God Fearing and Pious, and will treat her with love, respect and honor as she should be treated according to the tenets of Islam. If the conditions that you have stated above are indeed true, and the sisters seeks a divorce from her husband under these conditions; there will be no sin on her.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,