The Sunnah and Human Rights

• The Rights of the Husband on the Wife (first issue)

By: Professor Fatimah bint Abdullah az-Zanati (Algeria - 2012-09-10

Allah’s Messenger clarified the rights of the husband on his wife, saying, “You have rights on your wives.” (Collected by at-Tirmithi, 1163, and Ibn Majah, 1851, and it is authentic)

 

 

            This right is only correctly observed by the righteous wife who believes in her Lord, and obeys her husband.

            Anas reported that Allah’s Messenger said, “No person should ever bow to anyone.  If it was permissible for anyone to bow to another person, it would be befitting that a woman bows to her husband, due to his great rights over her.  By Allah! If he had an ulcer seeping pus, and she sucked it out with her mouth, she would not fulfill his rights.” (Collected by Ahmad, 3/138, and it is authentic)

            First: She must obey him in everything, unless he obeys her to disobey Allah.  That is because it is not allowed to obey any creation in disobedience to Allah, but rather obedience must be in good actions.

            Obeying her husband is a means to entering paradise.  The Prophet said, “If a woman prays all five prayers, fasts Ramadhan, protects her private parts [from illegal sexual intercourse], and obeys her husband, it will be said to her, ‘Enter paradise from any door you wish.’” (Collected by Ahmad, 1/191, and it is authentic)

            Disobedience to her husband is one of the ways a woman earns the anger of her Lord, and enters hellfire.

            The Prophet said, “By He who my soul is in His Hand! There is not a man who calls his wife to his bed [for relations], and she refuses, except that those in the heavens remain angry at her until the husband becomes pleased with her.” (Collected by Muslim, 1436)

            Second: Among the rights of the husband on his wife is that she adorns and beautifies herself for him, and that she looks her best around him.

            The Prophet said, “The best of women are those that you are pleased when you look at them, when you order her she obeys and does not disobey, and she does not act with herself and money in a way which he dislikes.” (Collected by an-Nasa’i, 3231, and Ahmad, 2/251, and it is authentic)

            Third: From among his rights is that she is keen on trying to keep him happy, that she should try her best to live with him until his or her last moment, and that she should ask a divorce for a non-Islamic reason.

            The Prophet said, “The scent of paradise is forbidden for any woman who asks her husband for a divorce without harm being done to her.” (Collected by Abu Dawud, 2226, and at-Tirmithi, 1187, and it is authentic)

            Fourth: From among his rights is that she should not leave her house without his permission, and that she does not allow anyone in her house without his consent.  Allah said,

And stay in your houses.” [33:33]

            The Prophet said, “As for your rights on your wives, then they are that she does not allow anyone you dislike to sit on your couches at home, and that she should not allow in your homes whom you dislike.” (Collected by at-Tirmithi, 1163, Ibn Majah, 1851, and Ahmad, 5/72, and it is authentic)

            Fifth: From among his rights is that she protects his dignity and her honor, and that she preserves his wealth, children and home.

            Allah said, “Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands), and guard in the husbands absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husbands property, etc.).” [4:34]

            The Prophet said, “A woman is a shepherd in the house of her husband, and she is responsible for his herd.” (Collected by al-Bukhari, 4893, and Muslim, 1829)

            Sixth: From among his rights is that she gives him right in bed.  Meaning if she calls him to fulfill his need, she must answer that call unless she has a valid reason endorsed by Islam.

            The Prophet said, “If a man calls his wife for his need, she must answer that call even if she is cooking.” (Collected by at-Tirmithi, 1160, and Ibn Hibban in his Sahih, 9/473, and it is authentic.

            The Prophet also said, “By He who my soul is in His Hand! There is not a man who calls his wife to his bed [for relations], and she refuses, except that those in the heavens remain angry at her until the husband becomes pleased with her.” (Collected by Muslim, 1436)

            Seventh: From among his rights is that she does not fast voluntarily when he is present without his permission.  That is because he may want to fulfill his need during the day, and so that she would not be fasting when he wants to fulfill his need.

            The Prophet said, “It is not permissible for a woman to fast while her husband is present without his consent.” (Collected by al-Bukhari, 4899)

            Eighth: Among his rights is that she protects his secrets, and that she does not disclose any of them.  From among the most dangerous secrets that a woman exposes are those of the bed and what occurs between them therein; this is haram.

            Asma’ bin Yazid reported that she was present with the Prophet while other men and women were present sitting, and he said, “Perhaps a man will say what he does with his wife, and a woman what she did with her husband.” At that point the people quieted down, and I said, “Yes, by Allah, both the men and women do that.” The Prophet said, “Do not do that.  The likeness of doing that is a devil who meets a she-devil in the street and has intercourse with her with everyone watching.” (Collected by Ahmad in his Musnad, 6/475, and it is an authentic hadeeth)

            Ninth: From among his rights is that she protects his wealth and does not spend it without his permission.

            The Prophet said, “A woman should not spend any of her husband’s wealth without his permission.” (Collected by at-Tirmithi, 670, and it is authentic)

 

 

 

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