Friday, October 2, 2009

Islam and Marriage #3: Rights and Duties of Spouses Part 2: The Husband’s Rights, The Wife’s Obligations

One of the main duties of a wife in Islam is to contribute to the success and happiness of the marriage. She must attend to the comfort and well-being her husband, as prescribed in this verse of the Quran: "Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous." (Quran 25:74)

An Islamic wife must be faithful, honest and trustworthy towards her husband. Moreover, she must not deceive her husband. She must not let strange males in her home without his knowledge or consent, and she must not be alone with strange males. Additionally, she should not accept gifts from other men without his approval.

An Islamic wife should not do anything to make her husband jealous or suspicious of her in any way. Moreover, she may not dispose of any of his belongs with his permission as this would violate the trust between the two.

A wife should try to make herself sexually attractive to her husband and respond to his advances. She must not refuse her husband as this will only lead to marriage problems and cause the husband to look for companionship outside of the home. However, a husband should consider his wife’s health, and more importantly, her needs.

There is much criticism about obedience in the marriage especially amongst western society and the media. Obedience is not meant to oppress but to keep the family unit together in an efficient manner. The husband and father, as the patriarch of the family, has the right to be obeyed, but not in a blind fashion. Obedience is something that must fall within the husband’s rights as well as the wife’s.

As noted in the previous post, wives are entitled to certain rights under Islam. First and foremost, it is the duty of the husband to provide for his wife and second, he must treat her with fairness, respect and kindness. Any rights owed to the husband arise out the duties of the husband. To distinguish between stereotypes and Islamic law, remind yourself that our Prophet’s (PBUH) was reported to have said: “The best Muslim is one who is the best husband.” In essence, the best husband is the one who respects the rights of his wife, and understands and prescribes towards the duties he owes to her first because as the patriarch of the family, his duties stand out.

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The Quran Says:

"And thus preach joy to My servants.Those who listen to the word and follow the best of it. Those are the ones whom Allah has guided and they are the wise people." (39:17-18)