Assalamu Alaikum

Contributed by Sister Shoruoq

Since I reverted to Islam I’ve often done tons of research to know how to become the best wife I possibly can Inshaállah. I’ve noticed it’s very easy to find compiled lists of what a wife should and shouldn’t do but also noticed how hard it is to find that list for brothers. Why does everyone concentrate on the wife? Wife must obey the husband, wife should look pretty for husband, wife must keep a clean home, blah blah blah the list goes on. I’m not saying that the list isn’t in any way wrong because I try my best to practice those duties as a wife but I think “some” brothers also should remember they have duties more than just bringing in the money. So as to a few requests I’ve gotten from sisters here is a list I was able to compile from two articles written by scholars.

“Among His signs is the fact that he has created spouses from among yourselves, so that you may find tranquillity with them; and he has put love and mercy between you. In that are signs for people who reflect.”
[Qur'an 30:21]

“They (wives) are garments for you, while you are garments for them.”
[Qur'an 2:187]

“From among the believers are those who have the kindest disposition and are the kindest to their families- such are those who show the most perfect faith. “The best among them are those who are kindest to their wives.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

1. The first and worthiest condition of marriage to be fulfilled by the husband is to “keep the promise or promises he made to the wife at the time he married her.

This is an order of the Prophet (saaws) according to the hadith: “ahaqqu al-shuruti an tufu bihi ma astahlaltum bihi min al-furuj”

2. Maintenance and protection, responsible for the welfare of the wife as prescribed in the Qu’ran.

“Men shall take full care of women with the bounties which Allah has bestowed more abundantly on the former than on the latter, and with what they may spend out of their possessions….”. [Qur'an 4:34]

Husband is financially responsible for the feeding, clothing and shelter of the wife and children. The wife has no obligation to financially contribute to the household unless she has the means and wishes to do so. Treat her generously,

The Prophet (saaws) said that the best gift or charity (sadaqa) is that spent on one’s wife.

3. Spend time with her, give her time for marital relations. Husbands don’t stay at home full time and shouldn’t expect the wife too either. Take her places that are good for your family and let her enjoy time off from her duties also. Give her a break!

“…….There is no amusement which is praiseworthy except three, namely training a horse, sporting with one’s wife and shooting arrows with a bow.” [Abu Da'ud, Ibn Majah and Baihaqi]

In illustration of this practice, Aisha (raa) records that on more then one occasion she and the Prophet (saws) ran races and sometimes she won and sometimes he won. Most men nowadays consider it far beneath their dignity to play any sort of game with their wives, and their marriages are the duller and poorer for it.

4. Don’t order her to do something that is against Islam.

The Prophet (s) said: “No obedience is due to creatures in disobedience of the Creator” (la ta`atan li makhluqin fi ma`siyat al-khaliq).

5. Be patient with your wife!

“Live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If you take a dislike to them, it may be that you dislike a thing while Allah brings about through it a great deal of good.”
[Qur'an 4:19]

Remember she is human and will make mistakes just as everyone else. No one can be perfect. She will have bad days, support her on those bad days and be patient with her. Don’t dwell on the dislikes, instead focus on the likes!

6. Respect your wife and pay attention to her needs the way you would like her to respect you and your needs.

7. Be faithful in your marriage. Show your wife that you are obeying Allah (swt) at all times.

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and to be mindful of their chastity: verily this will be most conductive to their purity (and) verily Allah is aware of all that they do.” [Qur'an 24:30]

“From among the believers are those who have the kindest disposition and are the kindest to their families- such are those who show the most perfect faith. “The best among them are those who are kindest to their wives.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

8. Help with household chores

Aisha (raa) was asked by Al-Aswad b. Yazid what the Prophet used to do in the house. She replied: “He used to work for his family, that is serve his family, and when prayer time came, he went out for prayer.” [Bukhari]

Remember that it is not a wife’s duty to clean or cook. It is the husband’s responsibility to provide servants to do these things. If a wife decides to clean and cook then this is a gift to her husband, please be thankful to her!

9. Don’t make a fuss about the food your wife cooks for you. She works hard preparing it!!

“Allah’s Messenger never found fault with food. If he liked something, he ate it, and if he disliked it, he just abstained from it.” [Muslim]

10. When she is sick be sympathetic and patient with her as she is with you in times of illness and pains.

Aisha (radiallahu ‘anha) reported that whenever she was sick, the Prophet (saws) would come to her to show his sympathy. Nor, was he ashamed to let it be known that his love for his wife was greater then his love for any other human being. It is recorded in the Hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim that someone asked the Prophet: “Who among all the people is most beloved by you?” And he said “Aisha”.

11. Never tell secrets of the household or of the husband and wife.

12. Strive to acquire and keep her trust.

13. Protect her honor and do not put her in the position where it could be compromised.

The Prophet (saaws) said that Allah will not ever let him enter Paradise who cares little who shares his wife’s privacy.

14. Exercise patience and forgiveness in times of disagreements and disputes.

15. Avoid excess jealousy.

The Prophet (saaws) said: “Do not be excessively jealous of your wife lest evil be hurled at her on your account” (la tukthir al-gheerata `ala ahlika fa turama bi al-su’i min ajlik) and he said: “Allah is jealous and the believer is jealous; and Allah’s jealousy is that the believer should not go to that which Allah has forbidden for him” (inna Allaha yagharu wa al- mu’minu yagharu wa gheerat Allahi in ya’tiya al-mu’minu ma harrama `alayhi).

16. Do not stay away from your wife or keep her in suspense without her consent.

“Turn not away (from your wife) altogether, so as to leave her hanging. If you come to a friendly understanding and practice self-restraint, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Merciful” (4:129).

17. Do not beat your wife.

The Prophet (saaws) indicated that if a man must beat his wife it should be more or less symbolic, with something like a toothbrush.

The Prophet (saaws) himself very much disliked the beating of wives, and never beat any of his own. In Abu Da’ud’s collection of Hadith he is reported by Laqit B. Sabrah to have said:

“Admonish your wife, and if there be any good in her she will receive it; and beat not your wife like a slave.”

In another Hadith from Ayas b. Abdullah he specifically said:
“Do not beat Allah’s female servants (i.e women)” [Abu Da'ud, Ibn Majah]
“Do not strike your wife in the face.”

18. Your wife doesn’t have to stay locked up in the home all day.

The following Hadith is narrated by Aisha (raa):

“Umar once criticised the Prophet’s wife Saudah for going out, saying he had recognised her in the street. So she appealed to the Prophet (saws) for support and he supported her saying: “Women have the right to go out for their needs.” [Bukhari]

Similarly the Prophet (saws) allowed his wives and other women to go out to the Mosques for their prayers. He also advised other men:

“Do not prevent the female servants of Allah (i.e Mosques)” [Muslim]

19. Educate your wife in terms of Islam and stop her from going against Islam.

“O you who have attained to faith! Ward off from yourselves and your families that fire (of the hereafter) whose fuel is Human beings and stones.” [Qur'an 66:6]

In this respect a husband has a duty to ensure that his wife is fully educated as a Muslim either by teaching her himself or by arranging for her Islamic education by other means.

Islam has given the man authority as the head of the family, and he is expected to abide by the Qur’an and Sunnah and endeavour to ensure that his family do not violate Islamic norms of behavior.

20. Care for your wife’s sexual needs. Believe it or not this is an obligation!

The Prophet (saaws) warned against rushing to gratify one’s pleasure and forgetting that of one’s wife. He also disliked that the husband should quickly withdraw from his wife afterwards, as it is a strain upon the wife. If she asks for intercourse, he should not refuse.

Inshaállah married brothers and sisters will strive to remember their duties in their marriage. When something goes wrong in a home it not only effects the household but it ripples out into the community and spreads.

Add more if you like in the commenting area inshallah.

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