Friday Khutbah (September 10, 2004) delivered by Shaykh Muhammad TaherDISCLAIMER: This reminder was originally delivered in Arabic. Any meanings lost in translation are not to be attributed to the speaker as reminders are translated by volunteers. The mosque has no official translater and volunteers often have no formal qualifications to translate on the day. Please forgive any errors as they are from our human weakness and any right guidance is from Allah.
We have learnt that Islam has given rights to both husbands and wives. Some of these rights are shared between the two, some are the right of the husband over his wife, and some are the right of the wife over her husband.
Married life, with its rights, responsibilities, and duties is like a huge, beautiful building that is pleasing to look at. And any lack or ignorance, regarding these rights, causes a great crack in the structure of the Muslim family, and Islam wants the Muslim family to be based and established on strong foundations, the consideration of rights, and the fulfilment of responsibilities. And all of this should be with mutual love, compassion, affection and mercy.
It must be emphasised that any lack or deficiency, oh brothers and sisters, in fulfilling and considering these rights and responsibilities, especially that which is outward and can be seen by the children, will have a very bad effect on them.
The child, if he or she wakes up and goes to bed and his or her parents are arguing and quarrelling, and the daughter sees her mother not giving her father his right, and the son sees his father not giving his mother her right, then there is no doubt that this will cause the children to inherit an incorrect idea and a very bad impression. It will also cause the parents to be constantly trapped by the suspicion of their children.
If the husband and wife adhere to the complete way of Islam regarding marital rights then they will live in the bliss of security and mutual understanding and co-operation, and no problems will be able to disturb the tranquillity and peace of the house.
Oh Brothers and Sisters
The Rights of the Wife over her Husband
1. That her dowry is paid in full in compliance with what Allah said:
“And give them their dowries graciously” (4:4)
For it is not permissible for the husband or other than him, such as a father or brother, to take any of it except by her permission. The rest of the ayah states:
“But if they are pleased to allow you part of it, then consume it in joy and well-being.”
2. Another right of hers is that you spend your money on her, and this spending includes food, clothes, medical treatment, a suitable place of residence, that preserves her health, her dignity and her honour.
3. Furthermore, you must teach her her religious obligations, and guide her to what she needs, whether these needs are religious, cultural, or related to good character. And if you are unable to teach her, than you must facilitate for her the means to acquire an education, by permitting her to seek knowledge, in the mosque and other places. A woman needs to know the jurisprudence of worship, such as purification, prayer, fasting, and so on. And Allah says to us:
“Ask the people of the Reminder if you do not know.” (16:43)
It is said that Malik bin Dinar once saw a man praying incorrectly, and said: “I feel sorry for his family.” His companions said to him: “Ya Abu Yahya, this man’s prayer is incorrect and you feel sorry for his family?” He replied: “He is their leader; they learn from him.”
For you, oh husband, must set the example that is to be followed. You are the guardian and caretaker of the house. You must choose for yourself the best of conditions and display the best of manners, and seek knowledge that will benefit you and your family. Allah, Exalted is He, says: “Oh you who believe! Save yourselves and your families [Your wives and children] from a fire whose fuel is men and stones.”
4. You must also, vigilantly, seek to protect her, in her religion and her dignity. And vigilance here does not mean having a bad opinion or being suspicious of her, in every circumstance of doubt or uncertainty. Indeed Islam has structured the affair of vigilance in a sound way. These include a few important points:
The woman is obliged to wear lawful clothing when she leaves her house, and she must not leave without her husband’s permission and knowledge. He is the one that is called upon to prevent suspicion and doubt.
In this way we can protect our households from many problems, and from the whispering of the Shayatin, from mankind and jinn.
5. From the rights of the wife is that her husband makes her happy in the house; that he flirts with her in a way that is sweet for her heart, and he keeps her company when she’s lonely, and lets her know that she holds a special place in his heart and soul. He should also give her gifts, even if it’s something small and simple. It will have a big effect on her heart and soul.
6. And from her rights is that you recognize that she will make mistakes. You should try to overlook her mistakes out of compassion for her. Advise her if you are able to. But keep in mind that she is only a human being like you. You also make mistakes and lapse into error. Neither of you are perfect. So forgive her mistakes and excuse her errors.
The Qur’an has taught us the basis of great manners and noble character. Allah says in Surat Nur:
“Let not those who are blessed with favours and means among you swear that they will not give to their kindred and to the needy and to emigrants in the cause of Allah; let them rather forgive and be indulgent. Do you not wish that Allah forgives you? And Allah is Forgiving, Compassionate.” (24: 22)
This verse was revealed regarding Abu Bakr As Sadiq, when he swore that he would not help anymore a poor man from the Emigrants, who was one of his relatives, Mistah bin Athatha, after finding out that he was amongst those who had slandered his daughter Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her and her father. After Allah revealed the verse that exonerated Aisha, the Mother of the Believers, from what was said about her, Allah, Exalted is He, Who possesses bounty and strength, inclined Abu Bakr’s heart toward his cousin Mistah. And Abu Bakr was generous to everybody, relatives and strangers. He was constantly giving out in the path of Allah. And when the verse was revealed “Do you not wish that Allah forgives you?”, for reward is from action (it’s as if Allah is saying: “As you forgive the sinner, I forgive you. As you pardon I pardon you.”) At that point Abu Bakr said: “By Allah, we love for Allah, our Lord, to forgive us.” Then he went back to Mistah and resumed his support for him. He said: “ By Allah, will never cut it off from him” i.e the support.
So pardon your wife and look beyond her mistakes, as you would love to be forgiven and pardoned.
7. Another right of hers is that you do not divulge her secrets, in order to preserve her honour and fulfil he rights.
8. And the greatest right of the wife over her husband, is almuashara bilma’ruf, to live in kindness and good-will, with beautiful character and companionship. From good character, it is that you respect her opinion, and don’t scorn her or mock her, regardless of whether or not you are alone or with others. From beautiful character and companionship, it is that you, when you make a mistake, you apologize to her, as you would love for her to apologize to you when she makes a mistake. This will not diminish your personality or status. It will in fact cause her heart to increase in love for you.
Almuashara bilma’ruf includes spending generously on her and on the children. Living in kindness and excellence includes taking counsel from her with regard to affairs of the household and organizing it’s savings, and to look into the affairs of the children and similar matters. And the Qur’an mention joint consultation with regard to suckling. Allah says: “If, after consultation, they choose by mutual agreement to wean the child, it is no offence for them.” (2: 233) So we do not prohibit mutual consultation and agreement in what is between us and in our house and in the rest of the affairs of the family.
And our Prophet, peace be upon, took the advice of his wife Umm Salmah, on the day of the Hudaybiyyah Treaty. Do we say that this was a weakness or deficiency? No. Living in good-will means that the husband honours his wife and that which pleases her, and that he respects her family and treats them well.
This, Oh Muslims, is just a few of the rights of the wife over her husband. And this is not just restricted to her. It is a reminder, an advice, and a guidance. It includes and gathers all that is good and virtuous, for living with beautiful character and companionship. For excellence towards wives was mentioned by the Prophet, peace be upon him, who came to perfect noble character, who was full of mercy to the believers, when he addressed all husbands saying: “The best of you are the best of you to your women, and I am the best of you towards my women.” So contemplate and reflect on these wise and comprehensive words. Look at this inducement to treat women with kindness and excellence, and live with them in good will.
Our Lord, grant us from our wives and our offspring the pleasure of our eyes, and make us leaders for those who have taqwa.