Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Meaning of a wife's obedience towards her husband

Firstly see verses and hadiths on the equality, kindness and honor of women on the sie bar (comes after Bible verses):

As-salam `alaykum. I would like to ask you about the concept of obedience of a wife to her husband. It is my belief that this relates to religious matters, not to trivial issues such as making a cup of tea when told so. I understand that doing such a thing for one's husband is out of courtesy and a means of strengthening marital relationship; but is this the meaning of obedience? There is much discussion and misunderstanding on the concept of a wife's obedience, so please answer this question as fully as possible, making a clear distinction between courtesy, respect and obedience. JazakumAllahu Khayran.

Wa`alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear sister in Islam, we commend your keenness on getting your self well-acquainted with Islam and its teachings, which is the way Allah has chosen for the welfare of His servants.

Islam teaches that the relations between the spouses should be based on tranquility, love and mercy. These are very important concepts in Islam. These three summarize the ideals of Islamic marriage. It is the duty of the husband and wife to see that they are a source of comfort and tranquility for each other. They should do everything physically, emotionally and spiritually to make each other feel happy and comfortable. They must care for each other. They should not inflict any harm or injury, neither physically nor verbally, to each other.

In order to increase the tranquility and comfort in their relations and in their home, they should love each other and should have mercy and kindness for each other. Loving and merciful relationship is an important ingredient of a good marriage and good family life.

In Islamic marriage, neither the husband is allowed to demand his wife what is forbidden by Allah and what is harsh and unseemly, nor the wife is allowed to demand her husband to do anything that Allah has forbidden and what would put undue burden upon her husband.

Responding to the question you raised, Sheikh Yusuf Estes, a prominent Muslim scholar and director of, states the following:

There are two things that many enemies and even some Muslims refer to when trying to show that Islam in some way favors the men over the women. This has caused very serious problems within and without for a number of centuries but never so much as it has now. The first is the mention in the Qur’an that the (Men are in charge of women.)(An-Nisa' 4:34) That, however, is meaning not in superiority, but rather in responsibility. The man must care for the woman. His mother, sister, wife and his daughter are all charges that Allah has placed under him. He is responsible for their food, lodging, health care, education, clothing and general well being. He must be very careful to provide for his family to the best of his ability. There is no doubt that this is the meaning behind the message of men being "over" the women.

The second reference is to the hadith wherein the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said that if he could order anyone to make prostration to someone other than Allah, it would be the wife to the husband.

Again, the meaning is easy to manipulate for those who desire to misunderstand the true spirit of Islam. Women do have a responsibility to obey their men, whether their fathers, brothers, husbands or even grown-up sons. But it should be emphasized that this obedience is actually to the deen (religion) of Allah and how they follow Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to wash his own clothes, cook food, clean up and care for things just as anyone else. Try to recall anytime when he ordered his family around like slaves. Did he? Of course not. This is obviously against the teachings of Islam.

Woman owns property in Islam exclusive of her husband and does not even have to offer one cent of her income to her husband even if he is out of work and has nothing. Whatever she contributes is recorded for her as charity and it is not obligatory on her. If she washes his clothes, prepares special dishes and does extra things for him, then this is considered very appreciated acts from her side. He should be very thankful to Allah for giving him such a wife. Her duties are always to Allah first, and then to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Her duties to her husband are no difference than the husband's duties. Both are equal in responsibilities, duties and intentions before Allah.

May Allah make us of those who understand and follow His deen of Islam, ameen!"


Anonymous said...

Salam brother.

It was quite a riveting read. But however I have some reservations regarding the article.

Firstly, concerning the narration:

"The second reference is to the hadith wherein the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said that if he could order anyone to make prostration to someone other than Allah, it would be the wife to the husband."

The scholar Yusuf Estest failed to explain this narration effectively. He ignored the contents of the narrations and went on to speak about the Prophetic actions. This narration emphasizes the great obligation women have towards their husbands.

Secondly, about the women having the right to their own property, it is true, but they cannot spend it without the husband's approval. I will quote some narrations to that effect:

The report narrated from ‘Umar ibn Shu’ayb from his father from his grandfather that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said in a khutbah (sermon) he gave: “It is not permissible for a woman to give anything except with the permission of her husband.” (Sunan Abi Dawood, Buyoo’, Baab 84; Sunan al-Nisaa’i, Zakaah, Baab 58; Musnad Ahmad, 2/179; Sunan Ibn Maajah, 2/798). According to another version: “A woman has no right to her money if she is married.” (Reported by five, except al-Tirmidhi).

Using qiyaas (analogy) as evidence, they say that the husband’s rights are connected to the wife’s wealth, on the basis of the hadeeth: “A woman may be married for her wealth, her beauty or her religious commitment.” (Reported by the seven scholars).

Ibn Hajar said in al-Fath, and Taawoos used as evidence, the hadeeth of ‘Umar ibn Shu’ayb, “It is not permissible for a woman to give anything of her own wealth except with the permission of her husband.” This was reported by Abu Dawood and al-Nisaa’i. Ibn Battaal said: “The hadeeth narrated in this chapter are more sound.”

Ali said...

Wa Salaam

Okay firstly, I reject IslamQA. They've said the MOST ridiculous things. So anything form them I see as completely unreliable. They also quote from fabricated hadiths.

They use this hadith ALL THE TIME AGAINST WOMEN: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “I have not left behind me any fitnah that is more harmful to men than women.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4808; Muslim, 2704

Now any person who understand Islam would KNOW who the Prophet pbuh was referring to.

They say its haraam to live in a non-Muslim country:

They have said its haraam to take Christians and Jews as friends, based on verse 5:51, but they have mistranslated it. Actual explanation is here:§ion=wel_islam&subsection=Misconceptions#19

They say its haraam for women to drive because it'll cause sexual immorality:

If you keep reading that it later on says that women driving is comparable to drinking and gambling

They say a woman should stay at home because they wrongly quote a verse where it tells the Prophet's wives to stay at home:

But even the Prophet's wives were active in the workforce, army and politics. Nonetheless the Prophet's wives were given an extra layer of protection, and did not relate to other Muslim women at the time. And also gender roles for women don't even appear in the Quran or Hadith.

There's many more, like how they critisized a new Muslim for asking why alcohol is haraam, and they critisize those who sin (they wen't bezerk because a hafiz wanted to marry a girl he got to know, they said he sinned for getting to know the girl).

they say that it is fobidden for women to visit graves based on the hadith that the Prophet cursed that woman who visited graves:
(from a fatwa of ibn Baaz)

However Shaykh al-Albani رحمه الله tackled this issue in a very scholarly way in his "Ahkaam al-Janaa'iz" and proved in fact that it is allowed for women to visit graves (assuming all of the other requirements are met, like she doesn't do shirk and she is dressed properly etc).

And the Shaykh explained that the hadith mentioned by Islam-QA was abrogated and he examined the hadiths on this subject and he presented 3 hadiths that showed that it was later allowed for women to visit graves. One hadith that proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt was when the Mother of the Believers A'isha رضي الله عنها visited the grave of her brother (this was after the death of the Prophet صل الله عليه وسلم) and she was asked if it was forbiden for women to visit graves. She said, "Yes, then it was allowed"

Islamqa says to divorce those women who do not wear hijab:

And Yusuf Estes is a world renoun scholar.