Du’aa & Our Own Good Deeds – The Story of three men Blocked in a Cave – Dr. Saleh as Saleh

Du’aa & Our Own Good Deeds – The Story of three men Blocked in a Cave – Dr. Saleh as Saleh [Audio|En]
by AbdurRahman.org
‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with them) narrated that:He heard Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying:

“Three men, amongst those who came before you, set out until night came and they reached a cave, so they entered it. A rock fell down from the mountain and blocked the entrance of the cave. They said: ‘Nothing will save you from this unless you supplicate to Allah by virtue of a righteous deed you have done.’

Thereupon, one of them said: ‘O Allah! I had parents who were old, and I used to offer them milk before any of my children or slaves. One day, I went far away in search of grazing and could not come back until they had slept. When I milked as usual and brought the drink I found them both asleep. I hated to disturb them and also disliked to give milk to my children before them. My children were crying out of hunger at my feet but I awaited with the bowl in my hand for them to wake up. When they awoke at dawn, they drank milk. O Allah! If I did so to seek Your Pleasure, then deliver us from the distress caused by the rock’. The rock moved slightly but they were unable to escape.

The next said: ‘O Allah! I had a cousin whom I loved more than any one else (in another version he said: as a man can love a woman). I wanted to have sexual intercourse with her but she refused. Hard pressed in a year of famine, she approached me. I gave her one hundred and twenty dinars on condition that she would yield herself to me. She agreed and when we got together (for sexual intercourse), she said: Fear Allah and do not break the seal unlawfully. I moved away from her in spite of the fact that I loved her most passionately; and I let her keep the money I had given her. O Allah! If I did that to seek Your Pleasure, then, remove the distress in which we are.’ The rock moved aside a bit further but they were still unable to get out.

The third one said: ‘O Allah! I hired some labourers and paid them their wages except one of them departed without taking his due. I invested his money in business and the business prospered greatly. After a long time, he came to me and said: O slave of Allah! Pay me my dues. I said: All that you see is yours – camels, cattle, goats and slaves. He said: O slave of Allah! Do not mock at me. I assured him that I was not joking. So he took all the things and went away. He spared nothing. O Allah! If I did so seeking Your Pleasure, then relieve us of our distress.’ The rock slipped aside and they got out walking freely”.

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Riyad as-Salihin – The Book of Miscellany – Hadith 12, Dar-us-Salam english publication

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Twelve Steps In Cultivating Our Children – Abu Khadeejah Abdul-Wahid

Twelve Steps In Cultivating Our Children

In the name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy. All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all that exists, and may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon the Messenger Muhammad, his family, his Companions and his followers till the Day of Judgement. From the greatest of responsibilities and trusts placed upon us is the obligation of cultivating our children. Allaah, the Most High, said:

ﻳﺎ ﺃﻳﻬﺎ ﺍﻟﺬﻳﻦ ﺁﻣﻨﻮﺍ ﻗﻮﺍ ﺃﻧﻔﺴﻜﻢ ﻭﺃﻫﻠﻴﻜﻢ ﻧﺎﺭﺍ ﻭﻗﻮﺩﻫﺎ ﺍﻟﻨﺎﺱ ﻭﺍﻟﺤﺠﺎﺭﺓ ﻋﻠﻴﻬﺎ ﻣﻠﺎﺋﻜﺔ ﻏﻠﺎﻅ
ﺷﺪﺍﺩ ﻟﺎ ﻳﻌﺼﻮﻥ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻣﺎ ﺃﻣﺮﻫﻢ ﻭﻳﻔﻌﻠﻮﻥ ﻣﺎ ﻳﺆﻣﺮﻭﻥ

O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded. [at-Tahreem:6]

‘Alee bin Abee Taalib (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) said it means: “Teach them good manners, and teach them goodness.” So upon the father is to take the responsibility of cultivating the affairs of his family so as to achieve that goodness.

FIRSTLY:

A person chooses a partner who will aid in building a strong pious family with righteous offspring! So choose a righteous wife and the woman chooses a righteous husband. A pious man for a pious woman, a wicked man for a wicked woman. So choosing the right spouse is the first step towards the good cultivation of children. On the authority of Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said:
“A woman is married for four reasons: For her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty and for her religion. So marry the one with the Religion and you will be successful.” [Bukhaaree, 5090. Muslim, 1466]

And on the authority of ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said:
“The world is but a utility, and the best of the utilities of the world is a righteous wife.” [Muslim, 1467]

Additionally one should not marry a sinner or an innovator. Imaam Maalik b. Anas (d. 179H, rahimahullaah) said:
“One does not marry ahlul-bid’ah, nor are they given the salaam.” [al-Mudawwanah 1/84]

Fudayl b. Iyaad (d. 187H, rahimahullaah) said:
“Whoever marries his daughter to an innovator, then he has cut the ties of kinship.” [Sharhus-Sunnah of al-Barbahaaree, p.52]

Imaam as-Sha’bee (d. 104H, rahimahullaah) said:
“Whoever marries his daughter to a sinner has cut the ties of her kinship.” [Fiqhus-Sunnah 2/16, Saheeh]

Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H, rahimahullaah) said:
“This is a true statement from those who uttered it from the Salaf and the Imaams with regard to the people of bid’ah: that their witness is not accepted; they are not to be prayed behind; knowledge is not to be taken from them; and they are not to be married. This is the punishment for them until they cease [from innovations].” [See Ijmaa’ al-Ummah ‘alaa Tahdheer min ahlil-Ahwaa]

SECONDLY:

That a person is sincere to Allah in the cultivation of his children and he hopes for the reward of Allah for exerting his effort and his wealth – so he seeks only Allah’s reward and favour. Allah, the Most Generous, said:

ﻭﻣﺎ ﺃﻣﺮﻭﺍ ﺇﻟﺎ ﻟﻴﻌﺒﺪﻭﺍ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻣﺨﻠﺼﻴﻦ ﻟﻪ ﺍﻟﺪﻳﻦ ﺣﻨﻔﺎﺀ ﻭﻳﻘﻴﻤﻮﺍ ﺍﻟﺼﻠﺎﺓ ﻭﻳﺆﺗﻮﺍ ﺍﻟﺰﻛﺎﺓ ﻭﺫﻟﻚ
ﺩﻳﻦ ﺍﻟﻘﻴﻤﺔ

And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion. [al-Bayyinah: 5]

And the Prophet (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) said:
Indeed actions are but by intentions and every person is only that which he intended. [Bukhaaree, no.1]

So cultivating one’s children upon good is from the most virtuous types of worship, due to what follows on from that of benefits – both specific and general, and due to what it contains of hardship and pain. One should be sincere with regard to his children, fear Allaah, and seek His Pleasure.

THIRDLY:

Encouraging one’s children upon worship with gentleness; to encourage them with good character and manners from an early age – so they begin to love these affairs from a young age. Allah, the Most High, stated:

ﻭﺃﻣﺮ ﺃﻫﻠﻚ ﺑﺎﻟﺼﻠﺎﺓ ﻭﺍﺻﻄﺒﺮ ﻋﻠﻴﻬﺎ

And enjoin prayer upon your family [and people] and be steadfast [and patient] therein. [TaaHaa: 132]

‘Amr b. Shu’aib narrated from his father from his grandfather that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said:
“Command your children with the Salah at the age of seven, and smack them if they don’t pray at the age of ten. And separate their beds [at ten years old].” [Abu Dawood, 495]

This shows that cultivation begins at an early age. Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah, d. 728H) said,
“Whoever has a child or a servant or an orphan in his care and yet he does not order them with the prayer, then it is the adult who is punished if he does not teach and command the young one – so he is rebuked and censured severely because he has disobeyed Allah and His messenger.”

Ibnul-Qayyim (rahimahullaah, d. 752H) stated,
“Whoever pays no attention to teaching his child that which will benefit him and he leaves him to waste away without care then he is extremely sinful. Most children are corrupted (and led to failure) due to their parents. They pay no attention to them and leave off teaching them the obligations of the religion and the Sunan. So they ruin them whilst they are still children. And they (the children) are not able to benefit themselves and their parents do not benefit them.” [Tuhfatul-Mawdood fee Ahkaamil-Mawlood, p.80]

It is mind-boggling that many Muslim parents pay so much attention to worldly affairs and worldly ambitions for their children whilst neglecting their “spiritual” and religious welfare. They further compound that lack of Islamic nurturing with instilling poor manners, bad character and lack of common decency in their children – they teach their sons and daughters to be arrogant, haughty and to look down upon upon others. They turn away from from feeding the poor, and being courtesy to the neighbours. They are not taught to respect elders or to give the scholars their rights. Indeed, we find Muslim youth, boys and girls, right into their teenage years who know the names of more Hollywood movie “stars” than they do the names of the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) or the name of the Prophets of Allaah, the Most High. And Allaah’s aid is sought from this type of wicked cultivation.

We have seen parents spending hundreds of Pounds (Euros or Dollars) on private tuition on their children to help them excel in Mathematics or Science or Geography, yet they become extremely niggardly when it comes to expending wealth on Religious education. Worst still, they will spend huge amounts of wealth on secular educations, and will turn away from Religious knowledge (of the Qur’aan and Sunnah) even when it is offered for free.

FOURTHLY:

To keep them guarded and protected from the muharramaat (forbidden) and munkaraat (reprehensible) affairs, and to warn them from that, so they know right from wrong and good from evil. To cultivate in their hearts hatred for those things that are harmful to their religion and morality – and teach to dislike that which will cause them regret in this life and the next. Many parents don’t place importance upon this claiming: “Leave them alone for they are young and not obligated with the legislation.”

However this attitude contradicts that which our noble teacher and advisor, Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) was upon. Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) stated that the young grandson of the Messenger, Hasan bin Ali (radiyallaahu anhumaa) took a date fruit from the dates that were intended for charity and put it in his mouth. The Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said,
“Take it out! Don’t you know that we do not eat a thing which was given in charity.” [Bukhaaree, no. 1491]

So you do not find the Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) leaving off this opportunity to teach his grandson important lessons. He would also teach the young boys table manners: “O young boy! Eat with your right hand and eat what is close to you.” Learn from this Prophetic example, and do not overlook an opportunity to teach the young.

FIFTHLY:

Having a good example and role model. This is from the necessities of good tarbiyah. It is something well-known that a child is amazed by his father and loves to imitate him and follow him. And likewise a daughter loves to follow her mother and emulate her – so we must be excellent role models. It is therefore obligatory upon fathers and mothers and others who cultivate not to contradict that which they say with their actions. Allaah, the Most High, said:

ﻳﺎ ﺃﻳﻬﺎ ﺍﻟﺬﻳﻦ ﺁﻣﻨﻮﺍ ﻟﻢ ﺗﻘﻮﻟﻮﻥ ﻣﺎ ﻟﺎ ﺗﻔﻌﻠﻮﻥ

O you who have believed, why do you say what you do not do? [As-Saff: 61]

And He (the Most High) said regarding the Prophet Shu’aib (‘alaihi salaam), that he said,

ﻭﻣﺎ ﺃﺭﻳﺪ ﺃﻥ ﺃﺧﺎﻟﻔﻜﻢ ﺇﻟﻰ ﻣﺎ ﺃﻧﻬﺎﻛﻢ ﻋﻨﻪ ﺇﻥ ﺃﺭﻳﺪ ﺇﻟﺎ ﺍﻟﺈﺻﻠﺎﺡ ﻣﺎ ﺍﺳﺘﻄﻌﺖ ﻭﻣﺎ ﺗﻮﻓﻴﻘﻲ ﺇﻟﺎ
ﺑﺎﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﺗﻮﻛﻠﺖ ﻭﺇﻟﻴﻪ ﺃﻧﻴﺐ

And I do not intend to differ from you in that which I have forbidden you; I only intend reform as much as I am able. And my success is not but through Allah. Upon him I have relied, and to Him I return. [Hood: 88]

It certainly not correct that parents behave in manner that contradicts that which they are trying to install into their children. Young people are very perceptive and recognise contradictions and irregularities in their role-models. Sending mixed messages and behaving hypocritically has a very bad effect upon children from various aspects:

1. They begin to think that hypocrisy is normal.
2. That it is quite acceptable to lead a double-life, whereby you say one thing and then do something in utter contradiction to that. After all, mother and father [the two people to whom children look towards the most to emulate] behave like that!
3. They begin to think that lying and deception is an acceptable norm in society because you pretend to be pious but in reality you far from that!
4. Children enter into adulthood with these unsavoury and un-Islamic traits.
5. Over time, children lose respect for their parents.
6. These traits are harmful to society as a whole.
7. They lead to the displeasure of Allaah and His punishment.

So parents must be good role-models, the best of examples. Do not be from those who, for example, pray Fajr (or the other prayers) late, and the children grow up thinking that is an acceptable practice in an Islamic home.

SIXTHLY:

Keeping them far away from gatherings of evil and sin and directing and guiding them to good companionship – rather direct them to the best companionship amongst ahlus-Sunnah; the companionship of the righteous.

Abu Dawood reports in his Sunan from Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) that the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam):
“A man is upon the religion of his close companion, so let each of look to whom he takes as a companion.” [Abu Dawood, no. 4833, saheeh]

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alahi wassallam) said:
“Do not accompany except a believer, and none should eat your food except except one who fears Allaah and is dutiful to Him.” [Abu Dawood, no. 4832]

This, of course does not necessitate that a Muslim does not feed the poor who are deficient in Imaan or to withhold general charity from non-Muslims. Rather it means that one does not take as his close companions those who are sinful and are not fearful of their Lord – and not to take such people as ones that you always eat with and are seen with. A person is judged in Islaam according to his companionship. Al-Khattaabee and others have stated that this due to the fact that when a person eats food with someone, it draws his heart closer to him and he inclines towards him. Also note that there is a difference between advising a sinful person and inviting him to Islaam and the Sunnah and between taking such people as friends and companions. So, no doubt it is permitted (rather correct) that the sinners be invited to Islaam with kind and gentle treatment, but that does not necessitate companionship. Abu Hurayrah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) also reported that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said,
“The souls of mankind are created like gathered troops – so those who got along with one another will have an affinity with each other [in this world]. And those who did not get along with one another will not get along with each other [in this world].” [Abu Dawood, no. 4834]

Some fathers (may Allah guide them) do not even know where their children go off to much of the day, nor who their friends are, or how they are spending their time. They may even leave the job to the mother and it is known that the mother is not able to follow them up in every affair. And even worse than this is when this duty is left off altogether and the children are left to fend for themselves! The first and foremost companion and confidant of any child should be the mother and father. The Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) was asked on an occasion as to who has the most right to one’s companionship, he responded: “Your mother.” He was then asked, “Then who?” He replied, “Your mother.” He was asked, “Then who?” He replied, “Your mother.” He was asked, “And then who?” He responded, “Your father.” So the mother has the greatest right of one’s close friendship, companionship and affinity followed by the father, and then the siblings.

Why is it that we do not nurture our children in a manner that they stay close to the mother and father as a family? Why is it that the youth seek the companionship of the streets and thugs and gangs and so on? Because parents don’t pay attention to this affair of companionship. Early on in the child’s development, fathers and mothers should build bonds with their children. How? Here’s some ways:

1. Travel together. Journeys together are great times to bond and get to know each others and talk!
2. Perform Umrah together (annually or every two years).
3. Going for walks together in the parks, countryside or hills (weekly or fortnightly).
4. Cooking together (with sons and daughters).
5. Attending duroos together. Choose one or two Salafi classes a week that you attend without fail as a family.
6. Attending conferences together.
7. Reading daily Qur’aan together as a family.
8. Studying religious knowledge together as a family, where the mother or father reads a book, such as Seerah of the Prophet, to the family (even if its 20minutes per day!).
9. Shopping together.
10. Gardening together.
11. Visiting relatives together.
12. Eating meals together, out of one dish.

Other than one’s family, then the children can keep company with children of likeminded parents, who have similar aspirations for their children as you. If you live an isolated corner of the country where you are struggling due to the lack of a good strong Salafi community, then maybe its time to consider relocating to save your children from destruction. No highly paid job is worth losing your children for. Accepting a lower salary in a less affluent part of the country is worth it if the end result is pious, well-mannered and caring children upon Salafiyyah ways of the Salaf!

SEVENTHLY:

Enrolling your sons and daughters in the Salafi schools and in after-school Madrassahs for the learning and memorization of the Noble Qur’an that are established within Salafi Mosques. These institutions must be safe, and not known for beating children and thus turning them away from the Religion. Young children must be nurtured and not beaten. And alhamdulillaah, this is not the method the Salafis use to teach their children.

One must also avoid the centres, schools, and mosques of bigoted partisanship (hizbiyyah), misguidance and innovation. The Salaf used to say that children are upon their initial upbringing, and it is this initial education that moulds them for the future. So keep them away of centres of misguidance, extremism and Sufism. It is important that the meanings of the Qur’an are also taught at these schools. It is a strange and erroneous methodology of teaching wherein children are taught to memorize without knowing what they are memorising. So make sure your children are learning Qur’aan, learning the meanings of the Qur’aan and learning the Arabic language. On the authority of Uthman ibn Affan, that the Prophet said,
“The best amongst you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it to others.” [Bukhaaree, no. 5027]

EIGHTHLY:

Protecting the children from satellite channels, TV, and the internet where they may be exposed to immoral and haraam speech, images and music such as movies and soaps which are based upon glorification of fornication, infidelity, disobedience, disrespect and sin – likewise those cartoons which contain sin and disobedience and even idolatry and disbelief. These are affairs that the Muslims have become lax and easy-going with – many are heedless and foolish with regard to their responsibilities in this affair. If your children need to access the internet, then make sure you have strong parental controls on all of the computers they access. One the best and simplest and free parental controls is k9webprotection.com – make sure access to social forums and media is blocked, as well as youtube and other sites that lead youth astray when used irresponsibly. The same can be said about smartphones and iPhones. If you wish your children to have these devices then they should be controlled with strict parental controls as a safety measure against obscene images, videos and music. I would go as far as to say, there is no need for any parent who cares about the mental and psychological welfare of his child (whether Muslim or non-Muslim) to have terrestrial or satellite channels in the home. If there is any particular beneficial documentary, one can simply download and watch it, if there is need for that. So this is a huge responsibility upon the shoulders of fathers and mothers.

They must work as a team to cultivate and nurture their offspring. Bukharee and Muslim report from Ma’qil bin Yasaar (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) that the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said,
“There is not a man to whom Allah has given authority and he is dishonest with regard to his responsibility and he dies upon that except that Allah will make forbidden upon him Jannah.” [Bukhaaree, no. 7150, Muslim, no. 142]

NINTHLY:

To teach them the affairs of Islaam and Imaan and to implant and nurture veneration, love and awe of Allaah in their hearts – and establish them firmly upon Tawheed. And to love the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) by explaining his virtues and the excellence of following him. Inculcate this into their hearts by reading his Seerah (biography), his bravery and courage, his kindness and generosity. To teach them good manners and etiquette and how to behave in private and public; To distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour; To know about the dress code of the believers [men and women]; the manners of the masjid and how to behave in it. The manners of eating and drinking; personal hygiene and tahaarah (purification); to wait for mother and father to begin and serving them first; not over-eating and reaching over others.

Also how to behave around elders, friends, relatives and scholars. Not interjecting when elders are speaking, or pushing in through the door before the mother and father, or pointing their feet towards them or towards the teacher or scholar; Teaching them to constantly say please and thank you, and to be upon the remembrance of Allaah (dhikr); To pray on time; To sit after the prayer and make dhikr; Teach them short hadeeth and du’aas to memorise.

Teach them to speak with clear speech that is free from street slang and obscenities. To be strong in body and character and resolute upon the Haqq (Truth) – not swayed from it. Having self-respect and being proud of manifesting Islaam instead of trying to hide it!

Teenage boys and girls are taught to lower their gaze and control their urges and desires, and prepare themselves for marriage. Parents should not delay the marriage of their sons and daughters unnecessarily, nor refuse a proposal for their children from a pious suitor. Parents also must not compel them to marry anyone they are not pleased with – and forbid them from marrying sinners and innovators. Parents should be open-minded and not marry only into their own race. A pious person is a pious person, whether he be Somali, Pakistani, African, Caribbean, Chinese or Arab. Marry your daughters to the one who is the most pious and able to take care of them with respect and honour.

Teach them not being shy of wearing the hijaab for the teenage girls, or thawbs for the teenage boys. These must not considered as garments merely for the Mosque, these are our daily garments that we and our children are pleased and proud to adorn our bodies with. They should be taught to honest and truthful, and never lie, deceive, steal or oppress. And if they fall short and sin, teach them how to repent to Allaah, and return the rights of others.

They must be taught the rights of a Muslim upon another Muslim: to return the salaam, to visit the sick, to attend funerals, to give sincere advice, to respond to the one who sneezes, and to accept invites to the gathering where Allaah is not disobeyed, to keep the ties with relatives (even if they be non-Muslim). Just imagine, O parents! If only all children were cultivated upon this Prophetic Path. We ask Allaah, the most Generous, to grant our us and our children success in worship.

TENTHLY:

Sending them to bed early and waking them up early and to busy their time with those things which will benefit them; and to allow them to engage in permissible play and games for set times without going to excess. Organising their time well so it is balanced between work, study, and play.

Teach them household chores so they aid their mothers with cleaning, tidying, cooking, especially so the daughters – whilst not allowing sons to be carefree concerning household duties. Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) would aid his family and mend his own garments. Our sons should enter into adulthood having concern for their sisters, having a sense of jealously and desire to protect them and to help them them in their household chores. This will prepare them for their lives as adults, husbands and fathers. Boys and teenagers are to be taught to respect women and treat them with kindness, and to aid the womenfolk of the house in their chores. The Prophet (salallaahu alaaihi wassallam) said in a narration, “The best of you are those who are best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives.”

ELEVENTHLY:

That the father or parent is gentle in his treatment of his children. Aa’ishah (radiyallaahu ‘anhaa) narrated that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said,
“Gentleness is not introduced into an affair except that it is beautified and it is not taken away from any affair except that it is disfigured.” [Muslim, no. 2594]

Parents must be just (have ‘adl) between their children in everything: in their speech, their conveying of salutations, provision, when buying presents, etc, so that no one is oppressed and so that jealousies do not arise between them.

Imaam Muslim reports in his Saheeh (no. 1623) from An-Nu’man bin Basheer (radiyallaahu ‘anhumaa) that his father gave a servant to him and not to the other children. So his wife said, “I will ask Allaah’s Messenger concerning this.” So Allaah’s Messenger said to the father, Basheer (radiyallaahu ‘anhu), “Fear Allah! And be just between your children.” [Muslim, 163]

So be very careful with respect to this affair O parents! Oppression and injustice is darkness on the Day of Resurrection. If you purchase a toy for one, then purchase something for the others, this is the Sunnah and it is justice – likewise which respect to clothing and other provisions and gifts. In this manner the children are taught honesty and justice and this will only increase their love for their parents. Furthermore, this is an affair that is just as important if not more important with respect to inheritance rights. It is unfortunate that siblings are sometimes excluded from the will of their parents and wills are written in contradiction to the Quranic divisions. Women especially are denied their God-given rights of inheritance – and this is from the gravest of sins, so be aware.

TWELFTHLY:

The parents must know that guidance is in the Hand of Allah, He guides whom He wills from His Bounty, and He leads astray whomever He wills from His Justice. So guidance and directing and pointing to good is with Allaah. Allaah, the Most High, stated:

ﺇﻧﻚ ﻟﺎ ﺗﻬﺪﻱ ﻣﻦ ﺃﺣﺒﺒﺖ ﻭﻟﻜﻦ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻳﻬﺪﻱ ﻣﻦ ﻳﺸﺎﺀ ﻭﻫﻮ ﺃﻋﻠﻢ ﺑﺎﻟﻤﻬﺘﺪﻳﻦ

Indeed, [O Muhammad], you do not guide whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He is most knowing of the [rightly] guided. [al-Qasas: 56]

So upon us as parents is to make plentiful du’aa for our children that they be guided and rectified. Just as Allaah, the Most High, stated,

ﻭﺍﻟﺬﻳﻦ ﻳﻘﻮﻟﻮﻥ ﺭﺑﻨﺎ ﻫﺐ ﻟﻨﺎ ﻣﻦ ﺃﺯﻭﺍﺟﻨﺎ ﻭﺫﺭﻳﺎﺗﻨﺎ ﻗﺮﺓ ﺃﻋﻴﻦ ﻭﺍﺟﻌﻠﻨﺎ ﻟﻠﻤﺘﻘﻴﻦ ﺇﻣﺎﻣﺎ

And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.” [al-Furqaan: 74]

And beware of ever making du’aa against your families and children. Imaam Muslim reports in his Saheeh (no. 3009) a hadeeth from Jaabir ibn Abdillaah that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said,
“Do not make du’aa against yourself. Do not make du’aa against your children. Do not make du’aa against your wealth and property, lest it should coincide with an hour when Allah is asked, and He answers your du’aa.”

So we take the means provided by Allaah – and these means are not independent of the results. Rather we take the means, and those people who say “the means we take and effort we exert does not matter and has no effect,” then they are misguided (like the Jabriyyah). We take the means, and we seek Allaah’s aid and the result is with Him. We also do not say as the ignorant say, “We will leave our children to do as they wish, and come and go as they please. We were guided to the truth after sinning and disbelief, so they too will find the path.” Rather the intelligent one who is guided by the Book and Sunnah recognises that we have been given responsibilities that we are obligated to fulfil. The Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said,
“Strive to attain what will benefit you and seek Allaah’s aid and do not sit back without acting. And if something thereafter afflicts you, do not say: ‘If only I had done such and such, then such and such would have happened.’ Rather say [in that case]: It is but the Decree of Allaah, and whatever He wills He does.” [Muslim: 2667]

So this is said when one strives and performs deeds that will aid his affair. He takes the means hoping for a good end result, and if the end result is not as he expected, then he (or she) says: “Qaddar Allaahu wa maashaa’ wa fa’la ” (It is but the Decree of Allaah, and whatever He wills He does).

As for the one who does not strive and leaves off taking the means, and is negligent and his affairs fall apart, and his children become wayward and sinful, then he must take a great portion of the responsibility, and it is correct that he regrets in hindsight. Allaah, the Most High, states regarding the inhabitants of the Hellfire, who will regret:

ﻭﻗﺎﻟﻮﺍ ﻟﻮ ﻛﻨﺎ ﻧﺴﻤﻊ ﺃﻭ ﻧﻌﻘﻞ ﻣﺎ ﻛﻨﺎ ﻓﻲ ﺃﺻﺤﺎﺏ ﺍﻟﺴﻌﻴﺮ

And they will say, “If only we had been listening or reasoning, we would not be among the companions of the Blaze.” [al-Mulk: 10]

May Allaah, the Most High, give us the ability to raise righteous children who are dutiful to Allaah, for indeed it is Allaah who grants success.

All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all that exists, and may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon the Messenger Muhammad, his family, his Companions and his followers till the Day of Judgement.

Note: Original article can be found on http:/www.abukhadeejah.com/twelve-steps-in-cultivating-our-children/

The Texts of the Bible are in Conformity with the Fact that Jesus was a Servant And Messenger of Allâh – Shaykh Rabee ibn Haadee

The texts of the Bible are in conformity with the fact that Jesus was a servant and messenger of Allah – Shaykh Rabee ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee
by AbdurRahman.org

Below are some examples taken from your Gospels [11] that confirm and support what Muhammad came with from the Qur’aan and his teachings.

In the seventh verse of Chapter 4 of the Gospel of Mathew, it states:

1. “Jesus said to him: ‘Again it is written, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” [Matthew 4:7]

2. In this same chapter, there occurs a story about Jesus and the Devil, in which the Devil ordered Jesus to prostrate to him. So the Messiah Jesus responded to him, saying:

“Be gone Satan, for it is written: ‘You shall worship (prostrate only to) the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve (i.e. worship).’”

This is what all the messengers came with and it is the argument that Jesus used against the Devil. So this clearly proves that all of the prophets including Jesus and Muhammad came to establish that God was One and that He was the Lord and only One deserving of being worshipped.

Jesus relied on the previously revealed books (from God) as proof, which state that God is the only Lord and that He is the only One who has the right to be worshipped and prostrated to.

Similarly, Allaah revealed to (Prophet) Muhammad: “And We indeed sent to every nation a messenger (saying to his people): ‘Worship Allaah alone and avoid the false deities.’ So amongst them were those whom Allaah guided and amongst them were those whose misguidance was justified.” [Qur’aan 16:36]

He also revealed to him: “And We did not send any messenger before you except that We revealed to him: ‘There is no deity that has the right to be worshipped in truth, except Me, so worship Me alone.’” [Qur’aan 23:25]

So these statements that were revealed to Muhammad are in complete conformity with what Jesus stated in his reply to the Devil. It is also in conformity with what Jesus said when calling the Tribe of Israel:

“Verily, Allaah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. This is the Straight Path.” [Qur’aan 19:36]
And it agrees with what he will say on the Day of Judgement when his Lord will ask him:

“O Jesus, son of Mary, did you tell the people: ‘Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allaah?’ He will reply: ‘Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right to say. If I had said such a thing, You would have surely known about it. You know what is in my inner self though I do not know what is in Your Self. Truly, only You are the All-Knowing of all that is hidden. I did not tell them anything except for what You commanded me to tell them, (which was): Worship Allaah, my Lord and your Lord. And I served as a witness for them for as long as I was with them. But when You took me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things.’” [Qur’aan 5:116-117]

3. In Chapter 11 of the Gospel of Matthew, verse 25, it states:

“At that time Jesus declared: ‘I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes (infants).’”

So Jesus was one of God’s servants and messengers. He acknowledged the right of his Lord who created him and bestowed His blessings on him, and therefore turned to Him, in thanks and affirmation that He alone was the Lord of the heaven and earth. This is since He is the One who created these two creations (the heaven and the earth), as well as everything inside them, in between them and whatever lies below the ground. No one else had any part in this – neither Jesus or anyone else – nor can anyone rival Him in that matter.

4. In Chapter 14 of the Gospel of Matthew, verse 23, it states:

“And after he had dismissed the crowds, he (Jesus) went up on the mountain by himself to pray.”

Prayer is one of the greatest acts of worship that can be performed to God, and no one engages in it except for a lowly servant who stands in need of the mercy of his Lord and Creator. This is as Allaah says in the Qur’aan:

“O mankind! It is you who stand in need of Allaah, whereas Allaah is Rich (free of all needs), Most Praiseworthy.” [Qur’aan 35:15]

And Allaah says: “The Messiah (Jesus) will never be too proud to reject being a servant of God, nor the angels who are the ones close (to Him). And whoever is too proud and rejects worshipping Him, then He will gather them all together unto Himself.” [Qur’aan 4:172]

So Jesus was a servant of God, and he was not nor will he ever be too proud to worship Him. This is his condition and the condition of all of the prophets and angels.

5. In Chapter 26 of the Gospel of Matthew, verse 39, it states that the Messiah (Jesus):

“fell on his face and prayed, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.’”

So in this text, there is proof that Jesus was a servant (worshipper) of God who had no control over repelling harm from himself or bringing benefit to himself. And there is evidence in this text that he sought refuge in God during times of hardship, seeking His assistance and humbling himself before Him, in order to remove the harm and danger that was approaching him. So he fell prostrate with his face on the ground, seeking nearness to Him, lowering himself before Him, showing his need for Him and expressing the belief that no one has the ability to repel harm except Him. This is the state of all of the messengers, not to mention all of mankind.

6. In Chapter 21 of the Gospel of Matthew, verse 46, it states:

“But when they tried to arrest him, they feared the multitudes, since they held him to be a prophet.”

There is proof in this verse that the masses of people who believed in God and in Jesus were monotheists with pure and sincere faith, and that they believed that Jesus was a messenger and a prophet. This proves that their prophet, Jesus, had taught them this and cultivated them to believe in that. So they did not used to believe that he was God or the son of God, since he would not teach the people these things.

7. In Chapter 23 of the Gospel of Matthew, verse 10, it states that Jesus said:

“Neither be called masters, for you, even the Messiah, has One master.” [12]

This text resembles the Qur’anic text in which Allaah informs us that His messenger Jesus told the Tribe of Israel: “And verily, Allaah is my Lord and your Lord.” [Qur’aan 3:51]

So Allaah is the Lord of Jesus, as well as his Master, Nurturer and Owner. He is the Lord, Master and Owner of all mankind.

The Muslim scholar, Taqee-ud-Deen al-Hilaalee, pointed out in his treatise “Clear Evidences” that: Some translators have distorted this text, but that the English translation was saved from this corruption.

8. In Chapter 17 of the Gospel of John, verse 3, it states:

“And this is the eternal life – that they know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.”

This text confirms that which all of the messengers came with, which was that there is no deity that has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, and it confirms that Jesus was a messenger of God. This was during his time, and every nation had its own time and messenger, as Allaah says:

“And We did not send any messenger before you except that We revealed to him: ‘There is no deity that has the right to be worshipped in truth, except Me, so worship Me alone.’” [Qur’aan 21:25]
And He says: “And We indeed sent to every nation a messenger (saying to his people): ‘Worship Allaah alone and avoid the false deities.’” [Qur’aan 16:36]

9. In Chapter 12 of the Gospel of Mark, verses 28-30, it states:

“And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he (Jesus) answered them well, asked him, ‘Which commandment is the first of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The first is: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is One. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’”

This was the first commandment.

And in verse 32 of the same chapter, it states that:

“The scribe said to him, ‘You are right, teacher. You have truly said that He is One, and there is no other but He.’”

Then in verse 34 of the same chapter, it states:

“And when Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’”

This first commandment mentioned by Jesus is the same commandment that Allaah prescribed to all of His messengers, including Jesus – and this was the commandment that the messengers passed on to their nations:

“He has ordained for you the same religion that He ordained for Noah and which We revealed to you (O Muhammad) and ordained for Abraham, Moses and Jesus – that you should establish the Religion and make no divisions in it. Intolerable for the polytheists is that which you call them to.” [Qur’aan 42:13]

The religion that God ordained for them was the pure monotheistic Faith, which is represented in the statement: “There is no deity that has the right to be worshipped except Allaah.” He ordered all of his messengers to call to this, and it is that which the polytheists found difficult to accept and for which reason they fought against God’s messengers.

This was the same thing that Abraham and Jacob, also known as Israel, commanded the people with, as Allaah says:

“And remember when Abraham and (his son) Ishmael were raising the foundations of the House (Ka’bah at Makkah), saying: ‘Our Lord! Accept this from us. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. Our Lord! Make us submissive unto You, and of our offspring, a nation submissive unto You. And show us how to perform the ceremonies required during the pilgrimage (to the Ka’bah), and accept our repentance. Truly, You are the One who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful. Our Lord! Send amongst them a messenger of their own (i.e. Muhammad), who shall recite unto them Your verses and teach them the Book and the Wisdom (Prophetic Teachings), and purify them. Verily, You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.’ And who turns away from the religion of Abraham except for he who fools himself? Truly, We chose him in this world and in the Hereafter, he will be among the righteous. When his Lord said to him: ‘Submit yourself’, he said: ‘I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of all that exists.’ And this (submission to Allaah) was enjoined by Abraham upon his sons, and also by Jacob, saying: ‘O my sons! Allaah has chosen for you the (true) religion, so do not die except while you are Muslims (i.e. submitting to the Will of your Creator).’ Or were you witnesses when death approached Jacob? – When he said to his sons: ‘What will you worship after me?’ They said: ‘We shall worship your God, the God of your forefathers – Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac – One God and to Him we submit (as Muslims).’” [Qur’aan 2:127-133]

This is truly a tremendous religion, in which they submitted their will to the Lord of all that exists, turned to Him in repentance and sought refuge in Him to make their offspring an offspring that submit themselves to God. And they invoked Him to send a messenger from amongst them to them who would recite His verses unto them, teach them the Book and the Wisdom and purify them – the purification and wisdom that would keep them far away from polytheism, foolishness and misguidance. And Allaah rules here that whoever turns away from this religion, which is pure monotheism, only fools himself.

The point derived from this is that the call of all of the prophets was in harmony in that they were calls to Monotheism and to Submission (to God) and that there was no deity that had the right to be worshipped except Allaah. They called their nations to this and counseled those who came after them from their offspring to abide by this.

The second point we want to focus on here, was the counsel of Israel, who was also known as Jacob. The text of the Bible in this regard is in conformity with the text from the Qur’aan in that the Biblical text indicates we should have love for God. This is also part of Islaam. In fact, the Religion of Islaam also consists of many aspects and great deeds apart from love (for the Creator).

Look at how Jesus responded and what his tremendous counsel was. And look at the faith of the scribe who had asked the question looking for an answer to benefit from, and his statement: “You are right Teacher. You have truly said that He is One, and there is no other but He.”

And look at how the Messiah responded to him, saying “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” This, and Allaah knows best, is a promise from him that he will be in Paradise, and it indicates that anyone who doesn’t believe in the Oneness of God and that He alone should be worshipped will not be allowed entry into Paradise. This is similar to what Allaah says in the Qur’aan, relaying to us what Jesus said to the Tribe of Israel:

“Worship Allaah, who is my Lord and your Lord. Verily, whoever ascribes partners to Allaah in worship, Allaah will surely make Paradise forbidden for him and his final abode will be the Hellfire. And the wrongdoers will not have any supporters (in Hell).” [Qur’aan 5:72]

Note: According to the language of the Torah and the Gospels, every righteous and dutiful follower of God is called a son of God, so Jesus was not particularized with this expression of “son of God.”

10. In Chapter 5 of the Gospel of Matthew, verse 9, it states:

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

11. And in verse 45 of Chapter 5 of the Gospel of Matthew, it states:

“So that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.”

12. In verse 4 of the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 5, it states:

“You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

13. In Chapter 6 of the Gospel of Matthew, verse 1, it states:

“Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”

14. In Chapter 23 of the Gospel of Matthew, verse 9, it states:

“And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.” [13]

These verses show that use of the terms “father” and “son” to refer to the connection between the Lord and His servant was a practice established in the Bible for all people, so the Messiah, Jesus, was not specifically characterized with this apart from others. [14]

Perhaps all of this was from the behavior of some of the Jews and Christians, but God knows best. This is since Allaah says in the Qur’aan:

“The Jews and the Christians say: ‘We are the children of God and His beloved ones.’ Say: ‘Why then does He punish you for your sins?’ Nay, you are but human beings from those He has created. He forgives whom He wills and He punishes whom He wills. And to Allaah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. And to Him is the final return.” [Qur’aan 5:18]
Any fair and balanced person with sound intellect will realize that the Qur’anic texts we mentioned contain in them a tribute, honor, warm reception and high praise for Jesus. And they confirm that he was a prophet and a messenger, and that he was one of the greatest messengers who carried the banner of Monotheism, called mankind to this Monotheistic Faith, which means making all worship purely for God alone, fought against polytheism, and warned those who adhere to it (polytheism) that they would reside eternally in the Hellfire – what an evil destination!

These verses from the Qur’aan also show how God absolved Jesus and his mother from the slander that the Jews accused them of, how He raised the status of Jesus and his mother and made the statements of the Jews against him and his mother to be considered as disbelief and immense slander.

Furthermore, the texts of the Qur’aan and the Bible are in conformity with the fact that Jesus was a servant and messenger of God. This is a perfect state that no one can attain except for the great messengers amongst whom was Jesus. The teachings of Prophet Muhammad also professed the same beliefs and the Muslims believed in all of this. So what then is wrong with Islaam and the Muslims? There is nothing wrong with it at all, in the eyes of those with sound intellects and impartiality. Rather, the wrong is against God Himself, since the terrible statement (that Jesus is the son of God), due to which the heavens are ready to tear apart, the earth split asunder, and the mountains fall in ruins is the opposite of what is indicated in the Qur’aan, the teachings of Prophet Muhammad and what the Muslims adhere to, not to mention what the monotheistic texts still preserved in the Bible indicate.

References:

[11] Translator’s Note: The translation used for Biblical quotes in this booklet are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, which can be accessed on-line at bible.com. It should be noted that currently there are many translations of the Gospels (New Testament) in the English Language. The average person can view the various translations and notice gross changes/alterations in the interpretation and translation of many verses of the Bible, not to mention some being left out completely. This is a further proof that the Bible has been distorted and altered as confirmed by God in His Final Revelation, the Qur’aan, which He guaranteed to protect and preserve in its original form. Allaah says: “Verily, We sent down the Reminder (the Qur’aan) and We will surely preserve it (from corruption).” [Qur’aan 15:9] The likes of this promise and guarantee from God was not made for His previous revelations, hence the obvious and noticeable contradictions in the present-day versions of these revealed Books of God – the Torah and the Gospels.

[12] Translator’s Note: This text was adapted from what is found in the Revised Standard Edition of the Bible to conform to the original text of this booklet, which was written in Arabic and which references an Arabic translation of the Bible.

[13] Translator’s Note: The use of the relationship of Father and Son to refer to the connection between God and His righteous servants is not just limited to the New testament of the Bible, rather, there can be found proof for it in the Old Testament as well:

“The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair; and they took to wife such of them as they chose.” [Genesis 6:2]

“The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown.” [Genesis 6:4]

“When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of men, he fixed the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.” [Deuteronomy 32:8]

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.” [Job 1:6]

“When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” [Job 38:7]

[14] See “The Clear Evidences” of Taqee-ud-Deen Al-Hilaalee (pgs. 6-10).

Translator’s Note:

Further evidence from the New Testament that confirms this point that the use of the relationship between Father and Son as a substitute for the relationship between God and His servant is as follows:

“For they cannot die any more, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” [Luke 20:36]

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” [Romans 8: 14]

“But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.” [John 1:12]

“And not for the nation only, but to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.” [John 11:52]

“It is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” [Romans 8:16]

“…because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.” [Romans 8:21]

“That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” [Philippians 2:15]

“See what love the Father has given us – that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” [1 John 3:1]

“By this it may be seen who are the children of God, and who are the children of the Devil, Whoever does not do right is not of God, nor he who does not love his brother.” [1 John 3:10]

“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandment.” [1 John 5:2]

Posted from al-ibaanah eBook:
The Status of Jesus in Islaam – Shaikh Rabee’ bin Haadee Al-Madkhalee.
Translated by Isma’eel Alarcon

Title of the this post is from AbdurRahman.Org 

Choosing the Desired Wife.

Choosing the Desired Wife.  

Find out what one should look for in a prospective wife.

When seriously considering marriage, you must pose the question to yourself as to just what kind of wife you want, what her qualities should be in order to establish an Islamic and peaceful household, and how you will know who she is.

All praise is due to Allāh, Lord of the worlds, the Merciful, the Hearer of supplications, and peace and blessings upon our beloved and humble prophet Muḥammad, and upon his family and companions.

When marriage is spoken of during these “modern” times, Muslims become horrified, conjuring images of an arranged marriage, trying to find that “perfect” companion, how much of a financial burden it will become, and so on. The reality is that Islām came to solve these problems, not exacerbate them, yet unfortunately we have integrated our local traditions and customs with Islām so that marriage has become a major concern for a man rather than a delightful experience.

When living in a free, perverted and corrupt Western society, the Muslim male youth finds many temptations and tests, as a result of mixing with females, which he must face and overcome. He must constantly resist these temptations, which are thrown at him in the streets, on the media, and at work. And so the wisdom of the Prophet (ﷺ) echoes on,when he said: “O young men, those among you who can support a wife should marry, for it restrains the eyes from casting (evil glances), and preserves one from immorality…”

When seriously considering marriage, you must pose the question to yourself as to just what kind of wife you want, what her qualities should be in order to establish an Islamic and peaceful household, and how you will know who she is. As Muslims, we believe that Allāh wants the best for us, and that His Prophet (ﷺ) illustrated this through his own life. So note that by following the advise of our own Creator, and that of His beloved servant, we can only be successful.

WHO TO MARRY

Islām is clear on the kind of wife you should be seeking. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “A woman may be married for four reasons: for her property, her status, her beauty, and her religion; so try to get one who is religious, may you be blessed.” This specifically defines just what kind of a companion we are seeking, for if we marry her for anything other than her religious piety, our marriage is bound to fall into misery. True, beauty and charm is hard to resist, yet beauty does not last forever and does not guarantee you her obedience and religiousness. Financial status is dynamic, and so is worldly status, yet religion strongly establishes a household, and it may be that through your intention of marrying her for her religion, the rest is given to you anyway.

In another Ḥadīth, the Prophet (ṣallallāhu alayhī wa-salām) said: “The whole world is a provision, and the best object of benefit of the world is the pious woman.” Imagine! Nothing in this world is as valuable as a pious woman! This point has been stressed many times by RasulAllāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhī wa-salām), who himself, when asked what three things he loved the most, mentioned a pious woman. Once the following āyah was revealed: “They who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in the way of Allāh, unto them give tidings of a painful doom. On that day when it will (all) be heated in the fire of Jahannam, and their foreheads and flanks and their backs will be branded therewith (and it will be said to them): ‘Here is what you hoarded for yourselves, now taste of what you used to hoard.” [Q.9; v.34-35]. Umar ibn al-Khattab (raḍīyaAllāhuʿanhu) has been quoted to say that, when this āyah was revealed, he approached the Prophet (ṣallallāhuʿalayhī wa-salām), submitting that the āyah weighed heavily on the minds of the Sahaba. RasulAllāh (ṣallallāhuʿalayhī wa-salām) replied that the best thing to be treasured is the devoted wife who causes pleasure when seen, obeys orders instantly and takes full care of herself and her husbands property when he is away.

Abū Bakr once asked RasulAllāh (ṣallallāhuʿalayhī wa-salām) what was the best thing to be treasured, and he (ṣallallāhu alayhī wa-salām) replied: “the tongue in remembrance of Allāh, the heart filled with thanks to Allāh, and a pious wife who helps in virtuous deeds”. Look at how valuable such a woman is in the sight of Allāh! How can a man live unhappily with such a person.

QUALITIES OF THE PIOUS WOMAN

Alright, you say, you’ve convinced me, but what actually makes her a pious woman? The answer is simple: Allāh himself has described those qualities most loved by Him in the Qur’ān, and in the aḤadīth there are numerous accounts of the virtuous attributes of a pious woman. The following are some āyahs (Verses) on the attributes of the wife you should be seeking, so note those fine and appreciative qualities. The following are some āyahs on the attributes of the wife you should be seeking, so note those fine and appreciative qualities. “And women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity.” [Q.24; v.26].

“Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husbands) absence what Allāh would have them guard.” [Q.4;v.34].

“It may be, if he divorced you (all), that Allāh will give him in exchange consorts better than you, who submit (Muslims), who believe, who are devout, who turn to Allāh in repentance, who worship (in humility), who travel (for faith) and fast…” [Q.66; v.5].

And then, in surah Ahzab, is a full list of those qualities loved by Allāh, qualities which by the way should be evident in both males and females. So, my dear brother, choose her for the following attributes:

-a Muslim woman 
-a believing woman 
-a devout woman 
-a true woman 
-a woman who is patient and constant 
-a woman who humbles herself 
-a woman who gives charity 
-a woman who fasts and denies herself 
-a woman who guards her chastity 
-a woman who engages much in Allāh’s praise.

Among the four known perfect women was Maryam. She was loved by Allāh because of her religious qualities: “O Maryam! Worship your Lord: prostrate yourself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down.” [Q.3; v.43]. Another was the wife of Pharaoh: “And Allāh sets forth, as an example to those who believe, the wife of Pharaoh: behold she said: ‘O my Lord, build for me, in nearness to Thee, a mansion in the Garden.” [Q.66; v.11].

The Prophet (ﷺ) loved his wives because of their religious qualities. Āishah once related the fine qualities of Zainab: “(Zainab) was the one who was somewhat equal in rank with me in the eyes of Allāh’s Messenger (ṣallallāhu alayhī wa-salām), and I have never seen a woman more advanced in religious piety than Zainab, more God-conscious, more truthful, more alive to the ties of blood, more generous and having more sense of self-sacrifice in practical life and having more charitable disposition and thus more closer to Allāh, the Exalted, than her.”

Ah, you think, but you’ll never find such a woman! Well, if that was true, Allāh would not have described her in the first place, and furthermore those qualities were emanating from the women described above. Islām deals with reality, not fiction. Sure, the perfect woman doesn’t exist, yet “if you take a dislike to them, it may be that you dislike a thing, and Allāh brings about through it a great deal of good.” [Q.4; v.19]. Remember also that you are not perfect either.

KNOWING WHO SHE IS.

To find that pious woman, there are two steps to be taken, and that first one relies on your personal observation. In surah Nisaa, Allāh asks the believing women that they should “lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments,” and also that they “should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments.” [Q.24; v.31]. If you notice a woman acting modestly, being not too obvious through her actions (by lowering her voice when around men), one who attempts to hide her attractions (which includes her external beauty as well as her internal charms), then you know she has some of those precious qualities. When you see a woman unashamedly flirting, unconcerned about her revealing clothes, and freely converses with males- keep far, far away. I’m sure when you get married you want your wife to devote her love to you, not to twenty other “just good friends”.

Through simple observation, you can get a glimpse of her nature; for example, the way she stands when conversing, how she maintains eye-contact, her clothes, where she spends her time etc. Look for her strong points, and don’t stress on her weak ones.

Yet, after all this, we still have to come to the most important topic. You can look all you want at her, set a private investigator to track her. Yet, after this, we still have to come to the most important topic. You can look all you want at her, set a private investigator to track her movements, read her diaries (which I consider extreme and unIslamic except for the first point), yet, my dear brother, no-one knows her heart and intentions, no-one knows whether she will turn sour or more religious, or whether you are suitable for each other, except for Allāh.

TRUST IN Allāh

We are choosing our wife for her permanent values; namely her religious devotions, moral integrity, character etc. But believe me, if we try ourselves to combine a marriage, we are almost sure to fail, because we have no knowledge.

Allāh loves a servant when he puts his trust in Him. When we do so, it is illustrating how we rely upon Him for help, and proving our sincerity to Him, establishing that we recognize His infinite knowledge and wisdom. Islām is likened to being as a house, and in my estimation nothing cements that house together as well as putting our trust in Allāh. It is related on the authority of Jabir ibnʿAbdullāh that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu alayhī wa-salām) used to teach his companions to seek, through a special du’a (known as an istikharah), the guidance of Allāh in all matters which affected them. RasulAllāh (ṣallallāhuʿalayhī wa-salām) said: “When you are confused about what you should do in a certain situation, then pray two rak’at of nafl ṣalát and read the following du’a (du’a of istikharah).”

I am surprised at the criticisms thrown at this du’a, and of its negligence. We are humans, powerless in this sphere of life, knowledgeable only enough to survive. So why shouldn’t we turn to Allāh and seek His perfect help whenever we require it? Allāh responds to the call of His servant when he asks for guidance, and we are after all seeking to do something in order to please Him.

Many wrong notions exist concerning istikharah. Many Muslims will pray, read the du’a, and run to bed expecting to see a dream showing them their future wife, what her favorite color is, and some other weird fantasy. That is not the purpose of this ṣalát.

The results of an istikharah can take many forms. Basically, you go by your feelings, (i.e. you think about everything carefully and then make a decision). Also, you may notice events have changed, either for or against you – so you re-evaluate your situation again – and perhaps your decision might change. Finally, as a wonderful gift from Allāh, you may be blessed with a dream.

The Prophet (ṣallallāhu alayhī wa-salām) once sent Zainab a proposal of marriage. She refused to accept the proposal straight away, expressing her intention to refer the matter to Allāh: “I do not do anything until I solicit the will of my Lord.” Allāh, the Responsive, answered her plea for help and revealed an āyah approving of the marriage. We may seem shocked at her refusal to accept a proposal from what is the best husband any woman can have, yet she was just recognizing that it is Allāh who knows how successful such a marriage will be, and as a sign of appreciation, that reply is now preserved in al Qur’ān.

The Prophet (ṣallallāhu alayhī wa-salām) once said to Āishah: “I saw you in a dream for three nights when an angel brought you to me in a silk cloth and he said: ‘Here is your wife’, and when I removed (the cloth) from your face, lo, it was yourself, so I said: ‘if this is from Allāh, let Him carry it out’ “. Marriage is a serious step, and requires the right attitude. If marriage completes half our faith, shouldn’t that half be the best half? A woman married for the wrong reasons can only weaken the Muslim household. Consider that she will be your life-long companion, the rarer of your children. Don’t marry her for her worldly wealth, but for her wealth in Islamic wisdom and knowledge. Her status in this life is but illusionary, so choose her for her status in the sight of Allāh. Beauty is but superficial, but the beauty of Iman is transcendent. When asking Allāh for a wife, call upon Him by His beautiful names, as He has commanded us: “For Allāh are certain and dignified names: therefore call upon Him by them.” [Q.7; v.189]. Ask for a companion who is devout, pious, patient and so on. Be among those who say: “Our Lord, may our spouses and our offspring be a joy to our eyes and make us leaders of the righteous” [Q.25; v.74]. I cannot provide a better conclusion than saying that you must put your trust in Allāh. You must have trust in His concern for us, and His ability to help us. Allāh says: “Put your trust in Allāh, for Allāh loves those who put their trust in Him.” [Q.3; v.159]. May Allāh help us in our sincere efforts in following His commandments and the way of His beloved servant, and provide us with wives whom He loves.

“When my servants ask you concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I respond to the prayer of every supplicant when he calls on Me: let them also, with a will, listen to my call, and believe in Me: that they may walk in the right way.” [Q.2; v.186]

Etiquettes of Weddings and Marriage – Sheikh Muhammad Naasirud-deen Al-Albanee (رحمه الله)

ETIQUETTES OF WEDDINGS AND MARRIAGE – SHAYKH MUHAMMAD NAASIRUD-DEEN AL-ALBAANEE (رحمه الله)
THE AUTHOR’S INTRODUCTION
All praise is due to Allâh, the One who said in the clear verses of His Book:

“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): Verily in that are Signs for those who reflect”. [al-Room 30:21].

May the prayers and peace of Allâh be upon His Prophet Muhammad, the one who said in an authenticated hadîth: “Marry the loving and fertile, for I will compete with the other Prophets with the number of my followers on the Day of Qiyama”. [Ahmad and atTabaarani with hasan isnaad. And declared saheeh from Anas by Ibn Hibbaan. And it has witnesses which will be mentioned in Question 19].

After this opening: There are in Islam, certain etiquettes upon anyone who marries and wishes to consummate his marriage with his wife. Most Muslims today, even those who exert themselves in Islamic worship, have either neglected or become totally ignorant of these Islamic etiquettes.

Therefore, I decided to write this beneficial treatise clearly explaining these issues on the occasion of marriage of someone dear to me. I hope that it will be an aid to him and to other believing brothers in carrying out what the Chief of the Messengers has ordained on the authority of the Lord of the Worlds. I have followed that by pointing out certain issues important to every one who marries, and with which many wives in particular have been tested.

I ask Allâh Most High to bring about some benefit from this treatise, and to accept this work solely for His glorious countenance. Surely, He is the Righteous, the Merciful.

It should be known that there are many etiquettes in the area of marriage. All that I am concerned with here in this quickly compiled work is that which is authenticated of the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), that which is irreproachable from the standpoint of its chain of narration and upon which no doubt can be cast in terms of its constructions and meanings. In this way, whoever reads and follows this information will be on a clearly established basis in religion, and will have full confidence in the source and validity of his actions. I hope for him that Allâh will put the final seal of felicity on his life, in reward for beginning his married life with the following of the sunnah, and to make for him among His slaves whose statement He has described in the Qur’an saying:

“And those who pray, “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.” [al-Furqaan 25:74].

The final disposition of things is for those of pious practise, as the Lord of the Worlds said:

“As to the Righteous, they shall be amidst (cool) shades and springs (of water). And (they shall have) fruits, – all they desire. “Eat ye and drink you to your heart’s content: for that you worked (righteousness).” Thus do We certainly reward the Doers of Good. [al-Mursalaat 77:41-44].

The following then, are those etiquettes:

KINDNESS TOWARD YOUR WIFE WHEN YOU WISH TO ENTER INTO HER.

It is desirable, when one goes into his wife on his wedding night, to show her kindness, such as presenting her with something to drink, etc. This is found in the hadîth narrated by Asmaa’ bint Yazid ibn As-Sakan who said: “I beautified ‘As’ishah for Allâh’s Messenger, then called him to come to see her unveiled. He came, sat next to her, and brought a large cup of milk from which he drank. Then, he offered it to ‘Aa’ishah, but she lowered her head and felt shy. I scolded her and said to her: “Take from the hand of the Prophet.” She then took it and drank some. Then, the Prophet said to her, “Give some to your companion.” At that point, I said: “O Messenger of Allâh, rather take it yourself and drink, and then give it to me from your hand.” He took it, drank some, and then offered it to me. I sat down and put it on my knees. Then, I began rotating it and following it with my lips in order that I might hit the spot from which the Prophet had drunk. Then, the Prophet said about some women who were there with me: “Give them some.” But, they said: “We don’t want it.” (ie. we are not hungry). The Prophet said: “Do not combine hunger and fibbing!” [Ahmad and al-Humaidi. Ahmad reports it with two isnaads – one of which supports the other, and it is supported…]”

PLACING YOUR HANDS ON YOUR WIFE’S HEAD AND PRAYING FOR HER.

The husband should, at the time of consummating the marriage with his wife or before that, place his hand on the front part of her head, mention the name of Allâh Most High, and pray for Allâh’s blessings. As in the statement of the Prophet: “When any of you marries a woman … he should hold her forelock, mention Allâh Most High, and pray for His blessings saying: “O Allâh, I ask You for the good in her and the good with which You have created her, and I seek refuge in You from the evil in her and the evil with which You have created her.” {Allaahumma innee as’aluka min khairiha wa khairi maa jabaltaha ‘alaihi wa a’oodhubika min sharriha wa sharri maa jabaltaha ‘alaihi}. [Abu Dawood and others. Al-Bukhari in “Af’aalul-‘Ibaad”, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, al-Haakim, al-Baihaqee and Abu Ya’laa with hasan isnaad …].

THE PRAYING OF HUSBAND AND WIFE TOGETHER.

It is desirable for the husband and wife to pray two rakaat together on their wedding night. This has been narrated from the earliest generation of Muslims, as in the following two narrations:

First: On the authority of Abu Sa’eed Mawla Abu Asyad who said: “I got married while I was a slave. I invited a number of the companions of the Prophet, among them was Ibn Mas’ood, Abu Dharr and Hudhaifa. When the prayer was called, Abu Dharr began to step forward when the others said to him: ‘No!’ He said: ‘Is it so?’ And they said: ‘Yes.’ Then, I stepped forward and led the prayer though I was a slave possessed. They taught me, saying: ‘When your wife comes to you, pray two rakaat. Then, ask Allâh for the good of that which has come to you, and seek refuge in Him from its evil. Then it is up to you and it is up to your wife.'” [Ibn Abi Shaybah and ‘Abdur-Razzaaq].

Second: On the authority of Shaqeeq who said: “A man named Abu Hareez came and said: ‘I have married a young girl, and I am afraid that she will despise me.’ ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood said to him: “Verily, closeness is from Allâh, and hatred is from Shaytan, who wishes to make despicable that which Allâh has allowed. So, when your wife comes to you, tell her to pray behind you two rakaat.'” In another version of the same story, “‘Abdullah went on to say: ‘And say: ‘O Allâh give Your blessings on me in my wife, and to her in me. O Allâh join us together as long as You join us in good, and split us apart if You send to us that which is better.'” [Ibn Abi Shaybah and at-Tabaraani and ‘AbdurRazzaaq: Saheeh].

WHAT TO SAY AT THE TIME OF MAKING LOVE.

When a Muslim man is about to enter his wife, he should always say first:  Bismillahi, Allahumma jannibnaa ash-shaitaan, wa jannib ash-shaitaan maa razaqtanna [In the name of Allâh, O Allâh, keep us away from the devil, and keep the devil away from that which You may grant us (ie. offspring).] About this, the Prophet said: “After that, if Allâh decrees that they will have a child, the devil will never be able to harm that child”. [al-Bukharee] [Some Scholars say that children are disobedient to their parents usually because the parents forget/forgot to say the above du’a before having sex.]

HOW HE SHOULD COME TO HER.

It is allowed for a Muslim man to enter his wife in her vagina from any direction he wishes – from behind or from the front. About this Allâh revealed the following verse:

“Your wives are a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how you will.” [al-Baqarah 2:223].

There are also various ahadîth on this subject, of which I will give only two:

On the authority of Jaabir who said: “The Jews used to say that if a man entered his wife in the vagina but from behind, their child would be cross-eyed! Then Allâh revealed the verse: “Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will;” [al-Baqarah 2:223]. The Prophet said: “From the front or the back, as long as it is in the vagina”. [Al-Bukharee and Muslim].

On the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas who said: “The Ansaar, who had been polytheists, lived with the Jews, who were people of the book. The former viewed the latter as being superior to them in knowledge, and used to follow their example in many things. The people of the book would only make love to their wives from the side, this being the most modest way for the woman, and the Ansaar had followed their example in that. These people from the Quraysh, on the other hand, used to expose their women in an uncomely manner. They took pleasure in them from the front, from the back, or laid out flat. When the Makkans came to al-Madeenah at the time of the Hijrah, one of them married a woman from among the Ansaar, and began doing that with her. She disapproved of it and told him: “We used only to be approached from the side, so do that or stay away from me!” This dispute became very serious until it reached the ears of the Prophet. So Allâh, revealed the verse: “Your wives are as a tilth unto you, so approach your tilth when or how ye will;” [al-Baqarah 2:223] (ie. from the front, the back, or laid out flat). What is meant here is the entry which produces children.” [Abu Dawood, al-Haakim and others: Hasan isnaad and is supported].

THE PROHIBITION OF SODOMY.

It is forbidden for a Muslim man to enter his wife in her anus. This is understood from the verse quoted above (i.e. since a “planting ground” can only refer to a place where something might grow), and from the narrations cited above. There are also other ahadîth on the subject, among them:

First: On the authority of Umm Salama who said: “When the Muhajireen came to Ansaar at al-Madeenah, some of them married women from the Ansaar. The women of the Muhajireen used to lie on their faces (during intercourse), while the women of the Ansaar never did it that way. Then, one of the men of the Muhajireen wanted his wife to do that. She refused until such time as she could ask the Prophet about it. She went to the Prophet but was embarrassed to ask the question, and so Umm Salama asked him. Then the verse was revealed which says: “Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how you will;” [al-Baqarah 2:223]. The Prophet said: “No! (not any way you wish) Except in one opening! (ie. the vagina)”. [Ahmad, at-Tirmidhee and others: Saheeh].

Second: On the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas who said: “‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab came to the Prophet and said: ‘O Messenger of Allâh, I am destroyed!’ The Prophet asked: ‘And what has destroyed you, O ‘Umar?’ ‘Umar said: `I turned my mount around last night.’ (An expression which means he has sexual intercourse with his wife penetrating the vagina while mounting her from the rear.) The Prophet gave him no answer and when the revelation came and the verse was revealed which says: “Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will;” [al-Baqarah 2:223] and the Prophet said: “From the front and from the back, just beware of her anus and her menses”. [an-Nasaa’ee in “`Ishratun-Nisaa” with hasan isnaad, at-Tirmidhee and others].

Third: On the authority of Khuzayma ibn Thaabit who said: “A man asked the Prophet about entering women in the rear, or the entering by a man of his wife in her rear, and the Prophet answered: `Halaal (ie. permissible).’ When the man turned to leave, the Prophet called him or ordered for him to be called back and said : “What did you say? In which of the two openings did you mean? If what you meant was from her rear and in her vagina, then yes. But if what you meant was from her rear and in her anus, then no. Verily Allâh is not ashamed of the truth – do not enter your wives in their anuses!” [as-Shaafi, al-Bayhaqi and others: Saheeh].

Fourth: “Allâh does not look at one who comes to his wife in her anus”. [an-Nasaa’ee: Hasan isnaad and supported in “al-‘Ishrah”; at-Tirmidhee and Ibn Hibbaan].

Fifth: “Cursed are those who come to their wives in their anuses.” [Abu Dawood, Ahmad and others with hasan isnaad and is supported].

Sixth: “Whoever has sexual intercourse with a menstruating woman, or a woman in her anus, or approaches a soothsayer and believes what he is told has disbelieved in that which was revealed to Muhammad.” [Abu Dawood, at-Tirmidhee and others: Saheeh].

MAKING WUDHUU’ BETWEEN TWO ACTS WITH ONE’S WIFE.

When a Muslim man has had sexual intercourse with his wife in the legal manner and then wishes to return another time, he should first perform wudhuu’, based on the statement of the Prophet : “When one of you comes to his wife and then wishes to return another time, let him perform wudhuu’ between the two times (In another version, the same wudhuu’ which he performs for prayer) for verily, it will invigorate his return.” [Muslim, Ibn Abi Shaibah and others].

BATHING IS PREFERABLE.

Bathing, however, is preferable to merely making wudhuu’ in such situations. Abu Raafi’ narrates: “That the Prophet made the rounds of all his wives one night, bathing in the house of each one. He (i.e. the narrator) asked the Prophet: “Couldn’t you have just bathed once (i.e. at the end)?” The Prophet answered: “This way is purer, cleaner and better”. [Aboo Daawood, an-Nasaa’ee: Hasan in “al-‘Ishrah”, and others].

THE BATHING OF HUSBAND AND WIFE TOGETHER.

It is permissible for the husband and wife to bath together in the same place even though he sees her private parts, and she sees his. This is established by a number of authentic ahadîth, among them:

On the authority of ‘Aa’ishah (radiallahu anha) who said: “I used to bathe with the Prophet from a single container of water which was placed between us such that our hands collided inside it. He used to race me such that I would say: `Leave some for me, leave some for me!’ She added: `We were in a state of Janaba (i.e. the state of having slept together).'” [Al-Bukharee and Muslim].

On the authority of Mu’aawiya ibn Haida, who said: “I said: `O Messenger of Allâh, which of our nakedness is allowed, and of which must we beware?’ The Prophet answered, “Guard your nakedness except from your wife or those whom your right hand possesses.” (So it is permissible for both spouses to look at and touch the body of his or her companion even the private parts). He said: `O Messenger of Allâh, what about if the relatives live together with each other?’ The Prophet answered : “If you can make sure that no one ever sees your nakedness, then do so.” He said: `O Messenger of Allâh, what about when one is alone?’ The Prophet said: “Allâh is more deserving of your modesty than are the people”.” [Ahmad, Abu Dawood, at-Tirmidhee and others: Saheeh].

MAKING WUDHUU’ AFTER SEX AND BEFORE SLEEPING.

It is best for husband and wife not to sleep after having sex until they first perform wudhuu’. There are various ahadîth about this, among them:

First: On the authority of ‘Aa’shah who said: “Whenever the Prophet wished to sleep or eat while in a state of Janaba (i.e. after having sex and before bathing), he would wash his private parts and perform wudhuu’ as for prayer.” [Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim].

Second: On the authority of Ibn ‘Umar who said: “O Messenger of Allâh, should we go to sleep in a state of janaba?” The Prophet answered: “Yes, after making wudhuu.” [Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]. In another version: “Perform wudhuu’ and wash your private parts, and then sleep.” [Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]. And, in another version: “Yes, you can perform wudhuu’, sleep, and bathe whenever you want.” [Muslim and al-Bayhaqi]. And, still in another version: “Yes, and perform wudhuu’ if you wish.” (This last version proves that this wudhuu’ is not obligatory.) [Ibn Khuzayma and Ibn Hibban: Saheeh].

Third: On the authority of ‘Ammaar ibn Yaasir, the Prophet said: “There are three which the angels will never approach: The corpse of a disbeliever; a man who wears perfume of women; and, one who has had sex until he performs wudhuu’.” [Abu Dawood, Ahmad and others: Hasan].

THE RULING OF THIS WUDHUU’.

This wudhuu’ is not obligatory, but is very highly and definitely commendable. This (i.e. its not being obligatory) is based on the hadîth narrated by ‘Umar in which he asked the Prophet: “Should we go to sleep in a state of janaba?” To which the Prophet answered: “Yes, and perform wudhuu’ if you wish.” [Ibn Hibbaan: Saheeh]. This is also supported by other ahadîth, among them a hadîth narrated by ‘Aa’ishah who said: “The Prophet used to sleep in a state of janaba without having touched water, until he would get up later and bathe.” [Ibn Abi Shaiba, at-Tirmidhee, Abu Daawood and others: Saheeh].

In another version narrated by ‘Aa’ishah, she said: “”He used to spend the night in a state of janaba until Bilal came in the morning to make the adhaan. Then, he would get up, bathe while I looked at the water dripping from his head, and go out. Then, I would hear his voice in the Fajr prayer. Then, he would remain fasting.” Mutarrif said: “I said to Aamir: In the month of Ramadhaan?” He said: “Yes, in Ramadhaan and in other than Ramadhaan.” [Ibn Abi Shayba, Ahmad and others: Saheeh].

MAKING TAYAMMUM IN A STATE OF JANABA INSTEAD OF WUDHUU’.

It is also permissible to make Tayammum sometimes instead of wudhuu’ before sleeping. This is based on a hadîth of ‘Aa’ishah in which she said: “When the Prophet was in a state of janaba and wished to sleep, he used to make wudhuu’ or Tayammum (dry ablution).” [Al-Bayhaqi: Hasan].

BATHING BEFORE SLEEPING IS PERFERABLE.

Bathing however, is preferable to any of the above-mentioned possibilities as is clear in the hadith of `Abullaah ibn Qais who said: “I asked ‘Ai’ishah : “What did the Prophet do when in a state of janaba? Did he bathe before sleeping or sleep before bathing?” She answered: “He did all of those things. Sometimes he bathe and then slept. And sometimes he performed wudhuu’ and then slept.” I said: “Praise be to Allâh who made things flexible.” [Muslim, Ahmad and Abu `Auwaana].

THE PROHIBITION OF SEX WHEN SHE IS MENSTRUATING.

It is forbidden for a Muslim man to have sexual intercourse with his wife when she is menstruating. This is clear in the following verse of the Qur’an:

“They ask you (Muhammad) concerning women’s courses. Say: They are a hurt and a pollution: So keep away from women in their courses, and do not approach them until they are clean. But when they have purified themselves, you may approach them in any manner, time, or place ordained for you by Allâh. For Allâh loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean.” [Al-Baqarah, 2:222].

There are also ahadîth about this, among them:

First: “Whoever has sexual intercourse with a menstruating woman, or a woman in her anus, or approaches a soothsayer and believes what he is told has disbelieved in that which was revealed to Muhammad.”

Second: On the authority of Anas ibn Malik, who said: “When one of their women has their period, the Jews used to put her out of the house, and they would not eat, drink, or sleep with her in the house. The Prophet was asked about this, and Allâh revealed the verse:

“They ask you (Muhammad) concerning women’s courses. Say: They are a hurt and a pollution: so keep away from women in their courses, …” Then the Prophet said: “Be with them in the house, and do everything except for intercourse itself.” The Jews said: “This man wants to leave nothing which we do without doing something different.” Then, Asyad ibn Hudair said: “O Messenger of Allâh, verily the Jews says such-and-such, should we not then have sexual intercourse during menstruation?” The Prophet’s face changed such that they thought that he was enraged with them, so they left. As they were coming out, they saw a gift of milk being brought to the Prophet. The Prophet then sent someone after them to give them a drink of milk, so they felt that he was not actually angry with them.” [Muslim, Abu ‘Auwaana and Abu Daawood].

THE PENITENCE OF ONE WHO HAS SEX DURING MENSES.

Whoever is overcome by desire and has sexual intercourse with his wife when she is menstruating and before she becomes clean must give the value of one dinar’s weight of gold or about 4.25 grams (4.2315 to be more precise), or half that amount. This is based on a hadîth narrated by ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Abbaas from the Prophet in relation to one who enters his wife while she is on her period as follows: “Let him give one dinar in charity, or one half dinar.” [At-Tirmidhee, Abu Dawood, At-Tabaraani and others: Saheeh].

WHAT IS PERMISSIBLE WHEN SHE IS ON HER PERIODS.

It is allowed for him to enjoy pleasure with his wife in any way except for her private parts when she is on her period. There are several ahadîth about this:

First: “and do everything except intercourse itself.” [Muslim, Abu ‘Auwaana and Aboo Daawood].

Second: On the authority of ‘Aa’ishah who said: “When we were on our periods, the Prophet used to order us to put on a waist cloth that her husband can then lie with her.” One time she said: “… her husband can then fondle and caress her.” [al-Bukhaaree, Muslims and others].

Third: On the authority of one of the wives of the Prophet who said: “When the Prophet wanted something from one of his wives who was on her period, he put a cloth over her private parts, and then did whatever he wanted.” [Abu Daawood: Saheeh].

WHEN IS IT ALLOWED TO RESUME SEXUAL ACTIVITY AFTER MENSES?

When she becomes clean of any menstrual blood, and the flow stops completely, it is allowed for them to resume sexual activity after she washes the place where the blood had been, or performs wudhuu’, or takes a complete bath. Whichever of these three alternatives she does makes it allowed for them to resume sexual activity, based on Allâh’s statement in the Qur’an:

“But when they have purified themselves, ye may approach them in any manner, time, or place ordained for you by Allâh. For Allâh loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean.” [Al-Baqarah 2:222].

This is the position of Ibn Hazm, ‘Ataa, Qatadah, al-Awzaa’ee and Daawud az-Zaahiree and of Mujaahid: as Ibn Hazm says: “All three of these are a purification – so whichever of them she uses after the cessation of her periods, then she is lawful for her husband.”

The same term is used to mean washing the private parts in the Aayah revealed concerning the people of Qubaa:

“In it are men who love to be purified; and Allâh loves those who make themselves pure.” [at-Tawbah 9:108].

There is nothing here in the Aayah however, or in the Sunnah, to restrict the Aayah in question to any of the three meanings – and to do so requires a further proof.

THE LAWFULNESS OF COITUS INTERRUPTUS (Withdrawal of the penis from the vagina at the time of ejaculation with the purpose of avoiding impregnation. This can be done only with the permission of one’s wife).

It is allowed for a Muslim man to practise coitus interruptus with his wife. There are several ahadîth about this:

First: On the authority of Jaabir who said: “We were practising coitus interruptus, and the Qur’an was being revealed.” [al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]. In another version, he said: “We used to practise coitus interruptus in the lifetime of the Prophet. This reached the Prophet, and he did not prohibit us from doing it.” [Muslim, an-Nasaa’ee and at-Tirmidhee].

Second: On the authority of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudhriy, who said: “A man came to the Prophet and said: “I have a young girl (right-hand possession), and I practise coitus interruptus with her. I want that which men want, but the Jews claim that coitus interruptus is minor infanticide.” The Prophet said: “The Jews have lied, the Jews have lied. If Allâh wished to create a child, you would not be able to prevent it.” [AnNaasaa’ee in al-‘Ishrah: Abu Dawood and others: Saheeh].

Third: On the authority of Jaabir, a man came to the Prophet and said: “I have a slave girl who serves us and waters our date trees. Sometimes I go to her, but I dislike that she should become pregnant by me”. The Prophet said: “use coitus interruptus if you like, but whatever has been ordained for her will come.” After some time, the man again came to the Prophet and said: “She has become pregnant!” The Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘Alayhee wa Sallam) told him: “I told you that whatever has been ordained for her will come.” [Muslim, Abu Dawood and others].

IT IS PREFERRABLE NOT TO PRACTICE COITUS INTERRUPTUS.

Not practising coitus interruptus is preferable for a number of reasons:

First: It is harmful for the woman, since it reduces her pleasure by cutting it short. If she agrees to it, it still contains the following negative points.

Second: It negates part of the purpose of marriage which is enlarging the Muslim nation through offspring, as in the statement of the Prophet: “Marry the loving and fertile, for I will compete with the other Prophets with the number of my followers.” [Abu Dawood, an-Nasaa’ee and others: Saheeh]. This is why the Prophet once referred to it as “minor infanticide” (and not because it is forbidden as infanticide is forbidden) when asked about it saying: “That is minor infanticide”. [Muslim, Ahmad and al-Bayhaqi]. For this was preferable in the hadith narrated by Abu Sa’eed al-Khudhriy saying: “Coitus Interruptus was mentioned in the presence of the Prophet and he said: “Why would one of you do that? (note he did not say “let none of you do that”) Allâh is the Creator of every single soul.” [Muslim]. In another version, he said: “You act and you act. There are no people destined to be from now until the day of Qiyama but that all of them will be.” [Muslim].

WHAT THE TWO SPOUSES SHOULD INTEND WITH THEIR MARRIAGE.

Both spouses should enter into marriage with the following intentions: freeing themselves of unfulfilled sexual desires, and protecting themselves from falling into that which Allâh has forbidden (i.e. adultery and fornication). What’s more, a reward as the reward for sadaqa (voluntary giving of charity) is recorded for them every time they have sex. This is based on the following hadîth of the Prophet narrated by Abu Dharr: “Some of the companions of the Prophet said to him: ‘O Messenger of Allâh, the affluent among us have taken the rewards (of the hereafter)! They pray as we pray, fast as we fast, and then they give charity from the surplus of their wealth!” The Prophet said: “Did Allâh not make for you that from which you can give sadaqa? Verily for every time you say Subhannallah (Exalted is Allâh) there is a sadaqa, and for every time you say Allahuakbar (Allâh is Most Great) there is a sadaqa, and for every time you say AlHamdulillah (Praise is to Allâh) there is sadaqa, and in every act of enjoining what is right there is sadaqa, and in every act of forbidding what is wrong there is a sadaqa, and in your sexual relations there is a sadaqa.” The Companions said: “O Messenger of Allâh, is there a reward for one of us when he satisfies his sexual desire?” The Prophet said: “Don’t you see, if he had satisfied it with the forbidden, would there not have been a sin upon him?” They said: “Why, yes!” He said: “In the same way, when he satisfies it with that which is lawful, there is for him in that a reward.” [Muslim, an-Nasaa’ee in al-‘Ishrah, and Ahmad].

WHAT HE SHOULD DO THE MORNING AFTER HIS WEDDING NIGHT.

It is desirable for the husband to go to his relatives who came to visit him in his house, on the following morning, to give them greetings and pray for them. It is also desirable for them to do likewise for him, as in the following hadîth narrated by Anas: “The Messenger of Allâh gave a feast on the morning of his wedding night with Zaynab, at which he fed the Muslims to satisfaction on bread and meat. Then, he went out to the Mothers of the Believers (i.e. to his other wives), gave them greetings and prayed for them, which they returned in kind. This is the way he used to do on the morning after a wedding night.” [Ibn Sa’d and an-Nasaa’ee: Saheeh].

THE HOUSE MUST HAVE A PLACE FOR BATHING.

The married couple must have a place to bathe in their house, and the husband must not allow his wife to go to the public bath houses. This is forbidden, and there are various ahadîth about it, among them:

First: On the authority of Jaabir who said: “The Prophet said: “Whoever believes in Allâh and the Last Day, let him not allow his wife to go to the Public baths. Whoever believes in Allâh and the Last Day, let him not go to the baths except with a waistcloth. And whoever believes in Allâh and the Last Day, let him never sit at a table at which intoxicants are being circulated.” [Al-Haakim, at-Tirmidhee and others: Saheeh].

Second: On the authority of Umm ad-Dardaa’ who said: “I came out of the public bath and I met Allâh’s Messenger who said to me: ‘From where have you come O Umm Dardaa’?’ I said: ‘From the baths’. Then he said: “By the One in whose hand is my soul, every woman who removes her clothes anywhere except the house of one of her mothers has torn down all that veils her before ar-Rahman.” [Ahmad: Saheeh].

Third: On the authority of Abu al-Maleeh who said: “Some women from Ash-Shaam entered upon ‘Aa’ishah and said: “Where are you from?” The women answered: “We are of the people of Ash-Shaam (the area of present-day Syria).” ‘Aa’ishah said: “Are you perhaps from that district which allows its women to enter the public baths?” The said: “Yes”. She said: “As for me, I heard the Messenger of Allâh say: “Every woman who removes her clothes other than in her house has torn down all veils of modesty between herself and Allâh.” [at-Tirmidhee, Abu Dawood and others: Saheeh].

THE PROHIBITION OF SPREADING BEDROOM SECRETS.

It is forbidden for either the husband or the wife to spread any of the secrets of their bedroom to anyone outside. The following two ahadîth are about this:

First: “Verily among the worst people before Allâh on the Day of Judgement is a man who approaches his wife sexually and she responds and then he spreads her secrets.” [Muslim, Ibn Abi Shayba, Ahmad and others].

Second: “On the authority of Asmaa bint Yazid who narrated “that she was once in the presence of the Prophet and there were both men and women sitting. The Prophet then said: “Perhaps a man might discuss what he does with his wife, or perhaps a woman might inform someone what she did with her husband?” The people were silent. Then I said: “O, Yes! O Messenger of Allâh verily both the women and men do that.” Then the Prophet said: “Do not do that. It is like a male shaytan who meets a female shaytan along the way, and has sex with her while the people look on!” [Ahmad: Hasan or Saheeh due to supports].

THE OBLIGATION OF A WEDDING FEAST.

The husband must sponsor a feast after the consummation of the marriage. This is based on the order of the Prophet to ‘Abur-Rahman ibn ‘Auf to do so, and on the hadith narrated by Buraida ibn At-Haseeb, who said: “When ‘Ali sought the hand of Faatimah (the Prophet’s daughter) in marraige, he said that the Prophet said: “A wedding (and in another version “a bridegroom”) must have a feast.” The narrator said: “Sa’ad said: ‘(a feast) of a sheep.’ Someone else said: ‘Of such and such a quantity of corn.” [Ahmad and at-Tabaraani: Its isnaad is acceptable as al-Haafiz Ibn Hajr says in Fathul-Baaree: 9/188].

THE SUNNAH OF THE WEDDING FEAST.

The following should be observed with regard to the wedding banquet:

First: It should be held three days after the first wedding night, since this is the tradition of the Prophet which has reached us. On the authority of Anas who said: “The Prophet entered upon his wife and sent me to invite some men for food.” [al-Bukhaaree and al-Bayhaqi]. Also on the authority of Anas, he said: “The Prophet married Safiya, and her freedom was her dowry. He gave the feast for three days.” [Abu Ya’laa and others: Hasan].

Second: One should invite the righteous to his banquet whether they be rich or poor. The Prophet said: “Do not be the friend of any except believers, and have only the pious eat your food.” [Abu Dawood, at-Tirmidhee and others: Saheeh].

Third: If one is able, he should have a feast of one or more sheep. Based on the following hadîth, Anas said: “Abdur-Rahmaan came to al-Madeenah, and the Prophet assigned Sa’ad ibn Ar-Rabee’ al-Ansaariy as his brother. Sa’ad took him to his house, called for food, and they both ate. The Sa’ad said: “O my brother, I am the wealthiest of the people of al-Madeenah (in another version: “… of the Ansaar”), so look to half of my property and take it (in another version: “… and I will divide my garden in half”). Also, I have two wives (and you, my brother in Allâh, have no wife), so look to which of mine pleases you more, so I can divorce her for you. Then upon the completion of the prescribed waiting period, you may marry her.” ‘Abdur-Rahmaan said: “No, by Allâh, may Allâh bless you in your family and your property. Show me the way to the marketplace.”And so they showed him the way to the market-place and he went there. He bought and he sold and he made a profit. In the evening, he came back to the people of his house with some dried milk for cooking and some ghee. After that some time elapsed, until he appeared one day with traces of saffron on his garments. The Prophet said to him: “What is this?” He said: “O Messenger of Allâh, I have married a woman among the Ansaar.” The Prophet answered: “What did you give her for her dowry?” He answered: “The weight of five dirhams in gold.” Then, the Prophet said: “May Allâh bless you, give a feast if only with one sheep.” ‘Abdur-Rahmaan said: “I have seen myself in such a state that if I were to lift a stone, I would expect to find some gold or silver under it.” Anas said: “I saw after his death that each of his wives inherited one hundred thousand Dinars.” [Al-Bukhaaree, an-Nasaa’ee and others].

Also on the authority of Anas he said: “I never saw the Prophet sponsor such a wedding feast as the one he gave for Zaynab. He slaughtered a sheep and fed everyone meat and bread until they ate no more.” [Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and others].

WEDDING FEASTS CAN BE GIVE WITH OTHER THAN MEAT.

It is allowed to give the wedding banquet with any food which is available and affordable, even if that does not include meat. This is based on the following hadîth narrated by Anas: “The Prophet stayed between Khaibar and al-Madeenah for three days during which he had entered with his wife Safiya. Then I invited the Muslims to his Wedding feast. There was neither meat nor bread at his feast. Rather, leather eating mats were brought out and on them were placed dates, dried milk, and clarified butter. The people ate their fill.” [Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and others].

PARTICIPATION OF THE WEALTHY IN THE FEAST WITH THEIR WEALTH.

It is commendable for the wealthy to help in the preparations for the wedding feast based on the hadith narrated by Anas about the Prophet’s marriage to Safiya: “Then, when we were on the road, Umm Sulaim prepared her (Safiya) for him (the Prophet and brought her to him at night, and so the the Prophet awoke the next morning a new bridgegroom. Then he said: “Whoever has something, let him bring it.” (In another version, he said “Whoever has an excess of provisions, let him bring it.”) Anas continues: “And so the leather eating mats were spread out and one man would bring dried milk, another dates and another clarified butter and so they made Hais (hais is a mixture of the above three things). The people then ate of this hais and drank from pools of rainwater which were nearby, and that was the wedding feast of the Prophet.” [Al-Bukhaaree, Muslims and others].

This concludes the treatise, “etiquettes of weddings & marriage” authored by the late Muhaddith, Muhammad Nasirudeen Al-Albaanee (رحمه الله). May Allâh aid us in following the Sunnah of His Messenger (ﷺ).

The Muslim Woman and Her Husband. (Part Five).

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. This is a series on the roles and duties of the Muslim woman with examples of stories from the time of the Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ), his companions, and the later generations who followed them in faith. This is a series titled “THE MUSLIM WOMAN AND HER HUSBAND”.
This is the fifth and the final part in the series. Please read and benefit from it in’shaa’Allaah Ta’ala.

SHE TRIES TO CREATE AN ATMOSPHERE OF PEACE AND TRANQUILITY FOR HIM.

The Muslim woman does not only make herself beautiful for her husband and share his work and pastimes, but she also tries to create an atmosphere of peace and tranquility in the home. So she tries to keep a clean and tidy home, in which he will see order and good taste, and clean, well-mannered, polite children, and where good meals are prepared regularly. The clever woman also does whatever else she can based on her knowledge and good taste. All of this is part of being a good Muslim wife as enjoined by Islam.

The true Muslim woman does not forget that according to Islam marriage is one of the signs of Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى). Islam has made the wife a source of tranquility, rest and consolation for her husband:

“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your [hearts] . . .” (30:21)

Marriage is the deepest of bonds which Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) ties between one soul and another, so that they may enjoy peace, tranquility, stability and permitted pleasures. The wife is a source of refuge, security and rest for her husband in a marital home that is filled with sincere love and compassionate mercy. The truly-guided Muslim woman is the best one to understand this lofty meaning and to translate it into a pleasant and cheerful reality.

SHE IS TOLERANT AND FORGIVING.

The Muslim woman is tolerant and forgiving, overlooking any errors on the part of her husband. She does not bear a grudge against him for such errors or remind him about them every so often. There is no quality that will endear her to her husband like the quality of tolerance and forgiveness, and there is nothing that will turn her husband against her like resentment, counting faults and reminding him about his mistakes.

The Muslim woman who is following the guidance of Islam obeys the command of Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى):

“. . . Let them forgive and overlook, do you not wish that Allâh should forgive you?. . .” (24:22).

Such a woman deserves to be the queen of her husband’s heart and to fill his soul with joy and happiness.

SHE IS STRONG IN CHARACTER AND WISE.

Among the most prominent characteristics of the Muslim woman are her strength of character, mature way of thinking, and serious conduct. These are qualities which the Muslim woman possesses both before and after marriage, because they are the result of her understanding of Islam and her awareness of her mission in life.

She exhibits this strength of character when she is choosing a husband. She does not give way to her father’s whims if he has deviated from the right way and is seeking to force her into a marriage that she does not want. Neither does she give in to the man who comes to seek her hand in marriage, no matter how rich or powerful he may be, if he does not have the qualities of a true Muslim husband.

After marriage, her character remains strong, even though she is distinguished by her easygoing nature, mild-tempered behavior and loving obedience to her husband. Her strength of character comes to the fore especially when she has to take a stand in matters concerning her religion and ‘aqeedah (Creed), as we have seen in some of the narratives referred to previously, such as Umm Sulaym bint Milhan, who insisted on adhering to Islam along with her son Anas, although her husband Malik ibn al-Nadar remained a mushrik, opposed to his wife being Muslim; and Umm Habibah bint Abi Sufyan who remained steadfast in her Islam when her husband ‘Ubayd-Allah ibn Jahsh al-Asadi became an apostate and joined the religion of the Abyssinians; and Barirah who was determined to separate from her husband whom she did not love, even though the Prophet (ﷺ) tried to intervene on his behalf; and the wife of Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas, who demanded a divorce from her husband whom she did not love either, and the Prophet accepted her request.

The primary motive of these women in taking up such a strong stance was their concern to adhere to Islam, to keep their belief (‘aqeedah) pure, and ultimately to please Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى).

Each of them was seeking that which is halaal in her married life, and feared committing any haraam deed, either because she was married to a man who did not share her religious beliefs, or she was falling short in her duties towards a husband whom she did not love or could not live with. If it were not for their strength of character and feelings of pride in themselves and their faith, they would have followed the commands of the misguided husbands and would have found themselves going astray, choking on the misery of living with a husband they could not truly accept. The courage of these women shows how the true Muslim women should be, no matter where or when she lives.

But the Muslim woman’s strength of character should not make her forget that she is required to obey her husband, treating him with honor and respect. Her strength of character should make her strike a wise balance in the way she speaks and acts towards him, with no inconsistency or carelessness. Even in those moments of anger which are unavoidable in a marriage, she should control herself and restrain her tongue, lest she say anything that could hurt her husband’s feelings. This is the quality of a strong, balanced character.

‘A’ishah (رضي الله عنه) represents the highest example of this good quality, and every Muslim woman should follow her example. The way in which she swore an oath when she was happy with her husband, the Prophet (ﷺ), was different from the way she spoke when she was upset with him. This is an example of good manners and respect. It was something that the Prophet (ﷺ) noticed, as she narrated that he said:

“I know when you are happy with me and when you are upset with me.” She said, “How do you know that?” He said, “When you are happy with me, you say, ‘No, by the Lord of Muhammad,’ and when you are upset with me, you say, ‘No, by the Lord of Ibrahim.’” She said, “Yes, that is right. By Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى), O Messenger of Allâh, I only keep away from your name.” (Sahīh Muslim, 15/203)

What refined manners and sincere love!

‘A’ishah’s strength of character became even more prominent when she was tried with the slander (al-ifk) which Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) made a test for His Messenger and for all the ummah, raising the status of some and lowering that of others, increasing the faith of those who were guided and increasing the loss of those who went astray.

Her strength of character and deep faith in Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) became apparent, and her trust in Him alone to prove her innocence was quite clear. I can find no more beautiful description of the deep and sincere faith of ‘A’ishah and her trust in the justice of Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى), than that given by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, who said:

“The test was so severe that the Revelation ceased for a month because of it, and nothing at all concerning this issue was revealed to the Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ) during that time, so that the wisdom behind what had happened might become completely apparent and the sincere believers might be increased in faith and adherence to justice and might think well of Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى), His Messenger, the Messenger’s family and those believers who spoke the truth. The munafiqun, meanwhile, would be increased only in sins and hypocrisy, and their true nature would be exposed to the Prophet (ﷺ) and the believers. ‘A’ishah, the one who had spoken the truth, and her parents would be shown to be true servants of Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) who had received His full blessing. Their needs for Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) and desire to draw closer to Him would increase; they would feel humble before Him and would put their hope and trust in Him, instead of hoping for the support of other people. ‘A’ishah would despair of receiving help from any created being, and she passed this most difficult test when her father said, ‘Get up and thank him,’ after Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) had sent down a Revelation confirming her innocence. She said, ‘By Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى), I will not get up and thank him; I will only give thanks to Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) Who has revealed my innocence.’ 

“Another aspect of the wisdom behind the Revelation being suspended for a month was that people would focus solely on this issue and examine it closely; the believers would wait with eager anticipation to hear what Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) would reveal to His Messenger concerning this matter. The Revelation came like rain on parched land, when it was most needed by the Messenger of Allâh and his family, by Abu Bakr and his family, by the Sahaabah and by the believers, and it brought them great relief and joy. If Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) had revealed the truth of the matter from the first instant, then the wisdom behind this event would have been obscured and a great lesson would have been lost. 

“Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) wanted to demonstrate the status of His Prophet (ﷺ) and his family in His sight, and the honor which He had bestowed upon them. He Himself was to defend His Messenger and rebuke his enemies, in such a way that the Prophet (ﷺ) had nothing to do with it. Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) alone would avenge His Prophet (ﷺ) and his family.

“The Messenger of Allâh was the target of this slander, and the one who was accused was his wife. It was not appropriate for him to declare her innocence, although he knew that she was indeed innocent, and never thought otherwise. When he asked people to avenge him of those who had spread the slander, he said: ‘Who could blame me if I were to punish those who slandered my family? By Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى), I have never known anything but good from my family, and they have told me about a man from whom I have never known anything but good, and he never came in my house except with me.’ He had more proof than the believers did of ‘A’ishah’s innocence, but because of his high level of patience, perseverance and deep trust in Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى), he acted in the appropriate manner until the Revelation came that made his heart rejoice and raised his status, showing to his ummah that Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) was taking care of him.

“Whoever examines ‘A’ishah’s response, when her father told her to get up and thank the Messenger of Allâh, and she said, ‘No, I will give thanks only to Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى),’ will realize the extent of her knowledge and the depth of her faith. She attributed this blessing to Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) alone, and gave thanks only to Him. She had a sound grasp of Tawheed, and demonstrated great strength of character and confidence in her innocence. She was not curious or anxious about the outcome when she spoke thus because she was sure that she had done nothing wrong. Because of her faith in the Prophet’s love for her, she said what she said. She became even dearer to him when she said, ‘I will not give thanks except to Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى), for He is the One Who has revealed my innocence.’ She displayed remarkable maturity and steadfastness when her dearly beloved husband, whom she could not bear to be apart from, kept away from her for a month; then when the matter was resolved and he wished to come back to her, she did not rush to him, despite her great love for him. This is the highest level of steadfastness and strength of character.” (Zad al-Ma’ad, 3/261-264).

It is indeed the highest level of maturity and strength of character. The true Muslim woman is humble, kind, loving and obedient towards her husband, but she does not allow her character to weaken before him, even if he is the most beloved of all people towards her, and the most noble and honorable of all human beings, so long as she is in the right and is adhering to the way of Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى). ‘A’ishah (رضي الله عنه) set the highest example of the strength of character of the Muslim woman who is proud of her religion and understands what it is to be a true servant of Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) alone.

The Muslim woman should not interpret ‘A’ishah’s attitude as an attitude of superiority or arrogance, pushing her husband away. We have already explained the duties of the Muslim woman towards her husband i.e., obedience, loving kindness and seeking to please him, in accordance with Islamic teachings. What we learn from the attitude of ‘A’ishah (رضي الله عنه) is the esteem and honor with which Islam regards woman, so long as she adheres to the laws and teachings of Islam. This is what gives her character strength, pride, honor and wisdom.

Islam gives women rights and recognition which are envied by Western women when they hear about women’s rights in Islam, This has been freely admitted by women’s liberation activists in Arab countries, as we have seen. Many of them have retracted their claims that Muslim women need to be liberated; one such activist is Dr. Nawaal El-Saadawi, who was interviewed for the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Watan (mid-August 1989).

Dr. El-Saadawi was asked, “Do you think that the European women are an example to be copied?” She replied, “No, not at all. European women have advanced in some fields, but are backward in others. The marriage laws in Europe oppress women, and this is what led to the development of women’s liberation movements in those countries and in America, where this movement is very strong and is even at times quite vicious.”

Then she remarked: “Our Islamic religion has given women more rights than any other religion has, and has guaranteed her honor and pride, but what has happened is that men have sometimes used certain aspects of this religion to create a patriarchal class system in which males dominate females.”

Clearly this patriarchal oppression mentioned by Dr. El Saadawi, which has led to the oppression of women, has been caused by ignorance of the true teachings of Islam.

SHE IS ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL WIVES.

This discussion of the intellectual, psychological and other qualities of the smart Muslim wife demonstrates that she is a successful wife, if not the most successful wife and the greatest blessing and good fortune that a man may enjoy.

By virtue of her understanding of Islamic teaching, and her fulfilling her duties towards her husband, she becomes the greatest joy of her husband’s life: when he comes home, she greets him with a warm and friendly smile, speaking kindly and sweetly, looking attractive and smart, with a clean and tidy house, pleasant conversation, and a table full of good food, pleasing him and making him happy.

She is obedient, kind and loving towards her husband, ever eager to please him. She does not disclose his secrets or upset his plans. She stands beside him at times of hardship, offering her support and wise advice. She shares his joys and sorrows. She endears herself to him by the way she looks and behaves, and fills his life with joy and happiness. She encourages him to obey Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) in different ways, and motivates him by joining him in different activities. She respects his mother and family. She refrains from looking at other men. She keeps away from foolish and worthless talk. She is keen to provide an atmosphere of peace, tranquility and stability for her husband and children. She is strong of character without being rude or aggressive, and is kind and gentle without being weak. She earns the respect of those who speak to her. She is tolerant and forgiving, overlooking errors and never bearing grudges.

Thus the Muslim wife deserves to be the most successful wife. She is the greatest blessing that Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) may bestow upon a man, and an incomparable source of joy in this life. The Prophet (ﷺ) indeed spoke the truth when he said:

“This world is nothing but temporary conveniences, and the greatest joy in this world is a righteous woman.” (Sahīh Muslim, 10/56).

AlhamduliLlaah. May the Peace and Blessings of Allâh be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his companions. May Allâh عز وجل guide us towards those things that are pleasing to Him, aid us against following our desires. This is the end of the series on “the Muslim Woman and her Husband.” Subhanaka Allaahumma wabihamdika, asha’adu ân ‘lailla ila anta, astaghifiruka wa atooybu ilayka.

The Muslim Woman and Her Husband. (Part Four).

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. This is a series on the roles and duties of the Muslim woman with examples of stories from the time of the Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ), his companions, and the later generations who followed them in faith. This is a series titled “THE MUSLIM WOMAN AND HER HUSBAND”.
This is the fourth in the series. Please read and benefit from it in’shaa’Allaah Ta’ala.

SHE ENCOURAGES HER HUSBAND TO SPEND FOR THE SAKE OF ALLÂH (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى).

Another way in which the true Muslim woman supports her husband is by encouraging him to spend and give charity for the sake of Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى), and not to waste money in extravagance and ostentatious purchases, as we see so many ignorant and misguided women doing.

The alert Muslim woman always wants goodness and success for her husband, so she urges him to do good deeds, and to do more of them, because she believes that by doing this, she will increase her honor in this world and her reward in the next.

One of the beautiful stories narrated about a woman’s encouraging her husband to spend for the sake of Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) is the story of Umm al-Dahdah. When her husband came to her and told her that he had given in charity the garden in which she and her children used to live, in hopes of receiving a bunch of dates (Sahīh Muslim, 8/33) in Paradise, she said, “You have got a good deal, you have got a good deal.” The Prophet (ﷺ) commented, “How many bunches of dates Abu’l-Dahdah will have in Paradise!” and he repeated this several times. (Reported by Ahmad and al-Tabarani; its narrators are rijal al-sahīh. See also Majma’ alZawa’id, 9/324).

SHE HELPS HIM TO OBEY ALLÂH (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى).

One of the qualities of the good Muslim wife is that she helps her husband to obey Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) in different ways, especially to stay up and pray at night (qiyaam al-layl). By doing this, she does him an immense favor, because she reminds him to do something he might otherwise forget or neglect. Thus she causes him, and herself, to be covered by the mercy of Allah.

What a beautiful picture the Prophet (ﷺ) drew of the married couple helping one another to obey Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) and do good deeds, and entering into the mercy of Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) together. This comes in the hadîth narrated by Abu Hurayrah (رضي الله عنه), who said:

“The Messenger of Allâh said: ‘May Allâh have mercy on the man who gets up at night to pray and wakes up his wife to pray, and if she refuses, he sprinkles water in her face. And may Allâh have mercy on the woman who gets up at night to pray, and wakes her husband up to pray, and if he refuses, she sprinkles water in his face.” (Reported by Abu Dawud, 2/45, and by al-Hakim 1/309; he said that it is sahīh according to the conditions of Muslim)

SHE FILLS HIS HEART WITH JOY.

The clever and sensitive Muslim woman does not forget that one of the greatest deeds she can do in life, after worshipping Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى), is to be successful in endearing herself to her husband and filling his heart with joy, so that he will feel in the depths of his heart that he is happy to be married to her, and enjoys living with her and being in her company. So she uses her intelligence to find ways and means of opening his heart and filling it with joy and happiness, so that she may become the queen of his heart. She understands that she is the greatest joy of a man in this world, as is stated in the hadeeth narrated by ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘As (رضي الله عنه), in which the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“This world is nothing but temporary conveniences, and the greatest joy in this world is a righteous woman.” (Sahīh Muslim, 10/56).

She does not forget that she is the greatest joy in this life for a man, if she knows how to endear herself to him. If she does not know how to endear herself to him then in most cases she will be a source of unhappiness and misery to her husband, as was confirmed by the Prophet (ﷺ):

“Three things make the son of Adam happy, and three make him miserable. Among the things that make the son of Adam happy are a good wife, a good home and a good means of transport; the things that make him miserable are a bad wife, a bad home and a bad means of transport.” (Reported by Ahmad, 1/168; its narrators are rijal al-sahīh)

Hence being a good wife, and endearing oneself to one’s husband, are a part of religion, because this offers protection to a man by helping him to remain chaste, and strengthens the foundations of the family, thus bringing happiness to her husband and children.

The Muslim woman by nature likes to endear herself to her husband; in doing so she finds a way of fulfilling her femininity and her inclinations to make herself attractive. But for the Muslim woman, the matter goes even further: in seeking to win her husband’s heart, she is also seeking to earn the pleasure of Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى), Who has made being a good wife a part of religion, about which she will be questioned in the Hereafter. So she does not spare any effort in her loving treatment of her husband: she presents a pleasing appearance, speaks pleasantly and kindly, and is a clever and likeable companion.

SHE MAKES HERSELF BEAUTIFUL FOR HIM.

She makes herself beautiful for her husband by means of make-up (within the home), clothing, etc., so that she will appear more beautiful and attractive, and thus make her husband happy. This was the practice of the righteous women of the salaf, who used to devote their time to worshipping Allâh and reading Qur’an. Foremost among them were ‘A’ishah (رضي الله عنه) and others; they used to wear fine clothes and jewelry at home and when they were traveling with proper covering on their bodies, in order to make themselves look beautiful for their husbands.

Bakrah bint ‘Uqbah came to ‘A’ishah (رضي الله عنه) and asked her about henna. ‘A’ishah said, “It comes from a good tree and pure water.” She asked her about removing body hair, and she said, “If you have a husband, and you could remove your eyes and replace them with something better, then do it.” (Ibn al-Jawzi, Ahkam al-Nisa’, 343).

Let those careless women who neglect their appearance in front of their husbands listen to the advice of ‘A’ishah, and realize that their beauty should be primarily for their husbands, not for their friends and peers. Those women who are failing to make themselves beautiful for their husbands are sinners, because they are falling short in one of the greatest duties of marriage. Their negligence may be the cause of their husbands staying away from them and looking at other women.

The wife whose husband only ever sees her with unkempt hair, looking pale and wan and wearing shabby old clothes, is a foolish and disobedient wife. It will be of no help to her if she rushes to beautify herself only when receiving guests, or going to a women’s party, but remains looking shabby most of the time in front of her husband. I think that the Muslim woman who is truly guided by the teachings of Islam will be safe from such shortcomings, because she treats her husband properly, and a woman who treats her husband properly is most unlikely to fail in fulfilling her duty towards him.

It is one of the teachings of Islam that a woman should make herself look beautiful for her husband, so that her husband should only ever see of her that which he likes. So it is forbidden for a woman to dress in mourning for more than three days, except in the case of her husband’s death, when she is permitted to mourn for four months and ten days. We find proof of this in the hadeeth narrated by Al-Bukhaari from Zaynab the daughter of Umm Salamah, who said, “I came to Zaynab bint Jahsh, the wife of the Prophet (ﷺ) when her brother died. She called for perfume and applied it to herself, then said, “I am not wearing perfume because I need to, but because I heard the Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ) say from the minbar:

It is not permitted for a woman who believes in Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) and the Last Day to grieve for more than three days, except for her husband, (for whom she may grieve) four months and ten days.” (Fath al-Bari, 9/484).

SHE IS CHEERFUL AND GRATEFUL WHEN SHE MEETS HIM.

One of the ways in which the Muslim woman makes herself attractive to her husband is by being happy, cheerful, friendly and gentle, thus flooding her husband’s life with joy. When he comes home exhausted from his work, she greets him with a smiling face and kind words. She puts her own concerns to one side for a while, and helps him to forget some of his worries. She appears as cheerful and serene as she can, and expresses her gratitude to him every time he does something good for her.

The true Muslim woman is fair-minded, and is never ungrateful to any person, because the teachings of her religion protect her from falling into the error of bad behavior and ingratitude for favors. How then could she be ungrateful to her husband, her beloved lifelong companion? She knows well the teaching of the Prophet (ﷺ):

“He does not thank Allâh who does not thank people.” (Reported by Al-Bukhaari in al-Adab al-Mufrad, 1/310).

She understands from this that every person who does good deeds and favors deserves thanks and recognition, so how could she hesitate or fail to show gratitude to her husband, especially when she hears the words of the Prophet (ﷺ): 

“Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) will not look at the woman who does not thank her husband at the time when she cannot do without him.” (Reported by al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak, 2/190; he said it is a hadîth whose isnad is sahīh).

SHE SHARES HIS JOYS AND SORROWS.

Another of the ways in which a woman may endear herself to her husband is by sharing his joys and sorrows. So she joins him in some of his pastimes, and his daily work, such as reading, exercise, and attending useful talks and gatherings, and so on, so that her husband will feel that he is not alone in his enjoyment of the good things in life, but that he is sharing these pleasures with a loving, intelligent and loyal wife.

The fact that the Prophet (ﷺ) raced with ‘A’ishah more than once indicates the fact that Islam urges both spouses to share their partner’s joy and happiness in life, because this sharing will have a powerful effect in deepening their feelings for one another and strengthening the bonds between them.

Just as she shares his joys, so she also shares his worries and concerns, and comes to him with kind words of consolation, mature and sensible advice and sincere emotional support.

SHE DOES NOT LOOK AT OTHER MEN.

The true Muslim woman avoids looking at men other than her husband; she does not stare at men who are not related to her (i.e. who are not her mahrams), in obedience to the command of Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى):

“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze . . .” (24:31).

By refraining from looking at other men, she will be one of those chaste women who restrain their glances, which is a quality men like in women, because it is indicative of their purity, decency and fidelity. This is one of the most beautiful characteristics of the chaste, decent, pure Muslim woman, and this was referred to in the Qur’an when it speaks of the women of Paradise and their qualities that are loved by men:

“In them will be [Maidens] chaste, restraining their glances, whom no man or jinn before them has touched.” (55:56).

SHE DOES NOT DESCRIBE OTHER WOMEN TO HIM.

Another of the characteristics of the intelligent Muslim woman is that she does not describe any of her (female) friends or acquaintances to him, because this is forbidden according to the words of the Prophet (ﷺ):

“No woman should talk about another woman, or describe her to her husband (so that it is) as if he sees her.” (Fath al-Bari, 9/338).

Islam wants people’s hearts to be at peace, and to put a stop to provocative thoughts and overactive imaginations, so that people may live their lives in a decent and calm fashion, free from such thoughts and able to go about the tasks and duties for which they were created. No man should let his mind be occupied with cheap thoughts of the contrast between his wife and the woman she describes, or let himself become crazy with the embellishments his own imagination may add to the woman’s supposed beauty. He should not let such foolish talk stop him from going about his work and usual pastimes, or lead him to temptation and make him go astray.

In’shaa’Allaah this series will continue in the next post. Subhanaka Allaahumma wabihamdika, asha’adu an ‘lailla ila anta, astaghifiruka wa atooybu ilayka.

The Muslim Woman and Her Husband. (Part Three).

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. This is a series on the roles and duties of the Muslim woman with examples of stories from the time of the Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ), his companions, and the later generations who followed them in faith. This is a series titled “THE MUSLIM WOMAN AND HER HUSBAND”.
This is the third in the series. Please read and benefit from it in’shaa’Allaah Ta’ala.

SHE DOES NOT DISCLOSE HIS SECRETS.

The chaste Muslim woman does not disclose her husband’s secrets, and does not talk to anyone about whatever secrets and other matters there may be between him and her. The serious Muslim woman is above that; she would never sink to the level of such cheap and shameless talk as goes on amongst the lowest type of people. Her time is too precious to be wasted in such vulgar behavior. She would never accept for herself to be counted as one of those people whom the Prophet described as one of the worst types:

“Among the worst type of people in the sight of Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) on the Day of Judgment is a man who enjoys his wife’s intimate company, and she enjoys his intimate company, then one of them goes and discloses the secret of the other.” (Sahīh Muslim, 10/8; Al-targheeb wa’l-tarheeb, 3/86).

Talking about that which is private between a husband and wife is one of the most abhorrent ways of disclosing secrets. No one does such a thing but the worst type of people. There are some secrets the disclosure of which is not as bad as disclosing this secret, but in any case, telling secrets at all is disliked and is unacceptable. Keeping secrets in itself is a worthy and virtuous deed, whilst disclosing them is a serious error and shortcoming, from which nobody can be immune except the infallible Prophet (ﷺ). The disclosure of a secret that the Prophet had entrusted to Hafsah, who told it to ‘A’ishah, led to the plotting and intrigue in his household that caused him to keep away from his wives for a whole month, because he was so upset with them. (The story of the Prophet’s keeping way from his wives is narrated by al-Al-Bukhaari, Muslim and others. See Fath al-Bari, 5/116, and 8/656; Surat al-Tahrim; Sahīh Muslim, 7/195). Concerning this, the following ayah was revealed:

“When the Prophet (ﷺ) disclosed a matter of confidence to one of his consorts, and she then divulged it [to another], and Allah made it known to him, he confirmed part thereof and repudiated a part. Then when he told her thereof, she said, ‘Who told you this?’ He said, ‘He told me Who knows and is well-acquainted [with all things].) (66:3).

The two women concerned are then confronted with their error, and called to repent, so that they might draw closer to Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) after having distanced themselves by their deed, otherwise Allâh would be his (the Prophet’s) Protector, and Jibril and the righteous believers would also support him:

“If you two turn in repentance to Him, your hearts are indeed so inclined; but if you back up each other against him, truly Allâh is his Protector, and Gabriel, and [every] righteous one among those who believe – and furthermore, the angels – will back [him] up.) (66:4).

Then they are issued with a stern warning and the terrifying prospect that if they persist in their error, they may lose the honor of being the wives of the Prophet (ﷺ):

“It may be, if he divorced you [all], that Allâh will give him in exchange Consorts better than you – who submit [their wills], who believe, who are devout, who turn to Allâh in repentance, who worship [in humility], who travel [for Faith] and fast – previously married or virgins.” (66:5).

This incident presents a valuable lesson to the Muslim woman on the importance of keeping her husband’s secret, and the effect this confidentiality has on the stability of the individual and the home. One of the greatest blessings that Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) has bestowed on the Muslims in particular, and on mankind in general, is that he has made the public and private life of His Messenger like an open book, in which can be read the teachings of this ‘aqeedah and its practical application in real life. Nothing is secret or hidden: matters and events that people usually keep secret are discussed openly in the Qur’an and Sunnah, even unavoidable human weaknesses. All of these issues are presented in order to teach people right from wrong.

The Sahaabah, may Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) be pleased with them, understood that the Prophet’s life was entirely devoted to Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) and His message, so why should they keep secret or conceal any aspect of his life? The stories that have been narrated about his life, his household and his wives represent a practical application of the words he preached, and for this reason, the Sahaabah (may Allâh reward them with all good) transmitted the most precise details of his life, and did not fail to record any aspect of his daily life, whether it was major or minor. This is part of the way in which Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) caused the life of his Prophet to be recorded, including details of the precise way in which Islamic teachings were applied in his life. This is in addition to the Qur’anic references to the Prophet’s life, which form a record that will remain until heaven and earth pass away.

SHE STANDS BY HIM AND OFFERS HER ADVICE.

One of the laws that Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) has decreed for this life is that men and women should work together to cultivate and populate the earth and run the affairs of life therein. Man cannot do without woman, and vice versa. Hence the laws of Islam teach men and women to co-operate in all matters. Islam encourages a man to help his wife, as much as he is able; the Prophet (ﷺ), who is the example for all Muslims, used to help and serve his family until he went out to pray, as the Mother of the Believers ‘A’ishah said. (See Fath al-Bari, 2/162).

Just as Islam expects a man to help his wife with housework and running household affairs, so the woman is also expected to help him in dealing with the outside world and to play her role in life by offering her opinions and advice, and supporting him in practical terms.

History tells us that Muslim women engaged in jihad side by side with men, marching to war with them, bringing water to the thirsty, tending the wounded, setting broken bones, stemming the flow of blood, encouraging the soldiers, and sometimes joining in the actual fighting, running back and forth between the swords and spears, standing firm when some of the brave men had fled. Their courageous conduct in battle was praised by the Prophet (ﷺ), as we have described previously.

However, women’s contribution to public life did not stop on the battlefield; women also stood side-by-side with men at times of peace, offering their valuable opinions, soothing their hearts at times of stress and supporting them during times of hardship.

History has recorded many names of great Muslim men who used to seek and follow the advice of their wives, foremost among whom is the Prophet (ﷺ) himself, who sometimes followed the advice of Khadijah, Umm Salamah, ‘A’ishah and others among his wives (May Allâh be pleased with them all). ‘Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr used to follow the advice of his mother Asma’, al-Walid ibn ‘Abd al-Malik used to follow the advice of his wife Umm al-Banin bint ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Marwan, and Harun al-Rashid used to follow the advice of his wife Zubaydah, and there are many other such examples in the history of Islam.

The true, sincere Muslim woman understands the heavy burden that Islam has placed on her shoulders, by obliging her to be a good wife to her husband, to surround him with care and meet his every need, to give him enjoyment, and to renew his energy so that he may fulfill his mission in life. So she does not withhold her advice when she sees that he needs it, and she never hesitates to stand by his side, encouraging him, supporting him and offering advice and consolation.

The first Muslim woman, Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (رضي الله عنه) is the best example of a woman who influenced her husband. The Prophet (ﷺ) came to her on the day of the first Revelation, anxious, trembling and shaking all over. He told her, “Cover me, cover me!” She hastened to offer her help and support, advising him and thinking of a practical way of helping him. Al-Bukhaari and Muslim report the story told by ‘A’ishah of how the Revelation commenced, and the marvelous way in which Khadijah responded by supporting her husband:

“The Revelation started in the form of a dream that came true, he never saw a dream but it would clearly come to pass. Then he was made to like seclusion, so he would go and stay alone in the cave of Hira’, praying and worshipping for many nights at a time, before coming back to his family to collect supplies for another period of seclusion. Then the truth came suddenly, when he was in the cave of Hira’. The angel came to him and said ‘Read!’ He said I am not a reader.’ [The Prophet said:] ‘The angel embraced me and squeezed me until I nearly passed out, then released me, and said, ‘Read!’ I said, ‘I am not a reader.’ The angels embraced me a second time, squeezed me until I nearly passed out, then released me and said, ‘Read!’ I said, ‘I am not a reader.’ The angel embraced me a third time and squeezed me until I nearly passed out, then released me and said:

“Read! In the name of your Lord and Cherisher, who created – created man, out of a [mere] clot of congealed blood: Read! And your Lord is Most Bountiful – He Who taught [the use of] the Pen – taught man that which he knew not.” (96:1-5).

The Messenger of Allâh came back to Khadijah, trembling all over, and said, “Cover me, cover me!”. They covered him up until he calmed down, then he said to Khadijah, “O Khadijah, what is wrong with me?” He told her what had happened, then said, “I fear for myself.” Khadijah said: “No, rather be of good cheer, for by Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى), Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) would never forsake you. By Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى), you uphold the ties of kinship, speak the truth, spend money on the needy, give money to the penniless, honor your guests and help those beset by difficulties. She took him to Waraqah ibn Nawfal ibn Asad ibn ‘Abd al-‘Uzza, who was her cousin, the son of her father’s brother. He was a man who had become a Christian during the time of jahiliyyah; he could write the Arabic script and he had written as much of the Gospel in Arabic as Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) willed. He was an old man who had become blind. Khadijah said to him, “O Uncle, listen to your nephew.” Waraqah ibn Nawfal said, “O son of my brother, what has happened?” The Messenger of Allah told him what had happened, and Waraqah said to him, “This is al-Namus (i.e., Jibril), who was sent down to Musa (ﷺ). I wish that I were a young man, and could be alive when your people cast you out.” The Messenger of Allâh asked, “Will they really cast me out?” Waraqah said, “Yes. No man has ever come with what you have brought, but his people were hostile towards him. If I live to see that day I will give you all the support I can.” (Fath al-Bari, 1/23; Sahīh Muslim, 2/197).

This report is strong evidence of Khadijah’s wifely perfection, wisdom, strength of character, steadfastness, understanding and deep insight. She knew the Prophet’s outstanding character, good conduct and purity of heart, and this made her certain that Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) would never forsake a man such as Muhammad or permit any bad fate to befall him. She knew that behind this remarkable new event that had overwhelmed the Messenger of Allâh lay something great that Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) had prepared for His Messenger, so she spoke her kind and sweet words of encouragement, filling him with confidence, tranquility and firm conviction: “Be of good cheer, O cousin, and stand firm. By the One in Whose hand is the soul of Khadijah, I hope that you will be the Prophet of this nation.” (Al-sirah, 1/254). Then she took him to her cousin Waraqah ibn Nawfal, who had knowledge of the Torah and Gospel, and told him what had happened to the Prophet.

The first Mother of the Believers, Khadijah (رضي الله عنه), was a sincere adviser in the way of Islam to the Prophet (ﷺ). She had already earned the great status and lasting fame of being the first person to believe in Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) and His Messenger (ﷺ), and she stood beside her husband the Prophet, supporting him and helping him to bear the worst oppression and persecution that he faced at the beginning of his mission; she endured along with him every hardship and difficulty that he was confronted with.

Ibn Hisham says in his Seerah: “Khadijah had faith, and believed in what he brought from Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى). In this way, Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) helped His Prophet (ﷺ). Whenever he heard any hateful words of rejection or disbelief that upset him, Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) would cause his spirits to be lifted when he came back to her. She encouraged him to be patient, believed in him, and made it easier for him to bear whatever the people said or did. May Allâh have mercy on her.” (Ibid., 1/257).

She was a woman who always spoke the truth, and carried this burden sincerely. It is no surprise that she earned the pleasure of Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) and deserved to be honored by Him, so He conveyed the greeting of salam to her through His Messengers Jibril and Muhammad (ﷺ), and gave her glad tidings of a house in Paradise, as is stated in the hadîth narrated by Abu Hurayrah:

“Jibril came to the Prophet and said: ‘O Messenger of Allâh, Khadijah is coming to you with vessels containing food and drink. When she comes to you, convey to her the greeting of salam from her Lord and from me, and give her the glad tidings of a house of pearls in Paradise, in which there is no noise or hard work.” (Al-Bukhaari & Muslim. See Sharh al-Sunnah, 14/155).

The true Muslim woman puts her mind to good work, thinks hard and gives advice to her husband at times when he may be most in need of advice. By doing so, she does a great favor for her husband, and this is one of the ways in which she may treat him well.

Another of these great stories which feature correct advice given by a woman is the reaction of the Muslims to the treaty of al-Hudaybiyah, and Umm Salamah’s reaction, which demonstrated her deep insight and great wisdom.

Umm Salamah (رضي الله عنه) was one of those who were with the Prophet when he went to Makkah to perform ‘Umrah in 6 AH (After Hijrah). This is the journey that was interrupted by Quraysh, who prevented the Prophet and his Companions from reaching the Ka‘bah. The treaty of al-Hudaybiyah was drawn up between the Prophet and Quraysh. This was a peace-treaty which was intended to put an end to the fighting for ten years; it was also agreed that if anyone from Quraysh came to Muhammad without the permission of his guardian, he would be returned, but if any of the Muslims came to Quraysh, he would not be returned, and that the Muslims would go back that year without entering Makkah, etc.

By virtue of his deep understanding that was derived from the guidance of Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى), the Prophet (ﷺ) understood that this treaty, which appeared to be quite unfair to the Muslims, was in fact something good and represented a great victory for Islam and the Muslims.

The Sahaabah, however, were dismayed when they learned the content of the treaty. They saw it as unfair and unjust, especially as they had the upper hand at that time. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab expressed the angry feelings of the Sahaabah when he went to Abu Bakr and asked him: “Is he not the Messenger of Allâh?” Abu Bakr said, “Of course.” “Are we not Muslims?” “Yes.” “Are they not mushrikin?” “Yes.” “Why should we accept this deal which is so humiliating to our religion?” Abu Bakr warned him, “O ‘Umar, follow his orders. I bear witness that he is the Messenger of Allâh.” Umar said, “And I bear witness that he is the Messenger of Allâh.” Then ‘Umar went to the Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ), and asked him questions similar to those he had asked Abu Bakr. But when he asked, “Why should we accept this deal which is so humiliating to our religion?” the Prophet replied, “I am the servant of Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) and His Messenger; I will never disobey His command, and He will never forsake me.” (Al-Sirah, 3/331; Fath al-Bari, 6/281; Sahīh Muslim, 12/141).

Then ‘Umar realized that his haste to oppose the treaty was a mistake. He used to say, “I kept giving charity, fasting, praying and freeing slaves because of what I had done and said on that day, until I hoped that ultimately it would be good for me (because it made me perform so many good deeds).” (Al-Sirah 3/331).

When the Prophet (ﷺ) had ratified the treaty, he commanded his Companions to get up, slaughter their sacrificial animals, and shave their heads, but none of them got up (The Prophet (ﷺ) was telling his Companions to end the state of ihram which they had entered in order to perform ‘Umrah. They had been prevented from entering Makkah, and were to wait until the following year to perform ‘Umrah, but they did not want to abandon their hope of performing ‘Umrah on this occasion. They did not want to accept the deal that had been struck with the Quraysh, hence they were reluctant to end their ihram. [Translator]). He told them three times to do this, but not one of them responded. He went to his wife Umm Salamah, and told her what he was facing from the people. At this point the wisdom and intelligence of Umm Salamah become quite clear: she told him, “O Messenger of Allâh, go out and do not speak to any of them until you have sacrificed your animal and shaved your head.” The Prophet (ﷺ) took her advice, and did as she suggested. When the Sahaabah saw that, they rushed to sacrifice their animals, pushing one another aside, and some of them began to shave one another’s heads, until they were almost fighting with one another because of their distress and grief, and their regret for having disobeyed the Prophet. (Zad al-Ma’ad, 3:295, al-Tabari, 2/124)

After that, the Muslims came back to their senses, and they understood the Prophet’s great wisdom in agreeing to this treaty, which in fact was a manifest victory, because many more people entered Islam after it than had before. In Sahīh Muslim it states that the ayah,

“Verily We have granted you a manifest Victory” (48:1) referred to the treaty of al-Hudaybiyah. The Prophet (ﷺ) sent for ‘Umar and recited this ayah to him. ‘Umar said, “O Messenger of Allâh, it is really a victory?” He said, “Yes,” so then ‘Umar felt at peace. (Sahīh Muslim, 12/141).

In’shaa’Allaah the series will be continued in the next post. Jazakumu’Allaah khairan for reading. Subhanaka Allaahumma wabihamdika, asha’adu an ‘lailla ila anta, astaghifiruka wa atooybu ilayka.

The Muslim Woman and Her Husband. (Part Two).

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. This is a series on the roles and duties of the Muslim woman with examples of stories from the time of the Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ), his companions, and the later generations who followed them in goodness in faith. This is a series titled “THE MUSLIM WOMAN AND HER HUSBAND”.
This is the second in the series. Please read and benefit from it in’shaa’Allaah Ta’ala.

HONORING AND RESPECTING HIM.

Honoring and respecting one’s husband is one of the characteristic attitudes of this ummah. It is one of the good manners known at the time of jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic period) that were endorsed by Islam and perpetuated by the Arabs after they embraced Islam. Our Islamic history is filled with texts that eloquently describe the advice given by mothers to their daughters, to care for, honor and respect their husbands; these texts may be regarded as invaluable social documents.

One of the most famous and most beautiful of these texts was recorded by ‘Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Umayr al-Qurashi (رحمه الله), who was one of the outstanding scholars of the second century AH (After Hijrah). He quotes the words of advice given by Umamah bint al-Harith, one of the most eloquent and learned women, who was possessed of wisdom and great maturity, to her daughter on the eve of her marriage. These beautiful words deserve to be inscribed in golden ink.

‘Abd al-Malik said: “When ‘Awf ibn Muhallim al-Shaybani, one of the most highly respected leaders of the Arab nobility during the jahiliyyah, married his daughter Umm Iyas to al-Harith ibn ‘Amr al-Kindi, she was made ready to be taken to the groom, then her mother Umamah came in to her, to advise her, and said:

‘O my daughter, if it were deemed unnecessary to give you this advice because of good manners and noble descent, then it would have been unnecessary for you, because you possess these qualities, but it will serve as a reminder to those who are forgetful, and will help those who are wise.

‘O my daughter, if a woman were able to do without a husband by virtue of her father’s wealth and her need for her father, then you of all people would be most able to do without a husband, but women were created for men just as men were created for them.

‘O my daughter, you are about to leave the home in which you grew up, where you first learned to walk, to go to a place you do not know, to a companion with whom you are unfamiliar. By marrying you he has become a master over you, so be like a servant to him, and he will become like a servant to you.

‘Take from me ten qualities, which will be a provision and a reminder for you.

‘The first and second of them are: be content in his company, and listen to and obey him, for contentment brings peace of mind, and listening to and obeying one’s husband pleases Allâh.

‘The third and fourth of them are: make sure that you smell good and look good; he should not see anything ugly in you, and he should not smell anything but a pleasant smell from you. Kohl is the best kind of beautification to be found, and water is better than the rarest perfume.

‘The fifth and the sixth of them are: prepare his food on time, and keep quiet when he is asleep, for raging hunger is like a burning flame, and disturbing his sleep will make him angry.

‘The seventh and eighth of them are: take care of his servants (or employees) and children, and take care of his wealth, for taking care of his wealth shows that you appreciate him, and taking care of his children and servants shows good management.

‘The ninth and tenth of them are: never disclose any of his secrets, and never disobey any of his orders, for if you disclose any of his secrets you will never feel safe from his possible betrayal, and if you disobey him, his heart will be filled with hatred towards you.

‘Be careful, O my daughter, of showing joy in front of him when he is upset, and do not show sorrow in front of him when he is happy, because the former shows a lack of judgment, whilst the latter will make him unhappy.

‘Show him as much honor and respect as you can, and agree with him as much as you can, so that he will enjoy your companionship and conversation.

‘Know, O my daughter, that you will not achieve what you would like to until you put his pleasure before your own, and his wishes before yours, in whatever you like and dislike. And may Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) choose what is best for you and protect you.’” (Jamharah khutab al-‘arab, 1/145).

She was taken to her husband, and the marriage was a great success; she gave birth to kings who ruled after him.

This advice clearly included everything that one could think of as regards the good manners that a young girl needs to know about in order to treat her husband properly and be a suitable companion for him. The words of this wise mother deserve to be taken as the standard for every young girl who is about to get married.

If she is rich, the true Muslim woman does not let her wealth and financial independence make her blind to the importance of respecting her husband’s rights over her. She still takes care of him and honors him, no matter how rich she is or may become. She knows that she is obliged to show gratitude to Allah for the blessings He has bestowed upon her, so she increases her charitable giving for the sake of Allâh. The first person to whom she should give generously is her own husband, if he is poor; in this case she will receive two rewards, one for taking care of a family member, and another for giving charity, as the Prophet (ﷺ) stated in the hadeeth narrated by Zaynab al-Thaqafiyyah, the wife of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ud (رضي الله عنه):

“The Prophet (ﷺ) told us: ‘O women, give in charity even if it is some of your jeweler.’ She said, ‘I went back to ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ud and told him. ‘You are a man of little wealth, and the Prophet (ﷺ) has commanded us to give charity, so go and ask him whether it is permissible for me to give you charity. If it is, I will do so; if it is not, I will give charity to someone else.’ ‘Abdullah said, ‘No, you go and ask.’ So I went, and I found a woman of the Ansaar at the Prophet’s door, who also had the question. We felt too shy to go in, out of respect, so Bilal came out and we asked him, ‘Go and tell the Messenger of Allâh that there are two women at the door asking you: Is it permissible for them to give sadaqah to their husbands and the orphans in their care? But do not tell him who we are.’ So Bilal went in and conveyed this message to the Prophet (ﷺ), who asked, ‘Who are they?’ Bilal said, ‘One of the women of the Ansaar, and Zaynab’ The Prophet (ﷺ) asked, ‘Which Zaynab is it?’ Bilal said, ‘The wife of ‘Abdullah.’ The Prophet (ﷺ) said: ‘They will have two rewards, the reward for upholding the relationship, and the reward for giving charity.’” (Fath al-Bari, 3/328; Sahīh Muslim, 7/86).

According to a report given by Al-Bukhaari, he (ﷺ) said, “Your husband and your child are more deserving of your charity.” (Fath al-Bari, 3/325).

The true Muslim woman is always careful to give thanks for Allâh’s blessings if her life is easy, and she never loses her patience if she encounters difficulty. She never forgets the warning that the Prophet issued to women in general, when he saw that most of the inhabitants of Hell will be women, and so she seeks refuge with Allah from becoming one of them.

Al-Bukhaari and Muslim narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas (رضي الله عنه) that the Prophet (ﷺ)said: “O women, give charity, for I have surely seen that you form the majority of the inhabitants of Hell.” They asked, ‘Why is this so, O Messenger of Allâh?” He said, “Because you curse too much, and are ungrateful for good treatment (on the part of your husbands).” (Fath al-Bari, 3/325; Sahīh Muslim, 2/65).

According to another report given by Al-Bukhaari, he (ﷺ) said, “because they are ungrateful for good and kind treatment. Even if you treated one of them (these ungrateful women) well for an entire lifetime, then she saw one fault in you, she would say, ‘I have never seen anything good from you!’” (Fath al-Bari, 1/83).

According to a report given by Ahmad, a man said, “O Messenger of Allâh, are they not our mothers and sisters and wives?” He said, “Of course, but when they are treated generously they are ungrateful, and when they are tested, they do not have patience.” (Reported by Ahmad, 3/428; its narrators are rijal al-sahīh).

When the true Muslim woman thinks about these sahīh ahadîth which describe the fate of most women in the Hereafter, she is always on the alert lest she fall into the sins of ingratitude towards her husband, or frequent cursing, or denying her husband’s good treatment of her, or forgetting to give thanks for times of ease, or failing to be patient at times of difficulty. In any case, she hastens to give charity as the Prophet (ﷺ) urged all women to do, in the hope that it may save them from that awful fate which will befall most of those women who deviate from truth and let trivial matters distract them from remembering Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) and the Last Day, and whose bad qualities will ultimately lead them into the Fire of Hell. The Muslim woman, on the other hand, sets the highest example of respect towards one’s husband and taking note of his good qualities. This is the attitude of loyalty that befits the true Muslim woman who respects her husband’s rights and does not ignore his virtues.

Muslim women’s history is full of stories that reflect this loyalty and recognition of the good qualities of the husband. One of these stories is that of Asma’ bint ‘Umays (رضي الله عنه), who was one of the greatest women in Islam, and one of the first women to migrate to Madinah. She was married to Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib (رضي الله عنه), then to Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (رضي الله عنه), then to ‘Ali (رضي الله عنه). On one occasion, her two sons Muhammad ibn Ja‘far and Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr were competing with one another, each of them saying. “I am better than you, and my father is better than your father.” ‘Ali said to her, “Judge between them, O Asma’.” She said, “I have never seen a young man among the Arabs who was better than Ja‘far, and I have never seen a mature man who was better than Abu Bakr.” ‘Ali said, “You have not left anything for me. If you had said anything other than what you have said, I would have hated you!” Asma’ said: “These are the best three, and you are one of them even if you are the least of them.” (Al-tabaqat al-kubra, 7/208-209). What a clever and eloquent answer this wise woman gave! She gave each of her three husbands the respect he deserved, and pleased ‘Ali, even though he was the least of them, because she included all of them in that group of the best.

SHE TREATS HIS MOTHER AND FAMILY WITH KINDNESS AND RESPECT.

One of the ways in which a wife expresses her respect towards her husband is by honoring and respecting his mother.

The Muslim woman who truly understands the teachings of her religion knows that the person who has the greatest right over a man is his mother, as we have seen in the hadîth of ‘A’ishah (رضي الله عنه) previously quoted. So she helps him to honor and respect his mother, by also honoring and respecting her. In this way she will do herself and her husband a favor, as she will helping him to do good deeds and fear Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى), as commanded by the Qur’an. At the same time, she will endear herself to her husband, who will appreciate her honor and respect towards his family in general, and towards his mother in particular. Nothing could please a decent, righteous and respectful man more than seeing strong ties of love and respect between his wife and his family, and nothing could be more hateful to a decent man than to see those ties destroyed by the forces of evil, hatred and conspiracy. The Muslim family which is guided by faith in Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) and follows the pure teachings of Islam is unlikely to fall into the trap of such jahili (ignorant) behavior, which usually flourishes in an environment that is far removed from the true teachings of this religion.

A Muslim wife may find herself being tested by her mother-in-law and other in-laws, if they are not of good character. If such is the case, she is obliged to treat them in the best way possible, which requires a great deal of cleverness, courtesy, diplomacy and repelling evil with that which is better. Thus she will maintain a balance between her relationship with her in-laws and her relationship with her husband, and she will protect herself and her marriage from any adverse effects that may result from the lack of such a balance.

The Muslim woman should never think that she is the only one who is required to be a good and caring companion to her spouse, and that nothing similar is required of her husband or that there is nothing wrong with him mistreating her or failing to fulfill some of the responsibilities of marriage. Islam has regulated the marital relationship by giving each partner both rights and duties. The wife’s duties of honoring and taking care of her husband are balanced by the rights that she has over him, which are that he should protect her honor and dignity from all kinds of mockery, humiliation, trials or oppression. These rights of the wife comprise the husband’s duties towards her: he is obliged to honor them and fulfill them as completely as possible.

One of the Muslim husband’s duties is to fulfill his role of qawwaam (maintainer and protector) properly. This is a role that can only be properly fulfilled by a man who is a successful leader in his home and family, one who possesses likeable masculine qualities. Such a man has a noble and worthy attitude, is tolerant, overlooks minor errors, is in control of his married life, and is generous without being extravagant. He respects his wife’s feelings and makes her feel that she shares the responsibility of running the household affairs, bringing up the children, and working with him to build a sound Muslim family, as Islam wants it to be.

SHE ENDEARS HERSELF TO HER HUSBAND AND IS KEEN TO PLEASE HIM.

The true Muslim woman is always keen to win her husband’s love and to please him. Nothing should spoil his happiness or enjoyment of life. So she speaks kind words to him, and refrains from saying anything hurtful or upsetting. She brings him good news, but she keeps bad news from him as much as she can, or postpones telling it until a more suitable time when it will not upset him so much. If she finds that she has no alternative but to tell him upsetting news, she looks for the most suitable way to convey it, so that the blow will not be so hard on him. This is the wise approach and good conduct of the clever woman, but it is very difficult to attain and only a very few virtuous women ever do so.

One of those who did reach this high level was the great Muslim woman Umm Sulaym bint Milhan (رضي الله عنه), the wife of Abu Talhah al-Ansari (رضي الله عنه). Her son passed away whilst Abu Talhah was traveling, and her attitude was so unique that if Imam Muslim had not reported this story we would have taken it to be a mere myth. Let us hear her son Anas ibn Malik tell the story of his remarkable mother and her attitude:

“A son of Abu Talhah by Umm Sulaym died. Umm Sulaym told her family, ‘Do not tell Abu Talhah about his son until I tell him about it.’ Abu Talhah came home, so she prepared dinner for him, and he ate and drank. Then she beautified herself in a way that she had never done before, and he had sexual intercourse with her. When she saw that he was satisfied, she said, ‘O Abu Talhah, do you think that if a people lent something to a household, then asked for it back, do they have the right not to return it?’ He said, ‘No.’ She said, ‘Then resign yourself to the death of your son.’ Abu Talhah became angry and said, ‘You let me indulge myself and then you tell me about my son!’ He went to the Messenger of Allâh and told him what had happened. The Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ) said, ‘May Allâh bless both of you for this night!’ Umm Sulaym became pregnant. The Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ) went on a journey, and she accompanied him. Whenever the Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ) came back from a journey, he never entered Madinah at night. When they (the traveling-party) approached Madinah, her labor-pains started. Abu Talhah stayed with her, and the Messenger of Allâh went on ahead to Madinah. Abu Talhah said, ‘O Lord, You know how I love to go out with Your Messenger when he goes out, and to come back with him when he comes back, and I have been detained, as You see.’ Umm Sulaym said, ‘O Abu Talhah, I do not feel as much pain as I did before, so let us go on.’ When they reached (Madinah), her pains-pains started again, and she gave birth to a boy. My mother said to me, ‘O Anas, nobody should feed him until you take him to the Messenger of Allah in the morning.’ So when morning came, I took the baby to the Messenger of Allah , and when I met him he was carrying an iron tool. When he saw me, he said, ‘I hope that Umm Sulaym has given birth.’ I said, ‘Yes.’ So he put down the tool and I brought the child to him and placed him in his lap. The Messenger of Allâh called for some of the dates of Madinah. He chewed it until it became soft, then he put it in the baby’s mouth and the baby began to smack his lips. The Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ) said: ‘See how much the Ansaar love dates!’ Then he wiped the baby’s face and named him ‘Abdullah.” (Sahīh Muslim, 16/11).

How great was Umm Sulaym’s faith, and how magnificent her patience and virtue! How bravely she hid her pain from her husband and endeared herself to him. She managed to conceal her grief at the loss of her beloved son and spent that time with her husband patiently hoping that by being a good wife to her husband she might earn the pleasure of Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى). This is true, deep and sincere faith.

Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) answered the Prophet’s prayer for Umm Sulaym and her husband, and she became pregnant from that night. When she was heavily pregnant, she saw her husband Abu Talhah preparing to set out on another military campaign with the Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ). She insisted on partaking of the honor of jihad with him alongside the Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ), even though she was in the later stages of pregnancy. Her husband took pity on her because of the difficulties of the journey and the heat of the desert, but he still asked the Prophet (ﷺ) for permission to let her come with him, and he gave his permission because he knew her strength of character and love of jihad.

Umm Sulaym was present when the Muslims were triumphant at Makkah, and when they were sorely tested at Hunayn. She stood firm, as solid as a rock, alongside her husband and the small group of believers around the Prophet (ﷺ), even though she was pregnant, at that most difficult time when many others had fled, and she remained there until Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) brought victory to the believers.

The mujahid army returned to Madinah, and her labor began. When the pains became intense, she and her husband stayed behind for a while, but her husband prayed to his Lord in the still of night because he loved to go out and return with the Prophet (ﷺ). Suddenly the pains ceased; she told her husband and they set out to follow the army that had gone on ahead. They caught up with them, and after they had entered Madinah, Umm Sulaym’s labor pains began anew. She gave birth to a boy, and his brother on his mother’s side, Anas, brought him to the Prophet (ﷺ), who fed him a small amount of dates (tahnik) and named him ‘Abdullah. The prayer of the Prophet (ﷺ) for this baby was fulfilled, as among his descendants were ten great scholars.

No doubt Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) knew the sincerity of Umm Sulaym’s faith, and conveyed the good news of Paradise to her via His Prophet (ﷺ):

“I entered Paradise, and heard footsteps. I said, ‘Who is this?’ and they told me, ‘It is al-Ghumaysa’, the daughter of Milhan, the mother of Anas ibn Malik.’” (Sahīh Muslim, 16/11).

Another example of the ways in which a wife may endear herself to her husband is the way in which ‘A’ishah (رضي الله عنه) spoke to the Prophet (ﷺ) when he came back to his wives after he had kept away from them for a month. He had said, “I will not go in to them for a month,” because he was so angry with them. When twenty-nine days had passed, he came to ‘A’ishah first. ‘A’ishah said to him, ‘You swore to stay away from us for a month, and only twenty-nine days have passed; I have been counting them.” The Prophet said, “This month has twenty-nine days.” That particular month had only twenty-nine days. (From a lengthy hadith narrated by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim. See Fath al-Bari, 5/116; Sahīh Muslim, 7/195).

‘A’ishah’s telling the Prophet (ﷺ) that she had counted twenty-nine days was a clear indication of her love towards her husband and of how she had waited, day by day, hour by hour, for him to come back to her. It shows how she loved and missed her husband. This approach made her even dearer to him, so when he came back to his wives, he started with her.

The sincere Muslim woman recognizes her husband’s likes and habits, and tries to accommodate them as much as she can, in the interests of mutual understanding and marital harmony, and to protect the marriage from the boredom of routine. This is what every wise and intelligent wife does. It was narrated that the qadi and faqih Shurayh married a woman from Banu Hanzalah. On their wedding night, each of them prayed two rak‘ahs and asked Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) to bless them. Then the bride turned to Shurayh and said, “I am a stranger, and I do not know much about you. Tell me what you like, and I will do it, and tell me what you do not like so I may avoid it.” Shurayh said, “She stayed with me for twenty years, and I never had to tell her off for anything, except on one occasion, and I was in the wrong then.”

This is the respectful and loving wife as Islam wants her to be, responsible for her home and loyal to her husband, and always careful to maintain a good relationship between them. If anything happens to upset their marriage, she hastens to calm the situation with her sincere love and wise understanding. She does not listen to the whispering of the Shaytan which calls her to do wrong, and she never hastens to ask her husband for a divorce. The marriage bond should be too strong to be undone by temporary arguments or occasional misunderstandings. The Prophet (ﷺ) warned those foolish women who ask their husbands for a divorce with no legitimate reason that they would be denied even the scent of Paradise:

“Any woman who asks her husband for a divorce with no good reason will be deprived of even smelling the scent of Paradise.” (A hasan sahīh hadith, reported by Tirmidhi, 2/329, abwab al-talaq, 11; Ibn Hibban, 9/490).

In’shaa’Allaah the series will be continued in the next post. Jazakumu’Allaah khairan for reading.

Subhanaka Allaahumma wabihamdika, asha’adu an ‘lailla ila anta, astaghifiruka wa atooybu ilayka.

The Muslim Woman and Her Husband. (Part One).

AII thanks and praises are due to Allâh, Whom we thank, seek for help and invoke for forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allâh from the evils within ourselves. He whom Allâh guides will never be misled and he whom He misguides will never find one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allâh and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. Allâh عز وجل Says (Interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Fear Allâh (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared. (Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always.) and die not except in a state of Islam [as Muslims with complete submission to Allâh].” (3:102). And;

“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)].” (4:1). And;

“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allâh and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger (ﷺ), he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e., he will be saved from the Hell-fire and will be admitted to Paradise).” (33:70,71).

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. This is a series on the roles and duties of the Muslim woman with examples of stories from the time of the Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ), his companions, and the later generations who followed them in faith. This is a series titled “THE MUSLIM WOMAN AND HER HUSBAND”. It has been divided into five parts, and this is the first of them. Please read and benefit. Jazakumu’Allaah khairan.

MARRIAGE IN ISLAM.

In Islam, marriage is a blessed contract between a man and a woman, in which each becomes “permitted” to the other, and they begin the long journey of life in a spirit of love, cooperation, harmony and tolerance, where each feels at ease with the other, and finds tranquility, contentment and comfort in the company of the other. The Noble Qur’an has described this relationship between men and women, which brings love, harmony, trust and compassion, in the most moving and eloquent terms:

“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your [hearts] . . . ” (30:21).

This is the strongest of bonds, in which Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) unites the two Muslim partners, who come together on the basis of love, understanding, co-operation and mutual advice, and establish a Muslim family in which children will live and grow up, and they will develop the good character and behavior taught by Islam. The Muslim family is the strongest component of a Muslim society when its members are productive and constructive, helping and encouraging one another to be good and righteous, and competing with one another in good works.

The righteous woman is the pillar, cornerstone and foundation of the Muslim family. She is seen as the greatest joy in a man’s life, as the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“This world is just temporary conveniences, and the best comfort in this world is a righteous woman.” (Sahīh Muslim 10/56).

A righteous woman is the greatest blessing that Allah (عز وجل) can give to a man, for with her he can find comfort and rest after the exhausting struggle of earning a living. With his wife, he can find incomparable tranquility and pleasure.

How can a woman be the best comfort in this world? How can she be a successful woman, true to her own femininity, and honored and loved? This is what will be explained in the following series In’shaa’Allaah:

SHE CHOOSES A GOOD HUSBAND.

One of the ways in which Islam has honored woman is by giving her the right to choose her husband. Her parents have no right to force her to marry someone she dislikes. The Muslim woman knows this right, but she does not reject the advice and guidance of her parents when a potential suitor comes along, because they have her best interests at heart, and they have more experience of life and people. At the same time, she does not forego this right because of her father’s wishes that may make him force his daughter into a marriage with someone she dislikes.

There are many texts (ahadîth) that support the woman in this sensitive issue, for example the report quoted by Imam Al-Bukhaari from al-Khansa’ bint Khidam:

“My father married me to his nephew, and I did not like this match, so I complained to the Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ). He said to me: ‘Accept what your father has arranged.’ I said, ‘I do not wish to accept what my father has arranged.’ He said, ‘Then this marriage is invalid, go and marry whomever you wish.’ I said, ‘I have accepted what my father has arranged, but I wanted women to know that fathers have no right in their daughter’s matters (i.e. they have no right to force a marriage on them).'” (Fath al-Bari, 9/194; Ibn Majah, 1/602; al-Mabsut 5/2).

At first, the Prophet (ﷺ) told al-Khansa’ to obey her father, and this is as it should be, because the concern of fathers for their daughters’ well being is well known. But when he realized that her father wanted to force her into a marriage she did not want, he gave her the freedom to choose, and saved her from the oppression of a father who wanted to force her into an unwanted marriage.

Islam does not want to impose an unbearable burden on women by forcing them to marry a man they dislike, because it wants marriages to be successful, based on compatibility between the partners; there should be common ground between them in terms of physical looks, attitudes, habits, inclinations and aspirations. If something goes wrong, and the woman feels that she cannot love her husband sincerely, and fears that she may commit the sin of disobeying and opposing this husband whom she does not love, then she may ask for a divorce. This is confirmed by the report in which the wife of Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shammas, Jamilah the sister of ‘Abdullah ibn Ubayy, came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said: “O Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ), I have nothing against Thabit ibn Qays as regards his religion or his behavior, but I hate to commit any act of kufr when I am a Muslim. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Will you give his garden back to him?” – her mahr had been a garden. She said, “Yes.” So the Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ) sent word to him: “Take back your garden, and give her one pronouncement of divorce.” (Fath al-Bari, 9/395).

According to a report given by Al-Bukhaari from Ibn ‘Abbās (رضي الله عنه), she said, “I do not blame Thabit for anything with regard to his religion or his behavior, but I do not like him.”

Islam has protected woman’s pride and humanity, and has respected her wishes with regard to the choice of a husband with whom she will spend the rest of her life. It is not acceptable for anyone, no matter who he is, to force a woman into a marriage with a man she does not like.

There is no clearer indication of this than the story of Barirah, an Ethiopian slave-girl who belonged to ‘Utbah ibn Abu Lahab, who forced her to marry another slave whose name was Mughith. She would never have accepted him as a husband if she had been in control of her own affairs. ‘A’ishah (رضي الله عنه) took pity on her, so she bought her and set her free. Then this young woman felt that she was free and in control of her own affairs, and that she could take a decision about her marriage. She asked her husband for a divorce. Her husband used to follow her, weeping, whilst she rejected him. Al-Bukhaari quotes Ibn ‘Abbās (رضي الله عنه) describing this freed woman who insisted on the annulment of her marriage to someone she did not love; the big-hearted Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) commented on this moving sight, and sought to intervene. Ibn ‘Abbās (رضي الله عنه) said:

“Barirah’s husband was a slave, who was known as Mughith. I can almost see him, running after her and crying, with tears running down onto his beard. The Prophet (ﷺ) said to ‘’Abbās, ‘O ‘Abbās, do you not find it strange, how much Mugith loves Barirah, and how much Barirah hates Mughith?’ The Prophet said (to Barirah), ‘Why do you not go back to him?’ She said, ‘O Messenger of Allâh, are you commanding me to do so?’ He said, ‘I am merely trying to intervene on his behalf.’ She said, ‘I have no need of him.'” (Fath al-Bari, 9/408).

The Prophet (ﷺ) was deeply moved by this display of human emotion: deep and overwhelming love on the part of the husband, and equally powerful hatred on the part of the wife. He could not help but remind the wife, and ask her why she did not go back to him, as he was her husband and the father of her child. This believing woman asked him, whether he was ordering her to do so: was this a command, a binding obligation? The Prophet (ﷺ), this great law-giver and educator, replied that he was merely trying to intercede and bring about reconciliation if possible; he was not trying to force anybody to do something they did not wish to. Let those stubborn, hard-hearted fathers who oppress their own daughters listen to the teaching of the Prophet (ﷺ)!

The Muslim woman who understands the teachings of her religion has wise and correct standards when it comes to choosing a husband. She does not concern herself just with good looks, high status, a luxurious lifestyle or any of the other things that usually attract women. She looks into his level of religious commitment and his attitude and behavior, because these are the pillars of a successful marriage, and the best features of a husband. Islamic teaching indicates the importance of these qualities in a potential husband, as Islam obliges a woman to accept the proposal of anyone who has these qualities, lest fitnah and corruption become widespread in society:

“If there comes to you one with whose religion and attitude you are satisfied, then give your daughter to him in marriage, for if you do not do so, fitnah and mischief will become widespread on earth.” (A hasan hadith narrated by Tirmidhi, 2/274; and by Ibn Majah, 1/633).

Just as the true Muslim young man will not be attracted to the pretty girls who have grown up in a bad environment, so the Muslim young woman who is guided by her religion will not be attracted to stupid “play-boy” types, no matter how handsome they may be. Rather she will be attracted to the serious, educated, believing man who is clean-living and pure of heart, whose behavior is good and whose understanding of religion is sound. No one is a suitable partner for the good, believing woman except a good, believing man; and no one is a suitable partner for the wayward, immoral woman but a wayward, immoral man, as Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) has said:

“Women impure are for men impure, and men impure for women impure, and women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity . . .” (24:26).

This does not mean that the Muslim woman should completely ignore the matter of physical appearance, and put up with unattractiveness. It is her right – as stated above – to marry a man for whom her heart may be filled with love, and who is pleasing to her both in his appearance and in his conduct. Appearance should not be neglected at the expense of inner nature, or vice versa. A woman should choose a man who is attractive to her in all aspects, one who will gain her admiration and respect. The true Muslim woman is never dazzled by outward appearances, and she never lets them distract her from seeing the essence of a potential spouse.

The Muslim woman knows that the man has the right of qiwaamah over her, as the Noble Qur’an says:

“Men are the protectors and maintainers [qawwaamun] of women, because Allâh has given the one more [strength] than the other, and because they support them from their means . . .” (4:34).

Hence she wants to marry a man of whose qiwaamah over her she will feel proud, one whom she will be happy to marry and never regret it. She wants a man who will take her hand in his and set out to fulfill their life’s mission of establishing a Muslim family and raising a new generation of intelligent and caring children, in an atmosphere of love and harmony, which will not be impeded by conflicting attitudes or religious differences. Believing men and believing women are supposed to walk side-by-side on the journey of life, which is a serious matter for the believer, so that they may fulfill the great mission with which Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) has entrusted mankind, men and women alike, as the Qur’an says:

“For Muslim men and women – for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are constant and patient, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast [and deny themselves], for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allâh’s praise – for them has Allâh prepared forgiveness and great reward.” (33:35).

In order to achieve this great goal of strengthening the marriage bond, and establishing a stable family life, it is essential to choose the right partner in the first place.

Among the great Muslim women who are known for their strength of character, lofty aspirations and far-sightedness in their choice of a husband is Umm Sulaym bint Milhan, who was one of the first Ansaar women to embrace Islam. She was married to Malik ibn Nadar (رضي الله عنه), and bore him a son, Anas (رضي الله عنه). When she embraced Islam, her husband Malik was angry with her, and left her, but she persisted in her Islam. Shortly afterwards, she heard the news of his death, and she was still in the flower of her youth. She bore it all with the hope of reward, for the sake of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى), and devoted herself to taking care of her ten year-old son Anas. She took him to the Prophet (ﷺ), so that he could serve him (and learn from him).

One of the best young men of Madinah, one of the best looking, richest and strongest, came to seek her hand in marriage. This was Abu Talhah (رضي الله عنه) – before he became Muslim. Many of the young women of Yathrib (Madinah) liked him because of his wealth, strength and youthful good looks, and he thought that Umm Sulaym (رضي الله عنه) would joyfully rush to accept his offer. But to his astonishment, she told him, “O Abu Talhah, do you not know that your god whom you worship is just a tree that grew in the ground and was carved into shape by the slave of Banu so-and-so.” He said, “Of course.” She said, “Do you not feel ashamed to prostrate yourself to a piece of wood that grew in the ground and was carved by the slave of Banu so-and-so?” Abu Talhah was stubborn, and hinted to her of an expensive dowry and luxurious lifestyle, but she persisted in her point of view, and told him frankly: “O Abu Talhah, a man like you could not be turned away, but you are a disbelieving man, and I am a Muslim woman. It is not permitted for me to marry you, but if you were to embrace Islam, that would be my dowry (mahr), and I would ask you for nothing more.” (Reported by al-Nisa’i with a sahīh isnad, 6/114).

He returned the following day to try to tempt her with a larger dowry and more generous gift, but she stood firm, and her persistence and maturity only enhanced her beauty in his eyes. She said to him, “O Abu Talhah, do you not know that your god whom you worship was carved by the carpenter slave of so-and-so? If you were to set it alight, it would burn.” Her words came as a shock to Abu Talhah, and he asked himself, “Does the Lord burn?” Then he uttered the words of testification (Shahaadah): “Ashhadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasulAllah.”

Then Umm Sulaym said to her son Anas, with joy flooding her entire being, “O Anas, marry me to Abu Talhah.” So Anas brought witnesses and the marriage was solemnized.

Abu Talhah was so happy that he was determined to put all his wealth at Umm Sulaym’s disposal, but hers was the attitude of the selfless, proud, sincere believing woman. She told him, “O Abu Talhah, I married you for the sake of Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى), and I will not take any other dowry.” She knew that when Abu Talhah embraced Islam, she did not only win herself a worthy husband, but she also earned a reward from Allâh (عز وجل) that was better than owning red camels (the most highly-prized kind) in this world, as she had heard the Prophet (ﷺ) say:

“If Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) were to guide one person to Islam through you, it is better for you than owning red camels.” (Fath al-Bari, 7/476).

Such great Muslim women are examples worthy of emulation, from whom Muslim women may learn purity of faith, strength of character, soundness of belief and wisdom in choosing a husband.

SHE IS OBEDIENT TO HER HUSBAND AND SHOWS HIM RESPECT.

The true Muslim woman is always obedient to her husband, provided that no sin is involved. She is respectful towards him and is always eager to please him and make him happy. If he is poor, she does not complain about his being unable to spend much. She does not complain about her housework, because she remembers that many of the virtuous women in Islamic history set an example of patience, goodness and a positive attitude in serving their husbands and taking care of their homes despite the poverty and hardships they faced. One of the foremost of these exemplary wives is Fatimah al-Zahra’, the daughter of Muhammad (ﷺ) and the wife of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (رضي الله عنه). She used to complain of the pain in her hands caused by grinding grain with the hand-mill. Her husband ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib said to her one day, “Your father (Muhammad ﷺ) has brought some female slaves, so go and ask him for one of them to come and serve you.” She went to her father, but she felt too shy to ask him for what she wanted. ‘Ali went and asked him to provide a servant for his beloved daughter, but the Prophet (ﷺ) could not respond to those who most dear to him whilst ignoring the needs of the poor among the Muslims, so he came to his daughter and her husband and said: “Shall I not teach you something that is better than that for which you asked me? When you go to bed at night, say ‘Subhaan Allah’ thirty-three times, ‘Al-hamdu liLlaah’ thirty-three times, and ‘Allahu akbar’ thirty-four times. This is better for you than a servant.”

Then he bid them farewell and left, after giving them this divine help which would make them forget their tiredness and help them to overcome their exhaustion.

‘Ali (رضي الله عنه) began to repeat the words that the Prophet (ﷺ) had taught him. He said, “I never stopped doing that after he had taught me these words.” One of his companions asked him, “Not even on the night of Siffin?” He said, “Not even on the night of Siffin.” (Fath al-Bari, 7/71; Sahīh Muslim, 17/45).

Asma’ bint Abi Bakr al-Siddiq (رضي الله عنه) served her husband al-Zubayr, and took care of the house. Her husband had a horse, which she took care of, feeding it and exercising it. She also repaired the water-bucket, made bread, and carried dates on her head from far away. Al-Bukhaari and Muslim report this in her own words:

“Al-Zubayr married me, and he had no wealth, no slaves, nothing except his horse. I used to feed his horse, looking after it and exercising it. I crushed date-stones to feed his camel. I used to bring water and repair the bucket, and I used to make bread but I could not bake it, so some of my Ansari neighbors, who were kind women, used to bake it for me. I used to carry the dates from the garden that the Prophet (ﷺ) had given to al-Zubayr on my head, and this garden was two-thirds of a farsakh away. One day I was coming back with the dates on my head. I met the Messenger of Allâh, who had a group of his Companions with him. He called me, then told his camel to sit down so that I could ride behind him. I told (al-Zubayr), ‘I felt shy, because I know that you are a jealous man.’ He said, ‘It is worse for me to see you carrying the dates on your head than to see you riding behind him.’ Later, Abu Bakr sent me a servant, who relieved me of having to take care of the horse; it was as if I had been released from slavery.” (Fath al-Bari, 9/319).

The true Muslim woman devotes herself to taking care of her house and husband. She knows her husband’s rights over her, and how great they are, as was confirmed by the Prophet’s words:

“No human being is permitted to prostrate to another, but if this were permitted I would have ordered wives to prostrate to their husbands, because of the greatness of the rights they have over them.” (Reported by Ahmad and al-Bazzar; the men of its chain of narration are those of sahīh. Majma’ al-Zawa’id, 9/4).

And:

“If I were to order anyone to prostrate to anyone else, I would have ordered women to prostrate to their husbands.” (A hasan sahīh hadith, narrated by Tirmidhi, 2/314).

‘A’ishah (رضي الله عنه) asked the Messenger of Allâh : “Who has the greatest rights over a woman?” He said, “Her husband.” She asked, ‘And who has the greatest rights over a man?” He said, “His mother.” (Reported by al-Bazzar with a hasan chain; Majma’ al-Zawa’id, 4/308).

A woman came to ask the Prophet (ﷺ) about some matter, and when he had dealt with it, he asked her, “Do you have a husband?” She said, “Yes.” He asked her, “How are you with him?” She said, “I never fall short in my duties, except for that which is beyond me.” He said, “Pay attention to how you treat him, for he is your Paradise and your Hell.” (Reported by Ahmad and al-Nisa’i with jayyid isnads, and by al-Hakim, who said that its chain was sahīh; al-Mundhiri, Al-Targhib wa’l-Tarhib, 3/52)

How can the Muslim woman complain about taking care of her house and husband when she hears these words of Prophetic guidance? She should fulfill her household duties and take care of her husband in a spirit of joy, because she is not carrying a tiresome burden, she is doing work in her home that she knows will bring reward from Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى).

The Sahaabah (Companions), may Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) be pleased with them, and those who followed them understood this Islamic teaching and transmitted it from the Prophet (ﷺ). When a bride was prepared for marriage, she would be told to serve her husband and take care of his rights. Thus the Muslim woman knew her duties towards her husband, and down through the ages caring for her husband and being a good wife were established womanly attributes. One example of this is what was said by the faqih al-Hanbali ibn al-Jawzi in his book Ahkam al-Nisa’ (p. 331):

In the second century AH (After Hijrah), there was a righteous man called Shu’ayb ibn Harb, who used to fast and spend his nights in prayer. He wanted to marry a woman, and told her humbly, “I am a bad-tempered man.” She replied, tactfully and cleverly, “The one who makes you lose your temper is worse than you.” He realized that there stood before him a woman who was intelligent, wise and mature. He immediately said to her, “You will be my wife.”

This woman had a clear understanding of how to be a good wife, which confirmed to the man who had come to seek her hand that she was a woman who would understand the psychology and nature of her husband and would know what would please him and what would make him angry; she would be able to win his heart and earn his admiration and respect, and would close the door to every possible source of conflict that could disrupt their married life. The woman who does not understand these realities does not deserve to be a successful wife; through her ignorance and shortcomings she may provoke her husband to lose his temper, in which case, she would be worse than him, for being the direct cause of his anger. The tactful Muslim woman is never like this. She helps her husband to be of good character, by displaying different types of intelligence, cleverness and alertness in the way she deals with him. This opens his heart to her and makes him fond of her, because being a good wife is a not only a quality that she may boast about among her friends, but it is also a religious obligation for which Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) will call her to account: if she has done well, she will be rewarded, but if she has fallen short she will have to pay the penalty. One of the most important ways in which the Muslim woman obeys her husband is by respecting his wishes with regard to the permissible pleasures of daily life, such as social visits, food, dress, speech, etc. The more she responds to his wishes in such matters, the happier and more enjoyable the couple’s life becomes, and the closer it is to the spirit and teachings of Islam. The Muslim woman does not forget that her obedience to her husband is one of the things that may lead her to Paradise, as the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“If a woman prays her five daily prayers, fasts her month (of Ramadhan), obeys her husband and guards her chastity, then it will be said to her: ‘Enter Paradise by whichever of its gates you wish.'” (Reported by Ahmad and al-Tabarani; its narrators are thiqat; Majma’ al-Zawa’id, 4/306).

Umm Salamah (رضي الله عنه) said:

“The Messenger of Allâh said: ‘Any woman who dies, and her husband is pleased with her, will enter Paradise.'” (Ibn Majah, 1/595; al-Hakim, 4/173; he said its chain is sahīh).

The Prophet (ﷺ) draw a clear and delightful picture of the well-behaved, easy-going, loving, righteous Muslim wife, one who will be happy in this world and the next: “Shall I not tell you about your wives in Paradise?” We said, “Of course, O Messenger of Allâh.” He said, “They are fertile and loving. If she becomes angry or is mistreated, or her husband becomes angry, she says, ‘My hand is in your hand; I shall never sleep until you are pleased with me.'” (Reported by al-Tabarani. Its narrators are those whose reports are accepted as sahīh; Majma’ al-Zawa’id, 4/312).

The true Muslim woman knows that Islam, which has multiplied her reward for obeying her husband and made it a means of her admittance to Paradise, has also warned every woman who deviates from the path of marital obedience and neglects to take care of her husband, that she will be guilty of sin, and will incur the wrath and curses of the angels.

Al-Bukhaari and Muslim report from Abu Hurayrah (رضي الله عنه) that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“If a man calls his wife to his bed and she does not come, and he goes to sleep angry with her, the angels will curse her until the morning.” (Fath al-Bari, 9/294; Sahīh Muslim, 10/8).

Imam Muslim reports from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“By the One in Whose hand is my soul, there is no man who calls his wife to his bed, and she refuses him, but the One Who is in heaven will be angry with her, until the husband is pleased with her once more.” (Sahīh Muslim, 10/7).

The angels’ curse will befall every woman who is rebellious and disobedient; this does not exclude those who are too slow and reluctant to respond to their husbands:

“Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) will curse those procrastinating women who, when their husbands call them to their beds, say ‘I will, I will . . .’ until he falls asleep.” (sahīh hadith narrated by al-Tabarani in al-Awsat and al-Kabir; Majma’ al-Zawa’id, 4/296).

Marriage in Islam is intended to protect the chastity of men and women alike, therefore it is the woman’s duty to respond to her husband’s requests for conjugal relations. She should not give silly excuses and try to avoid it. For this reason, several ahadîth urge a wife to respond to her husband’s needs as much as she is able, no matter how busy she may be or whatever obstacles there may be, so long as there is no urgent or unavoidable reason not to do so.
In some of these ahadîth, the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“If a man calls his wife to his bed, let her respond, even if she is riding her camel [i.e., very busy].” (Reported by al-Bazzar, whose narrators are rijal al-sahih; Majma’ al-Zawa’id, 4/312).
And:

“If a man calls his wife, then let her come, even if she is busy at the oven.” (Hasan sahīh hadith narrated by Tirmidhi, 2/314; and by Ibn Hibban, Sahīh, 9,473)

The issue of protecting a man’s chastity and keeping him away from temptation is more important than anything else that a woman can do, because Islam wants men and women alike to live in an environment which is entirely pure and free from any motive of fitnah or harām pleasures. The flames of sexual desire and thoughts of pursuing them through harām means can only be extinguished by means of discharging that natural energy in natural and lawful ways. This is what the Prophet (ﷺ) meant in the hadeeth narrated by Muslim from Jabir:

“If anyone of you is attracted to a woman, let him go to his wife and have intercourse with her, for that will calm him down.” (Sahīh Muslim, 9/178).

The warning given to the woman whose husband is angry with her reaches such an extent that it would shake the conscience of every righteous wife who has faith in Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) and the Last Day: she is told that her prayer and good deeds will not be accepted, until her husband is pleased with her again. This is stated in the hadeeth narrated by Jabir Ibn ‘Abdullah:

“The Messenger of Allâh (ﷺ) said: ‘There are three people whose prayers will not be accepted, neither their good works: a disobedient slave until he returns to his masters and puts his hand in theirs; a woman whose husband is angry with her, until he is pleased with her again; and the drunkard, until he becomes sober.'” (Reported by Ibn Hibban in his Sahīh, 12/178).

When this hadîth refer to the husband being angry with his wife, they refer to cases in which the husband is right and the wife is wrong. When the opposite is the case, and the husband is wrong, then his anger has no negative implications for her; in fact, Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) will reward the wife for her patience. But the wife is still required to obey her husband, so long as no sin is involved, because there should be no obedience to a created being if it entails disobedience to the Creator. Concerning this, the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“It is not permitted for a woman who believes in Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) to allow anyone into her husband’s house whom he dislikes; or to go out when he does not want her to; or to obey anyone else against him; or to forsake his bed; or to hit him. If he is wrong, then let her come to him until he is pleased with her, and if he accepts her then all is well, Allâh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى) will accept her deeds and make her position stronger, and there will be no sin on her. If he does not accept her, then at least she will have done her best and excused herself in the sight of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالٰى).” (Reported by al-Hakim, 2/190 and graded sahīh).

Another aspect of wifely obedience is that she should not fast at times other than Ramadhan except with his permission, that she should not allow anyone to enter his house without his permission, and that she should not spend any of his earnings without his permission. If she spends anything without him having told her to do so, then half of the reward for that spending will be given to him. The true Muslim woman takes heed of this teaching which was stated by the Prophet (ﷺ) in the hadîth:

“It is not permitted for a woman to fast when her husband is present, except with his permission; or to allow anyone into his house except with his permission; or to spend any of his earnings unless he has told her to do so, otherwise half of the reward will be given to him.” (Fath al-Bari, 9/295).

According to a report given by Muslim, he (ﷺ) said:

“A woman should not fast if her husband is present, except with his permission. She should not allow anyone to enter his house when he is present without his permission. Whatever she spends of his wealth without him having told her to do so, half of the reward for it will be given to him.” (Sahīh Muslim, 7/115).

The point here is the permission of the husband. If a wife gives some of his money in voluntary charity without his permission, then she will not receive any reward; on the contrary, it will be recorded as a sin on her part. If she wants to spend in his absence, and she knows that if he knew about it he would give his permission, then she is allowed to do so, otherwise it is not permitted.

Mutual understanding and harmony between husband and wife cannot be achieved unless there is understanding between them on such matters, so that neither of them will fall into such errors and troubles as may damage the marriage which Islam has built on a basis of love and mercy, and sought to maintain its purity, care and harmony.

If the husband is a miser, and spends too little on her and her children, then she is allowed to spend as much as she needs from his wealth on herself and her children, in moderation, without his knowledge. The Prophet (ﷺ) stated this to Hind bint ‘Utbah, the wife of Abu Sufyan, when she came to him and said, “O Messenger of Allâh, Abu Sufyan is a stingy man. What he gives me is not enough for me and my child, unless I take from him without his knowledge.” He told her, “Take what is enough for you and your child, in moderation.” (Al-Bukhaari & Muslim. See Sharh al-Sunnah, 9/327).

Thus Islam has made women responsible for good conduct in their running of the household affairs. The Muslim woman understands the responsibility that Islam has given her, to take care of her husband’s house and children by making her a “shepherd” over her husband’s house and children. She has been specifically reminded of this responsibility in recognition of her role, in the hadîth in which the Prophet (ﷺ) made every individual in the Islamic society responsible for those under his or her authority in such a way that no-one, man or woman, may evade responsibility:

“Each of you is a shepherd, and each is responsible for those under his care. A ruler is a shepherd; a man is the shepherd of his family; a woman is the shepherd of her husband’s house and children. For each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for those under his care.” (Al-Bukhaari & Muslim. See Sharh al-Sunnah, 9/327).

The true Muslim woman is always described as being loving towards her children and caring towards her husband. These are two of the most beautiful characteristics that a woman of any time or place may possess. The Prophet (ﷺ) praised these two characteristics, which were embodied by the women of Quraysh, who represented the best women among the Arabs in terms of loving their children, caring for their husbands, respecting their rights and looking after their wealth with care, honesty and wisdom:

“The best women who ride camels are the women of Quraysh. They are the most compassionate towards their children when they are small, and the most careful with regard to their husbands’ wealth.” (Sahīh Muslim, 16/81).

This is a valuable testimony on the part of the Prophet (ﷺ), attesting to the psychological and moral qualities of the women of Quraysh which enhanced their beauty and virtue. This testimony represents a call to every Muslim woman to emulate the women of Quraysh in loving her children and taking care of her husband. These two important characteristics contribute to the success of a marriage, make individuals and families happy, and help a society to advance.
It is a great honor for a woman to take care of her husband every morning and evening, and wherever he goes, treating him with gentleness and good manners which will fill his life with joy, tranquility and stability. Muslim women have the best example in ‘A’ishah (رضي الله عنه), who used to accompany the Prophet (ﷺ) on Hajj, surrounding him with her care, putting perfume on him with her own hands before he entered ihram, and after he finished his ihram, before he performed tawaf al-ifadah. (Tawaf al-ifadah is one of the important rites of Hajj. It is done on the tenth day of Dhu’lHijjah after sacrificing an animal and shaving one’s head. [Translator]). She chose for him the best perfume that she could find. This is stated in a number of sahīh ahadîth reported by Imam Al-Bukhaari and Muslim, for example:

“I applied perfume to the Messenger of Allâh with my own hands before he entered the state of ihram and when he concluded it before circumambulating the House.” (Sahīh Muslim, 8/99).

“I applied perfume to the Messenger of Allâh with these two hands of mine when he entered ihram and when he concluded it, before he performed tawaf,” – and she spread her hands. (Fath al-Bari, 3/585).
Urwah said:

“I asked ‘A’ishah, ‘With what did you perfume the Messenger of Allâh at the time when he entered ihram?’ She said, ‘With the best of perfume.'”(Sahīh Muslim, 8/100).

According to another report also given by Imam Muslim in his Sahīh, ‘A’ishah said:

“I applied the best perfume I could find to the Messenger of Allâh before he entered ihram and when he concluded it, before he performed tawaf al-ifadah.” (Sahīh Muslim, 8/100).
When the Prophet (ﷺ) was in seclusion (i’tikaf), he would lean his head towards ‘A’ishah, and she would comb and wash his hair. Al-Bukhaari and Muslim both report this in sahīh hadeeth narrated from ‘A’ishah (رضي الله عنه), such as:

“When the Messenger of Allâh was in i‘tikaf, he inclined his head towards me and I combed his hair, and he did not enter the house except to answer the call of nature.” (Sahīh Muslim, 3/208).

“I used to wash the Prophet’s head when I was menstruating.” (Fath al-Bari, 1/403; Sahīh Muslim, 3/209).

‘Aishah urged women to take good care of their husbands and to recognize the rights that their husbands had over them. She saw these rights as being so great and so important that a woman was barely qualified to wipe the dust from her husband’s feet with her face, as she stated: “O womenfolk, if you knew the rights that your husbands have over you, every one of you would wipe the dust from her husband’s feet with her face.” (Reported as sahīh by Ibn Hibban, and with a jayyid isnad by al-Bazzar; its narrators are well-known and are thiqat. See Ibn al-Jawzi, Ahkam al-nisa’, p. 311).

This is a vivid expression of the importance of the husband’s rights over his wife. ‘A’ishah wanted to bring this to women’s attention, so as to remove from the hearts of arrogant and stubborn women all those harsh, obstinate feelings that all too often destroy a marriage and turn it into a living hell.

In’shaa’Allaah this series will continue in the next post. Subhanaka Allaahumma wabihamdika, asha’adu an ‘lailla ila anta, astaghifiruka wa atooybu ilayka.