SOURCE: Ibnu Masood Institute
Being the ideal husband is dependent on the manner in which a husband conducts himself, treats his wife and deals with her.
This manner has been encapsulated in a few words of the Quraan Majeed. Allah Ta‘ala says: “And live with them with kindness.” (An-Nisaa ayat 19)
Furthermore, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has interceded on behalf of the wives of the Ummah. He (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Accept my advice of treating the women well.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #3331)
Conduct yourself with your wife and deal with her in the manner that you would want someone else to treat your own daughter. You would understand the next person better when “you put yourself in their shoes”.
- In Islam, we are taught to show importance to fulfil our obligations and the next person’s rights, and not to focus on what we are supposed to be receiving. We need to fulfil our duties and not demand our rights.
- Regard all the chores of the home that she fulfils as a favour upon you, and not as her duty. In this way you will become more appreciative of her.
- Your wife is not your slave or servant. She is not there just to see to your needs or to clean up after you. Hence she should be treated with respect and honour, and should not be harmed whether physically, verbally, psychologically or emotionally.
- Do not regard seeing to her or her needs as a burden.
In a marriage, there is much more interaction between the husband and wife compared to any other relationship. Thus our day to day conduct and behaviour can have a big impact on the success or failure of our marriages. Hereunder are a few basic guidelines:
- Laugh and joke with her within the limits of sharee‘ah. Engage in light-hearted conversations and look for ways and opportunities to bring happiness to her heart.
- Make her feel extremely comfortable. She should not feel difficult to discuss any issue with you.
- Do not be a “bully” husband. Rather use love and affection to win her heart.
- Create such a loving presence at home that your family members look forward to see you. They should not be dreading your presence.
- Spend quality time with your wife and children.
Great emphasis has been laid in the sharee‘ah upon a person possessing good character. In the hadeeth, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has explained that the weightiest action on the scales of good deeds on the Day of Judgement is good character (Sunan Abi Dawood #4801).
Often outside the home the husband is regarded as a person of outstanding character and morals. However, remember that the best judge of a person’s character and conduct is none other than his wife. Hence, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has said: “The most perfect of believers is the one who is best in character, and the best of you is he who is best to his wives.” (Tirmizi #1162)
Hereunder are three basic components of good character:
- Forgive your wife and overlook her shortcomings, such as if the salt is less or if the food is not prepared on time. Remember the adage: ‘To err is human, to forgive is Divine.’
- Admit your mistakes as this is a sign of humility. Do not attempt to justify your mistakes with lame excuses.
- Exercise patience. Never make hasty decisions which you will regret later.
Entering the Home
The manner in which the husband enters the home is extremely important, as it sets the tone and mood for the rest of the night. Some important points in this regard are:
- Upon entering and leaving the home, make it a point of making salaam. Salaam is a guaranteed method of bringing blessings into the home.
- No matter how difficult your day may have been, try to appear cheerful and warm to your family. Do not dump the entire day’s frustration on your innocent household members.
- Return home on time. If you will be delayed for some reason, notify your household members in advance. Making them wait without letting them know what has happened can be traumatic.
Spending and Giving Gifts
- The obligation of supporting the family lies on your shoulders. Never shirk in your responsibility and unduly burden your wife with this onerous task.
- Provide her with her own monthly allowance (according to your means) over and above your household expenses.
- Be moderate in your expenditure and never waste money by spending on things that are impermissible in Islam.
- Spending on bare necessities is not sufficient to engender true love and a happy home. Occasionally bringing a gift home will assist in engendering mutual love between the spouses.
Encouraging and Complimenting
Marriage is a team effort and every now and again we need to remind our spouses about how special they are to us. The wife should not feel that with the passage of time his feelings for her have been lost. Always keep her positive and happy. Here are some simple ways of doing this:
- Compliment your wife often on her dressing and cooking.
- Express your love to your wife often and make her feel wanted.
- If your wife is not feeling well or troubled with worries, then be even more sympathetic towards her. Encourage her to discuss the problem with you. Be an anchor of support and a pillar of strength for her.
- Encourage and motivate each other to do good deeds and to please Allah Ta‘ala. It would be very tragic if the wife wants to take steps to rectify herself, but the biggest barrier on her path to piety is her husband.
Once a person marries, his family commitments increase. On the one hand he has his own parents and family, and on the other hand he has his wife and her entire family. Many husbands tend to take one extreme or the other. Bearing in mind the following points will assist in maintaining the balance:
- Remember that your in-laws were responsible for the upbringing of your wife. Just as you respect and honour your parents who were responsible for bringing you up, out of love for your wife, you should respect and honour her parents as well.
- If you want her to be good to your family and take them as her own, you will have to do the same with hers.
- Just as you cannot tolerate someone picking on your family, she cannot bear her family being picked on.
- As a boy you are so attached to your mother and family. Imagine how much more attached she will be to her mother and family. Hence it will be extremely cruel and hard-hearted on your part to distance her from her family and not allow her to visit them often.
- Fulfil the rights of your parents as well as your wife’s.
- Do not neglect spending on your wife due to your parents, and vice-versa.
- Serving your parents is YOUR responsibility. Out of love a wife will generally assist in this duty. However, do not impose anything on her.
- In any issue be totally impartial but never be disrespectful.
- Issues between one’s wife and parents can sometimes become complicated. It is best to take advice from an experienced ‘Aalim in such matters.
Trust and Transparency
An essential ingredient in a marriage is loyalty and trust. This will create confidence in the spouse and bring security in the marriage. At times this can take years to build, but can be smashed in a few seconds. Therefore, the husband needs to be careful at all times and ensure he does not break her trust and confidence in him. The following are some of the common ways in which this trust is broken.
- Do not mingle with or speak to strange women. In fact, you should not even look at them.
- Never compare nor mention the beauty or qualities of other women to your wife. This is extremely insensitive and may cause jealousy, suspicion, and unnecessary doubts in her mind. Accept your wife for what she is.
- Do not keep in touch or communicate with any female acquaintances from the past, even if they are ‘just good friends’. This is forbidden and also extremely detrimental to the marriage. Make taubah from this sin, and delete all traces of it.
- Do not behave in a way that creates suspicion, e.g. hiding your cell phone from your wife, blocking it with passwords, etc.
Controlling the Tongue and Anger Management
- Think before speaking. Remember that wounds afflicted by swords may heal, but the wounds afflicted by the tongue very seldom heal.
- Control your tongue at all times. One of the main reasons for the breakup of marriages is the misuse of the tongue. Sometimes you will regret the slip of the tongue for the rest of your life.
- Avoid raising your voice and NEVER yell at your wife.
- When angry, do not say anything. Rather, immediately move away from that place, drink water, and recite “a‘oozu billahi minash shaitaanir rajeem”. If possible, make wudhu. Remember, that after the expression of every bout of anger, there is regret.
- When you are overcome by anger and wish to physically or verbally abuse her, then remember Allah Ta‘ala, whose trust she is, possesses greater power than you do.
Communication and Dealing with Problems
- Communication is essential in a marriage. Most of the time misunderstandings and problems arise due to a lack of communication. Hence, learn to communicate constructively.
- Make a resolution that at the time of a problem you would sit down with her and discuss your problems in a dignified manner, without raising voices or being abusive; or you will seek advice from someone you both can confide in.
- NEVER discuss a problem in the state of anger. Calm down first.
- NEVER argue in public or in front of the children. This will affect the children psychologically and could prove detrimental to the marriage.
- NEVER use the word ‘talaaq’ or ‘divorce’, either in jest or in anger. Don’t threaten her with divorce. If the relationship totally breaks down, seek the advice of a learned and experienced ‘Aalim before resorting to divorce.
- If there is a problem, do not ‘air her dirty laundry in public’ and publicize her faults.
Some of the main marriage destroyers are the following:
Bad Character: Being mean, inconsiderate, vengeful, abusive, etc, are all potential marriage destroyers. Some issues may seem trivial, but repeated acts of bad character add up and sometimes result in explosions that destroy the marriage. One very widespread but extremely evil aspect is that of swearing at the wife and using vulgar languages against her. This is a major sin and also a potential marriage destroyer.
Infidelity: This has become the scourge of society. Beware; it will destroy your marriage, family, dunya and most of your deen. Uphold the laws of hijaab. Remember well that the sister-in-law is not a mahram and purdah must be observed from her. Also DO NOT CHAT TO NON-MAHRAM WOMEN on social media or in any other manner. This is totally impermissible and disastrous to your marriage.
Pornography: One of the worst poisons that has killed many marriages. It is filthy, nauseating and utterly disgusting. Like many other evils, it is also very addictive. After getting hooked onto it, many stoop to the shocking level of even watching porn in the presence of their wives. Some try to subject their wives to the animal behaviour they have picked up from watching porn. Many wives cover up many faults of the husband. However, they often break-down at some point and spill out everything.
Oppression: Many husbands oppress their wives in various ways. Oppression draws down the wrath of Allah Ta‘ala in this world. The punishment in the Hereafter is much worse. Always remember that Allah Ta‘ala is watching. The effects of the tears of the oppressed wife will bring its negative consequences on the oppressive husband.
Simple Recipe for Happiness
- Adopt taqwa. If you please Allah Ta‘ala, He will keep you happy.
- Set some time for the family to engage in Quraan recitation, zikr and du‘aa. Beg Allah Ta‘ala to grant happiness and peace in the home.
- Conduct ta’leem daily in the home. Keep it simple. Apart from the ta’leem of the fazaail kitaabs, consult an experienced ‘Aalim with regard to what else should be read.
Food for Thought
Your wife has made the great sacrifice of leaving the sanctuary of her parents’ home and her near and dear ones to come and spend the rest of her life with you. She does this with great hopes and expectations. Do not be selfish and destroy them.
…and Allāh Ta’ālā Knows Best