- Being the ideal wife is largely dependent on the manner in which a wife conducts herself, serves her husband and deals with him.
- 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.
- Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “The entire world is for the benefit of man and the BEST bounty is a pious wife” (Muslim #3649).
Obedience to the Husband
For anything to function smoothly there has to be someone in charge. If everyone is equal in every respect, there would be no order and system. In the similar manner, for the home to continue happily, Allah Ta‘ala has made the husband in charge. He has also tasked him with extra responsibilities. If the western model of equality between spouses and both being in-charge was workable, one in every two homes in western society would not have been a broken home.
Whilst the husband has been commanded repeatedly to be kind and good to his wife, it is the wife’s duty to be obedient to him. In this lies her peace of mind. Otherwise there would be problems in the home.
- Obey your husband in all permissible matters. This will draw the mercy of Allah Ta‘ala.
- Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “The woman who offers her five times salaah, fasts in the month of Ramadhaan, protects her honour and obeys her husband, will have the choice of entering Jannah from whichever door she wishes to enter from.” (Ibnu Hibbaan #4163)
- Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “When a woman leaves home against the desire of her husband, then all the angels in the skies and everything she walks past besides man and jinn curse her for this act until she returns home.” (Majma‘uz Zawaaid #7669)
- If the husband commands his wife to do something which is impermissible, she must not obey him.
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). We normally say that, “it takes two hands to clap.” So if the husband is not playing his part how can it work out? Allah Ta‘ala and His Rasul (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has taught us how to clap with one hand also, i.e. with the hand of good character. This one hand of good character will force the other hand to also clap eventually.
Hereunder are three basic components of good character:
- Learn to forgive your husband. 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.
Receiving the Husband
The manner in which the husband is received is extremely important, as it sets the tone and mood for the rest of the night. Some important points in this regard are:
- When your husband enters the home, always make salaam cheerfully and give him a warm affectionate smile, no matter how difficult your day may have been. Similarly, when he leaves the home in the morning, make a point of making salaam sincerely. Salaam is a guaranteed method of bringing blessings into the home.
- Even if you had a difficult or tiring day, try to appear cheerful.
- Do not tell him your difficulties as soon as he enters the home. This could cause him to become angry. Gradually try to win his compassion and sympathy.
- It is the wife’s duty to beautify and adorn herself for her husband.
- She should only do this in such ways that are in keeping with the laws of sharee‘ah.
- This should be done for her husband alone. It is forbidden for her to adorn herself when leaving the house.
- If there are non-mahrams indoors, such as cousins, brothers in-law, husbands nephews, etc. the laws of hijaab apply with them as well.
- Even in the presence of mahram males such as brothers and sons, it is forbidden to wear tight-fitting or revealing garments. This is shameless and sinful.
- When a woman dresses up for her husband and gives him extra attention, the possibility of him getting involved in an extra-marital affair is reduced.
- Every man is looking for a neat home and a good meal when he returns home.
- Keep the home, children, and most importantly yourself neat and tidy when he enters the home. This will enhance his confidence in you. A neglected home could affect his mood adversely.
- Run your home and carry out your chores in a systematic manner. Have set places for your items and do not be haphazard.
- Be prepared for him at meal times, as the heat of hunger is very often inflammable. Remember the adage: “A hungry man is an angry man.”
Appreciating and Encouraging
- Always appreciate whatever he does for you. Make a point of thanking him for everything.
- Be content with what he can afford to give you. Don’t be ungrateful.
- Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) once addressing the women said: “The majority of the inmates of Jahannam will be women, because of their excessive cursing and ingratitude to their husbands.” (Bukhaari #304)
- If you require extra money, ask politely, keeping in mind his financial status.
- Refrain from making unnecessary and extravagant demands on him.
- Maintain the household budget within your means. Do not express displeasure when he is unable to fulfil your lavish demands.
- If he is not feeling well or is troubled with worries, then be even more considerate towards him. Be an anchor of support and a pillar of strength for him.
- Encourage and motivate each other to do good deeds and to please Allah Ta‘ala. It would be very tragic if the husband wants to take steps to rectify himself, but the biggest barrier on his path to piety is his wife.
Once a woman marries, her husband’s entire family automatically becomes her family as well. She has to now interact regularly with her mother in-law and sisters in-law. For the sake of her own happiness and for the sake of her husband, it is essential that she maintains a good relationship with her in-laws. Many marriages break due to misconduct in this regard. Bearing in mind the following points will assist in avoiding many problems:
- Be concerned about fulfilling your obligations in terms of being courteous, kind and polite towards them.
- Do not pay attention to the way they treat you. Responding to their ill-treatment with kindness will melt them one day.
- Accept your in-laws as your own family. Respect your mother in-law as you would respect your own mother and love your sisters in-law as you would love your own sisters.
- Realize that they are also humans. They have their faults and weaknesses. As you would never disown your parents due to their flaws, you cannot disown them due to their shortcomings. Overlook their faults and Allah Ta‘ala will overlook yours in the Hereafter.
- Never speak ill of them in the presence of your children. If they have overstepped the boundaries, discuss this in private with your husband.
- You can never acquire the love of your husband if you attempt to disrupt his relationship with his mother, father, brothers, sisters and other relatives. Disruption of family ties is amongst the worst of the major sins and invites the wrath of Allah Ta‘ala.
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 wife needs to be careful at all times and ensure she does not break his trust and confidence in her. The following are some of the common ways in which this trust is broken:
- Do not mingle with or speak to strange men. This will severely harm your marriage.
- Never allow any strange man to enter your house in the absence of your husband.
- Do not keep in touch or communicate with any male 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 husband, 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 husband.
- 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.
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 him 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.
- If there is a problem, do not ‘air his dirty laundry in public’ and publicize his 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.
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 brother-in-law is not a mahram and purdah must be observed from him. Also DO NOT CHAT TO NON-MAHRAM MEN on social media or in any other manner. This is totally impermissible and disastrous to your marriage.
Independent Attitude: One of the major contributing factors to break ups in marriages is the independent attitude which some wives display. A wife needs to be submissive and make every effort to make the home.
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.
…and Allāh Ta’ālā Knows Best