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Rights of Husband & Wife in Islam

Rights of Husband

1. The husband must give his wife the marriage gift/dowry. A marriage contract is not considered legal and complete unless a dowry has been specified. This right cannot be forfeited, even if the bride approves, until after the marriage contract is completed. She has the freedom to do whatever she wants with it.

Allah says: “You shall give the women their due dowries, equitably” (4:4).

2. The husband must give proper and sufficient sustenance/financial support to his household according to his status and means. The wife should receive full maintenance from her husband including food, clothing, housing, education, recreation, medication etc. Even if the wife is rich, she does not need to spend anything on her husband or household.

Allah says: “Let the rich man spend according to his means, and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. Allah will grant after hardship ease” (65:7).

Allah says: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means” (4:34).

3. A husband must be kind to his wife. His behavior towards her is a measure of his faith.

Allah says: “Consort with women in kindness” (4:19).

Allah says: “Among His signs is that He has 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” (30:21).

Allah says: “It is He Who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature in order that he might dwell with her in love” (7:189).

Allah says: “They (wives) are your garments and you are their garments” (2:187).

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “A woman is like a curved rib, so be kind and considerate to her.” Bukhari

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “The most complete of the believers in his belief is he who perfects his manners, and the best of you in manners are those who act best towards their wives.” Tirmidhi

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Be kind to women.” Bukhari

4. A husband cannot ask his wife to do anything that is against Islam.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “No obedience is due to creatures in disobedience of the Creator.” Bukhari

5. He must exercise patience and should be prepared to listen to his wife’s opinions in every situation. The Prophet (pbuh) listened to the advice of his wives in matters ranging from the smallest to the greatest.

6. He must respect her and pay attention to her needs as she will respect him and pay attention to his.

7. If the wife works outside the house, it is admirable for the husband to hire help to relieve her from the burden of housework.

8. A husband must avoid excessive jealousy.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Do not be excessively jealous of your wife lest evil be hurled at her on your account.”

9. A husband must not beat his wife. The Prophet (pbuh) condemned the man who beats his wife in the day and then approaches her at night. If a husband beats his wife to the extent of inflicting serious injury, it is enough grounds for her to obtain divorce from a judge.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Do not beat your wife.” He also said: “Do not strike your wife in the face.”

10. He must never ever divulge the secrets of his household or marriage.

11. He must treat her generously at all times.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “The best gift or charity is that spent on one’s wife.”

12. The wife has the right to live in separate accommodation with her husband and children if she does not want to share it with anyone like her in-laws or relatives.

13. It is the obligation of the husband to make sure that his wife acquires all the Islamic knowledge, like how to pray, how to fast etc., that is obligatory for her to learn. If this means that he has to spend money on books or tapes, then he must do so.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “All of you are shepherds and all of you will be asked about your wards. The ruler is a shepherd and shall be asked about his wards. The man is a shepherd of his family and will be asked about his ward.” Bukhari

14. A husband must protect his wife’s honor and not place her in situations where it is compromised or belittled. This includes in interactions with the husband’s brother, uncle, and nephew, let alone non-related friends, neighbors, and complete strangers.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Allah will not ever let him enter Paradise who cares little who shares his wife’s privacy.”

15. The husband should not stay away from his wife or keep his wife in a state of suspense, whether at home or abroad, for a prolonged period of time except with her consent.

Allah said: “Turn not away (from your wife) altogether, so as to leave her hanging. If you come to a friendly understanding and practice self-restraint, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Merciful” (4:129).

16. A husband must exercise patience and forgiveness in the case of disagreement or dispute, and not rush to divorce. The declaration of divorce is a grave matter.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Of permitted matters the most loathsome before Allah is divorce.”

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “The best intercession [i.e. intervention of a third party] is that which brings back together the husband and the wife.”

Rights of Wife
1. A wife must obey her husband, be respectful towards him, and always be eager to please him and make him happy.

Allah says: “And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable” (2:228).

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “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.” Tirmidhi

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Pay attention to how you treat him, for he is your Paradise and your Hell.” Ahmad and al-Nisa’i

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “If a woman prays her five daily prayers, fasts her month (of Ramadan), obeys her husband and guards her chastity, then it will be said to her: ‘Enter Paradise by whichever of its gates you wish.’” Ahmad and al-Tabarani

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Any woman who dies, and her husband is pleased with her, will enter Paradise.” Ibn Majah

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Shall I not tell you about your wives in Paradise? 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.’” al-Tabarani

The Prophet (pbuh) 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.” Ibn Hibban

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “If a man calls his wife, then let her come, even if she is busy at the oven.” Tirmidhi

Allah says: “As to those women on whose part you see ill‑conduct, admonish them (first), (next) refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful)” (4:34). Watch this video for more clarification as to what is meant by this Ayah.

2. A wife cannot allow anyone to enter their home without her husband’s permission. She also cannot leave her house without his knowledge and permission.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “It is not permitted for a woman who believes in Allah 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.” Al-Hakim.

3. Wives are expected to ask their husband’s permission before doing nawafil (voluntary acts of worship) that may conflict with his rights, such as observing nawafil fasts.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “No woman should fast when her husband is present except with his permission.” Bukhari

4. A woman should make herself look beautiful for her husband.

5. It is forbidden for a woman to dress in mourning for more than three days for anyone, except in the case of her husband’s death, when she is permitted to mourn for four months and ten days.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “It is not permitted for a woman who believes in Allah 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.”

6. A wife should help her husband to worship Allah.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “May Allah 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 Allah 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.” Abu Dawud

7. A wife should be tolerant and forgiving. She shouldn’t bear a grudge against him or remind him about his mistakes 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.

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

8. A wife should take responsibility for her husband’s wealth, not spending without his permission and being careful not to be wasteful.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “The best women among the Arabs are the most compassionate towards their children when they are small, and the most careful with regard to their husband’s wealth.” Muslim

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “And she would not give in charity from his money except with his permission.”

9. A wife expresses respect towards her husband by honoring and respecting his family, especially his mother. She helps him to honor and respect his mother by doing the same.

10. A wife cannot disclose her husband’s secrets, and cannot talk to anyone about their secrets and other matters there may be between him and her.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Among the worst type of people in the sight of Allah 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.” Muslim

11. Wives are expected to help her husband in dealing with the outside world and to play her role in life by offering her opinions and advice, and supporting him in all his affairs. She never hesitates to stand by his side, encouraging him, supporting him and offering advice and consolation.

12. A wife should show gratitude to her husband.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Allah will not look at the woman who does not thank her husband at the time when she cannot do without him.” Al-Hakim

13. She has to be vigilant in the husband’s absence.

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Shall I tell you the best a man can treasure? It is a good wife. If he looks at her, she gives him pleasure; if he orders her, she obeys; and if he is away from her, she remains faithful to him.” Abu Dawud

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