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Rights of Wife

by | Jan 29, 2011

Islam honors women as wives. Our religion Islam urges the husband to treat his wife in a good and kind manner. And says that the wife has rights over the husband like his rights over her. Except that he has a degree over her. Because of his responsibility for spending and taking care of the family’s affairs. Islam states that the best of the Muslim men is the one who treats his wife in the best manner. And the man is forbidden to take his wife’s money without her approval. Allaah says: “and live with them honorably” [al-Nisa’ 4:19]

“And they (women) have rights (over their husbands) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable. But men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allaah is All-Mighty, All-Wise” [al-Baqarah 2:228]

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said.

 “I urge you to treat women well.” [Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 331; Muslim, 1468]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said.

“The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.” [al-Tirmidhi, 3895]

1. Financial Rights (Living Expenses):

When the couple enters into a marriage contract; the first and foremost thing is giving Mahr (Dowry). Mahr is the money to which the wife is entitled to her husband. It is a right which the man is obliged to pay to a woman. Allah says:

“And give to the women their Mahr (obligatory bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart” [al-Nisaa’ 4:4]

Mahr is also a sort of practice that the Husband is responsible for the living Expenses of His wife for the rest of life. It is a token of respect and honor to the woman.

2. Spending on the Wife:

It is obligatory for husbands to spend on their wives. He should provide her according to his Salary. Husband is responsible for meeting the wife’s need for food and accommodation etc. 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” [al-Talaaq 65:7]

Narrated by Aisha (R.A): “Hind bint Utbah, the wife of Abu Sufyaan, entered upon the Prophet (PBUH) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, Abu Sufyaan is a stingy man. One who does not spend enough on me and my children, except for what I take from his wealth without his knowledge. Is there any sin on me for doing that?’ The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon Him) said: ‘Take from his wealth on a reasonable basis. Only what is sufficient for you and your children.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 5049; Muslim, 1714)

3. Kind treatment:

The husband must have a good attitude towards his wife. He should be kind to her, and offer her everything that may soften her heart towards him, Allah says:

“and live with them honorably” [al-Nisaa’ 4:19]

It was narrated that Abu Huraira (R.A) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon Him) said: ‘Be kind to women.’”(Narrated by al-Bukhari, 3153; Muslim, 1468)

Prophet (PBUH) was best towards His wives. Urwah ibn al-Zubayr (R.A) narrated: “Aisha (R.A) the wife of Prophet (PBUH) said: ‘By Allah, I saw the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) standing at the door of my apartment. When the Abyssinians were playing with their spears in the Mosque of the Prophet (PBUH). He covered me with his cloak so that I could watch their games. Then he stood there for my sake until I was the one who had had enough. So you should appreciate the fact that young girls like to have fun.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 443; Muslim, 892)

4. Not Beating or Harming the wife:

Islam gives women huge respect and the greatest of that is not to beat or Harm the wife. Narrated from Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “There should be no harming nor reciprocating harm.” (Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 2340)

The light beating of women (One that doesn’t leave any mark or scar) is allowed only in that case when the wife is disloyal as 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); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance). Surely, Allah is Ever Most High, Most Great.” [4:34]

5. Just treatment among co-wives:

This is the right of the wife that she and her co-wives should be treated equally, if the husband has more than one wife, with regard to nights spent with them, spending, and clothing. Allah says:

“Marry women of your choice, two or three, or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one or (the slaves) that your right hands possess. That is nearer to prevent you from doing injustice.” [4:3]

Read this Hadith on what happens if a Husband doesn’t treat His wives Equally: The Prophet (PBUH) said that if a man has two wives and does not treat them equally, he would be raised on the Day of Judgment with half his body paralyzed. [Tirmidhi, Vol. 1]

6. Protector of Wife in Islam:

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. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands), and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity and their husband’s property)….” [4:34]

7. The Right to spend her own money:

The husband does not have the right to object to the way his wife handles her wealth in transactions such as buying, renting, etc. If the woman is of sound mind and can handle the transactions. The wife is encouraged to seek her husband’s permission but it is not obligatory for her to do so. Whatever the Husband gives to the wife as a Gift, the wife can spend it herself. This verse indicates that women have the right to decide what to do with their own money:

“And if you divorce them before you have touched them, and you have appointed unto them the mahr (bridal money) then pay half of that (mahr) unless the women agree to forego it…”[al-Baqarah 2:237]

Give Freedom To Wives:

Whatever salary a woman receives is her property, which she may use wherever she wants. She does not have to give any of it to her husband or to contribute to household expenses with her husband. Because spending on the wife and children is obligatory upon her husband, even if the wife is rich unless it has been agreed in the marriage contract that the Husband may take from wife’s Salary then-wife has to give her Salary.

In the end, let’s remember the most important Sermon; the Farewell Sermon. It was narrated from Jabir (R.A) that the Prophet (PBUH) said in his Farewell Sermon:

“Fear Allah concerning women! Verily you have taken them on the security of Allah, and intercourse with them has been made lawful unto you by words of Allah. You too have rights over them, and that they should not allow anyone to sit on your bed [i.e., not let them into the house] whom you do not like. But if they do that, you can chastise them but not severely. Their rights upon you are that you should provide them with food and clothing in a fitting manner” (Narrated by Muslim, 1218)

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