Marriage

GUARDIANSHIP OVER A WOMAN’S MARRIAGE AND WEALTH

Source http://www.islamqa.com

We know that if a woman wants to get married, she has to have a wali (guardian) who will do the marriage contract on her behalf. But how does she decide who will be her wali? Does the wali have to take care of all the woman’s dealings? Please advise us, may Allaah reward you with good.

Praise be to Allaah.

The ways in which a man may be appointed as a woman’s wali for marriage are five: being her owner (if she is a slave); being related to her; being her patron (as when one tribe is patron of another, etc.); being a leader (of the community, etc.); and guardianship (wisaayah).  The wali is one of the conditions of the validity of a marriage. It is not permissible for a woman to be a wali in marriage either for herself or for someone else for any reason; she cannot act as a wali for herself, on behalf of another or as the deputy of another. If she does that, the marriage contract is invalid.

A woman who is adult, of sound mind and sensible has the right to manage her own money and to dispose of it however she wishes, whether that is in return for something or not, such as buying and selling, renting, lending, giving in charity or giving gifts, giving all or part of the money. No one has the right to stop her doing that, and she does not need anyone’s permission, whether she is virgin who has a father, or does not have a father, or is married with a husband.

It is permissible for a mother to dispose of her children’s wealth, food or otherwise, as is also permissible for the father. It is also permissible for a woman to dispose of and eat from her parents’ wealth with regard to things that are permissible for her.

The mother has the right to guardianship over the wealth of her children who are still young or who are insane, because she is more compassionate towards her child than anyone else.

A woman does not have the right to dispose of her husband’s wealth or give any of it in charity without his permission, whether that permission is explicit or is implied by custom and habit.

It is permissible for a woman to have the position of guardianship (wasiyah) over someone else’s money and she may be in control of money over which she has been appointed guardian, so long as she meets the conditions of guardianship, whether she is the mother of the children or is not related to them.

It is permissible for a woman to be in charge of a waqf; she has the right to be the guardian in charge of a waqf and to decide how it should be disposed of. This is according to scholarly consensus.

Wilaayat al-Mar’ah fi’l-Fiqh al-Islami, p. 691

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WALI ACCORDING TO QURAN AND SUNNAH

Source http://muttaqun.com/wali.html

What is a wali?

Protector, Guardian, Supporter, Helper, Friend etc. [plural ‘Auliyâ] see 33:17 The wali is the represention/mediator/guardian for women seeking marriage.

Who needs a Wali for marriage?

Men do not need a wali.

Women who have previously had marital relations with a man, can represent themselves and do not have to have a wali. However, they still must not be alone with a non-mahram man, and she MAY of course and is encouraged to have a wali be involved to whatever level she is comfortable with. It may be argued, however, that new reverts to Islam are as innocent as a virgin (since all sins are forgiven upon embracing Islam) and is recommended for new muslimahs have a wali for marriage.

The Prophet SAAWS said: “A guardian has no concern with a woman previously married and has no husband, and an orphan girl (i.e. virgin) must be consulted, her silence being her acceptance.” [Sunan of Abu Dawud 2095, Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas]

Malik bin Anas told us from ‘Abdallah bin yazid- freed slave of al-aswad bin sufyan- from Abu Salma bin AbdalRahman from Fatimah, daughter of Qays who said,: Her husband divorced her and the Apostle of Allah ordered her to fullfil the ‘Iddah in the house of Ibn Umm Maktum before she could lawfully remarry, and told her to let him know when she had become lawful for remarriage. When the time had come, she told him that Mu’awiyah bin Abu Sufyan and Abu Jahm had proposed to her…….

Umm Salamah, r.a., a widowed woman, was proposed in marriage by Abu Bakr, and refused. Then she was proposed to by Umar and she refused. Then she was proposed to by Prophet Muhammad saaws and accepted. [source: The Alim for Windows release 4.51, Biography of Umm Salamah]

In all cases, the woman must consent to the marriage or the marriage can be ruled invalid. Virgins need not speak up to declare that they want a marriage; simply not speaking out against the marriage (her silence) is sufficient consent for a virgin.

Malik related to me from Abdullah ibn al-Fadl from Nafi ibn Jubayr ibn Mutim from Abdullah ibn Abbas that the Messenger of Allah, SAAWS, said, “A woman who has been previously married is more entitled to her person than her guardian, and a virgin must be asked for her consent for herself, and her consent is her silence ” [Malik’s Muwatta, Book 28, Number 28.2.4]

The Prophet saaws said, “A matron should not be given in marriage except after consulting her; and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! How can we know her permission?” He said, “Her silence (indicates her permission).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.67]

Narrated Khansa bint Khidam Al Ansariya “…that her father gave her in marriage when she was a matron and she disliked that marriage. So she went to Allah’s Apostle and he declared that marriage invalid.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.69]

“…Her guardian should not make a promise (to somebody to get her married to him) without her knowledge…” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 7.56]

Women who are virgins must have a wali when getting married.

“No marriage is valid without a wali.” [related by Ahmed and others and deemed sound by Ahmed, Ibn Hajar and others]

The Prophet SAAWS said: “There is no marriage without the permission of a guardian.” [Sunan of Abu Dawood 2080, Narrated Abu Musa]

“When a woman marries without the permission of her wali, then her marriage is not valid, not valid, not valid.” [Related by Ahmad, Tirmidhi and others. Tirmidhi said, this is a hasan Hadith]

If the woman does not have a male mahram relative, the Imam closest to her locality, of the same faith as her, becomes her wali. “If they dispute, then the sultan (man in authority) is the wali of those who have no wali.” [Dawud 2078, Narrated ‘Aisha , also related by Ahmad, Tirmidhi, and others. Tirmidhi said, this is a hasan Hadith]

“There is also no guardianship for a Muslim man over a kafir woman, And those who disbelieve are awliyaa’a to one another.” (8:73)

“And never will Allah grant to the believers a way over the believers.” (4:141)

“The believers, men and women, are awilyaa’a (allies and protectors) of one another.” (9:71)”

If the wali is non-mahram, such as is the case with many new reverts to Islam, she should avoid ever being alone with him.

“A man is never alone with a woman except that shaitan will be the third.” (Related by Ahmed and Tirmidhi)

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MUT’AH IS FORBIDDEN IN ISLAM

Author Unknown

Mut’ah marriage, although allowed in early Islam, was later abrogated and forbidden as the many hadith below clarify. It should be understood that mut’ah is not a custom introduced by Islam, rather it was prevalent in pre-Islamic Arabia and slowly, over time, Islam phased it out. The Prophet (saw) allowed his Companions to participate in it when the need arose but finally forbade it forever. It is possible that even after the Prophet’s death not all of the Companions were aware of the prohibition and they carried on adopting mut’ah until such time that it was pointed out to them that the Prophet (saw) had finally forbidden it. This is not unusual. There are other documented cases where some of the Companions were not familiar with what the Prophet’s final command had been on an issue until other Companions pointed it out.

Ibn Kathir (d.774) describes the differing opinions on mut’ah marriage as follows: “There is no doubt that it (mut’ah) was legislated in early Islam and then abrogated. Ash-Shafi’ee and a group of scholars held that it was allowed then abrogated, then allowed and abrogated a second time. Others said this occurred on even more occasions. Yet others said it was allowed in the first instance, then abrogated and not permitted again after that. It is reported from Ibn Abbas and a group of Companions that it was allowed due to a necessity. And this is also reported from Imam Ahmed. Ibn Abbas, Ubbay ibn Ka’ab and Sa’eed ibn Jubayr as-Suddee would recite: ‘Seeing that you derive benefit from them (istamta’tum), give them their dowers’ (4:24) and Mujahid said: ‘This was sent down regarding mut’ah marriage,’ however, the majority have differed with that.” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir 1/p.486)

Here are some hadith declaring the abrogation/forbiddance of mut’ah marriage:

  1. [1] The Prophet (saw) said: “O people! I had permitted temporary marriage of women to you. Now, Allah has forbidden it for you until the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim 2/3255)
  2. [2] Iyas bin Salama reported on the authority of his father that the Messenger of Allah (saw) gave sanction for contracting temporary marriage for three nights in the year of Autas (8H) and then forbade it.” (Muslim 2/3251)
  3. [3] Another Companion said: “I contracted temporary marriage with her and i did not come out of this until Allah’s Messenger (saw) declared it forbidden.” (Muslim 2/3253)
  4. [4] Rabi’ ibn Sabra reports from his father that Allah’s Messenger (saw) prohibited contracting temporary marriage. (Muslim 2/3259)
  5. [5] Khalid ibn Muhajir reports: “I was sitting in the company of a person and someone came to him asking for a religious verdict about Mut’ah and he permitted him to do it. Ibn Abu Amrah al-Ansari said: ‘Be gentle. It was permitted in the early days of Islam for the one who was driven to it under stress of necessity… and then Allah intensified His religion and prohibited it.'” (Muslim 2/3261)
  6. [6] Sabra al-Juhanni reports from his father, saying: “Allah’s Messenger (saw) prohibited contracting temporary marriage and said: ‘Behold, it is forbidden from this very day of yours until the Day of Resurrection, and he who has given something (as a dower) should not take it back.'” (Muslim 2/3262)
  7. [7] Ali ibn Abi Talib reported that Allah’s Messenger prohibited contracting temporary marriage with women on the Day of Khaybar. (Muslim 2/3263)
  8. [8] Ali ibn Abi Talib heard that Ibn Abbas gave some relaxation in connection to temporary marriage, whereupon he (Ali) said: “Do not be hasty Ibn Abbas, for Allah’s Messenger (saw) forbade it on the Day of Khaybar forever…” (Muslim 2/3266)

Some of the hadith of prohibition are also in Bukhari. And Allah knows best.

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FORCED MARRIAGE

Shaikh Bin Baaz in Fataawal-Mar’ah Vol. 2. p.50

Question: Is it permissible for a father to compel his daughter into a marriage with someone she does not desire?

Answer: It is not permissible for the father or someone besides him to compel the one who is under his guardianship to marry someone she does not desire to marry. Rather, it is necessary to seek her consent and permission due to the saying of the Messenger (sas): The virgin is not to be married until her consent has been sought. They said: O Messenger of Allaah! What is her consent? He replied: Her silence. And in another wording: And regarding the virgin, her father seeks her consent and her consent is her silence.

Therefore it is obligatory upon the father when she reaches the age of nine or greater that he asks for her consent. It is likewise for her guardians, they do not marry her without her consent. This is obligatory upon all of them. Whoever marries his daughter without permission/consent then the marriage is not correct because one of the conditions of the marriage is the consent and pleasure of both parties. So if he marries her without her being pleased with it and compels her with strong threats or even beating, the marriage is not valid…

It is required from the prospective husband, when he knows that she does not desire him for marriage, that he does not pursue the matter even if her father facilitates this for him (give him permission). It is obligatory for him to fear Allaah and not to come to the woman who does not want him for marriage… It is obligatory for him to beware of what Allaah has made unlawful upon him and this is because the Messnger (sas) ordered the girls consent to be sought (first).

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THE EXCELLENCE OF A RIGHTEOUS WIFE

From the book: “The Righteous Wife”

By Muhammed Shooman

Translated by Aboo Talhah Dawood Ibn Ronald Burbank

‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr [Radiy’Allaahu ‘anhu] said that the Messenger of Allaah [Sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam] said: “All of this world is a utility and the best utility is a righteous wife.” [1]

Sa’d ibn Abee Waqqaas [Radiy’Allaahu ‘anhu] said that the Messenger of Allaah [Sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam] said: “Four things are from prosperity: a righteous woman, a spacious dwelling, a righteous neighbour and an agreeable riding beast; and four things are from adversity: an evil neighbour, an evil woman, a bad riding horse and a cramped dwelling.” [2]

Thawbaan [Radiy’Allaahu ‘anhu] narrated , “When revelation was sent down concerning silver and gold [3], they said, ‘So which wealth shall we possess?’ ‘Umar said, ‘I shall find this out for you’. So he hastened upon his camel and went to the Prophet [Sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam] and I followed him. So he said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, which wealth shall we possess?’ So he [Sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam] said, ‘Let one of you possess a heart which is thankful, a tongue whicvh makes mention of [Allaah], and a believing wife who helps one of you upon the affairs of the Hereafter.’ ” [4]

The righteous wife is the one whom the Messenger of Allaah [Sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam] advised should be obtained right from the beginning. As Abu Hurayrah [Radiy’Allaahu ‘anhu] narrated from the Prophet [Sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam] that he said; “A woman is married for four reasons: for her wealth; her lineage; for her beauty; and for her religion [Deen] – may your hands be covered in dust [5].” [6]

“If a woman prays her five (daily prayers), fasts her month (i.e. Ramadan), guards her private parts, and obeys her husband, it will be said to her, “Enter Paradise through whichever of the gates of Paradise you wish.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar said, “The meaning is that what is fitting upon the religion and of good manners is that the religion should be the aim which he gives importance to in all his affairs – particularly those affairs which he will be involved in for a long period of time. So the Prophet [Sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam] commanded him to obtain a woman who is good in her practise of the religion – which is the goal that is desired.” [7]

[1] Reported by Muslim (Eng. transl.2/752/no.3465), an-Nasaa’ee (6/69) (the wording is his) and others.

[2] Reported by Ibn Hibbaan in his Saheeh (no.1232, al-Mawaarid) and others. Its chain of narration is declared Saheeh by saykh al-Albaanee and to be of the standard of al-Bukhaaree and Muslim in ‘as-Saheehah’ (1/509).

[3] Meaning the saying Allaah, the Most High; “Those who hoard gold and sliver…” Soorah at-Tawbah (9):34.

[4] Reported by at-Tirmidhee (no.3094), Ibn Maajah (no.1856), Ahmad (5/282) and others from other than Thawbaan and the wording of at-Tirmidhee is; ” ‘If we were to know which wealth to possess?’ So he said, ‘The most excellent of it is a tongue which remembers [Allaah], a heart which is thankful, and a wife who helps him with his eemaan.’ ”

[5] A phrase indicating encouragement and incitement.

[6] Reported by al-Bukhaaree (Eng. transl 7/18/27) and Muslim (Eng. transl. 2/749/3457)

[7] Fathhul Baaree (9/135)

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#7328 HIS WIFE HAS LEFT ISLAM

By Shaykh Abd-Allaah ibn Jibreen

Question: A brother came to me and Asked “What does he do if his wife told him that she no longer desires to be a muslim. She believes that there is a God but she does not want to be a Muslim. She said she does not care if it takes her to the Hell-Fire. She has stopped praying, remove the cover from her and her daughter(who is not his daughter), and said that they no longer follow Islam.” She has also said that she wants to move. Shaikh, we urgently need to know what to do. If she is guilty of ar-riddah, then how does it affect their marriage? Are they still married? Does she go into a state of Iddah? Can he be alone with her? Should he remain in the same home (she asked him to leave and she is bringing statues and other impermissible things into the home)? It could present fitnah and weaken his eemaan because of his emotions. We(the members of this community) definitely would appreciate a rapid response as there may be serious implications from the matter.

Answer: Praise be to Allaah. Undoubtedly if this is the case, she has chosen kufr over eemaan. She does not want to stay a Muslim and she is insulting Islam and its symbols, and going against its teachings. In this case she is a kaafir and an apostate, so it is not permissible for him to stay married to her, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Likewise hold not the disbelieving women as wives [al-Mumtahanah 60:10] i.e., if he has a kaafir wife, it is not permissible for him to stay married to her. He has to advise her and establish proof against her, then leave her. If he is in a place where there is an Islamic government and shareeah law, then he has to refer her case to the Muslim qaadi, for him to ask her to repent. If she does not repent then the ruling of Allaah should be carried out on her, which is execution, because the Prophet (saws) said: Whoever changes his religion [leaves Islam], execute him. But if that is not possible and there is no Islamic rule or shareeah law in his country, then at least he should separate from her completely; it is not permissible for him to live with her after she has clearly stated her kufr.

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CAUSES OF NUSHOOZ THAT CAN BE TRACED BACK TO THE HUSBAND HIMSELF OR HIS FRIENDS

Dr. Saalih ibn Ghaanim al-Sadlaan

Marital Discord [al-Nushooz], Its Definition, Cases, Causes, Means of Protection From It, and Its Remedy From the Quran and Sunnah

Translated by Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, © S. Al-Sadlaan and J. Zarabozo

The husband himself may be the cause of the woman’s disobedience and rebelliousness. For example, he may be very stingy and miserly. He may also be very emotional and excitable. He may also be someone who is very harsh, tough and despotic. He may be one who forces his will and decisions upon his wife in every matter without consulting with her, taking into consideration her feelings, exchanging views on the matter and being pleasant with this wife. He might consider his wife like some kind of chattel [instead of another human] and therefore deals with her with coldness and coarseness without any compassion or gentleness. [Translator’s Footnote: A disease that seems to afflict many men in their ability to be very kind and brotherly to their brothers but extremely cold and harsh towards their own wives. Obviously, their wives have more rights upon them than any of their brothers in Islam. This mistaken behavior must be corrected.]

The cause for that may also be in his evil friends who sow discontent and evil between a man and his wife by leading him and pushing him to disliking and hating his wife and wishing to be free from her.

“[In fact,] (his extreme good nature beyond normal limits) may also lead to his wife to change her disposition and make her try to override him and then disobey his commands and elevate herself above him.” [Majallah al-Jundi al-Muslim, p. 29, fn.1.]

“He may cause his wife different forms of harm, such as cursing her or her family, reviling her, verbally abusing her for the tiniest of reasons. He may insult her because of her family, if it is less prestigious or honorable than his. Or [another act of nushooz on his part is that] he may try to bring harm to her by divorcing her and then, before the waiting period is finished, bring her back as his wife and then divorce her again. All this is done without the intention of returning to a real married life but simply to harm her and transgress her rights. Or he may avoid having sexual intercourse with her for no reason or legal sanction. This may lead the woman to lose her chastity and doing something forbidden.” [Al-Bahuti al-Hanbali, Kishaaf al-Qinaa’ an Matn al-Iqnaa’, vol. 5, pp. 184, 290, 213; Ibn Abideen, Radd al-Mukhtar ala al-Darr al-Mukhtar wa Hashiyah, vol. 3, p. 190; Tafseer al-Manaar, vol. 5, p. 76.]

Shaikh al-Islam ibn Taimiya stated, “The harm that comes about to the woman by the man avoiding sexual intercourse with her is such that the marriage may be dissolved under every circumstance, regardless if it was intentional from the husband or unintentional, or if he had the ability to perform sexual intercourse or not.” [Ibn Taimiyah, al-Fatawa al-Kubra, vol. 4, p. 562; Ibn Taimiyah, Majmuah al-Fatawa, vol. 32, p. 40.]

[Nushooz on the part of the husband includes] when he orders her to do something forbidden or illegal, such as going out in public displaying her beauty or uncovering parts of her that must be covered, to go among men she is not related to, to drink alcohol or take drugs, go to clubs and salons wherein bad things are taking place.

Also from nushooz on the part of the husband is his not fulfilling his marital obligations. For example, he makes life difficult for her with respect to her food, drink, clothing and so forth. [Translator’s footnote: This is one of the biggest marital problems that one can see occurring in the West. Many times, the husbands simply do not support their wives and families. Although they have the physical and other means to work and support their families, they would resort to putting themselves and their families on the welfare system. Often times, the husbands will give the flimsiest excuses for not accepting work and therefore put families in such situations. Many times, the husband would rather force his wife to go out and work – which, in the West, almost always involves putting the Muslim woman into situations that she should not be put into – rather than he accept a job that he is not completely pleased with. Hence, their families do not achieve the economic well-being that they deserve and, often, the wife loses respect for the husband as he is not performing one of his most important obligations of married life: providing maintenance for his wife and family. Sooner or later this often leads to many other problems within the marriage, although the root of those problems is the husband’s unwillingness to work and sustain the family.] Or he makes her live in a residence that is not something suitable for her.

[In addition, included among the acts of nushooz] is his unfair distribution of his time or where he stays [when he is married to more than one wife] without legal justification. Or, he may not fulfil the needs of his wife and children such that their well-being is not met. Or, he does things that hurt and dishonor his wife and show lack of respect for her, such as backbiting her, slandering her or joking about her. Or, he may be desirous of her wealth and forces her to spend it on his behalf.

[The following are also acts that constitute nushooz on the part of the husband:] having anal intercourse with her, which is forbidden and is never permissible, his travelling for fun, amusement and entertainment without taking her permission as he is thereby wasting ample wealth for a useless purpose, while that wealth is meant to sustain the rights of his household.

If the man apostates from Islam – and refuge is sought in Allah – that is considered nushooz and the marriage contract is dissolved unless he returns to Islam. [See al-Khalafaat al-Zaujiyah, p. 39.]

There are many other causes or acts of nushooz that we have not mentioned here in order not to overly lengthen the discussion.

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THE MUSLIM AND HIS WIFE

By Dr. Muhammad ‘Ali Al-Hashimi

Islamic View of Marriage and Woman

Marriage in Islam offers tranquility to the soul and peace to the mind, so that man and woman may live together in an atmosphere of love, mercy, harmony, co-operation, mutual advice and tolerance, and lay the foundation for raising a Muslim family in a nurturing, sound environment.

The Holy Qur’an has described, in the most moving and eloquent terms, this eternal, natural relationship between man and woman, which is filled with tranquility, security, love, understanding and compassion: “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.” (Qur’an 30:21)

Marriage is a union of souls, in the deepest sense. Allah (S.W.T.) joins these two souls together so that they may enjoy tranquility and stability in a marital home filled with sincere love and compassionate mercy.

In Islam, the righteous woman is viewed as one of the joys of this life, and a great blessing to a man, for he comes home to her and relaxes after facing the struggles of life, and finds with her incomparable peace, comfort and pleasure. The Prophet (S.A.W.) spoke only the truth said: “This world is just temporary conveniences, and the best comfort in this word is a righteous woman.” (Muslim)

Islam regards marriage very highly, and views femininity as something to be valued and cherished.

The ideal Muslim’s wife

On the basis of this view of marriage and of women, the Muslim is not attracted by the empty-headed attitude displayed by some girls nowadays. Rather, he is attracted by a sound Muslim personality, and he takes his time in choosing a partner for life, looking for a partner who has the right Islamic characteristics which make for a stable and happy married life. Therefore he is not interested in the superficial physical beauty, grace and elegance that are the sole concern of empty-headed youngsters. While he may not ignore physical looks, he must look for strong religious beliefs and practice, intelligence, and good behavior, following the advice of the Prophet (S.A.W): “A woman may be married for four things: for her wealth, for her noble descent, for her beauty or for her religion. Choose the one who is religious, lest your hands be rubbed with dust!” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Although the Prophet (S.A.W.) advised the young Muslim to look for a religious wife, this does not mean that he should ignore his preferences regarding physical beauty. The Prophet (S.A.W.) encouraged seeing a woman before finalizing the marriage, so that a Muslim will not find himself trapped in a marriage with a woman he finds unattractive.

Al-Mughirah ibn Sha‘bah said: “I got engaged to a woman at the time of the Prophet (S.A.W). He asked me, ‘Have you seen her?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Go and have a look at her, because it is more fitting that love and compatibility be established between you.’”

A man who had got engaged to a woman of the Ansar came to the Prophet (S.A.W), who asked him: “Have you seen her?” He said, “No.” so the Prophet (S.A.W.) ordered him to go and see her.

The Prophet (S.A.W.) emphasized, in more than one hadith, the fact that beauty is one of the basic characteristics that a man should look for in a woman, besides the other, moral, characteristics that are desirable. Indeed, the two are inseparable. For example, he told Ibn ‘Abbas (R.A.A): “Shall I tell you the most precious thing a man can have? It is a righteous wife: when he looks at her he is pleased, when he tells her to do something she obeys, and when he is away she is faithful and loyal to him.”

Abu Hurayrah (R.A.A.) said: “The Prophet (S.A.W.) was asked: ‘Which woman is the best?’ He said, ‘The one who pleases him when he looks at her, who obeys him when he tells her to do something, and who does not do something he dislikes with regard to herself or to his wealth.”

This is the guidance given by the Prophet (S.A.W.) regarding the personality of the woman who can bring happiness, tranquility and stability to a man, and who can make a cheerful, pleasant and secure home in which to raise a brood of successful, courageous, intelligent children. The Prophet (S.A.W.) insisted that marriage should be firmly built on a solid foundation, striking a balance between physical, mental, spiritual and emotional needs, so that it will not be rocked by personality clashes or differences in attitude. Therefore the true Muslim who is guided by the shari‘ah of Allah (S.W.T.) in all his affairs, does not fall for the wiles of the “jezebels” who are the beautiful women of bad character; rather he (S.A.W.) tells people: “Beware of the ‘jezebels’.”

He follows the guidance of Islam in his married life

After marriage, the true Muslim adheres to the Islamic injunction to treat his wife well. The Islamic recommendations concerning women, and the way in which Islam encourages men to respect them, are nothing short of amazing.

Islam recommends men to treat women well, and gives them a status that they have never enjoyed in any other religion. So we see the Prophet (S.A.W.) admonishing all men: “Treat women kindly, for woman was created from a rib. The part of it that is most bent is the top. If you try to straighten it you will break it, and if you leave it alone it will remain bent. So treat women kindly.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

According to a report given by Bukhari and Muslim, he (S.A.W.) said: “Woman is like a rib: if you try to straighten it you will break it, and if you enjoy her (or your relationship with her), you will do so in spite of her crookedness.”

According to a report given by Muslim, he (S.A.W.) said: “Woman was created from a rib. She will never be straightforward and consistent for you in any way. If you enjoy her (or your relationship with her), you will do so in spite of her crookedness. If you try to straighten her, you will break her, and her breaking is her divorce.”

This description given by the Prophet (S.A.W.) eloquently describes the reality and nature of woman. She will not remain consistent in the way her husband may wish, but the Muslim husband must understand that this is her nature, the way she has been created. He should not try to straighten her in the way he is convinced is correct, but he should respect her unique feminine nature and accept her the way Allah (S.W.T.) made her, complete with the “crookedness” that means that she will not be as he wishes in some aspects. If he insists on straightening her and moulding her to his wishes, it will be like trying to straighten a bent rib: it will break in his hands, and the breaking of a woman is divorce (i.e., the matter will end in divorce).

When the Muslim husband truly follows this guidance of the Prophet (S.A.W), which is based on a deep understanding of the psychology and nature of women, he will tolerate his wife’s mistakes and turn a blind eye to her faults, recognizing that these are part of her nature. Thus the marital home will be safe and calm, free from shouting or arguments.

We may note that in the hadith quoted above, the Prophet (S.A.W.) started with the words “Treat women kindly,” then after analyzing the nature of woman, he ended with the same words: “Treat women kindly.” How great was the concern of the Prophet (S.A.W.) for women, and how deep was his understanding of their psychology! Does the sincere Muslim husband have any choice but to follow this guidance and put it into practice at every moment?

The Prophet’s concern for women reached such an extent that he did not forget to remind Muslims to treat them kindly, in his farewell sermon (khutbat al-wada‘). This is the khutbah in which the Prophet (S.A.W.) reiterated the essential points of Islam, when he realized that this was the last time he would stand and address the Muslims during Hajj. He did not omit to advise Muslims to treat women kindly, beginning his words concerning women with a warning that is indicative of his care and concern: “. . . Interact with women kindly, for they are prisoners and you have no other power over them than that, if they are guilty of open lewdness, then refuse to share their beds, and beat them, but not severely, but if they return to obedience, (then) seek not against them means of annoyance. You have rights over your women and they have rights over you. Your right over them is that they should not entertain at your hearth anyone (or commit adultery with), and not to allow into your home anyone whom you dislike, and their right over you is that you should feed and clothe them well.”

This is good advice, in which every sincere Muslim husband recognizes the wisdom of the Prophet (S.A.W.) in defining the rights and duties of husband and wife in a framework of mercy and compassion towards women which leaves no room for even thinking of oppressing or harming one’s wife.

The Prophet (S.A.W.) gave many recommendations concerning women, to the extent that he described the man who treats his wife well as being one of the best and among the elite of his Ummah: “The believer who has the most perfect faith is the one whose behaviour is best, and the best of you are the ones who are best to their women.”

Some women came to the family of the Prophet (S.A.W.) complaining about their husbands. So the Prophet (S.A.W.) announced to the men: “Many women have visited the family of Muhammad, complaining about their husbands. Verily those are not the best among you.”

True Islam is pre-eminent in its fairness and respect towards women, and in its recommendation to husbands to treat their wives well even if they dislike them. This is something which women have never enjoyed throughout their history, except in this religion. Allah (S.W.T.) says in the Qur’an: “. . . live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If you take a dislike to them it may be that you dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good.” (Qur’an 4:19)

This Ayah touches the heart of the true Muslim, so that his anger is soothed and his dislike towards his wife is lessened. In this way Islam protects the sacred marriage bond from being exposed to the danger of turbulent emotions and the folly of changing moods. When a man came to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (R.A.A.) and told him that he wanted to divorce his wife because he disliked her, ‘Umar (R.A.A.) said, “Woe to you! Are families only built on love? Where is your consideration and care?”

The marriage bond in Islam is of greater importance than emotional whims and rises above the pressures of crazy animal urges. The true Muslim possesses enough chivalry, nobility, courtesy, patience, generosity and strength of character to make him rise above any dislike of his wife in his dealings with her. Far be it from him to think only in terms of mindless animal instincts or making a profit!

The true Muslim cannot do other than obey his Rabb; so he treats his wife well even if he dislikes her, because he understands the words of his wise Rabb about the things that are hidden from him, and they are many. A man may dislike something and try to distance himself from it, when in fact it is full of goodness and blessing. The true Muslim knows how to love and how to hate. Love is not blind for him, neither does he go to extremes of dislike and hatred, but in either case his attitude is moderate and balanced.

The Prophet (S.A.W.) explained that even if a husband dislikes his believing Muslim wife, she will still have some favorable characteristics which will please him, so he should not ignore the good side of her character and focus only on the negative aspects: “No believing man should hate a believing woman. If he dislikes one of her characteristics, there will be others that do please him.” (Muslim)

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CHECKING OUT THE BROTHER’S ISLAM BEFORE MARRIAGE

Unknown Author

1. Make sure the brother has the correct understanding of Tawheed. (see the Fundamentals of Tawheed by Bilalal Philips)

2. Make sure the brother believes and understands in the five pillars and the six articles of faith?

3. When the brother comes to meet with you check to see if he is correctly Islamicly dressed and that his beard is growing.

4.If he is a follower of any groups that have deviant practices or if he is following a group whose practices put them OUT of Islam you may rethink marrying him. Some of these groups are Nation of Islam, Shia, Ahmadiayah, Rashad Khalifa followers, Qadianis, 5% Nation, 12ers , and other unnamed groups. 12ers and other unnamed groups that are well known among the believers to have problems with their aqeedah

5. Ask him if he understands blind following of the Madhhabs (See Blind Following of Madhhabs by Shaykh Muhammad Sultan al-Ma’soomee al Khajnadee)

6. Some “scholars” have a modernistic slant, ask him which scholars he regularly refers to for Islamic materials and /or answers.

7. Has he pledged bayah to any one? If he has, this is a misunderstood practice, and you many need to talk to him about it. See Huda Magazine.

8. Do you try to lower your gaze when looking at other women? Do you needlessly chat with women?

9. Will he expect his wife to be in the company of non-maharim men in your home or while visiting others, including his brothers?

10. Do you pray all the prayers on time, all 5, and the Sunnah prayers?

11. Do you fast all of Ramadan?

12. Do you engage in voluntary fasting?

13. Do you read Quran everyday or the translation of the meanings?

14. Do you remember to say your duas at certain times, like before eating, after eating, at time of sleep, when traveling, etc.?

15. Do you refrain from backbiting and slander?

16. Do you refrain from idle talk?

17. Are you careful to check your grocery products for haraam ingredients?

18. Are you able to divide your time reasonably between work and Islamic activities and your family?

19. Have you performed Hajj and/or Umrah?

20.Many scholars consider Music and photography (still and moving pictures, 1,2 and 3 D included) Islamicly unacceptable. Ask him if he partakes in these activities. Bukari# 7.110 Narrated by ‘Aisha: ” I bought a cushion having on it pictures (of animals). When Allah’s Apostle saw it, he stood at the door and did not enter. I noticed the sign of disapproval on his face and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! I repent to Allah and His Apostle. What sin have I committed?’ Allah’s Apostle said. “What is this cushion?” I said, “I have bought it for you so that you may sit on it and recline on it.” Allah’s Apostle said, “The makers of these pictures will be punished on the Day of Resurrection, and it will be said to them, ‘Give life to what you have created (i.e., these pictures).’ ” The Prophet added, “The Angels of (Mercy) do.

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POINTERS ON CHOOSING MARRIAGE PARTNERS

By Sr. Rabi’ah Hakeem

From ‘Journey Through Islam’

In light of the experience of the past years, it is time to take stock and try to halt the ever-mounting tide of divorces among Muslims. It is not unusual today to find Muslim women (and even an occasional Muslim man) who, by the time they are 30 or 35, have been married three or four times, their children suffering again and again through the trauma of fatherless and broken homes. Accordingly, we may list a few essential points to be considered by both brothers and sisters in the process of choosing a partner in life (although the masculine pronoun has been used throughout for the sake of simplicity, the following is generally equally applicable to both men and women).

1. Du’a. Unceasingly ask help and guidance from Allah, Most High, in the matter of finding and choosing a mate. As often as you feel it necessary, pray Salaah al-Istikhara, Islam’s special prayer for guidance, in order to reach a suitable decision.

2. Consult your heart. Listen to what your inner voice, the ‘radar’ which Allah has given you to guide you, tells you about the prospective partner. It is likely to be more correct than your mind, which often plays tricks and can rationalize almost any- thing. For many people, first impressions are often the most accurate.

3. Enquire. Find out the reason why this man wants to marry you. Is he interested in you as an individual or will just any person do? Why is he not doing the logical thing, that is, to marry someone from his culture? If there is evidence that the primary reason for this marriage, despite claims to the contrary, is for convenience (greencard, money, property, etc.), forget it. This spells trouble.

4. Get to know your prospective partner, within the limits of what is permissible in Islam, before deciding on marriage. Just ‘ seeing’ someone once or twice in the company of others, who may be anxious for this marriage to take place, is simply not enough under today’s conditions, where two per- sons of totally dis-similar backgrounds are meeting each other without the safeguards of families. Without violating Islam’s prohibition about being alone, try to understand his nature, what makes him tick, his temperament, what he might be like to live with.

5. Talk to several people who know your prospective partner, not just one, or have someone whom you can trust do this for you. Ask about him from various people, not just from his friends because they may conceal facts to do him a favor. And ask not only about his background, career, Islamicity, etc., but about such crucial matters as whether he gets angry easily; what he does when he is ‘mad’; whether he is patient, polite, considerate; how he gets along with people; how he relates to the opposite sex; what sort of relationship he has with his mother and father; whether he is fond of children; what his personal habits are, etc. And find out about his plans for the future from people who know him. Do they coincide with what he has told you? Go into as much detail as possible. Check out his plans for the future – where you will live and what your lifestyle will be, his attitudes toward money and possessions and the like. If you can’t get answers to such crucial questions from people who know him, ask him yourself and try to make sure he is not just saying what he knows you want to hear. Too many people will make all kinds of promises before marriages in order to secure the partner they want but afterwards forget that they ever made them, (this naturally applies equally to women as to men).

6. Find out about his family, his relations with his parents, brothers and sisters. What will his obligations be to them in the future? How will this affect where and under what conditions you will live? What are the character and temperament of each of his parents? Will they live with you or you with them? And are they pleased with his prospective marriage to you or not? Although it may not be the case in most Western marriages, among Muslims such issues are often crucial to the success or failure of a marriage, and answers to these questions need to be satisfactory to ensure a peaceful married life.

7. Understand each other’s expectations. Try to get a sense of your prospective partner’s under- standing of the marriage relationship, how he will behave in various situations, and what he wants of you as his spouse. These are issues which should be discussed clearly and unambiguously as the negotiations progress, not left to become sources of disharmony after the marriage because they were never brought up beforehand. If you are too shy to ask certain questions, have a person you trust do it for you. At an advanced stage of the negotiations, such a discussion should include such matters as birth control, when children are to be expected, how they are to be raised, how he feels about helping with housework and with the children’s upbringing, whether or not you may go to school or work, relations with his family and yours, and other vital issues.

8. See him interacting with others in various situations. The more varied conditions under which you are able to observe your prospective partner, the more clues you will have as to his mode of dealing with people and circumstances.

9. Find out what his understanding of Islam is and whether it is compatible with your own. This is a very important matter. Is he expecting you to do many things which you have not done up to this point? If he emphasizes ” Haraams”, especially if you are a new Muslimah, and seems unable to tolerate your viewpoint, chances are your marriage will be in trouble unless you are flexible enough to accommodate yourself to his point of view and possibly a very restrictive lifestyle. Let him spell out to you clearly how he intends to practice Islam and how he wants you to practice it as his wife so there will be no misunderstandings later.

10. Don’t be in a hurry. So many marriages have broken because the partners are in such haste that they don’t take time to make such vital checks as the ones outlined above and rush into things. Shocking as it may seem, marriages between Muslims which are contracted and then broken within a week or a month or a year have become common place occurrences among us. Don’t add yourself to the list of marriage casualties because you couldn’t take time or were too desperate for marriage to find out about or get to know the person with whom you plan to spend the rest of your life.

11. Ask yourself, Do I want this man/woman to be the father/mother of my children? If it doesn’t feel just right to you, think it over again. Remember, marriage is not just for today or tomorrow but for life, and for the primary purpose of building a family. If the person in question doesn’t seem like the sort who would make a good parent, you are likely to find yourself struggling to raise your children without any help from him or her – or even with negative input – in the future.

12. Never allow yourself to be pressured or talked into a marriage. Your heart must feel good about it, not someone else’s. Again, allegations of “Islamicity” – he is pious, has a beard, frequents the Masjid, knows about Islam; she wears Hijab, does not talk to men- are not necessarily guarantees of a good partner for you or of a good marriage, but are only a part of a total picture. If an individual practices the Sunnah only in relation to worship or externals, chances are he /she has not really understood and is not really living Islam. Possessing the affection and Rahmah (mercy) which Islam enjoins between marriage partners is vital for a successful relationship, and these are the important traits to be looked for in a prospective partner.

13. Never consent to engaging in a marriage for a fixed period or in exchange for a sum of money. (Mut’a marriage). Such marriages are expressly forbidden in Islam and entering into them is a sinful act, as marriage must be entered into with a clear intention of it being permanent, for life, not for a limited and fixed duration.

If these guidelines are followed, Insha’ Allah the chances of making a mistake which may mar the remainder of your life may be minimized. Choosing a marriage partner is a most serious matter, perhaps the most serious decision you will ever make in your life since your partner can cause you either to be successful or to fail miserably, in the tests of this life and, consequently, in the Here- after. This decision needs to be made with utmost care and caution, repeatedly seeking guidance from your Lord.

If everything checks out favorable, well and good, best wishes for happiness together here and in the Hereafter. If not, better drop the matter and wait. Allah your Lord knows all about you, His servant, and has planned your destiny and your partner for you. Be sure that He will bring you together when the time is right. As the Qur’an enjoins, you must be patient until He opens a way for you, and for your part you should actively explore various marriage leads and possibilities.

Two words addressed to brothers are in order here. If you are marrying or have married a recent convert to Islam, you must be very patient and supportive with her. Remember, Islam is new to her, and chances are that she will not be able to take on the whole of the Shari’ah at once – nor does Islam require this, if you look at the history of early Islam. In your wife ‘s efforts to conform herself to her new faith and culture, she needs time and a great deal of support, love, help and understanding from you, free of interference from outsiders. It is best to let her make changes at her own speed when her inner being is ready for them rather than demanding that she do this or that, even if it means that some time will elapse before she is ready to follow certain Islamic injunctions. If the changes come from within herself, they are likely to be sincere and permanent; otherwise, if she makes changes because of pressure from you or from others, she may always be unhappy with the situation and may look for ways out of it. You can help her by being consistent in your own behavior. So many Muslims apply those parts of the Qur’an or Sunnah which suit them and abandon the rest, with resulting confusion in the minds of their wives and children. Thus, while firmly keeping the reins in your hands, you should look at your own faults, not hers, and be proud and happy with the efforts she is making. Make allowances, be considerate, and show your appreciation of the difficult task she is carrying out by every possible means. This will cause her to love and respect you, your culture, and Islam to grow infinitely faster than a harsh, dominating, forceful approach ever could.

Finally, a word of warning. Certain situations have occurred in which women, posing as Muslims (or perhaps actually having made Shahaadah), have deceived and made fools of numbers of Muslim men. Such women may be extremely cunning and devious, operating as poor, lonely individuals in need of help and/or husbands. The brothers who fall into this net may be shown false photos, given false information or promises, cheated in all sorts of ways, and finally robbed of anything the conniving lady can manage to take from them. As was said, it is wise to check out any prospective partner with local Muslims who know her.

Keep your eyes open and take your time. Since marriage is for life, for eternity, hurrying into it for any reason whatsoever is the act of a foolish or careless person who has only himself or herself to blame if things go wrong.

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DO MUSLIM HUSBANDS MAKE THE GRADE?

By Abu Ayyoob Adullah al-Ansari

al-Jumu’ah Magazine

Take the Test: How many of these characteristics describe you as a husband?

I Wake up my wife for Fajr.

I teach my wife, and I do all it takes for her to learn Islam.

I talk to my family about the example of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam and I strive to emulate his example as a husband.

I know it is my responsibility to help with housework and I give my wife days off and do the work she would normally do.

I assist my wife in the care of our children.

I am patient with my wife and I show her love and affection.

I speak to my wife in a kind, respectful and gentle manner.

I sit with my family and present topics for discussion.

I ask my wife for advice and I accept and appreciate getting constructive criticism from her.

I take my wife out for recreation and exercise.

When we seek out knowledge about marriage we see that the Qur’an and Sunnah have assigned tremendous importance to the marriage contract and have distinguished it above all other contracts. Indeed the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam, said, “When a man marries, he has completed half of his religion and he needs only to fear Allah to complete the other half.” (Mishkat) In the Qur’an, Allah says, “And how could you take it (back) while you have gone in unto each other, and they have taken from you a firm and strong covenant?” [4:21]

Purpose of Marriage

Therefore, marriage must be entered into whole-heartedly and taken very seriously by each of the two partners, and both of them must be committed to making their marriage a success. A marriage is truly successful and prosperous only when it is mutually rewarding. Allah suggests that both partners come together to cover, protect and beautify each other in the same way that a garment covers, protects and beautifies the one who wears it. [2:187] Through this metaphor, we understand that when two people get married, they cease to consider themselves individuals but instead as a couple – each person benefiting by the other equally. In order to flourish, there can be no hint of selfishness or refusal to compromise between them. There must be an agreement between the two partners that each of them will work together to solve whatever problems arise. They will assist one another and sacrifice in order to gain mutual happiness, pleasure and peace. This is the purpose and goal of marriage according to the Shari’ah. As the Lord of the Heavens and Earth has said, “He it is who has created you from a single person and [then] He has created from him his wife, in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her.” [7:189] Allah has designated specific roles for both partners. Only when these rights are observed and these obligations fulfilled, can tranquillity descend upon the couple and security surround them in their certain success. If either of the two partners, out of ignorance or intention refuses to fulfill his or her duties and thereby does not honor the rights of the other, the household becomes a living Hell.

Unfortunately, this is a common situation today. Let us focus now on the responsibilities and desirable characteristics of a Muslim husband. Many brothers have never asked themselves: “What are the rights of a wife upon her husband?”, “What is my responsibility toward her?”, “What do I owe her?” Never asking these questions, or answering them with ignorance, causes many problems in Muslim households. What are the characteristics every man should possess in order to be a good husband to his wife? The example of the Prophet Muhammed, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam, is the ideal model. Let us look specifically at these characteristics and how we may achieve them in our lives.

Starting Point

First of all let us understand that Islam is a complete way of life which offers guidance for mankind in all matters. Allah is the All-Knowing the All-Wise and He has taken account of everything which concerns us. He has included the solution to all of our problems in His Shari’ah. Nothing has been overlooked. The characteristics of a Muslim husband and the way to acquire them have been made clearer and easier to accomplish through the example of Prophet Muhammed, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam. Allah says, “Indeed you have in the messenger of Allah a most excellent example of conduct for him who looks forward to the meeting with Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” [33:21] Unfortunately many brothers interpret this in a limited way – they focus on what we know of the dress and physical attributes of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam, and his Sahaba. There is no question that the best example of a husband and father is the Prophet Muhammed, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam. Why is it, then, that so many of us are so far from his example in this area? Could it be that other examples around us influence our behavior more? Do we believe that our financial contribution should represent our dedication to our families? Or have we deliberately ignored the model Allah has provided us. Allah has taught us that if we want to achieve Allah’s pleasure in all spheres of life, the best example for us is His Messenger, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam. Indeed, the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam, himself has informed us that the excellence of his example encompasses and includes everything, especially his behavior toward his wives. He, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam, said, “The best of you are those who are best toward their wives and I am the best of you toward my wives.” (Tirmithi)

Piety & Fear of Allah

This subject is not new. When Ata’ and Ubaydullah ibn Umayr once asked Aisha about the nature of Prophet Mohammed’ s behavior with her: “Aisha started to weep and said, ‘One night he stood up [intending to offer the night prayer] and said, ‘O Aisha, let me be alone so that I may worship my Lord.’ He stood up, purified himself and continued to pray and weep until the ground became wet. Bilal came and made the adhan. When he saw the Prophet crying, he said, ‘O Messenger of Allah [why do] you cry, when Allah has forgiven your past and future sins?’ Prophet Mohammed replied, ‘[Then, for that] should I not be a thankful slave?'” (Ibn Hibban)

This is one example that demonstrates the intensity of our Prophet’s devotion to his Lord – his extreme piety and tremendous fear of Allah. Any man, who wishes to emulate him, should start by emulating his taqwa (piety). For it is taqwa of the heart which serves as a foundation for good deeds, manners and morals and makes the observance of the rights of others easy. If a man really and truly wants to be a good husband to his wife, he must also possess fear of Allah. If a man has the fear of Allah, and it is this fear that most influences his relationship and his dealings with his wife, he fears what Allah may do to him if he harms her or treats her in a way that is unjust and therefore will never mistreat her in any way – physically or verbally. He knows that he has to meet Allah and answer for all that he has said and done. Indeed this is why Hasan ibn Ali said when asked, “‘O Hasan I have a daughter. To whom do you think I should marry her?’ Hasan said, ‘Marry her to [a man] who [fears Allah]; for if he [truly fears Allah] and if he loves her he will honor her and [even] if he doesn’t love her, he will never oppress or abuse her [because he fears Allah].'”

Education

Among the most important rights a woman has is her right to be educated about her religion. This responsibility is incumbent upon her husband. Therefore, one of the most desirable characteristics of a Muslim husband is that he himself is knowledgeable about Islam and teaches his wife whatever he knows. Why would any Muslim husband want to deny his wife this right? Is it not his wife who will guide his children as they grow? Isn’t she the one who teaches them about haram and halal? Isn’t she the one to see that they learn to pray and fast? Isn’t she the one who must protect her husband’s place and belongings in his absence according to Islamic guidelines? If her knowledge about the deen is limited, the entire family will suffer. Many men seek to shelter their wives from outside influences by forbidding them to participate in outside activities. Many men may fear that if their wife’s emaan becomes stronger, she will object to his behavior or certain weaknesses in his character. These are reasons that should compel us to participate in her Islamic education, so as she learns, so will we. Couples can discuss topics that concern them and agree on how they will integrate new information into their family’s routine. With this type of cooperation, there is less room for misunderstandings, and less opportunity for one Muslim to feel superior to another within the household. This practice will draw the family members closer to each other and, more importantly, closer to Allah.

“O you who believe! Protect yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones, over which are [appointed] angels stern and severe, who do not hesitate to fulfill the commandments of Allah [to inflict punishment upon the people of Hell] but [rather] they do [precisely] what they have been commanded [to do]!” [66:6] We can see that taking an active role in our family’s Islamic education protects our families from the fire of Hell. We must strive to set the best example possible for our children, wives and brothers in Islam. It is only by taking personal responsibility, that we can improve the current state of the Ummah. We are creating Muslim communities where our children and grandchildren and brothers and sisters in Islam will find themselves flourishing or deteriorating in. We must ensure that they have the means to flourish by improving our own knowledge of Islam and constantly sharing it with our families. We need not look far to see members of our Ummah who have failed to keep Islam as the central focus in their homes. Let us move forward by each of us looking at ourselves and asking Allah to help us to achieve this goal.

If we fail to reach this goal, the consequences in the Hereafter are even more grave, especially for the husband. As the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam, said, “Each one of you is a shepherd and every shepherd will be asked about his flock… and the man will be asked about his family.” (Bukhari and Muslim) When the Day of Judgment comes, will our reasons for not educating our families be sufficient for Allah? Will we be able to offer any excuse after Allah and His Messenger have made it clear that educating our wives is a duty enjoined upon him that he will be asked about?

Brothers, do your wives read the Qur’an, Hadeeth and Seerah of Prophet Mohammed, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam? Do they understand their meanings? Do they practice what they have learned? It is our obligation to make certain that our wives have the opportunity and means to continuously increase their knowledge. To do so will not only please Allah but will improve the relations of everyone in our homes, our Ummah, and inshaAllah the societies in which we live.

Presentation is key

Another responsibility of the Muslim husband is to assist his wife in obeying the commands of Allah. If she should transgress the limits of Allah, then it becomes his duty to advise her, admonish her and actually physically prevent her from doing so. However, it is the right of the wife that this admonishment be coupled with kindness and mercy. As Allah says, “And [it was] by the Mercy of Allah, [that] you dealt gently with them. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you; so overlook their faults, ask that [Allah’s] forgiveness be granted to them and consult with them in [the] affairs of the moment.” [3:159] Therefore, if a husband is overbearing and insisting, his wife’s behavior will most likely not be corrected. She may even persist in her disobedience, returning his cruelty. Prophet Muhammed, sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam, advised us to “treat women kindly. [The] woman has been created from a rib [which is curved]. The most crooked part of the rib is the uppermost part. If you were to try [to force] it straight you will [certainly] break it and if you leave it as it is, it will remain curved. So [admonish] women kindly.” (Bukhari and Muslim) So when a husband offers advise, or reminds or admonishes his wife, he must take this hadeeth into consideration and exercise his authority in a gentle manner in order to bring about the desired result.

A wife is an Advisor

The nature of marriage is one of a continuous growing relationships!

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CHOOSING THE DESIRED WIFE

By Ibrahim Abu Khalid

8th issue of Nida’ul Islam magazine

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

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 Islam came to solve these problems, not exacerbate them, yet unfortunately we have integrated our local traditions and customs with Islam 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 (s.a.w) 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 Allah wants the best for us, and that His Prophet (s.a.w) 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

Islam is clear on the kind of wife you should be seeking. The Prophet (s.a.w) 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 hadith, the Prophet (s.a.w) 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 Rasulallah (s.a.w), who himself, when asked what three things he loved the most, mentioned a pious woman. Once the following ayah was revealed: “They who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in the way of Allah, 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’ “[al-Taubah: 34-35]. Umar (r.a.a) has been quoted to say that, when this ayah was revealed, he approached the Prophet (s.a.w), submitting that the ayah weighed heavily on the minds of the Sahaba. Rasulallah (s.a.w) 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. Abu Bakr once asked Rasulallah (s.a.w) what was the best thing to be treasured, and he (s.a.w) replied: “the tongue in remembrance of Allah, the heart filled with thanks to Allah, and a pious wife who helps in virtuous deeds”.

Look at how valuable such a woman is in the sight of Allah! 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: Allah himself has described those qualities most loved by Him in the Qur’an, and in the ahadith there are numerous accounts of the virtuous attributes of a pious woman.

The following are some ayahs 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”[s.24;v.26]

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

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

And then, in surah Ahzab, is a full list of those qualities loved by Allah, 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 Allah’s praise.

Among the four known perfect women was Maryam. She was loved by Allah because of her religious qualities: “O Maryam! Worship your Lord: prostrate yourself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down”[s.3;v.43]. Another was the wife of Pharaoh: “And Allah 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’ “[s.66;v.11].

The Prophet (s.a.w) loved his wives because of their religious qualities. Aisha once related the fine qualities of Zainab: “(Zainab) was the one who was somewhat equal in rank with me in the eyes of Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w), 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 Allah, the Exalted, than her.”

Ahh, you think, but you’ll never find such a woman! Well, if that was true, Allah would not have described her in the first place, and furthermore those qualities were emanating from the women described above. Islam 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 Allah brings about through it a great deal of good”[s.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, Allah 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”[s.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 movements, read her diaries (all of which I consider extreme and unIslamic), 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 Allah.

Trust In Allaah

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.

Allah 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 recognise His infinite knowledge and wisdom.

Islam is likened to being as a house, and in my estimation nothing cements that house together as well as putting our trust in Allah. It is related on the authority of Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah that the Prophet (s.a.w) used to teach his companions to seek, through a special du’a (known as an istikharah), the guidance of Allah in all matters which affected them. Rasulallah (s.a.w) said: “When you are confused about what you should do in a certain situation, then pray two rak’at of nafl salaat 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 Allah and seek His perfect help whenever we require it? Allah 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 favourite colour is, and some other weird fantasy. That is not the purpose of this salaat. The results of an istikharah can take many forms. Basically, you go by your feelings, whether you now feel more favourable or not. Also, you may notice events have changed, either for or against you. Finally, as a wonderful gift from Allah, you may be blessed with a dream. Note that you must follow the results of an istikharah, because not doing so is tantamount to rejecting Allah’s guidance once you’ve asked for it. Also, you should firstly clear your mind, not have your mind already decided, and then afterwards follow the results willingly.

The Prophet (s.a.w) once sent Zainab a proposal of marriage. She refused to accept the proposal straight away, expressing her intention to refer the matter to Allah: “I do not do anything until I solicit the will of my Lord.” Allah, the Responsive, answered her plea for help and revealed an ayah 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 recognising that it is Allah who knows how successful such a marriage will be, and as a sign of appreciation, that reply is now preserved in our Holy Book: al Qur’an.

The Prophet (s.a.w) once said to Aisha: “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 Allah, 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 rearer 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 Allah. Beauty is but superficial, but the beauty of Iman is transcendent.

When asking Allah for a wife, call upon Him by His beautiful names, as He has commanded us: “For Allah are certain and dignified names: therefore call upon Him by them”[s.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”[al-Furqan,74].

I cannot provide a better conclusion than saying that you must put your trust in Allah. You must have trust in His concern for us, and His ability to help us. Allah says: “Put your trust in Allah, for Allah loves those who put their trust in Him”[s.3;v.159].

May Allah 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”[al-Baqarah,v.186].

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THE IMPORTANCE OF MARRYING A RIGHTEOUS SPOUSE

By Shaykhah Umm ‘Abdillaah al-Waadi’iyyah (daughter of Shaykh Muqbil)

Taken from Naseehatee lin Nisa

Imam al-Bukhaaree (rahimullah) stated (9/132): It has been relayed to us by Musaddid that Yahya relayed to us, on ‘Ubaydallaah that he said: Sa’eed bin Abee Sa’eed relayed to me, on his father, on the authority of Aboo Hurayrah (radiyallaahu anhu) on the Prophet, (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) that he said: “A woman is married for four (reasons): For her wealth, for her lineage, and for her beauty, so choose the one who possesses the Deen (religion) and you will be successful.” [And related by Muslim (2/1086)] The meaning of the Hadeeth: The people choose wives for various reasons, and they are of four types:

1. From them are those who strive for the rich and wealthy.

2. From them are those who strive for good lineage and it is nobility.

3. From them are those who strive for beauty.

4. And from them are those who strive for the religious (woman).

Choosing a wife for wealth is not appropriate if she does not adorn herself with Taqwaa (fear of Allah). In this case, she will desire to have unrestricted freedom and for her husband to be subservient to her puffing herself up over him. This is understood from her actions even if she does not say it.

Likewise is the one who has nobility if her spouse does not have her level of nobility. She will be haughty towards him if she does not adorn herself with Taqwaa (fear of Allah). Likewise is the one who has beauty. She will be haughty towards her spouse if she is not adorned with Taqwaa (fear of Allah), and the one who the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) encouraged to marry is the one possessing the religion.

This does not mean that the man turns away from a woman possessing wealth, beauty, or nobility. This means that he should not make that his focus and he should choose the one possessing the religion. As for merging that with the Deen (religion), then this is good.

The woman possessing the religion has Taqwaa (fear of Allah). She is heedful of what Allah has obligated upon her, and she abstains from His prohibitions. As He, The Exalted, has stated, “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.” [Soorah Nisa (4): 34] She keeps herself chaste, guards her husband’s wealth, she does not exit (the home) without his permission, and she is fully aware of her rights, so she does not exceed them. Being fully aware, even if she possesses the religion, it is inevitable that she will not be perfect and complete. She is deficient in her intellect and Deen (religion). This is not related to correcting her since this is not appropriate to be overlooked.

Likewise for the woman: It is upon us to choose a righteous husband. How many women were righteous, but they did not choose a righteous mate and married a failure who pulled her to his ideology and his way?It is also possible that the man is affected by the ideology of his wife as occurred with ‘Imraan ibn Hattaan. He married his cousin to pull her away from the ideology of the Khawaarij and she pulled him to her ideology. So this is more likely to occur to the woman since she is quick and abrupt in changing to another state. So we ask Allah for stability and persistence. A companion will have an effect on his companion. Due to this, there is an encouragement of choosing a righteous companion.

In the Saheehayn (i.e. Bukhaaree and Muslim) from the Hadeeth of Aboo Moosa, (radiyallaahu anhu) that he said: The Messenger of Allah, (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “The example of the righteous companion and the evil companion is like the person that sells musk and the blacksmith. The person that sells musk will either give you some or you may buy some from him. The blacksmith will either burn your clothes or you will find a repugnant odour from him.” In addition, the Prophet, (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) has said, “A man is on the Deen (religion) of his friend, so beware as to whom you take as a friend.”

And the poet said, Do not ask about the person but ask about his companionship, for every person exemplifies his companion.

Moreover, Allah has stated about the people of Paradise: “Then they will turn to one another, mutually questioning. A speaker of them will say, ‘Verily, I had a companion (in the world), who used to say, ‘Are you among those who believe. That when we die and become dust and bones, shall we indeed (be raised up) to receive reward or punishment (according to our deeds)?” (The speaker) said, “Will you look down?” So he looked down and saw him in the midst of the Fire.” [Soorah Saffaat (37): 50 – 55]

“And We have assigned for them (devils) intimate companions (in this world), who have made fair-seeming to them, what was before them and what was behind them. And the word (i.e. the torment) is justified against them as it was justified against those who were among the previous generations of jinn and men that had passed away before them. Indeed they (all) were losers.”

The woman possessing the religion strives for a husband possessing the religion and visa versa as the Prophet, (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) has said, “The souls are recruited soldiers, so whoever amongst them bonded and became mutually acquainted then they were in agreement, and whoever amongst them rejected and disavowed each other then they differed.”

And in the parable, “And everyone strives for someone similar to him.”

And in another parable, “The birds gather with those similar to them, so everyone strives for someone similar to him.”

Another hadeeth encouraging marrying a righteous wife: Imam Muslim has stated (2/1090): Muhammad bin ‘Abdullaah bin Numair al-Hamdaanee relayed to me, that ‘Abdullah bin Yazeed relayed to us, that Haywah relayed to us that Sharhabeel bin Shareek informed me that he heard Aboo ‘Abdur Rahmaan al-Hablee relaying on the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) “The Dunya (the life of this world) is a commodity and the best of its commodities is a righteous wife.” [Soorah Fussilat (41): 25]

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THE MANNERS OF THE WIFE

By Dr. Mirwaan al-Qaysee

Translated by Aboo Abdillaah Umar

Taken from al-Asaalah Magazine

Source: Daru Ahlil Athar of NC

The family is that brick which forms the foundation of a society. It is composed of individuals that have permanent relations established between them. Most importantly, it possesses almost a majority of the different kinds of personal relations. Because of this, there must be certain etiquettes placed in order to control and regulate these relations. This is such that it can be maintained in the best possible manner, and so that it can generate and produce its proper fruits. Family relations consist of the relationship between the spouses from one perspective, the relationship between the parents and the children from a second perspective, and the relationship between the children themselves from a third perspective.

Etiquettes of the wife:

It is impossible for the marital relationship to be successful if the wife does not play a continuous positive roll in it, even if the husband is an excellent example so be mindful – O righteous wife – of this matter and take hold of your responsibilities as the success of the family unit relies upon you.

If you want to do a voluntary fast, do not do so before seeking the permission of your husband. If he does not allow you then it is not your right to fast at that point.

If your husband is not pleased with a particular member of his family, your family, a neighbor or other then that from entering his home, then do not allow that individual to enter.

Each time you please your husband or fulfill his rights you draw closer to his heart. Most husbands view their wives who handle their needs as a sign from the signs of love. So do not be heedless of your obligations regarding him and be mindful when he requests them from you.

Know that the abilities of your husband are limited. So be pleased with him by making things easy upon him and not burdening him with that which he does not have the ability to undertake or by requesting things that are out of his reach. Doing so, you may place him and the family in debt, even if your husband is from the richest of men. Spending excessively on clothing and furniture is a disliked as well as a detested matter, which is not befitting for an intelligent lady to indulge in. There is only one class of people who have the seek to buy everything they and their children desire!!

Greet your husband with a smile when he returns home from work likewise by beautifying your hair, your dress and your overall appearance and smell good for him. If he is clearly having a bad day, go to him and assist him.

Do not immediately approach him with your problems or the problems of the children or begin with complaints for verily the pains of work in which you do not know about are sufficient for him. If you were to persist in these matters while he is tired, then it is upon you alone to deal with its results if your husband becomes upset. Hence, it is for you to preserve a healthy environment for a man who works long hours in a society already full of problems, diversions and trials as present in our society.

Debate your problems with your husband in private without the presence of the children, family members and friends.

Your respect and kindness to your husband’s family is respect and kindness to your husband.

Remain clean with regards to your teeth and always have good smelling breathe. Always guard these two matters.

You are the leader of your home and its shepherd; therefore, handle your responsibilities with the trust entrusted to you. In addition, take care of the furniture and the property of the home.

The right of being maintained and supported is a right entrusted to the men by Allaah ta’ala upon you. Do not request things that the women of the west request, rather ask for things but be just in doing so and do not over step the rights in which Allaah has given you.

Do not leave the home frequently and do not do so when your husband is certainly not pleased with it.

Do not speak to strange or foreign men (those who you are not married to) except that your husband’s allows you to so and under the conditions set by the Sharee’ah.

If you leave with your husband to the store or to visit others, then do not precede him (walking in front of him out of respect).

BEWARE of spreading details of your sexual relationship, as this is indeed a serious sin.

Do not argue and speak exceedingly (by talking back) with your husband if it becomes clear he is not pleased with the conversation. Stay away from useless back talk as it is evil.

If your husband talks to you then be attentive in your listening.

When your husband travels away from you, guard yourself, your family, his property, his children and his home.

Try not to allow your husband to see you except that you have a pleasing appearance, a clean outfit and you are beautified.

Do not hesitate in showing your love for your husband; as this is what will bring him closer to you and strengthen him in his home and with his family at a time when there are many temptations outside of the home.

Accept that which your husband has provided for you and the home with gratitude and thanks and not with rejection and ingratitude.

If one of your husband’s friends seeks information about your husband, then do not speak with him for a long period of time. Make the responses short and simple.

It is not for you to allow anyone to take anything from the home without your husband’s permission.

If your husband divides something for you then it is not correct for you to have displeasure in that division.

Beware of leaving the bed of your husband no matter what the reasons were that led up to that point.

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FAMILY ETIQUETTES: GUIDELINES FOR THE HUSBAND IN INTERACTING WITH HIS WIFE

By Dr. Marwwan Al-Qaisee

Translated by Isma’eel Alarcon

Taken from Al-Asaalah Magazine

Source: Al-manhaj.com

The family is that brick which forms the foundation of a society. It is composed of individuals that have permanent relations established between them. Most importantly, it possesses almost a majority of the different kinds of personal relations. Because of this, there must be certain etiquettes placed in order to control and regulate these relations. This is such that it can be maintained in the best possible manner, and so that it can generate and produce its proper fruits. Family relations consist of the relationship between the spouses from one perspective, the relationship between the parents and the children from a second perspective, and the relationship between the children themselves from a third perspective.

Etiquettes of the husband:

It is not from the deficiencies, but rather from good manners, that the husband shares in the responsibility of specified matters, such as the mending of garments or what is similar to that.

It is appropriate for a man to not restrict himself from serving himself. This is since the wife takes care of the household affairs. So therefore, it is from good manners that the husband extend a helping hand to his wife in the house, during times of necessity, such as when she is sick, pregnant, has given birth or similar to that.

The exemplary husband is he who cooperates with his wife by bearing good relations and showing kind manners (to her), according to the full extent of the meaning contained in these (last) two expressions. Truly, the husbands who are best at working alongside their wives are the best of mankind in the view of Islaam. This good way of living between the spouses must be deeply imbedded into the daily marital life, even at the time of divorce.

Beware of characterizing the relationship between the spouses with over-seriousness! For indeed characterizing the family life with a militaristic nature amounts to one of the causes for failure and bad results.

From the kind and noble manners of the husband is that he complies and assents to the requests of his wife, so long as they are not forbidden in the Religion. And being luxurious in food, drink and clothing is at the entrance of matters forbidden in the Religion.

The husband should specify a time in which he can play around and pass free time with his wife.

The relationship between the spouses must contain one singular and specific nature. And it cannot be this way unless the couple begins demolishing all the obstacles and impediments that stand between them. For example, the husband should not feel timid and restrain himself from drinking out of the same cup that his wife drinks out of.

There is no human being that is perfect. So there is no doubt that the husband will see things in his wife that does not comply with his natural disposition and preferences. If these aspects are not in opposition to the fundaments of the Religion or to the obedience of the husband and his rights, then at that point, he should not try to change her personality so that it complies with his natural preference.

And he must always remember that for each member of the couple, there will be an aspect of ones personality that conflicts with the others personality. And he should also remember that if there are some characteristics that he doesn’t find pleasing in his wife, then indeed she has other characteristics, which will definitely be pleasing to him.

Do not let Ramadaan be a barrier that impedes you from showing affection to your wife, such as by kissing her. But this is so long as you are able to refrain yourself, since what is forbidden during the days of Ramadaan is only sexual intercourse.

Do not chase after the errors of your wife and recount them to her, for too much blaming and reprimanding will worsen the relationship between the two of you, and it will pose a threat to your marital life. So overlook your wife’s easy ability to make mistakes, and make her falling into them seem like something small.

If you are able, do not hold back from providing your wife with good clothing and food, and from being generous in spending money on her. This is of course according to the extent of your ability.

Do not give little importance to implementing the punishment required for any acts in opposition to the Religion, which your wife has committed, whether it is in the home or outside it. This should be the main reason that causes you to become angry, thus no other reason should affect you (besides this one).

What has been stated previously does not mean that you should leave matters alone until that result comes to happen. Thus, whenever you realize that a matter is left alone, weigh it with seriousness and determination, without being too harsh or rude about it.

The woman is the head of the household, the one responsible for it. So do not attempt to meddle into affairs that do not fall into your area of duties and responsibilities, such as the food and the order of the house.

Beware of scolding your wife or blaming her for a mistake she committed, in the presence of others, even if they are your own children. For indeed that is an act that goes against correct behavior and it will lead to raising anger in the hearts of people.

If you are forced to place punishment upon your wife, then let it be by staying away from her at bedtime. And do not boycott her except that it is done within the household. And avoid using foul language, insulting her, beating her and describing her with repulsive names. For these matters do not befit an exemplary husband.

Having jealousy and caring about the modesty of your wife is a praiseworthy thing, which shows your love for her. However it is on the condition that you do not go to great extremes in this jealousy. For then at that point, it would turn into something worthy of no praise.

Entering the house: Do not alarm your family by entering upon them suddenly. Rather, enter while they are aware of it, and greet them with Salaam. And ask about them and how they are doing. And do not forget to remember Allaah, the Mighty and Sublime, when you enter the house.

Beware of spreading any secrets connected with the intimate encounters you have with your wife, for that is something restricted and forbidden.

Constantly maintain the cleaning of your mouth and the freshening of your breath.

Guardianship of your wife doesn’t mean that you can exploit what Allaah has bestowed upon you from taking charge of her, such that you harm and oppress her.

Showing respect and kindness to your wife’s family is showing respect and kindness to her. And this applies even after her death, on the condition that it is not accompanied by an act forbidden in the Religion, such as intermingling of the sexes or being in privacy (with them).

Too much joking will lead to (your family having) little fear (of disobeying you) and a lack of respect for you. So do not joke too much with your wife.

Be considerate that fulfilling the conditions which you promised to your wife during the pre-marriage agreement is a matter possessing the highest of importance and priority. So do not neglect that after getting married.

When you lecture your wife or reprimand her or simply speak to her, choose the kindest and nicest of words and expressions for your speech. And do not reprimand her in front of others or in front of your children.

It is not proper for you to ask your wife to look for work outside of the house or to spend upon you from her wealth.

Do not overburden your wife with acts that she is not able to handle. Consider, with extreme regard, the environment she was raised up in. Rural service is not like urban service, and the service of a strong woman and her preparation for it is not like the service of a weak woman.

There is nothing in the obligation of a woman’s service to her husband that negates his assisting her in that regard, if he should find the free time. Rather, this is from the good manners of living between the spouses.

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THE RULING OF A WOMAN WHO DOESN’T LISTEN TO THE SPEECH OF HER HUSBAND

(حكم المرأة التي لا تسمع كلام زوجها، ولا تطيعه )

By Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan

Translated by Umm Mujaahid bint Abdul Khaaliq ibn Muhammad fadl

Source http://www.sahab.com/go/fatwa.php?id=623&query=

Question: What is your opinion of a woman who does not listen to the speech of her husband, and nor does she obey him, and she opposes him in many of the matters: such as she leaves without his command, and sometimes she leaves sneakily without his knowledge? (ما رأيك بالمرأة التي لا تسمع كلام زوجها، ولا تطيعه، وتخالفه في كثير من الأمور‏:‏ كأن تخرج بدون أمره، وتخرج أحيانًا خلسة بدون علمه‏؟‏ )

Answer: It is obligatory upon the woman to obey her husband in goodness, and is it prohibited upon her to be disobedient to him and it is not permissible for her to leave his house except with his permission.The prophet sallahu alayhi wasalam said, ‏‏إذا دعا الرجل امرأته على فراشه، فأبت أن تجيء، فبات غضبان عليها؛ لعنتها الملائكة حتى تصبح)‏ ) When a man calls his wife to bed, and she refuses to come, whilst he remains angry with her, the angels curse her till the morning. Agreed upon (narrated by Bukharee in his saheeh (6/150) without mentioning ‘whilst he remains angry with her’ …فبات غضبان عليها‏..‏‏. Muslim narrated it in his saheeh (2/1060‏) with the wording ‘and she does not come to him’ فلم تأته‏.‏‏.‏‏ in place of ‘and she refuses to come’ ,فأبت أن تجيء‏‏‏) and the prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam said ‘if i was to command anyone to prostrate to another, ‘i would have indeed commanded the woman to prostrate to her husband due to the greatness of his right over her’ (narrated by Abu Dawood in his sunan (2/250))

And allah ta’aala says, ‏الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَبِمَا أَنفَقُواْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ فَالصَّالِحَاتُ قَانِتَاتٌ حَافِظَاتٌ لِّلْغَيْبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ اللَّهُ وَاللاَّتِي تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ فَعِظُوهُنَّ وَاهْجُرُوهُنَّ في الْمَضَاجِعِ وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allâh 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 Allâh and to their husbands), and guard in the husband’s absence what Allâh orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband’s property, etc.). As to those women on whose part you see ill­conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful).. (surah An-nisaa:34) so he the most perfect has made clear that the man has authority over the woman, and that when it is denied for him, he takes with her the dettering measurement, from this is what indicates the obligation of obeying him in goodness and the prohibition of her opposing him without right.

يجب على المرأة أن تطيع زوجها بالمعروف، ويحرم عليها معصيته، ولا يجوز لها الخروج من بيته إلا بإذنه‏. قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم‏:‏ ‏(‏إذا دعا الرجل امرأته على فراشه، فأبت أن تجيء، فبات غضبان عليها؛ لعنتها الملائكة حتى تصبح‏)‏‏.‏ متفق عليه ‏[‏رواه البخاري في ‏صحيحه‏‏ ‏(‏6/150‏)‏ – بدون ذكر‏.‏‏.‏‏.‏ فبات غضبان عليها‏.‏‏.‏‏.‏- ورواه مسلم في ‏صحيحه‏‏ ‏(‏2/1060‏)‏ بلفظ‏:‏‏.‏‏.‏‏.‏ فلم تأته‏.‏‏.‏‏.‏ بدل فأبت أن تجيء‏.‏‏.‏‏]‏‏.‏

وقال صلى الله عليه وسلم‏:‏ ‏(‏لو كنت آمرًا أحدًا أن يسجد لأحد؛ لأمرت المرأة أن تسجد لزوجها من عظم حقه عليها‏)‏ ‏[‏رواه أبو داود في ‏سننه‏‏ ‏(‏2/250‏)‏‏]‏‏.‏

وقال تعالى‏:‏ ‏{‏الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَبِمَا أَنفَقُواْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ فَالصَّالِحَاتُ قَانِتَاتٌ حَافِظَاتٌ لِّلْغَيْبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ اللَّهُ وَاللاَّتِي تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ فَعِظُوهُنَّ وَاهْجُرُوهُنَّ في الْمَضَاجِعِ وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ‏}‏ ‏[‏سورة النساء‏:‏ آية 34‏]‏‏ ‏

فبين سبحانه أن الرجل له القوامة على المرأة، وأنه إذا تنكرت له؛ يتخذ معها الإجراء الرادع؛ ممّا يدل على وجوب طاعته بالمعروف وتحريم مخالفتها له بغير حق‏.‏

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THE ISSUE OF A WIFE SERVING HER HUSBAND

By Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahu Allah)

Translated by Abu Sumayyah Aqeel Walker

Taken from Majmoo’ ul-Fataawaa, Vol. 34, 90-91, Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, as transmitted from the book Kitaabul-Aadaab by Fu’aad bin ‘Abdil-‘Azeez

Source http://www.assalafi.com/Marriage and also see the link http://www.sahab.net/sahab/showthread.php? threadid=294874 at Sahab.net

Question: Is it obligatory upon the wife to serve her husband in the customary matters like preparing the food and straightening up the house and so forth?

Answer: Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said: “The scholars have disputed as to whether it is upon her to serve him in the likes of the bedding of the home, and bringing the food, the drink and the bread and the crackers, and preparing food for his servants and his livestock animals, like giving fodder to his riding animal and so forth. So from among them there are those who said, “It is not obligatory for her to serve him,” and this opinion is weak. Just like the weakness of the statement of the one who says, “It is not obligatory as a part of his living with her (his wife) that he has sex with her.” For verily this is not him living with her in a good way. Rather, the companion on the journey who is the associate of the person and his companion in living quarters, if he does not assist him in that which is beneficial then he has not accompanied him in a good manner. And it has also been said – and this is what is correct – that it is obligatory for her to serve him. For verily the husband is her Sayyid (master or leader) in the Book of Allaah (i.e. according to the Qur’aan), and she is his helper with him according to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). And it is obligatory upon the helper and the slave to serve (their master or leader), because that is goodness. Then from among these scholars are those who said, “Easy service to him is obligatory upon her (i.e. in light matters).” And from among them there are those who said, “It is obligatory for her to serve him in that which is good.” And this is what is correct (i.e. this last opinion). Thus, it is obligatory upon her to serve him in the good service that is customary from the likes of her for the likes of him. And this varies with the various situations. Thus, the service of the bedouin woman is not like the service of the city woman, and the service of the strong woman is not like the service of the weak woman.”

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LOOKING AT THE WOMAN INTENDED FOR MARRIAGE AND ITS CONDITIONS

Taken from Fatawah Noor ‘ala ad Darb

Translated by Abu Az-Zubayr Shadeed Muhammad

Source http://www.madeenah.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=171&Itemid=2

Ibn Qudaamah said: “Whoever desires to marry a woman then it is permissible for him to look at her without being alone with her. We don’t know any differing amongst the people of knowledge regarding the permissibility of looking at the woman intended for marriage based upon the Hadeeth of Jaabir Ibn ‘Abdullaah that the Messenger, May the Salat and Salaam of Allaah be upon him, said: “If one of you proposes to a woman and he has the ability to look at her, then he should do so” For the Prophet ordered us to look and it was left general.

Imaam Ahmad said: “He is to look at her face and this is not to be done lustfully or out of pleasure. He has the right to look more than once and to observe her beauty because the goal cannot be achieved except through this.”

So there is no difference of opinion amongst the ‘Ulamaa in reference to the permissibility of looking at the face of the woman, and that is because the face is not ‘Awrah, rather is the place where her beauty is gathered and it is not permissible for him to look at what normally shows of the woman. There is a difference of opinion amongst the scholars regarding other than the face like the hands and the feet and other than this which the woman would display normally.

The first: It is not permissible to look at because it is considered her to be her ‘Awrah just like the other parts of the body due to the Hadeeth of ‘Abdullaaah Ibn Mas’ood where the prophet said: “All of the woman is ‘Awrah.”

This Hadeeth is Hassan .For the necessity of looking at anything else is removed by looking at the face and everything else remains in its legislative origin of impressibility.

The Second: It is permissible to look at other than the face just as Imaam Ahmad said: “There is nothing wrong with looking at her face and at what will encourage him to marry her whether it is the hand or what normally shows and the likes of this.”

Imaam Shafi’ee said: “He is to look at her face and hands.” Then he mentioned the story of ‘Umar Ibn Al Khataab when he proposed to the daughter of ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib (Umm Kulthum). ‘Ali sent her to ‘Umar for him to look at her and ‘Umar was pleased with what he saw and as she was walking away ‘Umar looked at her shin and she said to him: “If it wasn’t for the fact that you were the Leader of the Believers I would hit you in both of your eyes!” Al Mughni Vol.7 P.453

Imaam An Nawwawi said after mentioning the Hadeeth of Abu Hurairah where he said: “I was with the Messenger of Allah when a man came to him and said: “I married a woman from the Ansaar” so the Prophet said to him: “Did you look at her? For indeed there is something in the eyes of the women of the Ansar.”

“In this Hadeeth is a recommendation to look at the face of the woman that is intended for marriage. This is our Mathhab (as Imaam An Nawwawi followed the Mathhab of Imaam Ash Shafi’ee) and it is the Mathhab of Imaam Malik, Abu Haneefah and the rest of the scholars from Kufah (Iraq), Imaam Ahmad and the great majority of the ‘Ulamaa, that it is permissible to look at the face and hands only because they are not her ‘Awrah and because the face points to her beauty and it’s opposite and the hands point to the richness of her shin or otherwise. This is the Mathhab of the great majority of scholars.

Imaam Al Awzaa’ee said: “It is permissible for him to look at her without her (over) garment.

Dawud (Adh Dhahiri) said: “He can look at all of her body.”

This is a clear misconception and it is in opposition to the foundations of the Sunnah and the Consensus (of the ‘Ulamaa) and in opposition to our Mathhab and that of Maalik, Ahmad and the Jamhoor (great majority of the scholars)”

Sarh Sahih Muslim Vol.9 P.214, Ibn Rushd said: “As for looking at the woman at the time of proposal of marriage then Imaam Malik says it is permissible to look at the face and the two hands only, and Abu Haneefah said the feet the face and the hands as Allaah says: “And not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (i.e. eyes and hands)” (24: 31) Bidayah tul Mujtahid Vol. 2 P.114

Shaykh Saaleh Al Fawzaan said: “It is permissible for the man who desires to propose to a woman to look at her with three conditions:

The First: He is almost positive that he is going to marry her.

The Second: He is to look at what is not considered to be her ‘Awrah, that which is normally apparent.

The Third: This all being done without being in seclusion or alone with her. Based upon the statement of the Messenger: “If one of you proposes to a woman and he has the ability to see what will encourage him to marry her then he should do so” Sharh Zaad ul Mustaqni’ Vol.3 P.4383

Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al ‘Uthaymeen was asked: I am not married but if a pilgrim arrives at Saudi Arabia and he performs the Hajj, is it permissible afterwards for him to look at the woman he has proposed to and wants to settle a contract of marriage with? Is it permissible if I give her half of the dowry but we have not concluded the contract? We desire some clarity from you may Allaah give you success.

The Shaykh replied: Looking at the woman intended for marriage is permissible with the conditions that:

Firstly: You don’t seclude yourself with her, meaning you are not to be alone with her in a place where there is no one other than the two of you.

Secondly: That there is no Fitnah involved.

Thirdly: You looking at her is not to be lustfully nor out of desire.

Fourthly: You are almost positive that she is going to marry you because sitting with her and talking frivolously to her is not permissible, for in that case there is nothing necessitating him to look at her. For there is reason behind looking which is to cause harmony and accord between the two and for him to ultimately marry her based upon sound desire. But just sitting with her and talking to her or to be alone with her then this is not permissible.

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CONJUGAL KINDNESS

By Muhammad As-Subayyi

All praise is due to Allâh, Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings of Allâh be upon the Messenger, his househod and companions. Fellow Muslims! Fear Allâh as He should be feared and die not except in the state of Islâm. Allâh says, “And fear Allâh through Whom you demand (your mutual rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allâh is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” (An-Nisâ 4:1)

Brethren in faith! Allâh reminds us of His blessings and explains to us His signs that indicate His favours and kindness. He says, “And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” (Ar-Rûm 30:21)

In this above verse, Allâh calls our attention to a great blessing that He has endowed us with. This blessing is the relationship between man and woman by which isolation is removed, happiness is achieved and peace and tranquility are attained in the life of this world. One should therefore, take care of this blessing and not become a cause for its destruction.

Dear brethren! Allâh created His servants with different ability to manage the affairs of their lives and in the ways of achieving happiness in this life and the Hereafter. It is because of this difference that He made some of His servants leaders and others subjects. He chose for them leaders to manage their affairs. He made man the manager of his household and the woman the caretaker of the house of her husband. For the home is the pillar of life, the foundation of its happiness, tranquility and stability. The home cannot stand firm unless the man performs his obligations, takes care of his family and treats them kindly. The same applies to the wife.

The Muslim woman should perform her obligations towards her husband and children. For home is the first school of life and the foundation of good behaviour for the children. She must give them sound Islâmic upbringing that will lead to a good life in this world and happiness in the Hereafter.

Brethren in Islâm! A great calamity that many people are afflicted with these days is their indifference to the issue of divorce. Some men hastily divorce his wife for the flimsiest reason while forgetting every good she had done him thereby doing injustice to her and his children. At the end, he regrets and becomes distressed for that action. The cause of this irrational act is quick anger, agitation and bad conducts. This action destroys home and puts the family in disarray.

The husband should control himself and not let his wife drive him into a rage. Whenever he feels annoyed, he should change his position as the Messenger of Allâh has instructed like changing his position from standing to sitting or from sitting to lying down or leaving the house until his anger is gone and he has come back to his senses. He should also remember the instruction of the Prophet that says, “I advise you to take care of the women, for they are created from a rib and the most crooked portion of the rib is its upper part; if you try to straighten it, it will break, and if you leave it, it will remain crooked, so I urge you to take care of the women.”

He also said, “No believing man should hate a believing woman. If he finds a behaviour in her that he dislikes, he will find another that he likes.” This Prophetic directive is a basis for good relationship between husband and wife. The husband must note the commendable conducts that his wife possesses and compare that to her conducts that he dislikes. For when man looks into commendable behaviours that his wife possesses he will overlook her misdeeds because of her overwhelming good conduct. The wise man should know that attaining perfection is impossible. If he looks into his own self, he will find out that he has more imperfections than the ones he sees in his wife or the same. There is no way to avoid a disagreement with a wife or any of the relatives or friends. Let him remember the word of Allâh, “And live with them honorably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allâh brings through it a great deal of good.” (An-Nisâ 4:19)

Fellow Muslims! A person with a sound mind, pure nature and fair conscience will not deny a woman her right or be unjust to a woman who was brought up far from him and then joined him in a marriage relationship and each of them has found repose in the other, as Allâh says: “And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy.”

In spite of this love and mercy that the husband and the wife find in one another, the woman is still obedient to her husband, takes care of his home and gives him enjoyment. After all this, can any reasonable man have the audacity to harm this woman, inconvenience her, humiliate her, wrong her, beat her and divorce her?

O woman whom Allâh has blessed with honour, respect and chastity and whom Allâh has made the nurturer and the caretaker of a family, hold fast unto this blessing by improving on your conducts and dealing with your husband in the best way, for the husband’s right is great. Expect to get reward from Allâh for your obedience to your husband, your service to him, your perseverance and your overlooking of things that do not contradict religion or standard moral conduct. Keep away from evil suspicions, wild accusations and injurious expressions. Learn from marital problems of others and the separations and disruptions that such problems have caused.

O you husbands and wives! All of you should treat one another well. Let each of you bear whatever their companion does with patience and tolerance. Remember that each of you owes obligations to their spouse as Allâh 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, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them.” (Al-Baqarah 2:228)

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THE HUSBAND IS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE

By Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-`Uthaymeen

Taken from Fatawa Islamiyyah, Darussalam, volume 5, pages 183/184

Question: If the wife has a job and she receives a good salary, is it incumbent upon the husband to provide for her? And what will the situation be, if his income is little?

Answer: It is an obligation upon the husband to provide for his wife, even if she has a good salary, because his providing for her is in return for the pleasure which he gets from her – even though his income may be little, unless the woman is good-natured and is indulgent towards her husband regarding provision, then the matter is up to her.

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DWELLING IN TRANQUILITY

By Imam Mohamed Magid

Washington Times, 5/1/06

[Imam Magid is the Executive Director and Imam of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS). The following is a khutba, or sermon, that was printed in the May 1st edition of the Washington Times]

Of the many blessings God showers upon us, one of the greatest is marriage. It sweetens our lives with love and friendship, comfort and security, while helping us grow personally and strengthening us.

The Prophet Muhammad (may God’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The whole world is a provision and the best object of benefit of the world is a good spouse.” Marriage is one of our greatest responsibilities. Muslims often quote the Prophet’s saying, “Whoever marries has fulfilled half of his religion” to remind themselves of the significance of marriage.

Do we indeed approach our marriages, current or future, as though they are half of our religion?

From an Islamic perspective, marriage is a pledge that a man and woman make to one another in accordance with the Qur’an (the Muslim Holy Book) and the Sunnah (Prophet Muhammad’s life).

The foremost obligation is to treat each other with kindness and gentleness. One’s words, actions, and behavior must always be suffused with mercy, love, and tenderness. Knowing the purpose of marriage is important because when we fulfill it, we automatically fulfill the terms of our contract. When we do not, we risk loosening the marital knot. In the Qur’an, God says, “And among His Signs is this: that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and that He has put love and mercy between your hearts.

“Verily in that are Signs for those who reflect” (30:21). This famous verse, often printed on Muslims’ wedding invitations, describes some of the wonderful purposes of marriage.

Consider the phrase “from among yourselves.” God reminds us to view our mates as extensions of ourselves, and ourselves as extensions of our mates. There is no room for selfishness. We must intentionally walk the path to oneness. Our vocabulary changes from ‘I’ to ‘we’ and from ‘me’ to ‘us,’ and we make decisions together rather than individually.

Now take the phrase “that you may dwell in tranquility.” The Arabic word for “tranquility” derives from a root word meaning “a place where one lives.” Think about the many purposes of our homes. These structures protect us from the harshness of the elements, permit us to relax and refresh ourselves, and enable us to be ourselves without having to worry about always looking our best.

A good marriage should provide all of these same virtues. A husband and wife must protect one another. A marriage in which one member does not feel protected by the other is like a house in which the roof is leaking. Spouses should always put one another at ease. They should be a wellspring of comfort, love, and support. They must understand that while each will give his or her best, both must be free to be who they are without pretension.

Marriage must be built on a firm acceptance of each other, including imperfections. Just as we do not don business suits to watch television, we should not have to exert ourselves to interact with our spouse. Similarly, we must never go into marriage hoping to change our partner — not only because this is utterly beyond our capacity, as only God is The All-Powerful — but also because it creates an environment of rejection.

Much as our houses need occasional maintenance and inspections, so do our marriages.

We must check with ourselves and with our other halves to see if anything needs repair and tend to these repairs immediately. The time to fix the roof is before it rains.

In a beautiful passage in the Qur’an, God gives further insight into the role of husband and wife: “They are your garments and you are their garments” (2:187).

We wear our clothes very close to our bodies, and our spouses should also be held close to us and us to them — emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Garments serve many purposes: veiling our faults, preserving our modesty, accentuating our beauty. We should do the same by covering our spouse’s shortcomings, preserving their privacy and dignity, and helping them develop their innate talents. While we may have only one spouse in our lifetime, though, we own many articles of clothing, for different occasions and different seasons.

We own suits for work and pajamas for sleep; jackets for winter and sandals for summer. But as spouses, we are only one person and must adapt to all of life’s eventualities. Finally, we must consult and respect our spouse’s “care label.”

Just as some clothes may become discolored when washed in hot water, we must learn how to care for our spouse, something often unique to them and different from ourselves.

Striving to give our best to our spouse and marriage is the key to truly upholding marriage as half of our religion.

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5 thoughts on “Marriage”

  1. As Salaam Alaykum,

    I am looking for information regarding a Mu’tah. Can you explain this to me.

    shukran.

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