Rafed English

An Outlook on Family Rights

The rights of wives and husbands are completely described in the Glorious Quran. When studying them one can recognize these mutual rights as being one of the miracles of the pure culture of Islam. No other school of thought has so thoroughly attended to the rights of wives and their husbands until now, and none can do so from now until the end of time. These rights include obligatory and recommended rights. Disrespecting the obligatory rights without the other person's consent is the cause of divine punishment, and not honoring the recommended rights will lessen the sweetness of life. A major portion of these mutual rights are described in Vasa'il al-Shiaa, volumes 20-22, printed by Al-i-Bayt Press. As much as is required, I shall quote traditions from this volume, and instruct my dear readers to carefully read over those volumes.

Firstly, to bless the discussion I shall mention a few Quranic verses related to the matter and then I shall quote the traditions.

I will mislead them, and I will create in them false desires; I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and to deface the (fair) nature created by God. Whoever, forsaking God, takes Satan for a friend, has of a surety suffered a loss that is manifest. [Holy Quran Nisaa 4:119]

And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable: [Holy Quran: Baqara: 2:228]

And yet they had already covenanted with God not to turn their backs, and a covenant with God must (surely) be answered for. [Holy Quran: Ahzab 33:15]

Isaq, the son of Ammac, said that he had asked Imam Sadiq what right does a woman have whose fulfillment by her husband implies that he is a good doer. The Imam replied that he should feed her properly and provide her with clothing. And when she does something out of ignorance, he should forgive her. Then the Imam said my father had a bothersome wife but he would always forgive her. The sixth Imam quoted the Prophet (Pbuh) as saying: Gabriel recommended on behalf of wives so much so that I thought divorcing her is not permissible unless she commits adultery. He also said good mercy be upon the man who performs all the affairs for himself and his wife well, since God the Almighty has granted to men the control of women, and established the husband as her guardian. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: One who ignores his wife's rights is deprived of God’s Mercy. He also said: The best of you is one who is the best for his family and I am a model for you in this regard. He also said: A man's wife is his slave and the person most loved by God the Almighty is the one who treats his slaves kindly.

Adopted from the book: "The Islamic Family Structure" by: "Husayn Ansarian"

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