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Rights of Wives

Adopted from the book : "Matrimonial Rights" by : "Sayyid Mahdi as-Sadr"

The Islamic Sharia has paid the greatest attention to wives and granted them, opposite to the rights of husbands, all their material and ethical rights that are based on wisdom, justice, and the good and interests of both spouses:

1. Disbursement

It is obligatory upon husbands to save their wives’ essentials material requirements, such as clothing, food, and residence as well as other requisites that meet their ranks and way of living. From the viewpoint of the Islamic Sharia, disbursement is a f amiliar right that husbands must carry out for their wives, no matter how wealthy they are. This right, however, does not cease to be valid unless the wife is decided as recalcitrant. Furthermore, husbands are not allowed to coerce their wives to do the household managements or nurse the babies unless they themselves do such matters voluntarily.

2. Good Companionship

Wife is the husband’s intimate companion and partner of his life. She shares him in good days and bad days, consoles him in sorrow and in joy, and does alone exhausting efforts, such as the household managements, care for the family affairs, and maternal functions. Hence, it is necessary for husbands to associate with their wives nicely and treat them with leniency. Out of their boasting and arrogance, some husbands misthink that manhood cannot be achieved unless they control, mistreat, insult, and disg race their wives. As a matter of fact, such qualities are detestable since they indicate the complexity and feebleness of personality. They also create disorder of marital life and eradicate family pleasure. In view of her emotions and functions, woman i s sensitive and quick-tempered; therefore, she may, sometimes, utter an unbecoming word or stinging reproach originated from a mental excitement or emotional agitation. In such cases, husbands are required to control themselves and turn in kind forgivene ss so that the family march will go on peacefully.

The Prophet (s) said: “The like of woman is a crooked rib. If you leave it crooked, you will benefit by it. But if you try to fix it, you will break it.”

This means that man, when his wife exceeds the limits of disobedience to him, must treat her, first, by means of advice. If such means prove futility, he must follow the method of ignoring her and avoiding sleeping with her. If this is also useless, he m ay then beat her, but not severely:

“Admonish women who disobey, do not sleep with them and beat them. If they obey, do not try to find fault in them. Allah is High and Supreme. (4:34)”

3. Protection

Because wives are under the guardianship of them, husbands are responsible for defending them against any matter that may cause them moral or material injury or may defame or soil their dignities, such as dissoluteness and suspicious association with the other sex or immoral women. How ugly those men who shove their wives in mixed clubs and dissolute parties and allow them to dance with whomsoever they want are! They try to close their eyes before the serious religious, moral, and social dangers of such mixing that threatens the family entities with disorder and disintegration.

Man, too, must be jealous and protect his wife and family against the trickeries and misleading rumors of the invasions that could deceive many male and female Muslims who, lacking enough knowledge of the principles and concepts of their religion, repeat ed these rumors just like parrots. It is important for such individuals to learn enough about their religion, each according to his intellectual and cultural level, so that they will be saved from the evils and trickeries of such invasions.

“Believers, save yourselves and your families from the fire which is fueled by people and stones and is guarded by stern angels who do not disobey Allah's commands and do whatever they are ordered to do (66:6).”

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