The Rights of the Husband
- :Husayn Ansarian
A major factor in strengthening the ties of mutual life is dependent upon the woman respecting her husband's rights. The wife should only consider God and the Hereafter and not let anyone else interfere in regards to her husband's rights. Others may be mistaken or have bad intentions and it may even be that the cause of such interference in the life of the newly-wed couple is pure jealously. Women should remember that they are easily influenced by others. They should consider this element of their nature, and pay close attention to the possibility of others being wrong. They should remember God and their situation in the Hereafter and respect the man's humane, divine and religious rights.
The man likes the woman to be his woman. She should maintain her sex role as a woman, as this is her nature by creation. She should limit her beauty, appeal, seduction, and coquettishness to her husband. She should neither follow others nor should she accept the interference of distant or close relatives, neighbors or guests. Anyway, she should be the wife of her husband, and live based on his lawful desires. She should run the affairs of the home according to her husband's will, and be a good mother to her children. Some women forget that they are feminine. They become rough, harsh, bitter and man-like. This shall make man's life really bitter, and make him sorry about getting married. They may even get fed up with life. Some of the rights of the husband include: The woman should submit herself to her husband's sexual desires whenever he needs her. The woman should obey her husband in all moral and religious affairs. The woman should seek her husband's permission to leave the house, except for the required pilgrimage to Mecca.
Imam Baqir said: A woman came to the Prophet (Pbuh) and asked him what rights does the husband have over the wife? He said: She must obey the husband, and not be rebellious. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: A woman who performs her five required daily prayers, fasts for the month of Ramadan, performs the pilgrimage to Mecca obeys her husband, recognizes the rights of Imam Ali, being that he must be obeyed, shall enter Heaven from anyone of the eight gates which she desires to. Pay close attention to this very important tradition from the noble Prophet of Islam: Any good woman who worships God, performs the obligatory religious acts, and obeys her husband will enter Heaven. Any woman who says her prayers, does not leave the house unnecessarily, and obeys her husband shall be forgiven all her past and future sins by God. The Prophet (Pbuh) told a woman named Haola: By the God who entrusted me with Prophethood, a husband has rights over his wife. She should submit to his sexual desires. She should not disobey his orders, and not oppose or quarrel with him. In a very important and strong statement the Prophet (Pbuh) said: A woman has not fulfilled God's rights as long as she has not fulfilled her husband's rights. You should not conclude from the above traditions that the key to a woman's prosperity is solely obeying her husband. But she should also have faith, worship God, do her religious duties, and avoid doing what is forbidden. This means that she may prosper in this world and the Hereafter only if she gathers all these realties within herself.
2- Sexual submission:
It is obligatory for the wife to sexually submit herself to her husband at times when there is no religious excuse. It is even recommended that she declares her readiness to him. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: A woman should use the best perfume, wear her prettiest clothes, and groom herself in the best possible form. She should appear in front of her husband every morning and night displaying her beauties. The husband has even more rights than this. If a woman carries out the instructions of the Prophet (Pbuh) exactly, she can keep her husband for herself, and keep him away from looking at or chasing other women, even in a lawful manner. This is exactly the situation which causes conflicts. The wife wants to wear her best clothes, perfume, and make-up for going out to wedding parties or visit her friends and relatives, but appears in front of her husband as she is. Even after she returns from the party, she does not give her husband the slightest chance to see her. This hurts the husband's feelings and weakens their relationship and may prepare the grounds for other problems. Many young and middle-aged men have come to me to complain about their wives' indifference and lack of interest in sexual submission and not making themselves up for them. They have expressed their interest in temporary marriage or divorce and re-marriage and have asked me to solve their problem. My only recommendation to women at this stage is to wholeheartedly follow the instructions of the Immaculate Imams and the Noble Prophet. This way their husband will not become lustful outside the house and they will not have any marital problems. Or else your life will be ruined and you will be responsible for it in the Hereafter. In regards to man's attraction to his wife and her submission to him the Prophet (Pbuh) said: Do not elongate your prayers to avoid submitting to your husband.
3- Going out of the House:
Unfortunately, many women who have quit being a woman, and consider themselves to be men do not obey their husbands in regards to seeking permission to go out of the house. If it was deemed proper for women to freely go out of the house, then God would not have made it conditional upon the husband's permission. Some women left the house without their husband's permission. They caused sedition and corruption. They let out their hair and showed their face. They disturbed the pure atmosphere of the society. They acted sexy and coquettish in the streets. They even sometimes forced the men not to object in an attempt to protect their honor, so that these women could act as they pleased. They imitated the Western culture, that of the Jews and the Christians. They made such catastrophes for Islam and the Muslims that can never be compensated for. The Prophet (Pbuh) has ordered a woman not to leave the house without her husband's consent. And if she does so without his permission, all the heavenly angels and each jinn or man who passes by her will damn her until she returns home. Imam Sadiq said: One of the men from the Helpers (Ansar) went on a trip and ordered his wife not to leave the house until he returned home. Her father got ill while her husband was away. She sent a messenger to the Prophet (Pbuh) asking him if she could visit her father. The Prophet (Pbuh) replied that she should obey her husband and stay at home. Her father got worse and she sent another message but received the same reply. Her father passed away and she sent another messenger to go and pray for her father, but she received the same reply. They buried her father but the woman stayed at home. The Prophet (Pbuh) sent a messenger to her and he said that God forgave you and your father for obeying your husband. The Commander of the Faithful has instructed men as follows: Protect your women from the eyes of strange men, since this will better guard their chastity. The bad influences of bringing untrustworthy men to your house is the same as letting them go out to be seen in public. Make an effort so that they know no one but you.
4- Don't bother your husband, and don't be vulgar and ill-tempered:
The Prophet (Pbuh) has made an amazing speech regarding this issue. He delivered this lecture for women. O' women, pay charity in God's way, even though it be your ornaments, even a date, since many of you swear and are ungrateful to your husband and will be the fuel for the Fire of Hell. A woman said are we not mothers. Don't we carry the babies in our wombs for many months. Don't we breastfeed them. Aren't these girls the heads of some households, and these sisters sympathetic to their brothers? The Prophet (Pbuh) said yes. You get pregnant. You deliver children. You breastfeed them. You are kind. If women did not bother their husbands and got along with them, then no praying woman would burn in the Fire of Hell.
The sixth Imam said: These people's prayers are not accepted: A maid's prayers who runs away are not accepted until she returns to her owners huose; a woman whose husband is dissatisfied with her from night until the morning; and a leader who leads the people, but the people do not want him. Ali, the son of Jafar asked his brother Imam Musa Kazim: What is the status of a woman's prayers and conditions who angers her husband with her bad temper and vulgarity? He answered she is sinful until her husband is pleased with her. The Prophet (Pbuh) told Haola: I swear by God who appointed me to Prophethood through my honesty and trustworthiness that when a men gets angry with his wife, God too will be angry with her. The Prophet (Pbuh) has asked women not to expect of their husbands more than they can provide for them and not to degrade their status before anyone whether it be a relative or a stranger. The sixth Imam said: A woman who bothers her husband, and makes him sorrowful is damned. A woman who obeys her husband under any circumstances and respects him and does not bother him is prosperous.
5- Working at home:
The Prophet (Pbuh) told Haola: God shall prepare various delicious meals in Heaven for women who prepare delicious meals for their husbands. He will tell them to eat and drink as a reward for their efforts in this world. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: God shall look favorably at any woman who changes the decorations in the house to make the house look better. Whoever is favorably looked at by God will be saved from punishment. Imam Baqir said: Zahra (Pbuh) took care of the work inside the house such as preparing the dough and cooking the bread, and the Commander of the Faithful took care of the work outside the house such as shopping and collecting wood.
6- Respect your husband and treat him well:
The seventh Imam said: A woman's Jihad is to take good care of her husband. A woman Jihad is being grateful to her husband; being kind with him; bearing with him when he is poor; seeing him off when he leaves, and welcoming him when he comes home; totally submitting to her husband at allowed times; putting on good clothes and make up for him; properly running the affairs of the house; avoiding wastefulness and not asking him for more than he can buy. Such acts which are defined by the Prophet (Pbuh) and the Imams as a wife's duty towards her husband are her Jihad (Holy War) Imam Baqir said: Nothing can intercede on behalf of a woman in God's presence than her husband's consent. The sixth Imam said: Some people went to see the Prophet (Pbuh) and said we saw some folks who prostrated in front of their leaders. Will you let us do so in front of you? The Prophet (Pbuh) said: No, but if I were to issue such an order, I would order women to prostrate in front of their husbands. The Prophet (Pbuh) told Haola: God will make any woman who obeys her husband, and is patient with him under all circumstances a companion of the wife of the Prophet Jacob (Pbuh) in the Hereafter. God will grant any woman a reward for bearing the bitter words of her husband. For each word, He will count one day of fasting of a fighter in the way of God as her reward. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: A husband's right over his wife is that she should turn up the light of his house, cook the food; welcome him at the door when he comes home; prepare water and a towel for him to wash his hands and face; and submit herself to him sexually whenever she does not have a religious excuse. The Commander of the Faithful stood by the dead body of his wife Fatimah upon her death and said:
O' God. I am pleased with your Prophet's daughter. O' God, please be her companion, and alleviate her fears.
7- Do not make yourselves up except for your husband :
The Prophet (Pbuh) told Haola: Do not let anyone other than your husband see your ornaments and jewelry. Do not put on any perfume in the absence of your husband. Do not show off your attractive scarf and wrists. If you do so, you will ruin our religion and make God angry. The Prophet (Pbuh) admonished women against wearing attractive clothes outside the house. He also forbade wearing jewelry that might make noticeable noise. A very important tradition exists from the Prophet, and must be seriously considered by the Muslims. Any man, whose wife puts on make-up and leaves the house to go out and be seen in public with his consent, is a cuckold, and it is not a sin to call him so. For each step that she takes, a house full of fire will be prepared for him. Limit them in this respect, since these limitations are a cause of happiness and pleasure for you and family.
8- Do not use your husbands property without his consent:
The sixth Imam said: A wife is not free to let a slave free, give charity or bet without her husband's consent, however, the payment of the obligatory alms tax, visiting her relatives and doing good deeds do not need his permission. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: A woman should not donate any of her husband's property without his consent. Should she do so, she will be sinful and the reward of her act will belong to the man. I shall once again say that the material presented here regarding the rights of husbands and wives mostly comes from volumes twenty-one through volume twenty-two of the noble book "Vasa'il" printed by Al-i-Bayt Press, and several traditions have been cited from volume 103 of Bihar al-Anwar. Those who wish to study this subject further should refer to these valuable books.
Adopted from the book: "The Islamic Family Structure" by: "Husayn Ansarian"
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