The rights of the wife
- :Husayn Ansarian
1- Providing the means for living
The Prophet (Pbuh) said one must provide the foodstuffs and clothing of his wife in the best manner. Imam Sajjad said: Going to the market and buying one Durham of meat which my wife desires is better than freeing a slave. The sixth Imam said: The most fortunate man is the one who manages the affairs of his wife and children.
2- Sexual intercourse
The eight Imam was asked about a man who had a young wife whom he had not slept with for nearly a year due to a disaster that had come upon him. He had no intentions to bother his wife but the disaster caused him to do so. Was he sinning? The Imam answered: Of course. After four months passed, he was sinning. Abuzar asked the Prophet: Is a man's love-making to his wife divinely rewarded even though it brings pleasure? The Prophet (Pbuh) answered: Yes, of course. Is it not forbidden to satisfy your sexual desires unlawfully? Abuzar answered yes. Then the Prophet (Pbuh) said: Certainly its lawful form is divinely rewarded. It is considered desirable in divine teachings for a man to sleep with his wife for love-making once every four nights.
3-Improving the Living Conditions
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: When a man goes to shop for his wife, he is similar to one who takes charity to the house of the needy. When he gets home, he should first give what he has bought to his daughters. This is so because one who makes his daughter happy is similar to one who frees a slave from Ismael's generation. And one who makes his son happy by giving him something is similar to one who cries for fear of God given that God shall take such a person into Heaven filled with blessings.
Imam Musa said: Men's wives are their slaves. When God gives blessings to anyone he should use it to improve the living conditions of his slave or else that blessing might be taken away from him. The Prophet (Pbuh) has admonished against a man being full while his wife is hungry. The sixth Imam said: A man should try to do the following things even if it is against his own desires.
(1) Treating the family well
(2) Trying to improve his living conditions without being wasteful
(3) Being concerned about protecting the family's honor.
The fourth Imam said: God is more pleased with the one who brings about more improvement in his family's living conditions. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Whatever a Muslim man buys for his wife has a reward similar to that of charity.
(4) Respecting the wife
The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Anyone who gets married should respect his wife. He also said: Anyone who hits his wife more than three times (at once), will be disgraced by God in the Hereafter. The Prophet (Pbuh) said: Can you expect to hug your wife at night, having beaten her in the day time? He also said: In fact a woman is a doll; Anyone who marries one should not commit sin with it. He also said: I wonder about a man who beats his wife, while he himself deserves to be beaten more. Do not beat your wives with a stick since there is retaliation for this act. The Commander of the Faithful said: The women you are responsible for are a trust for you. Don't be strict with them and leave them up in the air. Haola asked the Prophet: What rights does a women have over a man? The Prophet (Pbuh) replied: Gabriel made so many recommendations on behalf of women that I thought a man cannot say the slightest thing to her. Gabriel said: O' Muhammad, be afraid of God in regards to women. They bear the sufferings and hardships of life. Women have rights over you since they have placed their bodies in your control for pleasure, they carry your children within their bodies until the time for delivery and they experience dangerous pains. Be kind to them. Keep them satisfied so they'll get along well with you. Don't say your wives are ugly or you don't like them. Don't be greedy about what you have given as the nuptial gift or take any of it back by force.
(5) Grooming oneself and keeping clean
Just as men like to see their wives looking pretty, clean, wearing nice clothes and using good scent, women have the same desires for their husbands: cleanliness, grooming, taking baths, brushing teeth, washing one's hair, combing one's hair, cutting one's nails, using scent, wearing proper clothing and the rest of the allowed grooming. These acts will please the woman and increase her chastity. She will not go after other men and think about getting another husband. Hassan ibn Jahm said: The 8th Imam dyed his hair and I asked him why. He said that a man's grooming himself increases the chastity of his wife. Women abandon chastity because they never saw their husbands grooming themselves. Then the 8th Imam asked if I would like to see my wife in a disheveled state. Hazrat Reza quoted on the authority of his grandfather that the women of the Israelites turned away from chastity for no reason at all, except that their husbands didn't groom themselves. Then the Hazrat said: Women expect the same things of men that men expect of them. Some men are really unfair and don't groom themselves. They don't go to the barbers often and they smoke cigarettes. Therefore their teeth and mouth are dirty and bad-smelling. They don't wear the appropriate clothing and don't care about their looks. Yet they expect their wives to submit themselves to them. These men are oppressors who deserve to be blamed and punished.
(6) Speaking Decently and Courteously
Swearing, or using a vulgar language will force the person we are facing to react no matter who they are. When you complain too much your wife will be upset, and this will ruin your mutual life. The Commander of the Faithful has ordered men: Be patient with your wife under all circumstances and treat her with kindness.
(7) Be content with your share of control over life
Some men give up all their God-given free will and totally submit themselves to the will of their wives. Some women take full control of their husband's will and try to run their lives in any way they wish. This sort of life usually turns into a Satanic life with a lot of sin, waste and unlawful desires. The house and the family deviate from the main and divine principles when life is void of spirituality. Today, a large percentage of families suffer from this devastating catastrophe. Instead of life being dependent on the man's decision, it depends on the woman's. Instead of the man being the husband of the wife, the wife is her husband's master. God forbid that the man disobeys the woman's wants even if it is unlawful and ungodly. A fight will be started by the woman which will not end until the man surrenders or divorces her. Regarding such men who have lost control over their wives, Imam Ali said: Any man who gives his control over to his wife is damned. He also said: The man who totally submits to his wife shall be thrown into the Fire of Hell by God with his face down. They asked him why and he replied: Because the wife requests see-through clothing and he accepts it.
Regarding this issue, Imam Ali conducted a public sermon when a man complained against his wife: O' people! Never obey your wife. Do not give her any property. Do not grant the control of your life to her. If such people are left free to do as they wish, they will ruin everybody's life and disobey their husband's orders. We have discovered that these people are not pious when in need; quickly submit to lust; think about collecting gold and silver until very old and are selfish and haughty when they are weak. If some of what they want is not provided to them, they ignore all your kindness and favors and will always remember your bad actions. They will accuse without any hesitation and will never stop their rebellion and are constantly trotting on Satan's path. [Vasa'il, v.20, p.180, Al-i-Bayt Press]
Adopted from the book: "The Islamic Family Structure" by: "Husayn Ansarian"
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