WOMAN WAS NOT MADE OUT OF MAN’S FEET
Dr Suhaib Ashraf Bhat
Love is a decision to be committed to another person. It is far more than a fleeting emotion as portrayed on television, the big screen, and romance novels. Feelings come and go, but a true decision to be committed lasts forever—and that is what defines healthy marriages.
What you have to do is treat your wife kindly. Part of kind treatment is listening properly to what she is saying and responding properly. Being right is not limited to men; it may be your wife’s view that is correct and her suggestions and advice may be good. What is preventing you from letting her express her views and discussing them with her in a friendly manner?
Marriage is a decision to be committed through the ups and the downs, the good and the bad. When things are going well, commitment is easy. But true love is displayed by remaining committed even through the trials of life. Honesty and trust become the foundation for everything in a successful marriage. But unlike most of the other essentials on this list, trust takes time. You can become selfless, committed, or patient in a moment, but trust always takes time. Trust is only built after weeks, months, and years of being who you say you are and doing what you say you’ll do. It takes time, so start now—and if you need to rebuild trust in your relationship, you’ll need to work even harder. Although it will never show up on any survey, more marriages are broken up by selfishness than any other reason. Surveys blame it on finances, lack of commitment, infidelity, or incompatibility, but the root cause for most of these reasons is selfishness. A selfish person is committed only to himself or herself, shows little patience, and never learns how to be a successful spouse. Give your hopes, dreams, and life to your partner. And begin to live life together.
This is a simple call to value our marriages, treat them with great care, and invest in them daily.
The husband has to treat his wife in a good and kind manner, and to spend on her food, drink, clothing and accommodation, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“and live with them honourably” [al-Nisa 4:19]
“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. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise” [al-Baqarah 2:228]
Ahmad (20025) and Abu Dawood (2142) narrated that Mu’awiyah ibn Haydah (may Allah swt be pleased with him) said: I said, “O Messenger of Allah, what are the rights of the wife of any one of us over him?” He said: “That you should feed her when you feed yourself, clothe her when you clothe yourself, you should not hit her on the face, you should not curse her and you should not forsake her except in the house.”
Al-Albani said concerning this hadeeth in Saheeh Abi Dawood: (it is) hasan saheeh.
Remember how the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah swt be upon him) listened to the advice of his wife Umm Salamah (may Allah swt be pleased with her) and adopted it in a matter of great importance. That was during the well-known Treaty of al-Hudaybiyah, when she suggested to him that he should go out and not speak to anyone among his Companions until he had slaughtered his hadiy (sacrificial animal) and shaved his head. Our Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah swt be upon him) did as his wife (may Allah swt be pleased with her) suggested and there was a great deal of good in that.
Remember that the consequences of this attitude towards your wife may backfire on you; she may refuse to give you any advice so long as you do not accept what she offers you and is forced to agree with you even if you are wrong. Thus you will be depriving yourself of a great deal of good and beneficial advice. It suffices us to say to you: This attitude, in which you insist on your opinion, do not admit your mistakes and do not acknowledge that your wife could be right is the very essence of arrogance, as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah swt be upon him) defined it.
It was narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood (may Allah swt be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah swt be upon him) said: “No one will enter Paradise who has an atom’s weight of arrogance in his heart.”
A man said: What if a man likes his garment to look nice and his shoes to look nice?
He said: “Allah swt is Beautiful and loves beauty. Arrogance is rejecting truth and looking down on people.” Narrated by Muslim, no. 91
What is meant by rejecting truth is denying it out of arrogance and pride.
Looking down on people means scorning them and thinking little of them.
Don’t you see that this is the essence of what you are doing with your wife?
Are you content to have this attitude and hence this fate may be yours?
Do not forget that she is your life partner and the one who is helping you to raise your children and organise your household. So it is not appropriate to close the doors of discussion to her. You should not be too proud of your opinion and or feel that you do not need to discuss with her and hear her opinion. Do not neglect the words of your Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah swt be upon him): “The best of you is the one who is best to his wife.” Narrated by at-Tirmidhi, 3895; classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami‘, 3314. Over and above that, do not forget the words of Allah swt (interpretation of the meaning): “And live with them honourably” [an-Nisa’ 4:19]. Discussion between the spouses increases the love between them and strengthens the bond between them; it also helps to reach the right decision in matters of married life and household and family affairs.
We all have weaknesses and relationships always reveal these faults quicker than anything else on earth. An essential building block of a healthy marriage is the ability to admit that you are not perfect, that you will make mistakes, and that you will need forgiveness. Holding an attitude of superiority over your partner will bring about resentment and will prevent your relationship from moving forward.
It is not the attribute of the wise and mature man to insist when he is in the wrong that his wife should be the one to apologise. Rather he is the one who should hasten to admit his mistake, apologise for it and ask his wife to forgive him. And her duty is to apologize to her husband if she is the one who is in the wrong. It is in this way that married life takes a correct course and lasting love and compassion are strengthened between the spouses. Abu’d-Darda’ (may Allah swt be pleased with him) said to his wife: “If you see me angry, try to calm me down, and if I see you angry I shall try to calm you down, otherwise we cannot live together.”
May Allah swt bless you all and make your married life full of blessings.