Rights of the Husband - I

Rights of the Husband - I

Allah The Almighty enjoined obligations and duties, clarified rights and responsibilities, and then ordered the believing men and women to carry them out and made them a Sharee‘ah (Law) for all His slaves. There will be no happiness for a believer except by carrying out and fulfilling these obligations and duties properly, so that he would be entitled to gain the pleasure of Allah The Almighty. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Indeed, We offered the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it and feared it; but man [undertook to] bear it. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant. [It was] so that Allah may punish the hypocrite men and women and the men and women who associate others with Him and that Allah may accept repentance from the believing men and believing women. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.} [Quran 33:72-73] The believer shouldered the trust which Allah The Almighty will account him for on the Day of Resurrection.

Among the rights and duties that Allah The Almighty enjoined upon the believing men and women are the rights of husbands and wives. Allah The Almighty made these rights a trust tied to the neck of every man and woman, and He assigned them responsibility. Allah The Almighty enjoined these rights in the Quran and through the words of His chosen and trustworthy Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). Allah The Almighty ordered people to fulfill these rights from above the seven heavens; His Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) ordered them, as well as the scholars, the righteous and the pious who ordered these every time and place, as they knew that the happiness of the marital home would be contingent on fulfilling these rights and duties.

If one looks at the Muslim home where the spouses fulfill the rights of one another, fear Allah The Almighty regarding one another and observe their duties, rights and trusts, he will surely find happiness, tranquility, affection and mercy dominating it about which Allah The Almighty spoke in the Quran. Allah The Almighty conferred happiness on the homes that are founded on observing rights and fulfilling the trust. He also conferred it on every spouse who fears Allah The Almighty and remains watchful of Him regarding what He made obligatory on them. This is not strange because obedience to Allah The Almighty brings about every goodness and blessings, and commands every mercy and favor. Thus, Allah The Almighty promised every believing man and woman, who fulfilled His rights, to grant them happiness and a blessed life. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer - We will surely cause him to live a good life.} [Quran 16:97] Allah The Almighty tells us here that He decrees a good life for the person who observes his religious duties, which includes fulfilling trusts and responsibilities.

When either or both spouses neglect marital rights, being unaware or negligent of them, life becomes miserable, embittered and unbearable. In this case, the husband would enter his house with a broken heart - neither hearing nor seeing what pleases him or comforts his eyes. Also, the wife would live a miserable life with her rights and property lost. This is a depressed life which is full of suffering that Allah The Almighty promises those who deviate from His path and swerve from the guidance of the Quran.

Fulfilling the rights of the spouses is a great trust and a huge responsibility. The Muslim Ummah (Nation) maintained these trusts when fathers and mothers were doing their duties towards their children, by informing them of their rights and duties. Thus, the couples entered their new marital home with the desire to fulfill these rights and duties properly and warned against neglecting them. When spouses and parents took care of the process of instruction and guidance, Muslim homes were stable. In recent generations, however, when ignorance has prevailed among many Muslims - except for few whom Allah The Almighty has saved - people have neglected the rights of spouses and marital life runs according to their whims and desires. Accordingly, problems have increased; spouses became disunited; calamities, and disputes appeared and aggravated; and it is the children that reaped the evil consequences. For this reason, it is very important to explain the rights of the spouses and what each of them should do for the other.

There are two major matters that help in fulfilling and observing spousal rights correctly:

First: Fearing Allah The Almighty which is no longer present in the hearts of the spouses. The pious man and the pious woman fulfill these rights in the most perfect manner. A man asked Al-Hasan Al-Basri  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  himO Imaam, I have a daughter. To whom should I give her in marriage?” He  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “Give her in marriage to a pious man. If he is to keep her, he will treat her kindly; if he is to divorce her, he will not oppress her.

Thus, if the spouses fear Allah The Almighty in their hearts, stand in awe of Him and remain watchful of Him, their rights are most likely to be fulfilled properly. This is known as religious instinct and it is Allah The Almighty Who casts the light of piety into the hearts and reforms them through it from the evildoings people might intend to commit. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Indeed, there is a piece of flesh in the body which, if it is sound, the whole body is sound, and if it is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt. Indeed that is the heart.”

Second: The environment and one's companions. The environment greatly influences the process of fulfilling man's rights. Look at every husband who was brought up in a righteous environment where he grew up following the Quran, the Sunnah and the guidance of the righteous predecessors  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  them. You will find him observing the rights of his wife and carrying out the duties that Allah The Almighty obligated him to do in his house. Also, when the righteous woman grows up in a righteous environment, it helps her fulfill the rights of her husband.

These two matters are very important in reforming and correcting the Muslim homes and fulfilling the rights of the spouses. In this article, we will talk about the right of the husband over his wife, if Allah wills. This right is divided into two parts: intangible and tangible rights.

To be continued

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