In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, Prophet Muhammad, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
Dear brothers and sisters, in Islam, Allah Almighty instructs men to be nice to their wives and to treat them well to the best of their ability. He, the Most High, said:
“…And live with them in kindness…” [Qur’an, 4:19]
The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
“The most perfect of believers in belief is the best of them in character. The best of you are those who are the best to their women.” [Al-Tirmidhi]
The Prophet of Mercy tells us that a husband’s treatment of his wife reflects a Muslim’s good character, which in turn is a reflection of the man’s faith. How can a Muslim husband be good to his wife? He should smile, not hurt her emotionally, remove anything that will harm her, treat her gently, and be patient with her.
Being nice includes good communication. A husband should be willing to open up, and be willing to listen to his wife. Many times a husband wants to air his frustrations (like work). He should not forget to ask her about what annoys her (like when children would not do their homework). A husband should not talk about important things with her when he or his wife is angry, tired, or hungry. Communication, compromise, and consideration are the cornerstone of marriage.
Being nice includes encouraging one’s wife. The most meaningful admiration comes from a sincere heart that notices what really matters — what the wife really values. So a husband should ask himself what she feels most insecure about and discover what she values. That is the wife’s sweet spot of praise. The more the husband compliments it, the more the wife will admire it, the more on target this healthy habit will be. Kind words are like, “I like the way you think,” “You look beautiful in those clothes,” and “I love hearing your voice on the phone.”
Human beings are imperfect. The Messenger of Allah said:
“A believing man should not hate a believing woman. If he dislikes something in her character, he should be pleased with some other trait of hers.” [Collected by Muslim]
A man should not hate his wife because if he dislikes something in her, he will find something he likes about her if he gives it a chance. One way to be aware of what he likes in his wife is for the husband to make a list of a half dozen things he appreciates about her. Marriage experts recommend that one be as specific as possible and focus on character traits — just as the Prophet of Islam recommended, not just what she does for the husband. For example, a husband may appreciate the way she arranges his clean laundry, but the underlying character trait may be that she is thoughtful. The husband should consider admirable traits such as being compassionate, generous, kind, devout, creative, elegant, honest, affectionate, energetic, gentle, optimistic, committed, faithful, confident, cheerful, and so on. A husband should give himself some time to construct this list, and review it in times of conflict when he is most likely to feel averse towards his wife. It will help him be more aware of his wife’s good attributes and far more likely to compliment them.
A companion asked the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him) what is the right of a wife over her husband? He said:
“That you feed her when you eat and clothe her when you clothe yourself and do not strike her face. Do not malign her and do not keep apart from her, except in the house.” [Collected by Abu Dawud]
Conflict in marriage is virtually inevitable and it leads to lot of anger. Although anger is one of the most difficult emotions to manage, the first step toward controlling it can be learning how to forgive those who hurt us. In case of conflict, a husband should not stop talking to his wife and emotionally hurt her, but he may stop sleeping in the same bed if it will improve the situation. Under no circumstance, even when he is angry or somehow feels justified, is a husband allowed to malign her by using hurtful words or cause her any injury.
Allah Almighty said:
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy.” [Surah Rum: 21]
Allah, the Most High, said:
“…and live with them in kindness.” [Surah Nisa: 19]
From Abu Hurairah (RA) that Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
“From the Dinar (money) that you spent in the path of Allah, the Dinar (money) that you spent in freeing a slave, the Dinar (money) that you gave in charity to a needy person, and the Dinar (money) you spent on your family, the one that is the greatest in reward is the one that you spent on your family.” [Collected by Muslim]
From Abu Hurairah (RA) that Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“The most complete of the Believers in their Iman (faith) are those who have the best manners, and the best of you are those who are best to their women.” [Silsilah Sahihah, no. 284]
From Amr Bin al-Ahwas from the Prophet (Peace be upon him) who said:
“Indeed you have rights upon your women and they have rights upon you.” [At-Tirmidhi]
From Abu Hurairah (RA) who said that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
“A believing man should not hate a believing woman, if he dislikes a mannerism of hers, he will be pleased with another mannerism.” [Collected by Muslim]
From Abdullah Bin Zam’ah (RA) that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“None of you should beat your wife like the beating of a slave, and then perhaps at night he has intercourse with her.” [Collected by Bukhari and Muslim]
From Sa’ad Bin Abi Waqqas (RA) that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Indeed you do not spend some wealth desiring the Face of Allah except that you are rewarded for it, even for the food you place in your wife’s mouth.” [Collected by Bukhari and Muslim]
Aisha (RA) said:
“The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) never ever hit a servant, or a woman.” [Collected by Muslim]
Ibn Abbas (RA) said:
“Indeed I love to beautify myself for my wife just like I love that she beautifies herself for me.” [Collected by Al-Baihaqi]
From Abdullah Bin Amr (RA), the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
“It is sufficient as a sin upon a man that he does not take responsibility over those he is responsible for.” [Collected by Ahmad, Nisa’i and Hakim]
From Ibn Umar (RA), the Messenger of Allah said:
“Indeed the greatest of sins to Allah are that a man marries a woman and when he has satisfied his need from her, he divorces her and goes off with her dowry. And that a man employs another man and goes off with his salary and that a person kills his riding animal frivolously.” [Collected by Hakim and Al-Baihaqi]
From Mu’awiyah Bin Haidah (RA) who said:
“I asked the Messenger of Allah what is the right that the wife has upon one of us? The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: “That you feed her when you eat, and clothe her when you clothe yourself, and do not hit her on her face and do not say may Allah deface you, and do not keep away from her except in the home.” [Collected by Ahmad and Ibn Hibban]
In another wording from Bahz Hakim from his father, with the wording: He said:
“I had said: O Prophet of Allah, regarding our wives, what should we do and what should we be cautioned from?” The Messenger said: “She is your tilth, come to your tilth as you please, except that you do not strike her face, nor say may Allah make you ugly, nor keep away from her except in the house, and feed her when you eat, and clothe her when you clothe yourself, and how can you not since you have gone in unto each other, except with what she has been made permissible for you.” [Collected by Ahmad and Abu Dawud]
From Al-Miqdam Bin Ma’di Karib Al-Kindi that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) stood amongst the people and praised Allah and exalted Him and said:
“Indeed Allah advises you in the strongest possible terms to be good to women, indeed Allah advises you in the strongest possible terms to be good to women, advises you in the strongest possible terms with regards to women, indeed they are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your paternal aunts (father’s sisters) and your maternal aunts (mother’s sisters). Indeed a man from the people of the two books (Jews and Christians) marries a woman and does not hit her, each one of them continues to desire his companion until he dies in old age.”
Abu Salmah said I narrated this Hadith to Al-Ala Bin Sufyan Al-Ghassani who said:
“Indeed it has reached me that from the evil hidden sins which Allah has made Haram (prohibited), which are not clearly mentioned in the Qur’an, are that a man marries a woman and when his companion becomes old and she has stayed with him for a long time, and has produced all that her womb can, then he divorces her without any reason to do so.” [Collected by Ibn Asakir, in Tarikh Dimashq from Yahya Bin Jabir]
Shaykh Abdur-Rahman Bin Nasir As-Sa’adi said:
“Allah Almighty said regarding dealings: “And do not forget liberality between yourselves.” [Surah Baqarah: 227] Which means, make a place for excellence and Ihsan in your dealings. Do not take all your rights, rather make things easy and do not make them difficult, and be pardoning in buying and selling, in settling a debt and times of need. And whoever necessitates upon himself this goodness achieves a lot of good and great good.”
And Allah Knows best.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah alone. And all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: email@example.com or +2348038289761.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Rabi’ul Awwal 27, 1442 AH (November 13, 2020).