Married life is a combined life for a husband and wife through which they share mutual joys, sorrows, emotions, feelings, and companionship. Therefore, married life is a precious blessing for humans from Almighty Allah. In this integrated life, they complement each other and depend on each other. So, based on this dependence, Islam has prescribed several rights for a husband and wife in their married relationship. These rights of a husband and wife in Islam are essentially the duties and responsibilities of one towards the other. Therefore, ensuring these rights is also the exclusive duty of one towards the other. Almighty Allah says:
“They (your wives) are the Libas (clothing) for you and you are the clothing for them.” Al-Baqarah: 187
Rights of a Husband in Islam
Right of Obtaining Obedience
Everything in this world is governed according to proper order. In continuation of that discipline, Allah Almighty has appointed the male as superior to the female. Therefore, the first and foremost right of a husband among the rights of a husband and wife in Islam is to obtain the obedience of his wife. Because Allah SWT places men in charge of women. He is responsible for their maintenance, guidance, sustenance, and general care. They earn livelihood and wealth through labor and spend it to support their wife, children, and family. That’s why the Holy Qur’an states:
“Men have charge of women because Allah has preferred the one above the other and because they spend their wealth on them.” An-Nisaa: 34
“The best wife is one who, when her husband sets his eyes on her, pleases him, obeys whatever he commands, and does not displease her husband with her life and wealth.” (Hadith: As-Silsilatu-as-Sahihah: 1838)
Attentiveness to Sexual Needs
Islam prohibits all forms of immoral, antisocial, and illegal sexual relations and establishes a legal, acceptable, and social relationship between a male and female called marriage. Therefore, marriage is the only valid and acceptable way for adult women and men to fulfill their sexual needs. Among the rights of husband and wife in Islam, it is one of the rights of a husband that his wife will always be diligent, responsive, and attentive to his sexual needs. This is a very important instruction for a wife in Islam. that’s why the Prophet (PBUH) stated:
“If a man calls his wife to bed and she refuses, and then he (the husband) spends the night angry with her, the angels will continue to curse her until the morning.” Muslim: 1436
Right to Permission and Consent
Among the rights of husband and wife in Islam, one of the most important of a husband towards a wife is that the wife will seek permission from him for special needs. Since the husband is responsible to his wife, every wife should not do anything without the permission or consent of the husband. Because in these cases various complications can arise which are sometimes impossible for a wife to solve. Therefore, the husband’s permission or consent is required in Islam for wives in certain cases. For example, without permission: going out of the house, observing additional fast, spending the husband’s money, etc. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
“It is not lawful for a woman to observe a voluntary fast without the permission of her husband, nor is it lawful to allow anyone to enter his house without permission. And if she spends his wealth (on charitable purposes) without being ordered by him, he will get half of the reward.” Bukhari: 5195
Right to Receive Necessary Services
In Islam, women are assigned the responsibility of managing their husband’s families. So, a wife has to handle the necessary work of the family. She has to engage in various family services including preparing food for her husband and children, taking care of them, taking care of their health and body, etc. So, one of the rights of a husband towards a wife is that she will always provide him with the necessary services. Therefore, a wife should try her best to satisfy her husband by providing the necessary services. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:
“None of her prayers is accepted, no good deed is exalted as long as the husband is not satisfied with her (the wife).” [Ibn Hibban]
Right to Security of Honor and Asset
A wife is just like honor and deposit to her husband. It is an honor and asset for a husband that has a great influence and impact on his social status. So, any loss or damage of this wealth makes him socially humiliated and disgraced. Therefore, it is the right of a husband among the rights of a husband and wife in Islam that his wife will never destroy his honor and property either in his presence or absence. Her chastity, honor, and decency and her husband’s assets shall not be revealed or given away to another person in any circumstances. The Holy Qur’an states:
“Therefore, the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands), and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard (their chastity, their husband’s property, etc.).” -An-Nisaa: 34
The Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Shall I not inform you of the best wealth of people? That is, the virtuous wife. When he (the husband) looks at his wife, the wife rejoices with him, giving her any instruction, she obeys it, and when he is absent from her, she protects her integrity and his wealth.” [ Hadith: Abu Dawood]
Rights of a Wife in Islam
Right to Basic Needs
Among the rights of a husband and wife in Islam, this is the first and foremost for wives. Since the husband is the head of the family, a wife will be dependent on her husband for all her wants or needs. Therefore, the husband will provide food, housing, medical expenses, and other basic needs for his wife. This is a clear and obligatory instruction of Islam for a wife towards her husband. Allah Almighty states:
“let them live wherever you live according to your ability. Do not bother to put them in crisis.” At-Talaaq: 6
The Prophet (PBUH) said to the husbands:
“And it is the right to you that you (as much as possible) will arrange for their (for your wives) dress and food.” Tirmidhi: 1163
Right to Receive Good Behavior
In married life, a husband is the center of all hope for a wife. Therefore, a husband’s good behavior is a wife’s right. In Islam, a husband is commanded to behave well toward his wife. Also, they are ordered to pay whatever their wives owe through good behavior. So, the husband should never force or mistreat his wife against her incapacity or will. Allah Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an:
“O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the Mahr you have given them unless they commit open illegal sexual intercourse. And live with them honorably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good.” An-Nisaa: 19
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) states:
“The most perfect believer in the matter of faith is one who has excellent behavior, And the best among you are those who behave best towards their wives.” -[Tirmidhi]
Right of Safety and Security
This is one of the rights of a husband and wife in Islam for wives. A wife’s right to necessary personal, financial, family and social security shall be guaranteed to her by her husband. The husband will be the solution to all her problems and her sole protector. She will experience a carefree life in the company of her husband. A husband will be the sure guarantor of his wife’s children, wealth, prestige, character, and honor.
Right of Husbands’ Companionship
Even though married life means the joint life of husband and wife, there are times when the husband has to stay away from the family for various reasons. Islam is clear in this regard that a husband can never be separated from his wife for a long period of time without the consent of the wife. This is one of the rights of a husband toward his wife. Moreover, the husband will accompany the wife in her various solitude, complications, problems, and adversities.
Islamic legal scholars say that if the husband wants to travel for more than four months, then the husband must take permission from the wife. The tour will valid if it is permitted at will, otherwise not. Umar (RA) introduced the law during his reign that warriors who live outside their homes cannot stay outside for more than four months. [Musannaf Abdur Razzak: Hadith: 12594]
Right to Property and Inheritance
Among the rights of a husband and wife in Islam, this is one of the most important for a wife. Islam instructs a husband to ensure his inheritance for his wife. In Islam, the wife’s share in the husband’s property is fixed. A husband must ensure that he pays his wife’s due share of his property. The wives also have the right to have the Mahr (the fixed amount of dowry during the contract of marriage) from their husbands.
“And give to the women (whom you marry) their Mahr (obligatory bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart.” [al-Nisa 4:4]
“In that which (property) you leave, their (your wives) share is a fourth if you leave no child. But if you have a child, they get an eighth of that which you leave after payment of legacies that you may have bequeathed or debts.” [An-Nisaa: 4:12]
Right to Bear Children
Among the rights of a husband and wife in Islam, it is an important right for wives to be the mothers of their husbands’ children. Although the taste of motherhood is a highly sought-after claim for every married woman yet in many cases, they may be deprived of it. But Islam is very careful and strict about this. In Islam, a husband can’t conceive a child in the womb of someone other than his wife. He cannot even touch any lady who is unlawful to him. In this regard, the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“It is to pierce a man’s head with an iron needle, yet it is not good to touch a woman who is unlawful to him.” [As Silsilatu As-Sahihah]
Right of Demand and Request
Islam has simplified and legalized sexual relations through marriage. Because, illegal and anti-social sex is a huge threat to a healthy, beautiful, and productive society and the environment resulting in great disaster in society. Therefore, a married man will try his best to gain the sincere obedience of his wife. He will respond positively to all the demands and requests of his wife. It is a right of a wife towards her husband. Because after marriage, wives have no alternative but for husbands to ask for their needs. Even before the marriage contract, if the bride has any special requirements, it is prescribed in Islam to fulfill them.
“Of all the conditions which you have to fulfill, the conditions which make it legal for you to have sexual relations (the marriage contract) have the greatest right to be fulfilled.” [Muslim:1418]
Right of Maintenance of Residence
It is one of the rights and duties of wives among the rights of a husband and wife in Islam. Since a husband is obliged to provide for his family, he has to spend most of his time away from home. In contrast, there is no obligation in Islam for a wife to go outside the home to do so. Therefore, all the responsibilities or rights of management of the house are vested in a wife. The wife will handle all the household chores according to her needs and preferences. She will also take care of her children and the asset and wealth of her husband. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
“A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and of his children and is responsible for them.” [Bukhari: 7138]
Ensuring each other the rights of a husband and wife is very important in Islam to make a marital relationship long-lasting, peaceful, and sweet. These very important rights make marriage meaningful, significant, and well-established in Islam. In contrast to all forms of immoral, illegal, and unsocial sex, Islam makes way for legitimate sex through married relationships simple, beautiful, and holy. Therefore, a husband and wife should be most active in securing mutual rights to make their marital relationship productive, long-lasting, peaceful, and secure. Allah SWT states:
“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put affection and mercy between you.” Ar-Room: 21
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