The Method of Living with one’s Husband

Bahishti Zewar, Fiqh, Part 4-Nikah (Marriage) in Islam / Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

It should be understood well that the intimacy and contact between husband and wife is such that they will have to live together for the rest of their lives. If they love each other and are compatible to each other, then there is no greater bounty than this. And if, Allah forbid, there is conflict between the two, then there is no greater calamity than this. Therefore, as far as is possible, live with his heart in your hands and carry out your duties through the mere indication of his eyes. If he orders you to tie your hands and remain standing the entire night, then the prosperity of this world and the hereafter is in this that you bear this minor difficulty of this world and thereby attain the prosperity and success of the hereafter. Never do anything that is contrary to his mood. If he regards the day as night, you should also do the same.

Due to a lack of understanding and not thinking about the consequences, some wives utter things which cause doubts and distractions to enter the heart of the husband. At times they blurt out things on the wrong occasions, while on other occasions they blurt out taunts and insults. Out of anger they utter hostile statements which he abhors. When his attention turns away from her because of all this, she goes about crying and weeping. You should understand this well that once doubts and misgivings enter the heart of the husband and you reconcile after a few days, even then the love and mutual understanding that had prevailed prior to your argument will no longer be the same. Irrespective of how many excuses and pardons you may put forward, the love and clean-heartedness that had prevailed will no longer be found. Later, when any incident takes place, the mind will always go back to that argument and the husband will always think that this is the same woman who had said such-and-such thing on that day. Therefore, you should always think and ponder before saying anything or doing anything when dealing with your husband. In doing this, you will not only gain the pleasure of Allah and His Rasûl sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, but you yourself will be happy in this world and in the hereafter.

It is not necessary to teach an intelligent wife anything. She is able to differentiate between good and evil on her own. Despite this, we will enumerate a few basic and necessary matters. Once you understand them, you will be able to understand other issues as well.

1. Do not ask for an allowance that is beyond the financial position of your husband. Whatever you receive, appreciate it and consider this house as your own home and continue with life even if it is on simple food.

2. If at any time you happen to fancy some jewellery or clothing, and your husband does not have any money on him, do not ask him nor be grieved for not being able to obtain it. In fact, you should not even mention it. You should think for yourself that if you ask for it, he will think that you have no concern for him in the sense that you are asking him at such a time when he is unable to afford to buy you such an item. In fact, even if your husband is rich, then as far as possible you should not ask him to buy anything for you. However, if he himself offers to buy you something or asks you if you want anything, then there will be no harm in asking him. It should be remembered that by asking, one’s status is lowered in the eyes of people and one is also disgraced.

3. Do not be persistent and stubborn in a particular matter. Even if it is against you or contrary to you, let it go this time and at some later stage you could reconcile him to your view in an appropriate manner.

4. If you experience any difficulties at your husband’s home, never mention it. Always display happiness so that he does not experience any sorrow or grief and in so doing, his attention will always be directed towards you.

5. Whenever he brings anything for you, always express your pleasure at receiving it irrespective of whether it is to your fancy or not. Don’t say that this is not good and that you do not like it. If you do this, he will feel grieved and will not like to bring anything for you in future. If you praise him and accept it happily, he will become more generous and present you with more gifts in future.

6. Don’t come angrily and show ingratitude to the husband. Nor should you say that you have not really experienced any joy in this dead and lifeless house and that you have spent your entire life in difficulties and problems. Nor should you say that your parents have destroyed your future by immersing you in such problems and throwing you into such a fire. By uttering such words, one’s heart becomes filled with hatred.

7. It is mentioned in a Hadîth that Rasûlullâh sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “I saw numerous women in hell.” Someone asked him: “O Rasûlullâh! Why will many women go into hell?” He replied: “They curse others a lot and they always show ingratitude to their husbands.”

Ponder over this and think how serious it is to be ungrateful. To curse someone, to say: “May Allah’s wrath descend on so-and-so person”, “May Allah curse that person”, “A certain person’s face is accursed”, “A certain person’s face is full of curses”, etc. – are all extremely evil words.

8. If the husband is angry over a particular matter, do not say something that will increase his anger. Whenever you wish to speak, check his mood first. If you find that he is in a jovial mood, laugh and joke with him. But if he is not in such a mood, do not engage in such conversation. Speak to him according to his mood.

9. If he is angry with you over something and abstains from talking with you, do not turn away and abstain from talking with him. Instead, smile at him, ask him for his pardon and forgiveness, touch him, shake his hands – in short, do whatever you can to win him over. Even if it is his fault and not yours, you should not turn away from him. Shake his hands and regard asking him for his pardon to be a source of pride and honour.

10. Remember, that the peace and harmony between husband and wife is not based on mere empty love. Apart from love, it is also necessary to respect the husband. It is a major error to consider your husband equal to you. Don’t ever ask your husband to do anything for you. If he comes to massage your hands or head out of love, do not let him do it.

Think for a moment that if your father comes and does this to you will you allow it? So how can you let your husband do this when his status is higher than your father’s. In your actions, your conversations, and in every aspect of your relationship with him always be mindful of your manners and etiquette. If it is your fault and despite this you turn away angrily from him and refuse to speak to him, then this is a sign of great stupidity and immaturity. Actions of this sort cause one to become heart-broken.

11. When he returns from abroad or a distant journey, ask him about his state, his health, whether he encountered any difficulties or not. Massage his hands and feet, perhaps he is tired, perhaps he is hungry, make the arrangements of preparing a meal for him. If it is hot, put on the fan and cool him down. In short, do everything that will give him peace and comfort. Don’t ever start talking about money and how much he brought for you or what he brought for you, or where his wallet is, etc. Whatever money he gives you, accept it. Do not tell him that he earns so much and that he has given you so little money or that he spent a lot of his money. Nor should you ask him as to what he did with all his money and where he spent it. If you coincidentally happen to ask him such questions when he is in a good mood, there will be no harm in this.

12. If your husband’s parents are alive and he gives all his money to them and does not give anything to you, do not feel hurt about this. In fact, if he gives you any money, intelligence demands that you do not accept it. Instead, tell him to give it to his parents so that they do not have any evil thoughts about you and do not say that you have taken their son under your control.

13. As long as your in-laws are alive, regard serving them and obeying them to be your duty and honour. Don’t think about living separately from your mother-in-law and sister-in-law because this is the root of all problems between yourself and your mother-in-law and sister-in-law. You should think for yourself that his parents brought him up and in this old age of their’s they got him married so that they may receive some rest and comfort. On the contrary, the moment the daughter-in-law came into the house she is already thinking of asking her husband to leave his mother and father immediately. Once his mother learns that the daughter-in-law is instigating her son to leave the house, numerous problems and squabbles ensue.

14. Live in the household in an amicable manner. From the very beginning you must be mindful of your manners and character. Be kind to the young and respect the elderly.

15. Do not leave your work to be carried out by others. Do not leave your things lying around thinking that others will pick them up for you.

16. Do not think it below your dignity to do the work that your mother-in-law or sister-in-law is engaged in. You should take up that work without them having to tell you. If you do this, love for you will be created in their hearts.

17. When two persons are engaged in a secret conversation, separate yourself from there and do not lend an ear to what they are saying. In addition to this, do not unnecessarily think that they are speaking about you.

18. You should also bear this in mind that you should never live dejectedly or in an oblivious manner in your in-laws’ house. Although you may not feel at ease on account of it being a new house to you or the people being new to you, you should try and make yourself understand and get used to the place instead of sitting down and crying – you have just come to a new place and you are already speaking of going!

19. You should always be careful when engaging in any conversation. Do not speak too much that those around you begin to dislike it. Nor should you speak so little that you do not even speak further than welcoming someone. This is also not good and regarded as a sign of pride.

20. If you see or experience anything at your in-laws’ house which you dislike, do not go and mention it at your parent’s house. It is an extremely evil habit to go and mention everything that takes place at your in-laws’ house to your mother. It is also extremely detestable for mothers to “dig out” every little thing from their daughters. It is mainly due to these evil habits that quarrels, squabbles and bickering start between the two families. Apart from this, there is no other benefit in it.

21. Keep and set all the items that belong to your husband in a neat and orderly manner. Keep the room clean and do not let it get dirty. The bed should not be dirty and untidy. Remove all creases and wrinkles from it. If the pillow is dirty, change its cover. If there isn’t a cover, sew one. If you do all these things after he tells you, what good is there in that? Elegance and beauty demands that you should put everything in order without his having to tell you to do so.

22. Whatever is kept with you, keep it safely. If they are clothes, fold them neatly; do not dump them nor throw them around. Instead, keep them in a suitable place according to your convenience. Do not take any “short-cuts” in doing your work nor give it to others to carry it out for you.

23. Never concoct any lies. In doing so, you will lose your respect and esteem. As a result of this, whatever truth you may speak will not be believed or relied upon.

24. If your husband scolds or rebukes you out of anger, control yourself and do not answer him. No matter what he says, remain silent. Once his anger subsides, he himself will regret his actions and will become extremely pleased with you. ’Inshâ’ Allah, he will not get angry with you again. However, if you do not keep quiet and display any defiance, then the entire incident will have disastrous consequences.

25. Do not accuse your husband on minor doubts or false allegations by saying that he jokes and laughs with a particular woman a lot, that he frequents a particular place and you don’t know what he is up to over there. If the husband is innocent, think for yourself how upset he will be on hearing these accusations. And if what you are accusing him of is true, by your becoming angry, complaining or forcing him (to admit) is only going to harm you. If you want to distant his heart away from you, you can do so to your detriment. By your saying all these things, do you really think that he will give up his evil habits? If you want him to give up these illicit relationships, do it with tact and wisdom. Speak to him in privacy, make him understand, and explain to him the evils of such relationships. If he does not give up these relationships despite you explaining to him, despite you making him ashamed of himself in privacy; then exercise patience. Do not go about mentioning this to people and thereby causing him to be disgraced. Nor should you announce this everywhere, nor try to overpower him. In doing this, he will become more stubborn, more persistent, and become more involved in such relationships. If you become angry, begin mentioning it to people and try to disgrace him, the level of relationship that prevailed will drop even further. He might even stop speaking with you. You will end up in a sorrowful state.

Remember this very well, that Allah Ta‘âlâ has endowed men with valour and bravery. They cannot be overpowered by forcing them to do something or trying to subdue them. The best way of overpowering them is to flatter them and obey them. Becoming angry at them and trying to influence them is a big mistake and a sign of immaturity. Although you may not understand the evil consequences of this now, once there is an outbreak of dissension and quarrelling, the evil consequences of this will definitely appear at some time or the other.

In Lucknow, there is a woman whose husband is extremely immoral. He spends all his time in the company of a prostitute and never ever goes home to his wife. The audacity of this prostitute is that she used to send orders to his wife, that she must cook so-and-so meal today and send it for her. This poor wife does not take any offence to this. She cooks whatever the prostitute orders and sends it out to her, she never ever complains or thinks twice about sending this food. Now, you see for yourself, how all the people around her must be praising her, let alone the reward that she will receive from Allah Ta’âlâ. The day Allah Ta’âlâ guides this husband of hers and he gives up this illicit relationship, he will definitely return to his wife and become her slave.

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