The Rights of the Wife In Islam- Part 2

Some of the rights a wife has over her husband were discussed in part 1 of this series published recently. In that article issues such as The Mahr (some sort of dowry entitlement to the wife), Sustenance(the right for the wife to be provided with her essential needs by the husband including food, clothing, shelter and other important necessities), Compassion and proper care (the wife’s right to be treated with utmost kindness and proper treatment), sexual intimacy (the wife’s right to sexual satisfaction from the husband) and the prohibition of beaten (the wife has the right not to beaten in such a way that will cause any physical injury) were discussed.

In this article, we will elaborate briefly on the remaining rights of the woman namely:

#1.Confidentiality

#2.Justice in polygamous marriages

#3.To be educated about Islam

#4.Safeguarding of her integrity

#1.Confidentiality

Islam recognizes sexual intimacy between a man and his wife to be sacred and a form of worship of Allah. Islam therefore forbids having conversations with others regarding the sexual intimacy between a husband and wife. Even if it were one’s close relatives, friends and acquaintances, the sexual secrets of a marriage cannot be shared with them.

According to a Hadith of the Great Messenger of Allah ﷺ “Is there any man among you who goes to his wife, closes the door behind them, covers themselves and conceal themselves by Allah’s concealing?” They said: “Yes.” He then said: “Then he sits after that [with others] and says, ‘I did this and that.'” They were silent. He then turned to the women and said: “Do any of you talk about such things?” They, too, were silent. Then a young girl stood up on her toes so the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) could see her and hear her and she said: “O Messenger of Allah ﷺ they [the men] certainly talk about that and they [the women] also talk about it.” He ﷺ said: “Do you know what they are like? They are like a female devil who met a male devil in the street and they satisfied their desires with the people looking on.” [Abu Daud – Sahih]

#2.Justice in a polygamous marriage

In a case where a husband has multiple wives, the same essentials such as shelter, food, clothing and the number of nights spent with each wife must be shared equally. However, according to the Islamic perspective, justice amongst wives must be done in the physical things (like shelter, financial support, food, educating one in Islam and nights spent) but when it comes to the matters of the heart such as feelings towards each of the wives may differ as a husband has no such control to be able to equally apportion this. However, where it is agreed that feelings towards the wives will differ, the compassion and proper care should be given to each of them equally.

Injustice among wives in the physical things and the lack of fairness in being compassionate to the wives is prohibited in Islam. The Prophet ﷺ discussed this in a Hadith in which he said: “Whoever has two wives and favors one of them will be resurrected on Qiyama (day of judgment) with one of his sides hanging down”. (Abu Daud-Sahih)

#3.To be educated in Islam

The Great Messenger of Allah ﷺ said “All of you are shepherds and all of you will be asked about your wards. The ruler is a shepherd and shall be asked about his wards. The man is a shepherd of his family and will be asked about his ward.” (Bukhari)

The concept of education in Islam is two folded- one entails the obligations of each Muslim to learn the teachings of Islam in relation to their faith, prayers, purification and treatment of parents, marital partner(in this case the Husband), children(both biological and/or adopted) and neighbors. In the other hand the wife is entitled to be educated on her rights over her husband, children (if hers or adopted) and the obligation of neighbors towards her.

#4.Safeguarding of her integrity

A husband should guard his wife with “wariness” and not accept backbiting and negative remarks towards her. The husband should also protect his wife from the menacing looks and gestures of other men. As mention in a Hadith, the Prophet ﷺ said the Ad-Dayyuth, the weak husband who has no jealousy toward his wife or female relatives will not enter Paradise. However extremism is not encouraged in Islam.  Being overly suspicious for every interaction your wife has with others is totally unacceptable in the Islamic sense.

We hope lessons from the two articles on this important subject will help us as we get into married life and prepare to raise families on the right path following on the Sunnah/ways of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, may Allaah’s Peace and Mercy be upon Him and His family until the day of resurrection and beyond.

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