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“And Allah has made for you from your homes a place of rest”
an-Nahl (24): 80]
Allah mentions His complete favor upon His slaves from what He has created for them in regards to their houses being places of tranquility. They are places of refuge, screening and of benefit from all aspects.
A house for us is a place of eating, marriage, sleeping and rest. A place of privacy, meeting one's wife and children, a place to safeguard oneself. It is a place of security from evil and protection from the people.
Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Safety for a man in times of tribulations is to stay in his home.” Hasan - Related by Tabaree in al-Aswat from Thawbaan (radhi allahu anhu) and it is also in Saheeh ul-Jaami (3824)
Most importantly, a home is an important means towards building the Muslim community. The society is made up from home and it is the origin. The home is life and the life is society. If the home is strong then the community will be strong in implementing the laws of Allah, resisting the aims of the enemies of Allah, to spread good and to stop evil from penetrating.
What is required is callers who are guides, students of knowledge, sincere mujaahideen, a righteous wife, mothers who can educate etc. to be born out of our Muslim homes and then go into the society in order to reform it.
Hence, if this subject is so important and our homes have evil and large deficiencies, negligence and carelessness thus comes the question: 'What are the ways in which we can reform our HOMES?'
So, O noble reader! Here, we try to address the advice on establishing an Islamic HOME, hoping that Allah benefit us with it and vive us direction to strengthen Islam by reviving the Muslim HOME. The advice takes two forms: 1) To achieve reform by enjoining the good and 2) to block the corruption by removing the evil.
Choosing the Right Partner
Righteous husband and wife share the primary and most important step towards building a Righteous Islamic HOME. The righteous man with the righteous woman can both build a righteous HOME because the good abode will bear its fruits with the permission of Allah. That which is bad will produce nothing except misery. Allah, says in the Qur'aan:
“And marry the unmarried among you who are single (i.e. man who has no wife and a woman who has no husband) and (also marry) the 'Salihun' (pious, fit, capable ones) of your (male) slaves and maid-servants (female slaves). If they are poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty.” [Soorah An-Nahl (24): 32]
For the Man
It is very important to be very careful in choosing a righteous wife as Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “The whole world is a place of enjoyment and the best enjoyment is a righteous wife.” Muslim no. 1468 and An-Nisaee from Ibn Amr and Saheeh al-Jaame (3407)
“A righteous wife who will help you in religious and worldly affairs is better than all the treasures the people have collected.” Ahamd 5/282 at-Tirmidhee and Ibn Majah from Thawbaan. Saheeh ul-Jaami 5355
Just as the righteous wife is from the good things, bad woman is one of the difficult things, as is stated in the authentic hadeeth:
“From the joys of a righteous woman is when you look at her she pleases you, when you are away from her, she safeguards herself and your wealth. From the difficulties of a bad woman is when you look at her she displeases you and she answers you back, when you are away from her she does not safeguard herself and you wealth.” Ibn Majah 1861 and others. See Silsilah as-Saheehah 282
One should bear in minds the following condition specified by the Prophet of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) in choosing a wife:
“A woman is married for four reasons; her wealth, her family, her beauty and her faith. So, marry the one who is religious and you will prosper.” Saheeh al-Bukharee vol.9 no. 132.
He (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) also said: “Marry women who are loving and prolific in giving birth, as I shall outnumber the other Prophet's (nation) through you.” Ahmad 5/245. Al-Albaane said it is authentic in Irwaa al-Ghaleel 6/195
For the Woman
Likewise, a woman must look at the condition of the proposer who comes for her. His suitability should be according to the following conditions:
The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “If somebody comes to you and you are pleased with his character and religion then marry him. If you do not, there will be discord on earth and widespread corruption.” Ibn Majah 1967. See Slsilah as-Saheehah
This great Hadeeth demonstrate as to what should be the most important character a woman should look for when selecting a husband: they being good character and piety. Wealth and lineage are secondary considerations.
Furthermore, the person of religion and good behavior may be a blessing for her and her children. She may learn manners and religion from him. If he does not have these characters then she should stay away from him, especially if he is one of those who is lax with respect to performing the prayers.
Obligation of Living with one's wife in Kindness
It is binding upon the husband to live with his wife in the best way possible and to be lenient to her in everything that Allah has permitted. There are various ahadeeth concerning this issue:
1) Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “The best of you is the one who is best to his wives, and I am the best of you towards them” [Authentic At-Tahawee]
2) The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said in the farewell Hajj: “Listen and take my counsel with regards to women. Be good to them for they are captives with you. You possess nothing to them other than this, unless they commit some flagrant (deliberate) obscenity. If they do then separate the beds (do not have sexual relations with them) and beat them but in a way that does no injury. If they return to obedience, then seek no further retribution. You have rights over your wives and your wives have rights over you. As for your rights over your wives, they are that no one disliked by you should sit on your bed, and they admit no one into your home who you dislike. Yes, and their rights over you is that you are very good to them in providing them dress and their food.” [Authentic at-Tirmidhee and Ibn Majah]
3) He (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Let no male believer ever hate a female believer. Though he may dislike one of her attribute, he will be pleased with another” [Saheeh Muslim]
4) He (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “The believer with most complete faith is the one with the best character and the best of those are those who treat their wives in the best.” [Hasan - Tirmidhee]
Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), one with best of morals and character, not only advised the Muslim husbands to be good to their wives but he had indeed established an excellent behavior with his wives as clear by the following narration:
1) On the authority of Aa'ishah (radhi allahu anhu) who said: 'On the Eid, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) called me while the Ethiopians were playing with their spears in the masjid saying: “O little red one! Would you like to watch them?” I replied 'Yes.' Then, he had me stand behind him and dropped his shoulders, so that I could see. I rested my chin on his shoulders with my face against his cheek, and I watched over his shoulders. He kept saying: “Haven't you had enough?” I kept saying: 'No in order to test my status with him, until finally I had enough…' [Saheeh al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim and others]
2) On the authority of Aa'ishah (radiyallahu anha), who said: 'The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) returned from the battle of Tabook or it was Khaybar. There was a curtain over my room. The wind blew, lifting the curtain and exposing a part of my room in which, Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) saw some dolls with which Aa'ishah (radhi allahu anhu) used to play. He said: “What is this O Aa'ishah?” She replied 'my daughters (Arabs used to call dolls, daughters). He saw among them a horse with two wings made out of a piece of cloth. He said: “What is this?” She replied: 'A horse' He said: “and what are those on the horses?” She replied: 'Two wings' He said: “A horse with two wings?!” Aa'ishah said: 'The Prophet laughed until I could see his molar teeth.' [Authentic - Abo Dawood An Nisa'ee in Al-Ishrah]
3) Also on the authority of Aa'ishah (radhi allahu anhu) who reported that she was once on a trip with the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) while still a young girl. She said: ‘I had not acquired excess body flesh, nor had my body become large. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said to his Companions: Move on ahead. When they had gone on ahead of us, he said: Come, and I will race you. Then I beat him in a foot race.’
‘Later on, I was on another trip with him, and he again said to his Companions: ‘Go on ahead.’ Then, he said to me:’ I will race you.’ I had completely forgotten the previous incident. Moreover, I had become heavier. She asked: How can I race you, when I am in this condition? He replied: You will race me! So, I raced him, and he won the race. Then he began laughing and said: This is for that victory.' [Authentic - Al-Humaydee, an-Nisa'ee in al-Ishrah and Aboo Dawood]
8) Also on the authority of 'Aa'ishah, (radhi allahu anhu) who said: the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) used to be brought a glass of milk from which I would drink first, even though I was menstruating. Then he would take the glass and drink, putting his mouth on the same spot, where my mouth had been. At other times, I used to take a piece of meat and eat from it. Then he would take it and eat, putting his mouth on the same area on which I had put mine. [Saheeh Muslim and Ahmad]
On the authority of Jaabir bin Abdullah (radhi allahu anhu) and Jaabir bin Umar, both reported that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said:
“All things in which there is no mention of Allah are frivolity, absent-mindness and idle play except for four things: a man being playful with his wife, training his horse, walking between two purposeful goals and teaching another man to swim.” [An-Nisa'ee in al-Ishrah and at-Tabaree]
Obligation on Woman to Obey Her Husband
It is important for the woman to be obedient to her husband within the range of her capacity, because Allah has favored men over women, as shown in the previously mentioned verses, that they have a degree over them. Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) shed light on this important issue saying:
“By the One in whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), no women has fulfilled her obligations to her Lord, until she has fulfilled her obligations to her husband, even if he were to ask her when she is mounted on the saddle, she should not refuse his request” [Authentic Ibn Majah and Ahmad]
He (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) further elaborated this issue making clear to us the duties of a righteous wife towards her husband and the rewards of her obedience to him:
1) “If a woman prays the five prayer, guards her private parts (from anything illegal), and obeys her husband, she will enter Paradise from any door she wishes.” [Authentic - at-Tabaree in al-Aswat and ibn Hibban]
2) On the authority of Hussian bin Muhsan (radhi allahu anhu) who said: 'My aunt narrated (a hadeeth) to me, saying: 'I came to the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) for some need of mine. He (radhi allahu anhu) said: “How are you towards your husband?” She said: 'I do not fall short in anything except which I am unable to do. Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Well look to your position in relation to him, for it is the key to Paradise and Hell.”' [Authentic - at-Tabaree in al-Aswat and ibn Hibban]
3) The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “It is not allowed for a woman to fast in the presence of her husband except with his permission, except in Ramadaan, and she may admit no-one in his house except with his permission” [Saheeh al-Bukhari and others]
4) The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whenever a man calls his wife to their bed, but she refuses to come, letting him spend the night angry with her, she is cursed by Angels until the morning.”
In another narration: “Until she goes to him until he forgives her” [Saheeh al-Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim]
Words of Advice to Husband and Wife
1. To be compliant, co-operative and conciliatory towards one another, to advise each other and urge each other towards obedience to Allah, the Most High and the Most Blessed, following all of His Rulings, which have been clearly established in the Qur'aan and the Sunnah. These must never be superseded by blind following of any custom or school of thought, which has predominated among the people. Allah, the Most High says:
“It is not fitting for a believing, man and woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger, to have an opinion about their decision; if anyone disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong path.” [Soorah al-Ahzab: 36]
2.Each of them should fully carry out the duties and responsibilities with which Allah has obliged on them towards one another. The Qur'aan deals with the role of men and women in the following verses:
“Men are protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore, the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands) and guard in their husbands absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. chastity, their husbands property, etc.) As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next) refuse to share their beds, and at last beat them (lightly, if it is useful) but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance). Surely, Allah is Ever Most High, Most Great.” [Soorah An-Nisa (4): 34]
The Divine injunction describes man as Qawwam (maintainer) and the women as Qanitah (obedient) Hafizatun lil Ghaib (preserver of the secret). This verse give two reasons as to why men are described as maintainer. Firstly, because
‘Allah has made one of them to excel the other’ which means that He has excelled men to be physically stronger and more inclined to have a career outside the home.
The second reason is that “they spend from their means” it is the man's duty to provide financially for his family and it is also the man who is required to give a dower to his wife at the time of marriage.
The husbands, thus have been put in charge of his home, but this is a responsibility and not a privilege. His duty is to do justice, to consult the duties of the family and to refrain from tyranny.
The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Those who do justice will be on thrones of light at Allah's right Hand, and both of Allah's Hands are right Hands; those who were just in their ruling with their families and in all which they were given authority.” [Saheeh Muslim]
The different roles of sexes means that never is one burdened with all the duties while the other enjoys all privileges. Instead they both have individual duties and privileges, and both make sacrifice in order to win the pleasure of Allah. The Qur'aan says in this regard:
“And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses, etc.) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect, etc.) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allah is All-Mighty and All-Wise.” [Soorah Al-Baqarah (2): 228]
Mu'aawiyah ibn Haidah (radhi allahu anhu) said: “O Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam), what rights do our wives have on us? The Prophet of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied:
“That you should feed them as you feed yourselves, never invoke ugliness upon them (this refers to the custom of the Arabs before Islam of saying to their wives in anger: May Allah make your face ugly) never strike them on their face, and in boycotting the marital bed do not go outside the house to sleep. How (could you do any of these) when you have entered into one another, so do only that which is allowed with regards to her (for valid reasons)” [Authentic Related by Ahmad]
And when they both of them having faith, know and practice the right and duties of each other, Allah the Most High, authorizes for them a good life as long as they remain together in the bliss of happiness. Allah says in the Qur’aan:
“Whoever works righteous, man or woman, and has faith to Him We will give a new life, a life which is good and pure and We will bestow on them their rewards according to the best of their actions.” [Soorah An-Nahl: 97]
Abridged from Advice on Establishing an Islamic Home by Aboo Ubaidah Amr bin Basheer
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