In Islam a husband is required to treat his wife with affection, respect her feelings, and show her kindness and consideration. The husband should not show the wife any aversion or subject her to suspense or uncertainty. These guiding principles are established from the Quran and Sunnah and when implemented, bring about a great deal of peace and harmony in marriage.
Wife as a Source of Peace
Allah says in the Noble Quran “ And of HIS Signs is that HE has created wives for you from among yourselves that you may find peace of mind in them, and HE has put love and tenderness between you. In that, surely, are Signs for a people who reflect.”. [Quran 30:21]
For a wife to become a source of peace and contentment she has to be in a peaceful relationship. Therefore the treatment of the husband to the wife is of great significance in realizing this purpose.
A husband’s treatment towards his wife should reflect a Muslim’s good character, which in turn is a reflection of the man’s faith. In this regard the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) said “The best among you are those who are best to their family and I am the best to my family.”
(Tirmizi, ibn Majah)
Kind treatment generates true and deep seated love for the husband in the wife’s heart. The wife in turn becomes eager and enthusiastic to serve her husband and accords him the honour and respect he deserves.
The Wife – A Treasure without Equal
For a Muslim, a good wife is the best treasure a man can possess, after belief in Allah and following His commands, she is considered the key to happiness. According to a Hadith, the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) said to `Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu), “Shall I tell you the best a man can treasure? It is a good wife. If he looks at her, she gives him pleasure; if he orders her, she obeys; and if he is away from her, she remains faithful to him". (Abu Dawood)
The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) also said, “Whoever is granted a good wife, he is helped to practice half his faith, let him obey Allah in the second half”. (Mishkaat)
The potential to become a source of true pleasure is vested in every wife. It is the responsibility of the husband to unlock this potential and utilize it for the benefit of his own life and that of his family.
Like any treasure or wealth that one possesses it must be looked after, kept safely and constantly nurtured for it to maintain its value. This principle shall to a greater extent apply to the wife who is regarded as the treasure of all treasures. Any form of misuse, abuse and maltreatment of this treasure will lead to diminishing the good that this treasure delivers and shall become a source of sin and accountability to Allah Ta’ala.
Kindness and More Kindness…
Allah Ta'ala says “…And live with them (your wives) in kindness…” [Quran 4:19]
A Muslim wife occupies a special position in society, and Islam considers her fulfillment of matrimonial duties as a form of jihad (striving for the sake of Allah). Without physically engaging in the battlefield, a wife is given the opportunity to earn the reward of striving for the cause of Allah Ta'ala.
By living with her in kindness, fulfilling her needs and giving her support, the husband becomes instrumental in her achieving this noble reward. The husband by virtue of his kindness earns the happiness of his family and in turn draws closer to Allah Ta’ala. By adopting the correct approach surely the husband can earn the status of being the best among people for his kindness towards his wife.
The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) said, “Verily Allah is Most Kind, and He loves kindness in all affairs”. (Bukhari & Muslim)
The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) also said,“Kindness is not found in anything, but it adds beauty to it and if it is withdrawn (from it) it defects it”. (Muslim)
Garments Unto Each other
Allah says: “They are garments for you and you are garments unto them” [Quran 2:187]
The husband and wife are likened to garments unto each other. They guard each other’s respect, honour and dignity. They do not divulge their shortcomings and imperfections to others. The husband should be cautious and particular in this regard and not do or say things that would hurt the wife’s feelings. There is much reward in the concealment of a person’s shortcomings, more so with regards to the wife.
Overall Good Treatment
Our Creator knows well that human beings have certain weaknesses and deficiencies and are prone to err. Therefore Allah Ta'ala implores the husband by saying, “…communicate with them (wives) in kindness, for if you dislike them (for some deficiency) then perhaps you may dislike (a trait) wherein Allah has placed in it much good.” [Quran 4:19]
It is the collective right of the wife to be treated well in all aspects of daily life. The husband should interact with her in a well-mannered way with a flexible attitude, sweet words and a smiling face.
The Seerah (life) of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) is filled with his noble character of gentleness towards his people, his excellent conduct towards his wives, to the extent that he used to help them with their household chores and engaged in lighthearted activities.
The true strength of man is not measured by his physical firmness; rather he is gauged by his strength to show character in adverse situations.
May Allah Ta’ala grant every husband the ability to treat his wife with kindness and compassion. Aameen