Friday, April 30, 2010

THE STATUS AND RIGHTS OF A WIFE IN ISLAM (Part-3)

THE STATUS AND RIGHTS OF A WIFE IN ISLAM
By Mufti Taqi Usmani (rah) 


Moderate way in spending money
The requirements of one man is different from that of other. The standard of spending also differs from man to man. The standards of a man with low income, and of a man with a moderate income or a man with a high income are different from one another. The liberality in spending of each person should, therefore be proportionate to his income. It should not happen that the husband is a man of moderate means and his wife is asking for items of comforts and luxuries which she. sees in the houses of rich men that her husband cannot afford. Demand for such articles of luxury is not lawful. The husband should however, try to meet the demands of his wife as far as possible within his means and should not be niggardly towards his wife.

The rights of the wives over husbands?
(Abu Dawud. the Book of Marriage-chapter on the Right of the wife over her husband. Tradition no 2142)

Hazrat Muawiyah bin-Hidah (ra)) has narrated that he asked the Holy Prophet (saws) O Prophet of Allah what are the rights of our wives over us?

The Holy Prophet (saws) said: when you take food, feed her also and when you wear clothes, provide her also with clothes to wear. Do not beat her on the face, nor curse her. Do not part with her but only within the (bounds of the) house.

Leave sleeping with her as punishment
As has already been explained, if you ever observe in the wife some lewdness, try first to admonish her. If she does not mind your admonition, then leave her bedding, and sleep on a separate bed. Leaving the bed does not imply that you should go out of the house: you should separate your bedding while remaining in the house. You may. however, change the room by way of a psychological punishment and as a sort of protest, and thus keep yourself aloof from her for some days.

A proper way of separation
The learned jurists have explained the meaning of this Tradition also by advising that on such occasions her bed may be separated, but the talking terms should not be terminated totally. The separation should not be so strict as not to offer salutations to each other from time to time and not to return the greeting if one bids it, nor to avoid answering important questions. A separation of this kind is not lawful.

Wife's permission for a long period journey

While explaining this Tradition the learned Jurists have gone to the extent of saying that it is not lawful for the husband to leave the house for more than four months without the permission and pleasure of his wife. As such. Hazrat Umar (ra) had promulgated this order throughout his empire that the freedom-fighters who take part in

Jihad should not remain away from their homes for more than four months. The jurists have, therefore, deduced that if anyone is going on a journey for a period not exceeding four months, it is not necessary for him to obtain his wife's permission. If the journey takes longer than four months, it is essential for him to obtain his wife's permission, no matter how desirable that journey may be. This ruling is applicable to the journey for the Hajj (Pilgrimages). If the pilgrim returns from the journey within four months no permission from his wife is necessary, but if he prolongs his stay in the Holy city beyond four months the wife's permission must be taken. This ruling is also applicable to journeys undertaken for Tabligh, Da wah and Jihad. If the wife's permission is necessary for such blessed journeys then her permission will all the more be necessary for a journey undertaken for the sake of employment, business, etc. If journeys exceeding four months are taken without the wife's permission it will be a violation of her rights and. therefore, unlawful in the laws of the Shah ah.

Who are the Best People?
(Tirmidhi Book of Suckling. Chapter on the rights of a wife over her husband tradition no: 1162)

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) has narrated that the Holy Prophet (saws) said: The most accomplished of the believers in respect of Iman (Faith) is one who is the best of them in conduct and character. The more refined a man is in behaviour and character, the more accomplished he is in Iman (Faith). Perfect Iman, therefore, demands that a man should behave and deal with others politely. The best of you are those who are the best in their behaviour and dealings with their wives and women.

The meaning of "Good Character" in the modern age
We see that in our days the meanings of things have greatly changed and the values of all things have been reversed. Hazrat Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib Sahib of Deoband used to say: As compared with the past everything has turned upside-down in the present age. For example, in the olden days there was darkness beneath the lamp and now there is darkness above the bulb. Today values have changed and so has changed the import of everything, so much so that even the meaning of character has undergone a total change. Today only some outer acts and expressions of modern etiquettes are regarded as tokens of good character. For example, it is regarded sign of good character to meet someone with a smiling face or to utter formal pleasing words. I am very glad to see you, it is pleasing to meet you. etc. while the heat of enmity, jealousy and hatred is burning in the hearts. Today this way of behaviours has been named good behaviour and character. It has been recognised as an art, how to deal with others so as to make them impressed with our personalities. Books are being written today on the art of winning over sympathies of others. All energies are being utilised to achieve this aim: Do all that is possible to get others attracted by your superficial personality. This is called "character". Bear in mind well that all this formal show has nothing to do with high morality which the Holy Prophet(saws) has enjoined upon his followers. This is a mere hypocrisy ostentation, a trick to attract others to one's own personality. This is nothing but love for honour, fame and regard and this desire, in itself, is a disease and immorality. This has nothing to do with Islamic concept of morality.

Morality is a quality of the Heart
Morals are in fact a particular state of the heart which find expression in the movements of the limbs and the organs. The heart should be filled with the feeling of welfare for the creation of Allah and love for them, irrespective of what they are, friends foes, believers or unbelievers. One should remain alive to the fact that every being on the earth is a creation of His Master. Allah. This originates a kind of love for all in one's heart. This conception, in turn, generates good actions and deeds, and then man does good to others. Now the smile shining on ones face on account of this feeling is not artificial, nor is it displayed to arrest public attention: it rather springs up from the heart as a result of heart-felt longing and emotion. Thus, there is a world of difference between the morals taught by the Holy Prophet £fe and the artificial and superficial show of morals in modern society.

How to acquire High Morals?
Only reading books or listening to lectures is not enough to attaint the standard of the desired degree of morals. For this purpose it is imperative to seek the company of some spiritual reformer and guide. The order of Tasawwuf (Mysticism) and the system of becoming a disciple of a spiritual Guide (Piri-Muridi) has been handed down from the past men of Allah. It aims at inculcating in high morals and eliminating the germs of immorality from a man. Anyway, the most accomplished in the realm of Iman (Faith) are those individuals who posses high morals, whose hearts generate right motives and these right motives are reflected in their acts and deeds. May Allah admit us all into the company qf these perfect personalities Aameen.

Do not beat the Maids of Allah
(Abu Dawud. Book of Marriage, chapter on healing women Tradition no: 2146)

Hazrat Iyas bin Abdullah (ra) has narrated that the Holy Prophet (saws), while delivering a sermon said: Do not beat the maids of Allah, because beating women is not desirable. When the Holy Prophet (saws) prohibits something, the act becomes totally unlawful for one who heard the prohibition direct from the Holy Prophet (saws). Now it is not lawful for him in any circumstances to beat women.

Two kinds of Holy Traditions
It may be noted carefully that there is a category of Traditions which we hear from someone or read in the books. They reach us through a long chain of authorities: giving us the names of the reporters in ascending order carrying to the Holy Prophet (saws). The Traditions of this category are called Zanni because they reach us through a channel of reporters. It is obligatory to act upon the injunctions con-tained in such Traditions; and deviating from this is a sin. Traditions which the Companions (RA) heard direct from the Holy Prophet (saws) are not Zanni (conjectural), but are Oat-i (confirmed). If any one denies such Traditions, not only will he be a sinner, but he will also become an unbeliever. According to the juristic ruling the denier of an order of the Holy Prophet (saws), at once turns to be an infidel.

Sometimes we entertain the foolish desire in our hearts to have lived at the blessed time of the Holy Prophet to reap the virtues and blessings of that blessed time. We should remember that whatever Almighty Allah does, He does it in His infinite wisdom and it is He who has raised us in this later age. If He had raised us in the time of the Holy Prophet (saws), who knows what would have happened to us. There is no guarantee that we would not have fallen into the dare ditch of ignorance.? May Allah save us. The question of Iman in those days was a very delicate issue. A slight turn from the right path could change the destiny of man.

The devotion with which the sacred Companions (ra) of the Holy Prophet (saws) rallied round him was exclusively their distinction. It was due to this that they reached the unique rank. Allah alone knows what would have been the fate of our selfish far-seeing and ease-loving persons as we are. It is indeed a great favour of Almighty Allah that He saved us from ruin and raised us up in an age in which we enjoy many facilities. We are in an age in which we have Zanni Traditions. If anyone denies it he will only be a sinner and not an unbeliever. As regards the sacred Companions, (RA) if anyone of them heard some Tradition from the Holy Prophet (saws), and denied it he Would instantly become an unbeliever. May Allah save us from such a fate.
The Audacity of the women
When the Holy Prophet (saws) ordered the Companions (ra) not to beat their women, this punishment was totally suspended. It was not possible for the Companions to continue an act which the Holy Prophet (saws) had forbidden them to do. Thus when the Practice of beating women ceased then after some time Hazrat Umar called on the Holy Prophet (saws)and said:

O Prophet of Allah (saws).these women have now become lions (i.e. fearless and bold) with their husbands, because you have stopped us from beating them. Now none beats his wife, nor does he ever threaten her with that. That is why they have become fearless, are violating their husbands' rights, and are misbehaving with them. So what . are we to do now?

Then the Holy Prophet (saws), permitted them to beat their wives, if they violate their rights and when beating was unavoidable. Only a few days after the restoration of the order of beating, the women began to approach the Holy Prophet (saws) and complained to him (saws) that their husbands were taking undue advantage from the permission of beating and were beating them severely.

They are not good men
Mentioning his own name, the Holy Prophet (saws) said: Many women are repeatedly visiting the house of Muhammad (saws) complaining against their husbands' misbeha- viour with them that they severely beat them. You should note it very carefully that those who resort to this beating are not good men.

It is not the work of good believers to beat their Wives. The Holy Prophet (saws) made it quite clear to the gathering that permission was given to beat their wives as the last alternative only in unavoidable circumstances and subject to the condition that the beating should be light, so as not to cause injury and leave its mark on the body. Despite this, it is the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (saws) and also his sincere desire that no man should raise his hand to beat a woman. The mothers of the believers have narrated that the Holy Prophet S& never raised his hands at any woman. Therefore, this is what the sunnah demands.

The Best thing in the world is a "virtuous Woman"
(Sahih Muslim. Book of suckling, chapter-the best object of the world, a virtuous woman)

Hazrat Abdullah bin Amr bin Al Aas has narrated that the Holy Prophet (saws) said: This world as a whole is an enjoyment, profit and advantage. The Almighty Allah has said in the Holy Qur'an:

It is Allah who has created whatever there is in the world for your benefit, enjoyment and for meeting your needs. (Ai-Baqarah; 29)

The best of all these objects is a virtuous woman created for your service and enjoyment. The Holy Prophet (saws) has said in another Tradition:

(Kanzul-Umwal, Tradition no 18913)

Of all the things of your earth there are three things that are dearest to me: (Here note the Phrase "Your earth" as he (saws) said about his approach this world in these works) viz.. a woman, scent, and the coolness of my eyes lies in the prayer. Thus the foremost among the blessing of the world are these things. In another place he (saws) said:

(Tirmidhi. the Book of Abstinence. Tradition no: 2378)

What have I to do with the world? I am like a rider who takes rest for a short time under the shade of a tree, then he sets off, leaving behind that tree.

Seek refuge from a bad woman
In-short one of the three desirable gifts is a virtuous woman, because the Holy Prophet (saws) has sought refuge from bad woman.

O Allah! I seek refuge from that woman who will make me old before I attain the old age. I also seek refuge from a child who proves to be a trial in the Hereafter. May Allah save us from them. Aamen So if you are in search of a woman for yourself or for one of your children, try to find out one who is religious, virtuous and righteous. If God-forbid she is not righteous, then she may prove a distress. If a man is lucky enough to get a virtuous wife, he should value her, and should never degrade her. To value her means that you should fulfill her rights and behave with her nicely.

May Almighty Allah assist us in acting upon these injunctions. ameen
Taken from Discourses on Islamic Way of Life. VOL II

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