Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that if he had to order any person to prostrate (make sajdah) for another person, and if this was permissible, he would have commanded the wife to make sajdah to her husband.
This one Hadith is more than adequate to show the high rank which the husband has over his wife. Besides this Hadith, there are numerous other Ahadith as well as Qur’aanic aayaat which declare the higher rank of the husband with emphasis and clarity.
In this age of western liberalism which has been adopted by Muslims, the very same evil trend of marriages collapsing and ending in divorce for sport and fun, has overtaken the Muslim community. No longer is Nikah and the home regarded as the holy institutions which Islam has ordained. In addition to the evil of western liberalism another factor which is increasingly contributing to the break down in marriages is the misconception of their rights which girls gain from girls’ madrasahs.
They emerge from the madrasahs having understood only that they have rights — that the Shariah has given them Waajib rights — that it is not necessary for them to do domestic chores — that instead of them being servants in the marital home, on the contrary, their husbands should be their servants. While they learn about their right of a separate home, away from their in-laws, they are not taught that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) warned: "Woman! Your husband is either your Jannat or your Jahannam."
While they emerge from the madrasah with the idea firmly embedded in their minds that they are not obliged to render any service to their mothers-in-law, they are not taught that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) warned:
"Neither the Fardh nor Nafl Salaat (nor any act of ibaadat) is accepted of the wife who has displeased her husband."
Girls who marry in this age are obsessed with their rights. They enter into marriage with the idea of severing the holy relationship which their husbands have with their parents and family members. From the very first day a young wife arrives at her husband’s home, she initiates her scheme of achieving separation from her in-laws. In the process of conniving to be separated from her parents-in-law, she creates many upheavals in the home, leading to rupture in relationships and misery. Even if she ultimately succeeds in her scheme, she departs from the home of the in-laws leaving behind a legacy of bitterness, enmity and misery.
In many cases the marriage simply ends in Talaaq. It is imperative that the seniors of the young girls explain to them what exactly Nikah and making a home are. Some girls enter into Nikah understanding that it is freedom from parental control and freedom to wander around. When they realise that they have simply passed from one control to another control, they become rebellious and the worst of nafsaaniyat surfaces to ruin the marriage.
It is essential that young wives and prospective wives understand that marriage is a holy bond. A happy marriage is not based on demanding rights. Happiness in a marriage is the product of understanding, patience, toleration, refraining from demanding rights, service to in-laws and total obedience to the husband. Without display of good conduct, happiness in marriage is not possible.
The young wife should understand that once she has married, her new and permanent home is the home her husband places her in, whether it is a separate house or the home of his parents. His parents are now her parents. Her parents have become strangers to her. The home of her parents is no longer her home. She cannot hope to gain happiness by keeping one leg in the home of her parents and one leg in her marital home.
She will not gain happiness if she gives preference to her family over her husband’s family. If her husband is disinclined towards her parents, brothers, etc., and for some reason, whether right or wrong, annoyed with them, his wife should not stand up in defence of them. She should understand that she has to pass her life with her husband, not with her parents or her brothers. Even if her husband unjustly speaks ill of her parents and brothers, she should not display annoyance. She should not pull up her face nor make any comment which will inflame him. She should employ her intelligence, be it defective, and convey to her husband that she is on his side, not on the side of her family, because now her only family is her husband’s family. Allah Ta’ala will take her husband to task for his injustices. It is not her concern. Her concern is to serve her husband, keep him happy and please him in all lawful things.
It is Allah and it is His Rasool (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) who have commanded that the wife submits fully to her husband and keeps him happy. Her happiness (her Jannat) is inextricably interwoven with his pleasure. By serving his parents, she serves her husband. And, this sacred serfdom should be her honour. She should not view marriage, home and husband through the coloured glasses of the immoral libertine cult of westernism which has overrun even Muslim society in this age.
In serving her parents-in-law, she is not lowering her dignity in any way. She gains tremendous thawaab thereby. Such service is based on the bond she has with her husband. Such service cultivates her husband’s pleasure which in turn brings for her the wonderful Ni’mat of Allah’s Pleasure. She will gain more Divine Pleasure and thawaab out of service to her in-laws than from Nafl acts of ibaadat. on the contrary, Allah’s Pleasure is denied to her if she displeases her parents-in-law because such displeasure leads to the displeasure of her husband, and his displeasure brings about Allah’s Displeasure. In the wake of Allah’s Displeasure come His Ghadhab (Wrath) and La’nat (Curse).
The attitude which is common to almost all wives is their ingratitude to their husbands. It is on account of this evil attitude that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that most inmates of Jahannum will be women. Wives should heed this warning of Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and struggle against the nafs when this vile emotional urge develops.
If the wife only utilizes a bit of intelligence and keeps her in-laws happy by serving them and tolerating their indiscretion and even injustices, she will ultimately become their master. In fact, she will become the master of even her husband. The magnanimity of her heart will win them all over. They will then adore her and serve her. Allah’s aid and special rahmat will be with her. The hearts of people are in His control. If the wife submits to her husband and his whims and fancies, for the Sake of Allah’s Pleasure and in obedience to the numerous advices and exhortations of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), she will attain happiness and Jannat in this world.
If she desires the rewards of Jihaad and the ranks of Shahaadat (Martyrdom), she has to wage jihaad against her nafs in the struggle to gain her husband’s pleasure which is the most important and the only bridge for her to gain Divine Pleasure.
ADMONITION FOR HUSBANDS
The Naseehat offered on this page to wives is not a licence for husbands to commit zulm (injustice). In so far as husbands are concerned, there is a host of warnings, admonition and exhortations in the Qur’aan and Hadith which they have to observe in order to gain Allah’s Pleasure and to be saved from His Wrath for any injustices which they may commit against their wives.
Husbands should remember that violation of the huqooq of their wives is a major sin and the consequences of this will not be escaped in Qiyaamah. While wives should not be concerned with the errors and faults of their husbands, the latter should not focus their gazes on the wife’s subservience commanded for husbands by the Shariah.
Both husband and wife should look to the Shariah and see what the Qur’aan and Sunnah expect of them. This is the prescription for happiness on earth, Divine Pleasure and happiness in the Aakhirah.