Woman as a Wife in Islam

A woman in Islam is respected and honored, and the Messenger of Allah ‘peace be upon him’ commanded to preserve her rights in all her life phases, as a daughter (young girl), a wife, and a mother.

A wife is an Amanah to be respected and safeguarded by her spouse because she is a creation full of feelings and emotions. The husband must abide by Shariah in the way he treats her and follow the acts of our prophet in all his manners with his loved one. Some scholars called the righteous wife ‘the good deed of life’ (Hasanat al dunya) because a family house is not a real home without a wife ... a woman ... a mother. The level of a man’s goodness is linked to his way of treating and honoring his wife, and Prophet Muhammad ‘peace be upon him’ was the best. 

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He said: 

"خَيْرُكُمْ خَيْرُكُمْ لِأَهْلِهِ وَأَنَا خَيْرُكُمْ لِأَهْلِي" (رواه الترمذي)
 “The best from amongst you is he who is best to his family (his wife), and I am the best among you to my family” (At Tirmidhi)
Just like a wife has some duties to fulfill over her house and towards her husband, she has rights that Allah mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah.
وَلَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوف وَلِلرِّجَالِ عَلَيْهِنَّ دَرَجَةٌ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ (228)
“And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable. But the men have a degree over them [in responsibility and authority]. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise” (Surah Al Baqarah, Verse 228)

So, let us learn from the biography of the prophet ‘peace be upon him’ and his actions, how to treat the wifey and what rights she has in Islam. 

Wife’s Rights in Islam

1.To be Honored and Treated Kindly

    Allah ordered men to honor women and act upon them in kindness.

    وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ (19) 
    “And live with them in kindness” (Surah An Nisaa, Verse 19)

    The husband should give his best to his wife, and consider her emotions especially during her menstrual period when she gets more sensitive and less physical interaction is applied. 

    عن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت: أنَّ النبيَّ (ﷺ) كانَ يتكئ على حجري وَأَنا حَائِض ثمَّ يقْرَأ الْقُرْآن (مُتَّفَقٌ عَلَيْهِ)
    Aisha narrated that “The Prophet would recline on my lap when I was menstruating, then recite the Quran” (Al Bukhari and Muslim)

    2.To be Respected, Loved, and Called with the best names

      The prophet was never afraid to show his love for his wife in front of people. He has his famous saying about his wife Khadija ‘may Allah be pleased with her’, “Her love had been nurtured in my heart by Allah” (Muslim)

      He used to give a nickname to his wife Aisha as well. He called her Humaira’ (the one with the pink cheeks), and ‘Ayesh’ sometimes. 

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      3.To Receive her Dowry (Mahr)

        The husband should pay the dowry for his wife directly after marriage, as a form of honor and appreciation for her. It is not permissible for him to take anything from her dowry except with her consent and acceptance. In certain situations, she can forgive him (exempt him) from paying it, if the spouse could not afford it. However, men are not allowed to take back anything from what they have offered to the woman, not even in cases of divorce or separation. 

        وَلَا يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَأْخُذُوا مِمَّا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ شَيْئًا (229)
        “And it is not lawful for you to take anything of what you have given them” (Surah Al Baqarah, Verse 229) 

        4.To Take Part in the House and Life Decisions with her Husband

          A wife has her own point of view and opinion in everything in life, especially in her home matters, and she has the right to be heard and have her words taken into consideration. 

          The prophet used to take advice and consultation from his wife on major issues, some of them were related to the Ummah and not just his house! He had ample room for discussion, that some conversations turned to arguments with the wife because they had a different opinion, and he was totally okay with that! 

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          5.To have Housing and Alimony

            The spouse is responsible in Islam to offer all life needs for his wife. He should spend on her food, clothing, housing, medication, and all matters of life.

            One of the Sahaba once asked the Prophet (ﷺ): "What are the rights that a wife has over her husband?" He replied, " Feed her when you take your food, clothe her when you clothe yourself, refrain from giving her a slap on the face or abusing her, and do not revile her or separate from her except in the house” (Abu Dawud)
             سأل أحد الصحابة رسول الله فقال: يا رسول الله ، ما حق زوجة أحدنا ؟ قال ‏"‏أن تطعمها إذا طعمت ، وتكسوها إذا اكتسيت ولا تضرب الوجه، ولا تقبح، ولا تهجر إلا في البيت ‏"‏  (رواه أبو داود)

            And in the Quran, Allah said:

            الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ وَبِمَا أَنفَقُوا مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ (34)
            “Men are in charge of women by right of what Allah has given one over the other (in security and safety) and what they spend (for maintenance) from their wealth” (Surah An Nisaa, Verse 34)

            6.To Have Complete Freedom in her Money

              A woman has the ultimate freedom in her money (in what pleases Allah). She can save it, spend it or even donate it.  A wife has the choice to help her husband financially and get the Ajer of a Sadaqah (charity). Some scholars also said that she can pay her Zakat amount to her husband. 

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              7.To Have the Secrets of her House Kept

                Just like a wife is not allowed to share the secrets of her house with others, especially intimate moments, it is the same rule for the husband. He has to respect privacy whether it was a good or bad thing that’s happening and to take the permission of the wife to share it.  

                8.To be Supported and Understood (To be treated with politeness and endurance) 

                  Every person passes through rough times, especially women, with all the change that happens in their bodies and emotions. This might lead to a certain attitude that takes over her for a certain period, yet this should not cause hatred or aversion.

                  قال رسول الله (ﷺ)‏‏ ‏"‏لا يفرك مؤمن مؤمنة إن كره منها خُلقا رضي منها آخر‏"‏ (رواه مسلم‏)‏‏
                  The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "A believer must not hate a believing woman (his wife); if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will be pleased with another” (Muslim)
                  Bokitta Blog - Woman as a Wife in Islam

                  9.To get her Physical Rights 

                    This right holds two meanings: 

                    One: is to be honored in everything including her sexual relationship. And to this purpose, Allah has rewarded the spouse for his actions towards his wife. 

                    Two:  She also has the right to enjoy the good looking of her husband. Like a wife, a man is also required to take care of his appearance. Ibn Abbas said: “I used to wear my best clothes for my wife.”

                    "عَنْ عَائِشَةَ رضي الله عنها قَالَتْ: "كُنْتُ أُطَيِّبُ النَّبِيَّ (ﷺ) بِأَطْيَبِ مَا نَجِدُ حَتَّى أَجِدَ وَبِيصَ الطِّيبِ فِي رَأْسِهِ ولحيته (مُتَّفَقٌ عَلَيْهِ)
                    ‘A’isha said "she used to perfume the Prophet with the sweetest perfume she could find till she saw the perfume shining on his head and beard" (Al Bukhari and Muslim)

                    A wife is NOT a maid. It is not her duty to clean the house, do the laundry, wash the dishes and take orders. She is highly valued, and by dint of her good manners and pure heart, she does all that next to taking care of her husband and children, and most of the time working outside. 

                    Your wife is your power. A woman is a man’s army when he needs support. So, the least to do is to give her her rights and treat her like a queen. 

                    Marriage is a give-and-take relationship that you have to feed with love and respect to receive it back. And the most important pillar in this relationship is to know your duties to complete them and your rights to ask for them. And always remember this hadith: 

                    "‏أيما امرأة ماتت، وزوجها عنها راضٍ دخلت الجنة‏"‏ (رواه الترمذي)
                    Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "Any woman dies while her husband is pleased with her, she will enter Jannah" (At-Tirmidhi)

                    *Share this article with your loved one to encourage him to follow the path of the prophet with his woman. * 

                    🍀 May Allah guide all our men and women to the right path in dealing with each other, following the acts of our beloved teacher, Mohammed ‘peace be upon him’. 🍀

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