This is one of those subjects that goes unaddressed around the World in the Muslim communities and unfortunately it is real in some our households. Time and time again we have women who are too scared to come forward and seek help and protection. Just recently I received a string of messages from women around the World asking questions that were so simple to answer, however some of those sisters had been searching for their answers for up to a year. I found similar situations that were dealt with by Shaykh Salih ibn Ali Ghosoun in his Fatawa collection, so I’ve arranged them based on their subjects, requests and questions. I will present in a 3 part series in hope of Allah’s Pleasure, our sisters’ safety and the removal of their ignorance for their cases. Allah help us!
The Rights of between Spouses
- Answer: The answer to question is clear and known, but many people ignore it. Everyone knows that the condition of the marriage contract is the agreement to treat her with kindness. Allah said: “and they have taken from you a firm and strong covenant?” [An-Nisa’i:21]
And the proof to treat them in kindness with respect is ,Allah said: “The divorce is twice, after that, either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness.” [Al-Baqarah:229]
And in the Prophet’s sermon on Arafah he (ﷺ) said: Fear Allah concerning women! Verily you have taken them on the security of Allah, and intercourse with them has been made lawful unto you by words of Allah. [Muslim:1218]
Based on these evidences the husband must fear Allah regarding his wife who Allah has allowed to be permissible for him. Both spouses must show and treat each other with gentleness, with respect and with mutual honor. There are rights between the husband and the wife ;and each one of them are helpers towards the other. Allah said: 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” [Al-Baqarah: 228]
Each spouse has their share of obligations towards the other and although the husbands rights takes precedence over his wife’s this doesn’t mean that he has the right to dominate her, nor does he have the right to withhold anything that is due to her. The husband mustn’t disregard the status of his wife and treat her as if she is under him or lower than him. This kind of behavior is prohibited. The Prophet [ﷺ] said: Fear Allah regarding the women.” [Vol 10/ page 271]
The Husband must provide maintenance for his wife within his financial means
- The male and female are both free servants of Allah. They use Islam for their belief and in their judgment. They mustn’t deviate from the Islamic legislation in their affairs. Obedience to the Prophet is connected to obedience to Allah. The Prophet conveyed the message. Anyone who doesn’t accept the Prophet’s speech, follow his commands and avoid his prohibitions isn’t sincere. The same rule applies for the person who has a family and spends his money on his own pleasure without taking care of his wife and children. This kind of husband is neglecting his family. He faces a serious punishment from Allah. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “All of you are guardians and are responsible for your subjects. [Al-Bukhari:2409/Muslim 1829]
Every man is responsible for his wife and children. He must educate them, give them their rights and spend on them, so that they don’t seek assistance from people outside his household. If has the means and falls short in providing them with the things they need, then he is a sinner who has oppressed his family. [Vol 10/]
The Husband who only buys food for the house ;and the wife and children receive money and clothing through charity
- If the father has the means and is able then there is no difference of opinion that he must provide food, clothing, shelter and medicine for his family. However if he falls short in providing a house, food, drinks, clothing, furniture and is able to provide them, then he’s a sinner; as he didn’t fulfill his obligations. Allah has blessed him and made his affairs easy and he has the ability to provide and fulfill is duties. On the other hand if he truly isn’t able to provide them in some of the areas financially then this is another thing. [Vol 10/280]
A man marries another wife while his 1st wife still lives with her family. He has hasn’t provided for her properly since they got married and he refuses to divorce her. This has been going on for about 4 years.
- This is an evil action! How can a man leave his wife living in that condition for that long period of time without giving her her rights?!He hasn’t even given her a place to lay her head. This is incorrect unless the woman refuses to move out her family’s house after living with him for some time. If the husband is neglecting her rights then he is committing a Haram act. The woman is entitled to maintenance for that period of time. She has the right to clothing and her equal share of housing. Sometimes this act is acceptable or unacceptable based on the agreement between the co-wives and husbands. [I think the shaykh is referring to msyar marriages that commonly practiced in the GCC. A woman agree to let go of some of her rights in the place of having a husband.]
Nonetheless, if the husband is forcing this condition on his wife then he is mistreating her by not treating her with kindness. Sometimes men get married to a new woman and when they get on well together, he totally forgets about his 1st wife, thus neglects her and her children, and the years they’ve spent together. Other times the husbands completely forget about the first wife and this isn’t allowed in Islam or accepted by anyone with an intellect. From the angle of the Shariah she has rights and is entitled to them. This isn’t the ideal of manhood [to neglect your 1st wife after you remarry]. [ [Vol 10/298]
A man smacks his wife, curses her out and puts her down in front of her children.
- Some husbands believe that it’s his right to bully the wife, abuse her, display arrogant behavior towards her, curse at her and call her names. This isn’t from the guidance and Sunnah of the prophet [ﷺ]. Moreover this isn’t good behavior. The man who understands manhood correctly knows his wife’s rights and the actions that are for him and against him in the marriage. This kind of abuse is Haram in Islam. Any woman who experiences this kind of treatment has right to get out of that marriage for her well-being and honor. [ [Vol 10/299]
The husband never listens to his wife and tells her to shut up and calls her names like sinner. Then he sleeps angry and tells her the Angels curse you.
- If the man curses his wife and calls her names and frequently falls asleep angry because of her behavior then this is correct the Angels do curse her. It’s not allowed for her to behave disrespectfully towards him. Conversely, if the husband is treating her bad and causing his own anger then he’s the reason and if there is any anger from heavens then it’s on his neck.
When this ill manner treatment is from the man by his hands and mouth then the woman is excused if he falls asleep angry with her. [Vol 10/302.]
The husband beats the wife and children with a belt. The marks and bruises are visible on their bodies for long periods of time.
- This is crazy. This kind of action isn’t done by a man who has a sound mind. There’s something wrong with his mind. I seek refuge in Allah!
Why does he constantly beat his wife until she turns black and blue? Why does he beat the children the same way? Why does he punish his children all the same without distinction between their ages? There’s something seriously wrong with that man’s mind and heart! He has no awareness of his behavior and is senseless. We ask Allah to return his intellect back to him. [Vol 10 /302]