Rights of a wife in the Light of Quran and Sunnah. How should a husband deal with his wife?
In more ways than one, Islam is the most beautiful religion. One of its surprising aspects is that it
adequately protects the rights of all human beings – men, women, and children – with the apparent aim
of creating a harmonious society. Two essential pillars of this harmonious society are the husband and wife. The Quran and Sunnah are entirely clear on their duties and rights, and there is a wealth of evidence to show how pivotal the role of husbands and wives is the establishment of a moral and peaceful social order.
“He [Allah] has created for you wives from among yourselves, so that you may find tranquility in them, and He has created love and kindness between you…” (30:21)
Unfortunately, however, in many societies and cultures, husbands tend to consider their wives
inferior and often ignore many of their rights given to them by the Quran and Sunnah. Little do
they know that violation of these rights is a grave sin.
The rights of a wife become effective as soon as the marriage contract is signed. An integral
part of this agreement is the mahr, or bridal money, which a husband is required to pay to his
wife. “Give women their dower in good cheer…” (4:4)
Secondly, a wife is entitled to food and clothing within her husband’s means.
“It is the obligation of the one to whom the child belongs that he provides food and clothing for them (the mothers) with fairness.” (2:233).
This was also emphasized by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in his farewell sermon. “Fear Allah concerning women…provide them with food and clothing in a fitting manner.” (Sahih Muslim, Vol. 3, No. 1218). In fact, a wife is allowed to claim a share of her husband’s wealth sufficient to fulfill her needs and those of her children. This is what the Prophet (PBUH) advised Hind bint Utbah, wife of Abu Sufyaan, who had complained to the Prophet that her husband did not spend enough on her. (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 9, No. 7161).
Not just food and clothing, a husband is also required to provide for his wife’s accommodation
in a reasonable way.
“Provide to them residence where you reside according to your means…” (65:6).
A wife has the right to be loved and treated nicely and kindly by her husband. Under no
circumstance, a husband is allowed to severely beat or torture his wife. Instead, she deserves his
full respect and honor. “Live with them in the recognized manner.” (4:19). According to the
Prophet (PBUH), “The best of you is the best to your wives.” (Jami at-Tirmidhi, Vol.6, No.
3895). And the best example for husbands to follow, without doubt, is the example of the Prophet (PBUH) himself, who kindly dealt with his wives treating them with love and affection and dignity and giving them equal time and attention.
The husband-wife relationship is one of the most beautiful links in society. When a
Muslim man marries a Muslim woman, he accepts the responsibility of taking care of his wife at
all times, in the best possible manner. And the best way to establish and develop this relationship is to stick to the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah and follow the example of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).