The role of the wife in Islaam

19 Sep

The blessed Prophet (saw) said, “The whole world is a provision, and the best object of provision in this world is the pious woman.”

In Islaam, the wife plays a pivotal role in married life and her role necessitates that she possess certain qualities, thus making her a good wife. Her thoughts, speech, actions and inclinations are all for the sake of gaining the pleasure of Allaah (swt), The Lord of the Universe. When a wife seeks to please her husband, ultimately it is the pleasure of Allaah (swt) that she wishes to seek. The qualities that a wife should possess, which are liked by her Creator have been outlined in Soorah al-Ahzaab. The Muslim woman is a true woman, humble, patient, constant, guards her modesty in her husband’s absence, maintains integrity in times of adversity and prosperity and engages much in the praise of Allaah (swt).

When a Muslim wife marries she must understand that she has certain roles and responsibilities in Islaam, which are unique by her Creator.  Allaah (swt) has made women different to men as mentioned in the Noble Qur’aan, “And wish not for the things which Allaah (swt) has made some of you excel others and for men there is reward for what they have earned and likewise for women there is reward for what they have earned, ask Allaah of His bounty, surely, Allaah is ever All-Knower of everything.” (EMQ-4:32).

We can see from this aayah that Allaah (swt) has made clear distinction between a man and a woman’s role and it is not lawful for a man or woman to question the defined roles as Allaah (swt) says, “It is not lawful for a man or woman when Allaah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should have a say over it.” (EMQ 33: 36)

Hence the Muslim wife being the true servant of Allaah (swt) will serve her husband according to the principles of the Sharee’ah (Islamic law), and in return the husband has certain duties he must fulfil towards his wife.

Among other rights, the wife has the right to Nafaqah, which is food, clothing and shelter, from her husband. He is obliged to spend from his wealth for it even if she possesses her own wealth. The Messenger Muhammad (saw) said, “Your wives have a right on you that you provide them with food, clothing and shelter in a fitting manner.” (Muslim)

It is important to note that when the wife carries out her duties towards her husband, she does it as an act of submission to her Creator; hence her reward is from her Creator. The Prophet (saw) loved his wives for their piety. ‘Aa-ishah (ra) once narrated the fine qualities of Zaynab (ra), the seventh wife of the Prophet (saw): “Zaynab was the one who was somewhat equal in rank with me in the eyes of Allaah’s Messenger and I have never seen a woman more advanced in piety than Zaynab, more god-conscious, more truthful, more alive to the ties of blood, more generous and having more sense of self sacrifice in practical life and having more charitable disposition and thus more closer to Allaah.”

Such great Muslim women are examples for us, worthy of emulation, from which a Muslim woman can learn purity, strength of character, soundness of belief and wisdom. For emulation of the Mothers of Paradise can only lead us to the bounty of paradise (inshaa-Allaah).

Abu Nu’aym narrated that the Prophet (saw) said, “When a woman observes the five times of prayer, fasts during Ramadan, preserves her chastity and obeys her husband, she may enter paradise by any of the gates she wishes.” (al-Bukhaari, al-Muwatta’ and Musnad of Imaam Ahmad).

 

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