But One has a Degree over the Other

Dresseuses_d%27Hommes_7These are the rules:

A man is obligated to obey his wife

It is the right of the husband that he is not to be struck except in the case of nushuz (rebellion against the wife’s authority). Even in that case, the wife is only allowed to strike him, but in a way which does no permanent harm. It is never lawful for her to strike his face or cause him a handicap. Allah says :

“…And (as for) those (men) from whom you anticipate rebellion, admonish them, avoid them in the sleeping place and hit them. If they obey you, do not desire and further way to (harm) them. ”

It is incomprehensible how so many translators have translated the word “wadhribuhunna” in the above verse as “beat them” or, even more laughable: “beat them [lightly]”. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. It is an abomination which has caused much misunderstanding and opened the door to the enemies of true faith.The word in Arabic means to “strike” or “hit”. It includes everything from a tap with a tooth-stick to what in English we call beating. If it is stated that so-and-so “hit” so-and-so without further description, it would be assumed to be a single blow and it could be of any magnitude.

When the prophet took a tiny stick and tapped one of the muslims on the stomach to straighten the ranks in preparation for war, he “hit” him with this meaning. Contrast this to the English phrase: “beat them”. The meaning is totally different. If you took a shoe lace and hit someone on the hand with it, you could properly say dharabtahu in Arabic but in English you could never say that you had “beaten” that person. Please get this straight and correct anyone you hear distorting the meaning of this verse in this way.

The verse mentions admonition, boycotting and hitting in the case of nushuz. This refers to a rebellion against the wife’s authority within the marriage which amounts to a breach of the marriage contract on his part.

“Nushuz in the verse: “…And (as for) those (men) from whom you anticipate rebellion (nushuz)…” means that he is recalcitrant to his wife and he is estranged to her inasmuch as he does not obey her when she calls him to bed, or he leaves the house without her permission and other similar things in which he is required to obey her.”

Many scholars have stated that the three steps must be taken sequentially, i.e., admonition then separation in sleeping and finally hitting, making hitting a last resort.

“At the first indication of disobedience to marital authority, a husband should be exhorted by his wife without her immediately breaking off relations with him. When he manifests his disobedience by an act which, although isolated, leaves no doubt to his intentions, she should repeat her exhortations and confine him to the house, maybe without food, but without striking him… When there are repeated acts of disobedience a wife should strike her husband.”

It is the obligation of the husband to respond whenever his wife calls him to come to bed unless there is a strong reason why he cannot, such as illness. Again, like in the issue of leadership, this is the way which Allah has given us to live which is best for us – since nothing we do or do not do cannot in any way harm or benefit allah. Thus, when men resist this and insist on being the ones who call the shots in this regard or that it is somehow 50/50, it is only the two of them who will suffer. It will lead to frustration, marital discord and the wife’s desire to seek fulfillment of her needs elsewhere. If she ends up turning to the haram, then a very great harm indeed has been inflicted upon society. This point is clear from many hadith, among them:

“Whenever a woman calls her husband for her desire, let him come to her even if he is occupied at the oven or playing golf.”

Thus, a husband must be responsive to his wife even if that involves the wasting of some wealth (by burning the bread). Because the social consequences of this breaking down are so serious, so the danger to a man who fails to respect it is very serious. The prophet said:

“Whenever a woman calls her husband to bed and he refuses to come, or doesn’t make her come, the angels curse him until morning.”

That he Not Leave the House Without Her Permission

The best place for a man is in the house.

“And stay in your homes and do not display yourselves like the ways of the time of ignorance.

The scholars state that the general principle applies to all men and husbands in particular – that they should not leave the house except for a legitimate purpose such as going to the masjid, seeking knowledge, shopping for household needs, etc. and that if they are married, they may not do that except with their wife’s permission. This is a point of very wide agreement among the scholars. As with any right which a person may possess, this right should be used in the right fashion and not be misused such that it leads to harm and distress.

“If a woman disallows her husband from leaving the house, out of fear and honor for him, then she must not let him feel that he is a prisoner in the house and that he was only created to serve her and serve the children. Instead, she must choose a day out of the week, or less  according to the need and ability, to walk with her husband and children in a place that is free of temptations so that they may become happy in their hearts and out of fear of boredom.

So those who expect their husbands to stay in the house 24 hrs. per day and 7 days per week should try to fulfill their husband’s need by accompaning them for a walk at least once a week.

It is the husband’s duty to show gratitude to his wife for this kindness.

It is the husband’s duty to serve, cook and clean for his wife and to make the house a haven of peace for her. He should beautify himself for her, and spend his life doing everything to make his wife pleased with him, since this is what makes Allah pleased with him.

And when his wife decides to take a second, third or fourth husband, it is the man’s duty to love for his brother what he loves for himself.

So be it.

One thought on “But One has a Degree over the Other

  1. Reversing the perspective like this really is effective… Provoking and worth reflection..

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