“…And for those on whose part you fear disobedience, admonish them and leave them alone in their beds, and chastise them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Surely, Allah is High, Great.” (Q4:35)
“Actually, my opinion is that a man’s wife is the first trial of his character.” (The Promised Messiah)
The Promised Messiah (as) wrote a letter of admonition to one of his Companions:
“It is distressing that I heard from some of your truly beloved and devoted friends, that in matrimonial matters and the treatment of other family members, your behavior is extremely harsh towards them. Sometimes you are so impatient that you forget your limits. This complaint amazes me because all of those friends who mentioned you, actually praise your character and truly love you.
“Man has been made guardian for his wife, and he tries to use his superiority which he has over women to humiliate her or to show his own pride in petty matters. However, Allah Almighty and the Holy Prophet (saw) have enjoined much tolerance and patience in the treatment of one’s wife. So, I feel it is important to inform you about this. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an, ‘But consider them as your dear friend and treat them gently in this transitory world.’ The Holy Prophet (saw) said that ‘the best among you is the one who is best in the treatment of his wife.’ There is so much emphasis on the kind treatment of one’s wife that I cannot cover this in this letter.
“A man’s wife is vulnerable and weak and Allah has handed her over to you. Allah is watching over how a person deals in this matter. He should show kindness to her and should always remember that his wife is a temporary guest who has been allocated in his charge and He is watching over how far he can carry out the responsibilities of the guest. You are a servant of God and she is a servant of God as well. What preference or superiority do you have on her?
“A husband should not be harsh with her and should show mercy to her instead. He should teach her religion. Actually, my opinion is that a man’s wife is the first trial of his character. If I even speak a little harshly with my wife in anger, my whole body begins to tremble that Allah Almighty has handed me this girl [who has come] from far away. If I am ever harsh with her, I consider it as a sinful act. I then tell her to pray for me in her Salat that if it is against the pleasure of God, May Allah forgive me. I fear a great deal that I do not get involved in such an atrocious act. So I hope you will also do the same. Our Great Master, the Holy Prophet (saw) had much courtesy for his wives. What more can I write?”
(Garment for Each Other, pp. 81-82)
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