Islam stresses the importance of getting married. It has laid bases that ensure happiness for husband and wife. When the husband and wife are happy, they become more harmonized, and communicate better. If the husband seeks happiness, he should know he has obligations to fulfill towards the wife, as the wife has obligations to fulfill towards the husband.
In the Treatise of Rights by Imam Ali “Es-Sejjad, ”son of Imam Hussein, (Peace Be Upon Them), the imam guides us to know the rights of the wife, and how she should be appreciated. Thus, the wife is:
1- A means of settlement at all levels.
2- The one accompanies the husband, and is in whom the husband finds tranquility.
3- The one who perfects the husband’s religion.
4- A great supporter of the husband in obeying Allah.
5- A bless Allah bestows upon the husband.
The husband should therefore thank Allah for such bliss, so Allah maintains this bliss for him.
Islam imposes two types of duties on the husband to fulfill:
Materialistic rights: The husband has to provide food, wear, and residence for his wife, in addition to other things she requires, according to the husband’s financial capacity. The husband should not abandon his wife nor stop making love to her more than four months; it might be less than four months if the wife cannot handle that. Allah says, “Live with them in kindness.”
Moral rights: Imam Es-Sejjad (Peace Be Upon Him) mentions some of the rights the husband has to fulfill towards his wife:
1- Honoring the wife is important, and the husband who appreciates his wife will always honor her and respect her feelings.
2- Kindness is essential in the marital life; the husband must not wrong his wife or quarrel with her.
3- The wife is the one who loves her husband; the husband must treat her mercifully. The more the husband shows mercy to his wife, the more his wife cares for him.
4- Caring for the wife’s feelings is necessary, especially by using kind words, for the wife loves to hear kind words such as “I love you;” the wife will never forget this
lovely word. Allah says, “And speak to people good words.”
5- Pleasant appearance is important for both the husband and the wife. As long as the husband likes to see his wife looking beautiful, the wife likes to see her husband looking handsome. Imam Es-Sadiq (Peace Be Upon Him) says, “For the husband to look handsome will strengthen the wife’s chastity.”
6- Teaching the wife jurisprudential rules is the husband’s duty. The husband should command his wife to do what is right and forbid her from what is evil. Allah says, “O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire.”
7- The wife is a human being; she may make mistakes, and one of her rights is that the husband should forgive her; the husband should help her pay attention to avoid bad things. Imam Es-Sadiq (Peace Be Upon Him) says, “The husband must provide food, wear for his wife, and forgive her when she makes mistakes.”
Thus, dear husband, do not forget to observe these rights in order for you to be happy in this world and in the hereafter.
By: Ameer El-Amiri
Translated by: Mohammed Alobaidi