Author Ms. Seen Noon
Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala says in Surah Ar-Rum, Verse 21, about the sanctity of the institution of marriage:
‘And one of His signs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves so that you may find comfort in them. And He has placed between you compassion and mercy. Surely in this are signs for people who reflect.’ (30:21)
Marriage, a sacred bond, unifying the two souls into one, legalizing their union, and outlining the rights and responsibilities of both towards each other. We have all heard about the two symbolizing the wheels of a cart, while the household coming to a striking halt if either one of them is affected. These days it seems that we have forgotten our true roles and have become oblivious of the Sunnah of our dear Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Allah’s messenger is the best representation of a loving father, son, husband and much more. He ﷺ loved all his wives deeply, showed affection and care for them, was just in his relationship with them, while guiding all the believers to be kind to their spouses at all times.
Abu Huraira reported:
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If a woman prays her five prayers, fasts her month of Ramadan, guards her chastity, and obeys her husband, she will enter Paradise from any gate she wishes.” Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Ibn Ḥibbān 4252. Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani
Subhan Allah, what a great honor for a dutiful wife, to enter jannah if she fulfills her role as a loving wife. Just imagine, the duties of a wife are paired with salah (namaz), sawm (roza), haya (chastity), highlighting the significance of the relationship of a husband and wife.
Prophet ﷺ As A Loving Husband
“The most complete of the believers in faith, is the one with the best character. And the best of you are those who are best to their women.” (At-Tirmidhi and authenticated by Al-Albani)
Our beloved Prophet ﷺ was a role model for the whole humanity exhibiting kindness, humility, care, and compassion. He was merciful to his family, friends, neighbors, strangers alike, giving away from his pocket even when he didn’t have anything to eat himself. Allah, the Almighty, sent the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as a beacon of light for all, his Sunnah gives us glimpses of how to live our lives while abiding by all the orders of our Creator.
The Prophet’s ﷺ wives, referred to as Ummahat-ul-Momineen” meaning “Mothers of the Believers”, and mentioned in the Holy Qur’an in Surah Al-Ahzab, verse 6 as:
‘The Prophet has a stronger affinity to the believers than they do themselves. And his wives are their mothers. As ordained by Allah, blood relatives are more entitled ˹to inheritance˺ than ˹other˺ believers and immigrants, unless you ˹want to˺ show kindness to your ˹close˺ associates ˹through bequest˺. This is decreed in the Record. (33:6)
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was married to Hazrat Khadija binte Khuwaylid (R.A.) at the age of 25, while she was a 40-year-old widow. Both lived together for 25 years before her death in 619 CE. During their married life, in an environment where people were accustomed to more than one wife, Muhammad ﷺ devoted himself faithfully to Hazrat Khadija (R.A.). Only after her passing away, Muhammad ﷺ married a number of women over time, while the reasons of marriage were logical; social or political mainly, or for becoming a financial source for the widows, but not only because of any desires or lust. A lot of sense can be made when you research about these important matters, instead of relying on groups brainwashing believers who are less informed. Just know, that all the wives of Muhammad ﷺ were widows, divorcees or captives, except for Hazrat Aisha (R.A.), and so he broke this tradition of excluding widows whenever a choice for spouses was made. In pre-Islamic times, people didn’t consider widows worthy of being good partners, thus the ones widowed were deemed to live alone for the rest of their lives.
Strengthening the Bond of Marriage
Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful, has created this peaceful and loving bond of marriage as a sign of hope and compassion. It is only possible as a sign of Allah’s mercy that He places love, attraction, charm and compassion amongst the partners so peace and tranquility can prevail in the households. The husband and wife are like pieces of a puzzle that complement each other and are incomplete if either one of them is not placed in the right spot. A right frame of mind, and sensible chemistry gives rise to a beautiful bond of marriage which aids mankind in gaining love, adornment, peace and harmony amongst the families. Love, mercy and sacrifice can work wonders in cementing the ties among the spouses, while blessing the offspring to nurture under the shade of love and harmony.
The following hadith sheds light on the responsibility of a father regarding his responsibilities:
Aisha RZA reported:
Hind bint ‘Utba came and she said, “O Messenger of Allah, Abu Sufyan is a stingy man. Is there any blame on me for using his wealth to feed our dependents?” The Prophet ﷺ said, “There is no blame if you feed them with a reasonable amount.” Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 2328, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1714. Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi (authenticity agreed upon) according to Al-Bukhari and Muslim
The hadith mentioned above applies to a lot of households where financial matters give rise to instability in the family, pushing towards a rift amongst them. Trust and mutual understanding can help all of us while dealing with money related queries.
Also, similarly, the duties and responsibilities of a wife can be understood with this hadith: Abu Huraira reported:
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
إِذَا دَعَا الرَّجُلُ امْرَأَتَهُ إِلَى فِرَاشِهِ فَأَبَتْ فَبَاتَ غَضْبَانَ عَلَيْهَا لَعَنَتْهَا الْمَلَائِكَةُ حَتَّى تُصْبِحَ
If a man calls his wife to bed and she refuses (without an excuse) and he spends the night angry with her, then the angels will curse her until the morning. Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 3065, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi
The need of the hour is to educate the men and the women about their rights and responsibilities before they are tied in the holy bond of marriage. There is no need of the parents being shy in front of the future husband and wife when the objective at hand is to familiarize them with the commands of the Almighty and the sayings of the Prophet ﷺ.
A hadith I found relating to the love and bonding between a devoted husband and wife:
A’ishah reported that she accompanied the Prophet ﷺ in a travel when she was still slim. The Prophet ﷺ told people to move forward and then he asked `A’ishah to race with him. They had a race and `A’ishah won. In a later travel, when `A’ishah had forgotten the race and had already gained weight, the Prophet told her to race with him again. She declined, “How can I race with you while I am in such a condition?” The Prophet ﷺ insisted and they did have a race. The Prophet ﷺ won this time. He laughed then and said, “Now, we are even.” (Authenticated by Al-Albani)
Bravo! Indeed, our beloved Prophet ﷺ was the best husband to his wives. His way of showing love, affection, kindness and compassion to his spouses matched no other. The race between him and Hazrat Aisha (R.A.) is a sample of how a husband and wife can ensure that the bond between them becomes stronger with the passage of time.
Rights and Responsibilities of Husband and Wife
“In the light of Quran and Sunnah, husband and wife initiate a family. Therefore, it is essential that they develop an understanding of each other’s personality, and respect the informal guidelines governing their bond. This, in addition to mutual acceptance, unburdened by irrational expectations and demands, can lead to a blissful life. If Allah bestows this grace, then there are certain legal obligations as well. Both husband and wife are to be a source of satisfaction to each other. In addition, the man is responsible for the material sustenance of the family.
Allah has granted the man a higher rank in his capacity as a husband, and therefore has advised him to develop love, compassion and forgiveness. Women are blessed as wives, with the honour of motherhood. They should realise the magnitude of this grace in terms of being the nurturers and institutions for the future generations and dedicate their abilities to it. Realisation of these basics entails happiness. This does not require a chartered list. Humans in general, instinctively understand the appropriate behaviour in various roles.” Source: Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
Objective of Marriage – A Birthplace for the Future Generations
One might attach a million reasons to the decision of marriage, but our Most Merciful Creator, has institutionalized this sacred bond to give birth to a cozy, nurturing, safe home for future generations. From the very moment one decides to tie the knot, it’s not just about the couple anymore; Their beliefs & values, decisions, thought processes, lifestyle will have an impact on their future generation, in this life and the next.
Therefore, the most important thing to do, is to make sure to analyze yourself from every angle; physical, mental, emotional, financial, etc., before you start your search for a spouse. As adults, our responsibility begins from our households. The crux of the matter is to internalize such strong moral values and belief systems in our family life, that the future generation attains emotional, mental, psychological maturity as they age.
If we take heed and respect the institution of marriage, realizing once and for all, the need of preventing the marriages from breaking. Compromise, patience, presence of mind is the key to a society with lesser divorce rates. Putting our egos, self-centered desires aside, while focusing more on the well-being of the entire household can benefit both the husband and the wife ultimately strengthening their bond. Negativity can act like a magnet, pulling all the evil thoughts like jealousy, selfishness, impatience, ungratefulness in the hearts of the spouses, furthermore fueled by satan who loves to split couples. Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala has cautioned the believers to be wary of the devil for he celebrates the occasion when a rift is created between a husband and wife. If only we would grab some sense and be careful while dealing with our spouses, abstaining from letting anger cover our thoughts in sensitive situations.