Fifth, exhortation to observe patience on one's wife and enduring harm from her: Al Ghazaly (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: Let it be known that stopping harming your wife is not part of good manner but enduring harm and showing forbearance at her heedlessness and anger in imitation to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is the true mercy. The wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to argue with him and sometimes they did not talk to him from the early morning to the night. The wife of `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) argued with him once, then he said: Do you argue with me, O woman! Thereupon, she said: the wives of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) argue with him while he is better than you. (1) (2)
The Messenger (peace be upon him) used to say to `A'ishah: "I know whether you are pleased with me or you are angry with me. She said: How do you know that? He said: When you are pleased with me, you say: Nay, by the lord of Muhammad. However, when you are angry with me, you say: Nay, by the lord of Abraham. I said: Yes, by Allah, I do not abandon but your name." (3)
Moreover, a husband should overlook any mistake his wife commits and should not follow minor and major matters except these mistakes violate one of the rights of Allah. Mistakes are from the nature of human beings and no one is safe from them.
Allah (may He be Exalted) guides us to this fact in His Saying: "And (remember) when the Prophet (peace be upon him) disclosed a matter in confidence to one of his wives (Hafsah), then she told it (to another i.e., 'Aishah). And Allâh made it known to him; he informed part thereof and left a part. Then when he told her (Hafsah) thereof, she said: "Who told you this?" He said: "The All-Knower, the Well-Acquainted (Allâh) has told me."" (4)
Scholar As-Sa`dy (may Allah be merciful with him) said: As for Allah's Saying: "And (remember) when the Prophet (peace be upon him) disclosed a matter in confidence to one of his wives (Hafsah)," many commentators said: She was Hafsah, the Mother of the believers (may Allah be pleased with her) whom the Prophet (peace be upon him) told a secret and commanded her not to tell anyone, but she told `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with them) about it. Thereupon, Allah told the Messenger about the secret which she had spread and the Prophet (peace be upon him) made her confess by mentioning some of what she had said, whereas he did not say the full speech out of his generosity. (5)
Ibn Al `Araby mentioned with his chain of transmission on the authority of Abu Bakr ibn `Abdul-Rahman who said: Sheikh Abu Muhammad ibn Abu Zayd had a high rank of knowledge and he had a bad-mannered wife who was neglectful about his rights and used to harm him with her tongue. When the people spoke to him about her and advised him to divorce her, he used to say: I am a man whom was given the blessings of good health, knowledge, and many slaves and perhaps she was given to me as a retribution for a sin I did and I fear if I divorce her, I shall be given a harsher punishment. (6)
(1) Reported by Imam Muslim in a long Hadith in the chapter on Ila' (a husband's oath not to have a sexual intercourse with his wife for a certain period) and keeping away from women, Hadith No. 3768 - 4/192 [We, the people of Quraysh, used to have authority over women, but when we came to live with the Ansar, we noticed that the Ansari women had the upper hand over their men, so our women started acquiring the habits of the Ansari women. Once I shouted at my wife and she paid me back in my coin and I disliked that she should answer me back. She said: 'Why do you take it ill that I retort upon you? By Allah, the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) retort upon him, and some of them may not speak with him for the whole day till night.' Then I dressed myself and went to Hafsah and asked her: 'Do you answer back the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)? She said: Yes.' I asked: 'Does any of you keep Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) angry all the day long till night?' She replied in the affirmative. I said: 'She is a ruined losing person (and will never have success)! Does not she fear that Allah may get angry for the anger of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) and thus she will be ruined? Do not ask Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) too many things, and do not retort upon him in any case, and do not desert him. Demand from me whatever you like, and do not be tempted to imitate your neighbor (i.e., `A'ishah) in her behavior towards the Prophet (peace be upon him), for she (i.e., `A'ishah) is more beautiful than you, and more beloved to Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him)].
(2) Ihya' `Ulum Ad-Din 4/72 4/72.
(3) Reported by Al Bukhari in the chapter on the jealousy of women, Hadith No. 4930 - 5/2004, and Muslim in the chapter on the merit of `A'ishah Hadith No. 6438 - 7/134.
(4) [Surat At-Tahrim: 3].
(5) Taysir Al Karim Ar-Rahman Fi Tafsir Kalam Al Mannan p. 872.
(6) Al Jami` Fi Ahkam Al Qur'an 5/98.