All praise be to Allah who provides victory to those who obey Him and humiliate those who disobey Him. He bestowed upon us His Successive Favors, and I praise and thank Allah (Glory be to Him) for that. Whoever puts his trust in Him will be secure and He shall protect him against evil. There is no deity but He and no lord except He. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, whom Allah (may He be Exalted) honored by giving him the message and chosen him among His servants, upon his family, his Companions, and those who follow his Sunnah and his guidance. We have spoken in the two previous lessons about marital rights and mentioned that there are mutual rights and private rights for each of the spouses. Our talk in this lesson is attached with the rights of each one of them toward the other, starting with the rights of the wife:
Of her rights is to choose her husband, the partner of her life, and the father of her children. It was reported in the authentic Hadith that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "A previously married woman should not be given in marriage except after consulting her; and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission." The people asked: "O Allah's Messenger! How can we know her permission?" He said: "Her silence (indicates her permission)." Unless the girl is young and does not know her best interest; in this case, the people of knowledge mentioned that her opinion is not important. There is a difference between a previously married woman and a virgin, a previously married woman must express her approval in utterance but a virgin may express her approval by silence or do something to show her approval because a virgin possesses greater Haya' (Modesty) so, her approval may be silence.
Of the rights of a wife: Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom) which is the right of a girl and no one has the right to take it, no matter his relationship with the girl. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And give to the women (whom you marry) their Mahr (obligatory bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart; but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it, and enjoy it without fear of any harm (as Allâh has made it lawful)." Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "So with those of whom you have enjoyed sexual relations, give them their Mahr as prescribed; but if after a Mahr is prescribed, you agree mutually (to give more), there is no sin on you." It was reported in the authentic Hadith that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said to one of the Companions: "Try to find something, even if it is an iron ring."
We would like to note something here: What some people do in raising the amounts of dowers and stipulating conditions, which will have a bad effect on a husband and a wife, whereas the Sunnah is to reduce the amount of Mahr and to choose the Mahr that is suitable for her peers. Imam Ahmad, Al Bayhaqy, Al Hakim, and others reported on the authority of `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "The more blessed women are those of low dower."
Expensive dowers at some people led to the delay marriage to old age where it is not good to leave boys and girls reach that age without marriage which in turn will cause negative impacts on the entire community.
I have an advice to offer to the parents who have girls: Show mercy to your daughters and facilitate their marriage and dowers so that they could cope with the mothers who beget men, scientists, reformers, and those who provide benefits to their people and nation.
Of the rights of a wife: Spending on her moderately by the husband and moderation in spending differs according to times, places, and the status of the spouses. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Let the rich man spend according to his means; and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allâh has given him. Allâh puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. Allâh will grant after hardship, ease." Allah (Exalted be He) says: "but the father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother's food and clothing on a reasonable basis." The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "And for them upon you their sustenance and clothing." The allowance includes: food and drink, the dwelling, and the dress everyone according to his financial capability and what is appropriate to his conditions.
Of her rights on her husband: Treating her compassionately and mercifully, not treating her unjustly, observing patience while dealing with her, not to hit her, abstaining from harming her, and treating her with leniency. A husband should know that a woman will not be complete, no matter how religious she is. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "And I advise you to take care of women, for they are created from a rib and the most crooked portion of the rib is its upper part; if you try to straighten it, it will break, and if you leave it, it will remain crooked, so I urge you to take care of the women."
Of her rights: Showing jealousy, protecting her, achieving custodianship upon her. The nature of women is weak, so do not let their weakness to be an outlet for Satan by the negligence of her husband in directing, guiding, and advising her.
Dear honorable Muslims, as for the rights of a husband, they are great and there is no right greater than the right of a husband on his wife because his right takes priority over the right of her parents and the closest people to her. Of these rights: Absolute obedience in kindness as long as the obedience is not in disobeying Allah (may He be Exalted) and does not cause any harm. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them." Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allâh has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means."
Of the requisites of this custodianship: Obedience in kindness the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "It is not proper for a human to prostrate to a human and if it had been proper that a human to prostrate to another human, I would have commanded a woman to prostrate to her husband because of his great right on her."
`A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) "Who has the greatest right on a woman? He said: "Her husband" In another Hadith: "He is your Paradise and Hell." which means: If a woman obeys her husband, she will enter Paradise, but if she disobeys him, she shall enter Hell. The compilers of Hadiths reported: "If a woman performs the five daily obligatory Salah, fasts the month of Ramadan, protects herself (against adultery), and obeys her husband, it will be said to her: Enter from any gate of Paradise you want."
By obedience, marital life will be stable, the family will be straight, and the family members will be happy in their world as well as their Hereafter. It is obligatory on the husband to fear Allah in regard of this right, so he should not command her except with what is good and right, as he should have noble manners when he commands and forbids so as to achieve her obedience willingly.
Of his rights also that she sits at home and not to come out except by His permission except in case of necessity, even if she is going to visit her parents or her closest relatives. Allah (may He be Exalted) addressed the Mothers of the believers, the wives of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), by saying: "And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance." For the importance of sitting at home, her Salah inside her house is better than her Salah in the masjid, although a husband should not prevent her of performing the acts of worship in the masjid, but her house is better. Of the things that a woman should learn is when she comes out of her home, she must go out in full clothes, decency, and cover, and should not go out displaying her adornment or applying perfume. If she goes out in this way, she shall be sinful, goes under the threaten of the Prophet, and Satan will receive her (warmly as she will be one of his tools to seduce men) as was authentically reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).
Of the rights of a husband also is that she should take care of his house and to protect it by letting no one in whether an Ajnaby (a man lawful for the woman to marry) or someone her husband hates even if that person is her brother or one of her Mahrams (unmarriageable male relative). It was reported in the authentic Hadith: "Fear Allah regarding women! Verily you have married them with the trust of Allah, and made their bodies lawful with the word of Allah. You have got (rights) over them, not to let someone you hate enter your home."
She also has to preserve and protect her husband's money and does not burden him with excessive requests, expenses, clothing, or food and drink. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Let the rich man spend according to his means; and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allâh has given him. Allâh puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. Allâh will grant after hardship, ease."
Of his rights also is to adorn herself for her husband in order to attract him to her, as she should draw near to him and be loving by smiling at his face and talk to him with leniency. Allah (may He be Exalted) described the women of Paradise by His Saying: "Loving (their husbands only), (and) of equal age."
She has to fulfill his special desires. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning."
Of his rights also is that she should not observe voluntary fasting while her husband is non-traveling except by his permission. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "It is not lawful for a woman to observe voluntary fasting without the permission of her husband."
Of his rights is that she admits the favors of her husband and should not deny his favors. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "And I looked at Hell and saw that the majority of its inhabitants were women." A woman asked him about the reason, thereupon he said: "They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them. If you have always been good (benevolent) to one of them and then she sees something in you (not of her liking), she will say: I have never received any good from you."
Dear valued Muslims, may Allah bestow mercy on the one who said: "May Allah show mercy to a man of good reputation, has a good inner self, lenient and soft, compassionate with his family, who is firm, does not burden his wife with excessive requests, and does not neglect his responsibilities. May Allah show mercy to a woman who does not demand beyond her husband's capabilities, does not speak too much, who is pious, devoted, and guard in the husband's absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband's property)."
Let the one who wants to live in happiness, in this world and in the Hereafter, fear Allah. O husbands, fear Allah! O wives, fear Allah! Let your houses become sources of light and guidance, and do not make them nests for Satan and an abode for the enemies of the Most Gracious.
I ask Allah (may He be Exalted) to grant us sincerity in sayings and actions and to protect us with His Protection, and encompass us with His Care, for He is All-Hearing, All-Responding and He is the One whose aid is to be implored.