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A Husband’s Responsibilities towards his Family

By Dr Marwaan al-Qaisee

The family is that brick which forms the foundation of a society. It
is composed of individuals that have permanent relations established
between them. Most importantly, it possesses almost a majority of the
different kinds of personal relations.

Because of this, there must be certain etiquettes placed in order to
control and regulate these relations. This is such that it can be
maintained in the best possible manner, and so that it can generate
and produce its proper fruits. Family relations consist of the
relationship between the spouses from one perspective, the
relationship between the parents and the children from a second
perspective, and the relationship between the children themselves
from a third perspective.

Etiquettes of the Husband:

1. It is not from the deficiencies, but rather from good manners,
that the husband shares in the responsibility of specified matters,
such as the mending of garments or what is similar to that.

2. It is appropriate for a man not to restrict himself from serving
himself. This is since the wife takes care of the household affairs.
So therefore, it is from good manners that the husband extend a
helping hand to his wife in the house, during times of necessity,
such as when she is sick, pregnant, has given birth or similar to
that.

3. The exemplary husband is he who co-operates with his wife by
bearing good relations and showing kind manners (to her), according
to the full extent of the meaning contained in these (last) two
expressions. Truly, the husbands who are best at working alongside
their wives are the best of mankind in the view of Islam. This good
way of living between the spouses must be deeply imbedded into the
daily marital life, even at the time of divorce.

4. Beware of characterizing the relationship between the spouses with
over-seriousness! For indeed characterizing the family life with a
militaristic nature amounts to one of the causes for failure and bad
results.

5. From the kind and noble manners of the husband is that he complies
and assents to the requests of his wife, so long as they are not
forbidden in the Religion. And being luxurious in food, drink and
clothing is at the entrance of matters forbidden in the Religion.

6. The husband should specify a time in which he can play around and
pass free time with his wife.

7. The relationship between the spouses must contain one singular and
specific nature. And it cannot be this way unless the couple begins
demolishing all the obstacles and impediments that stand between
them. For example, the husband should not feel timid and restrain
himself from drinking out of the same cup that his wife drinks
from.

8. There is no human being that is perfect. So there is no doubt that
the husband will see things in his wife that do not comply with his
natural disposition and preferences. If these aspects are not in
opposition to the fundaments of the Religion or to the obedience of
the husband and his rights, then at that point, he should not try to
change her personality so that it complies with his natural
preference.

9. And he must always remember that for each member of the couple,
there will be an aspect of ones personality that conflicts with the
others personality. And he should also remember that if there are
some characteristics that he doesn't find pleasing in his wife, then
indeed she has other characteristics, which will definitely be
pleasing to him.

10. Do not let Ramadan be a barrier that impedes you from showing
affection to your wife, such as by kissing her. But this is so long
as you are able to refrain yourself, since what is forbidden during
the days of Ramadan is only sexual intercourse.

11. Do not chase after the errors of your wife and recount them to
her, for too much blaming and reprimanding will worsen the
relationship between the two of you, and it will pose a threat to
your marital life. So overlook your wife's easy ability to make
mistakes, and make her falling into them seem like something small.

12. If you are able, do not hold back from providing your wife with
good clothing and food, and from being generous in spending money on
her. This is of course according to the extent of your ability.

13. Do not give little importance to implementing the punishment
required for any acts in opposition to the Religion, which your wife
has committed, whether it is in the home or outside it. This should
be the main reason that causes you to become angry, thus no other
reason should affect you (besides this one).

14. What has been stated previously does not mean that you should
leave matters alone until that result comes to happen. Thus, whenever
you realise that a matter is left alone, weigh it with seriousness
and determination, without being too harsh or rude about it.

15. The woman is the head of the household, the one responsible for
it. So do not attempt to meddle into affairs that do not fall into
your area of duties and responsibilities, such as the food and the
order of the house.

16. Beware of scolding your wife or blaming her for a mistake she
committed, in the presence of others, even if they are your own
children. For indeed that is an act that goes against correct
behavior and it will lead to raising anger in the hearts of people.

17. If you are forced to place punishment upon your wife, then let it
be by staying away from her at bedtime. And do not boycott her except
that it is done within the household. And avoid using foul language,
insulting her, beating her and describing her with repulsive names.
For these matters do not befit an exemplary husband.

18. Having jealousy and caring about the modesty of your wife is a
praiseworthy thing, which shows your love for her. However it is on
the condition that you do not go to great extremes in this jealousy.
For then at that point, it would turn into something worthy of no
praise.

19. Entering the house: Do not alarm your family by entering upon
them suddenly. Rather, enter while they are aware of it, and greet
them with Salaam. And ask about them and how they are doing. And do
not forget to remember Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, when you enter
the house.

20. Beware of spreading any secrets connected with the intimate
encounters you have with your wife, for that is something restricted
and forbidden.

21. Constantly maintain the cleaning of your mouth and the freshening
of your breath.

22. Guardianship of your wife doesn't mean that you can exploit what
Allah has bestowed upon you from taking charge of her, such that you
harm and oppress her.

23. Showing respect and kindness to your wife's family is showing
respect and kindness to her. And this applies even after her death,
on the condition that it is not accompanied by an act forbidden in
the Religion, such as intermingling of the sexes or being in privacy
(with them).

24. Too much joking will lead to (your family having) little fear (of
disobeying you) and a lack of respect for you. So do not joke too
much with your wife.

25. Be considerate that fulfilling the conditions which you promised
to your wife during the pre-marriage agreement is a matter possessing
the highest of importance and priority. So do not neglect that after
getting married.

26. When you lecture your wife or reprimand her or simply speak to
her, choose the kindest and nicest of words and expressions for your
speech. And do not reprimand her in front of others or in front of
your children.

27. It is not proper for you to ask your wife to look for work
outside of the house or to spend upon you from her wealth.

28. Do not overburden your wife with acts that she is not able to
handle. Consider, with extreme regard, the environment she was raised
up in. Rural service is not like urban service, and the service of a
strong woman and her preparation for it is not like the service of a
weak woman.

29. There is nothing in the obligation of a woman's service to her
husband that negates his assisting her in that regard, if he should
find the free time. Rather, this is from the good manners of living
between the spouses.

(Courtesy: Alharamain Foundation)