Duties of husband towards his wife in Islam
Husband-wife relationship is a great relationship. It should be understood that a good relationship between them makes a good family and many good families make the better society.
That is why, Islam is very keen to promote the love between them and make a good family. As such, Islam has prescribed certain duties of the husband towards their wives and vice versa. If each Muslim man and woman follows these advices, definitely they will be happy in this world and will find success in the life after death.
We have listed out certain obligations of a husband towards his wife according to the teachings of Al Quran and Al Hadith.
1. Providing Sustenance to the wife
Every husband has the obligation to provide for the sustenance of his wife. She should be provided with adequate food, a comfortable home, suitable clothes and other basic amenities of life. He should always bear in mind that this woman has disassociated herself from her parents, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends and has joined him to share all the ups and downs of life. Hence, it has become his duty to look after her basic needs and comforts.
It should be remembered that husbands, who never bother for the sustenance of their wives, commit a severe crime of depriving Allah’s creatures of their rights. Such people would be dealt with severely in the Court of Allah. The Holy Qur’an says: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means.” [4:34]
2. Satisfying the physical needs of the wife
Every human-being has been created with the need for physical sexual desires. The husband should satisfy his wife’s physical needs. The Shari’ah has not prescribed any limit for this. But, he has to ensure that wife's minimum sexual requirements are met so that she may not commit a sin by eyeing other men in order to quench her thirst. There are certain men who, after marriage, do not take care of the sexual needs of their wives. Such people are great sinners and will be severely convicted in the Court of Allah. Almighty Allah has granted women the right to conjugal relations with their husbands.
The importance of this right can be well understood by the following example of Ameer al-Mu’mineen Sayyiduna Umar Farooq RadhiAllahu Anhu. It is reported that he was on his routine inspection round at night in Madinatul Munawwara when he heard an old lady moaning and reciting melancholic couplets. The Caliph Sayyiduna Umar RadhiAllahu Anhu stopped there and listened to the wailing lady. He investigated the matter and came to know that the husband of the woman had gone for Jihad long time ago and this woman has been remembering her husband with these sad couplets. Hazrath Umar RadhiAllahu Anhu was deeply moved and immediately issued an official Decree to all chiefs of his army that no married man should be away from his wife for more than four months.
3. Respecting and listening to the wife
A husband must respect his wife and pay attention while she talks to him, so that she will respect him and pay attention to his. The husband should keep in mind that his wife is his better half and she has certain rights upon him and at the home. Therefore, he should listen to her advice and suggestions.
4. Respecting the parents and beloveds of the wife
It is the duty of a husband to show respect for the parents, siblings and relatives of his wife. This will please her. He should not behave in such a way that disrespecting them. It will definitely hurt her. If he shows respects towards her relatives, then only he can expect same from her for his relatives.
5. Providing protection and care to the wife
It is the basic obligation of a husband to provide proper protection to his wife. A husband should bear in mind that the parents of his wife have given her hands to him as the protector for her daughter from all the things which she might face in the rest of her life. Therefore, caring wife by mentally and physically is the duty of the husband. He should stand as a barrier to protect her when any problem tries to attack her.
A husband should be a good friend and should give his shoulder to share her worries and problems. He should also be a good adviser when she is in the problems.
Further, if the wife falls sick, the husband should dedicatedly look after her. He should take extra pain in her nursing, feeding, etc. This little service will win over the heart of the wife and she will be very grateful to the husband.
6. Should not beat up the wife
The husband should not beat up his wife without she committing a most severe crime. The beloved Prophet ﷺ has said: “Nobody should beat up his wife as he does beat up his slave. He should make love with her later some time.” Also beloved Prophet ﷺ has forbidden husband to beat on her face.
However, if the woman commits a bigger crime, the husband can beat her not in vengeance but with the intention of reforming her and as a warning. However, if a wife does any severe mistake or does not obey to husband’s halaal order, the following steps have to be done according to Islam.
1. The husband should try to correct her by advising kindly
2. If she does not listen and change herself, then he should admonish her.
3. If she still does not obey him, he should separate her from the bed.
4. If she still does not obey him, then he can beat her lightly except her face. He should not beat her so severely to the extent of a fracture or a severe wound.
While beating, he should take care that she should not be hurt seriously. The Books of Fiqh have mentioned that the husband can punish his wife for four things:
a. If the husband orders his wife to decorate herself with ornaments and legitimate make-up but she disobeys and remains dirty.
b. If the husband invites her to bed and she refuses without any legitimate reason.
c. If she does not take bath to purify herself after menses.
d. If she abstain from performing Salaah without a legitimate reason.
7. Do not admonish the wife outside home or in front of others
If the wife does any wrong, it is the duty of the husband to correct it. However, he should not shout or admonish her outside their home or in front of others. Always he should correct her while being alone at home.
8. Speaking kind and good words to the wife
A husband should always speak good and kind words with his wife. He should not talk rubbish or bad words. He should not treat and talk with his wife as a slave. He should not say something that will hurt her and make him to say “sorry” later.
9. Do not disclose the secrets of the wife
It is the mutual obligation of every husband and wife to protect the secrets of their better half. A husband should never share the secrets of his wife with others. It is a severe sin. Beloved Prophet ﷺ has said: “Worst is the person in the sight of Allah who goes to his wife and then discloses her secrets and lowers her status in the eyes of others”.
10. Expressing gratitude to the wife
A husband should always appreciate and thank his wife for all that she does for him. For example, he should appreciate the food she cooks for him, the tasks that she does for his children and home. Husband should not underestimate or overlook them. He should thank her for her hard works. It will make her happy and encourage her.
Also if wife presents a gift or brings anything from her father’s house to the husband, he should express gratitude and appreciate it. This will please her. The husband should never reject or discard or criticize any gift offered by his wife.
11. Taking the wife outside
The husband should not confine his wife within the four walls of his house. She should be taken to her parents and relatives from time to time provided these visits do not bring any trouble to the peace of his house. Also he should take her out, such places like family parks, gardens and for the dinner which might make her happy and refresh.
12. Being clean and smart
The husband should be neat and clean as he expects the same from his wife. He should dress up for his wife, apply good smell and be smart, dynamic and a lovable person.
13. Being smile and pleasant
A husband should be pleasant with his wife. He should smile whenever he sees her and should embrace her often. This will make more love between them.
14. Saying Salam to the wife
Whenever husband comes to home from the outside, he should say Assalamu Alaikum to his wife. Beloved Prophet ﷺ has said saying salam while entering home will make blessings (Barakah) in the home. Also it makes love between the couples.
15. Calling the wife with best names
A husband should use the best names for calling his wife. He should call his wife by the most beloved names to her, and should avoid using names that hurt her feelings.
16. Being humorous and playing games with wife
A husband should be humorous and should play with his wife often. Holy Prophet ﷺ would race with his wife Aisha RadhiAllahu Anha in the desert. It is the duty of a husband to be joyful with his wife and every wife expects this from her husband.