The Ahmadi Religion of Peace & Light

Family Matters

RIGHTS OF HUSBAND & WIFE

Marriage is a holy union. It can uplift the spirit and be enlightening. However if the rights of the spouses are not fulfilled by the other, it can lower the spirit and bring misery upon them. This depends on the way husband and wife treat each other.

In the Sigalovada Sutta, Buddha said that a husband should be good to his wife, treat her well, be faithful to her, share authority with her, and give her jewellery. A wife should be good to her husband, be gracious, faithful, industrious, and frugal.

Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (fhip) was asked: “What are the rights and obligations of husband and wife toward each other? How should they both treat each other in order that they may please Allah the Exalted, and in order that they are able to ascend together and have a successful relationship? O kind father, what advice do you give to those who are about to get married?” The Imam (fhip) responded and said:

“In the Name of Allah, the Abundantly Merciful, the Intensely Merciful. All praises belong to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. O Allah, send Your prayers upon Mohammed and the Family of Mohammed, the Imams and the Mahdis. Peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be upon you. {And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy} The rights and duties of the husband and wife towards each other: Unfortunately, many men, especially in the Arab and Islamic countries, believe that it is a must and incumbent upon the wife, and that she is compelled against her will, to do everything her husband requests from her or commands her to do regarding the house and the children. But many people do not know that the only right which the husband can ask from his wife, is Nikah (intercourse), and it is an obligation upon the wife, she must make it available for her husband whenever he asks for it. Rather, it is incumbent upon her to try to show love and affection for her husband everyday so that she may move his feelings towards her. And it is extremely forbidden that she refuses or slackens or prevents her husband from her, rather if she does, the Angels of the Earth and the Heavens will curse her, God forbid. As for the rest of the matters such as disciplining and raising the children and feeding them for example, and taking care of them, or the rest of the house work, they are not an obligation upon the wife. And she can abstain from practising those tasks, rather she for example can ask for a reward/payment in exchange for those tasks. And this is a right which has been granted for her by the religion of the true Islam. Because when both sides made a contract, they made a contract in a paper or orally on one matter, and that is Nikah (intercourse) and Tamatu’ (pleasure), and originally it is called “Nikah contract” , and it was not a contract to raise children or take care of the house for example or any of the other matters which are known to everyone. As we said, the wife is not obligated to do those tasks/chores, and she does not take any sins if she refuses to do those tasks. But if she was gracious enough and did those tasks, without anything in return, for the sake of Allah, then she will have a great reward with Allah the Exalted, which is a reward that only Allah the Exalted can enumerate for her. But in this case, the right of the husband to demand intercourse and pleasure will change, because when the wife does the housework or the daily house chores like cleaning and cooking, she will be exhausted by the end of the day. There is a matter for the fiancé, and that is that he must agree with his fiancée about this matter, meaning taking care of the children and breastfeeding them and doing the housework which is known to everyone, before they make the Nikah contract. If the fiancée agrees to the conditions of her fiancé, then it will be incumbent upon her to do those tasks, just as intercourse and pleasure are incumbent upon her. And if she refuses that, here the fiancé or the man has the choice to leave his fiancée or to continue with her and marry her upon the Nikah and Tamatu’ contract, or upon a part from what they agreed on according to the agreement of both sides. Here there is also a right for the husband when the wife refuses to do some or all the house chores, and that is that he has the right to marry a second wife, but on the condition that this second wife agrees to all the man’s conditions which the first wife refused. As for the believing married couples who believe in what we say from the verses of Allah The Almighty and the path of Mohammed and the Family of Mohammed (pbuhahf), who were married before this statement came out and before this matter was clarified, then they can either re-do the agreement, or leave the matter as it was, keeping in consideration the love/affection and the humane mercy, and to not use the spouse for personal interests. And from the duties of the husband towards his house and wife and children, is that he makes available for them an honorable living and to provide for them their necessary needs of food and drink and clothes, and the rest of the urgent needs, in a reasonable way within the limits, and without wastefulness nor extravagance. And if days pass and the husband did not spend on his wife, the expense of that time period would remain in his liability whether she asks for it or not. And I would like to clarify something which is extremely important and extremely wonderful, concerning the justice of the Creator, the Almighty. And that is that the hard work/effort which the father or the one who raises, exerts on his household, is a blessing from the blessings of Allah the Almighty, that Allah makes in his children goodness and blessings, and makes the selves and the souls which are raised from the sweat (the hard work) of the father incline towards goodness more than evil, and it makes and strengthens ardency and magnanimity and continuous love and mercy towards their parents within them, except the ones whose clay are impure, and refuge is in Allah. So from here, my beloved pure believing sons, I strongly urge you to work and strive to feed your children from your efforts and [from the work of] your own arms. And sustenance is upon Allah the One, the Indivisible, the Sustainer. And all praises belong to Allah the Lord of the worlds. And let all the men know that whoever does not spend on his children from money which he earned from his work and effort, should not await any goodness from his progeny towards him, because when the father of the children spends on them from money which is not his or which he did not rightfully earn, or when someone else spends on them, Allah the Almighty will lift from their hearts the mercy and love towards their father. Indeed this life has a scale which the Just, the Almighty, the Abundantly Merciful, the Intensely Merciful, weighs with. And all praises belong to Allah the Lord of the Worlds”.

Sayings of Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (PBUH), p.32-36, hadith 65

TEACHING CHILDREN GOOD MORALS & MANNERS

Children are our future. They are our beautiful offspring and it is our duty as parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, etc. to raise them well and make them feel loved.

Aba Al-Sadiq (fhip) said about this matter:

“…The best way to teach children good morals and manners is by example. Children often imitate others and they especially imitate those whom they look up to, e.g. their parents. Disciplining children when they misbehave is essential, and is part of good parenting, but Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (fhip) has said that it is absolutely forbidden for a parent to strike their child.”

Aba Al-Sadiq (fhip)

Buddha (pbuh) said that a parent should be good to his/her children; Keep them from getting into trouble, encourage them to be good, train them for a profession, make sure they are suitably married, and provide a good inheritance.

“Discipline is more important than knowledge, morals and manners are above everything, knowledge can be given anytime, but if the human being is not disciplined correctly, then it is very difficult to fix him, like a tree if it grows crooked it is very difficult to straighten.”

Sayings of Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (PBUH), p.38, hadith 80

Without doubt, raising children correctly is an enormous responsibility on the parents. Nothing is to be taken lightly when it comes to children, as we can see in the Imam’s following statement:

“I do not agree and do not accept for any child under the age of 14 to carry or use a phone for any reason whatsoever. It is forbidden. I do not accept it at all. Whoever wants to destroy his child, then give them a phone. This matter is very bad, and it ruins the manners of the child, because by this phone the child, without his knowledge, can get access to harmful clips that can shock the child and ruin his manners and crush it. And it is difficult to repair this damage in that age. These scenes will remain stuck in their memories.”

Sayings of Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (PBUH), p.39-40, hadith 88

One might think that holding a phone is not an important matter. But Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (fhip) takes it very seriously as he wants to protect those little beings. He wants to keep them pure and urges us to do so as well. Therefore, dear parents and other family members – protect the children from evil!

Furthermore it is crucial for a parent to never give up on their offspring. There is always hope and every soul has the potential of overcoming the darkness.

“The righteous father loves all his children, all of them, even the ones that are disobedient or tiring.”

Sayings of Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (PBUH), p.36, hadith 68

TREAT YOUR PARENTS WELL

As in regards to the parents, the world’s societies are making a grave mistake. The parents and the grandparents who have raised their children, fed them, clothed them, loved them, are not treated with the respect and kindness which they should be treated with. And this is a sad matter. It shows the failure of a society when the elderly are put in a care home where strange people are meant to take care of them – and many times they do not. Ahlulbayt (pbut) and all the prophets and messengers in history have warned the people not to mistreat their parents, or otherwise they will reap what they sow and end up in misery themselves.

And Buddha mentioned that a child should be good to his/her parents; Support them, help them, keep their traditions, be worthy of your inheritance, and offer alms in their honour when they die.

THE STORY OF THE RIGHTEOUS WIFE

Mahdi Adam shared a beautiful story, regarding the treatment of the parents:

“A girl married a man and on the wedding night, the husband offered his wife a large plate of delicious food. He told her to come and eat. She told him, ‘I saw your mother hungry, let us invite her to eat.’ The husband said, ‘Leave her, maybe she slept by now’ and he insisted that they eat alone. So when she saw that act from the husband she said ‘divorce me now.’ The husband was amazed at her decision and she insisted on the divorce until he divorced her. 

The man married another woman and she married another man, and after more than thirty years had passed, this girl grew up and became the mother of a number of strong men who were righteous to her. She decided to go to the sacred House of God for pilgrimage and she was walking through the desert in a majestic parade among her children. They were serving her the best way possible, as if she was a queen on a throne. 

As they were in the middle of the desert, they found an old man exhausted with thirst and hunger, his hair was messy and his clothes shabby from poverty, she told her sons, ‘bring him to me and give him water and feed him.’ When she looked at him, she recognized that he was the husband who divorced her. She said, ‘you are the one who was not righteous to your mother that night, I knew you were unrighteous to your parents. I was afraid that this would happen to me, this, which you are in now. Look at what goodness I am in, from being righteous to the parents and look at what you are in from being unrighteous to the parents.’

Praise be to God, Lord of the worlds, O Allah, make me from the righteous to my father.”

Mahdi Adam (pbuh)

Related Articles