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 jewelry. A wife should be good to her husband, be gracious, faithful, industrious, and frugal.

Imam Ahmed Al-Hassan (pbuh) also clarified the rights of a married couple and gave the following guidelines to a functioning, loving relationship:

“…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 demand from his wife is intercourse. And it is an obligation upon the wife, she must make it available for her husband whenever he demands it. Rather, it is incumbent upon her to try to show love and affection for her husband every day 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 that, the Angels of the Earth and the Heavens will curse her, God forbid.

As for the rest of the matters, such as disciplining/raising the children and feeding them, for example, taking care of them or house work, they are not an obligation upon the wife. And she can abstain from practicing those tasks, rather she can, for example, ask for a reward/payment in exchange for those tasks. 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 intercourse and pleasure. Originally it was called “intercourse contract”, and it was not a contract to raise children or take care of the house 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 commit a sin if she refuses to do those tasks. But if she was gracious enough and did those tasks without demanding anything in return, just for the sake of Allah, then she will have a great reward with Allah, which is a reward that only Allah 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 command for the fiancé which 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 intercourse 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 intercourse and pleasure contract, or upon a part from what they agreed to according to the agreement of both sides.

If the wife refuses to do some or all the house chores, then the husband has the right to marry a second wife, 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 were married before this revelation and before this matter was clarified, they can either re-do the agreement, or leave the matter as it was, keeping in consideration the love/affection and mercy to not use the spouse for personal interests.
And from the duties of the husband towards his house, wife and children, is that he makes available for them an honorable living and provides for them their necessary needs of food, drink, clothes and the rest of the urgent needs in a reasonable way within the limits and without wastefulness or extravagance. And if days pass and the husband does 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; Allah inserts 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. Ardency, magnanimity, continuous love and mercy towards their parents will be strengthened within them, except for the ones whose clay is 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, shall 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 World.”

-Imam Ahmed Al-Hassan (pbuh)

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 (pbuh) 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 Ahmed Al-Hassan has said that it is absolutely forbidden for a parent to strike their child.”

Aba Al-Sadiq (pbuh)

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.

And Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan said:

“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.”

-Imam Ahmed Al-Hassan (pbuh)

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 accept at all that any child under the age of 14 holds or uses a mobile phone for any reason whatsoever. It is forbidden for them to do so. I do not accept it at all, ever ever. Whoever wants to destroy his or her child give them a cell phone. This is such a bad thing that absolutely destroys a child’s behaviour, because the child by mistake can come across very bad clips on the phone which can shock the child and ruin his or her behavior, and it is difficult to fix the matter in this age. These scenes will be engraved in their memories forever.”

-Imam Ahmed Al-Hassan (pbuh)

One might think that holding a phone is not an important matter. But Imam Ahmed Al-Hassan 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 of his children… all of them… even those who are disobedient, ungrateful or difficult.”

Imam Ahmed Al-Hassan (pbuh)

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. Ahlul-bayt (the Family of Muhammed) 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)

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