Family Values in Islam
A family is considered as a cornerstone of the social system. The progress and welfare of society or its breakdown can be traced to the strength and unity or to the weakness of the family.
Islamic Family values establishes minimum basic rights to guarantee the interests of each family member, it bases the atmosphere in the family on sacrifice, love, loyalty and obedience.
There are many important relationships in a family, which holds the honour, dignity and strength of the family together through the good times and the bad times. But the mother and father (husband and wife) relationship is the most important. They are the hub, nucleus and core of the family. If the husband and wife relationship is strong the offspring’s who have been raised in such a loving atmosphere are more likely to progress in education and work and be a help to society. However, if the relationship between the husband and wife is rocky, then the children are far more likely to be raised and brought up totally opposite to what has been mentioned above
Allah (SWA) has described marriage through the following words:
“They are libas (concealment) for you and you are libas for them.” (Surah Baqarah v.187)
Allah (SWA) used the following words to describe marriage as the same as wearing ones clothes to protect one from the cold and heat; similarly marriage is a means of safeguarding oneself from sins. Also marriage provides peace and tranquillity to the heart and there is a physical bond between the husband and wife the same way ones clothes is closely attached to a person. (Tafsir-Qurtubi p.209 v.2)
Marriage is a Sunnah of the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam and a form of worship.
The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has said:
“Nikah (marriage) is my Sunnah.” (Sunan-Tirmizi)
In another Hadith the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has said:
“In the fulfilling of your sexual desires there is a sadaqah. The Sahabah Ridhwanullahi Ajmaeen asked, “If one of us fulfils his desires will he have a reward in it?” The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam replied, “Tell me if he were to fulfil his desires in a haram way would he be sinful? So accordingly when he fulfils his desires in a halal way there is reward for him.” (Sahih Muslim)
Furthermore, the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam through his blessed teachings has informed us of the importance of a righteous and loving wife.
1- The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said:
"If Allah grants a Muslim a righteous wife, this helps him preserve half of his religion (faith). He should, therefore, fear Allah as regards the other half." (Tabarani and Al-Hakim)
2- The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said:
"The whole world is pleasure, and the best pleasure of the world is the righteous woman.” (Sahih Muslim)
3. The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said:
"Four things bring one joy: a righteous wife, a spacious house, a pious neighbor and a comfortable riding animal." (Al-Hakim, Sunan Baihaqi)
4- The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said:
`A Muslim man can acquire no benefit after Islam greater than a Muslim wife who makes him happy when he looks at her, obeys him when he commands her, and protects him when he is away from her in herself and in his property.' (Sunan Nasa'i)
The role of the husband revolves around the moral principle that it is his solemn duty to Allah to treat his wife with kindness, honour, and patience; to keep her honourably or free her from the marital bond honourably; and to cause her no harm or grief. Allah Almighty says: "…consort with them in kindness, for if ye hate them it may happen that ye hate a thing wherein Allah hasplacedmuchgood.” (SurahNisav.19)
The role of the wife is summarized in the verse that women have rights even as they have duties, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree over them. Allah Almighty says, "And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise." (Surah Baqarah v.228)
The great 19th century scholar Shaikh Molana Ashjraf Ali Thanwi (RA) has given the following advice which will serve as a recipe for a happy and loving marriage.
Good Behaviour with wife
Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A) narrates: Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) said, “The best amongst you is the person who treats his wife with love”
One’s behavior towards one’s wife is the measure of the perfection of one’s belief as the Prophet (S.A.W.W.) said: “The most complete of the believers in his belief is he who perfects his manners, and the best of you in manners are those who act best towards their wives.”
Be tolerant and lenient in Behaviour with your wife
Hazrat Abu Huraira (R.A.) narrates that Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) said, “If a person believes in the judgment day, when he faces some difficulty (interpersonal quarrels), he should talk leniently or rather keep silence. O People! Do accept the welfare in the matters of women. (Remember) the women are born from ribs and if you want to straighten it, you will break it up and if you leave it as it was, it will never be straight, so be tolerant and soft with them”
He must exercise patience and forgiveness in the case of disagreement or dispute, and not rush to divorce. The declaration of divorce is a grave matter indeed, and the Prophet (s) said: “Of permitted matters the most loathesome before Allah is divorce” (abgh`ad al-halal `ind Allah al-talaq). In another hadith he said that divorce is so grave that because of it Allah’s throne is made to shake. He said: “The best intercession [i.e. intervention of a third party] is that which brings back together the husband and the wife.” Womanizing — divorce for the purpose of marrying another woman out of sexual attraction incurs Allah’s curse according to the hadith: “Allah’s curse is on the womanizing, divorcing man” (la`ana Allahu kulla dhawwaaqin mutallaaq). Finally, even in the midst of and after divorce, Allah has prescribed kindness upon the man: “(After pronouncing divorce) she must be retained in honor or released in kindness” (2:228).
To lend a hand to your wife in household tasks
It is not an awkward thing to lend a hand to your wife in household tasks if you are free. A majority of our males considers it awkward and bad to do so.
Hazrat Aswad (R.A.) narrates that he asked Ummul Mo’mineen Hazrat Ayesha Siddiqa (R.A.) about the routine of Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) while staying at home. She replied that Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W.) used to remain busy in household work and at the time of Namaz, He stood to offer Namaz”.
Not to stay far away from wife for a long time
The husband is not to stay away from his wife or keep his wife in a state of suspense, whether at home or abroad, for a protracted period of time except with her consent. Allah said: “Turn not away (from your wife) altogether, so as to leave her hanging. If you come to a friendly understanding and practice self-restraint, then Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Merciful” (4:129).
The husband should not be away for longer than 4 month without her permission or consent. (Fatawa Rahimiyah P.238 V.8)
Punishment & Beating
The Prophet (S.A.W.W.) said: “Do not beat your wife.” He also said: “Do not strike your wife in the face.” The expiation for striking one’s slave in the face is to set him or her free on the spot, but what expiation is there for striking one’s wife? The Prophet (S.A.W.W.) condemned the man who beats his wife in the day and then approaches her at night.
Remember that our Prophet Muhammad Salallaahu 'aliahi wa'sallaam had found the time to go out to the desert and race with his wife Aisha. She out ran him but later after she had gained some weight, he out ran her.
Remember that you will be rewarded by Allah (SWA) for any emotions you show to your wife as the Prophet Salallaahu 'aliahi wa'sallaam said "one would be rewarded for anything that he does seeking the pleasure of Allah even the food that he puts in the mouth of his wife"
Always try your best to be good to your wife by words and by deeds. Talk to her, smile to her, seek her advice, ask for her opinion, spend quality time with her and always remember that the Prophet Salallaahu 'alaiahi wa'sallaam said "the best of you are those who are best to their wives"
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham.