How Islam Dealt with Immorality

How Islam Dealt with Immorality

By Editorial Staff

“I have been sent to perfect high moral standards.” This statement of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) summarizes his message to humanity. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has come to stress and instill good morals among people. Thus, all the commands, rituals, rulings and dealings reinforce high morals. God the Almighty says,

Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded. (An-Nahl 16:90)

Since its onset, Islam has fought immorality by uprooting it through preventing its causes and sources. For example, Allah says,

And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way. (Al-Israa’ 17:32)

Scholars said that this verse explains that one is forbidden to approach the actions that may lead to immorality, including lustful gazing, improper speeches, mixing with women, etc.

The Sunnah of the Prophet also constantly warned against immorality and informed of extreme punishment for those who indulge in it. Samurah ibn Jundub said, that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said that he had a vision in which two men (angels) came to me and woke me up and said to me, ‘Proceed!’ I set out with them… We came across something like a tannur (a kind of baking oven, a pit usually clay-lined for baking bread).” I (the narrator) think the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “In that oven there was much noise and voices.” The Prophet added, “We looked into it and found naked men and women, and behold, a flame of fire was reaching to them from underneath, and when it reached them they cried loudly. I asked, ‘Who are these?’… They said to me, “Those naked men and women whom you saw in a construction resembling an oven, they are the adulterers and the adulteresses.” (Al-Bukhari)

In the below video, Sheikh Assim Al-Hakeem talks about the concept of immorality and how Islam uprooted its causes for the protection of individuals and whole community.

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Source: Qfanar Youtube Channel

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How to Be a Father in Islam

Fatherhood is a great honor representing one’s ability to pass on the prophetic legacy to his offspring.

Fatherhood is a great honor representing one’s ability to pass on the prophetic legacy to his offspring.

The role of the father in the life of his child is paramount. The Qur’an likens this relationship to that of the sun. God says:

When Joseph said unto his father: O my father! Lo! I saw in my dream 11 stars and the sun and the moon prostrating towards me. (Yusuf 12:4)

It is well known that the eleven stars represented the brothers of Yusuf (peace be upon him). However, according to Al-Tabari (a renowned Muslim scholar), the sun represents the father.

Fatherhood is a great honor representing one’s ability to pass on the prophetic legacy to his offspring. However, in many communities fathers are AWOL!

Young boys and girls are left alone replacing the important guidance and teachings that a father provides with DVD’s, video games, DSL and television. Here are five important steps that, Insha’Allah, will help us actualize fatherhood, lead our families and fulfill the command of God:

Oh you who believe, protect yourself and your families from the fire of Hell. (At-Tahrim 66:6)

1. Passionately love your wife

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said about `A’ishah (may God be pleased with her): “I love this woman”.

When asked, “Who is the most beloved person to you?” the Prophet responded: “`Aishah.”

The Prophet said: “If you love someone for the sake of God, then you should tell them.” The Prophet once said to Mu`adh, “I swear by God that I love you.”

He also informed us that God (Exalted is He) will say on the last day: “Where are those who’ve loved each other for my sake?”

Loving one’s wife is extremely important. Once a sister (may God bless her and her family) told me: ’If I could choose any man in the world to marry he must be like my father’.

Once a small girl started yelling at her younger sibling and suddenly her mother asked: ‘why do you talk to him like that?” she responded: ‘Because this is how you and my father talk with each other.”

As men we set an important precedent in the home. By loving our wives and treating them with compassion and mercy those qualities will fall into the hearts of our children. It is well known that children of abusers have a great potential to abuse. The child is a reflection of the parental shadow. Mercy towards women and represents a baton passed from father to son.

Take Action…

A) Make sure before you leave the house to tell your wife you care for her

B) Continue to buy gifts for her even after the honey-moon is over

C) Give her your time and organize, at least, a night a week to take her out alone and show her that you care.

D) Talk to your wife with care and love. Avoid using harsh words and tones.

2. Be a Man of Integrity–or your words will fall on deaf ears

It is said that a man’s worth is found in his words. The Prophet was asked if a Muslim could be miserly and he said: “Yes”. He was asked if a Muslim could be a liar and he said “No”.

God commands us:

Oh you who believe why do you say what you don’t do? The most disliked thing to God is that you say what you don’t do. (As-Saff 61:2, 3)

God says:

Do you order others to do well and forget to practice yourself? (Al-Baqarah 2:44)

Fathers, do you keep your appointments and promises with your children? Do you exercise as much effort to be with them as, say, with your friends or business appointments?

Once a parent was asked to introduce himself to his son’s classmates, after listing his accomplishment the son said: ‘You know, those things are nice, but they don’t mean anything to me. What means the most to me is that my dad is in private what you see in public’.

This really applies to the people involved in Islamic Work and the Masjid. Are we the same behind closed doors as we are in public? What type of image is developing in-front of our children? It is important to have one face as best we can.

Nothing shatters the heart of a child then parental inconsistencies. Let us keep our promises and stick to a positive behavior pattern at all time. The Prophet said: “Fear God where ever you are.” He didn’t say, “In the Masjid.” Nor did he say, “In front of the brothers.” But he said: “Wherever you are”.

3. Your Children’s Importance to you can be measured by how much time you spend with them.

Once a father told me of all the things that he had showered on his son, the son, no doubt, received a large amount of gifts and gadgets from his father. However, when I asked this young man what he wanted most from his father he said: ‘I just want him to spend time with me’.

Make a schedule and spend at least an hour a day with your kids. Believe me, God willing; it will make all difference in the world. A lot of important things can be discussed while throwing a foot-ball, playing hoops, board games, or taking a short walk or trip to the park. While you’re with your kids turn off your hand-phone and lose yourself in their world. Could you imagine if Luqman suddenly told his son, ‘Wait that’s an important phone call?’ Or Ibrahim telling Isma`il, as they were building the Ka’bah, ’just one minute I have a fax coming in’?

Keep notes of your conversations and listen attentively. Offer feedback, sincere advice to them and surprise them at times with pats on the back, hugs and small notes of appreciation.

Take Action …

A) Find out what your child likes to do and do it with them.

B) Schedule a time to spend with them and break your back to keep it

C) Surprise them by taken them out to lunch from school

4. You, more than anyone else, can give your children lifelong self-worth

As a son I remember many great things that my mother told me. However, it was always the praise of my father and his advice the truly struck a chord in my heart. We, as men, can make or break our children. It is important to avoid harsh words and over inflated perceptions of our children. Instead, let’s advice them, praise them and nurture their growth. God Almighty describes the childhood of Mary (peace be upon her) as: “And she sprouted and excellent sprouting.”

My heart loves this expression as it causes you to look at your child as a seed. Seeds need nurturing and, at times, might develop abnormally. Thus, the tiller looks after the seed with velvet gloves on a daily basis offering love and warmth until it grows. God said about the companions ‘their likeness in the Gospel is like a seed that sprouts weak stem’.

Let’s enter the school of `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (Al-Farouq, may God be pleased with him)…

Once `Umar was walking with his son `Abdullah and Abdullah informed his father that he knew an answer to one of the questions the Prophet put forward to them. Upon hearing his son’s answer Umar turned to him and said: ’If you had said it, it would have been sweeter to me than anything in this world’.

This is `Umar! This is the `Umar that we see as being strong and forceful.

But, here we see `Umar the builder of a man. When our children succeed, or even fail, to succeed let us use caution in our dealings with them. The Prophet said: “Give good news”. And he said: “Make things easy and don’t make things difficult.”

Anas said, “The Prophet never yelled at me.”

Our children build their worth from our words and actions. Avoid being negative and saying: ‘you always do things wrong’. Such words are like bricks that lay the foundation of our future men and women. It is important to give them support and love. God describes noble words as ‘a good tree’.

Thus, our good words and advices will plant the seeds that will sprout into worthy adults and noble citizens.

Take Action …

A) Lower your standards: Many parents’ goals are ridiculously high. Once a youth told me: If Abu Bakr (may God be pleased with him) presented himself to my parents; they would want Muhammad’. It is important to set goals for our children, but they should share in them and they should be realistic goals

B) Remember that it’s their future: All through my college days I would meet brothers who were forced to be doctors, lawyers, or engineers. When I would ask them, ‘What do you want to be?’ They would respond: ‘Not this. But, it is what my parents want’. We should allow our children to express and discover their own personalities and offer guidance when needed. An important rule to remember is: ‘Be and advisor, not a supervisor’.

5. Communicate as a family

It is common to see Muslims complaining about the injustices and human rights violations that exist in many Muslim countries. However, there is no need to call others pharaoh when one is practicing the pharaonic model at home. God described the believers as a people of consultation and the Prophet and the companions placed great importance in the principle of consultation.

In fact, during the nomination of Umar it is said that S`ad ibn Abi Waqqas took the shura (mutual consultation) of everyone in Madinah including the young veiled women.

As a father it is easy to push one’s opinions on the household. However, it is not necessarily the most fruitful method. Talking and listening to others will further allow them to feel that you truly respect them and value their thoughts and ideas. In addition, it will increase their self worth and guide them towards the important qualities of listening, sharing and offering input.

Take Action …

Set up a weekly meeting in one’s home. Keep notes and follow up each week with the issues discussed.

May God help us to improve as fathers and touch the lives of those around us.

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Source: Suhaibwebb.com

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Rights of the Road in Islam

rights of the road - streets in dubai

In a noble hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded us to remove the harmful objects from the roads.

By Editorial Staff

What does Islam say about the rights of the road?

In an explanation of the Islamic rights, establishment of new social rules and confirmation to the comprehensive approach that Islam preached, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was once among his companions and said, “Avoid sitting on roadsides.” His Companions said: “O Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), there is no other alternative but to sit there to talk.” Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah said, “If you have to sit at all, then fulfill the rights of the road.” They asked: “What are their rights?” Thereupon he said, “Lowering the gaze (so that you may not stare at unlawful things); refraining from doing some harm to others, responding to greeting (i.e., saying ‘Wa`alaikumus- salam‘ to one another) and commanding the good and forbidding the evil.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

This great hadith demonstrates an aspect of Islam’s care for infusing mutual respect and safeguarding the Muslim community against corruption. The hadith is rather a strong Islamic scream and impediment against the spread of different kinds of harassment, which became today’s unbearable universal disease.

At the beginning, the Prophet (peace be upon him) wished to prevent people from sitting on roadsides where they are supposed to haphazardly mingle which may lead to undesirable outcomes. They told him that doing so is impossible, so the Prophet (peace be upon him) set the guidelines that protect people’s dignities and block the ways to the proceeding harms. These instructions are titled “rights of the road” that have to be observed while one is in the road. We will attempt to review these rights as derived from the above hadith and other hadiths.

Rights of the Road

First: The right of lowering the gaze

Many are the pleasures that heatedly stimulate one’s craving. To feel satisfied with what you already have is a useful weapon for defending oneself from the evil inclinations to illegal acquisition of these pleasurable things. Yet, lowering your gaze is rather an effective tool at your hands, which is quite protective as well. In the above hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) clarifies that it is a right of the road to lower your gaze from everything that God has prohibited. This right is common for men and women equally, Almighty God says,

Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do. And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts.. (An-Nur 24:30-31)

Men and women are ordered to lower their gaze from each other because not lowering the gaze opens the way to immoralities and incurs the punishment of God.

Lowering the gaze should be observed as well in the following cases:

  • The `awrah (things that should not be uncovered in public) of people.
  • The houses and private places
  • People’s wealth, wives, children, worldly goods and so on.

Second: The right of not causing harm

The hadiths of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that stress the necessity of refraining from causing harms to Muslims are abundant. The Prophet (peace be upon him) stated that the very being  Muslim is to let people be safe from any harms from his part.

`Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn Al-`Aas (may Allah be pleased with them) reported: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “A Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hands the Muslims are safe.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Almighty Allah also warned against causing harm to Muslims, He says,

And those who harm believing men and believing women for [something] other than what they have earned have certainly born upon themselves a slander and manifest sin. (Al-Ahzab 33:58)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) made this deed, not to cause harm to people, an act of charity.  Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: “I asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Which action is the best?” He (peace be upon him) said, “Faith in Allah and Jihad in the way of Allah.” I asked: “Which neck (slave) is best (for emancipation)?” He said, “That which is dearest of them in price and most valuable of them to its masters”. I asked: “If I cannot afford (it)?” He said, “Then help a laborer or work for one who is disabled”. I asked: “If I cannot do (it)?” He said, “You should restrain yourself from doing wrong to people, because it (serves as) charity which you bestow upon yourself”. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Third: The right of responding to the greetings

Greeting others is known to be a right of the Muslim upon his Muslim and returning the greeting is also a duty and right of the road. Almighty Allah gave clear orders to respond to the greetings, even in a better way. He says,

And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet [in return] with one better than it or [at least] return it [in a like manner]. Indeed, Allah is ever, over all things, an Accountant. (An-Nisaa’ 4:86)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) urged to exchange greetings between Muslims. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “By Him in Whose Hand my soul is! You will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you shall not believe until you love one another. May I inform you of something, if you do, you love each other. Promote greeting amongst you (by saying As-salamu `alaikum to one another)”. (Muslim)

Fourth: The right of enjoining good and forbidding evil

Almighty Allah has made enjoining good and forbidding evil and instinctive feature of the believers while the hypocrites are entirely to the opposite because they enjoin evil and forbid good. God says,

The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. (At-Tawbah 9:71)

The hypocrite men and hypocrite women are of one another. They enjoin what is wrong and forbid what is right… (At-Tawbah 9:67)

God made this pillar of Islam a condition of the goodness of the Muslim community. God says,

You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. (Aal `Imran 3:110)

Hudhaifah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “By Him in Whose Hand my life is, you either enjoin good and forbid evil, or Allah will certainly soon send His punishment to you. Then you will make supplication and it will not be accepted”. (At-Tirmidhi)

Narrated `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud: “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: The first defect that permeated the Children of Israel was that a man (of them) met another man and said: ‘O so-and-so, fear Allah, and abandon what you are doing, for it is not lawful for you. He then met him the next day and that did not prevent him from eating with him, drinking with him and sitting with him. When they did so. Allah mingled their hearts with each other. He then recited the verse:

Cursed were those who disbelieved among the Children of Israel by the tongue of David and of Jesus, the son of Mary. That was because they disobeyed and [habitually] transgressed. (Al-Ma’idah 5:78)

He then said: By no means, I swear by Allah, you must enjoin what is good and prohibit what is evil, prevent the wrongdoer, bend him into conformity with what is right, and restrict him to what is right.” (Abu Dawud)

Fifth: The right of removing harm from the road

In a noble hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded us to remove the harmful objects from the roads, which is a right pertains to the road. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him): “The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Faith has over seventy branches – or over sixty branches – the uppermost of which is the declaration: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah’; and the least of which is the removal of harmful object from the road, and modesty is a branch of faith.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Removing harmful things from the roads leads to forgiveness and paradise as well. It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said, “A person while walking along the path saw the branches of a tree lying there. He said: By Allah, I shall remove these from this so that these may not do harm to the Muslims, and he was admitted to Paradise.” (Muslim)

Sixth: The right of guiding the passerby

The Prophet made guiding the travelers among the rights of the road. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) forbade people to sit in courtyards and roads. The Muslims said, “We will not be able to avoid it. We cannot undertake it.” He said, “If not, then give it its due.” They said, “What is it due?” He said, “Lower the eye, guide the traveler, wish for mercy on the person who sneezes when he praises Allah and return the greeting.” (Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad)

Seventh: The right of refraining from excretion or urination in the roads

Affirming the care of Islam on preserving the cleanness of the road, the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade these acts that cause harm to the passerby and can be unhealthy sources of harms to them. The Prophet made refraining from excretion or urination a right of the roads as in the hadith of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Be on your guard against two things which provoke cursing.” They (the companions present there) said: “O Messenger of Allah, what are those things which provoke cursing? He said: Easing on the thorough roads or under the shades (where they take shelter and rest).” (Muslim)

Eighth: The right of helping people in lifting their bags

While in the road, one is supposed to meet those who carry big bags while attempting to cross the road or put them in the car trunk. It is an act of Sunnah to help them in putting their bags inside the cars, especially if they are old. Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “There is a (compulsory) sadaqah (charity) to be given for every joint of the human body (as a sign of gratitude to Allah) every day the sun rises. To judge justly between two persons is regarded as sadaqah, and to help a man concerning his riding animal by helping him to ride it or by lifting his luggage on to it, is also regarded as sadaqah, and (saying) a good word is also sadaqah, and every step taken on one’s way to offer the compulsory prayer (in the mosque) is also sadaqah and to remove a harmful thing from the way is also sadaqah.” (Al-Bukhari)

These are the rights of the road in Islam. If you like them, please share them.

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Methodology of the Qur’an in Cultivating the Mind

Methodology of the Qur’an in Cultivating the Mind

By: Dr. Ali As-Sallaby
Methodology of the Qur'an in Cultivating the Mind

The mind is a great blessing from Allah the Almighty with it, one is able to absorb, assimilate, and understand knowledge.

Man is made up of a soul, a body, and a mind; and as such, the Qur’an addresses man as a whole, as a complete entity. And because the Prophet’s teachings are derived from the Qur’an and are in harmony with the Qur’an, the Prophet (peace be upon him) trained his Companions in a comprehensive manner, dealing with each aspect of man’s being. In terms of cultivating the mind, the Prophet (peace be upon him) trained his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) to develop their abilities to think, contemplate, and infer. Over and over again in the Qur’an, Allah (Glory be to Him) commands us to contemplate the universe around us and to learn how to think in a proper and intelligent manner. Allah said:

Say, “Observe what is in the heavens and earth.” But of no avail will be signs or warners to a people who do not believe. (Yunus 10:101)

Say, [O Muhammad], “Travel through the land and observe how He began creation. Then Allah will produce the final creation. Indeed Allah , over all things, is competent.” (Al-`Ankabut 29:20)

[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded. (Saad 38:29)

And Allah said in yet another Chapter of the Qur’an:

Then let man look at his food, that We pour forth water in abundance, and We split the earth in clefts, and We cause therein the grain to grow, and grapes and clover plants (i.e., green fodder for the cattle), and olive and date-palms, and gardens, dense with many trees, and fruits and Abba (herbage, etc.), (to be) a provision and benefit for you and your cattle. (`Abasa 80:24-32)

The mind is central to man’s religious duties in that it distinguishes between those who are responsible for their actions -sane people- and those who are not legally responsible for their actions – insane people. Allah (Glory be to Him) said:

And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart – about all those [one] will be questioned. (Al-Israa’ 17:36)

The mind is a great blessing from Allah the Almighty with it, one is able to absorb, assimilate, and understand knowledge. And because of the mind’s importance, Allah has clarified the correct methodology for cultivating it, a methodology that the Prophet (peace be upon him) of course relied upon to train his Companions. The most important aspects of that methodology are as follows:

1) The mind must be divested of false preconceived notions, notions that are based upon guesswork, blind following, or custom. This principle is established in many different verses of the Qur’an, such as in the following Verse:

While they have no knowledge thereof. They follow but a guess, and verily, guess is no substitute for the truth. (An-Najm 53:28)

2) The mind must search out for proofs and confirm or verify what comes to its attention. Allah the Almighty said:

O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful. (Al-Hujurat 49:6)

3) The mind should contemplate universal laws and patterns that Allah has established for the universe:

And We have not created the heavens and earth and that between them except in truth. And indeed, the Hour is coming; so forgive with gracious forgiveness. (Al-Hijr 15:85)

4) The mind should reflect on the wisdom behind the legislation of Islamic laws and manners, and of the Shar`iah as a whole; such a reflective process develops and strengthens the mind. Allah the Almighty decreed laws to test human beings, but also to bring them peace, tranquility, and happiness – at least to those among them who submit to and apply Allah’s Shari`ah. To fully appreciate the Shari`ah when applying it, man does well to contemplate the wisdom behind a given legislation, and if he is not able to understand the wisdom behind a particular legislation, he should appreciate the fact that there is a profound wisdom, though his limited mind cannot perceive it. Allah said:

And why should you not eat of that upon which the name of Allah has been mentioned while He has explained in detail to you what He has forbidden you, excepting that to which you are compelled. And indeed do many lead [others] astray through their [own] inclinations without knowledge. Indeed, your Lord – He is most knowing of the transgressors. (Al-An`am 6:119)

5) The mind should reflect on the way in which Allah dealt with mankind throughout history, to learn lessons from previous generations, since Allah (Glory be to Him) deals with nations and peoples according to consistent laws and principles. Allah said:

Have they not seen how many a generation before them We have destroyed whom We had established on the earth such as We have not established you? And We poured out on them rain from the sky in abundance, and made the rivers flow under them. Yet We destroyed them for their sins, and created after them other generations. (Al-An`am 6:6)

And We had already destroyed generations before you when they wronged, and their messengers had come to them with clear proofs, but they were not to believe. Thus do We recompense the criminal people. Then We made you successors in the land after them so that We may observe how you will do. (Yunus 10:13-14)

Have they not traveled through the earth and observed how was the end of those before them? They were greater than them in power, and they plowed the earth and built it up more than they have built it up, and their messengers came to them with clear evidences. And Allah would not ever have wronged them, but they were wronging themselves. (Ar-Rum 30:9)

These and similar verses taught the Companions to use their minds in ways that please Allah, as opposed to philosophers and others of their ilk who went astray, glorifying the mind and ascribing to it qualities and abilities that it does not possess.

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Source: Taken with modifications from the author’s Noble Life of Prophet Muhammad.

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Marriage between Islam and the Western Culture (2/2)

By Aisha Lemu

In marriage, the ideal Muslim husband does not impose restrictions on his wife greater than those imposed by Allah, or by the Prophet on his own family. So, a woman who is married to an ideal Muslim husband should be protected not suppressed, and is therefore likely to be very happy and contented. However, the Muslim husband is not expected to please his wife at all cost, if what pleases her may be wrong or against her interests or the interests of the family. The Qur’an says:

Marriage between Islam and the Western Culture 2

The Muslim family is ideally a very united family. Mutual understanding between husband and wife lies at the root of it.

O you who have attained to faith! Ward off from yourselves and your families that fire. (of the Hereafter) whose fuel is human beings and stones. (At-Tahrim 66:6)

In this respect, a husband has a duty to ensure that his wife is fully educated as a Muslim. If this has been neglected in her parents’ home, he must take necessary steps to remedy it, either by teaching her himself or by arranging for her Islamic education by other means. The husband is expected to give leadership in the family. We have seen that this form of leadership is not dictatorship or tyranny. The wise husband will, as indicated, consult his wife on important matters concerning the family, and if he sees her advice is good, accept it. However, Islam has given the man authority as the head of the family and he is expected to abide by the Qur’an and Sunnah and endeavor to ensure that he and his family do not violate Islamic norms of behavior.

The kind treatment required towards a wife should not therefore include condoning her misbehavior. The Qur’an has prescribed specific graded series of three steps which the husband should take if the wife shows by her behavior that she is rebelling against Islamic norms of conduct.

His first step should be to speak to her seriously about the implication and likely consequences of what she is doing. If she fails to respond to this sincere admonition, his next step is to suspend marital relations with her for a period of time. If this step also fails he is permitted to beat her lightly as a final act of correction. If she then complies, the husband should take no further action against her (Qur’an 4:34).

‘This beating is the last resort, and not the first one; and the Prophet (peace be upon him) placed some limitations on it, as follow,

(a) It should not be on the face or on any of the easily injured part of the body

(b) It should not be hard enough to cause pain or injury or leave a mark. The Prophet indicated that if a man must beat his wife it should be more or less symbolic, with something like a toothbrush.

The Prophet himself very much disliked the beating of wives, and never beat any of his own. In Abu Dawud’s collection of Hadith, he is reported by Laqit ibn Sabrah to have said: ”Admonish your wife, and if there be any good in her she will receive it; and beat not your wife like a slave.” In another Hadith from Ayas b. Abdullah, he specifically said: “Do not beat Allah’s female servants (i.e. women).” (Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah)

The Muslim husband therefore has no right to beat his wife discriminately or habitually for petty offences, and if he does so, the wife has a right to seek divorce by a Shari`ah court. Similarly, as we can see, Islam has not authorized men to beat up their wives in the way we sometimes find them doing, so that the poor wife comes out injured looking as if they had done ten rounds in a boxing-ring.

The phenomenon of wife-beating is not peculiar to Muslims – it is found in all parts of the world among certain types of men. However, some Muslims unjustly claim that they have religious sanction when they beat their wives, while in most cases they are beating them only because they themselves are drunk, or brutal by nature, or just in a bad temper.

Bad temper is to be controlled, not vented on the weaker sex. The Prophet referred to this in another Hadith when he said: He is not strong who throws people down, but he is strong among us who controls himself when angry.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

The Ideal Muslim husband, therefore, strives to emulate the Prophet’s practice by avoiding beating completely and discouraging it in others. It is not at all becoming for a Muslim to be a wife-beater in defiance of the Prophet’s explicit dislike of the practice.

This brings us to another interesting aspect of the Prophet’s relationship with his wives.

He apparently allowed his wives to do what is called “answering back” by men who think that women like children, should be seen but not heard. There are several recorded instances of the Prophet’s companions remonstrating with him or with his wives about this practice. Nevertheless, he chose to allow his wives to speak their minds.

Here, we see a husband, who in spite of his love and sympathy for his wives, would not be carried away to commit injustice between them, not put himself into difficulties or wrong-doing in order to satisfy their desires beyond what was necessary. He was not ready for the role of the “hen-pecked husband.” His firmness in the matter quickly made his wives see it in its proper perspective, and peace was restored to the household without recourse to divorce or even a harsh word. It is incidents like these that make it quite clear why the Prophet (peace be upon him) is held up as a beautiful example to Muslims in every aspect of his life.

The Muslim family is ideally a very united family. Mutual understanding between husband and wife lies at the root of it. The Islamic upbringing of the children is one of its most important functions. For it to succeed as the basic unit of the Muslim Ummah, both husband and wife need to know their duties and to practice self-control in trying to abide by the Islamic code of conduct within the family.

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Source: Taken with modifications from the author’s The Ideal Muslim Husband by Aisha Lemu, a British scholar & writer.

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