42. Obedience Part 4: Upholding duties

Posted on November 5th, 2012

On October 17th 2012, Wise Wives Orange County was lucky to have Sister Noha Alshugairi, M.S. Marriage and Family Therapist, speak to us about the controversial and delicate matter of a wife's obedience to her husband.

Another hadith outlining a wife’s obligation to her husband is:

"Narrated in Al-Tabarrani that a woman from the tribe of Khath’am came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: 'O Prophet of Allah tell what is the right of a husband on his wife. For I am an unmarried woman and if I can satisfy it, I would remain unmarried. He said: The right of the husband on his wife is that if he were to seek intimacy with her, she would not refuse him no matter what she is doing. And from his right on her that she does not fast the nafl (non-obligatory) fasting except with his permission. For if she were to fast without his permission, she would be hungry and thirsty and it would not be accepted from her. And she would not leave her house except with his permission. For if she were to do that she would be cursed by the angels of the sky and the angels of mercy, and the angels of punishment till she gets back. And she would not give in charity from his money except with his permission. The woman replied: I will never get married."
 
Why do you think the women replied with that, she asked us. Because she is worried about her obligations to her husband. She is afraid that if she cannot accomplish these things she will disappoint Allah.
 
When you boil it down there are several lessons to take from this hadith.
 
Intimacy:
“The importance of responding to his call for intimacy,” is one of them she said. It doesn't mean that you cannot tell him that you don't want to at that particular moment. You can voice your opinion with him.” This is for the women who just say no no no all the time without a discussion. Or women who are consistently refusing,” she said. The point is to come to an agreement where neither is upset. In fact in this area of marriage, the women also has the same right, the man must satisfy the needs of his wife as well.
 
Another hadith related to this topic says, “If a man calls his wife to bed and she refuses, and he goes to bed angry, the angels supplicate against her.”
 
In fact, why do you think a wife shouldn’t fast a voluntary fast without telling her husband first? Simply so that a man doesn’t plan to seek intimacy with his wife one day only to find that she is fasting and unable to.
 
Leaving the house:
This hadith also mentions the topic of leaving the house. She says, this is very important as well. Tell your husband where you are going.  Each husband is different and will require a different level of detail.

If he wants to know that you are going from home to work to the store to the dry cleaners then tell him. If he’s the type that just wants to know that your running errands after work then tell him that. Just develop a system where your whereabouts are known to each other and that satisfies the both of you. This is so that he can uphold his promise to Allah to be your protector and maintainer, not for control.
 
Money:
And finally, the hadith mentions money again saying not to spend his money without permission, even if you are giving charity. Even charity, she repeated. The reason for this is simply that a man might work hard for each dollar he earns, therefore he wants to know were it's going. He might like to budget everything.

Sit with each other, budget with each other, figure out what works best for your family and there shouldn’t be any problems. Again this is in order to fulfill his duty of being a maintainer and protector, not for control.
 
She ended this portion by sharing a personal story on this topic. She told us, “When I learned this hadith I went to my husband and told him, I am supposed to ask you every time I want to give charity from our money.” She said, he looked at her in confusion and laughed. “No of course don’t ask me every time, give all the charity you want,” he told her.
 
So again, develop a system that works for you and your husband. Each person will have their own preferences when it comes to these particular issues.
 
Our next and last entry will cover a few more hadiths and will conclude the lessons from her lecture.


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