The Marriage Base

Everything You Need To Know About Marriage!

Praising Your Wife

It takes only three small words to give your wife a compliment, and it does not have to be daily. However, they will have an enormous impact on your marital relationship. Those three words could be, ‘This tastes delicious’, or ‘You look good’. Also, if you praise her within moderation in front of your family members, even if she is absent, this would be a sadaqah on your part. Just do not overdo it because too much praise has a negative effect.

[Traversing The Highs And Lows Of Muslim Marriage, by Sadaf Farooqi, p. 67]


Taking Care Of Your Wife During Pregnancy:

Unmarried men usually have no idea about the tremendous physical pain that Allaah has decreed for the daughters of Aadam (as), They fin this out after marriage, when they witness their wife going through monthly cramps as well as the rigours of pregnancy, childbirth, post-natal bleeding and breastfeading. If nothing more it should increase their respect or women in general.

However, some married men stay out late at night with friends at clubs, restaurants  games or the movie, while their pregnant or newly-mother wife stays at home with the baby. They hand over the responsibility of taking care of her to their mothers or sisters. This behaviour is inappropriate  and it causes hatred to develop in the wife’s heart.

A good Muslim husband offers extra moral and physical support to his wife during these difficult phases in her life. Do not feel your manly ego busted if you have to give the baby its bottle or pacify it, while your wife attends to an older child or her own genuine needs. A Muslim husband is a doting and hands-on father, and this attribute makes his wife love him even more!

Occasionally washing the dishes, vacuuming the carpets, making your own breakfast or tea (especially if your wife is asleep or not well), or cooking a simple meal will raise your status in your wife’s eyes, and increase love for you in her heart. Contrary to what Asian culture dictates, a man does not become effeminate by doing household chores. He, in fact, becomes more manly and attractive to his spouse.

[Traversing The Highs And Lows Of Muslim Marriage, by Sadaf Farooqi, p. 66-67]


Is A Wife Obliged To Serve The Husband?

The foremost quality which Muslim men desire in a wife, after beauty and physical attractiveness, is that she should be obedient and servile. She should do her chores without being told, for example, ironing their clothes, cooking their meals or doing the laundry.

However, it is a fact that there is a difference of opinion among Islamic scholars regarding whether it is obligatory or preferred for a wife to serve her husband. A majority declare it to be praiseworthy but not obligatory, even though most Muslim women happily do their household work themselves, without being asked.

The correct opinion, according to most, is that the level of serving a wife should be expected to do in her husband’s home depends on the local custom… The issue of a wife serving her husband has more to do with custom which is one of the basis of jurisprudence The women of the Bedouin and the desert-dwellers serve their husbands to the extent that they even look for fresh water and take car of the animals…

If the husband knows that the majority of scholars say that it is not obligatory for the wife to serve her husband and take care of the house, I say that one of the benefits of this may be that h will not go to extremes and demand too much from his wife in this regard. He will not give her a hard time if she falls short because what she is doing is not a duty according to the majority of scholars…

Therefore, the good Muslims husband truly appreciates the work his wife does around the house. If she forgets something, he overlooks it and remains silent.One of the best things that can earn him great rewards from Allaah (swt) and grant him his wife’s love in this world, is for him to help her out in the household chores as much as he can, without being asked.

[Traversing The Highs And Lows Of Muslim Marriage, by Sadaf Farooqi, pp, 64-66]


Lessons From The Story Of Musa (as)

The Quraan speaks about the story of Moosaa when he saw two women who were standing away from the men wishing to draw water (Read footnote 1 for the story as mentioned by Allaah in the Quraan). From the benefits of this story are:

1) The two women prevented their sheep from mingling with those of the other shepherds. They were ready to wait, adding to their already-difficult task of herding the sheep [a job usually performed by men], so that they would have more privacy and ease whilst watering their sheep.

2) When the need arises, women should possess the necessary self-confidence to speak to a stranger in a business like, dignified manner(not in a flirtatious manner or in a way such that she makes her voice soft or appealing).

3) Neither of the women endeavoured to stick around to talk to Moosaa (as) after he had done them a favour that had saved them a lot of trouble and time. Rather just as he shied away from them and returned to the tree’s shade without asking for any compensation, they also hurried back to their father, after the errand for which he had sent them was done (i.e, there was no chit-chat or flirting after the favour had been done).

4) The shyness of both, the old man’s daughters and Prophet Moosaa (as) (all three of whom were single) shows that modesty entails minimum communication with the opposite sex.

5) This incident holds the significant precept that Muslim women should hasten to return home after outdoor errands have been done. Loitering around in public places without necessity goes against another Quraanic command that was sent down by Allaah (swt), “And stay in your houses and do not display yourselves…” [33:33]

6) When the time came for Prophet Moosaa (as) to be summoned to the two women’s father, the daughter who was sent to call him walked shyly towards Moosaa (as)… (A woman should) seek maximum possible hayaa’ (shyness/modesty) when she appears before a man who is not her mahram, particularly if they are both single, young adults.

7) On their way back to her home to meet her father, Prophet Moosaa (as) chose to walk ahead of her so that he would not be able to look at her walking ahead of him – a more modest choice.

8) Also his asking her to throw a stone to signal the way was intended to minimise any verbal conversation between them. The whole strategy was directed to protect her chastity from being maligned by an eye-witness seeing them walking back as she was undoubtedly honourable, a fact evident from her demeanour.

9) The daughter gave advice to her father to hire Moosaa for outdoor work… This shows us that despite being shy, a woman can, and should give her opinion to the mahram in her house when major decisions are being made.

[Traversing The Highs And Lows Of Muslim Marriage, by Sadaf Farooqi, pp. 32-34]


(1) The story of Moosaa is mentioned in the Quraan where Allaah says: “And when he arrived at the water of Madyan (Midian) he found there a group of men watering (their flocks), and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). He said: “What is the matter with you?” They said: “We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take (their flocks). And our father is a very old man.” So he watered (their flocks) for them, then he turned back to shade, and said: “My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!” Then there came to him one of the two women, walking shyly. She said: “Verily, my father calls you that he may reward you for having watered (our flocks) for us.” So when he came to him and narrated the story, he said: “Fear you not. You have escaped from the people who are Zalimun (polytheists, disbelievers, and wrong-doers).” And said one of them (the two women): “O my father! Hire him! Verily, the best of men for you to hire is the strong, the trustworthy.” He said: “I intend to wed one of these two daughters of mine to you, on condition that you serve me for eight years, but if you complete ten years, it will be (a favour) from you. But I intend not to place you under a difficulty. If Allah will, you will find me one of the righteous.” He [Musa (Moses)] said: “That (is settled) between me and you whichever of the two terms I fulfill, there will be no injustice to me, and Allah is Surety over what we say.”” [28:23-28]


Fearing Allaah: A Recipe Of A Successful Marriage

Consciousness of Allaah (swt) is a constant realisation that Allaah is watching you and will call you to account for your actions. In marriage, nothing helps more than the presence of this consciousness in both partners to make it succeed, especially in the long term.

When one or both spouses lack Allaah-consciousness, there is a high chance that they might oppress their other half by undermining the latter’s due rights upon them. A lack of acute awareness that one is answerable to Allaah (swt) for causing any dissatisfaction or unhappiness to one’s spouse, knowingly or unknowingly, leads a person to strive to fulfil the rights of the latter upon them. This leads to marital harmony, especially if each spouse puts the other’s happiness before him/herself.

[Traversing The Highs And Lows Of Muslim Marriage, by Sadaf Farooqi, p. 174]

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When The Desire For Sexual Intimacy Overshadows The Purpose Of Marriage

Many young people especially those who rush to get married in the sole basis of a burning desire to satisfy their sexual urges, are unaware of the rights their spouse has on them in a Muslim marriage. This lack of knowledge sometimes leads to their living in a ‘fool’s paradise’, so to speak, with this fantastical bubble expectedly bursting a few weeks or months into the relationship.

Sky-high expectations from their spouse, based on the distorted picture painted by racy romance novels, glossy magazines, cheesy love songs and glamorous romantic films, make a young person desperate to satisfy their sexual desires whilst blind to the reality of marriage, especially to its practical challenges and the correct methods of finding their solutions.

[Traversing The Highs And Lows Of Muslim Marriage, by Sadaf Farooqi, p. 174]

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The Pious Daughter-In-Law Is Deemed As A Stranger

Since parent-in-laws are elders, and it is their house, they are the ones who get their way; and their way will not always tally with the obligations of Islam. Consequently, he daughter-in-laws, no matter how pious or Allaah-fearing, can definitely not impose any of their own beliefs in a house into which they have just moved.

More often than not, it is not just the husband’s brothers, cousins, or the male servants in the house that a daughter-in-law is expected to act ‘normal’ and uninhibited around. Even if her in-laws’ family-friends or relatives come for a visit, she is supposed to serve them refreshments in the common drawing room where the men and women are seated together (as is the cultural norm). She is supposed to respectfully greet the men. Woes betide the daughter-in-law who refuses to talk freely with these men, saying that they are not her mahram and that she is not obliged to serve or talk to them.

“Why did she get up and go to her room so quickly? It is not polite! What will the guests think?”

This is even truer if there are other daughter-in-laws in the same house who do not practice this level of hijab. In such a scenario, if one daughter-in-law conducts herself with more restraint in that house, or guards her privacy more, she is considered, quite literally, the “odd” one out.

[Traversing The Highs And Lows Of Muslim Marriage, by Sadaf Farooqi, p. 107]


A Forgotten Sunnah On The First Night

The husband should, at the time of consummating the marriage with his wife or before that, place his hand on the front part of her head, mention the name of Allah Most High, and pray for Allah’s blessings. As in the statement of the Prophet:

“When any of you marries a woman … he should hold her forelock, mention Allah Most High, and pray for His blessings saying: “O Allaah, I ask You for the good in her and the good with which You have created her, and I seek refuge in You from the evil in her and the evil with which You have created her.” (Allaahumma innee as’aluka min khairiha wa khairi maa jabaltaha ‘alaihi wa a’oodhubika min sharriha wa sharri maa jabaltaha ‘alaihi.)

[Aboo Dawood and others]

It is desirable for the husband and wife to pray 2 rakaat together on their wedding night. This has been narrated from the earliest generation of Muslims, as in the following 2 narrations:

1) On the authority of Abu Sa’eed Mawla Abu Asyad who said: “I got married while I was a slave. I invited a number of the companions of the Prophet, among them was Ibn Mas’ood, Abu Dharr and Hudhaifa. When the prayer was called, Abu Dharr began to step forward when the others said to him: ‘No!’ He said: ‘Is it so?’ And they said: ‘Yes.’ Then, I stepped forward and led the prayer though I was a slave possessed. They taught me, saying: ‘When your wife comes to you, pray 2 rakaat. Then, ask Allaah for the good of that which has come to you, and seek refuge in Him from its evil. Then it is up to you and it is up to your wife.’” [Ibn Abi Shaibah and ‘Abdur-Razzaaq]

2) On the authority of Shaqeeq who said: “A man named Abu Hareez came and said: ‘I have married a young girl, and I am afraid that she will despise me.’ ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood said to him: “Verily, closeness is from Allaah, and hatred is from Shaitaan, who wishes to make despicable that which Allaah has allowed. So, when your wife comes to you, tell her to pray behind you 2 rakaat.’”

In another version of the same story, “‘Abdullah went on to say: ‘And say: ‘O Allah give Your blessings on me in my wife, and to her in me. O Allaah join us together as long as You join us in good, and split us apart if You send to us that which is better.’” [Ibn Abi Shaibah and at-Tabaraani and ‘Abdur- Razzaaq: Saheeh].

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Do Not Use Quraan And Hadeeth To Establish Your Authority

It is very common for Muslim men to pointedly remind their wives about the Quraanic verses and hadeeths that declare their superiority and special rights over her, especially in the first few days after marriage. The most common reminders are (1) that the husband has the right to take up to our wives without his wife’s consent; (2) if prostration were permissible to anyone other than Allaah (swt), the Muslim woman would have been commanded to prostrate to her husband; (3) the husband has the exclusive right to verbally issue a divorce; and (4) he can call her for sexual intimacy at any inopportune time, or restrain her movement outside the house, or even stop her from visiting her close relatives.

The new bride might be callously reminded of these facets of her husband’s superiority the minute she admits to missing her family or asks for a visit to her parent’s home…

What impact doe this action – of reminding your wife of your superior rights or ruthlessly exercising them to proactively establish unilateral control – have on the innocent and well meaning Muslim girl who has come to your house? What will she think of you if you say and do such things to her?

In addition, what does such a behaviour on your part imply about you as a person? Definitely that you, as a man, are insecure, and that you are using your Islaamic rights in a feeble attempt to establish authority over her.

A man who is self-confident and righteous will never use this inappropriate method to try to control and dominate his wife. He is not insecure as her husband and does not think that the only way to ‘have her all to him’ is to trap her in his house, making her serve him all day like a personal valet.

Therefore a good Muslim husband should never remind his wife of his higher status, unless she persistently disobeys him or does actions that r forbidden by Allaah (swt). The bes way to make her obey is to let her have everything she wants – everything allowed by Islaam that is – and to focus on giving her, her rights, over and above what she deserves. She will then automatically become the devoted faithful and obedient wife that you want her to be.

[Traversing The Highs And Lows Of Muslim Marriage, by Sadaf Farooqi, Pp. 69-70]

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The First Night Together

Al-Qadee Abu Umiya married a woman, and when he entered upon her, he extended his hand to her forehead, and at that point she said:

“Hold on Abu Umiya. All praise belongs to Allaah, I praise Him, seek His aid, and I send prayers and peace upon Muhammad and those that follow him.

I am a strange woman to you. I don’t have any knowledge of your behaviour and mannerisms. So inform me of those things that you like so I can do them, and likewise tell me that which you dislike so I can avoid it.

It was possible for you to have married someone from your people, and likewise it was possible for me to marry someone from my people, but if Allaah decrees a mater then it is. So you have married, then do as Allaah commands you: “…either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness.” [2:229] I say this statement of mine and I seek Allaah’s forgiveness for me and you.”

So he (the husband) said, “So she moved me to a khutbah”. So he said:

“All praise belongs to Allaah, I praise Him, seek His aid, and I send prayers and peace upon Muhammad and those that follow him.

Indeed you have said words, that if you are firm upon them it will be your fortune, and if you leave them, they will be a proof against you. I love this and that; and I hate this and that. We are together, so don’t cause division between our families That which you see from good, spread it; and the bad you see, conceal it.”

So she said:

“There is something which I didn’t mention: Do you love that the family visits?”

He said:

“I don’t like that my sister-in-law’s husbands bore me.”

She said:

“Who from your neighbours do you like to enter your home, so I can give them permission? And who do you dislike, so I can prevent them from entering?”

He said:

“The children of so and so are pious people; and the children of so and so are evil.”

He then said:

“So I slept with blissful nights, and she lived with me for a year, and I didn’t see anything except that which I loved. At the beginning of the year I came from the judicial council, and when I arrived home, I saw an elderly woman giving orders around the house. So I said, “Who is this?” They said, “So and so, the woman who circumcised you.”

At that point I was no longer uneasy at her presence. So when I sat down, I faced toward the old woman. She said, “Assalaamu ‘alaykum yaa Abaa Umiya.” I said, “Wa ‘alaykum assalaam, who are you?” She said, “I’m the woman who circumcised you.” I said, “May Allaah make you close to Him.” She said, “What do you think about your wife?” I said, “She is a good wife.” So she said to me, “Ya Abaa Umiya, there are two conditions in which a woman is not worse than her: if she gives birth to a boy or is loved by her husband. So if a doubt comes to you, than it is upon you to discipline her. By Allaah, men have not removed a greater evil from their homes than a disrespectful women.”

So I said, “By Allaah, she has good manners, and is pleased with what she has been given.” She said, “Would you like for your two sisters to visit you?” I said, “Whenever they like.” “

He (the husband) then said:

“So she would visit me at the beginning of each year, advising me with this advice. So she (my wife) lived with me 20 years, and I didn’t criticize her over anything.”

[Al-‘Aqd Al-Fareed, 6/93-94]

This story exemplifies how many married couples should be the night of their marriage, each spouse informs the other about those things they like and dislike.

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