How the wife makes amends for neglecting her husband's rights
Fatwa No: 296629

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. I have been married for seven years, praise be to Allaah. My husband is not happy and keeps telling me that I need to change. I have finally realized that my husband is right. I am not a good wife. I do not even try to do anything for my husband. I barely clean. I almost never cook, so my husband has to bring restaurant food. I laugh at him in front of others and hurt his feelings. I scream at him in front of the children, which is bad for the children. I argue with him about many things. I spend most of my life in ugly clothes without adorning myself for my husband. This is some of the bad behavior that I have with my husband. I have lived this way for a long time, years in fact. However, I finally understood how terrible I have been to my husband. Now I feel so bad about it. I cry about it a lot. Can Allaah forgive me? I am afraid that Allaah will not forgive me. What should I do? How do I start changing? All I ever think about is me. My husband has done so much for me, and I never show my appreciation. I do not want to be this way anymore.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

The wife is Islamically enjoined to live with her husband in kindness and be good to him; Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {...And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable. But the men have a degree over them (in responsibility and authority). And Allaah is Exalted in Might and Wise.} [Quran 2:228]

One of the main aspects of living with the husband in kindness is for the wife to fulfill the rights of her husband over her as due. We have clarified these rights in fatwa 85167. Since you have neglected the right of your husband as explained in the question, it is incumbent on you to repent to Allaah and seek the forgiveness of your husband for falling short in fulfilling his rights over you. Please refer to fatwa 86527 about the conditions for sincere repentance. You should know that Allaah, The Exalted, accepts the sinner’s repentance; His mercy is immense and He forgives all sins; no sin is too grave to be pardoned by Him. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {But indeed, I am the Perpetual Forgiver of whoever repents and believes and does righteousness and then continues in guidance.} [Quran 20:82]

Recognizing one’s mistake is the first step in the right direction; and changing is easy, first by seeking the help of Allaah; He is the One Who grants help and success. He says (what means): {And your Lord says, "Call upon Me; I will respond to you." Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell (rendered) contemptible.} [Quran 40:60] Second, by sincere determination; you should sincerely resolve to change your attitude to the better; Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {...if they had been true to Allaah, it would have been better for them.} [Quran 47:21]

You should bear in mind that when you strive in showing kindness to your husband and treating him honorably, you are obeying the commands of your Lord and seeking to earn His pleasure and the pleasure of your husband. It has been narrated on the authority of Umm Salamah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her that the Prophet, sallalaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, said, "Any woman who dies while her husband is pleased with her, will enter Paradise." [At-Tirmithi graded it hasan (good)]

Moreover, when the spouses keenly fulfill the rights of one another, this brings stability of marriage and happiness of the family and also helps in providing a good upbringing for the children.

Our advice to you is to make amends for your past actions by striving to please your husband and make him happy, beautifying yourself for your husband as due, taking good care of your house and children, and imploring Allaah to bless you with help, success, and steadfastness in obedience to Him.

Allaah knows best.

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