Wife's Obedience to Her Husband
Fatwa No: 84908

Question

Does a wife have to do whatever her husband asks even if its something

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Allah, to Whom belongs all Majesty and Perfection, Says (what means): {Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. …} [Quran 4: 34]

In the same vein, Allah's Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “If a woman dies while her husband was pleased with her, she will enter Paradise.” [At-Tirmithi, Ibn Maajah and Al-Haakim, from Umm Salamah]

Another Hadeeth from Ibn ‘Abbas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him reads: “A woman (Asmaa’ bint Yazeed) came to Allah's Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and said: “O Allah's Messenger! I am speaking on behalf of women; Allah has ordained Jihad on men. If they achieve victory, they are rewarded; and if they are killed, they will live with their Lord, Who provides for them. And we – the women - support them and take care of them, what is our chance and reward (since we help them)?” Allah's Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Inform every woman you meet that a woman's obedience to her husband and recognizing his rights will be equal to all of that (i.e. the Jihad of men) and only a small number of you (woman) will do that (obedience to a husband and recognizing his rights).” [Al-Bazzaar and at-Tabaraani]

‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her asked the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ): “O Allah's Messenger! Which person has the greatest right over his wife? He said: ‘Her husband.' She asked again: ‘Which person has the greatest right over a man? He said: ‘His mother'” [Al-Bazzar and Al-Haakim with a good chain of narrators]

The above-mentioned Hadeeth clearly states a husband's right of obedience over his wife, but such obedience should be in permissible matters since there should be no obedience to any creature if such obedience constitutes disobedience to the Creator.

The jurists said: “It is a wife's duty to obey her husband as long as it is in permissible matters. Such obedience is similar to one's obedience to a father, a ruler, and so on.

But a husband should not exploit such obedience to demonstrate his superiority or tyranny. No doubt that this obedience is ordained according to the Divine wisdom and on behalf of the family.

There is not a firm or company without a manager who has the decisive say and authority in general. Thus, the "establishment" of the Muslim family is more deserving of such a manager "The husband", since it is the basis of society.

Allah knows best.

Related Fatwa