Virtue of the husband over his wife
Fatwa No: 9623

  • Fatwa Date:10-3-2011 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 5, 1432
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Question

What is the virtue of a husband over his wife that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, almost commanded the wife to make prostration before her husband?

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 ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

 

A Muslim should submissively accept and approve all that is mentioned in the Qur’an and all that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, told us and should surrender to them whether or not he knew the wisdom behind them. Allaah The Exalted Says (what means): {“The only statement of the [true] believers when they are called to Allaah and His Messenger to judge between them is that they say, “We hear and we obey.” And those are the successful.”} [Quran, 24:51]

Undeniably, Allaah The Exalted has set some due and mutual  rights and obligations on both the husband and  wife, yet Allaah The Almighty set greater rights for the husband over his wife; 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].”} [Quran, 2:228]

Furthermore, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “If I were to order anyone to make prostration before anyone else, I would order woman to prostrate herself to her husband.” And in another narration “…due to the greatness of his right over her given to husbands by Allaah The Almighty. ” [Abu Daawood, At-Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah]

There are numerous narrations that highlight this fact. A husband is fully in charge of his wife; he is given the right of Al-Qiwaamah i.e. the role of being in charge. This role comes with its due responsibilities and duties; the husband is obliged to provide for his wife and take good care of her. Furthermore, the husband has to teach and defend his wife while she is not obliged to do any of that; Allaah The Exalted Says (what means): {“Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allaah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth.” } [4:34]

Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him elaborated on this verse, “It means that the husband is in charge of his wife; he is her guardian who should discipline her if she goes  astray.  The phrase (that means) “by [right of] what Allaah has given one over the other”, means that men excel over women and are better than them for certain tasks; therefore, Allaah The Exalted chooses them to shoulder the heavy responsibilities of Prophethood rather than women." The same rule applies to assigning the post of rulership; for the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler." [Al-Bukhari] Moreover, women should not be assigned as judges nor should they shoulder any similar duty.  The phrase (that means) {“and (for) what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth.” } refers to the dowries, maintenance  and the financial duties that Allaah The Almighty assigns to them in the Noble Quran and in the Sunnah of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Hence, men excel women and are better than them for certain tasks.

Allaah Knows best.

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