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Fiqh of Marriage

Fiqh of Marriage
2012 Summer Session (August 26 to October 21 2012)
Class taught by Shaikh Jamaal Zarabozo

Course Outline:
This class will concentrate on all of the various fiqh aspects of marriage, starting with the marriage, the waleemah, etiquette of the wedding night. It will then move on to the rights of the wife.

Required or Recommended Reading:
There is actually a great deal of literature available on this topic in English. However, there will be no text that we will be using as the textbook for this class. Some books that I may refer you to include:

Closer than a Garment: Marriage Intimacy According to the Pure Sunnah by Muhammad al-Jibaly
The Fragile Vessels: Rights and Obligations between the Spouses in Islam by Muhammad al-Jibaly
Dwell in Tranquility: An Islamic Roadmap to the Vibrant Marriage by Kamal Shaarawy
Blissful Marriage: A Practical Islamic Guide by Ekram and M. Rida Beshir
The Status of Women Under Islamic Law by Jamal Nasir
The Marriage Contract in Islamic Law by Dawoud El Alami

Basic Outline of the Quarter:
1. Introduction to the Importance of Proper Marital Relations
2. The Waleemah/Wedding Celebration
3. Etiquette of the Wedding Night
4. General Exhortation before Discussing Rights
a. The Goal and Purpose of the Rights
5. Rights Common between the Husband and the Wife

2012-08-26 Class Notes


Importance of this topic
It is important to know the practices of marriage. It is useful for general knowledge to help people out. In the previous class on the Fiqh of Pre Marriage,  we discussed topics and details up to the marriage contract. And now we will discuss the topics after the marriage contract.

Public announcement of the wedding
The first thing that takes place after the marriage contract is the public announcement of the wedding and the walima. In addition to the marriage contract, the Prophet (ﷺ) has instructed us to make the marriage contract known.

The Prophet (ﷺ ) said: “Make the marriage well-known, open and announce it.” And in another hadith, Prophet (ﷺ ) said, “the distinction between what is permissible and what is forbidden is the playing of the duff and the singing.” These hadith are imperative. Based on these hadith some scholars such as Al-Zuhri this public announcement is necessary.

Usually people keep it secret for some reason, they might want to keep it hidden from their wives or some other reasons that might be nefarious??. From the point of view of shariah and the well being of the Muslim ummah, the people whom you know, should know about the wedding.

A distinction is made between the duff and the tabla -- it looks like a tambourine (but without the bangles). As distinct to one that is closed at the bottom is a tabla. The scholars make a distinction, because tabl is louder. The duff and singing that the prophet is referring to is just among the women.

Waleema or the wedding feast
Waleema has a more general meaning -- any kind of invitation to dinner. For example, the Shafi’i scholars say it is an invitation given due to some kind of happy occasion. Others say for happy or sad occasions. If you were to use modern language, it’s like an dinner or lunch invitation. A waleema usually involves food. In this case, it means that invitation which accompanies the marriage. Some madhabs use it in a more general sense and some use a more specific sense.

The general concept of waleema is agreed upon to be mustahab and something you will be rewarded for it. There are many benefits -- you get to know each other and you are being generous. To distinguish the correct implied meaning, in our context a waleema is a wedding feast.

The Prophetﷺ  said: A wedding must have a feast. One time when the Prophetﷺ heard Abdur Rahmaan ibn Awf got married, he said: “Make a waleema even if it is one sheep.”

Scholars debate whether the waleema is obligatory wajeeb or mustahab.

Footnote: Majority of the scholars if they can get away from calling something wajeeb, then they would do so, because of their built in inhibition to saying something is wajeeb. However scholars would not be so hesitant in their rulings of the haraam or the forbidden.

Majority of the hanafis and one well known opinion among shafiee and hanbali is that the waleema is sunnah. A well known opinion among Malikis is that it is mandoob (مندوب)  which is less than sunnah, however their evidence is very weak, it is basically a logical argument.

The evidence presented for saying waleema is mandoob is the following hadith which says that there is no obligation in one’s wealth except zakaat. And since waleema is an obligation on wealth then it can not be obligatory. First of all this hadith is weak. Secondly it cannot be understood in this way, since we have many financial obligations on our wealth, such as taking care of our spouses and our dependants.

Other evidences are more rational, e.g. since in general feasts on joyous occasions are not obligatory, the wedding should be no different. Another rational argument is that since wedding contract is optional it can not be compulsory.

But there’s a counter-argument to their logical reasoning, e.g. if you do an optional prayers such as the night prayers, then you still have to fulfill the obligatory parts of the salaah. So even if the wedding is not an obligatory action, but once you intend to sign a marriage contract then the obligatory actions of the wedding contract are obligatory upon you. The clearest evidences we have are from the statements of the Prophetﷺ.

The strongest opinion is an obligation related to the marriage. It is not a condition for the soundness of the marriage, but it is an obligation that is the result of a sound marriage contract. There’s a narration from imaam Maalik that he considers it obligatory. Similarly for Imam Shafi’i. Similarly Al-Albaani.

Waleema is one of the ways that the marriage known. And since it is a joyous occasion, then you should have a waleema in order to share the joy among your

When should waleema take place?
Some scholars say, it should be done after the consummation of the marriage. Other scholars are more flexible and say it can be any time after the marriage contract. Some have waleema after a long delay, but it is not necessary to fulfill it so late. So for example, you earlier thought it was not an obligatory act and many years later you found out that it is obligatory, then you do not have to necessarily have to fulfill it.

Some sahaba did an aqeeqah on their own behalf, after many years when they found out that their parents did not do an aqeeqah for them.

So if somebody does a waleema after many years, then there is nothing wrong with it.

There are many opinions about when waleema should take place, and there is no specific evidence that points us to whether it should be before or after the consummation of the marriage. So there is flexibility.

Prophet (ﷺ ) told Abdurrahmaan ibn Awf, make it a dinner feast even if it is a sheep. Would sheep be considered a fancy meal at that time? A real feast would be a camel, so a sheep would be something very simple. A waleema could be something simple and related to the urf or customs of the people, we will discuss it in detail.

How long should the waleema be?
In many cases, the waleema would be an open invitation -- when food would be available all day long. Some hadiths point to it being two days. Three days would be considered showing off according to a weak hading(but it there is a hadith for Musnad Abu Ya’la and it said his marriage to Safiyya lasted three days and Umm-Sulaim prepared aqat and thamar for the waleema).

Footnote: Aqat is very hard yogurt, it is petrified yogurt. And thamar is dates.

We do not know of reports of more than 3 days of open invitation. So in those three days people can come and eat any time.

Who should be invited for the waleema?
The ulema say that you should invite family, friends and neighbors for your waleema. And the scholars are aware of the extravagance that occurs during waleema. You should not invite the entire village and the village next door, you will not find it anywhere in the sunnah of the prophet (ﷺ ).

You should make an effort to invite the poor. It is haram to intentionally invite the rich people, and the poor excluded. The prophet (ﷺ ) said that, “The worst meal is the meal of the walima in which only the rich are invited and the poor are neglected. And whoever leaves the invitation has disobeyed Allah and his messenger.” Reported by Bukhari.

Many scholars are of the opinion that if you are invited to a walima (i.e. a wedding feast) then it is obligatory to attend. This applies to both men and women, unless you have some valid excuse. Ibn Taymiyyah thinks it is recommended, not obligatory.

There is evidence: “So the one who leaves the invitation, then he has disobeyed Allah and his Messenger.” Prophet (ﷺ ) also said: “If one of you is invited to a Waleema, he should go to it.”, reported by Bukhari and Muslim.

The Prophet (ﷺ ) also said; “If one of you is invited, he should respond. If he is not fasting, he should eat. If he is fasting, he should make du’a for the person.” (Footnote: Dhahiris say that a fasting person should go to the waleema and make dua.) So if you are invited to a waleema, it’s up to you whether or not to break fast, if it is a voluntary fast.  In some cultures if you attend a waleema and not eat any food, then you are offending the host.

You should respond to the invitation, however the shariah gives proper consideration to certain situations. Footnote: Shaikh had been invited to two wedding invitations and he did not attend them.

One of the reasons is that if the place of feast is going to serve alcohol or some other evils. If the person who is invited to the feast and is able to stop the evil without creating more harm, then he should attend it.

However if you go to a waleema and see evil, then you should leave. This is based on evidence that once the Prophet left the house of Ali, when he saw a carpet with animals stitched on it.  And he later informed Ali why he left the house.

Some other shariah reasons for not attending are rain, fear, illness or harm to his religion (meaning that there is some bida that will cause him harm). The strongest obligation is to attend the event, so don’t be looking for excuses:

Acceptable reasons for not attending the waleema
The usual reasons including rain or harm.
If you see only the rich are invited then you do not have to attend.
If the waleema is going beyond three days, then you should not attend it.
If it is an invitation from someone who does not pay attention to haraam or halal being served then he should not attend it.
Ibn Taymiyyah was of the view that it is not obligatory to accept the invitation of the person who does not pray.
If there is some kind of financial hardship such as travelling to a foreign country to attend the waleema, so reasons of distance etc.

You could show some direct shariah evidence, or some logical arguments to support the above acceptable reasons for not attending the waleema.

Next there was a classroom discussion about the above topics.

Sometimes the host of the waleema comes and informs you that now the “special” or extra-shariah part of the waleema is about to commence and lets you know that it would be a good time for you to leave. Some hosts specifically mention to you the time when those other events will not take place. And they try to justify these others events as part of the urf.

We also discussed attending wedding feasts of non Muslims friends of family members. Shaikh’s response is that just as you would not attend or participate a Muslim waleema when some haraam actions are taking place, then the same should apply for non Muslim events.

When you attend a church in order to invite them to Islam, you know about your purpose for visiting the place. ...

Next time we will discuss the extra events that exist and how we should handle them.


2012-09-02 Class Notes

If you attend a waleema and find that it is not an appropriate environment, then you should leave. There are many issues related to the events surrounding the marriage day and the waleema that we will study and discuss what is permissible and not permissible.

When you congratulate the groom, there is a specific dua from the sunnah of the Prophet (), that does not mean that you cannot give your greetings in your own words.

Many ulema are upset with the word mabrook, because it implies the way a camel sits. The word that should be most used is Mubarak. Some of the strict scholars do not like the mabrook, and shaikh does not know where the word mabrook came about, and even Mubarak is not the correct dua.

Dua: Barak allah ul alaak  ..... wa jama baynahuma bi khair ??????

You can find this hadith in Sunan Tirmidhi and others. And we know this is the best dua that you can give the groom or the bride as maybe your case.

Discussion of some customs
We will discuss some of the issues that commonly arise at marriage ceremonies.


Israaf or Extravagance
Surah al Furqan has guidance about spending, we should neither be extravagant or niggardly, you should choose the middle path. We will have to discuss the shariah definition of israaf, of course it is also dictated by urf or customs.. But putting yourself in debt for ceremonies of the wedding, some of which are not even from the sunnah is not acceptable.

Allah swt says eat and drink but waste not in extravagance, and Allah swt does not like extravagance.

The question of israaf is the one that usually occurs in weddings. We have to discuss it when it becomes harmful wrt marriage, to such an extent that some cannot afford the marriage ceremony and what leads up to it and keeps them from marriage. When it affects peoples ability to get married, then it becomes haraam.

There is a weak hadith, however there are some other hadith which raise it to the level of hasan. The prophet said that the marriage with the most amount of baraqah is the one with the easiest expense. Shaikh explained that it is not the least expense???? but the easiest expense.

Many of the ulema have commented on israaf. They ask why is there israaf, because most probably for showing off or reputation, and if you use money for showing off then it is haraam. Some might be forced by culture, even if they dont want to do israaf, they are forced by peer pressure and they want to avoid back bitting from their peers. So we have two cases, case #1 is the worst.

Most of the fatwas that the shaikh read about israaf are from the Indo Pak subcontinent, which affects a lot of poor muslims.

You should spend what is within your means, as described by the verse of the Quran. You should not try to be super cheap and say that you are being religious. The expenses of the marriage should be borne by the groom’s side. And you have to make sure that you are within your means.

The cost of the marriage ceremony might change from place to place, you cannot compare the cost of marriage in Bihar with the cost in California. or the richer section of Riyadh with the poorer part of Riyadh.

Part of the preparation for the groom would be to get ready for what it means to have a waleema according to the urf and he has to notify the bride’s family. And if it is acceptable to the bride’s family then it is okay. This is in response to a question about can a groom state that he will have a minimal waleema. When things are in the mubaha category, you should be open to it, but if it falls into haraam category then you should stay away from it and if it falls into ... category then you have to be very careful.


Extra wedding ceremony events or Extra Waleema events
The sunnah has waleema and there is no other events, parties, ceremonies related to the wedding. If there are any other events or functions that are to be done before the wedding then we have to be very careful about them. SOme of these are from the pre Islamic culture, and they fall into the category of imitating the kufar, so we have to be careful because of this reason.

Another reason is that some of these events are raised to the level of sunnah or even higher than sunnah. So if any other event has to take place before the wedding and if you dont do this, then the wedding has not taken place, then it is wrong. For example Mehandi.

So if these pre marriage events become more important or equally important than the wedding then it is wrong.

And if these events add more financial burden and as a consequence keeps people away from getting married, then it is absolutely wrong. THen they become unacceptable.

Hennah is a natural dye, there is some hadith (there is dispute about the authenticity of the hadith according to some scholars) that it is okay to beautify the bride using hennah.

But if we make this event as a social gathering with food for people, and it has to be done some days prior to the wedding and the bride’s family has to do it, or the groom’s family has to do it, then these kind of practices become haraam, if they become a ritual or institutionalized.

It is okay for the bride’s family to have a private gathering for the girl and there is nothing wrong with it. But it should not be raised to the level of the marriage ceremony and stating that if the mehndi ceremony does not take place, then there is no marriage etc. Fortunately we have not reached that level yet.

Related to the issue, some have these events even for the groom. They put turmeric for the groom, and there is no doubt in Shaikh’s mind, that its root are in the Hindu religion. Some events have a particular dance, similar to gharba which is from the Hindu Gujarati tradition. Some events have a garland, which cannot be more Hindu. These are all blind following of Hindu traditions. If you have some beneficial actions and you can gain some benefits from it, then you might have some reasons to follow it, but the actions that we have described are just plain blind following of rituals.

In some parts of the Arab world, they apply Hennah and they have some additional events. They take the bride to a public bath, and give her a bath in the nude (it is shocking to even think that this occurs in a Muslim or Arab culture) and they have additional actions such as shaving the pubic hair but we dont need to discuss it.

There should not be any financial burden on the bride’s family. This is not from the sunnah.

In the US, there is a ritual of bridal showers. It falls into the category of imitating the kufar and adding a financial burden. It has not reached the level of institutionalization in the muslims, but it might be getting there. You could give gifts without hosting a bridal shower.

So if we have an event that is not from the sunnah, it is imitation of the kuffar and if it is haraam act, then we should not be participating in such an event ....

In some muslim cultures, they bring the bride who is decked up in her bridal attire and everybody comes up to see her. Here the woman is obligated for hours and she is encouraged to not even smile.

A woman is not supposed to show her zeenah to others. It is imitating the kufar, it is not based on the sunnah of the Prophet (), so this practice is haraam.

Even in Arab cultures, they take the bride to the male hairdressers to get her ready. They say it is okay because all of the hairdressers are men, and that it is okay because of this special occasion. This does not make sense.

How about if the groom sits in front of an all female gathering?
.....

One of the exponentially worse problems is the practice of video cameras and taking pictures at wedding ceremonies.

Some women who care about not exposing their awraa and when they attend the weddings, they have their pictures taken. This happens in every culture, even in Saudi weddings.

This is a problem and is a big issue. Some people are very strict about not allowing people taking pictures or videos and it has become very difficult to control due to the arrival of smartphone cameras.

So people who organize these events they should take precautions to avoid these practices. But even if you take precautions, it might be impossible to control it, but as long as you have taken precautions, then you would be......

Playing of music
It is permissible to have singing or playing duff on the woman’s side is allowed. Some scholars do not agree.

Dancing is something that should be avoided, because of the erotic nature. Some cultures have belly dancing among the women.

There are other events that take place that are improper that we should be aware of and should avoid.

In some Arab cultures, some women will go into the bed and retrieve the bedsheet from the wedding night and show it to the others to show that the bride is a virgin. This is very common in parts of the Arab world.

In some Arab culture, it is virtually forbidden for the groom to attend the Fajr prayer after the consummation of the marriage, or some say that you should not attend congregation prayer for week.

Arabs have their own issues and the others also have their own issues. Sometimes there are shirk issues related to these practices and they have kept them around. We have to be aware of them and stay away from them. We want barakah for us, for the bride and groom who are getting married, for our children.

We want to stay away from making a joyous occasion and make it a source of harm for us because of the actions that we performed. These are not minor issues and we should be very careful.

Next time we will discuss the etiquettes of the marriage night which are the sunnah of the Prophet ().

2012-09-09 Class Notes


Khutbah tal Haajah
... It  is known as khutbah tal haajah, because it is said before an important event, such as marriage, it is one of the steps to make the marriage blessed and you say it before the aqd. .... you say the khutbah tal haajah without adding any more verses of the quran or say anything more about the virtues of the boy or the girl, or the virtues of marriage.

... scholar said that you should say the khutbah tal haajah properly. Khutbah tal haajah is considered mustahab and it does not affect the validity of the marriage contract.

Imam Ahmad was very strict on giving this khutbah and if it was not made during an aqd ceremony, then he would leave.

Shafie madhab says that there should be two khutbahs one from each side, and some others said that this practice is a bidaah.

Mahar should be mentioned before the marriage contract, it is not one of the preconditions of the marriage contract, but it is the right of the woman. However in order to avoid problems in the future, it is better to discuss it before the marriage contract.

There is no special place or time for the contract, there is no direct evidence for it. You cannot say that Friday after Asr as being special is baseless, however among the salaf they used to perform the marriage contract or nikah on Friday after Asr. They would use the evidence of Friday as being special such as Adam was created on Friday and other special attributes of Friday, but then we would have to do everything on Friday. And the reason for Asr they say is that the bride and groom can get together in the night without waiting too much.

Any time of the day or night, any day of the week, is permissible for the marriage ceremony.

Is there anything special about getting married in the month of Shawwal. Some scholars say that shawwal is a preferable month to get married, and it is based on the hadith of Ayesha who said that she was married to the prophet in the month of Shawwal and the marriage was consummated in the month of Shawwal. But we know that the prophet got married in different months of the year and there is no evidence that he mentioned anything special about getting married in the month of Shawwal.

You can get married in the mosque, but you have to respect the sanctity of the mosque.

Some people say that they want to get married but they could not find anyone to sign the contract. They are under the impression that there has to be some other party in order to sign the contract. All you need is the wali and the two parties. Some Muslim countries mandate that a state agency has to be present to witness the marriage contract.

You don’t need an Imam in order to get married. You have to involve somebody who knows the fiqh of the marriage contract, to ensure that you follow the proper fiqh of signing the marriage contract.

There is no evidence to say Surah Fatiha after signing the marriage contract. This is bidaa, you cannot say that a special time or place is required to recite any verse of the Quran.

There is no evidence for shaking hands between the boy and the wali while the aqd is recited or putting a handkerchief etc there is no evidence for it.

Every Muslim state and mosque record the aqd in order to protect both of the parties, but in terms of the shariah, the aqd is a verbal contract and it did not have to be recorded in a document. At the time of Umar ibn al Khattab, he instituted a diwan system, which was a Persian system, it recorded who took part in the jihaad and then eventually they started recording the marriage contracts.

Even during the time of the Prophet , he made a registry and recorded some events of the state, so this idea is based in the sunnah of the Prophet .


Etiquette of the Wedding Night

Many people believe that the husband and the wife should pray together, they should perform Nafilah prayer together. Have you heard this before or is this a bidaa?

Footnote in response to an answer from the student that he heard this hadith mentioned by Shaikh al Albaani: One time a father taught his son 3000 hadith, and then he said look these are all fabricated hadith, so anything new you heard might be authentic.

Albaani has a book on the etiquettes of the marriage night, Daab uz zabaab??? and it has been translated in English but a very old or earlier edition of Albaani’s book. In this book, he says that praying Nafilah prayer together is a recommended act and he mentions that it is based on the statement of the sahabah and not something said by the prophet .

The leading of the prayer by the groom is based on some incidents which we will discuss now.

First Incident: A slave got married and the iqamah for salah was made, Abu Darr asked him to lead the prayer and this is the way it should be. And then Abu Darr told him to pray two rakat and then ask Allah swt for khair (we will discuss this hadith later). There are couple of interpretations for asking him to lead the congregational prayer, it was because he got married or there is the etiquette to ask the person whose house you are visiting should lead the prayer.

Second Incidident: Someone came to ibn Masood and just got married and he said, I’m afraid my wife is going to dislike me. And so he told him, the bringing of the hearts together is from Allah and this kind of hatred is from shaitan. So that disliking is from shaitan. So when she comes to you, tell her to pray 2 rakaah and make dua “allahumma barik.....wa farriq bainana idha farraqta”.

Ibn Masood told him to pray two rakaahs behind him and make this dua after that. “Oh Allah bless me because of my wife...and provide for them because of me...and bring us together as long as you’re bringing us together in goodness and separate us if it’s good.” This statement of Ibn Masood is included by Al-Albani in his book about the etiquettes of marriage, Daab uz zabaab???.

In a separate book by al-albani, he has this same narration but it is attributed to the Prophet (). He says that this is a fabrication, as attribution to the Prophet (). As a narration from ibn Masud it is authentication. “Adaab az-zawaaj” he doesn’t mention the narration and in “silsila daeefa” he only talks about the narration being fabricated attributed to the Prophet ().

Can you consider this statement of ibn Masood to be marfooh (rooted in the statement of the prophet or is it the ijtihaad of Ibn Masood when he was asked for evidence?

Let us ignore the fabricated hadith, let’s focus on the statement of Ibn Masood, is this marfooh or is it ijtihaad?

Sheikh’s opinion, it’s marfoo and is authentic, so this can be attributed to the Prophet ().

There’s a certain dua that should be made and this is coming from the Prophet (). In some narrations it says you put head on forehead, and in this dua, he says, when you get married, you ask “I ask you for the good for her and for the good for what you have created in her and I ask you to prevent me from the evil of her and evil of what you’ve created in her”.

Everyone is born with characteristics, if you have bad characteristics such as temper, you strive to overcome them, some dont have good characteristics and you try to build them.

This dua is authentic and it is part of the Sunnah when you get married. It is different from the dua mentioned by Ibn Masood.

Let us discuss the man and woman praying together after getting married. The dua mentioned by Abu Darr is consistent with other evidence from the sahaba.

This practice of praying two rakaah together, it would be very difficult to say this is the ijithaad of a companion and it would be from the Prophet (). But the dua of ibn Masud, in the other hadeeth, it might have been something specific from ibn masud because the man was so worried about his wife not liking him so that particular dua might have been from his ijtihaad.

There’s a dua that should be made when sexual relations are done, sheikh will discuss these issues later.

Shaikh narrated the dua …
http://www.hisnulmuslim.com/index-page-chapitre-id_chapitre-80-lang-en.html
192 - "In the name of Allah. O Allah, keep the devil away from us and keep the devil away from what you have blessed us with."

بِسْمِ الله اللّهُـمَّ جَنِّبْنا الشَّيْـطانَ، وَجَنِّبِ الشَّـيْطانَ ما رَزَقْـتَنا

Bismi l-lâhi. Allâhumma jannibnâ sh-shaytâna, wa jannibi sh-shaytâna mâ razaqtanâ.

Should the dua of sexual intercourse be mentioned by both? This dua is general and the way that is narrated by the prophet , this dua can be made by both the husband and the wife.

After getting married, there is evidence for post nuptial depression in the western society. Shaikh mentioned a large number of cases, it occurs in the 10% of the population, based on evidence from psychologists, where the woman is crying or depressed after the nuptials.

Shaikh’s conjecture is that the Muslim population is more than 10%.  Footnote: There is a name for every disease because pharmaceutical companies can then market drugs for it.

This post nuptial depression occurs because of the hype surrounding the marriage, some women dream of the wedding for years, and when it finally occurs, they find that life continues on as normal, there is a big let down, since nothing special happens after the marriage. It even happens in the Western society when the boy and the girl have consummated relationship before the wedding, yet after the nuptials, the woman can have this depression due to the let down, that they are still living in the same world as before.

Another reason for this depression could be due to a condition known as Buyer’s Remorse, you bought something expensive but then you’re not sure why you spent all this money. Same thing can happen with marriage. Whether you made the right decision or not. In regards to marriage problems that muslim brother/sisters come to him with, he has usually dealt with less than a 100...even amongst those limited numbers sheikh has dealt with, this situation of muslim sister being depressed, it’s VERY COMMON and sheikh thinks it’s much more than 10%.

For a Muslim woman, the event of the marriage and what’s happening as a result of the marriage, it’s a much bigger shock for them because they don’t know their husband prior to the marriage. Just reality sets in that now I’m stuck with this guy and I’m supposed to be under his authority, he’s not what I thought he was and he doesn’t even look like what I thought he was. We have to be aware of these kind of issues, because it’s happening in our community, and for the man/woman to understand that this is a possibility. Most cases, they get over with but it is a shock initially for the woman to deal with. They go through a lot when they get married, so you should not be shocked that they’re depressed and you shouldn’t worry too much about it but you should understand these things before getting to that point.

Another point, more sensitive, another thing difficult for sister, especially if no one has told her this...that is that, the first sexual experience for the woman is many times going to be painful. If it is painful for her, she might think in her mind, I don’t like this etc. Especially if a woman is a virgin and many times the brother has not experienced sexual relationship either.

When it comes to sexual relationships, the following analogy explains the differences between the sexes, the men are like microwave oven and woman like slow cooking crock pots. So this sister may experience that pain and she didn’t expect/realize it. If the pain continues every time then that’s a different issue. This could also cause mental anguish if they go through this and we don’t want that. We want people to be happy.

The more we can recognize and understand this post nuptial depression, the better prepared are we to deal with it. This condition is not mentioned in the books of fiqh???? but it is a reality.

And this condition can be worse if your wife is from overseas, since she is now so far away from her family and her support. Sot it can be worse due to these other conditions.

Recognizing that post nuptial depression occurs is good for the newly married man, so that he knows and understands why she is crying. He will not become confused and make statements when he finds her crying that would make matters worst. He has to be understanding of her situation and it would make it easier for the woman. He would also be a able to identify if there is any other reason for her unhappiness.

Is it from the sunnah to drink milk on the night of the marriage? The hadith are not related to the night of marriage.

A marriage contract has legal ramifications. There are common rights between both husband and wife, there some rights specifically for the husband and some for the wife. There might be some rights that each of the party has to relinquish after the contract. The fiqh books will discuss it too. But that is not all there is to the aqd, it is not just a legal contract. So what should be our attitude towards the aqd and how we should deal with it.

Duas sent by Sh Jamaal

The authentic hadith from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him):

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ خَيْرَهَا وَخَيْرَ مَا جَبَلْتَهَا عَلَيْهِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّهَا وَمِنْ شَرِّ مَا جَبَ لتَهَا عَلَيْهِ

“O Allah, I ask You for the good of her and the good of what You have created in her; and I seek refuge in You from the evil in Her and the evil of what You have created in her.”

The authentic hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) of the duaa at the time of sexual relations:

اللَّهُمَّ جَنِّبْنَا الشَّيْطَانَ وَجَنِّبِ الشَّيْطَانَ مَا رَزَقْتَنَا


“In the name of Allah, O Allah, keep us away from the devil and keep the devil away from what You grant us.”

The Duaa in the report of ibn Masood that we discussed in class:

اللَّهُمَّ، بَارِكْ لِي فِي أَهْلِي، وَبَارِكْ لهَمُْ

فِيَّ، وَارْزُقْنِي مِنْهُمْ، وَارْزُقْهُمْ مِنِّي، اللَّهُمَّ اجمَ

ْعْ بَيْنَنَا مَا جمََعْتَ

إِلَى خَيْرٍ، وَفَرِّقْ بَيْنَنَا إِذَا فَرَّقْتَ إِلَى خَيْرٍ



2012-09-17 Class Notes


One marriage psychiatrist says that the gender rules have not kept up with the marriage. Traditionally there were set rules in a marriage and they no longer apply and families are confused and don’t know how to move ahead. Alhumdullillah, the shariah has structured the marriage and it has defined the responsibilities of both of the spouses. Sh is using the word responsibilities instead of the rights, he reminds us that this is not the correct way to approach it, you should think about them as the responsibilities of the husband or the wife. These are the minimum that is expected of the family and the spousal relationships. But this is not the only direction or guidance given by the shariah.

If you narrowly focus on what the fiqh books ask us to do, then you are missing the point.

Allah swt speaks about the marital responsibilities in Surah Rum verse 21 which we discussed in the previous class. .... he has put between you affection and mercy and verily among it are signs of ...

This comfort and tranquility goes above and beyond the rights and obligations. If you are in a partnership in a company and all you do is fulfill rights and obligations, you will not feel love or affection for the partner or your boss. The relationship that Allah swt is speaking about is not just about rights and responsibilities.

Allah swt reminds us that ...... in order to enjoy the pleasure of living with your spouse....

Hadith: The best among you is the one who is best to his wife and I am the best to my wife.

Hadith: ....live with them in a goodly manner

When you speak about being best, then you are going above and beyond what is expected in the fiqh books.

If you keep in mind the purposes and goals of the marriage, then you know that there is something in the marriage that is beyond rights and obligations.

Keys to a sound marriage
Romantic love and physical love dies out in a few years, even physical attraction can be lost. But there is something that can grow between the two parties and increase their love and affection.

We are discussing the interaction between two human beings and for it to grow in love and affection. It is dependent upon the khulaq and intentions.

Allah swt tells us in the Qur’an, the good and the bad deed are not equal, repeal bad deed with a ..... behave better than the other party....

Here Allah swt is describing khulaq and how you can repeal an evil deed with a good act.

When you have a dispute between husband and wife according to the cases that have come up to his attention in the past are due to the following, about 20% of the time is due to some haraam act (a big haraam act) by the husband, and sometimes it is due to not fulfilling the rights of the other party, and majority of the time is due to the khulaq and behaviour of the one or both of the parties

So majority of the disputes is due to bad behaviour and not living up to the ideals of the marriage or interaction between the two.

Hadith: If someone proposes to you and if you are pleased with their deen and khulaq then marry them.

Here khulaq is being emphasized by the prophet .

Hadith: ..... some one is getting married because of their deen, then you might prosper.

Here deen is inclusive of khulaq.

What is going to make you a good spouse is related to how you are going to be a good Muslim and ...

What does the verse khulaqal alim mean?  
Quran says that the Prophet was born on the great khulaq, what does it mean?

When you study the tafseer of this verse and study what ibn Abbas and others have said, here khulaq means deen or Islam. This deen is one of great behaviour and great character.

Hadith: Deenul khalaq

This great character makes an individual beloved to others. When you behave well towards others, they like to be close to you and be with you. One of the great disasters of the Muslim community is because of the us not following the advice of this hadith, you have to love for others what you love for yourself. Here others means your brother or sister in Islam.

When you have to love those whom you dont know, they what can you say about your spouse? SHe is closer to you and has more rights than others. If you treat your brothers in the mosque better, then you better treat your wife much better.

Also when you have to help somebody whom you see for a few minutes is more difficult then when you live with somebody 24 hours a day, ...

Hadith: THe best among you is one who is best to his wife.

Here he is treating his wife better even when he is not in the best of conditions such as being tired or being upset or .....  You can be prepared to be nice to someone when you meet for a few minutes, but when you have good khulaq with your wife when you are not in the best of conditions, then you are a better person.

..... When you look at the books that discuss successful marriages and you look closely at their keys, ....

Book: The Ideal Muslim Husband
The author describes the desired qualities of a husband, good Muslim, justice and fairness, kindness and ..., good manners, trustworthy and reliability, avoids quarrelling, gentleness, ...

You will see all of these characteristics in books that describes the behaviour of a good Muslim, so it is not just characteristics of husband, but characteristics of a good Muslim.

Encyclopedia of .....
It also includes negative characteristics that a Muslim should avoid.

Book: Min akhta al ajwazi Mistakes of the husbands and Mistakes of the wives
When you enumerate the causes of disputes between the spouses, it is due to ikhlaaq.

So the key to sound marriage is to have the proper khulaq of a muslim.

Book: Blissful marriage and ...
Chapter 4 of that book is titled, .... recipes of a good marriage. And the ingredients that they mention are seven essential Cs, seven magical Ss and five wonderful As. They also have other things that they mention.

They mention commitment, courtesy, communication, care, contentment, contribution and compromise.
Sensitivity, sincerity, support and sharing
Appreciation and acceptance
Rahmah (compassion, leniency and kindness), love, forgiveness, faithfulness, respect, trust

These are all qualities that a Muslim should have

Book: Kamal al Sharawi
He talks about love and kindness, adab, patience, gratitude, listening, enjoining the right and forbidding the evil, consultation, and ....
You can show that all of these are khulaq of a Muslim

Western Book: All you need is love and ....
Patience love and kindness are mentioned here, and these are all part and parcel of the ikhlaaq of a Muslim.

The point that Sh is trying to make is very simple, the reality is that if the person tries to be a better Muslim, then he will be a good spouse.

Most of the problems are due to the spouses not behaving as good Muslims to one another. Even the part of the fulfilling the rights is part of the Muslim’s character and he has to do them with the best of manner and excel in fulfilling the rights and obligations. Even leaving this aspect out, just the fact that the person should have good khulaq is sufficient for a sound marriage.

Having good expectations of your brother or sister (husni dan) is one of the good characteristics of a good Muslim. And those who are closer to you, it is expected that you treat them well.

Question:
If we recognize the fact that as believers we are supposed to have good ikhlaq and specially as spouses in order for our marriage to prosper, given these two facts, can you change your ikhlaq?

Can someone change his ikhlaq?
How many times you have seen somebody with bad temper, and you approach him and he says that this is his ikhlaq and there is nothing that he can do about it.

Hadith: When he gave advice to somebody do not get angry, he said that this is his khulaq and he should change.

Is there anyone in the class who says that you cannot change your ikhlaaq?
So everybody is accepting that you can change your ikhlaaq. And this must be the case since having proper ikhlaaq is a requirement of being a Muslim.

Hadith: I have been sent for the purpose of completing the good khulaq.....

Allah swt says no soul is expected to suffer beyond what it can bear.

You cannot use the excuse of bad ikhlaaq, you can change. And to use it as an excuse for poor marital relationships is very bad. Sh has seen many couples using this as an excuse, they say that this is the way I am. Can you use this as a shariah excuse?

It should be clear that you cannot fall back into this excuse. If you know that there is something weak in you khulaq, that this is reason for your behaviour. It is true that human beings are born with certain ikhlaaq. In Islam, you have to build upon the good characteristics, you have increase them and fulfill them for the sake of Allah swt. For the bad characteristics, you have to strive to change them

If you are the spouse that is suffering due to the poor ikhlaaq of your partner, then you have to realize that changing ikhlaaq takes time and if your spouse is making an effort to change their ikhlaaq then you have to be patient and give them time. Insha allah, Allah swt will guide them and

What is the source of your ikhlaaq?
It is the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet , but we dont live up to it, due to the society and the culture. If your behaviour is due to society and culture that goes against the Quran and Sunnah, then you must make attempt to change your behaviour.

How to attain good ikhlaaq? How to change your ikhlaaq?
We all agree that you can change your ikhlaaq. (Footnote: We are not talking about chemical imbalances). So temper, stinginess or almost any characteristic that you can think of, you can change it.

Have sincere intention to change your ikhlaaq
What could help you increase your intention or drive you to want to change. It has to be to please Allah swt, that you are doing this act to please Allah swt. You have to go to numerous verses in which Allah swt describes khulaq.

When you think about the ramifications of your bad khulaq, it is due to parts of your khulaq. There is lot to benefit by changing your khulaq. When you realize how important it is for your happiness and your relationships with others, then it will be a motivating factor.

Being around people of good khulaaq since their behaviour affects you. Hadith: A person is on the religion of their good friend, so you should choose your friends carefully.  Suppose if you have bad temper and you sit around people who ignore their bad temper, then you will feel stupid. Similarly with bad language, since the good people will ask you why you are using bad language.

If you sit around people who have bad khulaaq then it will reinforce your bad khulaaq.

You should reflect on how you behave and what is good and bad in your behaviour.

You should study the khulaaq of the Prophet , you have in him the best example as described by Allah swt. Some people follow the Prophet without reflecting upon it such as using miswaaq or wearing a turban, but they miss out on the good khulaq of the Prophet , because then you are really implementing Islaam.


2012-09-23 Class Notes


Dua for requesting good khuluq sent by Sh Jamaal Zarabozo

اللَّهُمَّ أَحْسَنْتَ خَلْقِي فَأَحْسِنْ خُلُقِي

“O Allah, You made my physical being beautiful, so [also] make my character beautiful.”


اهْدِنِي لِأَحْسَنِ الأَخْلاقِ لا يَهْدِي لِأَحْسَنِهَا إِلاَّ أَنْتَ

وَاصْرِفْ عَنِّي سَيِّئَهَا لا يَصْرِفُ عَنِّي سَيِّئَهَ ا إِلاَّ

أَنْتَ

“Guide me to the best manners, no one [can] guide to the best of them but You.
And turn me away from evil manners, no one [can] turn me away from them except You.”
(Recorded by Muslim.)


اللَّهُمَّ إِنيِّ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ مُنْكَرَاتِ الْأَخْلَاقِ وَالْأَعْمَالِ وَالْأَهْوَاءِ

“O Allah, I seek refuge in You from repugnant morals, deeds and desires.”


Last time we started discussing the importance of ikhlaq which is above and beyond what is considered fiqh of marriage. Even though they are not discussed in fiqh of marriage, they are part and parcel of being a good muslim.

Sh cross referenced four books on the topic of marriage and ikhlaq, including secular and Islamic books, and Sh Jamaal is now presenting three important conclusions from this research.

There is a lot of material on ikhlaq of spouses that exists but it is not written, the current set of books do not discuss it properly, meaning it is not presented with the correct perspective, they discuss it tangentially without referring to the Quran and Sunnah. There is a void on the topic of ikhlaq of the spouses.

There is much more in the Islam that touches upon relationships and it discusses the bigger picture as compared to the secular texts.

Applying the ikhlaq of Islam across the board from minor aspects to major aspects will make you a better spouse. When you relationship with your spouse is better, then as a consequence your family will be better and the society will be better.

Islam gives us the abstract concepts and it also tells us actions that would lead us to fulfill those abstract concepts.

Small things in Islam that affect the bigger aspect of your relationship with your spouse.

When you meet your Muslim brother which also includes the sisterhood, whether you meet him for just a few minutes a day, then you are supposed to greet him kindly. And this should also apply to the one whom you meet everyday.

If you give sadaqah to somebody you dont know it is good, if you give sadaqah to a neighbor it is even better because you tying the relationship of your neighbor, and if you give sadaqah to your relatives it is even better because you are now fulfilling the relationships of families.

So small aspects as being nice to your brothers in Islam or being charitable to strangers, then it is even more incumbent to fulfill it to closer to you.

Hadith: ... You should never belittle ... even if it is meeting your brother with a cheerful smiling face.

Prophet described this as a good deed.

In another hadith, Prophet said that smiling to your brother is an act of charity.

You are giving a positive vibe and it gives hope to somebody who is down and not feeling well.

Abdullah ibn al Harith said, I have never seen anyone smiling more than the Prophet.

One of the common complaints from spouses is that when husband comes home from work, instead of being cheer to the house, they bring a dour face and do not even bother to smile at one another, it can be true for either spouses. And this sets the tone for the rest of the day.

How many husbands and wives make it a point to give salaams to one another, since it is dua, and also smile at one another. This will have an impact on one another.

And when spouses love one another, this small act of smiling and looking at your spouse will be enough to bring each other up from their daily hardships.

And Prophet will not highlight this small aspect of smiling at one another, if it was not of importance. Sh is encouraging us to try smiling at your spouse when you come home from work and whenever you see one another. This action enables us to enter a positive frame of reference.

The Prophet has described for us the common acts of courtesy and they apply to our spouse even more so than our brothers.

Hadith: RIght of a Muslim are six, when you meet him you offer him salaam ....

Offering salaam has to come before anything, you cannot be demanding food or something else and it is part of the general characteristic which is to bring joy and happiness to one another

Hadith: From the most beloved deeds to Allah is to bring some joy to a Muslim or to remove some worry from them.

Bring joy and happiness is from the deeds that are beloved to Allah swt. ANd your neighbors, your parents, your children, your spouse is even closer to you so it is even more important to bring joy and happiness to those close to you.

Hadith: From the things that will bring forgiveness from Allah swt is to bring joy to a Muslim.

So the first thing you do is to give salaams to one another, then smile at one another, and then try to bring joy and happiness to one another and to remove their worry.

This is not a high priority among Muslim families. It takes real concentration and dedication to do them constantly and on a regular basis.

We take our spouses for granted and we dont realize that we should make an effort to do the above, but when we go outside, we try to make an effort to be nice and smile and bring joy to those whom we meet. If we try to do the same in our houses and if both the husband and wife try this, then you will truly find a house of sakinah and joy and happiness.

Hadith: Don’t belittle these actions.... (Edit: because they can have a big impact on your relationships with those closer to you.)

We have so many examples from the Prophet on how to treat your spouses and your family members and if we try to follow those examples, then it will definitely have an impact.

When you visit a workplace and have employees who are happy, then it has an impact on everybody at work.

Bigger concepts discussed in the books

One of the concept mentioned over and over again is the question of commitment. Dr Ikram and Rida Bashir mention in their book say that commitment to marriage tops the list, without commitment from both spouses it would be impossible to maintain the marriage. They mention that the divorce rate being high in Muslim families in the US is due to lack of commitment towards the marriage.

When you are committed towards something, then you are willing to work for it and you are willing to sacrifice, you are willing to change, in order for it to work.

From the Shariah point of view, is commitment important?

Any contract in Islam is not a light matter, Allah swt says, fulfill your contracts. And marriage is a contract.

Sh is mentioning a case that he came across a person who is taking a lot of investment from many parties and he has failed to read the basic rights and responsibilities of the contract.

If you sign a contract, then it is your obligation to know what it is, understand it, and then live up to it. When you sign a contract you are making a promise. So this aspect is even more important for the marriage contract.

Allah swt says that you have gone into another and your spouses have taken a .... mithaq ul ghaleeth a contract, so how is it that a Muslim cannot try to live up to this contract.

Hadith: The condition that you have most dutiful to fulfill are .... it is because of this contract that sexual relationships have been made possible.

So since the contract is making sexual relationships possible that you have to be extremely conscious about your contract.

Hadith: You cannot even joke about marriage...... so if you say it even jokingly then you have to act upon taking your wife back or .....

Marriage is not fun and games. When either party gets hurt, then this hurt is for the rest of their life. If a person is not committed and is not serious, then he is not fulfilling his obligation towards Allah swt.

ANd in this context, sisters have to be cognizant of this contract and should fulfill it. Women have less responsibilities in other aspects, but in terms of the household and their husband, they have a heavy responsibility. So the consequences are very heavy.

Shuyab al Arnaut says this hadith is sahih. Prophet asked a woman if she is married and she replied that yes she was married, then the Prophet asked her, how is she fulfilling her rights, she replied she does what she can, prophet replied be careful of how you are to him, because he is either your paradise or hellfire.

Hadith: If a woman prays five daily prayers ..... protects her chastity, it will be said to her enter Jannah from the gate of ....

So when a woman enters into a contract, she has to understand that she has commitments and she should strive to do her best. So that when she stands before Allah swt she can attest that she did her best.

Sometimes marriages do not work out because the spouses are not compatible to one another, but it should not be due to lack of commitment.

Q: Sometimes a woman is asked to withstand bad treatment in order to keep the marriage?

Islam does not accept any kind of dhulm. A woman has her rights and she can chose to forego some of the right in order to please Allah swt, and similarly for the man. But absolutely there is no place for dhulm. Some say that you should do it for the sake of the children. This is misguided since the children are very aware of what is happening around them.


In Islam you just simply don’t fulfill your contracts, you have to go above and beyond what is expected. In Islam we commitment plus.

Hadith: Prophet told us that Allah swt has prescribed excellence in all things. Even if you are going to kill an animal, kill it in the best way.

This quality of Ihsaan is supposed to be present in all of our affairs. Ihsaan is a very comprehensive term, it means doing good, doing well, being excellent towards others.

Hadith: Allah swt describes the deeds that are done in the best manner, whenever he tries to do his deed, he does in the best manner.

So no matter what we do, we should try to do it in a best way. This is not obligatory, it is above and beyond. So if we have this ikhlaaq then it will improve our relationship with our spouses.

Quran Surah Nahl verse 90:

Sahih International

Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.


A marriage should have a basic structure, it tells us about the rights and responsibilities of all of the parties. But here Allah swt has ordered us to do ihsaan. You have to do more, overlook mistakes, respond with kindness and forgiveness.

The concept of ihsaan is a key component of the ikhlaaq of a Muslim, and if you have this characteristic of Ihsaan, then your marriage will be successful and bring the most joy and happiness. You are thinking of how to be better.

Books discuss the importance of small things in a relationships, suppose your wife gives you a shopping list, and when you do it, she appreciates it very much. But you go above and beyond and if you bring something that she likes, such as flowers, and this act is described in all of the books on marriage.

Hadith: Prophet said, adding some kindness makes it more beautiful and if you remove it then it makes things ugly.

Ihsaan involves intent and you are consciously trying to do something better. This is a quality that should permeate in everything that you do as a Muslim. It should be your behaviour towards everything. You are supposed to have ihsaan even towards animals.

Another point that they mention is communication among spouses.

2012-09-30 Class Notes


Communication is a modern concept, however anyone who writes about marriage in the west identifies it as a key aspect of a successful marriage.

Kamal al Sharawi quotes an author Leslie Brown, “... it s a major component of mental health and problem solving skills....” and she describes happily married couples talk more to each other, they convey their feelings, they have wider means of communications, they understand each other’s needs, they personalize their language for one another.”

A survey of 1001 Americans, communication problems are the number one cause for divorce.

The idea of communication and being careful in speech, we have lots of guidance from the Quran and Sunnah. In general a Muslim has to be very careful about his speech

Speech can be very destructive -- Jannah is being described as a place where there is no (useless speech)

Prophet has told us, whoever believes in Allah and the LAst day must say good things or remain silent.

Allah swt says that every word that we say would be recorded. not a word that you utter, that there is a watcher to record it.

Sahih International
Man does not utter any word except that with him is an observer prepared [to record].


IN particular the kind of hurtful speech that you have with your spouse can be very damaging in front of Allah, even though you did not give it much weight.

Prophet said, ... because of his hurtful speech, the person’s grade in Jannah will be lower than the distance between the east and the west.

Speech could be a great means of benefit or a great means of harm. When we get together with our spouses, we begin sometimes to speak freely. And we may be going through emotions that make us use words that are harmful or hurtful.

Prophet told us that an individual can say a word that is so pleasing to Allah, even though he may not give it much weight, that Allah swt raises his level because of that kind speech.

We have to be aware of speech before we make it. And if it is good speech, then it is an act of kindness, as told by the Prophet. He told us that a good word is a charitable act.

Sometimes between husbands and wives, we forget how important speech is and we allow ourselves to speak out of emotion and this can have a lasting impact. A spouse remembers the hurtful speech for years and remembers its impact.

Once you say something, there’s really no way you can take it back. So you should think very carefully before you speak. Analogy of trying to put toothpaste back into the tube, there is no way that you can put it back. So if you say something harmful to your spouse and there is no way for you to take it back. You should strive to control your speech. And if you train yourself to use kind and gentle words, then it will continue when you speak to your spouse.

The following words of the Prophet have been mistranslated. Prophet told Ayesha, don’t be someone who speaks fahisha is translated as obscene or vile, but here it means harmful or hurtful. Somebody who is fahish also includes saying something that is hurtful.

Abdullah ibn Amar ibn Aas described the Prophet, he said that he was not someone given to hurtful speech and he did not like those who used hurtful speech.

You have to train yourself to not use hurtful speech and vulgarity. This is very difficult in today’s society. So this characteristic of the Prophet is missing among the people. We have to be careful, because we interact with the society and that we are not influenced by the society.

It is not uncommon for a Muslim man to be working and woman to be in the house, and they continue the speech patterns into their house and it can cause lasting damage to the marriage. Many times the husband does not even remember since he does not even consider its weight.  

Footnote: In some Muslim societies, the husband will never say sorry or give a compliment. This is very strange. So in comparison of the example set by the Prophet and where the societies are, this does not make sense.

Prophet said, I am a guarantor for a house in the outskirts of Jannah for a person who gives up an argument even if he is right.

So here you know there is a heated debate and there is no benefit in continuing and if you know that you are in the right and yet stop the argument, you are guaranteed a house in the outskirts of Jannah.

We also have to consider non verbal communications.

There is a hadith where Ayesha gestured that somebody is short, the Prophet said that you have now backbitten that person.

If you look at the example of how the Prophet dealt with his wives, we see that he clearly knew how to communicate with his wives. We get a lot of the reports from Ayesha and not the other wives. It was because Ayesha became a major source of hadith, she was very knowledgeable and narrated a lot of hadith, because of that she is a narrator of majority of the hadith of the household of the Prophet. It was not because the Prophet showed preference to her or any other

Prophet used to listen very closely and how Ayesha said something. He said I can tell when you are happy with me or not happy with me, she asked how do you know that, the Prophet replied, ... when you are upset with me you swear by the Lord of Ibrahim and when you are happy with me you swear by the Lord of Muhammad, and she replied yes.

حدثنا عبيد بن إسماعيل حدثنا أبو أسامة عن هشام عن أبيه عن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت قال لي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إني لأعلم إذا كنت عني راضية وإذا كنت علي غضبى قالت فقلت من أين تعرف ذلك فقال أما إذا كنت عني راضية فإنك تقولين لا ورب محمد وإذا كنت علي غضبى قلت لا ورب إبراهيم قالت قلت أجل والله يا رسول الله ما أهجر إلا اسمك


It is important for you to know when your spouse is upset with you and you will know if you pay attention.

Prophet also used to have many conversations with Ayesha, she would go back to him when she did not understand anything. So the door was open for the wives of the Prophet to come and ask him.

....

Here we have wives asking the Prophet for clarifications. This is important for us to learn from this.

حدثنا عبيد الله بن موسى عن عثمان بن الأسود عن ابن أبي مليكة عن عائشة عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قالمن نوقش الحساب عذب قالت قلت أليس يقول الله تعالى فسوف يحاسب حسابا يسيرا قال ذلك العرض حدثني عمرو بن علي حدثنا يحيى بن سعيد عن عثمان بن الأسود سمعت ابن أبي مليكة قال سمعت عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت سمعت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم مثله وتابعه ابن جريج ومحمد بن سليم وأيوب وصالح بن رستم عن ابن أبي مليكة عن عائشة عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم


Ayesha was confused by a hadith and she was challenging her husband who was also the Prophet and the Prophet explained to her that the verse you are quoting ...... and the verse says that only that person would be destroyed???

There were open discussions, such as the kaaba was not built upon the original foundations and that if the people were not new to Islam then he would have built it upon the original foundations.

He would also take the advice of his wives. The classic example of that was after the treaty of Hudaybiyyah. Since the prophet and the Muslims were not allowed to enter Makkah, he asked them to slaughter the udhiyyah, but the people were upset and did not listen to him, he asked them to slaughter their animals three times. He went to Umm Salamah and said that the people are not listening, she advised him that if you slaughter the animal and shave your head, then the people will follow you.

Here he consulted his wife and he accepted it, he acted upon it and this advice was effective. This incident is now preserved until the day of judgement and we have an example of taking advice from the wives and acting upon it.

You might have come upon a fabricated hadith that says that you should take advice from your wife and act the opposite way. There is another fabricated hadith that says that one should consult one’s wife and then do the opposite. ????? Sh Jamaal mentioned another fabricated hadith about.....

We have to know and be aware of this fabricated hadith and that we should stay away from this bad advice. We should advise other’s about this fabricated hadith and to stay away from this advice.

Surah Tahreem, how is this verse related to the topic that we are discussing. Oh Prophet why do you forbid what Allah swt has made permissible in order to seek their pleasure. This verse makes it clear, that the Prophet is seeking his wives pleasure since they did not like the smell or after taste of the honey. This shows that he is listening to his wives.

Hadith of Umm Zarah and how is listening to his wives. It is a very long hadith about eleven women during the time of Jahiliyyah, they are discussing their spouses????? It is very interesting in Arabic because of the metaphors used to describe the behaviour of their spouses, the English translation loses a lot. At the end this hadith discusses Umm Zarah and how her husband loved her and in the end he divorced her. Prophet said to Ayesha that I am to you as Abu Zarah, she replied you are even better to me than Abu Zarah.

This hadith is an example of a long communication between a husband and wife, they share stories, they converse and listen to one another.

Communication includes listening skill. In order for there to be true communication you have to be able to listen. Sometimes you listen to one another half heartedly, when the other person recognizes it, then their feelings are going to be hurt. You have be a good listener. We don’t have any authentic hadith that speaks about listening. We have statements from Salaf that say that listening is a very good characteristic.

Abdul Marwan was in the company of Muawaiyyah and when he left their company they said that he speaks he speaks very softly and whenever he looks he ..... and when he listens he listens very attentively.


Q&A
When praising someone you have to be careful of over praising someone, because if you exaggerate then you place them on a pedestal and it could be a source of pride. You have to be moderate in your praise and if you fear that your praise might have negative impact then you have to be careful of how you praise. You can praise someone but you have to stay within limits. This does not mean that you insult them.


Patience and withholding anger are also important qualities.

WHat comes to your mind when you think about sabr, it is one of the most important qualities of a believer. Allah swt says in Surah Al’i Imran, sabiru has a deeper meaning than patience.

Prophet said, no one was ever blessed with anything better than comprehensive patience.

Patience is the controlling of one’s self to adhere to what intelligence and the shariah tell us to adhere to. And it also means to stay away from what intelligence and shariah tell us to stay away from.

It is about controlling yourself. Making yourself do what is proper under the circumstances and to stay away from what is harmful under those circumstances.

Allah swt says in the Qur’an, enjoin prayer upon your family and be patient in their offering.

A second type of patience is staying away from  what is sinful. Prophet said that the path to hellfire is paved with desires.

A third type of patience is what Allah swt has decreed.

A fourth type of patience is about how one is treated by others. Controlling yourself when interacting with others, you will not be treated in the best manner by others including your spouse, so you should be patient when that occurs.

Allah swt reminds us ...... will you be then patient. The reward for those who are patient, Allah swt says that they are the one’s that are successful.

2012-10-07 Class Notes


Today’s class will focus on some more qualities of the spouses. If we continue this class next time, we will begin with a new topic of discussion on fiqh of marriage.

You can meet the laws of fiqh but if you do not have proper relationship between the spouses then the marriage and household will not be successful, but if you have proper relationship then you will be able to work out the differences. And that is the reason why we are discussing this topic in detail and it is not covered by books on fiqh of marriage.

Discussion of a matrimonial event attended by one of the student’s of the class, he was invited to attend the event. They asked him to fill out a card aim towards getting the personality traits to find out compatibility. ... Then you read the profiles without identifying the person, then they met the participants in the event and tried to match the person to the profile. They had many different exercises, asked to rank some qualities, identify deal breakers, ... There were no wali or parental involvement in the event (but there may have been some involvement with profile creation, communication, etc). All of the people were local who attended the event. It was an interesting experience.

Important qualities in a spouse - Patience

There are two steps to inculcating patience in yourself.

Step #1: Control yourself under all circumstances

Under all circumstances, one has to first understand what is permissible for you to do.  Patience again is all about controlling yourself.  Before you take any action, you have to step back, analyze and figure out what is permissible for you to do under those circumstances.  During this analysis, you might find out that the situation that you’re in might require some specific obligatory act.  Patience would require doing that action which is obligatory on you at that time.,  This is kind of controlling yourself as you are making sure that you are doing what is proper.

Otherwise, you might find other halal steps to take and you might also identify many things that are haram to do.  For example, when a spouse does not live up to the expectations of the other spouse, like not doing something that was expected, this is a situation where patience is needed as people often react on the basis of emotions in these circumstances.  Patience forces you to evaluate the options in front of you.  If there are some actions that are haram, they must be avoided.  In between, there may be several permissible options.

Step #2: Train yourself to identify what is the best permissible option to follow

This last point is not included in patience but the Sheikh feels that it should be included.  when you judge options, it’s important to take the time to determine what the best option is out of the available options (ie the other permissible options).

If you are upset, these things have to happen in the spur of the moment.  If someone does something to you, we’re talking about literally doing something and controlling yourself in an instant with no advance notice. if you have not trained yourself to do this then most likely this level of control is not achievable.

Hadith: Insert hadith here...

The Prophet said in a hadith that “the one who makes himself patient, Allah will make him patient.”
This hadith has a reflexive ta, meaning that you are reacting on yourself to control yourself.

You have to work on this because sometimes patience is required of you at a spur of the moment.  If you don’t work on conditioning yourself, again you may not be able to invoke this quality at the instant it’s needed.

Reasons why we are sometimes not patient with one another

#1: Each one of us reacts differently to events

Human beings, when we talk about a marriage and otherwise, will have differences and have different ways of doing things.  They are also weak and will not always be able to live up to expectations and even what is required of them.  This must be realized when dealing with one another.

Patience is one of the best qualities to make a marriage successful in the beginning and for it to continue in a happy state.

#2: At the start of the marriage we don’t know each other

Especially when the marriage is first starting out, the two don’t know each other and they don’t know what to expect and often don’t know what their limits are in terms of behaving with one another.  It’s not uncommon that one spouse may do something that upsets the other spouse because they don’t know each other well r the limits.

It wll take some time to learn the boundaries and limits.  In the beginning, these things happen inadvertently.  They won’t know if something upsets a spouse unless they observe a reaction.  It’s not intentional.  One may not realize how upsetting a particular thing can be to another spouse.

#3: Shaytan is pleased when we are angry

In general, outside of the marriage experience, it’s a very important characteristic of Muslims that they control their anger.  Anger is something that is very pleasing to Shaytan because when people get angry, they do things out of that anger that are displeasing to Allah swt.  

In fact they might even curse Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ or the Prophet when in this state.  in fact, in some Arab cultures, it’s normal to hear people curse Allah swt or the Prophet or say something that displeases Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ or even get violent with the other party when someone gets upset.  This can happen with either the husband and the wife.  In most cases, it’s more dangerous when the husband gets violent.  There are however cases where the husband is physically abused.

Hadith: Insert hadith here....

The Prophet said in a hadith, the strong person is not the one who is strong is wrestling, but the strong one is able to restrain himself when angry.

Hadith: Insert hadith here....

The Prophet also said in a hadith, whoever restrains his anger while he has the ability to act on his actor will be called by Allah swt from the head of creation on the day of judgment and give him the choice of any of the hoor al ayn that he wishes.

Insert Quran verse here....

Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ also orders us in the Qur’an, wal qadhimi ... they control their anger and forgive ... Allah loves the sabirun.......

Patience is controlling your action, to do the proper and best action.  This should be a characteristic of a Muslim under all circumstances.

Important qualities of a spouse - Forgiveness

Related to patience is also the quality of forgiveness.  even if you can control yourself at the moment, you don’t want that feeling of uneasiness to linger in your heart.  Control and forgiveness are two important things that go together.

Being forgiving and merciful are also important qualities of a Muslim.

The Prophet said in a hadith, he who does not show mercy, no mercy will be shown to him by Allah swt, and he who does not forgive shall not be forgiven.

#1: Remind yourself of your own shortcomings in order to inculcate the quality of forgiveness

One of the easiest ways to have this quality of forgiveness is to remind yourself of your own shortcomings.  Both parties will have shortcomings, we are human beings after all.  

Either spouse may have various hardships and difficulties throughout the day and often times when they interact later in the day, they might not act in the best way towards each other and might unload on them in various ways.

#2: If you want Allah swt to be forgiving towards you, practice forgiveness towards your spouse and others

When your spouse does something wrong,
1. there’s no point in getting upset,  you have to remain patient and analyze the situation
2. you should be willing to be forgiving.  over the past week, you can probably think of many different times where you had some shortcomings.  If you want forgiveness from Allah swt, you should practice forgiveness.  The more merciful you are, the more merciful Allah swt will be to you as well.

#3: Avoid being emotional when reacting to events -
Don’t act emotionally and don’t react emotionally

Keep in mind not to react to emotion; don’t react emotionally and don’t react to emotion.  You have to have patience and control yourself, and don’t react to the emotion displayed by the other party.  if your spouse is reacting emotionally, don’t react without thinking carefully.

One or two words said during the heat of an argument can seed the destruction of a marriage relationship.

#4: Prophet would never be upset for personal reasons except when Allah’s prohibitions were violated

One of the characteristics of the Prophet that we can see as described by his wife A’isha (ra), “I never saw the prophet saas seeking revenge when he was wronged, as long as one of Allah’s provisions was not violated.”  The only time the Prophet would get upset is when one of Allah’s provisions was wronged.
The prophet would not get upset and seek revenge out of personal reasons.

#5: “Try to find an excuse for your brother”

There’s a famous statement that came from the Salaf (many have narrated it as a hadith of the Prophet but in reality it’s not).  “Try to find up to 70 excuses for your brother and if you can’t, try to tell yourself that maybe he has an excuse that you haven’t thought about.”

When confronting a spouse for whatever reason, try to think about why something happened and try to make excuses for the person to the best of your ability.  If we take this attitude of patience and controlling ourselves, controlling our anger and being willing to forgive, this will inshaAllah help our relationships immensely.  

If you go to a marriage counselor, a lot of times the first step that spouses have to take (not both but usually one) is that one is sent to anger management.  It’s the inability to control emotions and not to have patience is the cause of so many marriages falling apart.  They are causing a lot of harm to the family and the relationship with their spouse by not being able to control your anger and behavior.

If we look at the Prophet , we can find many examples where the Prophet displayed patience and forbearance with his wives under many circumstances that would be great trials for us if we faced them.

As the sheikh said, if you do not train yourself to act in this way and understand the importance of it, (there are many ways to control your anger and develop this kind of patience even if you are not naturally a patient person) when the time comes it will be very difficult to invoke this quality of patience when it’s needed.


What should you do if your spouse is lacking a quality?

Again one must realize that you are dealing with human beings, so there will be qualities and actions that one may not like.  In interpersonal relationships in general, you don’t want to judge someone by a single quality that someone has; they might have many positive, redeeming qualities.  One should realize the good in your spouse and understand that there are qualities that you might have to live with and accept.  It can’t be used as an excuse to hate the person or mistreat the person.  

The Prophet  warned us in a hadith, a believing man should not hate a believing woman.  If there is one quality in her that he doesn’t like, then there is another quality in her that he likes.

This is addressed to the man but probably the principle applies to the wife as well.

Even amongst spouses, there might be one or two qualities that one doesn’t like.  you have to figure out how to adjust and accept it.

Incidents from the Prophet’s household and how he reacted to them

When you look at the example of the Prophet , one of the things that we see in the household of the Prophet  as some people say, we see the real humanness of the sahabah.  The Sahabah were humans and the Prophet himself of course was a human being.  At the same time, what the Prophet  went through sometimes with his spouses was meant to be a sign to all human beings that one cannot expect a marriage relationship to be a perfect relatinship with no problems or issues coming up.  Maybe that happens, but it’s unrealistic to expect that, especially from the beginning.  You’d be wrong to expect that from a marriage upon entering it.  Some people expect some kind of romantic fantasy when it comes to marriage.

It’s well known that the spouses of the Prophet were almost in two groups where they would compete with each other.  The Prophet would spend each night at a different house of one of his wives.  THe wives would gather at that house on that night.  One time the Prophet was in A’ishah’s house and some of his other wives were there.  The Prophet extended his hand to Zainab (it’s not clear from the hadith what happened).  A’ishah got upset and said that’s Zainab.  The Prophet took his hand back.  A’ishah started arguing with Zainab.  Abu Bakr was outside and heard the arguing and was upset.  The Prophet remained patient and left when the time of the prayer came.  Abu Bakr later scolded A’ishah for her behavior in front of the Prophet .

We find different examples of this at the time of the Prophet .  Sometimes the sahabah would send gifts to the sahabah and the Prophet would be with A’ishah at that night.  The sheikh doesn’t know the important behind sending gifts on these specific nights.  Umm Salamah brought the issue up and asked the Prophet to tell the Sahabah not to do that.  The Prophet said that there is nothing that he could do about it.  Umm Salamah continued to bring this up in almost a nagging fashion and it eventually led to some arguing with A’ishah.  The Prophet remained patience.

One time A’ishah struck the Prophet  in his chest and he remained patient with her.

There was also an instance where Umar Khataab got upset with his wife and she started yelling at him.  He scolded her and she made a comment in return saying that your daughter is married to the Prophet and he did not scold her like that.  (did I capture this correctly? - I missed it too.....)

The co-wives should be amicable to one another and should be able to bear one another without trying to kill each other.

Important qualities of a spouse - Being thankful and appreciative

Some more characteristics:
1. Being thankful and appreciative.
In general, everyone likes to be appreciated.  This is another characteristic of a Muslim.  The Prophet said in a hadith, whoever does not thank the people does not thank Allah.

Even though it is between husband and wife and you do things regularly for one another, you should be appreciative, even if something is expected.  When they live up to what is expected, you should show your gratitude, even if it’s something small and something you might see as insignificant.

The Prophet said in a hadith, whoever is given a gift (includes doing something good for someone) one should reciprocate.  If one has nothing, let him mention praise and express thanks.  Whoever refrains from doing so has been ungrateful.  The practice is at least to say may Allah reward you.

Footnote: In colloquial you should not say JAK, Jazaks or Jazakallah khair, it is incorrect, it is either Jazakallahu khaira or jazakallahu khairan.

The important thing is to demonstrate to your spouse how much you appreciate them.  You express your thanks to them and also express your thanks to Allah swt for having a good spouse as not everyone has a pious spouse.  You should actual express to others your happiness with your spouse.

There is a verse from the Qur’an that says for the bounties received from Allah, express your thanks for them.

Important qualities of a spouse - Humility and lack of arrogance (kibr)

One last characteristic to be mentioned: Humility and the lack of kibr.

Humility is a very important Islamic characteristic.  We can find many places in the Qur’an where Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ tells us to lower our wings which means to be humble.  We also find Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ in the Qur’an telling us not to walk exaltedly like in Surat Luqman.  

The Prophet also said that Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ has revealed to us that we must show humbleness.

No one likes to be looked down on.  It’s a kind of abuse for someone to always be looked down upon and be belittled.  

*** Developing proper Islamic Akhlakh is the key to becoming a good spouse ***

If you take all of these points and different characteristics mentioned, it goes back to the point made at the beginning; if you develop yourself upon the proper Islamic akhlakh, you will have all of these characteristics.  This in of itself will develop you into being a good spouse.  By definition of having good akhlakh, one should be the best prepared to be a good spouse.

Other qualities (based on class discussion)

Being complimentary and encouraging the other person.
Understanding the other person’s personality and being sensitive to the spouse.
Try to read the body language of the spouse and look for prompts and cues.
Keeping personal issues within the couple and not sharing them outside. (this is actually one of the rights of the spouses)
Making sure to discuss each other’s interest.
Don’t be dismissive of the other’s perspective even if it seems very foreign and strange.  Don’t have the attitude of “I know and you don’t know.”
Be very careful with in-laws and treat them well.

There’s no question that in some cultures they have gone too far with expectations and it causes dhulm on the wive in many cases.

Next time, we will be moving onto something different.

As we spoke about last quarter, between this quarter and next quarter there will be no break.  This class will probably be continued next quarter inshaAllah.  The rights of the wife will be discussed in the beginning of the next quarter.

2012-10-14 Class Notes


Another characteristic that scholars emphasize is that of cooperation. When husband and wife enter into this union, they have to be committed. Both sides have to be committed and willing to cooperate with each other in order for the union to succeed.

This is the basic building block of the society and they should understand how important it is to the society and Allah swt, and this should drive both of them to succeed.

Anytime we are trying to do something good, we should be willing to help one another, this is a command from Allah swt, help one another in taqwa and righteousness and do not help one another in sinning and committing acts of transgression.

Spouses should work together to make the union as strong as possible.   There’s a saying in English, “it takes two to tango.”

You should not order or ask your spouse to follow in matters that are sinful or disobedient to Allah swt.

Hadith: Obedience is not to be given to human being if it requires disobedience to Allah swt, they should only obey in matters of good.

They should strengthen one another, as we discussed in our classes on akhlaaq, the better your akhlaaq as a Muslim, then all of those qualities will make you a better spouse. It will help each other and the union.

(حديث مرفوع) أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو عَلِيٍّ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ الصَّوَّافِ ، ثنا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ حَنْبَلٍ ، حَدَّثَنِي أَبِي ،ثنا يَحْيَى ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَجْلانَ ، حَدَّثَنِي الْقَعْقَاعُ بْنُ حَكِيمٍ ، عَنْ أَبِي صَالِحٍ ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ، قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : " رَحِمَ اللَّهُ رَجُلا قَامَ مِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَصَلَّى ، وَأَيْقَظَ امْرَأَتَهُ فَصَلَّتْ ، فَإِنْ أَبَتْ نَضَحَ فِي وَجْهِهَا الْمَاءَ ، رَحِمَ اللَّهُ امْرَأَةً قَامَتْ مِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَصَلَّتْ ، وَأَيْقَظَتْ زَوْجَهَا فَصَلَّى ، فَإِنْ أَبَى نَضَحَتْ فِي وَجْهِهِ الْمَاءَ " .


Hadith: May Allah have mercy on the man who wakes up to pray in the middle of the night and wakes up his wife and if she resists he sprays a little water on her, and vice versa.

They (the spouses) should cooperate to do good. Prophet mentioned either the man wakes up  or the woman wakes up and they should try to encourage the other party to do the same; also, the other party should reciprocate and be accepting of the encouragement and not resist it.

And the other party should be encouraging of these good deeds. SO it could either be a man or a woman.

They have obligation to protect one another from hellfire.

Sahih International

O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded.



You should protect your family, which includes your spouse and your children, you have to take these steps and make your goal.

Ali ibn Talib when commenting on this verse said, you should teach your family good manners and educate them. This is how Ali explained this verse to protect your family from hellfire.

Believing men and women have obligation to help each other in general with respect to their deen, etc.

Allah swt said believing men and women,  they are protectors for one another, they enjoin good and eradicate evil.

Structure of the relationship

Does the Islamic point of view look at the household and provide us with some kind of structure that our household is supposed to fulfill.

There is obviously a structure, since both husbands and wives have a role prescribed for them.  Our societies are going through a change, and it is not clear who is the head of the household.

The first question that should be answered: Does a household need a head?
We know from the hadith that if three people travel together, one companion should be selected as an amir for the group (leader of the group).

Al Qawwamah
Who should be the head of the household, brings us to the Islamic concept of al qawama. There are many extremes on this issue of qawama.

Definition of Qawama: Head of the household

One extreme is to take the concept of Qawwamah to mean you have complete control over your spouse. Unfortunately amongst many traditional Muslims, this has become that in many societies. The wife becomes more like a slave of the husband, up to and including punishment.

And obviously there is a lot of responses to that. Feminist Muslims dislike the concept of Qawwamah.
[Footnote: A lot of these feminists and modernists don’t like the fact that ulema have been controlled over the years and we need to break away from these ulema -- and the idea that religion is controlled by some people (in particular, men). The amazing thing is that they come to concepts like qawwamah and they go through so many different processes to find a poem that gives this meaning, or a researcher to find something else, to show this mean doesn’t mean what it seems to mean.

This issue actually is discussed by a lot of people nowadays and people go to different extremes, so it’s important to discuss what it means.

Surah Nisa, verse 34


Sahih International

Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.



The rest of the verse is related to the first part.  This is one thing that the feminists and modernists do; they take one part of the verse only and ignore the rest of the verse.  This is a dangerous method of interpreting the Qur’an.

This entire verse needs to be understood and applied properly.  In the future, we will be discussing later parts of the verse.  For now, we will discuss the part of the verse that relates to the men being in charge.

The root of the word qawwamah comes from the root قام taking something and preserving its interest.  From the same root comes the word al qayyim, the person who looks after the state of someone or something and acts as its guardian.

Footnote: For example, the name of the scholar ibn al Qayyum al jawziyah, means the person who is responsible or guardian of the school of Jawziyah.

The word qawwaam قوّام is in the intensive form, which would imply excessive observance of something or someone by considering its interests.  in teh intensive form, it would imply putting forth utmost effort for this cause.  The name of Allah swt, Al Qayyum, القيّوم comes from this same root, also in teh intensive form, meaning someone who maintains and manages somعthing.

The word qawwamoona, we actually see this word used in the Qur’an in a couple of cases.  in one case, in the nominative form and in the other case in the accusative form.

In Surat an nisa, it is used in the nominative case.  

Surat an nisa, verse 135.

Sahih International

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah , even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.



Surat al Ma’idah, verse 8.

Sahih International
O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah , witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.



Some of the mufasireen noted that even the command to perform the salaah comes from this same root and it also means to devote yourself to it and to take care of it very carefully.  In general, Allah swt does not praise the one who prays but rather those who establish the salaah, which means that they put full attention into it, guard it and place the proper importance on it.

Qawamoon means to take excessive effort in looking after something and being accountable for that thing.  

Contemporary scholars ask if being the qawamoon is one of the rights of the husband or of the wife.
In a more general sense, is this more describing a right of the husband or an obligation of the husband?  It’s much more of a description of an obligation of the husband.  In general, in order to take care of something, with obligation obviously comes rights in order to take care of that obligation.  

For example, if you are a leader of a community, it’s a heavy burden that necessitates a level of authority.  It is the burden of the responsibility that will be most glaring in the individual’s sight.  It’s not going to be the power the person has.  The person will be asked by Allah swt about the authority that this person has.

If someone doesn’t have taqwa and is given authority, he will abuse it.  There is a maxim, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  We should do our best to apply this authority properly.

Let’s look now at at-Tabari’s tafseer of this verse.
He says that the men are in the charge of the women in the sense that they should guide them and they should also discipline them according to what they are responsible of in front of Allah swt.  Then he goes on that Allah swt given some bounty of men over wives by the fact that they give the women the mahr, they are the ones who spend or maintain them and because of this, Allah swt has put them in a position of authority.  Then he quotes Ibn Abbas (ra) as saying they are like leaders over the women and Ibn Abbas continues and says that the women should obey the men in which Allah swt has obligated them to obey them in.  He continues to say that they should be good to their husbands and protect their wealth and their virtue over them is maintaining them and working on their behalf.  As Suyuti says it means that they take them by their hand and disciplines/guides them.

At tabari’s work on tafseer is basically a collection (a good portion of it anyway) of what has been narrated concerning these verses.  he will give a list of reports related to a verse and then give his conclusion after it.

After the above explanation,at Tabari said that it was mentioned that this verse was revealed in response to a man slapping his wife and they went to the prophet saas to complain about that and get a decision.  The Prophet saas decided that there should be a kassas or retribution.  Many feminists pick up on this and say that this shows you the attitude of muslim scholars.

There is a narration in which a man slapped his wife and she came to the Prophet saas and asked that the man be slapped in return.  The Prophet (SAWS) decided in her favor that she should get retributed.  Then Allah swt revealed this verse.  The Prophet saas called them back and told them that he wanted one thing and Allah swt wanted something else.  

In another narration, similar to this verse, after Prophet saas decided on retribution, Allah swt revealed a verse saying that the Prophet saas should not speak of the Qur’an before the revelation has come to you.

Basically, the meaning is that a man slapped his wife for some reason and they went to the Prophet saas and the Prophet saas first decided that there should be a retribution but before this could be implemented, allah swt revealed this verse.

The first thing to note is that these narrations are not authentic whatsoever.  All of these narrations, as at Tabari has mentioned them, are in mursal form and they all contain a narrator that is rejected.  At no point does At Tabari base his views on these narrators.  This is the methodology he used; he presented these narrations.  In this case, he doesn’t touch upon the verse again and just leaves it as he mentioned in his first comment.

If people take these narrations and then based their understand on these weak narrations, it’s easy to see that they can come up with these “oppressive” interpretations.

At Tabari very rarely commented on the authenticity of a narration.  He was a muhadith.

Ibn Kathir also discussed this verse.  The way he explained it is that the man is in authority and is responsible for the woman.  He said that this means he is like her leader and the one who judges over her and the one who guides her if she should ever go astray.  Then he goes into a discussion of how men are superior over the women.  This is another aspect where the mufasireen get into a discussion of men and women and mention that men are superior.  They mention that the Prophets were of men, and they refer to the hadith about “ناقصات عقل و دين

The Sheikh does not think that this discussion is needed here.  This verse is talking about a much more important relationship as the rest of the verse discusses an-nushooz -- النشوز; there is some friction between the husband and wife. The word an nushooz means being disrespectful.  In general, this verse is talking about the relatioship between the husband and wife in particular.

That hadith about deen and akhl, the feminists and modernists don’t like this.  This is a hadith that is authentic.  They say that the prophet saas was just joking.  To say that he was just joking with them is dangerous as you can say that the Prophet saas was joking in any hadith.  

There is a hadith that looks authentic where the Prophet saas quoted this verse which also shows us that it’s also more concerning the relationship between the husband and wife.  The Prophet saas said that the best of wife or woman is the woman that when you look at her, she pleases you and when you ask her to do something for you, she does it and when you are not present, she guards your wealth.

All of the ulimah that the sheikh has seen say that this qawamah is not absolute and there are parameters to it. There are some obligations that the husband must meet in order to live up to this position of qawwamah.

Contemporary scholars have discussed this subject in detail to refute many of the criticisms on this subject that have emerged in the last couple of centuries.

Sayyid Qutub, in his tafseer of surat Nisa, goes into a lengthy discussion of married life and family life and how Allah swt will take family life into consideration and will guide us to a structure that is best for everyone.  Then he goes into a discussion of qualities of men and then women in general.  He shows that the man having this position of al qawwamah is good and proper.

Mufti Mohammad Shafiq has a lengthy discussion on this as well.

There is also a contemporary female scholar who bases her comments on what Sayyid Qutb said.

Some of these scholars are painted as extremists but when you read what they say, they are not the extremists that they are described as.

Next time we will discuss what are the qualities that a husband should possess in order to qualify for being the qayammu of the nisa. The most important point is to avoid all types of extremes that we have discussed in today’s lecture.

2012-10-21 Class Notes

Today we will finish the discussion about qawama and then introduce the next topic which is the rights of the spouses.

Qawaama gives structure to the family unit

Islam gives structure to the family. One of the important points that we can understand is that family obligations and rights are not just private matters. In western political philosophy, the individual itself is the most important aspect, so the rights of the individual trumps over the rights of other units, with exceptions of course.

From the Islamic perspective, there are expectations from the family. It assumes that family is structured in such a way, that it is going to produce a healthy family and produce healthy offsprings that will be the foundation for the next generation. And the responsibility for the family has been assigned to the male. We have to understand what does this position mean for the man.

Husbands have a heavy responsibility

Sh Abdul Aziz bin Baaz said, that the position of the authority is given to the man, and it is position of responsibility and not of honor (قوامة التكليف و ليس قوامة التشريف).

It is a position of heavy responsibility. It is his job to lead, protect and take care of  the household. This is a very important position. Shariah has not left the door open to who should volunteer for the job, it is the onus of the husband.  There are obligations upon the husband directly related to the qawaama.

Quran: Men are protectors and maintainers of the woman because they have been give more (maybe from strength or other attributes) and they should support them from their means.

Mahar and Nafaqah

Part of the requirements is the mahar, the dower that the woman receives, in the next quarter we will discuss it in more detail.

Footnote: Sh is using the quotations of the most conservative of the  trustworthy scholars, why?  To prove that even the most conservative scholars give these rights to the spouse and describe obligations of the husband. In some countries, a woman does not receive anything except in the case of death of divorce, to highlight that this is not a correct thing to do and even the most conservative scholars support the giving of the mahar and other rights discussed below.

A very well respected Hanafi scholar, he wrote a seven volume Hanafi fiqh, he wrote it as a mahar for his wife.  He speaks about the mahar, it is to show that the husband is taking this responsibility seriously. He is giving up his money to show his commitment to the marriage.

On top of the mahar you have the maintenance (نفقة nafaqah) of the spouse. We will discuss this in more detail next quarter.

Proper behaviour

In order to fulfill qawaama, the man has to fulfill the right of mahar plus nafaqah and to behave properly towards his wife.

Quran: Treat them in a good properly manner.

يا أيها الذين آمنوا لا يحل لكم أن ترثوا النساء كرها ولا تعضلوهن لتذهبوا ببعض ما آتيتموهن إلا أن يأتين بفاحشة مبينة وعاشروهن بالمعروف فإن كرهتموهن فعسى أن تكرهوا شيئا ويجعل الله فيه خيرا كثيرا


O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit a clear immorality. And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them - perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good. [An-Nisa 4:19]


When you study the tafseer of ibn Qurtubi and others, it shows how the husband has to behave towards his wife. The non material rights of the wife include being kind, gentle towards his wife.

Ibn Katheer shows how the Prophet used to deal with his wives, he used to joke with them, race with them.

This is considered an obligation of the husband.

Justice - Obligations of the husband towards his wife for qawaama

Another aspect that the scholars discuss is the justice. Any time you are put in a position of authority, you have to be just, you cannot abuse the authority. You do not have the right to exploit the authority. You have to consider how your right is affecting others.

Part of the good treatment of the wife and justice, you have to consider how your decisions affect the rest of the family (spouse and your children). You cannot just boss around, or never consult with them, this is not what qawaama means.

Shariah has laid down these strict conditions for the husband to fulfill, even though this is a power relationship as described by the sociologists.

Instrumental leadership deals with external systems. Expressive leadership deals with internal relationships.

Externally the husband is the head of the household, but it does not mean that the husband can boss around, and the woman cannot do anything and she has no authority in the internal affairs of the household. We have sayings from the Prophet  ﷺ that indicate the women also have roles and responsibilities in the household.

Prophet  ﷺsaid all of you will be asked about your rights, the man is the shepherd of the household and he will be asked about it. He also said, the woman is the shepherd for the household of the husband and his children and she will be asked about it.

كُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْئُولٌ، فَالإِمَامُ رَاعٍ وَهْوَ مَسْئُولٌ وَالرَّجُلُ رَاعٍ عَلَى أَهْلِهِ وَهْوَ مَسْئُولٌ وَالْمَرْأَةُ رَاعِيَةٌ عَلَى بَيْتِ زَوْجِهَا وَهْىَ مَسْئُولَةٌ، وَالْعَبْدُ رَاعٍ عَلَى مَالِ سَيِّدِهِ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ، أَلاَ فَكُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْئُولٌ

http://sunnah.com/bukhari/67#122

A husband cannot give up his job of qawaama, and if they give up this position, then they are following hawaa (desires) and not following Allah swt. Both spouses should understand their position and responsibilities.

Why feminists don't like qawaama, it is because many times it is abused. Any time laws of Allah swt are abused or violated, it is going to be harmful in this life and the hereafter.

Who is responsible that qawaama is not abused?

In Islam there is no need for sisters movement, feminists movement, in Islam, because when a woman is abused it is not a women’s issue, it is an Islamic issue.

Allah سبحانه و تعالى  ... believing men and women are supports for one another ..... and those Allah will support...

والمؤمنون والمؤمنات بعضهم أولياء بعض يأمرون بالمعروف وينهون عن المنكر ويقيمون الصلاة ويؤتون الزكاة ويطيعون الله ورسوله أولئك سيرحمهم الله إن الله عزيز حكيم

Sahih International

The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those - Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.



There are many problems facing women, these are not women’s issue, these are Islamic issues, when you start separating these issues, then it is like jahiliyaah, since men and women are supposed to support one another in doing good and eradicating evil.

Abu Darr abused a person by calling his mother (who was a non-Arab) with bad names. When that person complained it to the Prophet  ﷺ, he said “O Abu Dhar! Did you abuse him by calling his mother with bad names. You still have some characteristics of ignorance (jahiliyaah)”

لَقِيتُ أَبَا ذَرٍّ بِالرَّبَذَةِ، وَعَلَيْهِ حُلَّةٌ، وَعَلَى غُلاَمِهِ حُلَّةٌ، فَسَأَلْتُهُ عَنْ ذَلِكَ، فَقَالَ إِنِّي سَابَبْتُ رَجُلاً، فَعَيَّرْتُهُ بِأُمِّهِ، فَقَالَ لِيَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ يَا أَبَا ذَرٍّ أَعَيَّرْتَهُ بِأُمِّهِ إِنَّكَ امْرُؤٌ فِيكَ جَاهِلِيَّةٌ، إِخْوَانُكُمْ خَوَلُكُمْ، جَعَلَهُمُ اللَّهُ تَحْتَ أَيْدِيكُمْ، فَمَنْ كَانَ أَخُوهُ تَحْتَ يَدِهِ فَلْيُطْعِمْهُ مِمَّا يَأْكُلُ، وَلْيُلْبِسْهُ مِمَّا يَلْبَسُ، وَلاَ تُكَلِّفُوهُمْ مَا يَغْلِبُهُمْ، فَإِنْ كَلَّفْتُمُوهُمْ فَأَعِينُوهُمْ" ‏"


http://sunnah.com/bukhari/2#23

When you look at partisan issue, then it is from jahiliyaah.

The proper approach is that when a muslim sees wrong, he seeks to correct it.

We have to take these issues of abuse of qawaama very seriously and tackle it.

Some examples of abuses of Qawaama

Abdullah Hakim Quick gave a lecture in part of the Muslim world, the sisters told him that they were taught and believed that they will not enter paradise until they are beaten by their husbands.

He said a woman was put to death because of the demands of the husbands family to continue to provide dower.   This was based on several articles that Shaikh Hakim had collected from newspapers.

In some Muslim cultures, if a woman gets raped by a man, the only way she can bring back honor to her family if she marries that man. How is that going to be a household of love and mawaddah?

Who’s discussing them, who’s trying to change them and who’s trying fix them? Unfortunately, the only one’s speaking are the feminists and the ones who have feminist leanings. These are not women’s issues, they are Islamic issues.

In many cases, the sisters are being abused. We have to act upon it -- we have to spread it to others and try to improve the situation. If we fail to do this we are not forbidding evil or enjoining good.

عن حذيفة عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال { والذي نفسي بيده لتأمرن بالمعروف ولتنهون عن المنكر أو ليوشكن الله عز وجل أن يبعث عليكم عذابا من عنده ثم تدعونه فلا يستجاب لكم }

وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَتَأْمُرُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَلَتَنْهَوُنَّ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ أَوْ لَيُوشِكَنَّ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَبْعَثَ عَلَيْكُمْ عِقَابًا مِنْهُ ثُمَّ تَدْعُونَهُ فَلاَ يُسْتَجَابُ لَكُمْ


By the One in Whose Hand is my soul! Either you command good and forbid evil, or Allah will soon send upon you a punishment from Him, then you will call upon Him, but He will not respond to you.

http://sunnah.com/urn/723180

If a husband is failing to live up to his expectations, then he should have these issues remedied.

If the human rights movement was interested in doing good, maybe there would be the opportunity to do a lot of good, and try to give the women the rights they deserved, they could have worked together. They came in more as ideologues, and interested in homosexuality and freedom of religion.

Each one of us is capable of making sure the abuses of qawaama are eliminated, we should educate those who don’t know about this topic, and whenever we see this abuse occurring we should strive to stop it.


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