بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
“There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern” [Al-Ahzab: 21]
The Righteous Husband Exemplified by the Messenger of Allah Muhammad (saw)
Islam gives great attention to building the Muslim family and made this relationship strong and linked to the pleasure of Allah (swt) and following the Sunnah of the beloved Prophet (saw); the fruits of this relationship are committed people to the Deen. Whenever this relationship is built on Taqwa and Shariah rules, its fruits will be useful and hence the society will be cohesive and strong.
The Seerah of the noble Prophet (saw) is filled with many positions showing us how the Prophet dealt with his wives with affection, mercy, love and loyalty that we miss in many marital relations now. And his (saw) Sunnah shows us how he did what pleased them and brought happiness to them, even with simple things, but it filled the Prophet's house with love and peace.
He (saw) showed us his loyalty to the mother of the believers, Khadija, may Allah be pleased with her, his believing, loyal and patient wife, not only during her life time but after her death too. He mentioned what she did and her morals and the days and time in her life, may Allah be pleased with her. He (saw) was overcome with grief and sadness when she passed away, and from his loyalty to her he (saw) openly stated his love for her, even after her death, he would say about Khadija may Allah be pleased with her:«رزقت حبها»“I was given the riziq of loving her.”The Prophet (saw) did not shy away from showing his love to his wives, and when asked by Amr ibn al-Aas: “Which person is most loved to you, O Messenger of Allah”? He said: “Khadija”. And he (saw) contacted her friends after her death. And why wouldn’t this be the case, when she chose him and loved him, and she was the first to trust and believe in him, and she was the one who strengthened him and strengthened his resolve, and was the balm for his pains and sorrows; she is the one who helped him with her money and consoled him with her affection; she is the mother of his children, the one who kept his covenant, and maintained his house and children, etc. For this great loyalty she received what came in the Hadith: «بشِّروا خديجة ببيت في الجنة من قصب، لا صخب فيه ولا نصب»“Give glad-tidings for Khadija, of a house in Jannah from pearls, free of clamor and tiredness” (Narrated by Bukhari). It is a reed made of pearls and rubies. And the Messenger of Allah met and fulfilled her loyalty with greater loyalty than that. This should be followed by all who took Al- Mustafa (saw) as his example.
The woman, by nature, loves the one who pampers her. Our beloved Prophet Al-Mustapha (saw) understood this matter and took care of it in his dealings with his wives. So with Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, he would say to her: «يا عائش، يا عائش هذا جبريل يقرئك السلام»."O 'Aish, O 'Aish, Jibreel is giving you salam”. And he also nicknamed her,«يا حميراء»“Humaira (of red complexion)” And the word ‘Humaira’ means the root word for Hamra (red), meaning a white woman with red complexion.
One of the acts of the Prophet (saw) to show his love for his wives was to drink from the place where they drank and eat from the place where they ate. The mother of the believers, Aisha (ra) said: «كنت أشرب فأناوله النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم فيضع فاه على موضع فيّ، وأتعرق العرق فيضع فاه على موضع فيّ»“I drank and passed over (glass) to the Prophet (saw) and he drank from the same place I drank. And he ate my leftovers from the meat on the bone; he puts his mouth, where I put mine”. He ate the leftovers (meat on the bone) of Aisha (ra).
He (saw) did not forget his love and kindness to his wife at the time of hardship and wars, despite the responsibilities and hardship. Anas (ra) said: «خرجنا إلى المدينة - قادمين من خيبر - فرأيت النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يُحَوِّي لها - أي: لصفية - وراءه بعباءة، ثم يجلس عند بعيره فيضع ركبته، وتضع صفية رجلها على ركبته حتى تركب البعير»“We returned to Medina- coming from Khyber - I saw the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) making for her (Safiya ) a kind of cushion with his cloak behind him (on his camel). He then sat beside his camel and put his knee for Safiya to put her foot on, in order to ride (on the camel)”.
And he (saw) cheered her up when she was sad. Safiya (ra) was with the Messenger of Allah (saw) in a journey, and that was her day, and she slowed down. She was received by the Messenger while she was crying, and saying: you made me ride a slow camel. He (saw) wiped her eyes and tears with her hands, and was calming her down.
The Prophet (saw) was so careful and worried over his wife even from the camel driver speeding up the camels they were riding.
It was narrated that Anas (ra) said that the Prophet (saw) was on a journey, and there was a boy named Angsha, who was leading the camels – of some of the mothers of the believers and Umm Salim. The camels were very fast, the Prophet (saw) said: «رويدك يا أنجشة سوقك بالقوارير»“Slow down (in leading the camels of the women) O Angsha.”
If he entered his family at night, he gave a quiet greeting so that he does not awaken those sleeping, but loud enough for those awake to hear. The Prophet (saw) disliked it when a man surprised his wife if he returned from traveling suddenly, so he (saw) sent her someone to inform her of his arrival.
The Prophet (saw) did not forget to humour and entertain his wives. Aisha (ra) said when they asked her how he (saw) was, she said: «كان يدخل بساماً ضحاكاً»“He used to enter with a smile and he made us laugh.” And she narrated that the Prophet (saw) invited her to see how the Ethiopian people danced with the spears in the mosque, she said: "The Prophet heard the voice and the sound of boys, so the Messenger (saw) got up and he saw some of the Ethiopian people dance, and the boys gathered around them. He (saw) said: «يا عائشة، تعالي فانظري»“O Aisha, Come and see”. Aisha (ra) came and put her chin on the shoulder of the Messenger of Allah (saw), he (saw) said, «أما شبعت، وأما شبعت؟»“Are you not satisfied… are you not satisfied?” She said: I kept on saying, "No”, to see how much I mean to him."
The Prophet (saw) raced Aisha and he let her win, then he raced her and won and said humourously: «هذه بتلك» “This time, I win.”
On the authority of Aisha (ra) who said: The Messenger of Allah (saw) said to me: «إِنِّي لَأَعْلَمُ إِذَا كُنْتِ عَنِّي رَاضِيَةً، وَإِذَا كُنْتِ عَلَيَّ غَضْبَى، قَالَتْ: فَقُلْتُ: مِنْ أَيْنَ تَعْرِفُ ذَلِكَ؟ فَقَالَ: أَمَّا إِذَا كُنْتِ عَنِّي رَاضِيَةً فَإِنَّكِ تَقُولِينَ: لَا وَرَبِّ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَإِذَا كُنْتِ عَلَيَّ غَضْبَى قُلْتِ: لَا وَرَبِّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، قَالَتْ: قُلْتُ: أَجَلْ ـ أي هذا الأمر صحيحٌ ـ وَاللَّهِ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، مَا أَهْجُرُ إِلَّا اسْمَكَ»..“I know if you are satisfied with me, and if you are angry with me, she said: “I said: How do you know?” He said: "If you are satisfied with me, you say: 'No, by the Lord of Muhammad. If you are angry with me, you say:' No, by the Lord of Ibrahim, she said, I said: yes that is true O Messenger of Allah, I only leave out your name.”
The Prophet (saw) was angry with Aisha once, and he said to her, «هل ترضين أن يحكم بيننا أبو عبيدة بن الجراح؟»“Do you accept Abu Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah to judge between us?” She said, "No, this is a man will not judge for me against you." He said, «هل ترضين بعمر؟»“Do you accept Omar?”, she said: No, I’m scared of Omar. He (saw) said: «هل ترضين بأبي بكر (أبيها)؟» “Do you accept Abu Bakr (her father)?” She said yes, Abu Bakr came, and the Prophet (saw) asked him to judge between them. Abu Bakr was surprised and said: Me, O Messenger of Allah? Then the Messenger of Allah began to tell him the origin of the dispute. Aisha interrupted and said: 'tell the truth, O Messenger of Allah'. Abu Bakr beat her face and blood came down from her nose and said: 'Who would tell the truth more than the Messenger of Allah?!' The Prophet was upset and said: 'we did not want this', and he (saw) washed the blood from her face and satisfied her with his hand.
And if his wife was angry, he put his hand on her shoulder and said: «اللهم اغفر لها ذنبـها وأذهِب غيظ قلبها، وأعذها من الفتن»“O Allah forgive her sin and remove the anger from her heart, and protect her from the fitnah.”
The Messenger (saw) did not hit anyone with his honorable pure hand, as Aisha said: «مَا ضَرَبَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِيَدِهِ امْرَأَةً لَهُ قَطُّ وَلَا خَادِمًا»“The Prophet of Allah (saw) did not strike with his hand any of his women or servant.”
The companions and the salaf (first Muslim generations) continued in this path in the issue of caring for the married life, its reform and being involved and practicing good intervention. Omar Ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) was angry one day with his wife, so she argued with him, and he objected that she argues with him. His wife said: "Why do you object that I disagree with you? By Allah the Prophet’s wives argue with him and they do not talk to him till the night. So he paid his daughter Hafsa (ra) a special visit, and said: “O Hafsa, do you (wives of the Prophet) argue with him and stay away from him until the night. If they ask him for nafaqa and he does not have it, do they get angry and not speak to him (saw) until the evening”. She said: Yes, this happens, Omar (ra) said: “you are mistaken and lost, do you feel safe of Allah’s anger for the Prophet’s anger? If so then you will be in Hellfire!”
The Prophet (saw) also put great efforts in the reform between the spouses, such as what happened with Ali, may Allah be pleased with him and his wife Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet (saw), and they are from the best of the spouses on the face of the earth. She is the daughter of the first of the women in Jannah and he is the Prophet’s cousin and the fourth guided caliph, and the father of the masters of the youth of Paradise, Hassan and Hussein, may Allah be pleased with them. Was their life completely free of problems? No, it was not. Al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy on him) narrated that Sahl Ibn Saad said: «جاء رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بيت فاطمة فلم يجد علياً في البيت»،“The Messenger of Allah came to Fatima's house and did not find Ali in the house.” This is a time when the husband is supposed to be in the house, and its sleeping time. And since the husband is not present, this implies that something uncomfortable took place. He (saw) said,«أين ابن عمك؟»“Where is your cousin?” He (saw) did not say where is your husband, because he felt that there was something wrong, so he (saw) wanted to remind her of their relation so that her heart can change in favour of her husband and be filled with mercy, so she can focus on her relation first than being her husband, so this will be the beginning of the solution. She said: “We had an argument; he was angry with me and left”. So what did the Prophet (saw) do with the husband? Did he take his daughter with him to his house and demanded that he comes and apologize because he made a mistake against his daughter? Did he take her without the permission of her husband? Was he negative and said: Let them deal with this between them? No, by Allah he did not do this, but he (saw) took care of it and sought reform, giving a lesson to parents after him, that the father of the wife is responsible even after the marriage of his daughter, and does what is in her interest. The Prophet (saw) came searching for him, and someone said, "He is there, lying near the wall." The Prophet (saw) came to him while his (`Ali's) back was covered with dust. The Prophet (saw) started removing the dust from his back, saying, «قم أبا تراب، قم أبا تراب»“Get up, O Abu Turab!” He (saw) came himself to look for the husband, and wiped off the dust; this gesture alone has many implications, and great meanings, and great effects; this nickname was most loved to Ali (ra). The Prophet reconciled Ali and Fatima.
And the Prophet (saw) ruled between them when they complained about the house work. He (saw) said that she does the housework inside the house, and Ali does all that is done outside the house, Ibn Habib said: The work inside the house is making the dough, the cooking, the beddings, the cleaning of the house, getting the water and the work of the whole house.
Problems between the righteous people and individuals and families are natural. The difference between us and the companions is that the problem was soon resolved, and the issue was quickly solved, and the issue of stubbornness and persistence and long abandonment did not exist, but today this is worse, the problem continues, and involves courts, defamation, and bad rumours in society, and people talk and violate teach others’ honour.
The example of the honorable Prophet, with his busy life, is the example of the best husband in history; his busy schedule and preoccupations did not prevent him from giving his wives their due rights, even though he was the leader of the state, the carrier of the message, the commander of the army, and the teacher of the people. But none of this came between him and his wives, unlike many Muslims today who violate their wife's rights under the pretext of busy schedule and numerous obligations.
The Prophet (saw) sought to remind the wives and husbands of the common rights. From Al-Husayn Ibn Muhsin that his aunt had come to the Prophet for a favour, when the Prophet said to her, «أذات زوج أنت؟»“Do you have a husband?” She said: Yes, he said, he (saw) said: «كيف أنت منه؟»“How are you with him?” She said, "I look after him, except for what I incapable of." He said, «فانظري أين أنت منه فإنه جنتك ونارك»“Look after him. He (his treatment) is your Jannah and Hell.” And the Prophet’s saying that the husband is the Jannah and Hell shows the great rights of the husband; a wife can enter Jannah for his pleasure and hellfire for his anger.
And we narrate the story of Umm Ad-Darda (ra) who explained Abu Darda’s action: 'that he engaged in worship over himself and over his wife's right’, until Salman warned him to take care of all the rights that ensued on him, the right of Allah, the right for himself and for his wife. She summarized the situation and said: Your brother Abu Ad-Darda has no need in this world! And the Prophet (saw) said, confirming what Salman said: «إنَّ لربِّك عليك حقًّا، ولنفسِك عليك حقًّا، ولأهلِك عليك حقًّا، فأعطِ كل ذي حقٍّ حقَّهُ»“Your Lord has a right over you, and your soul have a right and your wife has a right, so give each their due right”.This was a great victory for Umm Ad-Darda. The negligence of the wife is a responsibility. He (saw) said: «مَنْ سقى امرأتَهُ الماءَ أُجِرَ».“Whoever gives his wife water to drink, he will be rewarded”. Al-Arbaad said: "I gave my wife water, and then I told her what the Messenger of Allah said." The Prophet encouraged this work to bond the woman and her husband by the bond of love, and he (saw) wants the husband to declare this love in ways that captures the heart of the wife and make her live in an atmosphere of joy, happiness and companionship.
And it is not only the drink of water that the Messenger (saw) has encouraged achieving peace, love and harmony. Let us hear what Saad Ibn Abi Waqqas says that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: «إنك لنْ تنفقَ نفقةً تبتغي بها وجهَ الله إلا أُجِرْتَ عليها، حتى في اللقمة ترفعُها إلى فم امرأتِك»“Everything you spend for the sake of Allah gets you a reward, even when you feed your wife with your hand.”
The Sunnah of the Prophet (saw) preceded the so-called "Etiquettes". Imagine a couple at the dining table feeding each other, and imagine how happy they are.
One of the important means in the cause of reform and the quest to improve the relationship is the advise to be patient, as did Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, with his daughter Asma, whose husband was busy, and so she complained to him from jealousy, he said: "O daughter be patient, if the woman has a good husband, and died before her, and she did not marry after him, they will be united in Paradise”. If the wife has mistakes, then the path of the faithful is to ignore the errors and overcome them and not disclose and spread them, while reviewing the memory to search for the good and positive qualities. He (saw) said: «لا يَفْرَكْ مؤمن مؤمنة - أي: لا يبغض - إن كره منها خلقاً، رضي منها آخر»“The mu'min (believing) husband should not despise his mu'min wife because if there is any quality he dislikes in her he will certainly be pleased another.” [Muslim]
Good relationship is not only by stopping from harming the wife, but also to have patience with her anger and unreasonable behavior when there is harm expected from her, and to understand her feelings and her feelings of jealousy. The husband’s patience with the wife is one of the doors of Jannah, and we have the best example in the Prophet (saw).
«كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم عِنْدَ بَعْضِ نِسَائِهِ، فَأَرْسَلَتْ إِحْدَى أُمَّهَاتِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ بِصَحْفَةٍ فِيهَاطَعَامٌ، فَضَرَبَتْ الَّتِي فِي بَيْتِهَا النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَدَ الْخَادِمِ، فَسَقَطَتْ الصَّحْفَةُ، فَانْفَلَقَتْ، فَجَمَعَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِلَقَ الصَّحْفَةِ، ثُمَّ جَعَلَ يَجْمَعُ فِيهَا الطَّعَامَ الَّذِي كَانَ فِي الصَّحْفَةِ، وَيَقُولُ: غَارَتْ أُمُّكُمْ، ثُمَّ حَبَسَ الْخَادِمَ حَتَّى أُتِيَ بِصَحْفَةٍ مِنْ عِنْدِ الَّتِي هُوَ فِي بَيْتِهَا، فَدَفَعَ الصَّحْفَةَ الصَّحِيحَةَ إِلَى الَّتِي كُسِرَتْ صَحْفَتُهَا، وَأَمْسَكَ الْمَكْسُورَةَ فِي بَيْتِ الَّتِي كَسَرَت»
Anas Bin Malik narrated: “While the Prophet was in the house of one of his wives. One of the mothers of the believers sent a meal in a dish. The wife at whose house the Prophet was struck the hand of the servant, causing the dish to fall and break. The Prophet gathered the broken pieces of the dish and then started collecting on them the food which had been in the dish and said, “Your mother felt jealous.” Then he detained the servant till a (sound) dish was brought from the wife at whose house he was. He gave the sound dish to the wife whose dish had been broken, and kept the broken one at the house where it had been broken.”
From the good relationship that Allah (swt) ordered is to look at the good qualities of the wife and like looking at the bad ones. There is no perfect human being, and there are husbands who focus on the bad only: some defects in the shape of the wife, in her morals, in her nature, but she is virtuous, chaste, honest, clean, and obedient. But he ignores the good, and highlights her mistakes. This is not good relationship, and is unfair and unjust.
Our beloved Messenger (saw) groomed and used perfume for his wives, Aisha (ra) said: as if I see the whiteness of the musk in the intersection of the Messenger of Allah’s hair. And she was asked: "What was the first thing the Prophet do when he enters his house?" She said: He started with Siwak. He does not want his wives to smell the smell of food he ate.
And it is necessary in the marital life to show fondness to the wife.
Once Ali (ra) came in and saw his wife Fatima (ra) using the miswak (tooth brush). He angrily took the miswak off her hand and held it up in front of his eyes. While looking at it, he said: “Fortunate are you oh stick of the Arrak (tree), how could you be in my wife's mouth! Aren't you afraid that I would see you? Had you been of the people of war, I would have killed you! None other than you, oh siwak, has been spared from me!”
This is our master Muhammad (saw) as a husband; these are some examples of his treatment and his morals with his wives; he (saw) was the best husband ever. This is the marital life that is the basis of the family's happiness in the life of our Messenger and his noble companions, so as Muslims we must abide by what the early Muslims have committed to, and they produced for us heroes who carried Islam and raised its banner. Allah willing, there will be heroes in the Ummah of Muhammad (saw) who will restore the glory of Islam by adhering to the commands of Allah and His Messenger. We invite you to a peaceful, merciful and faithful marital life following the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw) and the companions to enjoy it in this world and to be rewarded for it in the Hereafter.
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Maria Al Qibtiya