There are two guardians appointed for every home : the man and the woman. For the upkeeping of the home it cannot be said that one has less responsibility than the other. The responsibility of each one can be realised from the following points:
1. The gale that has blown from Europe today concerning the equality of men and women has ruined many Muslim homes. Both have their separate limits within which they must pass their lives. If these limits cease to exist, the home becomes an example of hell as is the occurrence in Europe. Those people who are inviting women to this destruction in the veil of good advice are not helpers of women but great enemies.
2. The relationship between husband and wife has to be endured throughout their entire lives.
If both their hearts are united, there can be no greater bounty, and if there is some difference between them, (may Allah forbid) there can be no greater calamity. As far as possible obey your husband. Bear the little difficulties of this world to achieve the bounties of the hereafter.
3. The tongue is a means of disgrace and honour for a human. Great virtue can be derived if it is protected. Some women utter certain statements due to lack of understanding and without contemplation. These can offend their husbands. They utter statements at unsuitable occasions, accuse or say something enraging in their anger which can hurt the man’s feelings. This could have disastrous consequences. Remember well that once a man’s heart has been injured due to some statement you made and you console and please him after a few days, then too the situation will not be as before. You can make a thousand excuses and apologize, but the love will not be as it was before. The human memory is very strong in remembering a past misery. It will continue to haunt his memory.
4. Women are said to be the garments of men. Just as a garment remains with a person during hot and cold weather, so should the husband and wife live together. Do not ask for more than what the husband can afford. Be satisfied with whatever you get even if it be bread. Do not look at a woman whose status is higher and become greedy. On the contrary, look at one who is lower than you and be thankful and patient. If at any time you like some jewellery or clothing and the husband cannot afford it, do not ask him for it nor grieve or express regret at not having it; in fact do not even mention it.
5. A woman should conceal her husband’s secrets. If she is experiencing a difficult time she should not reveal this to anyone. She should always express joy so that the husband is not grieved. In this manner she will win him over and her respect will increase in his sight.
6. Also remember that if he brings anything for you, always express happiness whether you like the present or not. Do not criticize the present, for that will hurt his feelings and he will never want to bring anything for you, but if you praise it and take it happily it will please him and he will bring something better the next time. Do not be ungrateful to your husband because the one who is ungrateful to any person is ungrateful to Allah. This is the reason why more women will go to hell as mentioned in a hadeeth. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said “I saw many women in hell.” Someone asked: “O Prophet of Allah, why are there going to be more women in hell?” Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said ” They curse others excessively and are very ungrateful to their husbands”. From this, one can gather how sinful it is to be ungrateful to a husband.
7. A successful wife is one that recognizes the husband’s nature. You should try and understand his temperament. If he is angry, do not utter something that will increase his anger. Always watch his mood before speaking. If he responds to jokes by expressing happiness then continue doing so, otherwise not. If he is displeased with you, do not sit with a sullen face. Instead plead with him for forgiveness and try to win him over whether it is your fault or not. This will result in his love increasing for you.
8. There are many etiquettes of love without which the claim to love is baseless. Understand well that the relationship between husband and wife cannot arise from a hollow love. With love the respect of the husband is also essential. It is totally wrong to regard the husband’s status as your own.
9. The husband’s status is more than your father’s. Therefore do not ask him to serve you in any manner. If he, out of love begins serving you, do not let him do so. Ask yourself if your father were to do the same would you allow it?
10. Some women first search their husband’s pockets when they return from a journey and ask them how much money and how many goods they have brought not realizing that the greatest treasure is the husband himself who has returned safely. Why not be happy and thankful for that? When the husband returns from a journey inquire about his health, his stay and if he experienced any difficulties. Firstly ask him if he is hungry so that you can feed him. When he lies down after having meals, massage his hands and feet. Fan him if it is hot. In short, make him as comfortable as possible.
11. The rights of the husband’s parents are very great. When their rights over your husband are so great that without obeying them he cannot be forgiven, then what is your position? You have been commanded to obey your husband and he has been commanded to obey his parents. From this you can gauge how great their rights are upon you. The husband’s other relatives also have rights upon you according to their stages.
12. Whatever impression you make in the beginning will be always remembered. From the outset have respect for the elders and mercy for the young. Do not leave any of your work for others nor let your possessions lie around.
13. You may have read the condition of Rasulullah’s daughter who used to grind wheat on the mill-stone. Who is a greater princess than her? Therefore do not shy away from any hard work. Do not be hesitant in doing what your mother-in-law and sisters-in-law do. Do it yourself without them telling you. In this way the in-law’s love for you will increase.
14. Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam has regarded an eavesdropper as a very evil person. Therefore if two persons are speaking softly to each other, separate from them and do not try to find out what they were speaking about. Also do not unnecessarily feel that they were speaking about you as this creates hatred in the heart which wipes out all good deeds.
15. Regard your husband’s house as the centre of your hopes. Do not live with dissatisfaction even though the new home and new people cause uneasiness.
16. Every action of yours will be scrutinized. Therefore inculcate a habit of being moderate. Be careful when conversing. Do not chatter too much because it is an evil habit nor be so quiet because this is regarded as pride.
17. If you dislike something at the in-laws, do not backbite about it at home. To inform your mother of every minor thing about your in-laws and for the mother to find out about them is an extremely abominable act. It leads to mutual arguments and disputes and eventually leads to separation.
18. The adage “a slovenly woman’s home is in darkness” is famous. Never be negligent in cleanliness. Keep the husband’s possessions neat and tidy. Also keep the room clean. You should do all the work yourself. Safeguard all your belongings. Fold the clothes and keep them away. Do not make excuses in doing any task, nor lie because it removes trust and even when the truth is spoken there won’t be certainty.
19. The love between husband and wife offends Shaytaan the most. He plans to sow hatred between them, causes doubt and suspicion. Bear this in mind and do not slander on minor doubts, for instance by saying: you joke too much with so and so (female), or you go there very often, or you always sit there. If the husband is innocent you can imagine how hurt he will feel. Added to this is the sin of the hereafter. Even if he has such an evil habit, it will not be remedied in this manner. To do this you will have to use wisdom. Discuss the matter with him in secret. If this method fails to make him realize the evil of the habit, be patient. Do not go around telling everyone and disgracing him. Do not become stern and harsh in order to suppress him as this will only make him adamant and you will eventually suffer. Remember that the simplest way of making him submit is to be loyal and obedient. To express anger and become enraged is a grave mistake and shows lack of intellect.
20. There are many instances to be found where a woman’s gentleness and patience have changed the man. If the husband is so wicked that he reaches the extremes in oppressing her, then Allah Ta’ala has destroyed him. Women should not become impatient under any circumstances.
[Source: Madrasa In’aamiyyah]