Human Rights in Islam : The Rights of Husband Towards His Wife

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A husband has the right of ultimate authority of the home management since he is responsible for the family and is accountable for all aspects of their maintenance. His leadership should be with justice, patience and wisdom. As God says in the Glorious Qur’an:

(Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because God has given one more than the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means.) [4:34]

The main reason for this added degree of responsibility is that men are given a higher portion of the inheritance as a result of their financial obligations. A wife is required to obey the commands and instructions of her husband as long as these do not involve any act of disobedience to God’s command and the Prophet’s instructions. Aishah, the wife of the Prophet (pbuh) questioned him:

“Whose right is the greatest on a woman? He (pbuh) replied, ‘That of her husband.’

The Messenger (pbuh) was asked: ‘whose right is the greatest on a man? ‘ He (pbuh) replied, ‘That of his mother’.” (Al-Haakem no.7244)

The husband who is married to more than one wife must provide equally to all of his wives, offering them the same, or comparable, housing, conditions, and clothing.

A wife must not demand from her husband things that he cannot afford, that he is not capable to produce, or tasks beyond his ability. A wife is required to protect the children and the reputation of her husband by protecting herself and being completely chaste. She should be a trustworthy guardian of his wealth. She should not leave her husband’s home without his prior knowledge, nor allow any person who her husband dislikes to enter his home. This is to protect the honor and harmony of the family, as instructed by the Messenger of God (pbuh):

“The best of women is the one, who, if you look at her you will be pleased with her, if you request her [to perform any lawful action] she will obey you, and if you are absent she will protect and preserve your wealth andhonor.” (Ibn Majah, Hadith no. 1862)

Reference : Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Sheha, Human Rights in Islam, Usool International Centre, Riyadh, ISBN: 978-603-90936-9-5

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