RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES OF ONE’S WIFE – MOULANA MASEEHULLAH (A.R.)

In dealing with one’s wife, various kinds of zulm are perpetrated on her. People tend to keep womenfolk, their wives, as maids and subordinates. Therefore, they will not tolerate even a minor affront to their temperament. They do not want their wives to give them a contrary reply. Should she venture to do this, then follows a beating and thrashing, even to the extent of swearing and cursing. Finally, it even reaches the point where taláq is issued. This is zulm on wives.

Some husbands want their womenfolk to live with them in the cultured and well-mannered manner that they live. That is why, when some woman does something which is uncultured or ill-mannered, she is severely punished.

Informality and bad manners should be tolerated

At times, womenfolk will make certain remarks very informally, playfully and with an apparent air of conceit (náz). The men will also not tolerate and bear this. At the pettiest incident, they will pull up their faces and show their displeasure by refusing to speak to their wives. Whereas, one of the rights that the wife has is that her informality and airs are tolerated. That leaves some wives who are uncultured. This is also a right that women have over the men, that the men tolerate their bad manners. It comes in the Hadíth Sharíf that women have been created from a crooked rib. That is why there is crookedness in their akhláq. If you try to straighten it, it will break. So, take benefit from her with her crookedness.

Plain and simple women are the best

The following is also something to ponder over and to understand: It is a suitable condition for women to have a slight degree of indiscriminate behaviour (be-tamízí). The reason is that those who are like this, tend to be plain and simple women. These women are extremely chaste, modest and obedient. So much so, I have seen and heard that some women are such that they may be ill ‒ so ill that they do not have the strength to stand. Yet, if the husband is also ill at the same time, she will forget her own illness. She will be restless and anxious, and will spend all her time in nursing her husband.

And this is a daily occurrence that women will be the last to eat. The wife will see that the husband eats first. If it so happens that a visitor arrives at that point, the food that she had saved for herself, she will send forth to feed the visitor, remaining hungry herself.

Also, if it happens that the husband has been on a journey and returns in the middle of night, she will sacrifice her rest and sleep, get up and cook for her husband at that hour, and be at hand to serve him. This type of women, those who dote on their husbands, are mostly those who tend to be plain and simple, and tend to have a slight degree of impropriety as well. That is why husbands should not be of such a harsh temperament, that the slightest impropriety on the part of the wife will cause him to fly into a rage.

Oppression of men

 

What is of greater amazement and pity ‒ and a great zulm ‒ is that the husband’s rage is not restricted to these ikhtiyárí actions of the wife, but it extends even to the ghair-ikhtiyárí aspects as well. He rages at her even when she has no control over the situation. For example: Some address their wives as follows: “Scoundrel! You can’t even bear children!” What can the poor woman do? The bearing of children is in no way in the control of any person. It can happen that even kings do not have any offspring. Despite consuming a variety of nutritious foods, and making use of different medications, then, too, nothing happens. It is only in the control of Alláh Ta’álá and in His ikhtiyár. What fault is it of the woman?

We have seen that some husbands get cross with their wives and scold them as follows: “Scoundrel! You can only bear girls!” Firstly, what fault is it of hers if she does not bear boys? If you consult some physicians, they may perhaps point out the fault to be with you, the male! Secondly, it may not be something to be displeased with.

Bearing of children

A Fársí couplet states:

That Being that has not made you wealthy, He knows what is good for you better than what you do.

Just see: The killing of the child by Hadhrat Khidr alayhi salaam was in the best interests for the child and for the parents. Mauláná Rúmí Rahmatullahi alayhi states:

The killing of the child by Hadhrat Khidr alayhi salaam Is a mystery not fathomed by the general populace.

In the same way, Hadhrat Khidr alayhi salaam had removed a plank from the boat in which he was ferried. From outward appearances, he wanted to create a defect in the boat. However, there was great wisdom behind this act. Mauláná Rúmí Rahmatullahi alayhi states:

Though Hadhrat Khidr alayhi salaam damaged the boat in the river; However, there were many hidden wisdoms in damaging it.

Further on, from the narrations it comes to be known that, after the child was slain, Alláh Ta’álá blessed the parents with a daughter. From her progeny there arose Ambiyá alayhimus salaam.

Daughters are a great favour of Allah Ta’aala

So, the response to the husband who berates his wife for giving birth to girls only, is the following: What if you had a son and he turned out to be like the one that Hadhrat Khidr alayhi salaam had slain, then what would you have done? It is Alláh Ta’álá’s great favour on you that He has given you girls. The reason is that, generally, girls do not bring dishonour to families. Also, they are very obedient to the parents. Whereas, nowadays, boys tend to be arrogant and stubborn, that one can only exclaim: “May Alláh Ta’álá protect us!” It is better for such sons not to be than for them to be!

In this age, even if Hadhrat Khidr alayhi salaam is not going to come around and kill such sons, however, Alláh Ta’álá is able to slay them. And, for sons not to be born, is also equivalent to one type of “slaying”. As for those whom Alláh Ta’álá has given no children, neither sons nor daughters, this is also in their interest, because Alláh Ta’álá is better aware of what is best for His bondsmen than themselves.

Take this situation: Because a person has no children, he is involved in doing some Díní work without any other concerns. Now, if he were to have children, how do we know that he will still have this freedom from other worries? There are a thousand worries associated with having children: Someone has an earache; another has a stomach-ache; another has fallen down; another has gone missing. And the parents are, naturally, distressed. So, it is possible that Alláh Ta’álá has not given him any children in order to keep him unencumbered.

If these matters are kept in mind, then one will not be distressed under any circumstances. Most of our difficulties are brought on by our stupidity, or our wrong actions, or apathy or misconceptions. We entertain unfounded doubts (wehm) and nonsensical ideas, causing us difficulties. In actual fact, there may not be any problems but the situation may be a blessing and a cause of happiness ‒ something to make shukr for and the basis for making abundant ’ibádat.

 

Article from “For Friends”