Affection and Compassion Between Spouses
One of the greatest aims of marriage according to the laws of Allaah is so that affection and compassion may prevail between the spouses. This is the foundation on which married life should be built. Allaah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy.” [al-Room 30:21]
al-Haafiz Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Affection means love, and compassion means kindness. A man keeps a woman either because he loves her or her because he feels compassion towards her because he has children from her.
Our advice to you is not to ignore the affection and compassion between spouses that Allaah has mentioned in this verse. Think about the Mothers of the Believers, and the womenfolk of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them all), especially the role of Khadeejah (may Allaah be pleased with her) with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Try to make your family happy and you will see the effect of that in sha Allaah.
One of the greatest means of attaining happiness and cheerfulness is what was narrated from one of the righteous: Kindness is something easy: a cheerful face and a gentle word. So try to adopt this kindness towards your husband – until it becomes ingrained in you – and you will win his heart and make him be affectionate and compassionate towards you.
But before all that, and above all that, our Lord says (interpretation of the meaning):
“The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better (i.e. Allaah orders the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat them badly) then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.
But none is granted it (the above quality) except those who are patient — and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion (of happiness in the Hereafter, i.e., Paradise and of a high moral character) in this world.” [Fussilat 41:34-35]
Shaykh Ibn Sa’di (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: i.e., Good deeds and acts of obedience that are done for the sake of Allaah cannot be equal to bad deeds and sins that earn His wrath and do not please Him. Kindness towards others cannot be equal to mistreatment of them. “Is there any reward for good other than good?.” [al-Rahmaan 55:60]
Then He enjoins a specific type of kindness which has a great impact, which is kindness towards the one who treats you badly. He says: “Repel (the evil) with one which is better” i.e., if someone mistreats you, especially if he has great rights over you, such as relatives and friends and the like, and he mistreats you in word or in deed, then respond by treating him kindly. If he cuts off ties with you then uphold ties with him; if he wrongs you, forgive him; if he speaks against you, in your absence or in your presence, do not respond in kind, rather forgive him, and deal with him by speaking kindly; if he shuns you and does not speak to you, then speak nicely to him, and greet him with salaam. If you respond to mistreatment with kind treatment, that will do a great deal of good.
“then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend” i.e., as if he is close to you and a good friend.
“But none is granted it” i.e., this praiseworthy quality is not given to anyone “except those who are patient” and put up with what they dislike, and force themselves to do what Allaah loves, for souls are created with a natural inclination to respond to bad treatment in kind and not to forgive it, so how can they respond in a good manner?
If a person is patient and obeys the command of his Lord, and understands the great reward, and knows that responding in kind to the one who mistreats him will not achieve anything and will only make the enmity worse, and that treating him kindly will not cause him any humiliation, rather it will raise him in status, because the one who shows humility for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will raise him in status thereby, then the matter will become easy for him and he will do that with joy and pleasure.
“and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion” because this is a characteristic of the elite people, by means of which a person attains a high status in this world and in the Hereafter, which is one of the greatest and noblest of characteristics. End quote.
Tafseer al-Sa’di (549-550)
If all of this applies to the rights of people in general, then what about the rights of your wife? The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If I were to order anyone to prostrate to anyone else, I would have ordered women to prostrate to their husbands, because of the rights that Allaah has given them over them.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (2140) and al-Tirmidhi (1192); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (1203).
We have started by speaking to you, because you are the one who asked the question, and we think that you are more likely to listen and respond to our advice. If that means giving up some of your rights and forgiving the one who has wronged you, then there is nothing wrong with that. Who can say that giving up some of one’s rights or forgiving some mistreatment is shameful or a shortcoming? Rather it is perfection.
Muslim narrated in his Saheeh (2588) from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Charity does not decrease wealth. No one forgives, but Allaah increases him in honour, and no one humbles himself before Allaah but Allaah raises him in status.”
As for speaking to your husband or rebuking him, it is words of sincere advice and a rebuke from those who love good for him and fear for the bad consequences that he may face as a result of his actions; they want to warn him against obeying Iblees and making him happy, and disobeying and incurring the wrath of the Most Merciful, may He be exalted.
As for his obeying Ibleese, Muslim narrated in his Saheeh (2813) that Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Iblees places his throne over the water, then he sends out his troops, and the one who is closest in status to him is the one who causes the greatest amount of fitnah (tribulation or temptation). One of them comes and says, I have done such and such, and he says: ‘You have not done anything.’ Then one of them comes and says: ‘I did not leave him until I separated him and his wife.’ Then he draws him close to him and says: ‘How good you are.’” Al-A’mash said: I think he said: “and he embraces him.”
As for his incurring the wrath of the Most Merciful and disobeying Him, let him listen to what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Fear Allaah with regard to women, for you have taken them as a trust from Allaah, and intimacy with them has become permissible to you by the word of Allaah.” Narrated by Muslim (1218)
Is this how you take a trust from Allaah, O slave of Allaah?!
Is this how you deal with the word of Allaah, O slave of Allaah?!
Is this how you respond to the advice of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), who said: “I urge you to treat women well”? (narrated by al-Bukhaari (3331) and Muslim (1468))
And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (3895) and Ibn Majaah (1977); classed as aheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
Or is this what living with them honourably means? Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “and live with them honourably.” [al-Nisa’ 4:19]
Is this what taking care of them means? The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The ruler of the people is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of his household and is responsible for his flock. A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s house and children and is responsible for her flock. The slave is the shepherd of his master’s wealth and is responsible for it. Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (893) and Muslim (1829)
Have you not heard what the great Sahaabi, ‘Aa’idh ibn ‘Amr (may Allaah be pleased with him) said when he entered upon ‘Ubayd-Allaah ibn Ziyaad, the oppressive governor? The Sahaabi said to him: O my son, I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “The worst of guardians are those who are cruel. Beware lest you be one of them.” Narrated by Muslim (1830)
Are you not afraid that you may be one of them?
Have you never heard that everyone gets headaches sometimes.
We have never heard of anything stranger or weirder than this.
Or perhaps you need some proof? Listen to this, O slave of Allaah:
It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came back from al-Baqee’ and I had a headache and was saying, Oh my head. He said, “Rather, I should say, Oh my head, O ‘Aa’ishah.” Narrated by Ibn Majaah (1465); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Takhreej al-Mishkaat (5970)
You should remember that when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died, ‘Aa’ishah was eighteen years old, which means that when she complained of this headache she was younger than eighteen, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) believed her and treated her with compassion. ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) was asked: What did the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) do in his house? She said: He used to serve his family, then when the time for prayer came, he would go out to pray. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (676)
This is evidence if you need it, but we do not think that you need evidence. Rather you need to act. The way is ahead of you but you are not moving.
We have spoken to you at length, but if a person does not benefit from a little then he will not benefit from a lot.
You should think that you may be afflicted one day and you will need this weak woman to support you and look after your affairs. Would you like her to treat you as you are treating her?
Or would you like her to be better than you, and to believe you, although you did not believe her, and to support you, although you let her down, and to treat you kindly although you are treating her harshly, and to be forbearing towards you although you are treating her ignorantly.
By Allaah, even the sweeter of the two is bitter.