One’s behavior towards one’s wife is the measure of the perfection of one’s belief as the Prophet (PBUH) said: ”The most complete of the believers in his belief is he who perfects his manners, and the best of you in manners are those who act best towards their wives.” Marriage must be approached with utmost seriousness, entered with the purest intent, and cultivated religiously as it does not come cheaply and it carries immense reward. The Prophet (PBUH) called it ”his way” (al-nikahu sunnati) and ”half of religion” and he also said: ”Two rak’at (prayer-cycles) of the married person are better than seventy rak’at of the unmarried.” He also warned that among the greatest of responsibilities that had been placed upon men is that pertaining to the treatment of their wives.
The first and worthiest condition of marriage to be fulfilled by the husband is to ”keep the promise or promises he made to the wife at the time he married her.” He cannot order her to do anything that is against religion. The Prophet (PBUH) said: ”No obedience is due to creatures in disobedience of the Creator” (la ta’atan li makhluqin fi ma’siyat al-khaliq).
Allah says in the Quran: ”You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah, a beautiful example (of conduct) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who remembers Allah much.” [Holy Quran –33:21]
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) overlooked his wives’ shortcomings, and tolerated their unreasonable behavior. The books of ahadith are replete with examples of how he ignored what he did not like about their actions, with a smile and patient silence. Once, when he became very angry with all of them, he left their company and resolved not to talk to them for a month.
Instead of shouting or verbally reprimanding your wife for every mistake, just ignore her. If she is fighting with you or being unreasonable, you can always leave the room and not answer back, which is the best strategy. When you will ignore her for some time, she will willingly relinquish the behavior which angered you.
In order to bring peace and prosperity in the married life, both the wife and the husband should take care of each other’s sentiments and emotions. The anger of husband brings to the wife nothing but tension, depression and confusion. Similarly, the anger of the wife brings to the husband nothing but disappointment, mental torture, frustration and bitterness. It is, therefore, advisable to both husband and wife to be patient and compassionate in their dealings.
It is a miraculous act to praise her small gestures or good traits openly, especially before your family:
It takes only three small words to give your wife a compliment, and it doesn’t have to be every day, but it will have an enormous impact on your marital relationship. Those three words could be ”This tastes delicious”, or ”You look good”. Also, if you praise her within moderation in front of your family members, even if she is absent, this would be a sadaqahon your part. Just don’t overdo it because too much praise has a negative effect.
He must strive with sincerity to acquire her trust, and seek her welfare in all the actions that pertain to her. He must protect her honor and not place her in situations where it is compromised or belittled. The Prophet (PBUH) said that Allah will not ever let him enter Paradise who cares little who shares his wife’s privacy. This includes the husband’s brother, uncle, and nephew, let alone non-related friends, neighbors, and complete strangers.
If the wife falls sick, the husband should dedicatedly look after her. He should take extra pain in her nursing, feeding, etc. This little service will win over the heart of the wife and she will be very grateful to the husband.
These are only some of the basic duties of the husband in Islam. The state of marriage is part of one’s adherence to the Sunna and an exalted state of life indeed. In the words of the Prophet (PBUH), it permits one to meet Allah ”pure and cleansed”.