Alhamdulillah, all praise is due to Allah, we should all be thankful to have reached another Ramadhan, even if it is a strange one, and that we’re not been among those who we celebrated Eid with after fasting last year, only for them to not reach this month with us again.
After that sad note, and being grateful to Allah I wanted to write about Ramadhan (or Ramadan if you prefer) being so quiet and peaceful this year and how much I feel I am benefiting from this month, this time around, even more so than other years.
Don’t get me wrong, there are obvious and massive benefits in the usual way we go about Ramadhan, with work, fasting and then quickly onto our iftar before going to the Masjid for Taraweeh, before we sleep what little we can, then repeat. It’s a struggle at times, but spiritually rewarding to strive in this way but this year I am finding I am more and more at peace with myself, able to walk with my wife and my children or just by myself, to spend time to think, reflect upon how we are living our lives and what is really important.
We are getting more time also as a family in the home, as I work from desk in the dining room, able to turn and see my kids as they come downstairs on waking up, able to chat with them, knowing them as they grow up that little bit better, or just enjoy seeing them go about their daily lives.
I am also able to give more quality time to my Quran, and not just snatching a few minutes reading on the bus on my mobile phone, and we’re able to pray our salaat together as a family.
So it’s a very different feeling, and one I don’t want to lose when Ramadhan is finished this year as there is really no reason we cannot do many of these things outside of Ramadhan also if we wanted to.
This month is meant to be a time we turn back to Allah, but also one where for 30 days we can build up good habits we wish to continue for the rest of the year.
So this year I want to give myself and my family more time, to reflect on how much of my busy life was really necessary and how much I can give away to gain again this peace and tranquility, rather than falling back into the hustle and bustle of life once the Corona Virus / Covid 19 lock-down is lifted.
I think we’d all find there are large parts of our lives, we simply don’t need and which don’t benefit us, which also come at a cost of losing a little of ourselves and our family life and so let’s use this quiet time during lock-down to reflect and learn to spend our time wisely again.
as a family of seven that has been home schooling for about 12 years, i wanted to share some tips that may help families with children who will be spending a lot more time together in the coming weeks.
make a fresh start. As we live through uncertain times, we can take the opportunity to reframe social distancing as a time to reconnect with our loved ones.
set your intention to reconnect as a family
do a mental health check-in: address concerns and worries, discuss the situation in an age-appropriate manner
get buy-in & input from your children on how they envision the next few weeks
set realistic expectations
re-evaluate & reflect regularly: what is working? what needs to change? what was learned? what to do next?
is there something you always wanted to do as a family? do that!
Gender mixing (ikhtilat) leads to flirting. Flirting leads to touching. Touching leads to zina. Zina leads to the destruction of marriage. The destruction of marriage leads to the downfall of family. The downfall of family leads to the end of humanity. Keep the partitions up.
And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three, or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one or (slaves) that your right hands possess. That is nearer to prevent you from doing injustice.
Quran translation, Surah an-Nisa’ 4:3
Confession time: I am no Sheikh or imam, I have no formal qualifications to speak about the deen. I am just someone who is active in Da’wah and working in the Muslim community helping others. Those I help are usually new Muslims who come to learn about the basics of Islam but also then later on when they need help if / when they get into personal difficulties in their lives.
So given I only have the one wife and my own my lack of deeni educational paperwork, feel free to ignore any or all of what you are about the read.
However it is based upon my own experiences in over 10 years of community activism, counselling others, reverts and non-reverts with their many difficulties and from asking questions myself from the people of knowledge I know and learn from and I would hope it carries some weight to those who are considering polygamy (or Polygyny for those wanting to be more precise in their English usage).
MY ADVICE REGARDING POLYGAMY
Now those who know me personally can confirm that I am quite pro-Polygamy. It’s a beautiful part of the sunnah and I post about it on this blog often. Polygamy is a blessing to those families I know who are involved when it is done correctly and could solve many of the ills facing the Muslim community so why do I almost always find myself talking brothers out of the idea of adding another wife to their home life?
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The rights of one Muslim over another are six.” It was said: What are they, O Messenger of Allah? He said: “If you meet him, greet him with salaam; if he invites you, accept the invitation; if he asks for advice, give him sincere advice; if he sneezes and praises Allah, say Yarhamuk Allah (may Allah have mercy on you); if he falls sick, visit him; and if he dies, attend his funeral.”
It’s because the men wanting to take up this are for the most part not ready for it. It’s not necessarily something which is their fault but there is reason polygamous marriages fail at such a disastrously high rate.
Most men are not ready for this responsibility, they cannot do justice or sometimes even provide for two or more wives. Some are outright malicious and just want what they want and don’t care if people get hurt in the process.
A BIRD IN THE HAND…
Some may think they are ready for polygamy, hope they are ready, but they are almost always not but carry on regardless and marry again anyway. Especially with all the other brothers are telling them, “JUST GO FOR IT BRO!”
This is not the sincere advice mentioned in the hadith above, and none of us would want our own sisters, daughters or mothers treated in such a flippant manner by their husbands.
Sisters and those with waliya over them need to be asking the potentially polygamous husband-to-be whether he has spoken to the people of knowledge and what they say regarding his suitability for handling polygamy. Usually they don’t bother speaking to the people of knowledge first, and if they haven’t then don’t even consider this man.
Though some ill-advised polygamous marriages somehow manage to succeed, almost always they don’t and they often end up damaging not just the new wife’s life and prospects but their first wife’s also along with all the children from these marriages into the bargain.
So this is the first type of brother who falls into mistakenly thinking polygamy is for him and the least harmful, though by far the most numerous.
It’s not like he has bad intentions. They wish to fulfill their desires in a halal manner and don’t realize what damage they will do just jumping in unprepared and sadly I’ve seen so many of them come crying (sometimes literally) and asking for help and advice from the masaajid, imams or activists like myself after ending up divorced from one or even both wives, or close enough to it there is little anyone can do to help them fix this mess they’ve got into.
This problem is becoming sadly too common and the olde-English saying ‘A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’ definitely applies more often than not to most brothers because most lack the requisite traits to fulfill polygamy.
The second type of brother is like someone thinking the best way to learn to drive is by just buying a car, then crashing it, then buying another and crashing again, over and over until he gets it right. This is sadly how some take marriage, especially polygamous marriage which is a whole other difficulty level to marrying the first time and often a miskeen long suffering wife is somewhere in the background picking up the pieces each time things go badly wrong for this type of brother.
Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alayhi wa salam) said: “The best of you are those who are the best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3895; Ibn Maajah, 1977; and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi
They have a callous attitude to others to some degree and need to fear Allah regarding our sisters in Islam. But unlike the last group I’ll mention they not outright malicious and if they get the right wife for them, or somehow manage to learn along the way without breaking things totally then they’ll at least make a half decent effort at it even if they might fall short in some areas.
Usually these brothers can be found out as they don’t have much of a clue on how to handle polygamy, probably never even read a book on it never-mind sat with the people of knowledge, or else have a series of ex-wives in the background as a big sign post to avoid.
Brothers, these are our sisters in Islam, someone else’s daughter or sister, the fragile vessels and you don’t treat them in this way, Ever.
I think regular brothers have way too easy-come, easy-go an attitude to polygamy and you can see it in the way they speak about it among themselves and this is the fault for the rest of us who do not pull them up often enough when they start to discuss sisters in this way.
I genuinely think most of these brothers are giving advice not out of sincere intentions on whether polygamy is best for this particular brother, but because they selfishly wish to push polygamy so it becomes something more easily accepted in the community and so available for themselves.
The final group who go in for polygamy… marriage bandits or on their way to being such who actively don’t care about hurting their wives if it serves their needs and desires, or if they do care it’s not enough to actually stop them.
Such a ‘brother’ will sadly marry and divorce far too easily, his gaze constantly moving on to something new. As if this new wife, someone who is meant to be their sister in Islam, who intends herself to be his partner for life and the hereafter is nothing more than a latest girlfriend or baby-mama to be discarded after use for a time when he becomes tired or bored with her, or else she doesn’t fit an exact match to his criteria of what a perfect woman should be, an ideal which can never realistically be met.
The problem with the last group is that their personally flaws are often hidden well, as they know their own failings but don’t care about hurting others.
They’ll lie, cheat, hide all their ex-wives from you, and sometimes even other brothers especially if they are in the same hizb will lie for them also and cover their many past mistakes and sins. Others may often be impressed by their level of knowledge of the deen, even if there is not always more than a surface level implementation of that knowledge in their lives.
I’ve posted about marriage banditry before and it’s another reason (other than regular badly behaved brothers) why sisters should never speak to a man alone and why it’s important that a sister has a good wali doing the talking for them especially in the initial stages.
A man that is able to not just speak to a brother once or twice but check his references back to front. If a man has skeletons in his closet someone will know about them usually and these men are experts at manipulating sisters, but brothers can sniff them out more easily and anyway… if they meet resistance they will often move onto easier prey.
And herein in the character of our polygamous brothers in the community lays the Catch-22 in the title.
Though I like the idea of polygamy and would love to see it practiced more, those who usually do ‘just go for it’ or are callous or even downright malicious in their intent are most likely to fail or don’t care if they fail and continue to tarnish this aspect of the sunnah in the eyes of the majority of the people.
Those who fear Allah the most in regards to their womenfolk are likely to stick to one even though they are the most likely to be able to succeed in leading and supporting two or even more wives and attached families.
I was present when a brother was speaking to a Sheikh in my city regarding polygamy, and whether he should seek a second wife or not. He’s known as an upstanding and just brother but yet he feared hurting his first wife and the Sheikh advised him this is what made him best suited to polygamy and that given his character if he could not do justice then none of us could.
I doubt the same advice would be given to any brothers falling into the three groups I’ve listed above if they’d gone to this Sheikh themselves.
THE THREE TRAITS
Being close to the masaajid in my city, and getting the chance to speak to many brothers I’ve seen the good, the bad and ugly in the community when it comes to polygamy and I’d like to end on a more positive note or at least more productive one and show how polygamy can work and succeed.
From my observations and speaking to those are successful polygamy requires three traits in a man to make it work well. Those that have all three of these traits will Allah willing make good polygamous husbands.
Two will probably work out OK, especially the later two.
One you’re pushing it… really don’t risk it bro, bird in the hand remember.
Zero and you’ve got little to no chance and anyone who knows you well, or doesn’t know you at all and is telling you to ‘just go for it’ is an idiot and should be told he is an idiot. Actually tell him I told you to tell him he’s an idiot.
If you wish to pursue polygamous marriages in the future you will need to cultivate these traits, train your mind and mold your character to something new and better and what’s more into the bargain you’ll become a better all round better husband to wife number one, a better Muslim and human being as well.
OK not technically a character trait but yes money, dollars, pounds, dinars, whatever your local currency happens to be. This is part and parcel of being able to support and maintain more than one wife, actually to support even one wife.
And this attitude of working your butt off to earn a halal income is something I’ve seen in many successful polygamous husbands. However a lazy workshy brother is almost never going to provide properly for one wife, never-mind two plus so yes this does relate to character as well.
Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance – [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.
Translation of the Quran. Surah An-Nisa 4:34
So if you’re not willing to spend on your wife or wives, you are giving up a large portion of your authority and in this I am not talking about brothers who make effort but still fall short, sisters need to be patient with such brothers, I am talking about those who don’t even put in the effort at all.
Yes I know the salaf used to marry again when in need of rizq and that Allah states in the Quran:
And marry the unmarried among you and the righteous among your male slaves and female slaves. If they should be poor, Allah will enrich them from His bounty, and Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.
Translation of the Quran. Surah An-Nur 24:31
But most brothers do not have those levels of tawakkul, reliance upon Allah, or have some other barrier from their sins or actions they’ve placed between themselves and the help of Allah coming to them. Some are frankly using this as an excuse to marry and not care about the consequences.
Yes the rizq comes from Allah, but brothers tie your camel also, do not expect wealth to fall into your lap with no effort or planning on your part.
I do know brothers with more than one wife who are poor, or at least less well off, but they strive and struggle in some form either in some deeni field and their wives are patient with that but is the exception, not the rule and sisters expect, and quite rightly so that we as husbands provide for them or at least try our hardest to do so.
There are reams and reams of words written upon how to be manly from a point of view of Islam or non-Muslim society and these days especially as a counter to the feminist movement written by Muslim and non-Muslim alike.
Manliness is not something most find easy to pin down, especially the meaning I am using here in relation to polygamy but it is something some people know when they see it in themselves or another brother.
So I want to be clear I am referring to being a man from the point of view of Islamic traditions here. This is nothing to do with the men’s rights movement and if you start quoting some badly written trashy articles by barely pubescent boys over on 4chan or reddit on how to be an alpha male trust me, if that’s your thing then right now polygamy is not for you and you’ve got major issues you need to resolve.
Nor is it forcing your wife to walk ten paces behind you pushing a buggy weighed down with bags whilst you breeze on ahead without a care in the world or bullying and pushing the women in your life around until their will is crushed and they obey automatically.
This ummah is meant to raise up strong women, as well as strong men. If you cannot handle a strong women, or feel you need to bully her or even beat her down, you need to dominate then no this is not manliness, or at least not any Islamic version of it.
For me the manliness I am talking about here for those who are successfully polygamous is being a leader or having leadership potential. Having that effortless confidence in their own abilities and inspiring good out of those around them, an air of command without needing to shout or bully others, an ability to quietly get things done without whinging or whining.
Though we might have difficulty pinning it down, women seem to be able to pick up on parts of it it straight away especially issues such as confidence, self-belief and this is one of the reasons why some brothers get easy marriage offers, even offers to take a second wife when some otherwise good brothers struggle for years even a decade or more to marry.
Though it requires more than just confidence to be a man, women feel attraction towards such men in ways they cannot always get their head around and when other men see not just confidence but other admirable traits in a brother they trust in him being able to look after their daughter in terms of marriage.
Let me ask you brothers, if a man came to you with a weak, anemic personality would you really feel he going to look after your daughter properly? Times that lack of confidence in his manliness by 10 when it comes to polygamy.
Women need to be certain the man in their life is going to get things done, to just deal with things. This is obviously an even greater requirement in polygamy where shaitan, and all his little helpers among the jinn and mankind will be keeping the gossip going, running to each wife whispering in their ears trying to cause a rupture in the man’s marriages.
3. ‘PERSISTENTLY STANDING FIRM IN JUSTICE’
The final and most important trait of the three is being just towards others. Especially the women in your life. So much so that the condition Allah places on polygamy in the Quran is whether a man can be just or not.
And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan girls then marry (other) women of your choice, two or three, or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one or (slaves) that your right hands possess. That is nearer to prevent you from doing injustice.
Quran translation, Surah an-Nisa 4:3
How many times does Allah mention being just in the Quran?
If you know yourself you are not a just man, then stay clear of polygamy as it will destroy you and destroy your deen, and possibly contribute towards doing the same of your wives and children when they see you behaving in an oppressive manner.
O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.
Translation of the Quran, Surah An-Nisa 4:135
All believers have to strive to be just, towards each other and in this case especially towards their wives, Allah is saying if you cannot be just then one is better for you and dhulm, oppression is forbidden to us and can have grave consequences here in the dunya and in the hereafter.
It was narrated from Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, narrating from Allah, may He be glorified and exalted: “ ‘O My slaves, I have forbidden dhulm to Myself and I have made it haraam among you, so do not wrong one another.”
Sahih Muslim (2577)
All successful polygamous marriages I know of the man is just, known to be just to those around him in the community, just to Muslim and non-Muslim, just to all.
This is the most important trait of a polygamous husband’s character and without it either one or more of the marriages will break or else it will cause misery in his spouses even if he himself is happy and content in his life.
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: The Prophet sent Mu’adh to Yemen and said, “Be afraid, from the curse of the oppressed as there is no screen between his invocation and Allah.”
Touching on justice, some men think they are automatically superior in the marriage / marriages, by default of being the man in the home. That the degree that Allah gives them over women in Surah Al-Baqarah is because of what hangs between their legs, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Ibn Abbas and others in their explanation of this ‘darajah’ degree of men over women, this superiority is in an man being lenient towards his wife or wives, and that when he is able to do this even when a woman is being unjust, as they are likely to be from time with even the best of wives then he gains this degree over women, and that this was part of ‘rujulah’ manliness in Islam.
This is a long article but that’s not the only reason it’s taken me a while to write and it’s been even longer coming in my mind, that something needed to be put down on this subject.
As I said at the beginning, I am not anti-polygamy, I am very much in favour of it, it is just I am in favour of the right people doing it and the rest of the males in the ummah not listening when other brothers tell you ‘Just go for it bro!’
Those brothers who give polygamy a bad press both to the Muslims and the non-Muslims around us. As someone active in Da’wah for many years there are few things as annoying as seeing someone who is close to the teachings of Islam but has been put off by seeing some bad character, some injustice or evil taking place in the community.
So I am not trying to attack those brothers who are taking part in polygamy or put off those who are seriously thinking of it, just giving some thoughts on how it can be done successfully, what traits you need to build up to make a success of this so we avoid so many painful clashes in the community when it goes pear shaped.
And by successful, I don’t mean still married after a year or two, or even cancer survival rate ‘success’ chances of 5 years. I am talking life-long happy unions with all the ups and downs such marriages bring but mostly bringing that beautiful sense of sakinah to the husband and all his wives, that marriage is meant to bring.
There are so many unmarried sisters in the community, divorcees, widows, even young and now not so young single sisters who have just not been able to find suitable husbands and one of my forthcoming pieces is going to cover why this and why this is a particular problem in the Muslim community.
Polygamy is Allah’s solution to this problem and all the follow on issues it causes, and when done correctly can help bind the community together. Some of the stories I have gathered from those who have grown up in polygamous households, or in communities where it is common are awe-inspiring to someone like myself striving to practice Islam as a whole way of life.
My final comment is to those brothers out there, who find themselves feeling they would like to take another wife, and reflecting on themselves after reading this article think they have most if not all of these traits is that you first sit with a Sheikh, discuss this and whether he thinks you are ready, whether you are suitable for this type of marriage.
After you’ve done that, speak to your family and yes of-course your wife and be just in letting her know what you are thinking. Yes, she will most likely cry and there will be difficulties, but she is helper, your garment, you should be consulting with her on this matter as on all things and letting her know her opinion is valued and listened to is what will make it easier for her to accept.
The after all of this, you are still convinced this is for you then not to let the horror stories stop you from going ahead and may Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala put baraqah in your all your marriages and grant you goodness from it, ameen.
And those who pray, “Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.”
Translation of the Quran. Surah Al-Furqan 25:74
“An advice to married students from me, a married student
1.)Understand that your wife has given up some integral rights that she is due, in order for you to seek knowledge. So be even more kind to her and show your appreciation more.
2.) If she is living away from you, do not be too quick to judge and undermine her decisions and actions. Remember a persons decisions and actions are cultivated by the environment around them. Compare your environment to hers and show mercy and try not to demand too much from her.
3.) She is constantly reminded that her husband isn’t there. Whether intentionally or unintentionally from her family and peers there is a constant reminder that her husband is MIA. While her friends return from the masjid to the loving arms of their husbands she returns home to a husbandless home. Be aware of this and try to do what you can to counteract this feeling. Msging, Calling, Email, SnailMail (“TheNoteBook” style) All these things can help lessen the burden from her.
Finally my brothers remember you said “قبلت” You accepted her and all burdens that she would come with. Be smart and wise when you say and do regarding her.
I ask Allah to unite all the students of knowledge who are currently away from their wives.”
“When Thomas Mair murdered Joe Cox MP shouting Britain First the media refused to call it terrorism in spite of it fitting the the most clear cut definition of terrorism , “Violence to achieve a political goal” . The political party that he belonged to was not banned or designated a terror organization and its members were not jailed.
This is all political and we know what the agenda is, however from a policing and investigating point of view, it would be interesting to know whether Thomas Mair’s mother, father , sisters and brothers were ever under arrest. Or is that treatment also reserved for the relatives of Muslim perpetrators of murder?”
In this excerpt from the new Muslim Homeschool Quarterly, Fitra Journal, Jamila Alqarnain admits that socialization can be a problem though it shouldn’t be a deterrent.
Yes, Socialization Can Be A Problem By Jamila Alqarnain
The subject of socialization frequently pops up in the homeschool community. It seems we are always on the defense, trying to convince someone that homeschooled children have just as many opportunities to socialize with other kids as they would if they went to public school. We come up against the “What about socialization?” question not just from the anti-homeschool club, but also from worried parents who are considering the homeschool route. It’s natural that we have become defensive about it. Having the same question asked over and over again can do that to a person. However, I feel like as homeschoolers, we are so sensitive about this subject that we spend most of our time defending ourselves and not addressing the fact that this can be an issue for some families.
Of course homeschooling does not mean a child has to be doomed to a life of solitude. We know that there are plenty of social butterflies having all sorts of awesome adventures in homeschooling. The issue is that not everyone is having a wonderful time of it. Not everyone’s experience is the same. I think that the point should be made to parents considering homeschooling that it is really important to make sure kids have ample opportunity to get out of the house and be around their peers. Most of us simply do not realize that some families are having this problem. This is why I chose to address this unpopular and preferably ignored issue: to build awareness.
When I was working on my book The Muslim Family Guide to Successful Homeschooling, I interviewed adults who had been homeschooled when they were young children. Some complained about not getting out enough to be with other children. They felt that because of this they did not have valuable social skills. They were lonely, and unhappy with their homeschooling experience. I don’t believe that their parents were lazy or unwilling to find outlets for the children. Parents may not know what to do with their children and there may not be a lot of other homeschoolers in the area.
One sister said she lived in a small town and there simply wasn’t that much to do there. We all know that there are some Muslim women who, for whatever reason, just don’t get out a lot. So when they start homeschooling they stay in their usual routine of being homebodies. These sisters need to hear about the importance of taking their kids on playdates, enrolling them in classes, joining co-ops, finding sport outlets, etc. There are questions that they should ask themselves before starting their journey: Are there any other families homeschooling in my area? What classes are offered in my area? If there just aren’t a lot of opportunities for socialization locally, is relocating an option? Can we drive a little further out to meet up with other homeschooling families? What about our masjid? Is there a youth group or other opportunities for my child to socialize with other Muslim kids?
If parents come together and really give these things some thought, they will likely make a way to find plenty of opportunities for their kids to meet up with other kids. This may be more difficult for some than it is for others but it is still possible. We just have to make sure that we leave no stone unturned and take advantage of all the resources available to us.
The ultimate goal is make sure that our children have the best homeschool experience that we can provide. It is on us to ensure that their needs are being met and they are growing, not just academically, but spiritually and characteristically. In order to do that sometimes it takes strategic planning, especially when it’s not clear where the tools we need to meet our children’s needs are going to come from. Do some sleuthing around in your community. More than likely the answers are there. If we make lots of dua while looking for solutions Allah will make a way. He always does.
Jamila Alqarnain, a native of Buffalo, New York, and a 2nd generation Muslim, was an active child whose hobbies included sewing, arts, and crafts, reading, drawing and writing stories. She teamed up with her sister and co-founded Noon Publications. In 2005, she published her first book, The Muslim Family Guide to Successful Homeschooling.
Fitra Journal is published by and for Muslim homeschoolers across the globe and is available through Amazon in print and digital format. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for info on submissions, advertising, and wholesale orders.
A’ishah (RadhiAllahu ‘anha) reported that He (Sallallahu alayhi wa salam) said:
“The best of you is he who is best to his family, and I am the best among you to my family.”
Collected by Tirmidhi and ad-Darimi, and Ibn Majah from Ibn Abbas, authenticated by Shaykh Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan at-Tirmidhi
He also instructed men concerning women in his farewell address given at the time of his last pilgrimage to Mekkah:
“Fear Allah in dealing with your women because you have taken them in your trust by Allah’s permission and sex with them has been made lawful to you by (your mention) of Allah’s name in (your marriage ceremonies).”
Recorded in Sahih Muslim
Both partners in marriage should treat one another in a kind fashion in order to maintain a harmonious atmosphere in the home. The husband need not exercise his authority in a rough or arrogant way which might encourage the wife to react by being intentionally disobedient. The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa salam) said,
“Whoever believes in Allah and the last day should not hurt his neighbour and should admonish women in a good way for they have been created from a rib and the most crooked part of the rib is its upper part. If you try to force it straight, it will break; if you leave it alone, it will remain crooked. so give advice to women accordingly.”
Recorded in Sahih Bukhari
This is, due to a woman’s fragile emotional make-up which is ideally suited for child rearing but generally unsuited for ultimate authority, she may wrongly disobey or contradict her husband. Under the influence of her monthly cycles, she may be contrary or high-strung and this make bad decisions or unreasonable statements. This is a fact of life which men must allow for and deal with gracefully and not harshly. Regarding the aspect of harmony in married life, Allah has said,
“… Live with them [Women] in equity…”
Quran translation, Surah an-Nisa, 4:19
It is important for man and woman to live together in friendship and harmony, bearing the misfortunes or calamities which might befall one or the other or the family as a whole. It goes without saying that a woman should happily and peacefully fulfill her obligations to her husband, keeping in her mind the fact that she is basically an equal partner sharing rights and obligations with her man. Allah expressed this fact as follows:
“…And women have rights corresponding to the obligations on them, according to what is equitable…”
Quran translation, Surah al-Baqarah, 2:228
Taken from pages 28-30, ‘Polygamy in Islam’ by Jameela Jones and Sheikh Bilal Philips