Status and Rights of Wives in Islam
- The Holy Prophet (May peace & blessings upon him) was a very good husband himself. He declared one as the best believer who is good to his wife.
- Holy Quran declared wife as a garment for husband.
- A wife has right of having shelter, clothing and food from his husband.
- A husband must live with his wife honorably, kindly and with respect.
Source of Love & Mercy
The Holy Quran describes the position of the wife in a beautiful verse,
وَمِنْ اٰيٰتِهٖٓ اَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُمْ مِّنْ اَنْفُسِكُمْ اَزْوَاجًا لِّتَسْكُنُوْٓا اِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُمْ مَّوَدَّةً وَّرَحْمَةً
“Among His signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you might find solace in them and he ordained between you, love and mercy” (30:21)
Rights of Wives
The Holy Prophet (may peace & blessings upon him) said that the most perfect of believers in faith is the best of them in morals and the best of you are those who are kindest to your wives. In his famous address at the Farewell Pilgrimage, the Holy Prophet (may peace & blessings upon him) again laid stress on the kind and gentle treatment with wives. He said that:
أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ فَإِنَّ لَكُمْ عَلَى نِسَائِكُمْ حَقًّا ، وَلَهُنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ حَقًّا۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ وَاسْتَوْصُوا بِالنِّسَاءِ خَيْرًا فإنهن عندكم عوان
“O my people! You have certain rights over your wives and so have your wives over you……Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helper.
The Quran says:
وَلَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِيْ عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوْفِ ۠
“And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable.” (2:228)
Equality and Justice
Before Islam, there was no limit for males with respect to the number of wives they could have. The Holy Quran restricts the number of wives to four and also orders complete equality and justice between them,
وَاِنْ خِفْتُمْ اَلَّا تُقْسِطُوْا فِي الْيَتٰمٰى فَانْكِحُوْا مَا طَابَ لَكُمْ مِّنَ النِّسَاۗءِ مَثْنٰى وَثُلٰثَ وَرُبٰعَ ۚ فَاِنْ خِفْتُمْ اَلَّا تَعْدِلُوْا فَوَاحِدَةً
“And if you fear that you will not deal fairly towards the orphans, marry of the women who seem good to you, two or three or four, and if you fear that you cannot do justice between them, then (marry) only one.” (4:3)
The Messenger of Allah was always pleasant, kind and caring to his wives, he is also well known for being cheerful with them. According to his teachings, a husband must live with his wife honorably, kindly and with respect. He is urged to demonstrate his affection, love, appreciation, care, consideration and genuine keenness toward his spouse.
He must give honorable and sufficient sustenance to his household according to his status and must protect and prevent his wife from any possible harm or immorality to the best of his abilities. It is unlawful for a man to mistreat his wife in any fashion with abuse, hardships, harassment, undue burdens, insults, beatings etc.