You must treat your Womenfolk well

Treat your Women well

My grandfather used to mention an old idiom which says, “When one neglects his she-goat, she brings home a male-goat,” which means that when a woman does not get her emotional needs fulfilled, she responds willingly to someone else who charms her.

The point of this idiom is not to liken the man and the woman to a male and female goat – Allah’s refuge is sought! – since a woman is a man’s companion. If Allah has blessed the man with a strong body, He has also blessed the woman with strong emotions. How often do we see brave men and even leaders crumble in front of the emotional prowess of a woman?

To deal skilfully with women one should discover the key to her emotions. The Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) would advise people to treat their womenfolk with kindness and have regard for their emotions, so that they may live with them in happiness. He advised fathers to be kind to their daughters.

“Whoever looks after two girls until they have grown up, he and I will be on the Day of Resurrection like this”, said the Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) as he joined his fingers together.

He also advised sons to look after their mothers. He was asked, “Who should I honour the most?”

The Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) replied, “Your mother, then your mother, then your mother and then your father.” (al-Bukhari and Muslim)

He similarly advised husbands to look after their wives, and went on to criticise those who anger or hurt their wives. Read the words the Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) said on his last pilgrimage in front of a hundred thousand pilgrims, amongst them white, black, old, young, rich and poor. He called out to them all and said, “You must treat your womenfolk well! You must treat your womenfolk well!” (Muslim and al-Tirmidhi)

One day, a group of women came to the wives of the Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) complaining about their husbands. When the Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) heard of this, he stood amongst the people and said, ‘A group of women have approached the wives of Muhammad complaining about their husbands. These husbands are not the best of your people.’ (Abu Dawud, Sahih)

He also said, “The best of you is the one who is best to his family, and I am the best of you to my family.” (al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, Sahih)

As a matter of fact, the religion of Islam has given so much respect to women that wars were initiated, flesh was sliced and heads struck off over a single one of them:

The Jews used to live side by side with the Muslims in Madinah. They hated the fact that Allah had revealed the order of hijab and that thereafter the Muslim women were covered. They tried to plant the seeds of corruption, and attempted to unveil the Muslim women, but failed.

One day, a Muslim woman went to a marketplace owned by the Jews of Banu Qaynuqa’. She was a chaste and modest woman. She visited a jeweller amongst them. The Jews saw her and disliked the fact that she was chaste and covered. They wanted to have a glimpse at her, molest her or flirt with her, as they would do before Islam honoured women. They wanted her to uncover her face and take off her hijab, but she refused. The jeweller therefore took an end of her garment and attached it to the end of her khimar, while she was unaware. When she stood up, her garment was raised, revealing her body parts. The Jews began to laugh. The Muslim woman cried out, wishing they had killed her rather than uncovering her body.

A Muslim man saw this happen, so he brandished his sword and attacked the jeweller, killing him. In turn, the Jews attacked the Muslim and killed him. When the Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) came to know about this, and the fact that the Jews had violated their pledge with him, and molested a woman, he surrounded the Jews until they all surrendered and conceded to his judgement.

When the Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) decided to punish them in revenge for the honour of a chaste Muslim woman being violated, one of the devil’s helpers stood up? those who have no concern for the honour of Muslim women and only care about satisfying their stomachs and private parts.

This leader of the hypocrites, ‘Abdullah bin Ubay bin Salul, stood up and said, “O Muhammad! Please, treat my allies with kindness!” He said this because they had been allied to him during the days of pre-Islamic ignorance. The Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) turned away from him and refused to concede, for how could he forgive a people who wished to spread corruption amongst the Believers?!

The hypocrite said again, “O Muhammad, treat them with kindness!” But the Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam), turned away from him, again, in favour of defending the honour of the chaste Muslim woman. The hypocrite then became angry. He placed his hand in the pocket of the Prophet’s shirt and pulled him saying, “Be kind to my allies! Be kind to my allies!” The Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) became angry. He turned around and shouted at him, “Let go of me!” But the hypocrite refused and began to beg the Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) to prevent their execution.

The Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) turned to him and said, “They are yours, then”, and decided not to execute them. However, he did expel them from their dwellings in Madinah. Yes, a chaste Muslim woman deserves no less!

Khawlah bint Tha’labah – may Allah be pleased with her – was from the righteous companions of the Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam). Her husband, Aws bin al-Samit, was an old man who would often become angry very quickly. One day he came back from a meeting and spoke to her regarding an issue. She responded inappropriately and they quarrelled. The man became angry and said, “You are like my mother’s back!” and left the house enraged. To utter this phrase during the pre-Islamic era of ignorance was considered a divorce. This was not the case in Islam, but Khawlah did not know the Islamic ruling concerning the issue.

Aws came back to his house to find his wife avoiding him and keeping him at a distance. She said to him, “I swear by the One who has Khawlah’s life in His Hand, you will never approach me after having said what you did, until Allah’s Messenger gives a judgement.”

Khawlah then left to visit the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) and told him what had happened. She also complained to him about how she was treated by her husband. The Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) admonished her and advised her to remain patient, saying, “O Khawlah! He is your cousin and an old man, so fear Allah with regards to him.”

She said in response, “O Messenger of Allah! He married me when I was young, my stomach became flabby due to pregnancy, and now, when I have become old and unable to have any more children, he has divorced me! O Allah! I complain to you!”

The Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) heard her words and waited for Allah to reveal a verdict regarding her case, and while Khawlah was with the Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam), there came Jibreel (alayhis salaam) from the heavens and revealed unto the Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) the ruling concerning her and her husband.

The Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) turned to her and said, “O Khawlah! Allah has revealed a verse concerning you and your husband.”

He then recited: “Allah has heard the saying of she that disputes with you (Muhammad) concerning her husband, and complains unto Allah. And Allah hears your argument. Indeed Allah is the Hearer, Knower…” until the end of the verses from the early part of Surah al-Mujadilah.

The Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) said to her, “Order him to free a slave.”

She said, “O Messenger of Allah, he doesn’t have a slave to free.”

He said, “Then tell him to fast two consecutive months.”

She said, “By Allah, he is an old man who doesn’t have the strength to fast.”

He said, “Then let him feed sixty poor people a wasq (160 kg) of dates”

She said, “O Messenger of Allah, he doesn’t have that to give.”

He said, “In that case, we will help him with some dates.”

She said, “O Messenger of Allah, I will help him with some dates myself.”

The Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “This is very good of you. Go and give charity on his behalf, and look after your cousin.” (Ahmad and Abu Dawud, Sahih)

Glory be to Allah who granted the Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) the quality of gentleness and leniency, even when dealing with personal problems!

I myself have exercised gentleness and emotional skills with my daughter and wife, and prior to that with my mother and sister, and I have found it to be very effective indeed. No man honours a woman except an honourable one, and no one demeans a woman except a mean person.

A point to note…
A woman can be patient with her husband’s poverty, unattractiveness and busy schedule, but she cannot be patient with his rude behaviour.

 

Taken from “Enjoy your Life”, by: Dr. Muhammad bin ‘Abd al-Rahman al-‘Arifi

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