View Full Version : Ques: Why does a wife have to obey her husband?

03-28-2007, 10:16 AM


One of the things that I have heard women complain about is the difference in independence in marriage...ie: she now has someone she technically needs to obey, versus parents whom she had to consult.

Alhamdullilah I do NOT by ANY circumstances not appreciate or accept or love whatever is taught to us by ALLAH and His Messenger, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam (and I pray all of our hearts only become firmer in conviction!), so this is NOT asked to question the authority, the husband's rights, etc.

I just want to understand why a man has so much right over a wife.
We learned in Love Notes that the wife needs to get permission when she leaves the house, and he could give her general permission (ie- you can go grocery shopping, to school, to your parents, anytime you want), but if he does not and she needs to every time and be patient through that (please correct me if I am wrong-- one of the sisters asked this question and I'm trying to recall the answer.)

I can't imagine a brother "obeying" his wife and not going out if she asks him. He could do it out of goodwill, but this is not really obedience to his wife.

So I am trying to understand what the husband does or inherently has that is so amazing (and again, masha'Allah, I agree he has some massive responsibilities, he is the head of the house, I agree and accept it all, Alhamdullilah! I am just trying to sincerely understand this) that he is granted this type of leadership responsibility over his wife, whereas women also do so many amazing things...ie- take care of the kids, juggle the household, provide support for their husbands, cook, clean, etc, but they don't have that type of authority over their husbands.

Any guidance in this matter would be so appreciated... please remember: I am just trying to understand and appreciate this more. It is not at all a question of a husband's authority or a challenge (authobillahi min dhalik!) or anything like that.

may Allah Most High reward anyone who answers with mountains of rewards!

03-28-2007, 11:24 AM
This is from a fatwa of Sheikh Nizar Ash-Shu'aybi, where he defines the different types of obedience:

The wife’s duties to her husband are as follows:

First Duty: Obedience. A wife should be as obedient as she can to her husband. This preserves the family and protects it from collapsing. This is part of Islam’s organizing of the family structure. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked: ‘Which women are the best?’ he answered: “The one who pleases him when he looks at her, obeys him when he asks something of her, and is not disobedient in herself or her money in what he hates.” [Musnad Ahmad]

One should note that a wife’s obedience to her husband falls into one of four categories:

1- To order her to do something this is prescribed by Islamic law, such as the five prayers. Here the wife must obey her husband, and she would be considered sinful from two perspectives if she fails to obey.

2- To order her to do something which is beneficial to him, or prohibit her from doing something which is harmful to him, such as things which have to do with his food or clothes. She must obey him here unless there is a valid excuse not to.

3- To order her to do something which falls into her private affairs, such as asking her to give him money or forbidding her from speaking to a friend for no good reason. Here she can obey him if she wants but she does not have to. She should consider the benefit and harm of such obedience.

4- To order her to disobey Allah’s commands, and here she must disobey her husband.Islam is the balanced and the most perfect system. So it places the roles of the husband and wife according to what is most in tune with their nature and what will bring true organization and success in the family. A family where the roles are altered will inevitably be disoriented.

03-28-2007, 11:32 AM
check out this related thread (very good response from shaykh yasir birjas)


03-28-2007, 12:13 PM
check out this related thread (very good response from shaykh yasir birjas)


This is a wonderful thread. Masha Allah! Knowing the difference between obligations and rights is soo important.

Jazaakum Allahu khairun for posting that.

04-03-2007, 01:03 PM
Jazaakom Allaho Khayren for all of your posts!

Masha'Allah, I have come across this amazing chapter about the rights and responsibilites of the husband and wife which has made this so, so clear, and has Alhamdullilahi Rabil'alameen made both roles so beautiful and perfect and content in my heart.

part of my original question was why men have such authority over women (in a wanting to understand way, not a challenging way). masha'Allah, this chapter really explained it so well, and especially pointed this important issue out:

"وَلاَ تَتَمَنَّوْاْ مَا فَضَّلَ اللّهُ بِهِ بَعْضَكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا اكْتَسَبُواْ وَلِلنِّسَاء نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا اكْتَسَبْنَ"…

“Do not envy one another in that Allah prefers some over others. To men is a benefit from what they earn and to women is a benefit from what they earn…”

(Qur’an, An-Nisaa’, 4:32).

Allahu-Akbar! Doesn't ALLAH, Who created us, know us best? Know what is best for us? So if Allah Most High tells us what our roles, rights, and responsibilites are, and if they are different for a man than for a woman, it is- obviously- better for us, because HE is our Creator! and therefore, He knows what is best for us. Allahu-akbar.

Is there anything better than Islam?

Is there anything more clear and more true and more perfect than this religion?

Alhamdullilah nahnu muslimoon!

04-03-2007, 03:01 PM
Awesome reflection! Jam it on QuranJam.com (http://www.quranjam.com), in sha Allah.

Bin Wahdy
04-05-2007, 03:49 PM
Ans: because if she doesn't, he'll marry another!

I kid, I kid. There is a book that explains the wisdom behind Islamic Marraiges--if I can find it, I'll give you the title.