(Chapter 20)

Nikah and progeny

Islam lays stress on marriage. The actual order, if there are no impediments and no expediencies, is for man to get married. Hadhrat Ibn Abi Najeeh (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“The man who has no wife is the most dependent.”

People asked: “Even is he has much wealth?”

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Even if he has much wealth.”

Then Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) added:

“The woman who has no husband is most dependent.”

People said: “Even if she has much wealth?”

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Even if shehas much wealth”. (Razeen)

The object of wealth is to attain peace and comfort. These states of tranquility are not attainable by unmarried people. Furthermore, there are great worldly as well as spiritual advantages in Nikah. In this regard Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“O assembly of youths! Whoever among you has the ability to discharge the responsibilities of a family-life (i.e. fulfill the rights of the wife) should get married because Nikkah guards the eyes and prevents from immorality (i.e. fornication).”

Hadhrat Aishah (radiallahu anha) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Marry women, for they will bring for you wealth.”
                                                            (Bazzaaz)

If both husband and wife are intelligent, there will be barkat in the income of the husband. The husband will endeavour to earn more because of his added responsibility while the intelligent wife will not squander the wealth, but will economise and conduct the house budget in a way in which the husband is not able to do. This family will, as a result of this attitude of marriage partners, become prosperous and will have comfort and peace. And, this is the purpose of wealth.

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that someone asked Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam):

“Who is the best woman?”

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) replied:

“The woman whose husband becomes happy when he looks at her; who obeys his orders; who does not oppose her husband with either her person or wealth.”                                                             (Nisaai)

Thus, obedience and service to the husband elevate the wife to a noble status. In the words of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), such a woman is the ‘best’.

It is an act of great thawaab and much significance for a woman to tend to the affairs of her home. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) exhorted women to do their housework themselves. Once Hadhrat Faatimah (radiallahu anha) requested Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) for a servant to assist her in the housework. Hadhrat Faatima (radiallahu anha) did all her housework herself. In answer to her request, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“O Faatimah! For Allah. Fulfill the compulsory duties (Fardh) of your Rabb and do the work of your house-folk.”
                               (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, Tirmizi)

Which woman can consider herself to be superior than Hadhrat Faatimah (radiallahu anha)? But, the Queen of womankind, the Leader of the women of Jannat, Hadhrat Faatimah (radiallahu anha) did all her housework herself. This hadith clearily establishes the significance of women doing their own housework.

Hadhrat Ma’qil Bin Yasaar (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Marry such women who are loving and produce children (in abundance) because (on the Day of Qiyaamah) I will view with other Ummats (and be proud) of your numbers.”
                                                 (Abu Dawood, Nisaai)

The numerical superiority of the Ummah will be a source of great pleasure for Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) on the Day of Qiyaamah. Abundance of children is thus a great ni’mat and has many advantages both in the worldly life and in the Aakhirah. After the parents’ death, obedient children continuously engage in dua and acts of thawaab on behalf of their deceased parents. Children who have received a thorough Deeni upbringing and Islamic guidance will perpetuate piety and virtue in the future generations. Children who died in infancy will be a great aid for their parents in the Aakhirah. Through the intercession of such children the parents will obtain forgiveness and be saved from the calamities of the punishment of Jahannum. Pious children who have attained adulthood, too will be intercessors on behalf of their parents in the Aakhirah. The greatest benefit is abundance of progeny in the increase in the numbers and strength of the Ummah in this world and the pleasure of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in the Aakhirah.

Abstention from marriage is to be deprived of all these noble benefits. Therefore, it is abominable to refrain from marriage if there is no valid reason. Reprimanding a wealthy unmarried Sahaabi, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“O Ukaaf! (while you remain unmarried) you are (like) a brother to shaitaan. If you had been among the Nasaara you would have become a monk. Our (i.e. Islam’s) way is Nikah.

The worst among you are the unmarried. The most effective weapon which shaitaan employs against pious men is women. However, those who are married are saved from immorality.” (Ahmad)

The full benefits of marriage are realized when both husband and wife fulfill the other’s rights. The marriage will then be imbued with love and understanding. There are many rights which are linked with marriage. Both partners have rights and so do the offsprings. Some important huqooq (rights) will be mentioned here. From these, one will be able to understand the other rights of marriage.

Hadhrat Abu Musa Ash’ari (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) mentioned the significance of imparting Deeni knowledge to a bondswoman (woman of the right hand in the words of the Qur’aan). From this hadith it is apparent that the significance of imparting Deeni knowledge to one’s wife will be far greater. It is thus necessary for the husband to ensure that his wife has sufficient Deeni knowledge.

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“I exhort you to be kind to women. Accept it (my exhortation). Women have been created from a crooked rib. If you attempt to straighten her, you will break her; her breaking is talaaq. And, if you leave her as she is, she will remain crooked. Therefore, accept this my exhortation of kindness towards them.”
                                                            (Tirmizi)

It is not possible that she will do everything to satisfy the husband. Any such attempt by the man to impose on her to conform in entirety to his wishes will only break her. This means that the marriage will be wrecked and talaaq will occur. It is therefore essential to overlook little faults and such acts which do not find favour with the husband’s tastes. The husband should be big-hearted enough to accommodate her slight faults in regard to his likes and dislikes. Extreme harshness as well as extreme laxity will allow shaitaan to instill in woman desires which are in conflict with the Deen. In so far as matters of the Deen are concerned, the husband, should not be lax so as to grant her leeway to violate the laws of Allah Ta’ala. But, in things of personal taste the husband should not make too much demands on her.

Hadhrat Hakeem Bin Muaawiyah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that his father said to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam):

“O Rasulullah! What are the rights of our wives over us?”

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

When you eat, feed her; when you wear garments, clothe her; do not strike her in her face (even if she is at fault); do not curse her; do not dissociate from her except in the house.” (Abu Dawood)

According to this hadith, there is reason to show displeasure towards her, the husband should not show his displeasure by leaving the house and staying away from her.

Hadhrat Umme Salmah (radiallahu anha) and Hadhrat Maimoonah (radiallahu anha) both wives of Nabi-e-Kareem-sallallahu alayhi wasallam were with Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) when Hadhrat Ibn Umme Maktoom (radiallahu anhu), a blind Sahaabi entered. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said to both wives:

“Both of you seclude yourselves (adopt Purdah) from him.”

The two wives said: “But, he is blind!”

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“What! Are you too blind?”
                                                (Tirmizi, Abu Dawood)


It is among that rights of the wife that the husband ensures that she remains in Purdah and not come into the presence of ghair-mahram males. They should not look at them nor should they (women) look at the ghair mahram men. In this measure lies the protection of the Deen of the wife, for she is thus guarded against the evil of intermingling with other men. At the same time there is great worldly benefit, especially for the happiness of the home, in Purdah.

Some rights of husbands will now be mentioned.

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrates the Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“If (making Sajdah for anyone was permissible and I had to order anyone to make sajdah for another), I would have commanded the wife to make sajdah for her husband.”
                                                            (Tirmizi)

The superiority and the great right of the husband over the wife are amply borne out by this hadith.

Hadhrat Ibn Abi Aufa (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“I take oath by That Being in whose possession is my life that a women does not fulfil the haqq (right) of Allah as long as she does not fulfil the haqq (right) of her husband.
                                                          (Ibn Majah)

The wife should not feel that she has discharged the rights and duties of Allah Ta’ala by only carrying out the obligations of Salaat, Saum, etc. Obedience to her husband is also a command of Allah on her. It is therefore, essential that she obeys and pleases her husband in all things which are lawful in Islam.

Hadhrat Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“The Salaat of a woman disobedient to her husband does not reach further than her head (i.e. it is not accepted by Allah Ta’ala. (her Salaat remains unacceptable) until she desists from her disobedience.
                                                            (Tirmizi)

The aforegoing narrations clearly illustrate the great significance and importance which Islam attaches to the institution of Nikah. Monasticism is not part of Islam. Nikah is a spiritual guard as well as a worldly guard. All Muslims have therefore to enter into the Nikah bond if there is no impediment. However, if there exists valid Shari reason for abstaining from Nikah, one will not be blameworthy. Exceptions have been mentioned in the hadith. Those who are not able to discharge the rights of marriage are not under obligation to marry. Once a man brought his daughter to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). She persistently refused to get married. Upon enquiring from her the reason for her refusal, she explained her case and said that she will never marry. Since she was certain that she will not be able to fulfil the rights of a husband, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) did not compel her to marry.

If a widow feel that in marrying again her children’s life will be wrecked, then she is not under obligation to marry. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) praised such a woman and mentioned great thawaab for her in the Aakhirah because of her sacrifice for the sake of her children. In the interests of her orphaned children she abstained from marriage.

Hadhrat Yahya Bin Waqid (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) referring to future times of fitnah (mischief, evil and strife), said:

“…. (At that time) I prefer for my Ummat remaining single (unmarried) and (I prefer for them) dissociation form relationships (with people) and (I prefer for them) living on mountain peaks. I grant them permission (for this at such times of fitnah).”
                                                             (Razeen)

Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radiallahu anhu) and Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“There will dawn a time over people when the destruction of a man will be at the hands of his wife, parents and children. They will humiliate him because of his poverty and will make such demands which will induce him to engage in such activities (to gain more money) which will finally destroy his Deen.”                                                             (Baihaqi)

If marriage will constitute a danger to one’s Imaan and Deen, then abstention there from will be allowed because the reason is valid in the Shariah. However, there are also such people who are like drones. They are merely lacking in determination and effort. They rely on others for their needs Regarding such people, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Five types of persons will enter the Fire. (Among the five mentioned in this hadith, one is) a man who is weak in resolve. He has no understanding of the Deen. He is a burden on others; he has neither wife nor children and he does not earn his living. He lives like a drone.”
                                                             (Muslim)

Children too have rights (Huqooq). If parents discharge the rights of their offspring correctly, they will become more obedient and useful. The Deeni rights which children have over their parents have already been explained in Chapter Two and Chapter Three. Their worldly rights consists of training them in such ways and means which will enable them to achieve comfort and worldly benefit.

Hadhrat Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

Teach your sons swimming and archery and teach your daughters sewing.”                                                             (Baihaqi)

The activities mentioned in this hadith are by way of example. All worldly activities of necessity come within the scope   


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