The fourth husband’s right in Islam is to control who enters the house and who does not. However, this shouldn’t be abused! The prophet SAW said “that she (the wife) should not admit anyone to his house except with his permission” [Bukhari & Muslim]. Now some husbands abuse this right by telling the wife that he doesn’t like her parents, when Islam teaches that they’re his parents too!
A second category of husbands require the wife to take his permission for every single person entering the house; you can’t be serious! What’s meant in the Hadith is that if the wife already knows that her husband doesn’t like a particular person, then she can’t allow them in. As for other men, it goes by default that no wife can allow any non-Mahram man in if she’s alone at the house.
The fifth husband’s right in Islam is that the wife may not leave the house without his permission, which is another abused right nowadays. When addressing the prophet’s wives in the Quran, Allah SWT said: “And stay in your homes and do not display yourselves like the ways of the time of ignorance” (33:33). Scholars are unanimous that what applies to the prophet’s wives, applies to every other wife in Islam; and hence she should seek permission.
Yet again, this doesn’t mean that the wife is a home prisoner at the husband’s mercy, for abusing this right has nothing to do with Islam. The wife should be allowed to leave the house to pray, seek knowledge, shop,etc. there is no question or difference among scholars about it. The misconception that the wife was only created to serve her husband and his children is simply wrong; that’s just her 1st responsibility. And if the wife is too consumed taking care of the house, then it’s the husband’s responsibility to take her out at least once a week!
The sixth husband’s right Islam is that of housework, yet many scholars are of the opinion that this not entirely a right but a custom. Whether a right or a custom, many husbands forget that the prophet SAW used to help his wives with house chores!
The seventh husband’s right in Islam is to be thanked, which is yet another proof that he carries more rights than her. The prophet SAW said “Those who do not thank people do not thank Allah” [Abu Daud], yet this is applicable to both husband and wife. So if the husband has more responsibilities and should be thanked for it, Islam also encourages him to thank her for fulfilling her duties.
The eighth and last husband’s right in Islam is that the wife may not fast without his permission. The prophet SAW said “It is not lawful for a woman to fast while her husband is resident except with his permission” [Bukhari & Muslim]. But instead of abusing this right, please remember that eating together could be one of the most romantic scenes between husband and wife! So instead of dictating her not to fast,tell her lovingly that lunch is much more romantic when she’s sharing it with you!
To conclude,it took us four articles and nine rights to discuss the wife’s rights in Islam, as opposed to only two articles and eight rights for husbands. So if this tells us anything, it’s that husbands have a lot more to do for their wives before starting to complain.
May Allah SWT guide every husband and wife to know and abide by their rights, for the good of this nation. Ameen!