In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The husband's rights upon his wife:

1- Having the decisive word in the household:

 Dear believer brother, the topic of our lesson today is "The husband's rights over his wife". We have mentioned last lecture the Ayah in which the Almighty Allah says:

((Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means.))

[An-Nisa', 34]

  Also, I mentioned that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said to the representative of women who came to him:

((Understand O woman and inform the other women. Indeed a woman's perfection of her relationship with her husband, her seeking his pleasure, and doing that which he approves of is equivalent to all of that (i.e. Al Jihad in the cause of Allah).))

[Ibn Asaker and Baihaki in Shu'ab Al Iman, by Asma'a Bint Yazid Al Ansariyah]

 I told you last lesson that a woman can be granted Paradise if she offers her five prayers, obeys her husband and protects her honor, and that Paradise is granted to the woman whose husband had always been pleased with her before she died. I made comments on those As7adeth saying that in order for the husband to deserve this treatment from his wife, he should be generous, forbearing and pious. Thus if he fulfills these conducts, he is meant in all the As7adeth which are mentioned about his rights. I finished my last lecture with mentioning the following Hadith. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((The right a husband acquires over the wife is that she should not keep herself away from him [even] if they were on the back of a camel and he desired her and tried to take her. It is his right that she should not give anything belonging to his house except by his permission; if she does so [without his permission], she will be guilty and he will get the reward. It is his right also that she should not fast voluntarily except by his permission; and if she fasts and goes hungry and thirsty, it will not be accepted of her. If she goes out from his house without his permission, the angels curse her till she comes back to his house or repents even though he might be an oppressor.))

[Abu Dawood, by Abdullah Ibn Umar]

 In order to have a strong relationship in the household, there must be someone in the family who has the last word, and that person is the husband irrespective of the fact that he might be an oppressor or not, for this is another issue to discuss. Generally speaking, there must be one party in the household whose orders should be obeyed, exactly like the captain in his ship or the pilot in his plane whose orders are obeyed even if the assistants are convinced with them or not.

 A brother of one of the female companions came to the Prophet asking for his permission to let his sister visit her sick father, but the Prophet, peace be upon him, said to him:

((Say to your sister that obeying her husband is more obligatory for her than visiting her sick father.))

 The Prophet, peace be upon him, detested that the husband's rights are violated (by other people, such as the wife's brother) These are the As7adeth we discussed last week, and remember that I asked you not to mention them in front of your wives while they are angry, because they will reject them out of anger, or they might say to you things that you don't want to hear. Therefore, don't use these As7adeth to your own favor, but rather you should watch your behavior and act up to these As7adeth.

 Once, the Prophet went out of his house to join the companions while he was saying: "Your mother got angry, your mother got angry" referring to Aishah, may Allah be leased with her, who was angry. We deduced from this Hadith that in case the wife was angry with her husband, he should keep silent and vice versa. When both the husband and the wife are angry, they may hurt each other and the situation will be worse, such as the case of two glass bottles, which will be broken if they are hit against each other strongly. When the husband or the wife gets angry their situation should look like the one of a glass bottle and a sponge. In this case the latter will absorb the shock and nothing harmful will happen. Thus, try to be calm when your spouse gets angry. This is the Prophetic guidance; for the Prophet, peace be upon him, said to his companions: "Your mother got angry, your mother got angry". The wife sometimes suffers great pressures due to the difficulties in housework ( like washing clothes) or the lack of some supplies in the house, and in such cases she might get angry, so when the husband gets back home, he should deal with her anger with an open heart.

2- Preventing the wife from welcoming whoever he dislikes to their home:

 The husband's other right over his wife is preventing his wife from allowing whoever the husband dislikes to come into the house. For example, he might say to her: "Don't allow this woman to enter my house", so in that case the wife shouldn't, whether she likes it or not, as long as her welfare is with her husband, not with that woman. Lots of domestic conflicts occur because of the foolish behavior of the wife when she favors her neighbors over her husband, and disobeying her husband by this.

 Hence, according to the prophetic guidance the husband's point of view should be respected by his wife. His wife may have a friend who is rich, so when she visits her,, she may despise everything she looks at hurting by that the wife who will become unsatisfied with what she has, and will argue with her husband over worldly stuff. Their argument is caused by this visitor, who doesn't know Allah the Almighty. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((He, who sows dissension between two, is not one of us))

 Namely, the one who sows dissension between a married couple, between siblings, between a mother and her son or between business partners does not belong to the Ummah of Muhammad, and this dissension might happen because of mere comments he makes.

 A woman might visit another woman and ask, "How much is your dowry?" If she says it is 10 thousand liras, this woman might say, "Who accepts such an amount of money for a dowry?" By such a comment this woman has a Satan inside her; criticizing the dowry, the jewelry and the house is very harmful. A woman may criticize her neighbor's house saying, "What a small house you have? It is even worse than a hennery." Such harsh comments affect the wife negatively, so when her husband comes home, she starts complaining (about the conditions of the house) while she used to be happy with what she has. Upon finding out that this visitor is the reason behind making his wife unsatisfied with her house, he orders his wife to stop welcoming this woman to the house, and in such a case the wife should obey him.

 Every man has his own problems, and it is said: "People bring troubles to other people", but how? One might live comfortably, yet domestic conflicts, quarrels and dissension caused by a mere word that might be said by a female visitor, a heedless status from the wife's part and a satanic behavior of that visitor. Believe me, if I were to generalize, every problem between two people is caused by a third party. Hence, Satan wishes to sow dissension in order to destroy the relations between people. The best relation that Allah is pleased with is the good one between the husband and his wife, and the most detested one by Him is the one which is full of quarrels and conflicts between the spouses. You may enter a house which is small and humble, the ground is cement, the beds are mere mattresses and the drapes are made of very cheap fabric, yet happiness, affection and mercy hover over the house as if it is a piece of Paradise. Unlike this house, the mansion whose furniture is luxurious, and it is fully loaded with all electric devices, may look like a piece of hell (because of the repeated arguments between the couple).

 The secret of the successful marital relation lies in the harmony between the married couple, and the most hateful thing in the marital relation is to be full of quarrels and moroseness. The relation between the husband and the wife influences the children, so in case it is good, the daughter will be positively influenced by it and her relation with her future husband will be as good as the relation of her parents, which is full of mercy, forbearing, gentleness, affection and forgiveness, and if the parent's relation is bad, the daughter will be negatively affected by it when she gets married. Therefore, whoever wants to choose a wife has the right to check the parents' relation before getting married to their daughter. He should check whether there are mutual forbearing, affection and respect between the parents or not. Also, he should know if there are disagreement, conflicts, moroseness and agitation between them. The young man will not be comfortable with a wife who was brought up in a house that is full of domestic conflicts.

 Let me clarify the main point in this paragraph. If the husband prevents his wife from welcoming a certain woman to his house, she should obey him, but I have a word to whisper in men's ears: don't use this right to prevent your parents in law from visiting your wives. A husband might prevent his mother in law from visiting his house, and in such a case he is oppressing his wife, especially when he swears by the oath of divorce. Accordingly, the wife who uses to fear him will become the source of fear to her husband, because the minute her mother visits her, she will be divorced from him (because of his oath).

 Hence, you shouldn't autocratically use this right. There is a section in the law about "unrestrained and autocratic in the use of authority" which handles cases like the ones at official departments. Suppose that there are two employees working at the same department, and the position of one of them is lower than the one of the other, and that the lower position employer refuses to a partner of the higher position employer in taking ill-gotten money. If the higher position employer transfers him to a work at a department that is located in a deprived area, he is considered unrestrained and autocratic in using his authority, and transferring the honest employee is not meant for the public interest, but it is done out of plot and exile. Much in the same line, the husband is given an authority (by Allah) over his wife, and thus he shouldn't misuse it for the wrong reasons. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said to a woman:

((If a woman performs her five daily prayers, fasts her month (of Ramadan), obeys her husband and guards her chastity, then it will be said to her: 'Enter Paradise by whichever of its gates you wish.'))

 The husband shouldn't use his authority arbitrarily, and the prudent one is he who gives affection a very large space (in his marital relation):

Love the person you like moderately
As he might be your enemy one day
And hate the person you dislike moderately
As he might be someone you like one day

 It means the husband shouldn't take his family in law as enemies, and a gentle admonition is enough when problems occur. Some husbands raise hell on their family in law, insult them, humiliate them, slam the door in their faces and force them to leave. Those husbands are crossing the line and cutting off the ties of affection.

Moderation marks the prudent man:

 Moderation marks the prudent person; this moderation appears in his reflections, actions and words. For example, if one enters his house and dislikes something he sees, he should say: "I will be upset if I see this thing again". This is moderation, for getting upset about something wrong is a reasonable reaction, but swearing by the oath of divorce is an exaggerated reaction which will ruin his marriage if whatever bsh3er him occurs again. Also, a husband may say: "If this thing happens again, I will do something displeases you". What could that displeasing thing be? This vague hint frightens the wife. A joke says that a man went into a restaurant and said to its owner, "If you do not bring me dinner, I will do exactly like my father did". Upon being threatened, the owner feared that his father could be a criminal or a killer, so he served him a luxurious dinner. After that man finished his dinner, the owner asked him, "What did your father do". The man answered, "He went to sleep without having his dinner". Therefore, the obscure threat bears a variety of potential punishments, and it is better than mentioning a specific punishment. Hence, the Almighty Allah says:

((When that covered the lote-tree which did cover it!))

[An-Najm, 16]

 In Arabic the Ayah is: (Ith Yaghsah As-Sedrata Ma Yaghsha), so repeating the word Yaghsha (cover) with the word Ma before the second one, is called (rich concision), which means that it bears many meanings.

 In some cases, a man argues with his neighboring grocer, and so he swears not to buy anything from him. However, if one day he has visitors, and he needs matches, he will be in a big trouble, because the only choice he has is to buy the matches from this grocer since the other ones are very far from his house. He would rather say "I was upset about that behavior of yours", than making an oath. Saying this to the grocer allows him to go to him again and buy whatever he wants with no need to be insulted or defied by the grocer. Thus, don't tie yourself with an oath, lest you may be in trouble.

 When man's prudence increases, he stops taking oaths, specifying the punishment or tying himself. Keep yourself free from all these ties. Most oaths and inappropriate words are uttered on the spur of the moment. This is why our master Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, wished to have a long neck like the one of the camel, so that the word he was about to say would pass that distance before it came out of his mouth. This distance gives someone time to think about each word before saying it. The word has a power and the wrong one is able to ruin a relation, sow dissension and cause partnership break up.

((He grants Hikmah to whom He pleases, and he, to whom Hikmah is granted, is indeed granted abundant good. But none remember (will receive admonition) except men of understanding.))

[Al-Baqarah, 269]

Every person is ordered of benevolence:

 Don't forget that Allah the Almighty commanded us by saying:

((And speak good to people [i.e. enjoin righteousness and forbid evil, and say the truth about Muhammad Peace be upon him ]))

[Al-Baqarah, 83]

 There are commands you should abide by. Most people mistakenly think that commands are restricted to Salah, Sawm, Hajj and Zakat, however if you read Quran attentively, you will know beyond doubt that every command in the Noble Quran entails obligation.

((Verily, Allah enjoins Al-Adl (i.e. justice and worshipping none but Allah Alone - Islamic Monotheism) and Al-Ihsan [i.e. to be patient in performing your duties to Allah, totally for Allah's sake and in accordance with the Sunnah (legal ways) of the Prophet in a perfect manner], and giving (help) to kith and kin (i.e. all that Allah has ordered you to give them e.g., wealth, visiting, looking after them, or any other kind of help, etc.)))

[An-Nahl, 90]

 You don't have a choice, for Ihasn (philanthropy) is ordained upon you. Someone may say, "My brother has no rights over me", and that could be true, for this is justice, but what about Ihsan? He has a right over you, because of Ihsan. If someone divorced his wife for compelling reasons, but he promised to give her monthly payments as long as he lives, and he never stopped paying, this is called Ihsan, and it is ordained upon you. This is why in some Ayat Almighty Allah says:

((This is a duty on the doers of good. ))

((This is a duty on Al-Muttaqun (the pious). ))
 The right of the doer of good can be elaborated through the following example: you may come from a far country and go to the house of a generous person who serves you and allows you to spend two nights in his house, so if this generous man travels to your city, he owes you the same, and you should be more generous with him than he uses to be with you. This is exactly the right of the doer of good, the right of the pious and the right of the believer. Hence, stop saying, "This person has no rights over me", because since you are a believer, he has the right of Ihsan over you, although in terms of justice he actually has no rights. Millions of problems can be solved if the following Ayah is applied, and as you know it is repeatedly reauthord every Friday sermon by the Khatib:

((Verily, Allah enjoins Al-Adl (i.e. justice and worshipping none but Allah Alone - Islamic Monotheism) and Al-Ihsan [i.e. to be patient in performing your duties to Allah, totally for Allah's sake and in accordance with the Sunnah (legal ways) of the Prophet in a perfect manner], and giving (help) to kith and kin (i.e. all that Allah has ordered you to give them e.g., wealth, visiting, looking after them, or any other kind of help, etc.)))

[An-Nahl, 90]

 I told you before the story of the man who found out that his bride was pregnant from another man, so he covered her sin and was generous to her. The Imam of the Masjid saw the Prophet, peace be upon him, in his dream asking him to tell that man that he would be his companion in Paradise. The husband had the right to divorce her because she committed a major sin, and he could disclose this secret, but he accepted her and covered her sin. His reward came in that dream that he would be the companion of the Prophet, peace be upon him, in Paradise.

 I would like you not to treat people only on justice basis, but treat them on Ihsan basis as well. Do what you have to do and let the sh3er do whatever they want, so if they pay you back what you owe them, then it is fine, and if they don't, Allah knows who the Mohsen is (the person who offers Ihsan).

 The following Hadith gives me chills every time I read it; the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((Do the favor to those who deserve it and who do not. If you find that they deserve it, then you will be rewarded by them, and if they do not deserve it, then you are good at doing it.))

[As-Suyooti in Al-Jame' As-Sagheer, and he claimed it to Al-Khatib]

 You will be pleased by your own good deed, and it will bring happiness about which no one knows except those who offer it.

3- Being served by his wife:

 The third right of the husband over his wife is to be served by her. Equality is the base of the relation between the husband and wife in terms of rights and duties, and this is mentioned in the following precise Ayah:

((And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses, etc.) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect, etc.) to what is reasonable))

[Al-Baqarah, 228]

 You have the right to ask your wife to dress nicely before you, and she has the same right over you.

((Wash your clothes, take care of your hair, use the siwak, adorn yourselves and keep yourselves clean. The Children of Israel did not use to do this, and so their women committed adultery))

[Ibn Asaker, by Abdullah bin Maymoon Al-Qaddah]

 If you have a right over her, then she has a similar right over you, Allah the Almighty says:

((And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses, etc.) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect, etc.) to what is reasonable))

[Al-Baqarah, 228]

 "to what is reasonable" refers to social norms. For instance, according to the social norms, it is reasonable for the wife to serve her husband and do all the housework in a three-room house. However, if the wife lives with her family in law in a nine-room house including the guest room, and where all the members of the family rest at the expense of this newly wedded wife who has to do all the housework and prepare the feasts for the visitors, this is beyond her scope (and beyond the social norms). Thus, the reasonable thing for the wife to do is serving her husband in the house is rather small; has two rooms and a guest room,, while it is unfair to ask her to do the housework alone in a big house.

 The extra degree which is given to the man is the degree of leading the household. I compare it to the military rank; this degree is similar to the rank between a brigadier general and a general, not the many ranks between a cadet and a general. Both the brigadier general and the general have to some extent the same privileges, for both have high salaries, luxurious offices, and both give orders, but the only difference between them is that one of them is the leader of the other; the brigadier general can order the general, but not vise versa. Likewise, both the husband and his wife have similar rights and duties (which were granted in the previous Ayah) in the household. Yet, the husband is entitled for one degree over his wife (the one of leading that household). As if the duties of the wife are deduced by the Prophet, peace be upon him, from the following Ayah:

((And stay in your houses))

[Al-Ahzab, 33]

 According to the social customs, the wife is responsible for looking after her husband and children, and the husband is responsible for providing the household with all the needed expenses and for leading it. Even in the immoral societies, the woman is honored to have the word "housewife" written on the occupation blank in the identification card, which means she is totally devoted to raise her children.

 The husband in the household is like the pilot in the cockpit whose job is leading the plane, so if the woman goes out of her house to work like men, the entire household will be lost. The children will be neglected, and the husband will be preoccupied with the situation of his children. He gets worried about them fearing that they are still outside, they befriend bad or they commit mistakes Thus, he will not be able to concentrate at work, and he will always be confused. Hence, in order to work at his best, the husband should be active and productive, and this is maintained when his wife looks after the household. This is the base which is established by the following Ayah:

((And stay in your houses))

[Al-Ahzab, 33]

 You should never think that because the Prophet's wives, peace be upon him, are addressed in this Ayah, it is meant for them only. On the contrary, it is meant for all women.

Some As7adeth about dividing the domestic chores:

 There are some As7adeth about dividing the domestic chores between the husband and wife. The Prophet, peace be upon him, divided the work between Imam Ali and Fatimah Zahra. After they got married, they began their new life together. They organized their belongings as needed and went to the Noble Prophet, peace be upon him, for his advice in the division of domestic chores. 'Guide us, O Prophet of Allah, peace be upon him, as to how we should divide our domestic chores between us,' requested Imam Ali, may Allah ennoble his face. The Noble Prophet, peace be upon him, declared, 'Ali, you will do all the chores outside the house, while Fatimah will perform all those inside the house.' Lady Fatimah, may Allah be pleased with her, was overjoyed with his division. She said, 'I am so relieved to have nothing to do with men.' Ali, may Allah ennoble his face, would purchase wood, grain, groceries and other essential items from the market, while she would grind the flour, cook the meals, do the laundry and keep the house clean. Besides, whenever Imam Ali, may Allah ennoble his face, found extra time he would help with the chores inside the house. This is how the Noble Prophet, peace be upon him, divided the household chores. Bukhari and Muslim reported that Fatimah, may Allah be pleased with her, came to the Prophet, peace be upon him, complaining about the pain caused to her hands by the mill and asking for a servant, to which he, peace be upon him, said:

((Shall I not teach you something better than what you asked for? When you go to your bed, magnify Allah thirty-three times, glorify Him thirty-three times and praise Him thirty-three times. That is better for you than a servant.))

 It seems that the Prophet, peace be upon him, didn't prefer that the Muslim have a servant in his house, since he didn't allow his own daughter to have a one. If he agreed to send her a one, hundreds of women would be glad to serve her, but he disliked it. One should serve himself, should be humble and should be more devoted to please Allah. He should not look superior to his fellow men.

 The wife thinks that her husband relaxes at his office and has no worries, while in fact he might be very burdened and have pressures. The household chores could be more exhausting, but the man's job is not comfortable. Thus the wife shouldn't say to him, "You are at your office all day long doing nothing but relaxing ".Believe me, sometimes jobs which need physical strength are much easier than the kind of desk jobs which bring hardship and worries to man.

 Asmaa the daughter of Abu Bakr, May Allah be pleased with them both, said: "I performed the household duties of Az-Zubair"

 She is Asmaa the daughter of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, and the wife of Az-Zubair Ibn Al-Awwam, the hawari (disciple) of the Messenger of Allah, and her son is Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair. He is the little boy who was playing with other boys on one of the streets of Madinah where Umar Ibn Al-Khattab passed by. They all fled except this boy (Abdullah), so the Khalifah (Umar) drew closer to him and said, "Why didn't you flee like the other boys?" The little boy said, "I didn't do anything wrong that I should be scared of or run away from, and the road is not narrow for me to widen it for you." This is Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair.

 Asmaa, May Allah be pleased with her, reported: "I performed the household duties of az-Zubair and he had a horse, I used to look after it, I used to graze his horse, to provide fodder to it and look after it, and ground dates for his camel. I made arrangements for providing [it with] water and patched up [his] leather bucket and kneaded the flour. And I used to carry on my head the stones (seeds) of the dates from az-Zubair's land which Allaah's Messenger had endowed him, and it was at a distance of two miles (from Madinah).

 She used to work hard to serve her household, and thus she will be abundantly rewarded. Therefore, these two As7adeth indicate the mission of the wife in looking after the household, and the mission of the husband in covering the expenses of it. Fatimah, may Allah be pleased with her, once complained, and she is Fatimah about whom the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((Fatima is part of me. Whatever upsets her upsets me, and whatever harms her harms me.))

 Each one of you who has a daughter knows that feeling, for his daughter is the dearest person to him. Therefore, when the daughter is blessed with a devoted, upright and generous husband, the latter will be dearer to his father in law than his own children. Fatimah, may Allah be pleased with her, complained about the many chores of her house, but the Prophet, peace be upon him, didn't say a word. This indicates that she had to do the house chores, and Ibn Al Qayem said: "This is something out of question". In Islam there is no discrimination between a rich woman and a poor one, and as you see that the best woman of all women in the world (Fatimah) was serving her husband.

 One shouldn't say: "My daughter will never serve her husband, so he should bring her a servant". Well, who is your daughter? Is she better than Fatimah? No, she is not! Who are you? Are you better than the Messenger of Allah? No, you are not! Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, and Fatimah was his daughter, yet she served her husband. Fathers nowadays ask their sons in law to bring their daughters a dish washer, well how could our ancestors manage their life without it? Fatimah came to the Prophet, peace b upon him, to complain but he didn't listen to her, which means that her complaint was rejected.

4- The only lie accepted between the spouses:

 The last issue we are discussing today is about the only lie accepted between the spouses. It is a bewildering issue, for one might say, "Is lying allowed between the married couple?" No it is not, but the only lie accepted between the husband and wife can be elaborated as follows:

 "From Abu 'Azrah al-Du'ali who lived during the time of 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, used to marry women and then separate from them, until he became known by the people for doing so, and stories would be told about him. When he heard of this, he took 'Abd Allah bin al-Arqam home with him, and while he was listening, asked his wife, "I implore you with Allah's name: Do you hate me?" "Don't implore me like that," she said. He said, "Yet I do." "By Allah, yes." she said. Abu 'Azrah said to 'Abd Allah, "Did you hear that?" They then left and went to 'Umar, saying to him, "People say I wrong women and then separate from them. Ask Abdullah what he heard from my wife." He did so, and 'Umar having heard what she had said, sent for his wife. He said to her, "Are you the one that goes and tells her husband that she hates him?" She said, "Oh Leader of the Faithful, I am the first to repent and turn back to Allah's command. He implored me in Allah's name, so what was I supposed to do? Lie? I felt wrong lying!" "Then lie," said 'Umar.

 This isn't how honesty should do; the husband could be generous, rich, a true believer and has good conducts but not that handsome, so upon asking his wife: "Do you love me?" the wife is considered rude when she says to him: "No, I don't love", and this has nothing to do with t honesty. In such cases the wife should lie to her husband and say: "Yes, I do", and the same goes for the husband if his wife isn't perfect. This kind of lying pleases Allah the Almighty. Let alone, it is ordained upon you. Some husbands lack wisdom, for they say to their wives: "If only you were like such and such woman", by saying so the husband puts his wife in despair, for she becomes sure that he doesn't love her, and in that case she will neglect herself as she has no hope.

 The believer shouldn't talk to his wife like this, instead he should say: "I am blessed to have you as my wife… you are matchless among women…and you are my soul mate. She said, "Oh Leader of the Faithful, I am the first to repent and turn back to Allah's command. He implored me in Allah's name, so what was I supposed to do? Lie? I felt wrong lying!" "Then lie," said 'Umar. "If one of you doesn't love their husbands, they shouldn't say so. Few are those houses that are built upon love; rather people get along by depending upon Islam and Ihsan to one another." Households are not built upon the "Qais and Laila " kind of love; but rather they are built upon Islam, upon faith, upon accepting what is preordained by Allah and upon being pleased with your wife. "Few are those houses that are built upon love; rather people get along by depending upon Islam and Ihsan to one another." The descent man who is from a noble family and the descent woman who is from a noble family too, don't complain about each other; she does not badmouth her husband, and he doesn't break her heart.

 A woman might say to another: "Ask your husband to lose some weight", well what kind of advice is this? Are you trying to make her hate him? Believe me there are people whose words are too harsh to be accepted. "Few are those houses that are built upon love; rather people get along by depending upon Islam and Ihsan to one another." Every person acts according to how noble he/she is. The noble man never embarrasses his wife, abashes her or frustrates her, and the noble woman never complains about her husband. This saying is very delicate and has outstanding effects. The husband is allowed to lie to his wife in order to keep affectionate to her and to please her, and vice versa.

 In our next meetings, insha Allah, we will talk about keeping the wife in the matrimonial home, traveling with the wife, preventing the wife from working, letting the woman go out in order to seek knowledge, punishing her in case she crosses red lines and the wife's duty in beautifying herself to her husband.

***

As7adeth which starts with "Innama" (Indeed):

 The first Hadith: "Verily! The order of taking permission to enter has been enjoined because of that sight":

 Now we will mention some As7adeth which start with the word "Innama", and I would like first to ask you: what does "Innama" mean in Arabic language? When we say: Shawqi is a poet, in Arabic language it means that he is a poet, but does it mean he can't be a writer? No, it does not. Does it mean he can't be a lawyer? No, it does not Does it mean he can't be a merchant? No, it does not. Hence, when you say Shawqi is a poet, it means that he is a poet, but he can be a writer, an author or a lawyer, but if you say: "Innama (Indeed, verily, only and other adverbs that give the same meaning) Shawqi is a poet", this means that he is exclusively a poet. Thus, wherever the word "Innama" is used, it indicates exclusiveness. Take for example the following Ayah:

((It is only those who have knowledge among His slaves that fear Allah.))

[Fatir, 28]

 It means that those who have knowledge are exclusively the ones who fear Allah, but if we say: "The knowledgeable people fear Allah" this doesn't make the ignorant people excluded from fearing Allah.. Using the word "Innama" in this Ayah means that those who have knowledge are exclusively the ones who fear Allah. This is exclusiveness.

((Narrated Sahl bin Sa'd: A man peeped through a round hole into the dwelling place of the Prophet, while the Prophet, peace be upon him, had a Midray (an iron comb) with which he was scratching his head. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Had I known you were looking (through the hole), I would have pierced your eye with it (i.e., the comb). Verily! The order of taking permission to enter has been enjoined because of that sight, (that one should not look unlawfully at the state of sh3er)."))

[Agreed upon, by Sahl Ibn Sa'd]

What is the purpose behind knocking at the door?

 If your friend's front door is open, do you have the right to directly enter his house? No you don't. Why? Because refraining from doing so prevents an accident look to one of his womenfolk, which is considered a sin. As you all know, each one of us acts freely in his house, and sometimes he puts on light cloths to feel comfortable. Also, the woman can do the same when she is cooking, washing dishes or doing the laundry. She is entitled to that right since she is in her house, and no stranger can see her. Therefore, the permission is an obligation to enter any house in order to avoid an accident look. Taking permission should be applied to entering the room of the sick person in the hospital as well. You might visit your sick friend in the hospital, but his wife might be with him in the room, so knock at the door and ask for permission till you are told to enter, or else leave. The permission to enter a place is ordained to prevent an unlawful look at a strange woman.

 The Hadith Scholars have extended the meaning of the above mentioned Hadith saying that "it isn't meant to prevent only the unlawful look at the state of a strange woman, but also the unlawful look at the state of a man." A man might sit in his house with his undershirt on, which is fine since he is in his house or in his interior room in his store. Therefore, you should knock at the door before entering his house or his interior room in his store. Besides, you should declare your name if you are a man, and the woman is more demanded to ask for permission in this case to avoid any embarrassment. In general, it hurts a man if someone looks at his wife or at him accidently while he is improperly dressed.

((…Verily! The order of taking permission to enter has been enjoined because of that sight, (that one should not look unlawfully at the state of sh3er)."))

[Agreed upon, by Sahl Ibn Sa'd]

 Hence, the Prophet, peace be upon him, taught us to knock at the door, to turn our back instead of facing the door and to stand behind the closed shutter (of the door) not the open one. Some people stand facing the open shutter of the door which they are knocking at, and thus there is a chance to see what is inside the house, while the Prophetic guidance prevents us from doing that.

The second Hadith: Indeed Ad-Deen is sincere advice:

 The second and last Hadith: the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

((Indeed Ad-Deen (religion) is sincere advice.))

[Abu Ash-Shaikh AlAsbahani, by Ibn Umar]

 You should advise your customer with which is the best. Otherwise, you are not a true believer regardless of the 100 Raka't you pray every day, 23 Umrah you offered, the eight-time Hajj you performed, the fasting of Thursdays, Mondays, Ashoorah, the 15th of Sha'ban, the 27th of Rajab and the night prayers, Awwabeen and Duha you perform. They are worthless if you don't advise your customers with which is the best.

((Indeed Ad-Deen (religion) is sincere advice))

[Abu Ash-Shaikh AlAsbahani, by Ibn Umar]

 You should advise your customer as if you are the one who wants to buy the commodity you recommend. For instance, you must say, "If I were you I wouldn't buy this." If the costumer tells you that it is cheap, you should tell him, "Because it has a defect."

((Allah has promised those among you who believe, and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the earth, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practise their religion, that which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islam). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me))

[An-Nur, 55]

 When Muslims in the first ages of Islam understood that religion is sincere advice, they opened the world, while we (Muslims of nowadays) limited the meaning of Islam to mere Sawm, Salah, Hajj and Zakat, so we lag behind other nations. Some Muslims justify their wrongdoings saying, "May Allah forgive us." Other ones say, "" We are slaves of Ihsan (philanthropy) not slaves of trial." Also there are Muslims who refer to the following Ayah:

((Verily, the (human) self is inclined to evil))

[Yusuf, 53]

 Accordingly a Muslim does as he wishes, deceives sh3er, lies to them and changes the facts, but when he hears the call for Zuhr prayer, he asks sh3er to excuse him in order to pray. Well what kind of Salah is this? Does performing Salah by someone like this, who deceives people and lies to them, make any use to him?

 The man whose job is fixing glass to doors and windows might fix the glass of your door by only one pin on each side of it, so if someone slams the door strongly, the glass will fell down and break. Because of his hasty, you will pay for another glass, though he prays his five Furood (five daily obligatory prayers). Someone told me about an incident that happened to two painters who were working as partners. One of them had a beard and he used to offer his prayers in the Masjid. Once, the owner of a house gave them the keys, because he was busy and asked them to paint the house showing his trust in both of them. The other partner did not have a beard but he was religious, so he asked the owner if he could use the phone to call his wife, and the owner did not mind if he needed to make the call. However, the partner with the beard used the phone to call someone in Saudi Arabia- which is a long distant call- costing the owner lots of money. His partner said to him, "The owner permitted us to do local phone calls, not international ones, so I will tell him about you". The other partner said, "Don't tell him. It is insignificant matter". As a result of that misbehavior, the religious one broke up with his partner and said to him, "You are not upright. Is this how the true Muslim behaves? How could a Muslim deceive other people? By making this international call, you are paid more money than what you really deserve."
 I believe that what matters in religion is your uprightness, not your appearance. Well, the religious appearance is important, but without being really upright, it is worthless. There was a child in Souq Al-Hamidiyyah who used to sweep the floor of the store, put the dust and trash in a big box and dress it in wrapping paper (to look like a gift) with a red ribbon on top. After that, he put that nice box on the sidewalk waiting for someone to pick it up. When someone picked it up, he would look around to make sure that no one saw him. The child followed him, and after 200 meters the man found out that there was trash inside it.

 Don't be deceived by people's appearance, for they might look very nice, but from inside, they are but liars, ill-gotten money takers, dishonest and deceivers.

 What matters in religion is actions, not appearances.

((Indeed Ad-Deen (religion) is sincere advice.))

[Abu Ash-Shaikh Al-Asbahani, by Ibn Umar]

 There are other narrations of this Hadith:

(("Ad-Deen (religion) is sincerity". We said: "For whom?'' He, peace be upon him, replied, "For Allah, His Book, His Messenger and for the leaders of the Muslims and their masses."))

[Muslim, An-Nasa'i, Abu Dawood and Ahmad, by Tamim bin Aus Ad-Dari]

***

One should be upright, pious and honest:

 We move to the story of a notable companion, may Allah be pleased with him, but let us first ponder upon the following statement of Ja'far Ibn Abi Taleb: Ja'far Ibn Abi Taleb said to An-Najashi:

((O king, we were ignorant and ill-mannered. We used to worship idols, eat carrion (dead meat), commit sins, mistreat our neighbors, cut kinship ties, and the strong used to assault the weak. However, we have changed after a man from amongst us, who is well known to us by his noble family, truthfulness, faithfulness and chastity was sent to us by Allah (SWT). He ordered us to worship Allah alone, leave worshipping the idols, tell the truth, pay deposits back to their owners, preserve our kinship ties, and be kind to our neighbors.))

 Notice that he didn't mention Salah, and this is because Salah is a means, not a purpose. The purpose is to become an honest, trustworthy, pious and honored person. Thus:

((Two Rak'at (of Prayer performed) by a pious person are far better than a thousand Rak'at by someone who mingles (good deeds with evil ones).))

[Aj-Jame' As-Sagheer, by Anas]

((Whose piety is not enough to make him refrain from disobeying Allah in private, Allah will pay no attention to all his righteous deeds.))

[Musnad Ash-Shihab, by Anas Ibn Malek]

 Allah says:

((And on the Day of Resurrection, We shall not give them any weight.))

[Al-Kahf, 105]

 Those who sin secretly and worship Allah in public are worthless in the sight of Allah.

Abu Talhah Al-Ansari:

 Our guest for this lecture is the notable companion "Abu Talhah Al-Ansari", and his story is impressive.

 Zaid Ibn Sahl, who was known as Abu Talha, knew that Rumaysa Bint Milhan, who was popularly known as Umm Sulaym, got a piece of news, which filled him with joy. He heard that Ar-Rumaysa bint Milhan an-Najjariyah, also known as Umm Sulaym, had just become a widow. Now that Umm Sulaym was available for suitors, and given the fact that she was a lady who was known for her excellent character, the power of her intellect and her independent attitude of mind, Abu Talha was very pleased with the news, so he resolved to become engaged to her before anyone else did. He was rather confident that Umm Sulaym would not pass him over for another. He was after all a strong and virile person who was quite rich and possessed an admired house. In addition, he was one of the most chivalrous warriors of Banu Najjar, and one of the best archers in all of Yathrib.

 On the way he recalled that she had been influenced by the preaching of Mus'ab Ibn Umayr and had become a Muslim. As if being a Muslim is a shameful thing. When the Prophet, peace be upon him, sent Mus'ab Ibn Umayr to the Madina (before immigrating to it) in order to call people to this new religion, this companion was one of the many people of Al-Ansar who embraced Islam before the Prophet, peace be upon him, came to Madina. "So what?" he said to himself. "Was not her husband who died a firm adherent of the old religion and was he not opposed to Muhammad and his mission?"

 Abu Talhah reached Umm Sulaym's house. He asked and was given permission to enter. Her son Anas was present. Abu Talhah explained why he had come and asked for her hand in marriage. "A man like you, Abu Talhah," she said, "is not easily turned away. But I shall never marry you as long as you are a kafir and a nonbeliever." I want you to notice how specific her words were; it is just like mathematics. She didn't say: "I will not marry you because you are kafirr", but rather she said, "But I shall never marry you as long as you are a kafir and a nonbeliever", which means: "If you embrace Islam, I will marry you." "…But I shall never marry you as long as you are a kafir and a nonbeliever." Abu Talhah thought she was trying to put him off [he did not believe that being a kafir is not the real reason behind rejecting him] and that perhaps she had already preferred someone wealthier and more influential. He said to her: "What is it that really prevents you from accepting me, Umm Sulaym? Is it the yellow and the white metals (gold and silver)?" [Common people say: "We did take from him neither yellow nor white", which means gold and silver.] "Gold and silver?" she asked, somewhat taken aback and in a slightly censuring tone. "Yes," he said. "I swear to you, Abu Talhah, and I swear to Allah and His Messenger that if you accept Islam, I shall be pleased to accept you as a husband, without any gold or silver. I shall consider your acceptance of Islam as my mahr (dowry)." She was making clear that her main reason of rejecting him was because he was kafir. I shall consider your acceptance of Islam as my mahr (dowry)." Abu Talhah understood well the implications of her words.

 His mind turned to the idol he had made from wood and on which he lavished great attention in the same way that important men of his tribe venerated and cared for their personal idols. The opportunity was right for Umm Sulaym to stress the futility of such idol worship and she went on: "Don't you know Abu Talhah, that the god you worship besides Allah grew from the earth?" "That's true," he said. "Do you not feel ashamed to be worshipping part of a tree which you have fashioned into a god, when you know that sh3er have taken the remainder of the tree and used it for fuel with which to warm themselves or bake their bread? If you should give up these foolish beliefs and practices and become a Muslim, Abu Talhah, I shall be pleased to accept you as a husband and I would not want from you any dowry apart from your acceptance of Islam." "Who shall instruct me in Islam?" asked Abu Talhah. "I shall," Umm Sulaym replied. "How?" "Utter the declaration of truth and testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Then go to your house, destroy your idol and throw it away." Abu Talhah left and reflected deeply on what Umm Sulaym had said. He came back to her beaming with happiness. "I have taken your advice to heart. I declare that there is no god but Allah and I declare that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah." Umm Sulaym and Abu Talhah were married. Anas, her son, was pleased and the Muslims would say: "We have never yet heard of a mahr (dowry) that was more valuable and precious than that of Umm Sulaym, for she made Islam her mahr (dowry).

Abu Talhah's generosity and striving in Allah's cause

 From that day onward, Abu Talha became a sincere adherent to the faith of Islam, and put all of his energies and abilities in the service of his religion. He was among the seventy delegates who pledged their loyalty to the Messenger of Allah at al-Aqabah, together with his wife, Umm Sulaym. He was also one of the twelve men appointed that night by the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, as leaders of the Muslim community in Yathrib.

 Later he fought valiantly with the Messenger of Allah in all of his battles. The most courageous of his actions were when he was in the company of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, at Uhud. The love Abu Talha felt for the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, was so deeply seated in his heart that it seemed to flow alongside the blood in his veins. He never tired of looking at the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, and could not get enough of his sweet conversation. He would sit before the Prophet and say: "I would sacrifice my own soul for the sake of your soul, and shield your face from harm with my own face."

 However, during the battle of Uhud, the Muslims began to fall back from their positions surrounding the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, and the heathen army began attacking him from every direction. Most of them fled the battlefield leaving it to the enemies of Allah. Only a small group of Muslims remained with the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, one of the most prominent of them being Abu Talha. Abu Talha stood firmly in front of the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, shielding his body with his own, as if he were a mountain behind which the Prophet could not be assaulted. Then Abu Talha tightened his bow, which always shot true, and set in it one of his arrows that never missed their targets. With this weapon he stood defending the Messenger of Allah, felling the pagan enemies one by one. The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, tried to look over the shoulder of Abu Talha to see if he was shooting effectively, but each time Abu Talha would press him back, in fear for his safety, saying: "I would ransom you with my own parents, so do not try to get a look at them, for they may shoot you. I would rather that my own throat and chest be shot than that yours should be, and I would sacrifice myself for you." Every time one of the Muslims who were fleeing the battle would pass near the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, carrying a quiver filled with arrows, the Prophet would call out to them: "Pour your arrows out here for Abu Talha, and do not carry them off in fight." Abu Talha stood his ground defending the Messenger of Allah until he had broken three bows and killed an uncounted number of enemies, before the battle finally came to an end. It was the will of Allah that the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, should come through it safely, with His protection. This is a priceless stance he took, for he was pleased to sacrifice himself for the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, and he said, "I would rather that my own throat and chest be shot than that yours should be, and I would sacrifice myself for you."

 Abu Talha never held back in his efforts and courage in times of trouble, for the sake of Allah's cause. In the same way, he was even more generous with his material possessions in times of need. Abu Talha had an orchard with date-palms and grape arbors. It was known to have the tallest trees in all of Madinah, with the best fruits and the purest water. One day Abu Talha was standing in prayer in the shade of trees, when his attention was caught by a warbling green bird with a red beak and brightly colored feet. The bird began to hop merrily from one branch to another, chirping brightly.

 The sight captivated Abu Talha, and his attention wandered from his devotions as he followed its progress. Suddenly Abu Talha stopped himself and realized that he did not even remember how many rak'at he had prayed! Was it two or three? He really could not remember. As soon as Abu Talha finished praying, he went to the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, complaining to him about his soul and how it had been distracted from worship by his orchard's shady trees and singing birds. Then Abu Talha finished saying: "Bear witness, Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, that I am giving this orchard in charity for Allah's cause. Use it in any way that is most pleasing to Allah and his Messenger." Only because he was distracted while he was performing Salah, he gave his orchard in charity. Would any one of us give in charity whatever distracts him from his Salah as expiation for his distraction?

 This companion donated his orchard, which had shady fruit trees, because it distracted him during his Salah. He gave it up for the sake of Allah out of his keenness on Salah.

(('A'isha, may Allah be pleased with her, reported: The Messenger of Allah, may peace be upon him, stood for prayer with a garment which had designs over it. He looked at these designs and after completing the prayer said: "Take this garment to Abu Jahm bin Hudhaifa and bring me a blanket for it has distracted me just now."))

 Some teaching methods teach us that "If one turns (his heart or eyes) to anything other than Allah during his Salah, then his Salah is invalid."

Abu Talhah's participation in the battle and his death in the sea:

 During the reign of the Khalifah Uthman ibn Affan, may Allah be pleased with him, the Muslims resolved to set out on a military expedition by sea. If you happen to visit Cyprus, you will find Masajid all over the country, and it is all because of our Master Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, who sent his Muslim soldiers by sea to spread Islam. Abu Talha started to make preparations to join the Muslim army, when his sons tried to dissuade him, saying: "Father, may Allah have mercy on you. You have become an old man, and have gone forth in battle with the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, Abu Baker, and Umar. Why do you not retire, and allow us to go to battle in your place?" Actually, there is no retirement in Jihad (struggling in the cause of Allah). By the way, the real Muslim never senesces; he may become 80 years old, but his spirit is about 17 or 18 years old. Abu Talha's answer was "Allah in His Power and Majesty says [pay attention to the way he understood Allah's words:

((March forth, whether you are light (being healthy, young and wealthy) or heavy (being ill, old and poor), strive hard with your wealth and your lives in the Cause of Allah. This is better for you, if you but knew.))

[At-Taubah, 41]

 Did you notice how subtle his comprehension is to the above mentioned Ayah? What does light mean? It means young people; you can see how the child climbs the stairs five steps at the time, and he comes down the stairs sliding on its handrails. Doing this takes him only one minute, because he is very light, whereas the man in his thirties climbs the stairs step by step, and the man, in his seventies and eighties, climbs one step with his right foot and drags the left one, and he rests for ten minutes before he goes on. Hence, the Almighty Allah said:

((March forth, whether you are light (being healthy, young and wealthy) or heavy (being ill, old and poor).))

[At-Taubah, 41]

 and thus He required all of us to set forth in battle, weather old or young, and he did not set a particular age." And with that, Abu Talha went off to join the Muslim army. While he was at sea with them, he fell ill and soon died from his illness. The Muslims started to look for an island on which to bury Abu Talha, but it took seven days before they sighted one. During this whole time, the body of Abu Talha lay on board the ship unchanged, as if he were only sleeping. Finally in the middle of the sea far from his family and homeland, Abu Talha was buried. None felt sorrow that this final resting place was so far from his home and loved ones, for what did it matter for a man who was so close to Allah the Almighty?!

 In some cases a deceased man is buried at the cemetery where all other deceased members of the family are buried. The cemetery could be luxurious with steel windows, and his grave has two tombstones; one in the front and one in the back. It is engraved on one of them:

((It will be said to the pious): "O (you) the one in (complete) rest and satisfaction! "Come back to your Lord, Well-pleased (yourself) and well-pleasing unto Him!)

[Al-Fajr, 27-28]

 While this man used to be usurer, will all this do him any good?

 On the other side, if a man is keen on pleasing Allah in his life, does it make any difference if he is buried in the sea? What did it matter for a man who was so close to Allah the Almighty to be away from people when he is buried?!

 These are some of the extracts from the life of this notable companion. He married Umm Sulaym whom he loved, and embracing Islam was her dowry. He gave his garden in charity, struggled in the cause of Allah and had a memorable stance in Uhud while defending Allah's Messenger, may Allah be pleased with him. He attained the highest and most honorable title in the world, which is: "May Allah be pleased with him". Nothing matches this title, not even a Board Certification title or a Marshal. If Allah is pleased with someone, he will rejoice in the worldly life and in the Hereafter.

Fasting during exams:

 An esteemed sister asked me the following: "I am a student at the Faculty of Medicine, Damascus University. I need a fatwa which allows me to break my fasting during Ramadan in order to study for my exams. Also, it is hard to me to fast an entire month, after the exam finishes. Actually, I am confused, so what should I do?" Of course I am asked this question repeatedly, because the exams of the universities, ninth grade and baccalaureate save transitional grades happen to come simultaneously with Ramadan. In Quran, the accepted excuse to break the fast in Ramadan is given only to the sick and the one on travel, yet listen to what Allah says about sickness and traveling:

((And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man, etc.), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (poor person)))

[Al-Baqarah, 184]

 Namely, the one who is able to fast while traveling, and he breaks his fast, should pay expiation (Fidyah) beside fasting this day later on (Qada'a). This ruling should be implemented by whoever travels by a first class plane which is air conditioned, and by which he sits on comfortable seats which can be turned into a flat bed. Besides, such a traveler stays in an air conditioned hotel, yet he breaks his fast because he is on a travel. Thus, he should pay Fidyah and offers Qada'a because Allah says:

((But if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days.))

[Al-Baqarah, 184]

 Also, Allah says:

((And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man, etc.)))

 Who are those who can fast while traveling or when they are sick? For example, if someone has a bad back and he suffers p

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations