To help strengthening the Muslim families and spread the teachings of Islam in building families, the Muslim Students’ Association at the University of Alberta prepared a extremely summarized translation of two books. The books are Arabic by Sheikh Mohammad Abdelhaleem Hamed. An Egyptian scholar, who graduated from the Islamic University of Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah in Saudi Arabia. The two books are: HOW TO MAKE YOUR WIFE HAPPY and HOW TO MAKE YOUR HUSBAND HAPPY.
These are the best Arabic books I have seen on this subject. They exceed the traditional presentation of stating rights and duties to the ‘Adab (good manners) and extend into application of these rights in daily life. The following summary highlights mainly the responsibilities or examples of what could or should be done. Every single item mentioned by the author is supported by evidences from Qur’an, Sunnah or the actions of the companions, but evidences are omitted in this translation. The following is the translation of the FIRST book. The following is part ONE of a summary of the book
HOW TO MAKE YOUR WIFE HAPPY by Sheikh Mohammed Abdelhaleem Hamed.
After returning from work, school, travel, or whatever has separated you:
- begin with a good greeting.
- Start with Assalamau ‘Aliaykum (peace be with you) and a smile. Salam is a Sunnah and a du’aa for her as well.
- Shake her hand and leave bad news for later!
- Choose words that are positive and avoid negative ones.
- Give her your attention when you speak or she speaks.
- Speak with clarity and repeat words if necessary until she understands.
- Call her with the nice names that she likes, e.g. my sweet-heart, honey, saaliha, etc.
- Spend time talking together.
- Spread to her good news.
- Remember your good memories together.
Games and Distractions
- Joking around & having a sense of humour.
- Playing and competing with each other in sports or whatever.
- Avoiding prohibited (haram) things in your choices of entertainment.
Help her in the Household Chores
- Doing what you as an individual can/like to do that helps out, especially if she is sick or tired.
- The most important thing is making it obvious that you appreciate her hard work.
- Specifically in family matters.
- Giving her the feeling that her opinion is important to you.
- Studying her opinion carefully.
- Be willing to change an opinion for hers if it is better.
- Thanking her for helping with her suggestions.
- Choosing well raised people to build relations with. There is a great reward in visiting relatives and pious people. (Not in wasting time while visiting!)
- Pay attention to ensure Islamic manners during visits.
- Not forcing her to visit those she does not feel comfortable with.
Conduct During Travel
- Offer a warm farewell and good advice.
- Ask her to pray for him.
- Ask pious relatives and friends to take care of the family in your absence.
- Give her enough money for what she might need.
- Try to stay in touch with her by phone, e-mail, letters, etc..
- Return as soon as possible.
- Bring her a gift!
- Avoid returning at an unexpected time or at night.
- Take her with you if possible.
- The husband needs to be generous within his financial capabilities. He should not be a miser with his money (nor wasteful).
- He gets rewards for all that he spends on her sustenance even for a small piece of bread that he feeds her by his hand (hadith).
- He is strongly encouraged to give to her before she asks him.
Smelling Good and Physical Beauty
- Following the Sunnah in removing hair from the groin and underarms.
- Always being clean and neat.
- Put on perfume for her.
- Avoid disclosing private information such as bedroom secrets, her personal problems and other private matters.
Aiding in the Obedience to Allah
- Wake her up in the last third phase of the night to pray “Qiam-ul-Layl” (extra prayer done at night with long sujood and ruku’ua).
- Teach her what you know of the Qur’an and its tafseer.
- Teach her “Dhikr” (ways to remember Allah by the example of the prophet) in the morning and evening.
- Encourage her to spend money for the sake of Allah such as in a charity sale.
- Take her to Hajj and Umrah when you can afford to do so.
Showing Respect to her Family and Friends
- Take her to visit her family and relatives, especially her parents.
- Invite them to visit her and welcome them.
- Give them presents on special occasions.
- Help them when needed with money, effort, etc..
- Keep good relations with her family after her death if she dies first. Also in this case the husband is encouraged to follow the Sunnah and keep giving what she used to give in her life to her friends and family.
Training and Admonition
- The basics of Islam
- Her duties and rights
- Reading and writing
- Encouraging her to attend lessons and halaqahs
- Islamic rules (ahkam) related to women
- Buying Islamic books and tapes for the home library
- Ensure she is wearing proper hijab before leaving house.
- Restrict free mixing with non-mahram men.
- Avoid excess jealousy. Examples of this are:
- 1- Analysing every word and sentence she says and overloading
her speech with meanings that she did not intend.
- 2- Preventing her from going out of the house when the reasons are just.
- 3- Preventing her from answering the phone.
- 4- etc.
Patience and Mildness
- Problems are expected in every marriage so this is normal. What is wrong is excessive responses and magnifying problems until a marital breakdown.
- Anger should be shown when she exceeds the boundaries of Allah (swt), by delaying prayers, backbiting, watching prohibited scenes on TV, etc..
- Forgive the mistakes she does to you (See item 17).
- How can you best correct her mistakes?
- 1- First, implicit and explicit advice several times.
- 2- Then by turning your back to her in bed (displaying your feelings).
- Note that this does not include leaving the bedroom to another room, leaving the house to another place, or not talking with her.
- 3- The last solution is lightly hitting (when allowable) her. In this case, the husband should consider the following: - He should know that Sunnah is to avoid beating as the Prophet (e) never beat a woman or a servant.
- - He should do it only in extreme cases of disobedience, e.g. refusing intercourse without cause frequently, constantly not praying on time, leaving the house for long periods of time without permission nor refusing to tell him where she had been, etc..
- - It should not be done except after having turned from her bed and discussing the matter with her as mentioned in Qur’an . - He should not hit her hard injuring her, or hit her on her face or on sensitive parts of her body.
- - He should avoid shaming her such as by hitting her with a shoe, etc.
Pardoning and Appropriate Censure
- Accounting her only for larger mistakes.
- Forgive mistakes done to him but account her for mistakes done in Allah’s rights, e.g. delaying prayers, etc..
- Remember all the good she does whenever she makes a mistake. Remember that all humans err so try to find excuses for her such as maybe she is tired, sad, having her monthly cycle or that her commitment to Islam is growing.
- Avoid attacking her for the bad cooking of the food as the Prophet (e) never blamed any of his wives for this. If he likes the food, he eats and if he doesn’t then he does not eat and does not comment.
- Before declaring her to be in error, try other indirect approaches that are more subtle than direct accusations
- Escape from using insults and words that may hurt her feelings.
- When it becomes necessary to discuss a problem wait until you have privacy from others.
- Waiting until the anger has subsided a bit can help to keep a control on your words.
(Translated by Abu Tallah)