THE Prophet (peace be upon him) gave many recommendations concerning women, to the extent that he described the man who treats his wife well as being one of the best and among the elite of his Ummah:

The believer who has the most perfect faith is the one whose behavior is best, and the best of you are the ones who are best to their women-folk.

Some women came to the family of the Prophet (peace be upon him) complaining about their husbands. So the Prophet (peace be upon him) announced to the men:

Many women have visited the family of Muhammad, complaining about their husbands. Verily those are not the best among you.”

True Islam is preeminent in its fairness and respect towards women, and in its recommendation to husbands to treat their wives well even if they dislike them. This is something which women have never enjoyed throughout history, except in this religion. Allah says in the Qur’an:

“…live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If you take a dislike to them it may be that you dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good.” (Qur’an, 4:19)

This verse touches the heart of every true Muslim, so that his anger is soothed and his dislike towards his wife is lessened. In this way Islam protects the sacred marriage bond from being exposed to the danger of turbulent emotions and the folly of changing moods.

When a man came to ‘Umar Bin Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) and told him that he wanted to divorce his wife because he disliked her, ‘Umar said, “Woe to you! Are families only built on love? Where is your consideration and care?”

The marriage bond in Islam is of greater importance than emotional whims and rises above the pressures of wild natural passion. The true Muslim possesses enough chivalry, nobility, courtesy, perseverance, generosity and strength of character to make him rise above any dislike for his wife in his dealings with her. Far be it from him to be guided by only mindless animal instincts or for making a profit!

The true Muslim doesn’t but obey his Lord; so he treats his wife well even if he dislikes her, because he understands the injunctions of his All-Wise Lord about matters that are hidden from him, and they are far too many. A man may dislike something and try to distance himself from it, when in fact it is full of goodness and blessing. The true Muslim knows how to love and how to hate. Love is not blind for him, neither does he go to extremes of dislike and hatred, but in either case his attitude is moderate and balanced.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) explained that even if a husband dislikes his believing Muslim wife, she will still have some favorable characteristics which will please him, so he should not ignore the good side of her character and focus only on the negative aspects:

No believing man should hate a believing woman. If he dislikes one of her characteristics, there will be others that would please him.” (Muslim)

– Published by International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia