Guarding Your Husband's Honor as a Muslim Wife

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By Pure Matrimony -

Source :
Most Muslim Women Are Careless About Their Primary Obligation to Protect Their Husband’s Honor.

Traditionally, occupations such as cooking, sewing, fashion designing and interior decorating were considered the exclusive terrain of women. Today, however, they have all witnessed incursions by men, to some extent. One domain, though, still remains predominantly women’s-only, and that is home-making. This is because it is woman’s innate nature to be the master of her home. As manager, guard and coordinator, she happily does the household chores and caters to her family’s needs, while the husband, more often than not the chief breadwinner, remains absent throughout the day at work.

Allah has acknowledged this aspect of the functional family unit, by instructing women to be “guards” of their husband’s property and honour in the latter’s absence:

“Therefore, the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to the husband), and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard…”

[Qur’an – Surah Al-Nisaa: 34]

Guarding “what Allah would have them guard” implies that a Muslim wife should guard:

  • Her husband’s property (house, money, belongings, and anything which he leaves behind),
  • Her own modesty and chastity, and finally,
  • Her husband’s honour and reputation.

Guarding her husband’s honour would mean not mentioning him, his character, or his deeds to any third person in a derogatory or defaming manner – ever. Although the world generally frowns upon an untidy home in disarray, or a cheating wife flirting with other men, this aspect of a wife’s loyalty – her maintaining her husband’s honour behind his back – is something even many “good” wives fail to accomplish. Women generally speak well of their husbands to people they are not close to. It’s the close relatives and friends, however, who unwittingly cause slips.

  • Be careful of unintentional slips in conversations with other women:

Even if there is no major argument between the couple, how often we see Muslim women casually commenting to each other about their husband’s shortcomings. Whether on the phone, or during a visit, it is common to hear them complaining about their husbands to their mother, sister, cousin, or best friend. Even if they discuss their husband lovingly, some hidden aspect of the comment, or merely the tone of voice, sometimes carries disdain or derision.

“The plumber came, and I had to rush back home to supervise his work, as [my husband] is totally useless; on Saturdays, he lies in bed all day and does absolutely nothing…”
“My husband snores so loudly, it could scare anyone who hears him in the middle of the night.”
“He offers to cook, but his dishes turn out horrible, so I’d rather not eat what he makes…”
“He never takes me shopping; he’s always involved in his work.”

During the gush of such ‘girly’ conversations, their husbands’ potent faults are unintentionally revealed. The listeners/on-lookers chuckle knowingly, nodding their heads in compassionate comprehension. What they enjoy is the pleasure of knowing that this supposedly “happy” and perfect Muslim couple too, have the usual marital differences; that even seemingly “righteous” couples cannot always live in harmony. And last but not least, it gives them fodder for gossip.

  • Remember that mentioning your husband’s weaknesses might initiate gossip about you:

The gossip-mongers in any social circle dwell on the “juicy” tidbits regarding other couples’ marital discord, for which they fish around in conversation and hearsay. We have all heard the stories about the in-law hovering outside the bedroom door while the husband and wife argued, or the “sincere” friend giving a frustrated wife her shoulder to cry on, only to discuss the account with her other friends later.

  • Remember that protecting the husband’s honor is one of Allah’s commands for a Muslim wife:

What Muslim women should be wise enough to understand is that, by revealing their husband’s faults to anyone else, they are disobeying Allah and thus putting themselves at risk of His wrath. They alone, are to lose out by this action. Even though Islam allows a woman to seek help for major problems in her marriage, it enjoins her to bear all trivial marital problems with patience and discretion. A woman does not get as much respect anywhere in the world as she does in her husband’s home: there, she’s the queen of her throne, elegant and ethereal. When she defames her husband in any way to a third person, she lowers herself from this high pedestal. She gives people a chance to mock her and discuss her with others, becoming the topic of coffee-table repartee.

  • Beware of the concern of even your biological mothers and sisters – it can sometimes be the cause of your marital troubles:

Narrated by Ibn Abbas, Prophet Muhammad [Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him] said:“The best woman (wife) is the one who, when you look at her she pleases you, when you command her she obeys you, and when you are not in her presence, she safeguards herself and your belongings.”[Ibn Majah 1861]

Muslim women should be careful about this matter even with their biological sisters and mothers. At the end of the day, no one wants a woman to come and live with them if she gets divorced or estranged from her husband. They, however, do enjoy listening to her incessantly complain of the problems in her husband’s home: how low the finances are, how untidy her husband is, how much he eats, or how he neglects her rights. They might throw bygone incidents in her face even months after she has moved on and forgotten them, so that she starts brimming with indignation all over again, at their mention. Muslim women should try not to fall prey to the instigations of such “well-wishing” people, who laugh when she mocks her husband, who relish her marital dissensions, who thrive on getting to know other women’s domestic troubles. They are devils in disguise, preying on the tranquility of others’ homes, seeking juicy coffee-party gossip. Muslim women should beware of disobeying Allah in this regard.

Make only righteous, Allah-fearing woman your close confidantes and ‘shoulders to cry on’:
Even if you have a fight with your husband and you feel you must mention it to someone to feel better, do it with someone who has high taqwa [consciousness of Allah], who will never divulge your story to anyone else. Even your own mother might mention it to her sister, who might tell her daughter, and in this way, the whole family might be discussing your household troubles and commenting about them, weeks or months after the whole thing has blown over.

Remember that in every command of Allah lies a potent hikmah, a hidden wisdom that is beneficial for you. He loves you seventy times more than your well-wishing mother. Run to Him – in salah [regular Islamic prayer], dua [praying to Him], dhikr [His remembrance by the tongue and heart], and istighfar [seeking His forgiveness for sins] – whenever you have a bone to pick with your husband. For the solution and the solace after the storm, trust in Allah. If you keep your duty to Him, He will never relinquish you – rather, He will fill your home with unbridled peace, harmony and tranquility.


  • Don’t mix too much with malicious people who tell you other families’ innate secrets.
  • When you are angry at your husband for some reason, avoid talking to anyone until the anger dissipates. Busy yourself.

Quick Tips:

  • Avoid talking unnecessarily on the phone.
  • Maintain a personal journal and write down how you feel when you are angry at your husband.
  • Talk it out with him once you cool down.

Source : : ‘ How To Guard Your Husband’s Honor as a Muslim Wife’ by Sadaf Farooqi a freelance writer based in Karachi, Pakistan. She writes regularly for the Islamic Family Magazine, Hiba. She has also recently self-published her first book.

22 Comments to Guarding Your Husband's Honor as a Muslim Wife

  1. I don’t agree with the QUICK TIP #2 “maintain a personal journal and write down how you feel when you are angry” can get you into alot of trouble ….. and some ppl like to misinterpert ”


    • Also if someone FINDS the journal and that would be even worse. because bad people would spread that around and the things in there could possibly be worse the the stuff you might accidently discuss with other people.

  2. Assalaamu Alaykum, Where is the evidence that ‘Most Muslim Women Are Careless About Their Primary Obligation to Protect Their Husband’s Honor’? The article should instead start with ‘How to protect your husband’s honour’ instead of carelessly pointing the finger. It’s important to have adaab even when writing an article, don’t set out to offend but choose words with intellect. Jazaak Allahu Khayran

  3. Great article most women including myself have been guilty of having a loose tongue. thank you for this article. We have been given the opportunity to look at ourselves and make the necessary changes. A reminder is a blessing.

  4. Assalamu alaykum. This is a very good article and teaches women about one of the duties a wife has towards the husband. However, I feel that an article stipilating how a man should guard a womens honour was also very relevant. This would have made it fair. Shukran

  5. Just to say – are men not guilty of the same? I think they do it more often, and this article is very one sided. Give muslim women a break. Anyone who are responsible of the marital discord are the husband’s family to whom they like discussing their marital shortcomings.

    • frenchMuslima

      Ms A, amin, I couldn’t say better !! muslim women this, muslim women that , they act this way, they tell that nonsense, oh la la ! some “fatwa makers” really need to give muslim women a break and make articles about muslim men obligations, or muslim women grat achievements for a change!!
      we are always trying our best to conform to our duty, and nowadays we even help our husband in the house expenses eventough we are not obliged to ! but it seems like we are never intitled no any gratefullness, we are always facing criticism et patronizim

  6. noorul iman

    It is not INNATE within a woman to do chores and other things around the home. To state that there is a biological substance that makes a woman love to do dishes and her husbands dirty laundry is so against Islamic principles. This woman was clearly manipulated by the cultural Islam that is rampant in Pakistan. Allah didn’t create a woman to be the wife of a house, but a human being with intellect. Learn more about our Deen before going around corrupting the minds of our women.

  7. Shafeeqah V. Smith

    I’m convinced there is too much emphasis on the wife protecting and guarding her husband’s honor, as if she has none.

  8. Why can’t u w rite about MEN and HUSBANDS guarding ur wifes honor as a muslim husband there’s many men that treat there wife:s like cheap things and slaves —
    Noo matter how good n caring n loving the wife is!!

    Plz wite about men/ husbands in not tresting their wife:s like cheap n in return give respect

  9. Lol it seems a lot of sisters got offended by this. We have to understand it was in good faith but i agree that it should not have been one sided. There should’ve been a section about what men should do also for their wives. But jazak’Allah khair for the article. Many times we forget and ramble off about things we shouldn’t say.

    • Aneela Khan

      I totally agree with you brother. I really liked your article and I did not get offended. 🙂
      I made mistakes, so did my husband. I will try not to do them again from my side. Even though it was one sided but it tells me about the things I should do and I am sure you will mention something for our brothers next time too, that the sisters can feel much better. lol

  10. Hamba Allah

    Salam…Alhamdulilah nice artical ,would you be kind if you write articlel for Men or husband to honor their wifes in any aspect .. jazakallah

  11. Well said Noorul Iman.

    This article is just one example of male chauvanism cloaked under our Noble religion. It is views like this has given our religion a bad image to the non-muslim world who portray it as a “woman hating,” religion. Thank you to all the Muslim sisters who were brave enough to speak their minds.

  12. As Salaam Alaikum, women are very different from eachother. Not all women enjoy simplistic housework, but I could say most house wives would have pride in accomplished chores and a clean home. The roles of man and woman are very gray in America, with house husbands and career women both growing in popularity. It’s hard to talk about traditional roles without some criticism.

    That being said, the gossip among Muslim women is very rampant, I could have more confidence speaking to a male relative and know he would not spread it instead of a female relative. It’s a huge problem and I’m glad someone did write an article about it.

    Why not write about both men and women? Well not every article is directed to both men and women, this happens to be directed towards women. Search the site for articles directed toward men if you want to see that instead of this. This article was correct in wanting to stop the rampant gossip among Muslim women, if you don’t know any woman like that then you are very lucky. If we stop gossiping and giving fodder to gossip on our side (women), then we can help eliminate gossip and backbiting in half of our Ummah and we can teach our other half the same.

    Stop criticizing an article for speaking to its intended audience only and learn from it. If it was meant for both spouses it would be titled “How to protect your SPOUSE’S honor.”

  13. If you are going to say that ‘Most Muslim Women Are Careless About Their Primary Obligation to Protect Their Husband’s Honor’ then you need to have concrete evidence. Without evidence this statement becomes false. I think it is a good article and agree that the article should also show how men need to treat women in Islam. Like I said previously, there is no problem with starting an article with ‘How to protect your husband’s honour’. It is all about choosing the correct words. If you were to give a non muslim dawah for example you would choose your words carefully so as not to frighten them away, telling the truth in a manner that is intellectual. Jazaak Allahu Khayran

  14. It is very easy to be critical, and tell someone how to choose their words or to be intellectual. What we should try and do is to take the good from the article and try and understand the authors points. I am sure the author means no harm in their choice of words, if anything they are trying to educate us to practice good things towards our husband, which would only benefit us. Thank you for taking the time to wrote such an article. It has made me think before I speak about my husband.

  15. I do not agree, everyone has to talk about the way they feel, so the muslim wife if she needs to talk to someone about her problems she should be able to talk to her parents, same with the husband.! It doesnt destroy the honour of the husband if the wife tell her mom that she almost never goes shopping, the mom will give advice and help the situation, not make it worse.! Oh lala as a convert to Islam sometimes I get very mad with the culture of muslims.!

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