On October 17th 2012, Wise Wives Orange County was lucky to have Sister Noha Alshugairi, M.S. Marriage and Family Therapist, speak to us about the controversial and delicate matter of a wife’s obedience to her husband.
To conclude this series I want to wrap up by covering a few more hadiths and outlining the lessons we can take away from this lecture as a whole.
The Prophet (pbuh) said: “No human being is permitted to prostrate to another, but if this were permitted I would have ordered wives to prostrate to their husbands, because of the greatness of the rights they have over them.”
He also said, “If a woman prays her five, fasts her Ramadan, protects her chastity and obeys her husband, she is told to enter paradise from whichever door she wished.”
He also said, “Any woman who dies and her husband is pleased with her enters paradise.”
One question that came up during the lecture was concerning the one about prostration. She threw the question back at us and asked what we thought it meant. One woman replied saying that she understands it as an idea that is not meant to be taken literal. It is meant to emphasize the importance of respect towards your husband.
The “prostration” is out of esteem not out of worship.
Noha remarked that this explanation is right. In general, these ayahs and hadiths are meant to give a framework and the relevance of each one will differ from time to time and from place to place and even from home to home.
“None of these hadiths mean that you do not have a voice,” she said. You have the right to voice your opinion in all areas.
But in particular things “you voice your opinion and leave it to him to make the decision,” she said. As the second hadith above says, a woman who obeys her husband will enter paradise from whichever door she wishes.
Noha says that in the urf of marriage today this idea may have little precedence, but what we must do is really concentrate on the areas below because of the ayahs and hadiths that give us specific and direct instructions (that we talked about in the preceding entries).
We must listen to our husbands when it comes to:
- Money: not spending money without his permission; taking care of his property in his absence.
- Intimacy: responding to his calls for intimacy.
- Leaving the home: tell him before leaving your home/going out.
One woman remarked, “ If only the word ‘obey’ can be kept as ‘listen to’ everything would sound so much better.” The whole room giggled and agreed.
The ladies were happy to have received such an enlightening take on this issue that boiled the issue down to what is relevant in their lives today.
….Where Practice Makes Perfect
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