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The concern of Islam to affirm man’s position of qawwam over women and reinforce her obligation to obey and please him, goes as far as forbidding her to fast at times other than Ramadhan or to receive any guests without permission. The Prophet (saw) said:” The woman is not permitted to fast when her husband is present, without his permission, or to invite anyone into his house without his permission.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

 

Islam gave the husband this right to be qawwam (maintainer) over his wife so that he will be a real man, knowing how to steer the ship of family life towards the shore of safety and guidance. Islam warns all men against the trial and temptation (fitnah) of women, which may make them heedless and weak, and lessen their religious commitment, so that they turn a blind eye to the waywardness and un-Islamic behaviour of their wives. In such a case a husband has no say: his wife is controlling everything in the home, so that he dare not disobey her, or answer her back, or refuse any of her whims. The Prophet (saw) was right when he said that this is the most damaging of trials and temptations that a man can be faced with:” There will be no fitnah after my death that is worse for men than the fitnah of women.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

 

The Muslim husband is a man who is not weak in dealing with the trial of having a wayward wife, no matter how difficult that fitnah is. He gently makes it clear to her that no matter how much he loves her, he loves Allah and the Prophet more, and his desire to please Allah is stronger than his feelings for her. Allah (swt) said:” Say: if it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates or your kindred; the wealth that you have gained; the commerce in which you fear a decline; or the dwellings in which you delight – are dearer to you that Allah, or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause – then wait until Allah brings about His decision. And Allah guides not the rebellious.” Qur’an 9: 24)

 

In this way, the female waywardness which we see in many so-called Muslim homes will be done away with. The man who sees his wife, daughters and sisters going out in the street with make-up, uncovered heads and bare arms, clothed but seeming naked, and does nothing to stop this obedience of Islam, has surely lost his manhood, abandoned Islam and earned the wrath of Allah. There is no way out of his predicament but sincere repentance which will wake him up, restore his manhood and set him back on the straight path.

 

Islam has set out standards for women, and has defined the kind of clothing she could wear when she goes out in the street or appears in front of men who are non-mahram. This type of clothing is known as hijaab. The Muslim woman who has been nurtured in pure Islam and has grown up in its protective atmosphere accepts this hijaab willingly and with a deep sense of conviction, knowing that it is from Allah, and that it is not a tyranny designed by men to satisfy their egotistical desires to control women, or a custom invented during the decadent Umayyad period, as is claimed by those worthless fools who have no sound proof from the Qur’an whatsoever.

 

The husband’s responsibility for his wife does not stop with her outward appearance, but also includes her worship and conduct. He is responsible for her if she omits some act of worship, or if she neglects or deliberately ignores her duties towards Allah. He is responsible for her good behaviour and completion of her duties. Any shortcomings on her part will detract from her husband’s manhood, diminish his Islam and damage the role of qawwam with which Allah has honoured him.

 

Islam considers women to be a trust which has been given to men for safe-keeping. As the wife is usually influenced by her husband, he may take her with him to Paradise or lead her to Hell. Therefore Allah ordered the believing men to protect both themselves and their families from the Fire and gave a terrifying picture of the awful fate that awaits them if they neglect their responsibilities towards their wives and families and fail to compel them to adhere to the truth. Allah (swt) said:”  ‘O’ you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed angels stern and severe, who flinch not (from executing) the commands they receive from Allah, but do (precisely) what they are commanded.” (Qur’an 66: 6)

 

The role of qawwam over women which Islam gives to men cannot truly be fulfilled unless the husband is a successful leader of his family. The Muslim husband does not assert his manhood through roughness, cruelty, violence and harsh words. The Islamic ideal of manhood is a strong and likeable personality, a noble attitude; tolerance and forgiveness of minor mistakes; strong adherence to the laws of Allah and determination to apply them to every member of his family. These are the characteristics of the true Muslim as Islam wants him to be. (Ends)

 

(Prepared by Ustad Abdul Muhaemin Karim)