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An-Nawawi on kindness to women

May 15, 2013

hadith enjoin treat women well created rib

By Abu Amina Elias

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

An-Nawawi records in his book, Riyad us-Saliheen:

Allah said:

وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

Live with them in kindness.

Surat An-Nisa 4:19

And Allah said:

وَلَن تَسْتَطِيعُوا أَن تَعْدِلُوا بَيْنَ النِّسَاءِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ ۖ فَلَا تَمِيلُوا كُلَّ الْمَيْلِ فَتَذَرُوهَا كَالْمُعَلَّقَةِ وَإِن تُصْلِحُوا وَتَتَّقُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا

You will never be able to be equal between wives, even if you should strive to do so. So do not incline completely toward one and leave another hanging. If you amend your affairs and fear Allah, then verily, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

Surat An-Nisa 4:129

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

اسْتَوْصُوا بِالنِّسَاءِ فَإِنَّ الْمَرْأَةَ خُلِقَتْ مِنْ ضِلَعٍ وَإِنَّ أَعْوَجَ شَىْءٍ فِي الضِّلَعِ أَعْلاَهُ فَإِنْ ذَهَبْتَ تُقِيمُهُ كَسَرْتَهُ وَإِنْ تَرَكْتَهُ لَمْ يَزَلْ أَعْوَجَ فَاسْتَوْصُوا بِالنِّسَاءِ

Treat women well, for woman is created from a rib and the most curved portion of the rib is its upper portion. If you try to straighten it, it will break, but if you leave it as it is, it will remain curved. So treat women with kindness.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 3153, Grade: Sahih

Abdullah bin Zam’ah reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

بِمَ يَضْرِبُ أَحَدُكُمْ امْرَأَتَهُ ضَرْبَ الْفَحْلِ أَوْ الْعَبْدِ ثُمَّ لَعَلَّهُ يُعَانِقُهَا

How does one of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then embrace her?

Source: Sahih Bukhari 5695, Grade: Sahih

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

 لَا يَفْرَكْ مُؤْمِنٌ مُؤْمِنَةً إِنْ كَرِهَ مِنْهَا خُلُقًا رَضِيَ مِنْهَا آخَرَ

A believer should not despise a believing woman. If he finds something in her character he dislikes, he will be pleased by something else.

Source: Sahih Muslim 1469, Grade: Sahih

Amr bin Al-Ahwas reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

أَلَا وَاسْتَوْصُوا بِالنِّسَاءِ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّمَا هُنَّ عَوَانٌ عِنْدَكُمْ لَيْسَ تَمْلِكُونَ مِنْهُنَّ شَيْئًا غَيْرَ ذَلِكَ إِلَّا أَنْ يَأْتِينَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُبَيِّنَةٍ فَإِنْ فَعَلْنَ فَاهْجُرُوهُنَّ فِي الْمَضَاجِعِ وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ ضَرْبًا غَيْرَ مُبَرِّحٍ فَإِنْ أَطَعْنَكُمْ فَلَا تَبْغُوا عَلَيْهِنَّ سَبِيلًا أَلَا إِنَّ لَكُمْ عَلَى نِسَائِكُمْ حَقًّا وَلِنِسَائِكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ حَقًّا فَأَمَّا حَقُّكُمْ عَلَى نِسَائِكُمْ فَلَا يُوطِئْنَ فُرُشَكُمْ مَنْ تَكْرَهُونَ وَلَا يَأْذَنَّ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ لِمَنْ تَكْرَهُونَ أَلَا وَحَقُّهُنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ أَنْ تُحْسِنُوا إِلَيْهِنَّ فِي كِسْوَتِهِنَّ وَطَعَامِهِنَّ

I enjoin you to treat women well, for they are like captives in your hand. Verily, you may not treat them otherwise unless they commit flagrant immorality. If they do so, then you may separate from their beds and strike them without causing pain but if they return to good conduct, then you may do nothing against them. You have rights over your wives and they have rights over you. Your right is that they will not allow anyone you dislike to enter your home, and their right is that you should treat them well regarding food and clothing.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 1163, Grade: Sahih

Mu’awiyah ibn Al-Qushayri reported: I said, “O Messenger of Allah, what are the rights of women over us?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

أَنْ تُطْعِمَهَا إِذَا طَعِمْتَ وَتَكْسُوَهَا إِذَا اكْتَسَيْتَ أَوْ اكْتَسَبْتَ وَلَا تَضْرِبْ الْوَجْهَ وَلَا تُقَبِّحْ وَلَا تَهْجُرْ إِلَّا فِي الْبَيْتِ

You should feed her when you eat, clothe her when you clothe yourself, do not strike her on the face, and do not rebuke her or separate from her except inside the house.

Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 2142, Grade: Hasan

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

أَكْمَلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِيمَانًا أَحْسَنُهُمْ خُلُقًا وَخِيَارُكُمْ خِيَارُكُمْ لِنِسَائِهِمْ خُلُقًا

The most complete of the believers in faith are those with the best character, and the best of you are the best in behavior to their women.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 1162, Grade: Sahih

Iyas ibn Abdullah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

لَا تَضْرِبُوا إِمَاءَ اللَّهِ

Do not strike the maidens of Allah.

But Umar came to the Messenger of Allah and he said, “Women have become emboldened toward their husbands.” So the Prophet gave them permission to strike them. Then, many women came to the family of the Messenger of Allah and complained about their husbands. The Messenger of Allah said:

لَقَدْ طَافَ بِآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ نِسَاءٌ كَثِيرٌ يَشْكُونَ أَزْوَاجَهُنَّ لَيْسَ أُولَئِكَ بِخِيَارِكُمْ

Many women have come to the family of Muhammad complaining about their husbands. These men are not the best among you.

Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 2146, Grade: Sahih

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.