So what should we do in these moments of darkness? Look to the light that was left for us by the blessed Prophet ﷺ because there is no better exemplar he (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him).
"The best of you are the best to their families, and I am the best of you to my family." (Al-Tirmidhi 3895).
In a report by Ibn 'Aaskir in Tarikh Damashiq has the following,
"The best of you are the best to their families. I am the best to my family. No one but an honourable man honours women and no one humiliates them except the vile."
Abdullah ibn Umar reports that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, "The best of you are the best to their womenfolk."
"The most complete believer in faith has excellent character. The best of you are those who are the best to their womenfolk."
These hadiths have similar words yet they all hold the same meaning. The best people are those who treat their women the best. Honouring women is Sunnah and opposite is not part of the character of whom we claim to follow.
Do not touch me!
In the Shafi and Hanbali schools, when a man touches an unrelated female, even accidentally, it breaks his ablution/wudu. It does not in the Hanafi school. I am not sure about the Maliki School. Therefore, a large amount of scholars say, you cannot even touch a woman that you have no direct relation. Meaning a woman who is not related to the man by coming from the same immediate family or related by marriage or offspring. Even if a man touches his wife, in the Shafi School, it breaks his ablution.
The above is an accidental touch without desire and of course touching an unrelated woman with desire is unlawful. Anything beyond that is also unlawful.
Do not look at me!
This should be sufficient for you to realise that you should not be looking or touching any woman who is not related to you. Brothers need to be aware that lowering our gaze has more importance now than ever because of the media. Forty hadith about lowering gaze can be viewed by clicking here. An immoral society is more profitable than a moral one.
Is this hadith enough? This counts for all women regardless of their background!
So how was the Prophet ﷺ with women?
He ﷺ was natural, respectful, attentive and gentle. He ﷺ listened to their needs and helped them. He ﷺ did not scream 'WOMAN' and run away like some of you. He ﷺ spoke with respect, kindness and softness. He ﷺ never made a woman feel uncomfortable or ashamed or intimidated by his presence. How many men make women feel small? Why do they lie so much to them? If you do this then you are as close to the practice of the Prophet ﷺ as Australia is to England! The other side of the world, not even close!
How many brothers respect their mother alone but treat other women badly. What about the ones who are not from your family? Then wrongly try to justify it by saying its okay because my family will never find out. You are in big trouble because you cannot have your girlfriend outside and a wife at home. Come home and pretend that your wife does not exist. Your wife might not be your choice and you may have been coerced into the marriage. However, you have children now and they are your responsibility. If you mistreat the mother, the children see that and sometimes the mother takes it out on the children. Most children who fight at school are doing that because people fight at home. You have no right to walk out on them and leave them. You have to make the best of it now. Do not tell me you sleep in separate beds but you have two kids! Mothers should teach their sons to respect all women and not just them. Mothers who allow their sons to harm women and do not scold their children, need to know they are as guilty as their sons.
Divorce is only an option when there is nothing else left. You have exhausted all other options or there is abuse that does not cease.
In the Shammail of Imam Al-Tirmidhi (329) according to Anis ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) that a woman said to the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him), "I have a need (help) from you." He replied,
"Sit in any path of the city of your choosing and I will sit (help) with you."
Why is this significant? Because the female companion had mental problems as one of the commentators mention. Yet, this did not stop the Prophet ﷺ from helping her. Look how people treat those with mental problems now? Yet, this period of history humanity was in the dark ages. Then a light from Medinah shined as an example for humanity, the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him).
One of his ﷺ wives struggled to get onto a camel because of her size and the blessed Prophet ﷺ would allow her to put her feet on his knees, in order to climb onto the camel. That's respect that does not exist with many men.
“The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) was never asked for anything except that he gave it or was silent.” Imam Ahmed 3/190, Al-Hakim 2/130
It was of the nature of the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) to give whatever they had.
We have spoken before about the treatment of women so view that by clicking here.
Al-Tirmidhi reports from Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that she said,
“The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) was not obscene, offensive, he did not scream in the markets, he did not repay evil with evil, but he forgave and pardoned, he never beat anyone with his hand except when struggling in the path of Allah. He never beat a servant or a woman. He would begin with the right side for purification, the feet when making a journey, when putting the shoes on. He accepted gifts and wore them. He did not speak like you speak rather he spoke slowly (with gaps) so that those sitting with him could memorise them.” Al-Tirmidhi in Shammail 175. Al-Tirmidhi 2016.
Is this not strange that he (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) never beat a woman? It is not strange at all, it is the truth, he (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) never beat a woman, ever. Hang on what about the ayah, "Beat them."? There is no person who understood that Quran better than the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him), right? Yet he did not beat any of the women of his house ever. So what does it mean? It means admonition not beat, in accordance to thirteen Quranic commentators. So that cannot be ignored! Only an ignoramus beats his wife up and uses the book of peace to unjustly justify his vileness.
He (Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him)) was asked, "What are the rights of a women over her man (husband)?" He replied, "Feed her when you eat, clothe her when you clothe yourself, do not be harmful to her face, do not strike her except a strike that does not bruise and do not leave her except in the house." Abu Dawood, Al-Nisa'i in Al-Kubra and Ibn Majah.
Do not 'leave her except in house' means do not leave the woman alone for extended periods of time.
"Do not harm the face and do not strike."
This is the hadith that explains that women cannot be struck except that which does not bruise. Everyone knows that women bruise easily and it does not take much. So it means you cannot strike a woman without bruising her. This hadith is the commentary about 'beat them' in the Quran. Only insane men misunderstand it to mean beat their wives. Let us get one thing straight that the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) never beat any of his wives, ever. So if the ayah meant 'beat' then that would mean that there was a Quranic passage that was not practiced, which is impossible for the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him).
So what does it mean? It means give admonition. I hope that I have made it clear that beating a wife is a crime and if you do it then expect punishment in the world and afterlife.
Also look at the hadith you see that the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) was illustrating to the questioner that he should treat his wife like he treats himself.
Muslim reports in his authentic collection from Jabir ibn Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, "Fear Allah in your treatment of women."
"Men are responsible for the welfare and guardianship of women in all aspects." (Quran Nisa 4:34).
The Quranic verse above explains a lot to us and we will delve into them now. First, let us look at the possible translations of this passage. We have the following possibilities: men are the maintainers of women, men are in charge of women, men are the protectors and maintainers of women, men are the caretakers of women, men are guardians of women, are all valid possibilities. Although this highlights the difficulty in translating the Quran because taking one meaning is not sufficient to explain what the Arabic contains.
Muhammad Asad in Message of the Quran said, "qawwām is an intensive form of qā’im (“one who is responsible for” or “takes care of” a thing or a person). Thus, qāma ‘ala ’l-mar’ah signifies “he undertook the maintenance of the woman” or “he maintained her” (see Lane VIII, 2995). The grammatical form qawwām is more comprehensive than qā’im, and combines the concepts of physical maintenance and protection as well as of moral responsibility: and it is because of the last-named factor that I have rendered this phrase, as “men shall take full care of women.”
The Arabic word qawwam is an intensive form not just meaning responsible but even more responsibility than that. I must admit that my limited English might not be able to explain that totally.
The possible translation for this verse might be: "Men are responsible for the welfare and guardianship of women in all aspects." (Quran Nisa 4:34).
Do you see how one word has so much meaning and that this whole text could discuss the different meanings of that one word. The depth of the Quran is intense.
Imam Al-Tabari's (may Allah show him mercy) commentary on the verse:
In some cultures, it could be argued that the woman is more than capable to look after herself. Some women actually are better at being responsible than many men. You could also say that women are the maintainers of men!
This is something that mother in laws should bear in mind too. When her son gets married to his wife, he is bringing a daughter into the home. Not a daughter in law but a daughter.
This is also where we find all the rights the wife has in marriage. The right to: housing, food, clothing and care. The woman has more rights, in a marriage, than a man!
Hind came to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) and said, "O Messenger of Allah, Abu Sufyan is a stingy man and does not give me what suffices as expenditure for me and my child." He said, "Take what suffices you and your child with goodness." (Bukhari and Muslim)
This is further illustrated in the following hadith:
فروجهن بكلمة الله ، ولهن عليكم رزقهن وكسوتهن بالمعروف } . رواه مسلم ، وأبو داود ، ورواه الترمذي
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, "Fear Allah in your treatment of women: they are your helpers, you take them by a trust from Allah, copulation is lawful by the word of Allah, they have a right to against you to provide them with provision and clothing, with goodness." (Muslim, Abu Dawood and Al-Tirmidhi)
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, "Do not dislike daughters because they are the most valuable companions." Reported by Imam Ahmed and Al-Tabarani.
This hadith also indicates how important daughters are to parents. You could ask, what about the sons? Well, most cultures exalt their sons and belittle their daughters. What the sons do is always gold and whatever the daughter does, is always soil. Even if the daughter is the one who works and puts bread on the table. This is also a point to mothers in law. Your daughter in law is someone's daughter and should be treated with the respect and kindness that you treat your own daughter. 'Dislike' is mentioned but nothing more is also allowed like actual harm. The least dislike is not allowed never mind anything more or worse.
قال صلى الله عليه و سلم:لا يقعن أحدكم على امرأته كما تقع البهيمة وليكن بينهما رسول. قيل و ما الرسول؟ قال القبلة والكلام
Aware of change
Look at what the woman gives up for her husband. She leaves her childhood home to and takes up a life of looking after you and your children. Without so much as a thank from you, most of the time.
He loved women because of their mercy
Anis (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said,
“Beloved to me of your world are women, perfume and my joy was made in the prayer.”
Imam Ahmed, Al-Nisai and Al-Hakim.
Take a step back, seek advice but most of all be kind. Look at the statements of his (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) wife Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said that he never hit a woman, slave or child. Why was this significant? Because it occurred in that time and thus illustrated what a noble character, he has (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him).
(may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) and was putting it into practice.
“Prayer and what your hands possess.” These words were said in the illness from which he passed away,
“Prayer and what your hands possess.” He continued to say it until his tongue ceased.
These are the final words of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him). What would your final words to be to your people? Would it not be the most important thing for them? Would it not be out of concern for them? What does right hands possess mean? Its symbolism for women. So the final words before the best of creation left the world was to maintain our prayers and take care of our women. I hope that this is making sense and that you finally see what I do. That you as a father, husband, grandfather, male in laws, brother or son; have a massive responsibility towards your womenfolk.
Do not oppress them or make them fear. Rather to help and support them in whatever they need. This is not only about your women folk but you have to be kind to other women too.
Its the Sunnah (practice) of the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings be upon him) to be good to women. Or is this mere lip service without any practice?
Treatment of women click here
Women's reward in paradise click here