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The Dues of the Wife


The divine doctrine gave specific dues for each of the man and the woman in their marital life. These dues have a lot of aims which at one hand prevent that one of them be wronged, and at another hand are considered to be the reference in case of conflict. Of course, it must be taken into consideration that the base in the relationship between the husband and the wife is the mutual understanding and the toleration.

The Difference between the Man and the Woman

The Most High Allah says, {And among His Signs is this that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them…}1 The term «from among yourselves» is meant to confirm that the issue of dualism is not present at all. In other words, there is neither a special look towards the man nor a special look towards the woman; on the contrary, it is a common and an equivalent look that has to do with the nature of their creation.

This does not mean that there is no difference between the man and the woman; they, however, differ in the physiological and psychological capabilities. Yet, this difference is not linked to the aspect of deficiency or perfection; it is, however, a matter of equivalence and adequateness. The law of creation aims from this difference at the establishment of a higher adequateness between the man and the woman who are meant for a common life.

The Forms of Difference

Looking for the difference between the man and the woman is not a recent issue. In fact, it deeply goes back in history. Plato insisted on the presence of a qualitative difference between the man and the woman. Also, his student Aristotle assured the presence of difference in his saying, «The quality of woman’s capabilities differs from that of the man. Moreover, the duties and responsibilities which are imposed by the law of creation on each of them differ. And the various rights which the law of creation demands for each one of them differ.» The scholars and the philosophers who succeeded Aristotle gave his theories preference to those of Plato.2

As regards our present age with its scientific progress, the difference between the man and the woman has turned to be specific and clear as a result of the reliance on observation, experience, statistics, and field study. Here we mention the differences which we have collected from what the researchers have said.

From the Physiological Aspect

1- The man in general is characterized by a huge body whereas the woman is not so.
2- The man is coarser while the woman is softer. The man’s voice is huger and coarser while that of the woman is kinder and softer.
3- The woman grows up faster than the man does, but the muscular growth of the man is more than that of the growth of the woman’s muscles and body.
4- The woman reaches the sexual maturity faster than the man does. In addition, the woman turns to be unable to bring children (i.e. barren) faster than the man does.
5- The child girl starts to talk faster than the child boy starts to.
6- The size of the man’s brain is bigger than the size of the woman’s brain, taking in consideration the proportion of the brain to the whole body.
7- The man’s lung has a greater capacity for air than the woman’s lung has.
8- The beats of the woman’s heart are faster than those of the man’s hearts.

From the Psychological Aspect

1- The man more inclines to the sports and hunting and motive actions than the woman does.
2- The man’s feelings are opposing and military whereas the woman’s feelings are peaceful. The woman keeps from using violence towards the others and towards her own self; as a result, the percentage of the women’s suicide declines. Men’s suicide is much uglier since they commit suicide by means of shooting themselves or jumping from a very high place. On the other hand, women commit suicide by means of taking in sleeping pills or narcotic materials.
3- The woman is more passive than the man is i.e. she gets under the influence of the feelings more than the man does.
4- The woman, on the contrary to the man, is greatly interested in beauty, adornment, and the different fashion styles.
5- The woman is more cautious, fearful, and eloquent than the man is.
6- The woman’s emotions are motherly, and this appears since childhood. Moreover, the woman is more related to the family, and she unconsciously notices the importance of the milieu of the family before the man does.
7- In general, the woman does not reach the level which the man reaches with respect to the evidential sciences and the dry mental issues. Yet, she is equal to him with respect to the fields of literature, art, and all the issues which are related to taste and affection.
8- The man is more capable of keeping a secret and of keeping disturbing news for himself. As a result, he is more fast afflicted with the illness resulting from keeping secrets.

From the Aspect of the Exchanged Emotions

The man aims at accompanying the woman and at putting her at his command whereas the woman aims at winning the man’s heart and at dominating him through his heart. He, therefore, wants to control her from above while she wants to penetrate into his heart. The woman looks for courage and manliness in the man; on the other hand, the man looks for beauty and affection in the woman.

Adequateness Not Equality

On the basis of the already mentioned differences between the man and the woman, it is noticed that what adequates to the woman may not be adequate to the man, and vice versa. From here, it is not required that we apply the situation of the woman on that of the man or the situation of the man on that of the woman. What is required is to specify each one of them with what adequates to his/ her physiological and psychological characteristics. Adequateness, therefore, and not equality, between the man and the woman is what is required.

The Dues of the Wife

Imam Ali bin Al-Houssein Zein Al-Abideen (Allah’s peace bestowed upon both) summarized the dues of the wife in his saying, «The wife’s due on you is that you be aware that The Most Glorious and Reverent Allah made for you repose and company in her. It is also to be aware that she is a grace The Most High Allah bestowed upon you and then to honor her and treat her with kindness. Even when your due on her is more necessary than hers is on you, even then you must be merciful with her.»3

The detailed dues of the wife which the scholars mentioned are the following:
1- Expense: The expense of the wife is divided over the following issues:

* Food: What is meant here is what is customary from food without any squandering or stinginess. Imam Al-Khomeini (May his secret be sacred) said, «As regards the food, its quantity must be what is enough to satiate her. As regards its kind, it must be what is customary for her kind in her country- including the banquets for her marriage- and what she has been used to the extent that she may be harmed in case she abandoned it.»4

Even more, the husband must provide his wife with the fruits of the season which are customary and which are decent for her. Imam Al-Khomeini (May his secret be sacred) said, «The appropriate here is the required quantity of the summer fruits which are needed in the hot regions, in addition to the customary different fruits in all the seasons.»5

Still, the husband should not miss that the mentioned quantity is just the least duty while what is desirable and called to by the divine doctrine is spending lavishly upon his family; it is related in one narrative that Imam Zein Al-Abideen (Allah’s peace bestowed upon him) said, «He with whom Allah is most pleased is him who is the most generous with his family.»6

* Clothing: Moreover, the husband must provide his wife with the suitable and customary clothing; also, he must provide her with the clothing suitable for the winter and the summer. Imam Al-Khomeini (May his secret be sacred) said, «Likewise is the case with the clothing; with respect to its [the clothing’s] quantity and kind, the husband must take into consideration the custom of the women, the country of residence, and the seasons, winter and summer.»

* Residence: The husband must as well provide his wife with the suitable residence which includes the basic utilities. It is not her due to condition that it be possessed; his duty is to provide her with the residence even if in rent.

The wife may demand that she resides alone with nobody else residing with her in the same house. Imam Al-Khomeini (May his secret be sacred) said, «She deserves, with respect to residing, that he accommodates her in a house customary to her kind; that she has the utilities she is in need of; that she demands that she resides alone- without an ex wife or anybody else sharing her in the residence- in a house or a in room with special utilities whether in loan for use, rent, or possession…»7

As regards the furniture of the house, the previous conditions are applicable on it i.e. it must be suitable to her. Imam Al-Khomeini (May his secret be sacred) said, «With respect to serving her, it becomes dutiful in case she is from the people of retinue and high prestige and from those who are usually served by others; otherwise, she has to serve herself.8

In case serving her is dutiful and in case she is from the people of retinue that people like her are customarily known to be having special bond maids, then it is indispensable that she be specialized with a bond maid. Even more, in case her retinue reaches the extent that people like her are customarily known to be having several servants, then the dutifulness of this issue is not eliminated. It is more becoming to refer to the custom and the tradition as regards all the above mentioned points and in the needed instruments and equipments in which one must also consider what is costmary for people like her according to the needs of the country where she dwells.»9

From what has been mentioned about the expense, we come to deduce the following points:
- It is not the right of the woman who is not from the people of retinue to ask her husband to get her a bond maid even if she is in need for her; still, it is from the proprieties that he fetches her a bond maid in case he is financially capable of this.
- The wife does not have the right to demand from her husband to buy her the clothes which are not suitable for her, such as: the expensive clothes, the jewels, and the like.
- The wife’s demand from her husband to possess an apartment is not religiously dutiful on him; what is dutiful on him is the rent or the loan for use only and nothing else.

2- The Sexual Intercourse
The sexual intercourse is the wife’s second due. It is dutiful on the husband to have a sexual intercourse with his wife once every four months. It is desirable that he fulfills her need for her; even more, it is a dutiful cautiousness to do so in case she is vulnerable to get into sin in case he does not have sexual intercourse with her.10

The husband must beautify himself for his wife, as is related in ascription to Imam Al-Kathem (Allah’s peace bestowed upon him): Al-Hassan bin Al-Jahem related, «I saw Abou Al-Hassan (Allah’s peace bestowed upon him) having dyed his hair. I said to him, ‘I sacrifice myself for your sake! Have you dyed [your hair]?!’ He answered, ‘Yes, [I have]. Beautifying oneself increases the chastity of the women, and the women have but turned away from chastity because their husbands have turned away from getting themselves beautified for them.’ Then, he (Allah’s peace bestowed upon him) asked me, ‘Would you like to see her in the same form she sees you when you have not beautified yourself?’ I answered, ‘No.’ Then, he said, ‘So is it.’»11

It is related that Imam Al-Sadik (Allah’s peace bestowed upon him) said, «The husband can not dispense in his relationship with his wife without three things: agreement in order to gain her love and affection, his good moral with her, and wining her heart by means of looking beautiful in her eyes and by means of being generous with her.»12 In addition, staying at home with the family is from the issues to which The Noblest Prophet (Allah’s prayers and peace bestowed upon him and his Household) called to; it is related that he (Allah’s prayers and peace bestowed upon him and his Household) said, «The man’s sitting at home with his family is more liked by Allah than his isolation for worship in this very mosque of mine.»13

We hear a lot about one wife whose husband remains absent from her because of his being at work for long periods; still, when he gets home, he does not remain there in order to sit with her for a period enough for her to feel his presence and to be compensated for the period of his absence but he gets out to join long evenings away from her or to have drives alone as if he is responsible of nothing.

1- When must we resort to the dues?
2- What is the aim of the dues?
3- Talk about the dues of the wife in Islam?
4- Is spending the night with the wife from the dues or from the etiquettes?
5- Mention three etiquettes for the dealing of the husband with his wife?

1- The Noble Qur’an/ Al-Rum [The Romans] Surah/ Aya 21
2- Refer to Nezam Houkouk Al-Mar’aa Fi Al-Islam [The System of Woman’s Rights in Islam]/ The Martyr Mortada Al-Moutahhari/ Page 159 and the following pages
3- Meezan Al-Hekma [The Standard of Sagacity]/ Mohammadi Al-Rishahri/ Part Two/ Page 1185
4- Tahreer Al-Waseela [Editing the Means]/ Imam Al-Khomeini/ Part Two/ Page 315
5- Tahreer Al-Waseela / Imam Al-Khomeini/ Part Two/ Page 315
6- Meezan Al-Hekma [The Standard of Sagacity]/ Part Two/ Page 1188
7- Tahreer Al-Waseela [Editing the Means]/ Imam Al-Khomeini/ Part Two/ Page 315
8- Tahreer Al-Waseela / Imam Al-Khomeini/ Part Two/ Page 315
9- Tahreer Al-Waseela [Editing the Means]/ Imam Al-Khomeini/ Part Two/ Page 316
10- From the consultations which were sent to His Eminence Sayyed Ali Al-Khaminaei (May Allah lengthen his presence among us) and which he answered in his own handwriting
11- Meezan Al-Hekma [The Standard of Sagacity]/ Part Two/ Page 1185
12- Meezan Al-Hekma / Part Two/ Page 1185
13- Meezan Al-Hekma / Part Two/ Page 1186

1118 View | 11-01-2013 | 03:58


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