Common Duties of Husband in Islam

Islam views the husband as a pillar that supports the delicate arch of a relationship in terms of marital harmony. Quran and Hadith outline a husband’s duties to his wife, which are enshrined in Islamic law.

Providing maintenance and financial support is one of the primary duties, as outlined in Quranic verses. But the duties of a husband extend beyond financial support. A husband is also obligated to show kindness and respect to his wife and ensure her protection and security.

We will discuss the common duties of the husband in Islam that foster a nurturing and loving relationship between husband and wife.

6 Most Common Duties of a Husband to His Wife in Islam

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There are essential duties of a husband in Islam that form the foundation of a harmonious marital relationship, such as:

  • Providing maintenance and financial support (Nafaqah)
  • Showing kindness and respect
  • Ensure protection and security
  • Fulfilling the marital desire
  • Treating with justice and fairness
  • Providing religious guidance

Now, check out the six basic duties of a husband to his wife in Islam, each rooted in the Quran and exemplified by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

1. Providing Maintenance and Financial Support (Nafaqah)

Duties of Husband in Islam - Providing Maintenance and Financial Support (Nafaqah)

The husband is responsible for providing maintenance and financial support to his wife through the concept of Nafaqah in Islam. This entails the provision of housing, clothing, and other necessities.

It is derived from Quranic verses and Hadiths emphasizing the husband’s role as the family provider and caretaker.

Also Check: Duties Of Wife In Islam

Quranic verses such as Surah An-Nisa (4:34) highlight the husband’s responsibility to support his wife financially. Allah states:

“Men are the caretakers of women, as men have been provisioned by Allah over women and tasked with supporting them financially. And righteous women are devoutly obedient and, when alone, protective of what Allah has entrusted them with. And if you sense ill-conduct from your women, advise them ˹first˺, ˹if they persist,˺ do not share their beds, ˹but if they still persist,˺ then discipline them ˹gently˺. But if they change their ways, do not be unjust to them. Surely Allah is Most High, All-Great.”

The concept of Mahr (dowry) is also embedded in Islamic principles, symbolizing the husband’s commitment to providing for his wife. This is highlighted in Surah An-Nisa (4:4):

“Give women ˹you wed˺ their due dowries graciously. But if they waive some of it willingly, then you may enjoy it freely with a clear conscience.”

Islamic teachings emphasize the importance of fulfilling this duty, as withholding the subsistence from one’s dependents is considered a sin.

According to Sahih Muslim 996, Khaithama reported: “While we were sitting in the company of ‘Abdullah b. ‘Umar there came in his steward. He (Ibn ‘Umar) said: Have you supplied the provision to the slaves? He said: No. Upon this he said: Go and give (the provision) to them, for the Messenger of Allah (S) has said: This sin is enough for a man that he withholds the subsistence from one whose master he is.”

This hadith exemplifies the significance of carrying out this duty in Islam. Therefore, it’s incumbent upon the husband to fulfill his obligation of supporting and maintaining his wife financially.

2. Showing Kindness and Respect

To fulfill his responsibilities towards his wife in Islam, a husband must show kindness and respect. Islam places great importance on treating wives, emphasizing the Prophet Muhammad’s example of exhibiting good character and treating women well.

According to a hadith found in Jami at-Tirmidhi 1162, Abu Hurairah related that the Messenger of Allah stated:

“The most complete of the believers in faith, is the one with the best character among them. And the best of you are those who are best to your women.”

This hadith highlights the importance of showing kindness and respect towards the wife in Islam.

Another hadith is found in Sahih al-Bukhari 3331, narrated by Abu Huraira, that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said,

“Treat women nicely, for a women is created from a rib, and the most curved portion of the rib is its upper portion, so, if you should try to straighten it, it will break, but if you leave it as it is, it will remain crooked. So treat women nicely.”

Therefore, husbands must treat their wives with kindness and respect, recognizing their value and honoring their rights in accordance with Islamic teachings.

3. Ensure Protection and Security

Ensure Protection and Security

In Islam, a husband must actively prioritize his wife’s safety and well-being to ensure her protection and security. This responsibility encompasses safeguarding her from physical and emotional harm, both within the household and in the wider community.

Islam strongly condemns any form of violence or abuse, emphasizing the importance of creating a safe and secure environment for the spouse. A husband is also expected to provide his wife with a suitable residence that guarantees privacy, comfort, and independence.

4. Fulfilling the Marital Desire

According to Islamic Shariah, a husband has a duty to fulfill the marital desires of his wife. Islam recognizes the significance of physical intimacy between couples and encourages them to fulfill each other’s legitimate sexual needs and desires.

Our Prophet (PBUH) emphasized the importance of maintaining a healthy sexual relationship within the confines of marriage. It is recorded in Sahih Muslim 1436d that Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (SAW) as saying: 

“When a man invites his wife to his bed and she does not come, and he (the husband) spends the sight being angry with her, the angels curse her until morning.”

This highlights the importance of not neglecting an individual’s partner’s sexual desires.

5. Treating With Justice and Fairness

Treating With Justice and Fairness

Islam prescribes that a husband must treat his wife with justice and fairness. Our Prophet Muhammad (S) stated:

“Anyone who has two wives and does not treat them equally will come on the Day of Resurrection dragging one part of his body which will be hanging down.” (Ibn Hibban and al-Hakim).

Justice and fairness in marital relationships involve treating both wives equally regarding love, affection, and provision. It also means avoiding favoritism, discrimination, or unfair treatment.

6. Providing Religious Guidance

A husband is also responsible for providing religious guidance to his wife. This responsibility includes assisting his wife in matters of faith and creating a spiritually uplifting environment within the family.

The husband is encouraged to support his wife’s religious education and encourage righteous conduct. Both husband and wife should strive to grow spiritually and devote themselves to Allah.

Our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) set the best example in treating his wives respectfully and emphasizing the importance of spiritual growth within the marital relationship.

In Sunan Abi Dawud 2928, a Hadith is found, which reads: ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: 

“Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The amir (ruler) who is over the people is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock; a man is a shepherd in charge of the inhabitants of his household and he is responsible for his flock; a woman is a shepherdess in charge of her husband’s house and children and she is responsible for them; and a man’s slave is a shepherd in charge of his master’s property and he is responsible for it. So each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock.”

Allah also instructs believers to protect themselves and their families from the Fire. In Surah Surah At-Tahrim verse 6, the Almighty states:

“O believers! Protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, overseen by formidable and severe angels, who never disobey whatever Allah orders – always doing as commanded.”

Therefore, the husband needs to provide religious guidance to his wife and ensure that they are living according to Islamic principles.

Fulfill the Wife’s Rights and Nurture a Happy Marital Relationship

Every husband must recognize the profound responsibilities bestowed upon him to his wife. Maintenance, kindness, protection, fulfilling marital desires, treating with justice, and providing religious guidance are the basic duties of a husband in Islam

Husbands can establish a loving and nurturing relationship with their wives by adhering to the principles of Quranic verses and Hadiths. May every marital bond in Islam be a reflection of these divine teachings, creating homes filled with compassion, understanding, and Almighty’s consciousness.

Omar Abdullah

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