Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Does a Muslim wife need a ‘certificate’ from her husband to enter heaven?

Recently, we received a mail from a non Muslim brother who claimed to have heard on radio that a Muslim wife needs to get a ‘certificate’ from her husband regarding her behavior towards him before being allowed to enter paradise.

Coming to the comment on the role of a Muslim wife, I am not aware as to which ‘radio’ will broadcast such ridiculous comments? Maybe the brother was referring to a radio station!
Jokes apart, since I don’t know on which program/radio station such comments were made I am not in a position to verify them or confirm that such comments were actually made.

However, let me inform you about the true position of the Status of a Wife in Islam.

God says in the Quran

“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.” [30:21]
“O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should you treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower ye have given them, -except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If you dislike them it may be that you dislike a thing, and God brings about through it a great deal of good.” [4:19]

Marriage fulfills both the husband and wife with happiness and security. This helps create feelings of love and mercy towards each other. It helps in creating a healthy society with qualities of love, respect and honor. Marriages for the purpose of pleasing God result in a family that is steadfast and complete.

Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) repeatedly emphasized the importance of treating the spouse with utmost love and respect.
Some of his sayings in this regard are

“The best of you is the best one to his family.” [Al Tabarani]

“One should not hate his believer wife. If he dislikes some of her attitudes, he would (surely) like other (attitudes).” [Muslim]

Fear God in (treating) women. [Muslim]

Be advised to treat women righteously. [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]

"Know that no charity that you give whether small or large, for the sake of God, but you will be rewarded for it, even the bite (of food) that you put in your wife's mouth." [Bukhari & Muslim]

Keeping the above rules in mind let us discuss the comment you made.
Both the husband and wife have certain rights and responsibilities to make the marriage successful. In the above outline of the view of marriage in Islam, man and women are completely equal partners except in the following respects:
1) Both parties have equal responsibility to provide physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual happiness to each other, but men generally have the added responsibility to provide for the economic needs of the wife.
Nowhere in the Quran or Hadith (sayings/actions of the Prophet) is it stated that the wife has to get a written certificate or otherwise from the husband in order to enter paradise.
In fact the Quran states
“For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in God's praise -- for them has God prepared forgiveness and great reward.” [33:35]
As Man is considered the head of the family in Islam, it is beneficial if he has the final say in economic matters and matter which affect the family. However, it does not mean that the husband can behave like a dictator. In fact Muslims are advised by God to consult one another and make decisions in a democratic way (although we need not conduct elections in the house...J)
If he does not care for the feelings of his wife and does as he pleases without following Islam and the way of the Prophet then he is putting his relationship in danger and God forbid, it might even lead to divorce.
The Muslim woman as a wife and a mother has a very high status in Islam. The wife is expected to agree and follow the husband only when his decisions agree with the Quran and the Hadith (way) of the Prophet (peace be upon him). If the husband is wrong according to the Quran and hadith, then it is the responsibility of the wife to correct him with wisdom and show him the correct way.
Who wouldn’t be happy to have such a wife who loves you and corrects you when you make a mistake? If a husband is happy with his wife, it indicates that the wife is indeed a loving woman who follows Islam and will be rewarded by God for her efforts with Paradise.
If the husband is angry with his wife for not doing something which is against Islam then there is no blame on the wife. In fact the wife may be rewarded even more by God because she was able to hold on to her correct beliefs.
Now tell me dear brother, does Islam oppress women? If so then why are more women converting to Islam than men? Why is Islam the fastest growing religion in spite of the negative propaganda?
I request you to go through these links so as to gain a greater understanding of ‘Women in Islam’.
Women in Islam