Most Muslim men would like to be ideal husbands. And most Muslim women
would, no doubt, like to be married to one. But, for some reason, the men
are not ideal husbands, and the women will almost surely admit that they
didn't marry one.
So, why the discrepancy between our sincere aspirations and reality? Is it
an inability on the part of the man, an impossible goal; or is it perhaps
that we do not even know what an ideal Muslim husband is?
Wrong Concept of an Ideal Husband
A look at the matrimonial section of an Islamic magazine will quickly
demonstrate that many Muslim men and women do not know what an ideal Muslim
husband is. Muslim men looking for wives advertise themselves as doctors,
engineers, and financially secure. Muslim women appear to be on the lookout
for an established professional or more likely a handsome MD.
Rarely do Muslim men and women even mention character, religious
convictions, and attitudes as a priority. At most, they might be mentioned
as a sidebar. It seems that many of us believe that a man is an ideal Muslim
husband if he is handsome, makes a lot of money, and comes from an
influential family. And the divorce rate among Muslims continues to rise.
Standard of Judging an Ideal Husband
As Muslims, we must base our judgment on what makes an ideal Muslim husband
on the guidance of Allah () and the example of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS), not
on the standards of a TV sitcom, the culture in which we were born, or our
own materialistic mentality.
Characteristic of an:
Un-Ideal Husband: Hot Temper
A major problem in some Muslim marriages unfortunately is the husband's hot
temper and harsh behavior. Some even go so far as to abuse their wives. Dr.
Quick gives a word of warning to these men who often come from cultures that
teach them to be tough and macho.
He says that there should be no violence between husband and wife and that
Muslim men should not be the kind of tyrannical fathers whose children run
away and hide when their father comes home. He says that we have to separate
our non-Islamic cultures from Islam. The ideal Muslim husband will base his
behavior on Islam, not on his Arab, American, or Pakistani culture.
Un-Ideal Husband: Egoistic
Another major problem in Muslim marriages is the husband's failure to
consider his wife's opinions. In fact, Abdallah Idris Ali says that the
failure of the Muslim Ummah as a whole has to do with our failure in
practicing the concept of Shura (consultation). People think that they are
right and others are wrong, he says.
We will do much better if we consider the opinions of others and let them
feel that they are a part of the decision-making process. Along the same
lines, Dr. Quick points out that if a woman makes a true (haqq) point, the
husband should submit to it. He should in no way reject a point just because
it comes from a woman.
Demonstrating the huge difference between the way the Prophet (SAWS) dealt
with his wives and the way Muslim men deal with their wives today, Abdallah
Idris Ali tells the story of the time when Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was
sleeping under one cover with his wife Ayesha, and he asked her permission
to get up to pray.
Un-Ideal Husband: Unhelpful
The failure to help in the house and to help with the raising of the
children are well-known weaknesses of husbands. The video makes it clear
that Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) helped in the house, and Abdul Malik Mujahid
says that a man cannot be an ideal Muslim husband, or even close to a good
husband, if he leaves the responsibility of children completely to the
Khadija Haffagee tells the story of a father who took a three-month-old
infant to pray with him and after the prayer did the 'tasbih" on the child's
hand. This, she said, was training by the father. Dr. Quick warns that when
training our children, we should be careful not to raise sons with a double
standard where they have no household responsibilities. If we do, they will
likely grow up with the attitude that they don't need to do this kind of
work --- that they are above it.
Prophet: An Ideal Father
As a beautiful example of a healthy father-child relationship, Abdul Malik
Mujahid tells the story of how the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) used to stand up
for his daughter Fatima, kiss her, and give her his seat when she came to
him. This was in an age when people preferred sons and looked down on having
daughters. With this simple act, the Prophet (SAWS) showed us how to express
love and affection for our children --- an essential quality for an ideal
An Ideal Ex-Husband
In fact, what emerges from the video is that being an ideal Muslim husband
has very little or nothing to do with the amount of money one has, physical
beauty, or the prestige of one's job. Rather, it has to do with one's
commitment to Allah (SWT), one's knowledge of and willingness to follow the
guidance of Allah (SWT) and the Prophet's example, and one's commitment to
do righteousness even in difficult situations.
The ideal Muslim husband should be humble, gentle, kind, considerate,
caring, loving, open to good advice, willing to cooperate with others in the
family rather than dictate rules, helpful in the house, involved in raising
the children, and never abusive either physically or mentally.
No doubt, this is a very tall order. Becoming an ideal Muslim husband will
certainly not be easy. It will take a jihad against 'jahiliyyah" thinking,
selfishness, ego, vanity, anger, pride, and arrogance.
Full of excellent advice, encouragement, and wisdom, this video should help
any Muslim husband to improve. Although there are no guarantees that he will
ever become an ideal Muslim husband, it will, InshaAllah, start him on the