For every department in this world to function smoothly, be it a business, an educational institute or even a government, it requires a figure of authority. If everyone is equal in every respect, there would be no order and system. In the similar manner, for every home to function smoothly and harmoniously, Allah Ta‘ala has given the husband the position of being the head of the household. He has also tasked him with extra responsibilities. Whilst the husband has been repeatedly commanded to be kind and good to his wife, it is the wife’s duty to be obedient to him (within the limits of sharee‘ah). In this lies her peace of mind and the smooth functioning of her home.
On one occasion, the aunt of Sayyiduna Husain bin Mihsan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) came to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to discuss a certain need that she had. After she had discussed her need with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) asked her, “Do you have a husband?” When she replied in the affirmative, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) asked her, “How is your relationship with him? (i.e. is he pleased or displeased with you?)” She replied, “I make every effort (to please him) – except in regard to those things which I cannot manage.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then advised her saying, “Ensure that you continue to examine your relationship with him (at all times), as he is your Jannah or your Jahannam (i.e. pleasing him will cause you to enter Jannah, while displeasing him will cause you to enter Jahannam).” (Musnad Ahmad #27352)
This hadeeth highlights the important position of the husband, and also teaches us that when Allah Ta‘ala has appointed him as the authority figure in the home, then for his wife to please him is to please Allah Ta‘ala, and for her to displease him is to displease Allah Ta‘ala.
In another hadeeth, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) explained the great position of the husband in the life of his wife saying, “If I were to command any person to make sajdah to another person, then I would have commanded the wife to make sajdah to her husband. (In this hadeeth, the sajdah refers to a sajdah of honour and respect, not a sajdah of worship, and this was permissible in the past religions. However, in the religion of Rasulullah [sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam], even making sajdah out of respect for someone has been declared impermissible. Hence, Rasulullah [sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam] did not give this command – neither to the women nor to anyone else.)” (Sunan Tirmizi #1159)
Apart from these two ahaadeeth, there are many other narrations in which Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has highlighted and emphasized the great importance of the wife respecting her husband, remaining obedient to him and striving to ensure that he is pleased and happy with her at all times. Therefore, the wife should understand that her husband is her doorway to Jannah, and the key to this doorway is for her to please him in all PERMISSIBLE matters, to the best of her ability.
Not only has Allah Ta‘ala instructed a woman to be obedient to her husband, rather He has also promised her a great reward for doing this. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “The woman who offers her five times salaah, fasts in the month of Ramadhaan, protects her chastity and obeys her husband, will have the choice of entering Jannah from whichever door she wishes to enter from.” (Saheeh Ibni Hibbaan #4163)
Hence, with the intention of pleasing him for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala, and while remaining within the parameters of the sharee‘ah and hayaa, she should try to dress in the manner that is pleasing to him, prepare the food that he enjoys, conduct with him in the manner which brings him happiness, and try, to the best of her ability, to always be a source of happiness and comfort to him.
Insha-Allah, this will not only cause the wife to secure the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala and her husband, it will also cause her marriage to be one of happiness and joy as her husband will always be pleased with her.
May Allah Ta‘ala assist us to please our husbands and remain obedient to Him at all times, aameen.