Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam was particularly kind towards women, and he granted them various concessions in regard to many religious injunctions. He elevated their status and he was gravely
concerned about guarding them against every degree of adversity. He ruled that the rewards of their modest religious endeavours were equivalent to the rewards of tremendous efforts and sacrifices made by men.
Just as Allâh created women as delicate beings, at the same time He placed their responsibility onto the shoulders of men. Men are constrained to earn a livelihood and to feed and clothe them. In
addition to this, they have been instructed to approach them with compassion and kindness, prohibiting them from being harsh towards them (the women). The women too have been gifted by Allâh Ta’âla with a tender heart and He instilled within them overwhelming sentiments of love and affection. Allâh has declared women as a favour and reward for men. Thus He commanded them to act
compassionately and kindly towards their womenfolk. All these issues are discussed in the Quran and Hadith. To keep this discussion brief, we will avoid mentioning all of them, and limit it by quoting a few only.
Rights of Wives and Leniency and Kindness towards them.
Hadhrat Jabir (Radiallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam issued the following instructions as well during his farewell Haj at Arafât: “O people! Fear Allâh in regard to your
wives. You have taken them in marriage under Allâh’s protection.”
In spite of their leadership over women, this Hadith cautions men not to exercise this superiority without due concern and they should fear the reckoning of Allâh. They should fear and be aware of the fact
that Allâh is a party between them and their wives because it was His commandments and permission that rendered them lawful for men and it is through His order that they have entered into marriage with them. Hence they are under Allâh’s protection and His refuge is always available to them. If the husbands are cruel unto them and maltreat them, they will be guilty of breaching the trust they contracted with Allâh. What a majestic honour for women and how severe is the warning for their guardian husbands in a sense that they should bear in mind that women are under the divine protection of Allâh. [Mâriful-Hadith]
An Important Admonition in Rasulullah’s sallallahu alaihi wasallam farewell message
Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam said: “Take heed of my farewell advice in regard to doing good towards women.”
Just reflect over the fact that doing good towards everyone is imperative but Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam – an embodiment of mercy for all mankind – stressed upon good behaviour to women in
Good Dealings – a Pre-requisite of Perfect Iman
Hadhrat Ayesha Siddiqah radhiallahu anha narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam said: “From amongst the believers, the one who has the most perfect Iman is he who conducts himself and deals with everybody excellently, and he who deals with love and mercy particularly towards his wife.”
Similarly, Hadhrat Abu Hurayrah radhiallahu anhu narrates that Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam said: “Amongst the believers, the one who has the most perfect Iman is he who has good character and the best amongst you are those who are the best with their wives.”
For the benefit of those believers who love Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam and tread upon his Sunnah, he portrayed the following example to enhance the effectiveness of his injunctions. He said: “And I am the best towards my wives.”
In another Hadith, it has been reported: “If a women dies in a condition that her husband is pleased with her, she will enter paradise.”
In another Hadith, Hadhrat Abu Darda radhiallahu anhu reports: “Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam instructed me to spend as much as my capacity affords me upon my housefolk.”
Reflect over the extent of encouragement extended to spend upon women.
Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam said: “Domestic chores within the house raises the status of a woman to the level of those who wage Jihâd. Insha Allâh.”
How great a bounty this is! In another Hadith, Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam states: “Helping the wives in their domestic activities entitles men to the reward of Sadaqah (charity).”
What lengths of encouragement have been extended for the comfort of women.
Further, in another Hadith, Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam states: “The woman who performs her five daily salâh, observes fasting during the month of Ramadhân, guards her chastity and obeys
her husband, may enter paradise from whichever door she pleases (in other words, all eight doors of paradise will be opened for her).”
This implies that if she is mindful of the compulsory injunctions of religion, there is no need for her to toil hard in pursuing taxing exercises of ibâdat (worship). This little effort will earn her the
same ranks as those who perform exerting acts of ibâdat. These are amongst the bounties of Allâh Ta’âla.