What Should I do When My Wife Doesn’t Listen to My Instructions?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


My sister-in-law’s wedding is in a few days, and my wife’s parents had a women’s party in their home for her. I allowed my wife to go but asked her to return home by 10–10:30 pm as she was leaving at 4 pm. I also asked her to wear a scarf to cover her hair, even if it’s ladies only, and not to go beauty parlor.

Were my conditions right and according to Islam? Was she obligated to fulfill them? She came back home around 1 or 1:30 am; I am guessing the party was over by 11 pm, I don’t know if she covered her hair, or went to the beauty parlor.


Thank you for your question. May Allah give you both mutual understanding and make it easy for you.

Islamic Marriage

Allah Most High said in the Holy Quran, “Treat them (women) fairly.” [Quran, 4:19]

And He also says, “Women deserve the like of what they are obliged to give, in kindness.” [Quran 2:228]

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reported the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The most complete of believers in faith are those with the best character, and the best of you are the best in behavior to their women.” [Tirmidhi]

And our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) beautifully explained the rights of women in his final khutba (sermon):

“O People, it is true that you have certain rights about your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under the trust of Allah and with His permission. If they abide by your right, then they have the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Treat your women well and be kind to them because they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.” [Bukhari; Muslim; Abu Dawud]

In light of the above verses and prophetic sayings, I urge you to be forgiving of your wife. I encourage you to overlook her faults and ask yourself to question the basis for placing these rules in the first place. Of course, you may be perfectly justified in doing so; I don’t know the situation. But I ask that you co-exist in the spirit of mercy, kindness, and compassion with her and always give her the benefit of the doubt.


It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, what type of wife is best?” He said, “The one who makes (her husband) happy when he looks at her, and she obeys him if he instructs her to do something, and she does not do anything about herself or his wealth in a manner of which he does not approve.” [Ahmad]

A wife is obliged to obey her husband in his permissible requests, so I urge your wife to abide by your rules. There usually isn’t much benefit in ignoring what you say. Communication is called for, and I urge you both to sit down and discuss how to make one another feel respected, loved, and validated in this marriage. I ask you to take the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) as a role model in your marriage, as he was the absolute best to his wives.

Given the consideration in these cases, we urge you to consult local reliable scholars for specifics of the situation.

Please see these links as well:

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin and completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.