Why Should a Man Discipline His Wife If She Is a Grown Woman?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


Why is the husband supposed to discipline his wife? I completely understand that he has authority in the house and is the leader of the family. But doesn’t the word “disciplining” imply that he knows religion and values more than her?

I can understand this in a context where girls marry young as it matches with the hadith (and teach them right from wrong for seven years, i.e., starting from 7 years old), but if a grown woman who knows her deen gets married, why should he teach her right from wrong? Wasn’t she already raised by her parent? Or are women considered to be too immature or emotional to obey Allah without a husband disciplining them and teaching them what is right?


Thank you for your question. May Allah make both men and women reminders for each other and support each other always to follow the sunna of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).


Abdullah ibn ‘Umar said that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The ruler who is in charge of the people is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock. A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s household and is responsible for her flock. A servant is the shepherd of his master’s wealth and is responsible for his flock. Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.” [Bukhari; Muslim]


I respect what you say about grown women knowing their religion, but remember that no one is perfect. Our religion, however, is perfect, and Allah has put a strategy in place for Muslim families to have communication, religious reminders, and leadership. A man does not only have the right to remind and discipline in this regard, but he is responsible for making sure that his family has acquired their obligatory knowledge, and he will be asked if they practiced it.

Similarly, if a football coach disciplines his players, the football coach is not seen as demeaning or disrespecting them, nor is he told that the players should just take care of themselves because they are adults. He is their leader, contractually, and he is responsible for training, teaching, disciplining, caretaking, protecting, and whatever else he needs to do to make a successful team. A family is not much different. If you look at it this way, you will come to accept your husband’s leadership and appreciate the burden on his shoulders.


A woman’s level of immaturity is irrelevant here, and her emotions have nothing to do with it. Instead, a mature wife will help her husband remind the family and aid him in supporting a religious lifestyle, and if he happens to remind her about something she forgot, she won’t get upset but instead thank him.

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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.