Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
1) If I do not listen to my husband’s requests, even though it is within the bounds of the shariah, am I sinful? Does what he says become an obligation for me?
2)Is my husband obligated to serve my emotional needs (i.e. spending time with me, doing nice things for me etc)? Is my right on him?
3) My husband has asked me to lose weight. Do I have to do my very best to achieve that?
I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.
Rights in Marriage
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The believers best in faith are those best in character, and the best of you are those best to their spouses.” [Tirmidhi] Munawi explains that this includes being patient with them, constantly cheerful, and treating them with excellence. [Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir]
As in all things, the key to success is balance. A balanced approached towards one’s rights in marriage, and not a sense of entitlement, is what Allah Most High calls us to.
Love and Mercy
Allah Most High says, “And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.” [30:21]
It’s important for both a husband and wife to fulfill each other’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs, and to also link that with the higher intention of pleasing Allah.
Being on the Same Team
A peaceful marriage is one in which both of you are on the same page and striving together to please Allah. Viewing yourselves as a united front will help you both move beyond the paradigm of ‘my rights’ and towards the paradigm of ‘what pleases Allah’.
Clear, open and compassionate lines of communication need to be open to help your marriage thrive. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani recommends John Gottman’s book, The Seven Principles To Making Marriage Work.
Understanding the Purpose of Marriage
I strongly recommend that both you and your husband enroll in the free course Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life
May this course be a means of deeper understanding and affection for both of you.
Please refer to the following links:
Should a Wife Expect Nice Things from Her Husband?
Is There a Supplication for Saving My Marriage?
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.