Husband and Wife Relationship: An Islamic and Psychological Perspective (Part 1)

No human being is perfect and no family is faultless. However, it is important to appreciate that a stable loving coherent family is essential for raising wholesome, dynamic, well-adjusted and socially competent children, writes DR. AKHTAR HUSSEIN.


The family is the building brick of the society. As the family weakens the society disintegrates. The emphasis Islam puts on family and kinship is well-known. The influence of the Western culture through media and immigration has severely damaged this institution among the Muslims. The enemies of Islam are also exerting great efforts to promote individualism and sexual anarchy in the name of freedom.

Integrity of the family and loving responsible parents are crucial elements for raising children who are physically and mentally healthy with high moral character and strong faith (Eman) and piety (Taqwa).

A family starts with marriage. The following are the major objectives of the marriage union:

(a) Giving and receiving love and kindness;
(b) Satisfying emotional and sexual needs of the couple;
(c) Peace and tranquility;
(d) Bearing and rearing future generation.

These objectives are clearly stated in the following Qur’anic Ayah:

“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” (30: 21)


“It is He Who has created you from a single person (Adam), and (then) He has created from him his wife [Hawwa’ (Eve)], in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her.” (7: 189)


“And Allah has made for you Azwaj (mates) of your own kind, and has made for you, from your wives, sons and grandsons, and has bestowed on you good provision. Do they then believe in false deities and deny the favour of Allah?” (16: 72)


“Your wives are a tilth for you, so go to your tilth, when or how you will, and send (good deeds, or ask Allah to bestow upon you pious offspring) for your own selves beforehand. And fear Allah, and know that you are to meet Him (in the Hereafter), and give good tidings to the believers.” (2: 223)

No human being is perfect and no family is faultless. However, it is important to appreciate that a stable loving coherent family is essential for raising wholesome dynamic well-adjusted and socially competent children.

The attitude, values and actions of each member of the family affects all the members. The work of the household is to move smoothly like different parts of a well-regulated machine. Each member must feel the responsibility to contribute in the well-being of the whole family.

Responsibility lies with both spouses, but the greater responsibility lies with the man of the family. As stated in the following Qur’anic ayat and hadeeth:

“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands), and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband’s property). As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance). Surely, Allah is Ever Most High, Most Great.” (4: 34)



Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar: The Prophet said,

“Everyone of you is a guardian and everyone of you is responsible (for his wards). A ruler is a guardian and is responsible (for his subjects); a man is a guardian of his family and responsible (for them); a wife is a guardian of her husband’s house and she is responsible (for it), a slave is a guardian of his master’s property and is responsible (for that). Beware! All of you are guardians and are responsible (for your wards).” (Bukhari)

We must avoid the development of dysfunctional family. Parents, being humans, are prone to all sorts of human frailties including physical or mental illness or substance abuse. When one or both parents have mental illness or substance abuse, the family is chaotic and abusive, resulting in what is termed as dysfunctional family.


A Dysfunctional Family

A dysfunctional family is one in which conflict, misbehavior, and often child neglect or abuse on the part of individual parents occur continually and regularly, leading other members to accommodate such actions. Children sometimes grow up in such families with the understanding that such an arrangement is normal.

In order to have a family that is conducive to optimal development of children and maximum productivity and happiness of all members, the following skills and qualities are important to develop:

(a) empathy;
(b) tolerance;
(c) patience and perseverance;
(d) forgiveness;
(e) knowledge of female psychology.

(To be continued)

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