Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
1) Is this true regarding the above statement? What if the husband ordered his wife to undertake such duties? Is it fard/wajib for her to obey her husband or not in this matter? Is the wife sinful if she refuses?
2) I don't know all the details, but I have learnt that a wife legally
a) Must live with her husband in his house
b) Must fulfil his sexual needs
Q) Are these two the only 2 main legal duties a wife is responsible for, if there are others please state them?
3) Nearly most books produced by the Indo/Pak scholars are about the duties of a wife, and there are hardly that many regarding the duties about the husband. Even though the Hanafi books of jurisprudence discuss both the husband and wife rights simultaneously. But even then books about husbands duties are very thin and the duties of a wife are thick. I only learned the above statement (1st paragraph) from a reliable Mufti (Taqi Usmani), normally scholars will not teach us that. None of the books I have read ever mentioned that it was not legally binding on the wife to cook or do household work
What are the legal duties of a husband:
a) He must provide maintenance
Q) That's all I know, if there are any other legal duties of a husband please state them?
4) What must a wife obey the husband in, what matters?
I understand if the husband forbids his wife from an act that is Fard, Wajib, Sunnah or Mukruh Tahrimi. The wife does not need to obey the husband in these matters. I also understand she does not need to obey the husband regarding Household matters, because she is not legally obligated to do them.
So, the only thing I know is that a wife must obey the husband
a) Regarding sexual needs
b) Leave the House without his permission.
Q) If there are any other matters, which the wife is required to obey the husband legally, please state them?
5) Most Indo/Pak scholars usually say it fard/wajib to fulfil the sexual needs of her husband, because this is his right. And the famous hadith in Bukhari is always mentioned, that if a wife refuses sex and the husband is angry then the angels curse her from night till morning. The wife commits a Major Sin if she refuses.
But I have never ever learned from any Hanafi up to this day that this the husband must also legally fulfil the sexual needs of his wife. And if the wife calls the husband to bed, and the husband refuses, and the wife remains angry, Then the angels curse the husband from night to morning.
I have learned from other scholars (non-hanafi) that the hadith applies to both husband and wife, not just the husband. The angels curse the husband to if he refuses to have sex with his wife.
Q) What is the Hanafi stand on this? Do Hanafi scholars believe this Hadith is only meant for the husband? And that legally he does not have to fulfil the sexual request of his wife. Is his duty on to maintain her? But the sexual right is only his! (NB: I am not talking about when a husband is having sex wit his wife, that he must also fulfil his wife need = orgasm). I'm talking about when a wife calls her husband to bed, and he refuses)
Please comment on this hadith from the Hanafi point of view.
Please answer all these questions (5), and provide evidence, quoting reliable Hanafi scholars and the most frequently and relied works of the Hanafi school.
I am looking for answers from a legal point of view, as I have heard all non-legal aspects before. I read enough books on the matter that are on the market, and they are all the same and are not very interesting from a legal point of view.
Sidi, this is a request for a treatise, and I am getting 35 to 40 questions a day, while trying to study, teach, and scrape a living:
Please answer all these questions (5 [below]), and provide evidence, quoting reliable Hanafi scholars and the most frequently and relied works of the Hanafi school.
Ustadha Hedaya Hartford’s book, “Islamic Marriage” is very good. (See attached review.)
It is not true that:
Nearly most books produced by the Indo/Pak scholars are about the duties of a wife, and there are hardly that many regarding the duties about the husband.
There are countless works in Urdu on this subject, and the best of them (of which, living in Jordan, I have a select few) deal very ably with the duties of husbands. Given the whole Deobandi/Barelvi hangups people have, I am usually very reluctant to recommend specific books.
Are you aware of the difference between religious rights and legal rights? The fiqh texts (such as Ibn Abidin’s Radd al-Muhtar and Qudri Basha’s definitive codification of Hanafi personal law, al-Ahkam) mention that it is the religious duty of a women to obey her husband in everything permissible (from that which relates to their marriage). This includes cooking, housework, and bedroom matters.
This is not a legal right, though, insofar as it is not something that can be enforced in court.
However, the non-fulfillment of religious rights is sinful, and the husband has the right to take disciplinary measures, within the guidelines outlined by the fuqaha, in such cases. [Radd al-Muhtar, al-Ahkam]
As for the ‘right to sex,’ the fuqaha distinguished between the woman’s right and the man’s religious right:
(a) the man has the ‘right to demand’ such that the wife is obliged to obey, unless genuinely unable (e.g. due to sickness, and the like). However, Umar Ibn Nujaym mentioned in his Nahr al-Fa’iq Sharh Tanz al-Daqa’iq (an important and oft-quoted late commentary that was published only recently) that the husband cannot make sexual demands that are genuinely harmful to the wife [also quoted by Ibn Abidin in his Radd al-Muhtar];
(b) the woman’s right is that the man have intercourse with her enough to keep her outward and inward chastity, such that she does not incline towards other men, and if she demands that he fulfill her right, he has to do so, [Radd al-Muhtar, Bahr al-Ra’iq] but without the ‘right to demand’ (because of obvious differences in nature, temperament, and body between men and women). This is why Shaykh Zada mentions in his Majma` al-Anhur Sharh Multaqa al-Abhur that, “It is religiously obligatory to have intercourse with her once in a while.” Other texts explain ‘once in a while’ as above.;
Finally, we must not forget the example of the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace), who was the best of spouses, and reminded all believers that, “The best of you are those best to their spouses. And I am the best of you to their spouses.” [Tirmidhi, who said that it is authentically sound (hasan sahih)]
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