The Sanctity of Home
By: Ayatullah al-Uzma Hussain Madhahiri
So far our discussions were about domestic morals. Now we shall deal with the sanctity of the home.
We learn from the Holy Quran and the traditions of the Ahl al Bayt (a.s.) that a house that promotes love and affection is certainly an ideal home! The inhabitants of such homes take care of each other. They are regular in salah (prayers), fasting and are God fearing. They maintain a rapport with Allah through regular supplication. Such homes have an elevated position in the view of Allah. Allah desires such homes to prosper. Such homes appear shining to the inhabitants of the Firmament as do the stars to the people of the earth. We also learn from the Holy Quran and traditions of the Infallible Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) that a house where people have differences and hatred, where people are not regular in offering salah or fasting, where people commit sins, are like ruins. Such homes are not auspicious. Satan frequents such homes, while angels despise them.
The Holy Quran says:
In houses which Allah hath allowed to be raised and where His name is remembered He is glorified therein In the morning and evening. Sura al Noor: 36
Allah says that certain homes are such that He himself wants them to be exalted, for example when a person tries to raise the spiritual level of his house. These are the homes where Allah’s name is called out and the tasbeeh is recited. The occupants of these homes remember Allah – these are the homes which are exalted in the view of Allah. These are the homes where salah is recited, the zakat is paid, the occupants of such homes fear Allah and they avoid sins.
This verse has an obvious meaning, which I have just mentioned. That is to say that Allah considers some homes to be as sanctified as masjids or madressas. Why are they sanctified? Because pious people live in them. And Allah is remembered in these homes. Salah and fasting takes place here, and no differences exist between those who live here.
However there is another hidden interpretation of this verse The Infallible Imams (a.s.) have made a commentary on this meaning of the verse. They say that there are some persons who are entitled to azmat or greatness. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) interprets the word buyuut (homes) in the verse as the hearts of the persons and not the homes built of brick, mortar and wood. These homes, according to him, are the sanctimonious bodies like that of the Prophet (s) and the Imams (a.s.).
Once Qatada came in the presence of Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.). He was awed with the Imam (a.s.)’s personality. He said, “I have visited many learned men and had long sessions of discussions with them. But I never had such feelings as I am having now!” The Imam (a.s.) asked, “Are you aware with what sort of person you are conversing now? You are in front of abodes that have been elevated by Allah where He is remembered and His dhikr is done morning and evening! They are the people who cannot be diverted from Remembrance of Allah by any activity of trade or playful pastimes.”
The other meaning of this Verse of the Holy Quran is interpretative (Taweeli). This we cannot understand. The Imams (a.s.) are the interpreters of the Quran, and are entitled to interpret it and do tafseer of the Quran. A part of the Quran is evident and is binding on all (Hujjat). Another aspect of the Book is hidden. Everyone can make use of this hidden aspect of the Quran according to his own ability.
The summary of this discussion is that the verse tells us about homes in which there is no strife. These are the homes wherein the housemates serve each other so that there is comfort. The man works and serves his children because they are Muslims and should live in comfort The Holy Quran says that only such a house is held in high respect by the angels. They are the homes that earn the pleasure of Allah. But those homes where strife exists, where the wife misbehaves with her husband, where the husband and wife don’t have love and affection for each other, are, according to this verse of the Quran, homes which are not exalted. According to the traditions of the Ahl al Bayt too, such homes are inauspicious. According to riwayaat these homes are the abodes of the Satans. The Satans frequent these homes. In such homes the inhabitants don’t offer prayers regularly. They never try to establish rapport with or supplicate to Allah. They have no care for the Day of Reckoning .Such homes, according to the Quran and traditions, are abodes of darkness.
Ameer al Mu'mineen (a.s.) says,
“The house in which the Holy Quran is recited and Allah is remembered, where the inhabitants don’t commit sins, is an auspicious house. The angels keep visiting such houses. The Satan keeps away from there. Inspite of all their efforts Satan, and his cohorts cannot have access to such homes.”
Ameer al Mu’mineen further says,
“The house where the inhabitants commit sins, where Satans come freely, but is despised by angels, is an inauspicious house. The children who are bred in such houses may not grow into pious persons. According to scientific and psychological norms too, it is difficult for such children to be successful in life. A house bereft of love and affection can offer nothing more than worry and anxiety. It is the children who are unfortunate in this environment. Such homes are prisons for the children.”
A house where sins are rampant, where strife exists, extinguishes the inherent abilities of the children who are raised there. The lives of such parents and the children are always sad. According to traditions, if you desire your house to be auspicious then salah, fasting, supplications recitation of Quran should take place in your house. If you want your children to be auspicious, if you desire your wealth to be auspicious, then you should make an effort to ensure that your house is not a place for sinning. Traditions make it very clear to us that if our homes are abodes of sin, then we should not expect them to be felicitous. Your life will be wasted in this house; the children born in this house will be inauspicious. All of us should bear a tradition in mind, which tells us that:
“You see the stars twinkling in the sky. Similarly the house where there is no thought of sin, where the inhabitants offer prayers, supplications, observe fasts; the angels see such houses as shining stars.”
Another tradition says:
“A house in which dog is kept is not visited by the angels.”
There are three meanings of this tradition:
… One meaning pertains to breeding of dogs at home as is done in the Western Cultures.
These people will be grouped with Yazid on the Day of Reckoning because Yazid used to play with dogs and monkeys!
… The second meaning is that 'house' refers to the hearts of men. If this heart has evil qualities, the light of the Lord cannot shine in it. It cannot be divinely inspired. The angels inspire man. Angels enter the hearts of those men who have cleansed their hearts, and do not raise dogs in their hearts – pride, jealousy, etc. This is the best interpretation of this tradition
… The third meaning of this tradition pertains to the subject of our discussion. A house where there is no goodwill, where the husband behaves with the wife like a wild animal, where there is constant strife amongst the inhabitants, is not visited by the angels. Angels do not visit the home of people who have the qualities of animals. Apparently this meaning is also correct.
The logical meaning of the tradition fits more into the second and the third interpretation given above.
If the angels don’t visit our homes, if Allah’s blessings are not bestowed upon us, then it is a matter of concern for us. But it is more so for the innocent children who grow in such homes. Remaining on the right path for children raised in such homes is very difficult.
The Holy Quran says that a home is a place for rest. A husband and wife are meant to provide comfort to each other. Homes where sins are committed, where Satan visits freely and where angels are shy of coming are not places of comfort. On the contrary unrest and hardships prevail there. The Holy Quran says:
Is he who founded his building upon duty to Allah and His good pleasure better, or he who founded his building on the brink of a crumbling, overhanging precipice so that it toppled with him into the fire of Hell? Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk. Sura Tawbah or Baraa-’ah: 109
This verse says that if the walls and pillars of a house are strong, only then will the roof be permanent. On the contrary, if one builds a house on land that is prone to floods, it will be carried away by the flood.
The Holy Quran says that your life and home should be based on Taqwa (piety). In such a home the inhabitants are regular at offering prayers; they recite the Holy Book, observe mandatory fasts, supplicate to Allah and abstain from sin.
The Holy Quran says:
(Men) who fear a day when hearts and eyeballs will be overturned . Sura Noor: 37
A home in which the inhabitants have the fear of Allah is a strong home. The progeny coming out of such a home is always strong and firm. Spending time in such a home is auspicious. A house in which there is no fear of Allah, is according to the Quran, a house built on land that is frequented by floods. Whenever there is a flood, this house will be washed away into Hell. The people of such homes are bereft of the blessings and mercy of Allah. There is no felicity in such homes. Angels don't visit these homes. Instead you will find anger, sadness, oppression, troubles and tribulation. If you need Allah's succor, it is imperative that your homes be free of sins. They must be places where the inhabitants offer prayers. If you visit the mosque for offering the mandatory prayers in congregation, you must offer optional prayers at home. The Quran says that you should not be like the Jews and the Christians who restrict their prayers to the congregations at the Synagogue and the Church. Islam lays great stress on making your homes the places of prayer and supplication. Your homes should be the places of recitation of the Quran, offering of prayers, mutual help and affection.
In Islam one of the most important aspects of worship is the man and wife helping and serving each other. You are aware that martyrdom in the way of Allah is very blessed. We read in the traditions that a woman who serves her husband by cooking food, cleaning dishes, making his bed etc. will get reward from Allah equal to the reward of a martyr. Similarly traditions inform us that a man who helps his wife at home so that she is not inconvenienced and strives to provide sustenance to his wife and family will be eligible for reward equal to that of a martyr.
Serving at home is a great worship. If you wish that your home remains an auspicious and a blessed place, that angels come to your house, if you want to live a blessed life, and above all this if you desire that noble children be turned over to the society from your house, it is imperative for you to maintain a strong relationship with Allah. One of the ways to achieve this is to maintain love and affection between the husband and wife. Lucky are the men who keep their wives contented and happy. Unfortunate is the lady whose husband is not pleased with her Unfortunate are the couples who don't live in peace. Birth of noble progeny in such homes is impossible!
The Effect of Ill-Gotten Wealth
If illegitimate income (the income got from charging interest, taking bribes, cheating, etc.) comes to a family and the sustenance of the members is drawn from it, then be assured that angels don't enter such homes. Such homes are surrounded by fire. The angels in the Heavens see such homes as being engulfed with fire. The Holy Quran says that the angels pity the innocent children and women who are engulfed by fires in these unfortunate homes.
Lo! Those who devour the wealth of orphans wrongfully, they do but swallow fire into their bellies, and they will be exposed to burning flame. Sura an-Nisa: 10
Here the word "orphans" is used allegorically. The verse means that if a person consumes ill-gotten wealth, it is tantamount to consuming fire. Use of ill-gotten wealth is as forbidden as depriving an orphan of his rights. Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) says about this verse that those who don't give Khums and Zakat and consume the wealth on which Khums and Zakat have not been paid, and consume the wealth which has been accumulated by bribery, interest, cheating, and gambling are eating fire! When food is laid on the table in a house where Khums and Zakat are not paid, a person blessed with the ability to see such things, can actually see the wife and children consuming fire.
… Now we have removed from thee thy covering, and piercing is thy sight this day. Sura Qaf: 22
On the Day of Judgment the delicacies that you coveted so much, the ill-gotten wealth that you collected and consumed will turn into Hellfire! In Hell this will be the recompense they will get. The women and children of such homes have to be pitied. It is impossible for the children of such homes to turn out felicitous. The very same women and children of this man will be his sworn enemies on the Day of Reckoning! They will catch him by the scruff of his neck and ask him, "O unjust person! Why did you feed us fire? Why did you not pay Khums? Why did you feed us your ill-gotten wealth? Because you fed us with wealth that was forbidden we turned towards sin instead of worship. You have deprived us of felicity by giving to us ill-gotten sustenance!"
It is mentioned in the traditions that the most unfortunate person on the Day of Judgment will be cursed by his family members although he toiled hard in the world to provide sustenance to his wife and children. They will plead with Allah, "He has fed us with wealth on which Khums was not paid and he fed us on the bribes he had taken forcibly. He made us hard-hearted! O Allah! Put him through a harsh accounting!"
And We shall turn unto the work they did and make it scattered motes. Sura Furqan: 23
The Holy Quran says in this verse that there is a group of people who have been regular at prayers, had performed the Hajj and made pilgrimages to the Holy places, shed tears during the meeting held to mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (a.s.) - Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) says that these acts of worship are so luminous, that this worshipper will come in a white dress , shining like a lamp on the grounds of reckoning - but because he had consumed forbidden wealth and usurped the wealth of others, all his good deeds will be taken away from him and turned over to others. At this juncture others will laugh at him in ridicule and say, “His wife and children have eaten his good deeds” The ill-gotten wealth was consumed by the wife and children in the world, now he is the one who has to answer for it. Now he has to turn over his good deeds to his wife and children and go into Hell, empty handed.
Fulfilling the rights of other people is difficult. Beware and be assured that if forbidden wealth enters your house, then the mercy of Allah will surely depart, blessings will flee this house, love and affection departs from this house. A day comes when the very children for whom you toiled will on the Day of Qiyamah curse you and make you an inmate of Hell.
Mutual Understanding at Home
In the previous talk it was discussed that Islam strongly disapproves of dissensions and disagreements. Opposed to these, friendliness, affection, unity and brotherhood are given prime importance. These traits are considered sacred by Islam. The Holy Quran says that one very significant characteristic of the inhabitants of Hell is that when they meet on the Day of Judgment, they will all be cursing each other. Each one will blame the other for making him hell-bound! The other will counter him with a similar argument. The Herald will announce that Allah's retribution for both of them will be doubled! Firstly because they spoke ill of the believers in the world and then because they forced others to speak ill about themselves.
The Holy Quran says:
… Every time a nation entereth, it curseth its sister (nation) till, when they have all been made to follow one another thither, the last of them saith unto the first of them : Our Lord! These led us astray, so give them double torment of the Fire. He saith:For each one there is double (torment) but ye know not. Sura al-Araaf: 38
Alas! You are unaware. The sign of the inhabitants of the Hell, therefore, is that they will talk ill of each other and none of them is ready to accept his own fault.
Blaming Each Other
Whenever a husband and wife are in disagreement, none of them wants to take the blame for any mistake. The husband says that the wife has been the cause of his troubles and the wife counters with a similar claim. The husband says that the children have gone astray because of the wife's shortcomings in their upbringing. A house where such criticizing and exchange of foul language, takes place is like hell. These people will come to know only when the curtains are raised!
I would like to inform the ladies and the gentlemen that the world and the hereafter are the two sides of the same coin! The apparent side of the coin is the world and the hidden side is the hereafter. Whatever happens in this world, its reality will become evident and clear in the hereafter! If the fire of Hell comes upon us, it is the result of our own acts!
This is on account of that which your own hands have sent before… Sura Aale Imran: 182
If we get the bounties of the Heaven like the houris, it is on account of our own good deeds.
(And it will be said unto those therein): Eat and drink at ease for that which ye sent on before you in past days. Sura al-Haaqqah: 24
On the Day of Reckoning the people will be addressed, "O those who have fasted during the auspicious days! These are the bounties that you have sent while you fasted. Eat, drink and enjoy yourself!" If there is strife and difference of opinion in your house; when a man and wife quarrel; when a brother and sister argue and exchange harsh and foul language, when (God forbid) a wife misbehaves with her husband, when a husband uses foul language with his wife, what is obvious is that the husband and wife are bad-mouthing each other, but in reality this house is Hell. One day when he opens his eyes he realizes that his house is actually Hell. The bad deeds of the spouses have been converted into physical forms.
The Holy Quran, in the verse quoted earlier (al-Aaraaf:38) describes the importance of actions of people living in a place. If they have differences in their lives, they will exhibit differences in the hereafter too and blame each other. If there is usage of bad language and physical violence here, then in the hereafter too they will use bad language and violence. What you sow here, is what you will reap there. If there is foul language in your house and the atmosphere of your house is cold, then it will result in Hell-fire there. Contrary to this the Holy Quran says about the inhabitants of the heaven thus:
On lined couches, Reclining therein - face to face. Sura al-Waaqi’ah: 15, 16
Those who have lived in their families amicably, doing good and pious deeds, will enjoy all the comforts in Heaven.
There hear they no vain speaking nor recrimination (Naught) but the saying: Peace (and again) Peace! Sura al-Waaqi’ah: 25, 26
The inhabitants of Heaven will neither talk evil, nor hear evil. They will only greet each other pleasantly. They will be grateful to each other, and each one will thank the other for getting them admitted to Heaven. This is the quality of the inhabitants of Heaven. If you want love and understanding to remain, then the husband must thank the wife, for example, for preparing tasty food, and then the wife smiles back saying that it was he who had brought such good grocery so that she could do justice to her culinary skills using them! If such an environment prevails in the house, where the spouses are thankful to each other, where love and understanding prevails, where each one is ready to admit his fault, where each one is willing to excuse the other, such people will ultimately find themselves in Heaven.
Spirit of Understanding at Home
Brothers and sisters! Your actions should be such that you earn the bounties of Heaven in the hereafter! Appreciate and praise each other at home. Own up to your faults. It is generally experienced that men tend not to accept their failings. I ardently appeal to them that if ever they are angry, although getting angry is forbidden, they should apologize to the subject of the anger once the anger subsides! Accepting ones fault is a sign of maturity. The home should be a place of learning for us. The home is like a wonderful book that gives instruction, particularly to women, in the art of living and ethics. If, unfortunately, a man commits a mistake, and stubbornly refuses to own up to it, the wife should discreetly try to mend the fences. She should not adopt an attitude of confrontation nor be proud (the attitude of 'why should I mend fences'). Anger and pride both belong in Hell! If you wish to make your home heavenly, try to create an amicable and happy atmosphere there. If one of the couple, man or wife, is ready to strike a compromise over any dispute, the atmosphere returns to normalcy. At times like these, instead of saying, 'it's your fault' say 'it's my fault'. If one person bears with a little patience the fight will dissolve. If you want the blessings of Heaven you have to have patience. Conflicts should not persist in homes, they should be gotten rid of immediately and should not last for even an hour. Man should uphold his dignity and the wife should be patient even if the husband, sometimes, is at fault! The Holy Quran says that such is a good wife!
So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. ... Sura al-Nisa: 34
There are two qualities of a good wife. One is that she is forbearing with her husband, even if he is wrong at times. The other quality is that she is chaste, whether she is alone or in company, whether her husband is present or is away. She is never without hijab even if she is in the presence of her husbands close relatives. She is never without hijab in front of namahram, even if he is only her husband’s brother. She is very careful about her hijab and gait when she goes out in public places. Whether at home or outside, she covers herself properly. In the eyes of the Holy Quran such is an ideal wife.
Here I would like to draw the attention of women to the first part of the verse that stresses the point that good wives are obedient. Whenever there is a difference of opinion with the husband, the wife should discreetly avoid confrontation. Differences are bound to take place. Neither the husband nor the wife wants strife in the house. But if some differences crop up, the Quran wants one of the spouses, especially the wife, to step down and be patient with her husband, keeping quiet so that the fire of dissension can die out. Pouring fuel on this fire in reality only increases the fire of the hereafter.
Allah exhorts in the Holy Quran that the believing people should fear the fire of Hell and save themselves and their families from the Hellfire. This fire will burn you and reduce you to ashes. The fuel of this fire will be humans and the stones! The people of faith should be scared of the inferno of Hell. The Holy Book warns that there should not be conflicts in the home. Such conflicts and differences will destroy your dignity and personality. God forbid that either the husband or wife should ever resort to physical violence. If they do, then their dignity and respect cannot remain intact. We pity the women who don't have love for their husbands. We pity the homes where there is no happiness. A woman with a dead heart cannot give a cheerful daughter or a prosperous son to the society! Similarly a morose man cannot be a useful member of the society nor can he earn a better hereafter for himself! As the saying goes, a severed hand might be of some use, but a broken heart is absolutely useless!
Imam Musa ibn Jafar (a.s.) says in one of the traditions:
Beware of restlessness and laziness as both these traits are impediments for your life in this world and in the Hereafter!
The Imam (a.s.) has asked people to be active and abstain from laziness. The women should actively perform the chores at home. The men should avoid laziness and keep themselves busy in performing their duties. One should not be unhappy, because an unhappy person will not find benefit either in this world or in the Hereafter. It is very well known that a woman with a dead heart can neither run her home nor can she take care of her husband and the children. Similarly a dead-hearted man will be nothing more than a drone for the society at large.
....and dispute no one with another lest ye falter and your strength departs from you.... Sura Anfaal: 46
We should not fight amongst ourselves, or else we will have to face defeat and disappointment. Differences lead to the ebbing of your ability to face difficulties. A Muslim commands respect and has a personality. If a large number of Muslims get united, they could make the whole world to spend sleepless nights. Then others would not be drawing up plans to make Muslims their servants. A person who has a foul tongue should not think that he is harming his wife in any manner by abusing her. In fact, he is harming himself; it is his tongue which is dirty. The first harm is that when he uses foul language, it destroys his own character. His dirty tongue stains his own character. Similarly, a wife who verbally abuses her spouse is harming herself rather than causing any insult to him. The biggest harm is that the husband stops loving her. The woman who doesn't have her husband's love and affection, and a man who has lost his character should seriously ponder over the verse of the Holy Quran quoted here. Dissensions and differences in a family are as bad for the inhabitants as being placed in the deepest pit of the Hell. Here there is no pit of Hell, so imagine yourself perched on a stone atop a tall mountain, with the valley below full of raging fire. Dissension is like the stone you are sitting on falling into the valley below. The Holy Quran says that one of the most valuable bounties of Allah is the instinct of love and affection. The Holy Book is doing a favor to us when it says:
And hold fast, all of you together, to the cable of Allah, and do not separate. And remember Allah's favor unto you: how ye were enemies and He made friendship between your hearts so that ye became as brothers by His grace; and (how) ye were upon the brink of an abyss of fire, and he did save you from it. Thus Allah maketh clear His revelations unto you, that haply ye may be guided. Sura Aale Imran: 103
At the outset, the Holy Quran says that Muslims should, together, firmly hold Allah's Rope and remain united. Be brothers to one other. Then it reminds us of the times when they had not embraced Islam and were inimical towards each other. What a great blessing Allah has bestowed on them that they are now united under one banner. The Muslims are also reminded of the time when they were at the brink of the fiery valley of Hell. Allah has saved them from that eventuality. Although this verse is addressing the early Muslims, it is relevant for all times. It is also relevant to our present discussion. The husband and wife who have love and affection for each other should be thankful to Allah. They must pray to Allah that the atmosphere of love remains forever in their homes. The husband should always be thankful to his wife and pray that the spring of love always flows in their house. The wife should appreciate his love and affection. Even if both of them thank Allah day and night, it will not be enough thanks for this blessing. Our discussion now proves that a woman who is shrewish by nature and an ill-tempered husband who persist with differences in their lives literally bring themselves to the brink of the fiery valley of the Hell. Now all that is required to land them in Hell is for them to topple over.
A person fell down from a height and died from the fall. An acquaintance of his saw him in a dream. The dead person told his friend, “Neither is there a Munkar nor any Nakeer nor any pressure (Fishaar) of the grave! I fell straight from the world into the center of the Hellfire!
Dear audience! Everything in this world is transient! Only two things will remain for ever. They are the spirit of service and forbearance! These are the traits that make a person radiant! Such persons will have radiant faces (like the full moon) when they are resurrected on the Day of Reckoning. Their faces will be so radiant that they will attract the attention of the others present in the Grounds of Reckoning!! The second thing that is permanent is the bounties of Heaven and the retributions of Hell! The world will cease to be.
Differences amongst us have got so deep rooted that the youth are worse than the aged, the educated are worse than the uneducated, the trader is worse than the laborer. We notice in our society that there are physicians who are highly respected for their practice, and who exhibit good ethics (akhlaq) in the society, but when we open the hearts of their wives we find a flowing river of blood on account of the doctor, inspite of his education. We find women who are forward thinking, highly respectable in the society, mix well with other women, but at home we examine the hearts of their husbands and find the poor man imprisoned by the witch that is his wife. It is true that the society is the mirror of the thoughts of its people. To illustrate my point, I shall mention here a very good example:
It is said that during a sermon the speaker asked, "Those men who are not happy with their wives may please stand up!" Except one person, the entire audience stood up. The speaker said, “I thank Allah that at least one person in this audience is happy with his wife!" That person, who was sitting, called out, “You are not correct! I am unable to stand up because my wife has broken one of my legs! I am unable to stand up!" Our societies are definitely such that it is difficult to find a man who is pleased with his wife and vice versa.
It is mentioned in the traditions that if differences spring up between two Muslims, or between husband and wife, it is imperative they should try to patch up the matters the very same day! The general practice is, that the younger of the two should apologise to the other. This may also mean that the wife should apologise, even if the husband was at fault. The traditions further say that if the matters are not sorted out the same day, then definitely a truce must be struck the very next day. If the younger party is still adamant, then the elder should go and apologise! Then no rancor should persist between the two, although both have done wrong by lashing each other verbally. Still they should let go of what happened and not harbor ill feeling towards each other. If the parties are unable to patch up on the second day, it is obligatory that they come to terms on the third day. The late Kulaini has recorded more than ten traditions on the subject. Allama Majlisi has narrated more than thirty traditions pertaining to this subject. The Imams (a.s.) have said that if the parties don't make a truce even after three days, they will not remain Muslims! Even if we don't have any care for our children and the world, we must, at least care for the commandments of the Imams (a.s.) in the matter i.e. we must care for Islam. Differences should be nipped in the bud. Why are there so many differences between us? If a husband is faced with economic difficulties in his work what fault is it of his wife that he should take it out on his hapless wife. Similarly, if the husband is not measuring up to the expectations of the wife, despite his best of efforts, she should not nag him for his failings. Place yourself in his shoes and judge whether you can afford that expensive necklace or dress. If you cannot afford it, why do you fight with him, abuse him and wail about it. In the name of Allah, when you decide on the dowry for the daughter, consult each other and come to an understanding. Think how you can lighten the burden instead of abusing each other. If you claim the dowry forcefully, the marriage can never prosper.