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How to be a successful wife?

By: Abdul Adheem al-Muhtadi al-Bahrani
Question: I want to be a successful wife. With what would you advise me to achieve my goal? Of course, this is the feeling of all married women. I hope they will benefit from your apposite advices.
The answer: Thank you for your noble feelings, and as for the answer: First, assign an hour of your time every day to review and ponder over your qualities. Get rid of your bad qualities and strengthen the good ones. You should, first and foremost, get rid of the ones that invite you towards disobedience and sin because these will destroy your happiness and throw your life into torment.
Second, assign some hours for worship! In order to make your worship fruitful, recite the Holy Qur’an meditatively and read some good Islamic books, especially those that concern your life directly.
Third, for the sake of the goal to which you aspire, you should observe the following values:
1. mutual understanding and using nice words and fine comments when talking with your husband
2. pardoning and overlooking trivial things
3. not following the husband and watching his goings and comings
4. caring for the cleanliness of the house and clothes and putting everything in its place especially that which belongs to the husband
5. using good perfumes and wearing nice clothes
6. showing love for him and for the life with him and for everything he likes if it pleases Allah
7. asking him about his worries and griefs and asking him to uncover to you whatever is in his heart if he wants to reveal it but without insisting on it or being angry if he refuses to reveal his secrets
8. being kind and humble in treating his relatives
9. relying on Allah in any case and not being angry or upset when facing difficulties
You should always remember that practicing these values will bear fruit if you behave naturally without pretence, though artificiality of manner is the beginning of learning.

After a reversal of fortune, my husband became a bitter and difficult man and it is harming our whole family; what can we do?
Question: My husband was a rich man, but later on his wealth was lost in a terrible economical crisis. After that his morals, mentality, and conducts changed. His face became angry, and his tongue uttered bad words. He threatened anyone and anything at any excitement. Our house became like hell, and our relatives and people decreased their visits to us and some of them stopped visiting us at all. I cannot help him except through speech, which does not change or reform him. Please, what would you advise me to do in order to save him and my children from the effects of this crisis?
The answer: In order to recover, your husband has to:
1. believe in asceticism and subject himself to it. It has been mentioned in a tradition that “he, who renounces the worldly pleasures, makes little of misfortunes”. Imam Ali (a.s.) has said, ‘All asceticism is between two words in the Qur'an. Allah has said, (So that you may not grieve for what has escaped you, nor be exultant at what He has given you)[163].
He who does not grieve for the past nor becomes glad at the future practices asceticism from its two sides.’
2. strengthen his belief in the will and fate of Allah. Imam as-Sajjad (a.s.) is reported to have said, ‘O my Lord… delight my soul through Thy decree, expand my breast through the instances of Thy wisdom, give to me a trust through which I admit that Thy decree runs only to the best…’.
3. ponder over the dimensions of this tradition narrated by Imam al-Baqir (a.s.), ‘whoever keeps people safe from his anger Allah will keep him safe from the torment of the Day of Resurrection.[164]’ He who ponders on this tradition will not throw himself into the torment of the afterlife after getting out of the torment of this life in order to not lose both.
4. know that the Giver is Allah and the Withholder is Allah too and know that a part of material losses belongs to man himself. Many times the losses come after having disobeyed Allah by lying, cheating, doing wrong, wasting, excessive misspending, and abstaining from giving the deserving people their legal dues. I do not ascribe these qualities to your husband, but I invite him to review the reasons of which he is aware and then try to reform himself first. If he truly reforms himself, Allah will grant him great livelihood again and abundantly.
Imam Zayn al-Abidin (as-Sajjad) (a.s.) said, ‘good saying increases one’s wealth, grows livelihood, delays death, makes one beloved to relatives, and enters him into Paradise.[165]’
6. convince himself that losing wealth is much easier than losing one’s children or family and the loss of wealth is easier than the loss of health. Nothing is more precious than good morals and comfortable nerves, by which wealth and glory can be regained.
I pray to Allah to grant us a happy life with lawful wealth, even if it is little, and to keep us away from unlawful wealth, even if it is a lot, because it increases grief and distress and does away with the sweetness of living with loved ones and close relatives.
[163] Holy Qur’an, 57:23.
[164] Usul al-Kafi, vol.2 p.305.
[165] Al-Amali by as-Sadooq, the first tradition.

My husband hates me because he wants male children from me, but Allah gives me females. What is my guilt in this? Why are men so severe?
Question: My husband hates me because he wants male children from me, but Allah gives me females. What is my guilt in this? Why are men so severe? I hope that you do not misunderstand me. I want to express my suffering and show the ignorance of some husbands who ignore the wisdom of Allah in His people. I offer my question so that you may show my husband and those like him the viewpoint of Islam in this concern. Thanks a lot.
The answer: Dear patient sister, I appreciate your feelings and I do not misunderstand you. In fact, I agree with you on what you say. Men are severe, but just some of them or maybe most of them. As for your husband and his like, they are unaware of the following points:
1. A husband should be happy with what Allah, Who knows the benefit of man, gives him. Let him read, for example, this saying of the Prophet (S), ‘There is no house having girls in it except twelve blessings and mercies come down to it from Heaven every day. The visit of the angels to that house does not stop. They (the angels) write to the girls’ father every day and night (the reward of) worships of a year.[188]’
2. Doctors have proved that the semen of man determines the gender of the fetus, and the wife has nothing to do in this concern. She is just like a vessel, and the husband has to thank her because she protects his deposit in her vessel until she lays down this heavy burden. She suffers much pain and difficulties throughout the period of pregnancy.
Allah says in the Qur'an, (And We have enjoined on man doing of good to his parents; with trouble did his mother bear him and with trouble did she bring him forth; and the bearing of him and the weaning of him was thirty months; until when he attains his maturity and reaches forty years, he says: My Lord! grant me that I may give thanks for Thy favor which Thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do good which pleases Thee and do good to me in respect of my offspring; surely I turn to Thee, and surely I am of those who submit)[189]. Thus, Allah appreciates the efforts of a woman; then why should the husband not appreciate them if he believes in Allah?
3. The roots of hating female children stem from the pre-Islamic era. A Muslim husband should protect himself from falling into the abyss of that age of ignorance.
4. The Creator is Allah the Almighty and the husband should feel ashamed of himself if his ignorance leads him to oppose his Creator.
5. The vigor and vitality of the wife bring happiness to the marital life and make the husband recover his senses. A nice story in this concern has been mentioned by al-Jahidh in his book al-Bayan (p.186). He says,
‘Once, Abu Hamza ad-Dhabbiy left the tent of his wife and went to live with one of his neighbors when his wife gave birth to a girl. One day, he passed by his wife’s tent while she was playing with her daughter and singing,
“what is the matter with Abu Hamza,
that he does not come to us?
He stays in the house next to us,
angry that we don’t give birth to boys.
By Allah, it is not in our hands.
We just take what we are given.
And we are like the farm to the farmers,
we grow what they have sowed in us!”
Then Abu Hamza came into his wife’s tent and kissed his daughter’s head and her mother.’
6. Nevertheless, to be given a male child, there are some scientific and religious ways and others of the unseen, which a man can follow without harming his poor wife.
It is reported that Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) has said, ‘Whoever wants a male child to be born, let him place his right hand on his wife’s navel on the right side (when making love), recite the Sura of al-Qadr (97) seven times, and then make love, and every day in the morning and evening he should recite (subhanallah: glory be to Allah) seventy times, (astaghfirullah: I ask Allah to forgive me) ten times, (subhanallah al-adheem: glory be to Allah the Great) nine times, and the tenth time he should say: (astaghfirullaha innallaha kaana ghaffara yursilis samaa’a ‘alaykum midrara wa yumdidkum bi ‘amwaalin wa baneena wa yaj’al lakum jannaatin wa yaj’al lakum anhaara: I ask Allah to forgive me because Allah (is the most Forgiving. He will send down upon you the cloud, pouring down abundance of rain, and help you with wealth and sons, and make for you gardens, and make for you rivers)[190]
[188] Jami’ al-Akhbar, p.285.
[189] Holy Qur’an, 46:15.
[190] Holy Qur’an, 71:10-12.

My husband was handicapped after a traffic accident. How can I continue living with him until the last of my life while I am still young?
Question: My husband was handicapped after a traffic accident. How can I continue living with him until the last of my life while I am still young?
The answer: If the love between you is true, the matter is easy, but if the love is weak or you think selfishly, the matter is difficult.
Dear sister, I hope you accept reality because faithfulness and patience are much higher values than personal ambition, except if the husband does not appreciate this faithfulness and you cannot be patient with him. In this case, you would be better off to ask him for a divorce, and if he does not divorce you, then you can go to the legal judge (the religious authority) to determine your situation.
The basis of a happy life is love and devotion. Try to live with this valuable reminder, which if lost for some reason or other, there will be no reason to make you continue your life with your husband except if you have a greater power of patience, sacrifice, and altruism and if you want the reward of the afterlife.
In general, you should deal with your problem wisely and prefer what is more important to any important thing. I pray to Allah for you.

How to deal with a spouse who has moral or psychological defects and is not willing or able to reform?
Question: My question does not concern me. It is about how to deal with a husband or a wife who has qualities of nervousness, stupidity, ignorance, indifference, obscenity, or haughtiness but insists on adhering to these qualities and does not accept advices or think of reform.
The answer: I advise the people, who are afflicted with such spouses, to regard what they consider to be important things in the light of their benefits. Sometimes patience and silence are preferred because they are the best ways to defeat the problems that lie in the way of success as mentioned in one of the traditions “He is happy whose tongue is silent and whose speech is little but meaningful”, whereas at other times divorce and separation must be preferred

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