"and We have created you in pairs"
Al Qur'an 78:8
Your Questions - March, 2016

I am house wife with four kids. My Husband is fond of his fellow female colleagues. He spends most of his time chatting with them or doing things out of the way. My Husband and kids had always been centre of my attention. I have tried many ways to be his friend and build up communication. I feel extreme loneliness. If my parents would have been alive I would have divorced this man. 

A Wife's Concern about her husband being liberal with Non-Mahram Females

Answered by: Shk Zafar ul Hasan
Translated by: Nisaar Nadiadwala

Alhamdulillah Wassalatu Wassalam Ala Rasulillah!

If a Muslim is a Mo'min (a true Believer), then it is essential for him to observe the Islamic etiquette, and he should not be careless about it even minutely. It is one of the conditions of Imaan that a person should consider any evil as evil and goodness as good. There is a hadith narrated by Abu Umama and other Sahaba including Umar bin Al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him), which goes like this: 

The people asked the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), "O Messenger of Allah! How do we know if Faith has entered our hearts or not?" He replied, "I will give you a parameter to check your own Imaan. When obeying Allah and His Messenger establishes joy in your heart, and your heart feels a strong dislike towards evil, understand that you are a believer".

This is the same parameter that Allah has mentioned in Surah al Hujarat, ch 49, verse 7: "Allah has endeared the Faith to you and He has made it beautiful in your hearts and He has made hateful to you, disbelief, wickedness and rebellion. Such are they who are rightly guided".

We have to check if our hearts have achieved that Faith which Allah expects. Allah has generated Faith and love towards good acts in your hearts, and besides this, He has instilled hatred towards kufr, shirk, big as well as small sins in your hearts. There are three categories of sins: 
1. Sins which make a person a disbeliever (kafir) or a pagan (mushrik) 
2. Big (kabair) sins that make him a candidate of Allah's wrath as well as His curse.
3. Minor sins 

Consider the above verse again, where Allah affirms establishing love towards Faith and good deeds, and hatred towards all the three categories of sins- kufr, shirk as well as major and minor sins. Such are the people who are guided. A Muslim who recites 'Ihdinassiratal Mustaqeem' scores of times every day, asking to be guided, should check if he has received guidance or not, by applying this verse upon himself. Besides liking good deeds, one should hate all types of sins as well. We all should use this verse as a parameter to check our own Faith. 

In order to prevent disturbances in our personal and social lives due to immodesty, Islam has set up certain rules with regards to observing Hijab, in Surah Nur, ch 24, verse 30 & 31: "Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their modesty. That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their modesty and not to display their beauty and ornaments, except what appears thereof. And to draw their veils all over their bosoms and not to display their beauty except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husbands' fathers, or their sons, or their husbands' sons, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack sexual desire, or little children who are unaware of sex. And that they should not stamp their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may attain salvation."

Islam has forbidden a man to stare at a non-mahram woman and a woman to stare at a non-mahram man. Therefore, if a person controls his gaze, he can save himself from forbidden acts. Only after saving himself from forbidden acts, will his heart get purified. Thus, once, the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) detailed a very strange virtue: The smoke of hellfire has been forbidden upon three types of eyes:
1. Those eyes which drop tears out of the fear of Allah.  
2. Those eyes which remain open in a battle to keep a watch over the enemies (even if tired).
3. Those eyes which lower their gaze upon seeing any forbidden thing (to divert your looks the moment any non-mahram or any forbidden act comes before you).

Now, after listening to the virtues of modesty, it is essential for men and women both, that they lower their gaze in the presence of non-mahrams. 

Allah has commanded men to avoid visiting places which are occupied by women, otherwise Satan might play some tricks on them. A similar command is also to be considered. All the wives of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) are the most honoured women of the Ummah. They are titled 'Umm'hatul Mo'mineen' - 'The Mothers of the Believers'. In spite of being titled as Mothers of the Believers, Allah commands them in Surah al Ahzab to remain at home and avoid attending gatherings of men. Even the Sahaba were commanded that in case there is an extreme need to communicate with them, they should be spoken from behind a veil. Further, Allah commands the wives of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that even if they have to speak to men, they should not only speak from behind the veil but also not speak softly, so that if there is a disease in someone's heart, he doesn't get allured by their voices. Thus, we come to realise that women with attractive voices should also be avoided. If it was forbidden upon the Sahaba as well as the wives of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), then it can be concluded that it is applicable in today's time as well. 

Now after knowing this, some men or women may consider this law to be difficult in implementing because in our times, women are everywhere, from working in offices, to sitting next to men in planes or buses while traveling. This is a situation of helplessness. Islam has forbidden sitting with non-mahram women, as the text of a famous hadith from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) goes: When a man is with a woman in seclusion, the third in between them is shaytan, who incites and tempts both. Thus, a mutual relation develops first with the meeting of the eyes, followed by a smile and then a conversation initiates, leading to a personal rapport. 

The situation in our society is such that while the husband sleeps, his wife checks his mobile and discovers his intermingling with the opposite sex, thus giving rise to family crises. Until before that, the house was peaceful, but one obscene message seen by the wife initiates a rift from the next morning itself. So now, since it has become a norm of the society where men and women work on the same table, you are allowed to converse only about those things which are essential and should avoid any kind of emotional bond. If you go beyond this, you will be considered a sinner and the fitnah will reach your house.

Let me clarify the matter with a Hadith which states that a wife at home may be more loving and affectionate than the woman working with you in your office, yet Shaytan tempts you to find the other woman more attractive, thus trapping you to fall into haram. It results in the emotional division of the house through suspicions, quarrels and domestic violence. Interacting with a woman who is not observing hijab for eight hours a day in the office, and then giving her priority over your wife, and then roaming with her will reduce your interest in your wife at home, because your entire attention and focus has been snatched away by the other woman. Insha Allah, after reading  the following Hadith and its explanations, we should have the fear of Allah in our hearts: 

During the night journey of Mee'raj, I was taken to a place where I saw women who were tied by their chest and hung. The angels were hitting them from below and they were screaming out of pain. We proceeded further and I saw some men who were also being severely punished. I saw them terribly hungry while the angels were punishing them as severely as they could. I saw very tasty meat kept on one side which smelled very good. Next to it was stale and foul smelling meat, whose sight itself was irritating. Those men and women who were punished wanted to eat the stale meat leaving aside the well-cooked ones just next to it. In spite of being in severe hunger, they preferred dirty meal over a delicious one. I asked Jibraeel the reason for such punishment. He said, "Those are the women of your Ummah who beautified themselves to appear attractive before men, tempted them and used to have fun with them. Now as for these men, they preferred having fun with immoral women over their wives, who were loyal to them and looked after their homes and children. They were gifted with immense blessings in their wives, but these unfortunate husbands disregarded them and chose infidelity over halal relations". 

That is why, men should be careful while working with women and communicate only necessary things, whereas talking, joking and taking liberty with them is forbidden in Islam. I appeal to such men not to uproot the happiness of their families with their own hands. 

Let me present one more hadith with its explanation: A woman passed by the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) while he was sitting along with his companions and the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) saw her. He immediately got up, went to his house and fulfilled his sexual desire with his wife. Then he took a bath, returned back and joined the gathering. The companions noted that there was water dripping from his hair. So they asked him the reason. He replied, "A woman passed from here and I got tempted, so I went home and fulfilled my desire with my wife. Therefore, let me guide you. If anyone of you gets tempted towards a woman who is not his wife, he should go to his wife, because Allah has given everything to her that you need. 

This infidelity is turning into an epidemic, with many women complaining that their husbands remain out for the whole night, depriving them their due rights. What a pity on the children when they crave for their fathers, and what a pity upon those mothers whose children see them craving for their fathers. What a negative impact it can have upon those innocent children who discover that their father had been involved in immorality. Thus, homely tribulations cause widespread fitnah in the entire society. I caution men to fear Allah and not to destroy happiness in their homes; rather, focus on the upbringing of their children. If you fall into these fitnah of immorality, you will fail to upbring your children in a virtuous manner. 

The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) advised: Return home once your work is finished. Once, he was walking and a companion passed by. The companion wanted to greet him but the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) greeted him first. He felt bad for missing out a virtuous act. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) noted his concern, so he stopped and gave him attention. He asked, "O Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)! How can a believer achieve salvation?" He replied, "Three things that will save him from the punishment of the grave, punishment of hellfire, as well as the hardships of life. 
1. Protect your tongue. Speak only that which is allowed to speak. (This includes intermingling freely with non-mahrams).
2. Recall your sins and weep over them.
3. Consider your home to be enough (stay there if there is no work outside)."

Note, that the questioner was a high-graded companion and a devout Muslim, did Hijrah, and did a lot of charity as well. Therefore, it is essential to be at home instead of wandering into parties after office hours, and thus, making them parallel offices. Let our men fear Allah and give due rights to their wives and children. A man will be questioned on the day of Qiyamah if his wives and children got spoiled, says a Sahih Hadith of Bukhari.

May Allah protect us all. Ameen!

And Allaah knows best.