Spouses' mutual rights

Q 4: What are a wife's rights over her husband and a husband's rights (Part No. 19; Page No. 213) over his wife?

A: The basic rule regarding the mutual rights and duties between spouses is the statement of Allah (Exalted be He): And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) according to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Wise. The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said, "Treat women kindly; they are like captives in your hands. You do not owe anything else from them. In case they are guilty of open indecency, then do not share their beds and beat them lightly but if they return to obedience, do not have recourse to anything else against them. Indeed, you have rights on your wives and they have their rights on you. As for your right on them, it is that they shall not permit anyone you dislike to sit or enter your home, and their right on you is that you should treat them kindly in relation to their clothing and feeding." (Al-Tirmidhi said the Hadith is Hasan [good] and Sahih [authentic]) The same Hadith was related by Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud. (Part No. 19; Page No. 214) Moreover, it is related on the authority of Mu`awiyah ibn Haydah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said, "I asked, 'O Messenger of Allah! What is the right of our wife on us?' He replied, 'That you should give her food when you eat, clothe her when you clothe yourself, not strike her on the face, not revile her or forsake her, except in the house.'" (Related by Abu Dawud as Hasan) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, his family, and Companions.