Chaplain Yasir Qadhi recently delivered a khutbah in which he discussed marriage and the responsibilities of the husband and wife. Surprisingly, Chaplain Qadhi broke stride with the majority of neo-Islamic Imams by reminding women of their responsibilities in a marriage. We summarize important part of the khutbah below and bring up some relevant questions.

Chaplain Qadhi started off by quoting several beautiful verses of the Qur’an to remind us how having mates is one of His signs for He could just as easily have created us akin to amoebas in mode of reproduction.

Chaplain Qadhi then quoted the hadeeth:

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، قَالَ: «إِنَّمَا الدُّنْيَا مَتَاعٌ، وَلَيْسَ مِنْ مَتَاعِ الدُّنْيَا شَيْءٌ أَفْضَلَ مِنَ الْمَرْأَةِ الصَّالِحَةِ

(سنن إبن ماجه رقم الحديث 1855)

Chaplain Qadhi translated the hadeeth as follows: “This whole world is nothing but pleasure and amusement and in this whole world the best mataa’ is a righteous spouse.

There was a subtle appeal to western equality of men and women in his translation because the actual translation of the last two words is “righteous wife” not “righteous spouse”. There is a significant difference in meaning and implication.

Then Chaplain Qadhi quoted and explained the linguistic precision and deep meaning of the beautiful ayah #21 from Soorah as-Rum {And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect}.

Chaplain Qadhi then stated Islam has given men “one degree” over and above their wives. Then he sought to minimize it by saying “just one degree, that’s it” and gesticulating with his fingers an infinitesimal amount. At this juncture we must pose the question: When you say “just one degree” how do we know how large that degree is in the sight of Allah? We cannot minimize this as “just” one degree. Perhaps that one degree is as vast as the heavens and the Earth. We do not know. Chaplain Qadhi then sought to minimize this degree that men have over women by making a conditional statement as follows: “if there is to be a superiority men have just a slight bit more privilege than women”. We are behind you Chaplain Qadhi. Do not feel shy to beat your chest and say men have a privilege over women and a degree over women the vastness of which is known only to Allah but a degree above nonetheless. Do not feel like you are brow beaten into minimizing it by the abhorrent feminists.

Chaplain Qadhi then switched gears and to our delight stated “the man is the one who needs to be respected”. He preached that every man craves to be respected and that if respected he will return the respect with ultimate love and protection which is what the woman seeks. This was a bold and commendable point made by Chaplain Qadhi in today’s world of political correctness. Chaplain Qadhi went on to explain. If you respect men, they will become men for you. Part of that respect is the wife giving the husband his rights of intimacy. Turning down the husband when he wants sex is the height of disrespect stated Chaplain Qadhi. If the woman gives intimacy to the husband then he will overlook almost every fault of the wife. 95% of marital problems from the man’s perspective stems from the woman denying sexual intimacy stated Chaplain Qadhi. He went on to quote the two famous hadeeths of the “angels’ curse” and “prostration to husband if it were permitted”. The ultimate responsibility that a wife has is to respect her husband and not belittle him. Chaplain Qadhi recommended a book called ‘The Submissive Wife’. He did not mention the author and we found several books with that title. He might have meant ‘The Surrendered Wife’ by former self-confessed feminist shrew Laura Doyle who found happiness and joy in life when she defected from the religion of feminism and embraced her natural instincts of submissiveness.

Chaplain Qadhi then addressed men and asked them “if you don’t treat your wife with love, tenderness, and compassion how do you expect her to treat you with respect?” which to us sounded like the saying in discrete mathematics “to understand recursion you must understand recursion”. Before we fall into a dizzying infinite loop of who’s responsible for marital happiness we suggest that the women who are far deviated in today’s world from the natural instincts of submissiveness ought to start respecting men. Then the men will start loving them.

Then he told men “from your perspective the woman is not going to be straight”. We must disagree with the chaplain here. This is not men’s perspective. This was spoken by our Prophet (S) himself. So to be more precise the wording should have been “from every perspective the woman is not going to be straight”. He then exhorted men to overlook women’s faults and to be good to women as taught to us by our Messenger (S).

Chaplain Qadhi then addressed spousal abuse and domestic violence. He mentioned how the Prophet (S) allowed disciplining of wives at Umar’s (RA) request because the women had gotten bold. The Prophet (S) then stated in a khutbah that 50 women had come to him the next day complaining of being beaten and that the Prophet (S) stated to the gathered companions that these men were not the best of them and that he discouraged them from being physical with their wives. We say, notice this extremely important word “discouraged”. Not “forbade”, not “sinful”, not any of the words Muslim feminists use.

Chaplain Qadhi then switched on the feminist gears and said “Oh men, any man who beats his wife is not a man!” Right, so at this juncture we ask Chaplain Qadhi: what do you call the sahabi by the name of Abdur Rahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi (RA) who beat his wife until she had green bruises? Before you answer, kindly remember the judge in the case, narrated in Bukhari, was the Prophet (S) himself. Was Abdur Rahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi (RA) not a man? Were the 50 companions about whom complaints were received not men?

Chaplain Qadhi then addresses women: “If your husband is being physically abusive then get help from those who will help you. From extended family and friends. From society. From the people in the masjid”. Initially Chaplain Qadhi seemed to indicate that this advice applied to any woman being beaten but then seemed to indicate that it applies to those whose lives are being threatened. The demarcation is of critical practical importance and we hope the chaplain clarifies. Also, he needs to clarify what he means by “from society”. Does that include kuffaar sources such as policemen and kuffaar judges? Chaplain Qadhi needs to be extremely careful here in his clarification because women are emotional creatures and they’ll hop on to his words and call cops on their husbands even if their husbands are in the right such as when Abdur Rahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi (RA) was in the right when he beat his wife green with bruises. Chaplain Qadhi must be extremely careful here in his clarification because he may unleash social unrest amongst Muslims if he encourages rebellion of wives. The rebellion of the 50 wives was quickly quelled by the Prophet (S) when he indirectly criticized the 50 companions who beat their wives but of critical importance to note is that the Prophet (S) did not punish those 50 husbands nor did he say that they were not real men nor did he imprison them nor did he prosecute them nor did he turn them over to disbelieving authorities. Chaplain Qadhi therefore without mincing words must clearly address this issue so as not to foment an open rebellion by Muslim wives.

Chaplain Qadhi then stated that the Prophet (S) never raised his hand except fee sabeelillah. We say this is not entirely accurate. When Ayesha (RA) followed the Prophet (S) one night to Baqee’, upon his return he pushed her on the chest with his palm and Ayesha (RA) stated that the action caused her pain. So there is scope for pushing a wife on the chest with the open palm according to the Sunnah if she needs to be disciplined. Furthermore, Chaplain Qadhi did not address how two companions who were promised paradise, namely Umar (RA) and Abu Bakr (RA) hit women (their daughters) and they are also our role models to follow. In the incident of the lost necklace of Ayesha (RA), Abu Bakr (RA) was angered by her and he proceeded to hit her on the flanks till she experienced pain, as reported in Sahih Muslim. If Abu Bakr (RA) and Umar (RA) are our role models as we sunnis believe then how do we understand these examples of the sahabah?

Chaplain Qadhi then poses an intelligent question for men to ponder: “do you think being physical with them (i.e. hiting them) will bring about the respect you want?”. We agree. Gentleness is the best way to go and closer to piety. Question arises: can we ostracize brothers who resort to beating because they have precedence in the sahabah including elite sahabah?

Chaplain Qadhi then stated some truisms and axioms about marriage such as “to have marital problems is a part and parcel of being human. The goal is that there are more ups than downs. The successful marriage is the one in which there are more goods than bads not that there are no bads. Don’t just concentrate on the negatives.” He then proceeded to mention how to resolve marital disputes through arbitrators. Chaplain Qadhi then makes an important point by quoting an ayah that divorce should not be bitter or dirty and that it should be honourable and that a woman should be given a gift upon divorce. He did not address how women in the west take 50% of a man’s wealth and whether this is halaal or not. He then discusses the mechanism for divorce and the wisdom of the Sharee’ah in it.

Overall the khutbah was a refreshing departure from the standard fare we have become used to in the past decade where neo-Islamic Imams blame men for everything and put women on pedestals. The domestic violence portion was rather one-sided and not a complete treatment of the issue. There were a few important questions that were left unanswered, perhaps due to time constraints, and we hope he shall address them forthwith. We have mentioned those questions above.

The video of his khutbah may be viewed below:

Domestic Violence: Yasir Qadhi Responds
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