Don’t Hurt the Feelings of Others

There is a narration of Aisha reported by Ibn Majah as well as Al-Hakim and an Imam Ahmed. She says that:

There was a woman by the name of Khawlah bint Tha’labah who was married to a certain man, and they had some children. She was married for quite a while and she became old and gained a little bit of weight, perhaps no longer looking as young and pretty as she was the day she was married. And the husband refused to fulfill her conjugal rights and he says, “You’re just like my mother!”

You know, it sounds like a light statement, but in the eyes of Allah, it is a dangerous detrimental statement; it can actually destroy a marriage, and it can destroy a person’s link with Allah.

Do not hurt the feelings of the vulnerable who live with you, those who are weak, those whom perhaps are under your authority, those whom you are supposed to be looking after and you are silently harassing them, you are troubling them, you are uttering words to them that are hurtful… You don’t know Allah is watching, Allah hears everything…

So the lady comes to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and says:

“O messenger of Allah! This is what my husband said, I spent time with him, I sacrificed… Now no fulfillment of my conjugal rights, and he’s saying, ‘no you’re just like my mother. You can stay here and that’s it, I won’t touch you as such.”

So, Allah obviously revealed verses, but the Prophet heard the complaint and he wanted to give her some advice and tried his best to gain a little bit of time in order to try and explain to her how exactly she should continue with the relationship and so on.

But Allah revealed the opening verses of chapter Al-Mujadilah (the woman who came to you presenting her argument)

What was the argument?

We’ve just heard about you to say what should I do? Am I married or am I not married? He’s just keeping me dangling, and he’s uttered the statement here, he doesn’t want to fulfill my right… I haven’t done anything wrong.”

So, Allah says:

Allah has heard the statement of the one who has come to you to present her argument complaining to Allah and Allah has heard the discussion between the two of you and indeed Allah is All-Hearing and wise. (Quran 58:1)

Aisha said:

I could not hear what she said, but later on we found out what happened.

Because Allah revealed so many verses explaining that if a person utters this type of statement, they must pay a penalty and that penalty is very severe: They should fast for sixty consecutive days unless they free the slave or unless they have engaged in certain acts of worship in order to earn the forgiveness of Allah.

Because that is not just the oppression of an individual, but it is usurping the rights of that individual and it is transgressing against the command of Allah.

For you to look after those who are under your authority starting with your own spouses and your children.

May Allah make us the best of husbands and may He make us the best of wives.

The video.

About Dr. Mufti Menk
Dr. Mufti Ismail Menk is a leading global Islamic scholar born and raised in Zimbabwe. He studied Shariah in Madinah and holds a Doctorate of Social Guidance from Aldersgate University. Mufti Menk’s work has gained worldwide recognition and he has been named one of “The Top 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World” since 2010.