By: Afwah Mumtazah
To realize the happy family based on Islamic guidance is not such an easy thing. There are a long process to realize it, namely a process that should be built together with the real consideration and strong willingness from the both parties, husband and wife. For the young couple who want to get married, they should be encouraged to know the concept of sakinah family, in order their marriage will be eternal. Te understanding of the mu’asyarah bi al-ma’ruf and mitsaqan ghalizha discourse become the basic requirements to realize the sakinah, mawaddah wa rahmah (tranquil, love, and compassionate) family.
The marriage that are founded through the mitsaqan ghalizha commitment can prevent them from the fragile marriage, not vulnerable to divorce (separate), because it had been internalized that there is commitment to tie up themseleves with their couple in a sturdy agreement in the marriage dipper.
وَأَخَذْنَ مِنكُم مِّيثَٰقًاغَلِيظًا
And they (your wives) had taken from you the sturdy agreement. (Q.S an-Nisa :21)
Mitsaqan comes from the word watsaqa, and this word produce some words such as al-tsiqah, al-watasqah, al-watsaq, and al-tautsiq. Al-mitsaq is interpreted as the agreement between to parties based on trustworthy. Muhammad Syahrur said that al-mitsaq al-ghalizh which had been by the two parties is the promise to Allah that should be implemented in the marriage life, because of al-mitsaq were formed from several elements such as the agreement for cooperation between to parties to be honest one another, to promise for not committing to do evil, to take care om themselves. Their property and to educate well their children together, to take care of the privacy of the both parties, by not spreading it o other people and to become patience for one another in the the open and narrow situation, in the healhty and illness (Marwah :Jurnal Perempuan dan Gender, 2017).
Mu’asyarah bil ma’ruf is one of the form of marriage commitment that produce the conseqence of the coming up rights and responsibility between husband and wife. This rights and responsibility should be based on some principles such as sameneess, equality and justice among the both parties. This is said in the Quran:
وَلَهُنَّ مِثۡلُ ٱلَّذِى عَلَيۡهِنَّ بِٱلۡمَعۡرُوفِ وَلِلرِّجَالِ عَلَيۡهِنَّ دَرَجَةٌ وَٱللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
Means: “And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable. But the men have a degree over them [in responsibility and authority]. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise”
Referring to the words of Wahbah al-Zuhaili that woman has the rights over man as well as the man has the rights over woman. Every right will deliver an obligation (responsibily) and vice versa. The share of the rights and responsibilites were based on ‘urf (tradition) and fitrah (neture). The rights and responsibilities ar located in the economic and non economic area.
“Wa lahunna mitslu alladzii ‘alaihinna bi al-maruuf”
Means: “And due to the women has the rights which is similar with its obligation according according to what is reasonable.”
“Alaa tuhsinuu ilaihinna haqqahunna ‘alaikum wa fa tha’aamihinna wa kiswatihinna bi al-ma’ruuf (HR. Turmudzi)
Means: “Pay attention (ye the husbands) to their rights (the wives), namely their clothes and food appropriately” (HR. Turmudzi)
The such Quranic and hadith verses as mentioned above is a guarantee for women protections as encouraged by Allah. This order also exlicitly a prohibition for the wive to work in double-burden situation and also a call for humanizing women. In another words, mu’asyarah bi al-ma’ruf is a good relationship between husband and wife that necessitates reciprocally actions or attitude. This situation can’t be realized if there is no trust no the both parties.
Historically, the coming of Islami brought the big changes for the human life. From nobody to become recognized human being, respected as importanr person and also involved in the social life. Their rights are fulfilled and they participated to play the roles which are not unimportan again. This was said by Umar ibn al-Khatthab in his statement:
Means: Umar ra said, “Last time during the Jahiliyah (ignorance) era did not consider the existence of women at all. When Islam came, Allah recognized their existence and since that women had the rights on ourselves.” (HR Bukhari 5473)
Related to the Prophet’s example in making relationship to his wives with the ma’ruf (appropriate) situation was stated bu the Prophet in thefollowing hadith.
From Aisha ra., she said: Rasulullah PBUH said, “The best of you is the best among you in treating their family. And I am the best among you in treating well my family (HR. At-Turmudzi)
There are also several hadiths that recorded the life of of Prophet Muhammad PBUH in his family (house hold):
- Deliberating in Any Occasions
Prophet Muhammad is a profile of a husband who empowered his wife. Aisha become the foremost women in the knowledge, leadership, and figure of the narrator of hadith that were included the narrators of the most hadiths. She has the strong memory, she was able to tell the moments of the Prophet’s life from Mecca to Medina well. The evidence that Aisha has the strong memory, her knowledge was undoubtful, and her understanding of the Quran, Hadith and Fiqh analysis was very deep and critical.
Hafsah is the daughter of Umar ib al-Khatthab that was promoted by the prophet as the Women’s Literacy Ambassador in the early era of Prophet’s women companions. When the first time Prophet Muhammad had the policy that the prisoner of war did not be redeemed with the treasure, but by teaching the companions in reading and writing, the Prophet appointed Hafsah as the first women to be taught for reading and writing.
Ummu Salamah involved in deliberating and advising the Prophet related to the companions who did not implement soon Prophet’s order after Hudaibiyah Agreement. Ummu Salamah gave her opinions that the Prophet ordered to the companions not by speech but directly to act by himslef as an example (role model) by not saying anything. Based on the advice of Ummu Salamah, the Prophet’s actions than were followed by the companions directly. Previously, the Prophet had ordered in three times put it was not considered by the companions.
In the Kitab or book Fathul Bari, it was told as narrated by Imam Bukhari that there was a woman who proposed to the Prophet that women of Anshor can be included in the ta’lim (teaching forum) and religious studies, as the male companions. And the women who proposed was Ummu Sulaim.
The empowerment in the knowledge and discources area, impacted to the wives of th Prophet so they dare to question and protest, so there were some discussions in the Prophet’s marriage life.
- To Cooperate Together in Doing the Domestic Works
The Prophet’s attitude and behavior are the guidance for his followers, including in the marriage life. There are so many hadiths that narrated Prophet’s attitude (mu’asyarah) to his wives which were done in the well manner (ma’ruf). Some of the following hadith described Prophet’s attitude in his involvement in the domestic works.
From Al-Aswad, he asked to Aisha ra.,”What does the Prophet PBUH di when he was in his family?” Aisha replied, “The Prophet usually help the domestic work of his family when in the home.When the praying time comes, he stand up and be hurry to do the prayer.” (HR. Bukhari Number. 6039)
- To Cooperate Together in Taking Care of the Children and Grandchildren
From Abu Qatadah al-Anshari ra., he said, “I saw Prophet Muhammad PBUH lead the prayer of the companions while he was holding Umamah bin Abi al-Ash, the daughter of Zainab on his shoulder. So when he wanted to do the ruku’ (bowing) he put her off, and then he finished sujud (prostration) he hold her (on his shoulder) again.
The hadithon holding Umamah during the prayer formerly became a discussion among the companions, which broke up the tradition because of a girl in the Jahily (ignorance ) tradition was perceived as the symbol of bad lacuk. Suddenly Prophet hold her on his shoulder during the ritual prayer in a space that was expected sterilized and quiet in order the specialties can be realized, but the Prophet brought a kid to the mosque and she was a girl too. The Prophet was in the process of recognizing women, so that he brought a girl in the worshop place in which finally he affirmed that the existence of a baby girl did not annul the prayer (mushalli). The hadith also explicitly said that a husband should share the duties in nurturing the children.
The hadith narrated by An-Nasa’i about Hasan and Husain who play as a Horse when Prophet’s was praying.
وروى النسائي عن عبد الله بن شَدَّاد عن أَبيه قال: (خرج علينا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في إحدى صلاتي العشاء، وهو حامل حسناً أو حسيناً، فتقدم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فوضعه، ثم كبر للصلاة، فصلى، فسجد بين ظهراني صلاته سجدة أطالها، قال أبي: فرفعت رأسي، وإذا الصبي على ظهر رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو ساجد، فرجعت إلى سجودي، فلما قضى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، قال الناس: يا رسول الله! إنك سجدت بين ظهرني صلاتك سجدة أطلتها! حتى ظننا أنه قد حدث أمر، أو أنه يوحى إليك؟! قال: كل ذلك لم يكن، ولكن ابني ارتحلني، فكرهت أن أعجله حتى يقضي حاجته
From the narration of an-Nasa’i said that the Prophet go for a prayer together while he was bringing Hasan and Husain. When he was prostatrating, his grandsonds rode his back to play him as a horse so that his sujud (prostration) became too long. The companions were worried that someting happen to the Prophet when he was prostrating, so that thay asked the such incident. The Prophet said, “What are you worry about does not happen to me. But my grandsonds rode my back toplay as a horse. I was worried, if I stand up too fast it will disturb them for playing.”
When analyzing to the hadith above, the Prophet perceived that the activity of playing for children as an important thing, so he let his grandsons to play until they finish. Both of the two hadith explained that the Prophet has the willingness to help their children in their domestic affair by involving in taking care of his grandsonds kindly
and tenderly. This story gave example that holding the children (sons, daughters, and grandchildren) can be done by a man or a husband and was not an absolute roles of a wife.
- Not Perpetrating Violence
There is no even one hadith that narated the Prophet behaved cruelly or perpetrated against his wives. This is a kind of anomaly of the living situation of the Jahily (ignorance) situation of the Arabic nation at that time, when women were regarded as the second sex, disgraced, and did not wanted their bith. But in reality, ironically so many violence was still done by some people by justifying their attituide based on the religion. This is a kind of impact of the influence of patriarchal culture in the Quranic and Hadith interpretations which can be followed by dicriminations that bringup violence. This must be very ironical and contrasting from what we see from the Prophet’s examples.
Abdullah ibn Umar ra. Said, “I heard the Prophet Muhammad said that this bad luck comes from three things: horse, women, and house.” (Shahih Bukhari Number 2897 and 5831)
The hadith on women as a bad lack is often used to legitimate or justify for degrading women, although since the era of companions the such hadith had been critisized by Aisha. In term of sanad (link of narrators) the hadith is shahih (valid), but the narrator is seen as misheard or had been late when he came to the forum (majelis), because at that time the Prophet was delivering the stories about the belief of the Arab Jahily people (Faqihuddin, 2019).
The existence of women as mentioned in the above hadith tends to be mysoginic and subodrdinative. This kind of example than established to women’s position as the second class. The hadith on several topics such as women as the residence of the hell, women has the lack of reason, lack of religion, and hadith related to relation between husband and wife if it is convinced as ideology, so that women’s position as the inferior creature will not change. In addition to that it will be impacted to the coming of violence. The causing factor is because there is no equal element related to women’s existence in husband’s perception.
The hadith on sexual relations between husband and wife in which had been understood so far by the people textually and showed the top-down power relation, give the more power for husband over his wife with the full rights and tend to be exagerrated. There is a full obligation which must be done by the wife for her husband. This kind of situation of course was not not because of voluntary element or consent to serve one another lovingly. If this happen in the marriage, to the marriage resilience is vulnerable to be broken up, because of the inequal relationship.
While, the living of equal marital relationship in the sexual relation necessitates recognision from one to another (mutual respect), join responsibility, consent as the absolute requirements in realizing the sakinah, mawaddah wa rahmah (tranquil, love, and compassionate) marriage (FK3, 2005)
Aisha’s Witness: The Prophet Never Commit to Perpetrate Domestic Violence
From Aisha ra. Said, “The Prophet saw. never be beat anybody through his own arm. Neither to his wife nor to his servants, except in the war in the way of Allah. When the Prophet was bad trated by his companion, he never reply it. Except is there is a violation against the honor of Allah, so he will avenge in the name of Allah azza wa Jalla (HR Muslim).
The spirit of sharing gender friendly hadiths must be supported by many parties, in the middle situation of the emerging movement of domestification of women by using the gender bias hadith. Because this movement will not only ignore the potentials that belongs to women, but also creates ambiguity because of contrasting with the heart voice on the existence of the inequal realtion between husband and wife;while on the other sides the such hadith is sahih (valid) and must be applied. It will be contrasting with the gender friendly or pro-women’s rights hadiths, which of course will bring positive impact and make the marriage establisheda and full of happiness and will enable to prevent from divorces, because there is no more anomaly when impementing it or utilizing it as guidance in the marriage life. Wa Allah ‘alam bi as-shawab
*The Author is the Rector of Institut Studi Islam Fahmina (ISIF)