Sunday, July 20, 2014

Etiquette and Marriage ~ From a Saudi Arabian Husband’s Point of View

It is certainly not deficiency, but rather good manners, that the husband shares responsibility in household work like mending garments or what is similar to that. The wife takes care of the household affairs. So, it is from good manners that the husband extends a helping hand to his wife in the house during times of necessity such as when she is sick, pregnant, has given birth, etc. A man should not feel shy in serving himself.

The exemplary husband is he who cooperates with his wife by keeping good relations and showing kind manners (to her). Truly, the husbands who help their wives in their work are the best of mankind in the view of Islam. This good way of living between the spouses must be deeply imbedded into the daily marital life, even if the matter were to reach divorce.

Beware of characterizing the relationship between the spouses with over-seriousness. For indeed characterizing the family life with a militaristic nature amounts to one of the causes for failure and bad results.

Among the kind and noble manners of the husband is that he complies and assents to the requests of his wife, so long as they are not forbidden in the Religion. Extravagance in food, drink and clothing leads to the door of forbidden things in the Religion.

No human being is perfect. So no doubt the husband will see things in his wife that do not comply with his preferences. If these aspects are not in opposition to the fundaments of the Religion or to the obedience of the husband and his rights, then he should not try to change her personality to make it comply with his preferences.

He must always remember that for each one of the couple, there will be an aspect of one’s personality that conflicts with the other’s personality. The husband should always remember that if he doesn’t like some things in his wife, then indeed she will have other characteristics that are definitely pleasing to him.

Do not look for the errors of your wife and recount them to her, for too much blaming and reprimanding will worsen the relationship between the two of you, and it will pose a threat to your marital life. So overlook each other’s mistakes.

If you are able, do not hold back from providing your wife with good clothing and food, and from being generous in spending money on her. This is of course according to the extent of your ability.
"Various social customs are well known in the Kingdom. Arabs traditionally use the right hand for all public functions — including shaking hands, eating, drinking, and passing objects to another person. Talking with one’s hands, or gesticulating wildly, may be considered impolite. It is also impolite to point the sole of the foot at the person to whom you are speaking. It may be discourteous to ask about a man’s wife and daughters. One should ask after his "family and children." When tea and coffee are served, it could be considered impolite not to take at least one cup. When one is finished drinking, one should oscillate the cup to signal that a refill is not desired. If one is doing business in the Kingdom during Ramadan, it is best to refrain from drinking and eating when in the company of someone observing the fast. Doing business in Saudi Arabia is somewhat more challenging for women. There is gender separation in the Kingdom. Many public places, like hotels and restaurants, will have family rooms where women are served with their husbands. Women are expected to dress conservatively, with long skirts most appropriate, sleeves at elbow length or longer, and necklines that are unrevealing. It is generally uncommon for a Muslim man to shake hands with a woman or engage in the conversational body contact that is common when speaking to another man, although Saudis who have experience with Western culture may be inclined to do so." From The Saudi Network

Do not belittle the importance of correcting your wife if she does things that go against the Religion. This should be the main, if not the only reason that should cause you to become angry.

The woman is the head of the household, the one responsible for it. So do not attempt to meddle into affairs that do not fall into your area of duties and responsibilities, such as the food and the upkeep of the house.

Beware of scolding your wife in presence of others, even if they are your own children. For indeed that is unsuitable behavior that turn the hearts of people against each other.

Having protective jealousy and caring about the modesty of your wife is a praiseworthy thing, which shows your love for her. However it is on the condition that you do not go to great lengths in this jealousy. For then at that point, it would turn into something worthy of no praise.

Beware of divulging any secrets connected with the intimate encounters you have with your wife, for that is something restricted and forbidden.

Constantly maintain the cleaning of your mouth and the freshening of your breath.

Guardianship of your wife doesn’t mean that you can exploit what Allah has bestowed upon you from taking charge of her, such that you harm and oppress her.

Showing respect and kindness to your wife’s family is showing respect and kindness to her. And this applies even after her death.

Too much joking will lead to (your family having) little fear (of disobeying you) and a lack of respect for you. So do not joke too much and lose respect.

Fulfilling the conditions that you promised your wife in the marriage contract is very important, so do not neglect that after getting married.

When you advise her or simply talk to her, choose the kindest and nicest of words and expressions. It is not proper for you to ask your wife to look for work outside the house or to spend upon you from her wealth.

Do not overburden your wife with chores that she is not able to handle. Consider, with extreme regard, the environment she was raised up in. Work in rural atmosphere is not like that in urban places. What a strong woman is prepared for and able to do, cannot be done by a weak woman.

Main article originally posted in the Saudi Gazette