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Should a man listen to his wife’s suggestions & consult her about matters?

Allaah says, enjoining kindness towards one's wife (interpretation of the meaning): 

“and live with them honourably”

[al-Nisa’ 4:19]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “And treat women with kindness, and treat women with kindness.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5186; Muslim, 1468. 

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best of you is the one who is best to his womenfolk, and I am the best of you to my womenfolk.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3895; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3314. 

Undoubtedly consulting one's wife and listening to her advice and accepting it is part of living with them honourably and treating them with kindness. It softens her heart and makes her feel that she is playing a role in the family and that she is responsible for her family, especially if the man finds that his wife has wisdom and common sense, and has intuition, and she does not jump to conclusions or let herself be swayed by emotions. 

Moreover, the benefits to be gained by consulting one's wife and accepting her opinion, or not doing so, may vary according to the topic concerning which the wife is being consulted and asked for her opinion: is her emotional nature going to affect her view on this matter or not?

 It may also vary according to the nature of each of the spouses and how much wisdom and common sense each of them has. 

If the husband thinks that it makes sense to reject her opinion or he thinks that her view is mistaken, he has to be kind in the way in which he rejects her opinion or advice, and he should not accuse her of being silly or say that her opinion is worthless, and he should explain to her what is correct, as much as he can. 

Look at the story of al-Hudaybiyah and what happened there, then you will understand the value of consulting a wise and smart woman. When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) made a treaty with Quraysh and agreed to go back, and not enter Makkah that year, he said to his companions: “Get up and offer your sacrifices.” But not a single man among them got up, until he had said that three times. When no one got up, he entered upon Umm Salamah and told her what had happened with the people. Umm Salamah said: “O Prophet of Allaah, is that what you want? Go out and do not speak a word to any one of them until you have slaughtered your sacrifice and called your barber to shave your head.” When he did that, they got up and offered their sacrifices. 

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This points to the virtue of consultation, and that it is permissible to consult a virtuous wife. 

Also think about the story of Moosa, and how Allaah caused him to be raised in the house of Pharaoh, and how much blessing there was in the advice of Aasiya, the wife of Pharaoh (may Allaah be pleased with her), of whom Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And the wife of Fir‘awn (Pharaoh) said: ‘A comfort of the eye for me and for you. Kill him not, perhaps he may be of benefit to us, or we may adopt him as a son.’ And they perceived not (the result of that)”

[al-Qasas 28:9]

In the same soorah there is the story of the two women at the well of Midyan, and how one of them said to her father (interpretation of the meaning): 

“ ‘O my father! Hire him! Verily, the best of men for you to hire is the strong, the trustworthy’”

[al-Qasas 28:26] 

Look at how wise she was, and how she knew who was the best qualified to be hired and entrusted with work, and what a great blessing this advice brought to her family. 

And Allaah is the Source of strength.


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