Balanced Masculinity within Marriage: Guidance from the Sunnah

The internet’s persistent debate regarding masculinity has become very polarized, with two extremes battling it out against one another for dominance. On the one hand, we have the “simps” who claim women are oppressed and ardently attempt to emasculate men, reducing us to nothing more than mere slaves of women. On the other hand, we find those who adhere to the Red Pill ideology, who recognize the beauty of traditional masculinity but often fall into a licentious, debauched version of manhood.

As we have already shown in a previous article, both camps make the same mistake: gynocentrism, which places the desires and demands of women at the center of their normative moral systems.

Islam does not fall prey to this error. Our doctrine of tawhid (pure monotheism) ultimately enjoins believers to love Allah and to love and hate others for the sake of Allah.

It has been narrated from Abu Umamah (may Allah be pleased with him), from the Prophet ﷺ that he ﷺ said:

“Whosoever loves for the sake of Allah, hates for the sake of Allah, gives for the sake of Allah and withholds for the sake of Allah, has certainly perfected [their] faith.” (Sunan Abi Dawud)

It is true, though, that many Muslims today search for an ideal of masculinity which they have never witnessed and, thus, they sometimes fall into the trap of adopting a clichéd “hard man” persona that lacks benevolence and respect towards their wives.

As, such, we must be sure to keep things in perspective. Advocates of caring communication may often be woke feminists with a misguided worldview, but we have to recognize that some of the traits they promote are actually rooted within the sunnah, the blessed way of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). These include things like not interrupting others when they speak; speaking softly and not raising one’s voice; and interpreting others’ words charitably.

Reflect upon this profound hadith:

Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas narrates that Umar bin Al-Khattab asked permission from Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) to see him while he was with some Qurayshi women who were talking to him and asking him for more expenses, raising their voices above the voice of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ). When `Umar asked for permission to enter, the women quickly put on their veils. Then Allah’s Messenger allowed him to enter, and `Umar came in while Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was smiling. `Umar said “O Messenger of Allah! May Allah always keep you smiling.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “I was amazed by how these women in my presence quickly put on their veils as soon as they heard your voice.” `Umar said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! You have more right to be feared by them than I.” Then `Umar addressed the women saying, “O enemies of yourselves! You fear me more than you do Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)?” They said, “Yes, for you are harsher and sterner than Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ).” Then Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “O Ibn Al-Khattab! By Him in Whose Hands my life is! Never does Shaytan find you traversing a way but that he takes another way, other than yours. (Sahih al-Bukhari)

How many men would tolerate their wives raising their voices while speaking to them?

Let us not fall prey to the traps of the simps, who seek to convince us that men must submit to their wives. But let us also not react by discarding a crucial part of the Sunnah altogether. Rather, let us emulate the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), who provides us with the most excellent example for us to follow and emulate.

Verily, in the Messenger of Allah there is an excellent model for you — for whoever has hope in Allah and [for salvation on] the Last Day and, [therefore], remembers Allah much. (Qur’an, 33:21)

RELATED: Quranic Wisdom on Marriage: The Surprising Benefits of Forgiveness

Strengthening Your Relationship Through Self-Control: Lessons from the Prophetic Example

As we reflect upon the current state of society, it is important to recognize and acknowledge the extremely damaging effects that feminism has on the sacred bond which exists between men and women. Feminism has redefined the natural, beautiful relationship between men and women into that of a power struggle, resulting in a nauseating ideology that poisons the very sanctity of marriage.

It is an undeniable truth that the hierarchical authority belongs to men. However, the toxic influence of feminism has caused some men to become obsessed with dominating their wives and oppressing them. This too is a tragedy that has driven wedges between couples, leading to perpetual conflict and undue suffering.

It is not, of course, solely the fault of men, however, as women have implicitly accepted the flawed ideology of feminism. The consequences of this are dire, as couples are robbed of the opportunity to work together in unison towards a common goal—to help each other attain Paradise; to worship Allah while respecting the rights of our partners; and to create a loving home in which our family and future generations can thrive.

RELATED: Muslim Feminism Destroys Marriage

Unfortunately, this toxic ideology has caused many brothers and sisters to be entangled in a perpetual state of conflict. For some, not a day goes by where they are not constantly arguing with their spouse.

As Muslims, we reject this misguided view and recognize that true strength lies in self-control and self-discipline, as exemplified by our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). When faced with conflict in marriage, it is crucial to pause the argument and take a time-out, allowing both sides to calm down and regain our composure. This is not a sign of weakness but rather a display of wisdom, compassion and practicality.

It has been narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that a man said to the Prophet ﷺ: “Advise me.” “The Prophet ﷺ answered, “Do not become enraged.” The man asked [the same question] again and again, repeatedly, and the Prophet ﷺ answered [each time], “Do not become enraged.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

It is well established in the field of psychology that self-control is like a muscle. In their book, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, Baumeister and Tierney have shown that the use of time-outs allows us to replenish our self-control reserves. Therefore, whenever we feel anger swelling up within us, it is best to take a break and occupy ourselves in other activities before coming back and resuming the discussion with a cool head.

This also echoes the famous hadith which states:

It has been narrated from ‘Atiyyah al-Sa’di (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“Verily, anger is from Shaytan, and Shaytan was created from fire. And fire is only extinguished with water, thus if one of you becomes angry, he should perform wudu’ (ritual ablution). (Sunan Abi Dawud)

When delving into the issue of managing conflicts within a marital relationship, it’s important to note that according to specialists in behavioral therapy, a successful time-out requires a three-step process:

  1. agreeing to take a break and placing the argument on hold; followed by
  2. a period of calmness for both parties to recuperate and regain their senses fully; and finally
  3. continuing the discussion when both parties can engage more productively.

Some may question whether this compassionate approach to managing the man-woman relationship could actually be a sign of weakness for the man. The answer is an emphatic “yes” IF the man is doing it only to please his wife or to conform to the sensibilities of women. Let it be very clear that this article is not intended as a justification for those who constantly succumb to the fancies of their wives due to fear or any other reason. Men need to be assertive and exert their authority when their wives are clearly in the wrong from an Islamic perspective.

However, that being said, if a man implements the time-out method for the sake of Allah and out of a desire to emulate the Prophetic example; and from the perspective of pure pragmatism, prioritizing the general interest and the well-being of his family over his temporary and ephemeral feelings, then this is a display of strength and wisdom.

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, taught us that true strength lies in self-control, not in the ability to overpower others.

It has been narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“The strong person is not the one who is able to throw someone to the ground. The strong person is the one who controls himself when he is angry.” (Al-Muwatta’)

RELATED: Muslim Men: Here Is How to Get Rid of Your Toxic Masculinity

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A K

JazakumUllah. Much needed. There are many examples from the Sunnah of accepting & comforting wives, even if not agreeing. When Safiyya(R) cried because she felt hurt by her co-wives, the Prophet (S) did not dismiss her feelings as time-wasting drama, but wiped her tears & told her something to make her feel better. When prayers were long and a baby in the congregation cried, the Prophet (S) would shorten the prayer out of compassion for the mother’s worries – because her stress is legit

A K

When Aisha (R) asked abou his love for her, the Prophet (S) would affirm his love. In the Quran Allah mentioned the pain of Musa (AS)’s mother and that He returned her baby to her so that she might be comforted – because her emotions mattered. It is not Islamic masculinity to simply dismiss wives’ emotions and treat them as insignificant or nonsensical. She is as human as he. Prophet (S) taught that a woman is different from man, made from the rib, & broken if you try to “straighten” it.

A K

So correct her when she is wrong, but in a way that actually benefits her and still manages to show respect to her as a human created by Allah. None of the above condones feminism. No one needs feminism in the presence of Allah’s guidance, which is infinitely superior to feminism. Men and women both have to be equally willing in a marriage to improve themselves as Muslims and as spouses and as parents in their respective roles.

A K

“However, the toxic influence of feminism has caused some men to become obsessed with dominating their wives…” In some places where feminism isn’t strong, some have just interpreted men’s being “qawwam” to give men unconditional sanctity, even if they do not fulfil the protection/provision part of the verse – “because Allah has blessed some of them over others and because of what they spend..” I detest feminism but men are also not always angels who only stumble in response to feminism

Ahmad

Horses for courses. Not every man is same. Not every woman is same.

If a woman behaves like a lady, she should be treated like a queen.

If she behaves like she owns the place and is competing with the man, she should be granted her wish and be treated like any other male rival!

A K

I agree. But you missed my point. Feminism is a poison that assumes all women are angels and men are always to blame. But this article seems to assume the same kind of thing, just in the opposite direction – that men are always angels, & women demons. That only because of toxic feminism might men become tyrannical. This is untrue. Plenty men take the “qawwam” verse to demand superiority and authority even when they *don’t* spend on their family, are irresponsible and neglect God-given duties

A K

One of the Sahaba’s wives complained that her husband was not spending rightly on his family in spite of being able to. The Prophet (SAW) allowed her to take from his wealth herself. The “qawwam” verse is not unconditional. With power comes responsibility. Some men forego their responsibilities but still demand power. Completely irrespective of feminism, and even when they have extremely traditional wives. So we need to be fair. Neither are women always angels, and nor are men.

Last edited 10 days ago by A K
bengali_panislamist

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.

Nah this last hadith really just made me appreciate how out-of-the-world Prophet (ﷺ)’s widom was.

Jazak Allahu Khair for this one.

Daoud

Salam de Strasbourg Houd