Guidance for the Muslim Wife – Complete book
1. It is wrong to tease someone about a past incident. Women have this evil habit of mentioning past incidents of grief and sorrow which have already been forgiven and forgotten. This renews the enmity.
2. Do not complain about the in-laws at home. Some complaints are sinful, show lack of patience and most often increase the enmity on both sides. In the same manner do not praise your family and exalt them in front of your in-laws. This can lead to the sin of pride and arrogance. The in-laws will be perturbed at the behaviour of the daughter-in-law.
3. Do not speak too much as this can result in something unsuitable being uttered.
4. As far as possible do not give your work to others. Do it yourself. In fact do the work of others as well. Not only will you be rewarded but you will be liked by everyone.
5. Neither pay attention nor listen to those women who gossip. Besides this act being sinful these women cause dissension.
6. If you hear any complaint about your mother-in-law, sister- in-law, the wife of your husband’s brother or any near or far relative, do not conceal it in your heart. It is better to regard it as a lie and discard it. If you do not have that much courage, face the person who mentioned the complaint to you and clarify the matter so that no corruption spreads.
7. Do not be harsh on the servants. Ensure that your children do not harrass the maid’s children because they, out of respect will not say anything verbally but will be hurt within.
8. Appoint a time to teach girls the Quran and books of deen. If books are not easily available, teach them the complete Behishti Zewar (Heavenly Ornaments by Ml. Ashraf Ali Thanwi). Also ensure that they learn some art or craft. However other subjects and arts must only be taught after they have learnt the Quran.
9. Do not make the girls that come to learn by you do any of your housework. Treat them like your own children.
10. Do not take any burden upon yourself for the sake of fame.
11. Be simple and humble in your ways. Wear simple clothing. Do not try and adorn yourself excessively when intending to go out.
12. Do not mention the flaws of a person’s family or those of a deceased person. Not only is it sinful, it also causes undue grief.
13. Return someone else’s utensil as soon as possibe. Do not mix it with your own utensils but keep it separate, so that it does not get mislaid. It is sinful to use anyone’s property without his permission.
14. Do not form a habit of eating lavishly. You may not be able to afford sumptuous meals all the time.
15. Do not forget a person’s favour no matter how insignificant and do not boast of your favour no matter how great.
16. The best way to spend your free time is to read a book. Do not read books which have an evil influence.
17. Never raise your voice when speaking. It is shameless for women to let their voices be heard outside.
18. If you wake up at night, do not disturb anyone by making a din. Maintain silence in whatever you are doing.
19. It is disrespectful to laugh at the elders. Do not be too free with young children otherwise they will become disrespectful.
20. If everyone stands up in a gathering, you should not remain seated as this is a sign of pride.
21. Do not praise your family or children in front of anyone.
22. If there is remorse between two people, do not say anything inflammatory to either of them.
23. Do not be harsh.
24. Do not express anger over anyone in front of a guest. The guest will not be at ease as he was before.
25. Be courteous to an enemy as well. His enmity will not increase.
26. Do not let crumbs of bread lie around. Whenever you see some crumbs, clean them and eat them. If you cannot eat them, give them to some animal. If the tablecloth has fragments, do not dust it off where someone walks.
27. After completing a meal do not leave the food and stand up as this is disrespectful. First clear the tablecloth and then get up.
28. Girls should not play habitually with boys because the habits of both become spoilt. If any unknown boy enters the house, the girls should move away from there.
29. Do not scuffle mockingly. Most often it causes frustration and sometimes it can cause an injury. Also do not frequently joke in such a manner that it angers another person.
30. Do not sit at the head-side of an elderly person that is lying down unless you are asked to do so.
31. When you borrow something from someone, safeguard it carefully and return it as soon as you have finished using it. Do not let the person ask you for it. How will he know that you are no longer using it? Secondly, he may not ask you out of consideration. Similarly if you are owing money to someone, pay him as soon as you can.
32. If you have to walk at night, remove the anklets from your legs. Do not let them tinkle whilst walking.
33. If there is only one person in a room and the door is closed, do not suddenly open the door and enter. He may be in the nude or he may be sleeping and will be disturbed. First call out softly and ask permission to enter. Enter only after obtaining permission, otherwise remain silent and leave. If it is something very urgent, call out aloud to wake him up.
34. Do not criticise a nation or town in the presence of someone you do not know. It will be highly embarrassing if he happens to hail from that town or nation.
35. Similarly if you do not know who has done a certain act, do not say “which idiot has done this” or something similar. It will be highly embarrassing if it is someone you know.
36. If your child denies doing any wrong, do not take the side of your child especially in front of him as this will spoil his habit.
37. When marrying your daughters, ensure the piety and religiousness of the boy. A boy with a good religious background will care for his wife properly. However if a person is very wealthy but he is irreligious, he will not know the rights of the wife and will not be loyal to her.
38. Some women have the habit of throwing a pebble towards a person from behind the curtain in order to attract his attention. The pebble can injure someone. Use other means to attract a persons attention without injuring anyone.
39. Mark your clothing with a floral label etc. to prevent the clothing from getting mixed at the cleaners. It is not permissible to take someone else’s clothing.
40. There is a custom amongst the Arabs that if a person wants something as a blessing from a pious saint, he will give the saint something and tell him to use it for a few days. In this way the buzurg (saint) does not have any hesitation, otherwise if 20 people ask the saint for something, he will not even have a cloth left for himself. It is a very suitable custom to adopt.
41. If someone makes a statement and you want to contradict it, do not attribute it to someone else who upon hearing what you said will resent it.
42. Do not accuse anyone on mere suspicion without investigating. It can be very distressing.