Book on the Etiquette of Marriage – Chapter 3

Book on the Etiquette of Marriage – Chapter 3

Book on the Etiquette of Marriage

Being the Second Book of the Section on Customs in the Book

The Revival of the Religious Sciences




Chapter Three


Etiquette of Cohabitation, What Should Take Place During the Marriage, and the Obligations of Husband and Wife


Etiquette of Cohabitation


As for the husband, he is obligated to observe moderation and good manners in twelve matters: feasting, cohabitation, dally­ing, exercising authority, jealousy, support, teaching, appor­tionment, politeness at times of discord, intimate relations, producing children, and separation through divorce.


The first etiquette is feasting, and that is desirable. Anas* said, “The Prophet* of God saw a trace of paleness in the face of ‘Abd al-Rahman b. ‘Awf* and said ‘What is this?’ To which he replied, `I married a woman for a date-pit of gold.’ The Prophet replied, `May God bless her for you. Have a feast, even with a sheep.” The Prophet of God feasted for Safiyyah2 with dates and sawiq. “’ The Prophet* said, “The food of the first day is an obligation; of the second, a sunna; and of the third, a [cause for good] reputation; he who spreads the news is made known by God.’ Only Ziyad b. ‘Abdullah mentions it as being gharib.5

It is desirable to congratulate him [the husband]; thus one who enters [the house of] the husband should say, “May God bless you and yours and bring you together in prosperity.”’ Abu Hurayrah* recounted that the Prophet* made it a command.

The publicizing of marriage is desirable. The Prophet said, “The separator of the lawful and unlawful [in marriage] is the tambourine and the voice.”’ He also said, “Make known this marriage, perform it in the mosques, and celebrate it with the beating of tambourines.”’ It is related that al-Rubayyi’, the daughter of Mu’awwidh, said, “The Prophet* came and entered upon me the morning that my marriage was consummated. He sat on my bed while some of our young girls were beating their tambourines for us and lamenting those of my forefathers who had been killed, until one of them said, ‘and among us there is a prophet who knows what the morrow holds,’ to which he replied, ‘Don’t say this and say only what you were saying be­fore.’ “9


[Conjugal Harmony)

The second etiquette: good conduct with them [wives] and tolerating offense from them out of pity for their mental defi­ciencies. Almighty God declared, “But consort with them in kindness” [Qur’an  4:19]. He also said in upholding their rights, “And they have taken a strong pledge from you” [4:21]. He [God] also said, “And what your right hands (possess)” [4:36 (‘Ali)].10 Some say that [the verse] refers to women.

The last commandments that the Prophet* left were three, which he continued to utter until he stammered and his words became incomprehensible. He kept saying: “Pray, pray!” Do not impose upon your slaves that which you could not support. Fear God; fear God as concerns your women for they are like putty in your hands, that is, captives. You have taken them as a trust from God, and intimate relations with them was made lawful through the word of God.”“

The Prophet* also said, “If a man is tolerant of his wife’s bad manners, God will grant him the same recompense that He granted Job for his affliction; whoever tolerates the bad manners of her husband, will be granted by God the same recompense13 that was granted to Asiyah the wife of Pharaoh.”“ Know ye that good conduct with her does not mean not harming her, but rather enduring harm from her and forbearance in the face of her fickleness and anger in emulation of the Prophet*; for his wives used to talk back to him, and on occasion one would leave him for the whole night.”

‘Umar’s wife talked back to him and he said to her, “Do you talk back to me, 0 foolish woman?” And she said, “The wives

of the Prophet talk back to him and he is better than you.’“ To which ‘Umar retorted, “How inappropriate of Hafsah” to talk back to him!” Then he said to Hafsah, “Don’t be deceived [by the conduct] of the daughter [‘A’ishah] of Ibn Abi Quhafah [sic], for she is the dearest of the Prophet’s wives; and he warned her against talking back.”“

It was also related that one wife hit the Prophet* in the chest, so her mother scolded her. The Prophet* said, “Leave her alone; they [wives] do worse than that.”“ He and ‘A’ishah got into an argument to the point that Abu Bakr was called upon to arbitrate, and the Prophet took him as a witness. So the Prophet* said to her, “Are you going to talk, or shall l?” She replied, “You talk, but say only the truth.” Abu Bakr struck her until her mouth bled, and said to her, “0 enemy of yourself, does he utter anything but the truth?” So she took refuge with the Prophet* and sat behind him. The Prophet* then told him, “you were not called for this, nor did we desire this of you.”20 She told him once in anger, “And you are the one who claims to be the Prophet of God!” So the Prophet* smiled and bore that out of forbearance and kindness.” He used to say to her, “I know when you are angry and when you are pleased.” To which she replied, “And how do you know it?” He said, “When you are pleased, you say ‘No, by the God of Muhammad’; and when you are angry you say, ‘No, by the God of Abraham.’ “ She said, “You are right; I leave your name out.”22 It is said that the first love that took place in Islam was the love of the Prophet* for ‘A’ishah* 23 He used to say to her, “I am to you like Abu Zar’ vis-ـ-vis Umm Zar’; however, I won’t divorce you.”24 He used to say to his wives, “Don’t talk ill of ‘A’ishah to me for, by God, I have not received revelation under the cover of any of you but [rather under] hers.”25 Anas* used to say that the Prophet* was the kindest of all people toward women and chil­dren.”’


[Toleration of Wives]

The third: Dalliance, jesting, and playfulness add to the tol­eration of offense; for these delight the hearts of women. The Prophet* used to joke with them and lower himself to the level of their minds in deeds and manners, to the extent that it was related that he* used to race ‘A’ishah; she won once and he won several times, so he* said, “Now we’re even.”27 In a khabar it is related that he* was one of the merriest with his wives.28 ‘A’ishah [once] said, “I heard the voices of some Ethiopians and others playing on the day of ‘Ashura’. 28 The Prophet* asked me, ‘Do you wish to see them play?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He sent after them and they came. The Messenger* of God stood between the two doors, placed his palm on the door and extended his arm; I leaned with my chin against his arm. They began to play, and I looked on. The Prophet* kept saying, ‘That’s enough (hasbuki)’; and I would say, ‘Be quiet,’ twice or three times. Then he said, ”A’ishah, that’s enough!’ So I said, ‘Yes.’ He pointed to them and they departed.”30

The Prophet* of God said, “the most perfect of believers in faith are those who are the finest in manners and most gentle toward their wives.”“ He said, “The best among you are the most charitable toward their wives, and I am the best among you toward my wives.”“ In spite of his harshness, ‘Umar* said, “It is necessary that a man be like a child in his family;33 but if they seek what he possesses, he should be found a man.”“’ Luq­man* said, “A wise man should be like a child in his family, and when he is in public, he should be found a man.” In a commen­tary on the related khabar, [it is stated that] “God detests the ja’zari al jawwaz”;35 that is, one who is harsh toward his family and who is arrogant. The same explanation has been offered for the term ‘utul used by Almighty God [Qur’an  68:13]: for it has been said that ‘utul designates one who has a harsh tongue and who is cruel toward his family.

The Prophet* said to Jabir, “Would that she were a virgin, so you could dally with her and she with you.”“


[Asserting Authority]

The Fourth: not so to indulge in dalliance, good manners, and conformity in following her whims that he would corrupt her manners and lose respect altogether in her eyes. Rather, he should observe moderation, never abandon dignity and serious­ness no matter how much evil he sees, nor open the door to abetting abomination; rather, whenever he sees an act which violates divine legislation and manliness (muru’ah),37 he should

become resentful and angry. Al-Hasan said, “Verily whoever obeys the whims of his wife will be cast by God into the Fire.” ‘Umar said, “Disagree with your wives, because disagreement with them is a blessing.” It was also said, “Consult them, then disagree with them.”

The Prophet* said, “Miserable is he who is a slave to his wife.”38 He said so because if the husband obeys her whims, he becomes her slave and thereby miserable; for God made him possessor over the woman but if he makes her possessor of himself, he reverses the order of things, overturns the matter, and obeys Satan when he said, “and surely I will command them and they will change Allah’s creation” [Qur’an  4:119]. It is a man’s right to be followed, not to be a follower. God has appointed men as trustees over women, and has called the husband “mas­ter”; and the Lord has said, “and they met her lord and master at the door” [Qur’an  12:25]. For if the master is transformed into a slave, then he has exchanged God’s grace for thanklessness.” The woman’s behavior depends on you: If you slacken her reins a little, she will run off for a long distance; should you loosen

the harness a span (fitr),40 she will take a cubit (dhira’);41 but if

you restrain her and treat her firmly where firmness is called for, you will be her master.

Al-Shafi’i* said, “There are three who will insult you if you honor them: the woman, the servant, and the Nabataean.”42 He was referring to pure kindness and not harshness mixed with compliance, or coarseness with gentleness.

Arab women used to teach their daughters [how] to test their husbands. One would say to her daughter, “Test your husband before taking a step and before showing boldness toward him. Remove the edge of his spear; should he remain quiet, hack bones with his sword; and if he should still be quiet, then put the saddle on his back and ride him, for he is your donkey.” At any rate, it is with justice that the heavens and the earth are upheld; whatever exceeds its limits turns into its opposite.

For that reason it is necessary to follow the path of modera­tion both in disagreement and in agreement, and to follow the truth in it all, so as to be safe from their [women’s] evil; because their scheming is great,43 their evil is widespread; their predominant characteristics are bad manners and weak minds, and this cannot be set straight except through a certain amount of kind­ness mixed with diplomacy. The Prophet* said, “A virtuous woman amongst women is like an a`sam among a hundred crows”;44 an asam is a [rare] white-footed crow.

In the will of Luqman to his son [it is stated]: “My son, beware of the evil woman, for she will age you before your time; and beware of the evils of women, as they do not encourage good deeds; and be very careful of the better ones among them.” The Prophet* said, “Beware of the three causes of pov­erty,”45 and among them he listed the “evil woman” for she is the one who ages a man before his time. In other words, “If you come to her, she will curse you; and if you are away from her, she will be unfaithful to you.” The Prophet* said concerning the best of women, “If [only] you were the companions of Jo­seph”;48 that is, turning Abu Bakr away from prayer indicates that, on your part, you have ignored the truth and turned to pleasure. Almighty God said when they [women] revealed the secret of the Prophet,*47 “If you two turn in repentance to Him, your hearts are indeed so inclined” [Qur’an  66:4 (‘Ali)];48 that is, so disposed. He [God] said that about the best of the Prophet’s* wives.” The Prophet* said, “No people dominated by a woman can succeed.”“ ‘Umar scolded his wife when she talked back to him saying, “You are no more than a toy in a corner of the house; if we have need of you [we take you], otherwise, you sit as you are.”

Thus there is evil and weakness in them [women]; while diplomacy and harshness are a cure for evil, consolation and mercy are the cure for weakness. The skillful doctor is one who can estimate the amount of cure needed for the ailment; so let the man first know her character through experience, then let him deal with her in a manner that will set her straight in accor­dance with her state.



The fifth: moderation in jealousy; which means that one should not overlook preliminaries whose consequences may be undesirable, and should not go to extremes in misjudging, in acting adversely, or in spying upon concealed matters.

The Prophet* of God enjoined against seeking out the faults of women51-that is, against unexpectedly coming upon women. When the Prophet* returned from a journey, he said before entering [the city of] Medina, “Don’t come upon your wives at night.” Two men disagreed with him and went ahead [of the rest], and each saw in his home what he detested.” In a famous khabar [it is stated]: “A woman is like a rib: if you [at­tempt to] straighten it, you break it; leave it alone and enjoy it in spite of its crookedness.”“ This refers to rectifying her char­acter.

The Prophet* said, “There is a type of jealousy which God detests, and that is the unjustifiable jealousy of a man over his wife when there is no justification [for suspicion]”54 because that suspicion we have decreed against. Certain [types of] suspicion are sinful. ‘Ali* said, “Do not indulge excessively in showing jealousy over your wife lest she be accused of evil behavior because of you.”

However, jealousy in its proper place is both necessary and commendable. The Prophet* said: “Almighty God experiences jealousy, and the believer experiences jealousy as well; Almighty God’s jealousy stems from the believer’s perpetration of what God has enjoined against.”55 The Prophet* said, “Do you mar­vel at the jealousy of Sa’d?56 By God, I am more jealous than he, and God is more jealous than L”57 Because of Almighty God’s jealousy, He has prohibited abominations, whether mani­fest or hidden. Forgiveness is dearer to none than to God; for that reason He has sent warners and preachers. And praise is dearer to none than to God; for that reason He has promised Paradise.

The Messenger* of God said, “I saw on the night [Mi’raj] [that] I was taken through Paradise (laylata usriya bi fi al-jannah) a mansion and a maid in its courtyard; I inquired, ‘To whom does this mansion belong?’ and I was told, ‘To ‘Umar.’ I wanted to look at her, but I remembered, 0 ‘Umar, your jealousy.” ‘Umar wept and said, “Would I be jealous because of you, 0 Messenger of God?”58

Al-Hasan used to say, “Do you call upon your wives to jostle uncouth men in the market places? May God curse those who are not jealous.”

The Prophet* said, “God favors certain types of jealousy and detests others; He favors certain types of pride and detests others. As for the jealousy which God loves, it is jealousy which results from just suspicion; and the jealousy that God detests is that which results from unfounded [suspicion]. The pride which God favors is that which a man has in battle and in the face of difficulties; and the pride that God detests is pride in falsehood.”59 The Prophet* said, “I am indeed a jealous man and none is free from jealousy save one whose heart is de­generate.” The only way to avoid jealousy is by having no man enter upon her and by preventing her from going into the marketplaces.”

The Prophet* asked his daughter Fatimah,* “What is best for a woman?” She replied, “That she should see no man, and that no man should see her.” So he hugged her and said they were “descendants one of another” [Qur’an  3:33].81 Thus he was pleased with her answer.

The companions of the Prophet* used to close peepholes and perforations in the wall to prevent women from looking at men. Mu’adh [b. Jabal] saw his wife looking through a peephole, and he struck her; he also saw her giving an apple to his male slave from which she had eaten, and he struck her again.

‘Umar* said, “Strip the women of their [beautiful] clothes and they will stay in their rooms.” He said so because they [women] do not desire to go out in worn clothes. He also said, “Accustom your women to ‘No!’“

The Prophet* permitted women to go to the mosques;62 the appropriate thing now, however, is to prevent them [from doing so], except for the old [ones]. Indeed such [prevention] was deemed proper during the days of the companions; ‘A’ishah* declared, “If the Prophet only knew of the misdeeds that women would bring about after his time, he would have prevented them from going out.”“ When the son of ‘Umar quoted the words of the Prophet,* “Do not prevent the bondwomen of God from going to the mosques of God,” one of his sons replied, “Yes, by God, we will prevent them.” So he struck him and was irate with him, saying, “You hear me say that the Prophet of God said, ‘Do not prevent [them],’ and you say, ‘Yes [we will]?’ ““The

dared to disagree because he knew that times had changed, and the father was angry with him for openly expressing disagree­ment without giving the reason. The Prophet* also permitted them [women] to go out especially during feasts;65 but they could not go out without the approval of their husbands.

Nowadays, it is permissible for a chaste woman to go out with the permission of her husband; however, remaining [at home] is safer.” She should not go out except for an important purpose; going out for the sake of looking [about] and for unim­portant matters detracts from virtue and may lead to corruption., If she goes out, she must avoid looking at men. We are not saying that the man’s face is shameful for her to look at as is the woman’s face for him. Rather, it is for her like the face of the beardless boy which a man should be prevented from seeing when sight may result in evil; when evil is not likely to result, sight should not be prevented. For men throughout the ages have had unveiled faces while women go out veiled; if their faces were shameful for women to look at, men would have been commanded to be veiled or prevented from going out except for a necessary purpose.


[Support of the Woman]


The sixth: moderation in spending. One should not be stingy toward them nor should he be extravagant; rather he should be moderate. The Almighty said, “and eat and drink but exceed not the bounds” [Qur’an  7:31 (Ali)]. He also said, “And let not thy hand be chained to thy neck nor open it with a complete opening” [17:29].87 The Messenger* of God said, “The most favored among you is the one who is most generous toward his wife.”“ The Prophet* also said, “A dinar spent for the sake of God, a dinar spent for ransoming a slave, a dinar offered [as charity] to a poor man, and a dinar spent on your wife -the one that earns you the greatest reward is the one spent on

your wife.”69

It was related that ‘Ali* had four wives and that he used to buy every four days a dirham’s worth of meat for each. Al-Hasan* said, “Some men spent plenty, but when it came to furnishings and clothes they were tight.” Ibn Sirin* said, “It is desirable that a man prepare faludhajah (pastry) every week for his wife; for even though sweet foods are not among the neces­sary things, to completely omit them is a stingy practice.”

It is desirable that he should order her to offer as charity whatever food remains [after the meal] and whatever would spoil if kept. This is the least thing to do as far as charity is concerned. The wife has the right to do this as circumstances dictate without specific permission from the husband.

He should not keep to himself, to the exclusion of his family, a delectable food. Not feeding them of it would incite malice and render it difficult to have a harmonious relationship. If he de­cides to withhold it [from them], let him eat in seclusion so that his family does not know about it; nor should he describe to them food which he does not intend to give them.

When he eats, let the whole family sit at his table; for Sufyan* [al-Thawri] said,, “We have been told that God and His angels invoke prayers on the members of the household who eat together.”

The most important thing for the husband to observe in spending is to feed the family from what is gained lawfully and not to pursue evil endeavors for their sake, as that constitutes a crime against them rather than upholding their rights. We have already mentioned the pertinent akhabar when talking about the disadvantages of marriage.

[Instruction Concerning Menstruation]

The seventh: that the married man should know enough about the matter of menstruation to enable him to take neces­sary precautions; he also should teach his wife the rules of prayer: which prayers should be performed during menstrua­tion and which should not. He has been commanded to safe­guard her against the [hell]Fire according to the words of the Almighty, “Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire” [Qur’an  66:6].

It is incumbent upon the husband to teach her the proper beliefs of the followers of the sunna, to remove from her heart

every innovation should she lend an ear to it, and to make her fear God should she be lax in matters of religion.

The husband should also teach her the precepts governing menstruation and irregular menstrual flow, and the taking of precautionary measures.” The information on menstruation is lengthy, but what a woman must be taught concerning men­struation are the prayers she should perform.” If the blood stops shortly before the sunset (maghrib) by [the end of] one prostration, then it is incumbent upon her to perform the noon (zuhr) and the afternoon (‘asr) prayers; if it stops before morn­ing by [the end of] one rak’ah then she should perform the maghrib and ‘isha . 72 This is the least that the women ought to observe.

If the husband is diligent in teaching her, she will not have to go out and ask the ulema about it. If the husband’s knowledge does not encompass such matters, and if he should ask on her behalf, conveying to her the information from the mufti, then there is no need for her to go out. Otherwise, she has the right to go out and ask; in fact, she is obligated to do so, and the husband would be in defiance should he prevent her. No matter how much she learns about her obligations, she should not go out to attend a dhikr73 nor to receive instruction in superfluous knowledge without the consent of her husband.

Whenever a woman neglects one of the obligations imposed upon her by menstruation and irregular menstrual flow, and the husband does not teach her [concerning these matters], he, too, becomes her partner in sin.


[Equality Among Wives]

The eighth: If he has several wives, then he should deal equitably with them and not favor one over the other; should he go on a journey and desire to have one [of his wives] accompany him, he should cast lots (aqra’) among them,74 for such was the practice of the Messenger*. If he cheats a woman of her night, he should make up for it, for making up for it is a duty upon him. For that reason it becomes necessary for him to learn the rules of apportionment which would take a long time to explain here. The Messenger* of God said, “Whosoever has two wives and favors one over the other-that is to say, does not deal equitably between them-he comes to the Day of judgment bent to one


He should be equitable in giving and in cohabiting at night. As concerns love and intimate relations, these do not come under the rubric of choice. Almighty God has declared, “Ye will not be able to deal equally between (your) wives, however much ye wish (to do so)” [Qur’an  4:129]; that is to say, you cannot deal equally with regard to the desires of the heart and the prefer­ences of the soul from which stems inequality in intimate rela­tions. The Messenger* used to be equitable to his wives in giving and cohabiting at night saying, “0 Lord, this is the limit of my ability within my means, I have no access to that which You possess and I do not have,”“ by which he meant love. He loved ‘A’ishah* most,77 and the rest of his wives knew that. During his [last] illness, he was carried every day and every night in order to spend a night with each one of his wives. He would say, “Where am I supposed to be tomorrow?” So one of his wives saw through his question and said, “He is asking for the day with ‘A’ishah.” So they [his wives] said, “0 Messenger of God, we permit you to stay at ‘A’ishah’s house, because it is difficult for you to be carried every night.” He replied, “Are you agreeable to that?” They replied, “Yes,” so he said, “Take me then to ‘A’ishah’s house.”78

Whenever one wife grants her night to another with the husband’s consent, the second wife gains the right to that night. The Prophet* used to allot time among his wives. He wanted to divorce Sawdah, the daughter of Zam’ah, when she became old, so she granted her night to ‘A’ishah and asked him to keep her in order that she [Sawdah] might remain in the circle of his wives. He left her and did not apportion for her; rather, he apportioned two nights for ‘A’ishah and one night each for the rest of his wives .1179

On account of his* fair justice and virility, whenever he. desired one of his wives whose turn was not due and had inter­course with her, he would then visit during the same day or night the rest of his wives. It has been related that ‘A’ishah* said the Messenger* of God visited all of his wives in one night.80 Anas also related that he* visited all nine wives in one morning.”

[Insubordination of the Wife]

The ninth: as pertains to discord (nushuz)82 and whatever dissension takes place between them that cannot be reconciled. If it should ensue from both sides or from the husband, and the wife wants to dominate the husband, and if it is not possible for him to set her straight, then two arbitrators should be called representing each of the two families [husband’s and wife’s] to look into the matter and to reconcile them. “If they desire amendment [reconciliation], Allah will make them of one mind”[Qur’an  4:35]. ‘Umar sent an arbitrator to a couple, but he returned without succeeding in reconciling them; whereupon he [‘Umar] beat him saying, “Almighty God says, ‘If they desire amendment [reconciliation], Allah will make them of one mind.’ “ So the man returned and with [good] intention[s] and gentleness toward them, he reconciled them.

However, if the discord is the woman’s fault, it is the hus­band’s right to chastise and induce her forcibly to obey, since men are guardians over women. Likewise, should she be remiss in performing her prayers, it is his right to force her to perform them. However, he should chastise her gradually: That is to say, first he should preach, then warn, then threaten; should he not succeed, he should turn his back to her in bed, sleep in another bed, or avoid her-while still remaining in the house-from one night up to three. Should all of this fail, then he should beat her but not excessively, that is, to the point that he would inflict only pain but without breaking a bone or causing her to bleed. He should not strike her face for that is forbidden.

The Messenger* of God was asked, “What rights can a woman claim from a man?” He replied, “To feed her when he eats, to clothe her when he is clothed, [but] not to be insolent or beat her excessively. He is to avoid her only in cohabitation [that is, desert her bed].”83 He can be angry with her and avoid her over matters of religion up to ten or twenty [days], or up to a month; the Prophet* did so to Zaynab when he sent her a present and she returned it to him. The wife at whose house he was staying said to him, “She has insulted you by returning your presents,84 that is to say, she has humiliated and belittled you.” The Prophet* replied, “You [wives] are too despicable in the sight of God to insult me!” Whereupon he became angry with all of them for a month, then returned to them.


(Etiquette of Intimate Relations]

The tenth: on the etiquette of intimate relations. It is desir­able that it should commence in the name of God and with the [following] recitation: Say, “He is God, the One and Only” [Qur’an  112:1]; then he should glorify (takbir) and exalt (tahlil)85 His name saying, “In the name of God, Most High, Most Great; 0 God, cause it to be a good progeny if you cause it to issue forth from my loins.” The Prophet* said, “If one of you say when he comes upon his wife, ‘0 God, avert the devil from me and avert the devil from what You have granted us.’ Then should a child result, the devil shall not hurt him.”86

When you near ejaculation, say to yourself without moving your lips: “Praise be to God Who has created humans out of fluid, and made thereof relatives and in-laws, for thy Lord is omnipotent.“ One of the men of hadith used to raise his voice in praise to the extent that the members of the household could hear his voice. Then he would turn away from the qiblah, and would not face the qiblah during coitus out of deference for the qiblah.88 He should also cover himself and his wife with a gar­ment. The Messenger* of God used to cover his head and lower his voice, saying to the woman, “Remain quiet.”“ A khabar says, “If one of you should have intimate relations with his wife, you should not denude yourselves completely like two onagers,”90 that is, two donkeys.

Let him proceed with gentle words and kisses. The Prophet* said, “Let none of you come upon his wife like an animal, and let there be an emissary between them.” He was asked, “What is this emissary, 0 Messenger of God?” He said, “The kiss and [sweet] words.”“ He* also said, “There are three qualities which are considered deficiencies in a man: one, that he should meet someone whose acquaintance he wishes to make but parts from him before learning his name and lineage; second, that he should be treated kindly and reject the kindness’ done unto him; and third, that he should approach his concubine or wife and have sexual contact with her before exchanging tender

words and caresses, consequently, he sleeps with her and fulfills his needs before she fulfills hers.”“

Intimate relations are undesirable during three nights of the month: the first, the last, and the middle. It is said that the devil is present during copulation on these nights, and it is also said that the devils copulate during these nights. It was related that ‘Ali, Mu’awiyah, and Abu Hurayrah also frowned upon it [dur­ing those nights]. Certain ulema recommended intimate rela­tions on Friday and the night before it [Thursday] in fulfillment of one of the two interpretations of the Prophet’s* words, “May God bless the one who purifies and performs the ablution, etc.”“

Once the husband has attained his fulfillment, let him tarry until his wife also attains hers. Her orgasm (inzal)94 may be delayed, thus exciting her desire; to withdraw quickly is harmful to the woman. Difference in the nature of [their] reaching a climax causes discord whenever the husband ejaculates first. Congruence in attaining a climax is more gratifying to her be­cause the man is not preoccupied with his own pleasure, but rather with hers; for it is likely that the woman might be shy.

It is desirable that he should have intimate relations with her once every four nights; that is more just, for the [maximum] number of wives is four which justifies this span. It is true that intimate relations should be more or less frequent in accordance to her need to remain chaste, for to satisfy her is his duty. If seeking intimate relations [by the woman] is not established, it causes the same difficulty in the same demand and the fulfill­ment thereof.

He should not approach her during menstruation, immedi­ately after it, or before major ablution (ghusl), for that is forbid­den according to the decree of the Book.” It has been said that it would engender leprosy in the offspring. The husband is entitled to enjoy all parts of her body during menstruation but not to have sodomy; intercourse during menstruation is forbid­den (haram) because it is harmful, and sodomy will cause perma­nent harm; for that reason it [sodomy] is more strongly prohibited than intimate relations during menstruation.” The words of the Almighty state, “so go to your tilth as ye will” [Qur’an 2:223]; that is, “any time you please.” He may achieve emission by her hand and can enjoy what is concealed by the loincloth (izar) short of coitus. The woman should cover herself with a loincloth from her groin to [a point just] above the knee during the state of menstruation. This is one of the rules of etiquette. He may partake of meals with the woman during her period of menstruation; he may also sleep beside her, etc.97 He should not avoid her.

If the husband wishes to have intimate relations with one after having had coitus with another, then he should wash his genitals first. If he has nocturnal emission, then he should not have intercourse before washing his genitals or urinating. Sex­ual intercourse is frowned upon at the beginning of the night for he should not sleep in an impure state. Should he seek sleep or food, then let him perform first the limited ablution (wudu’), for that is a recommended practice of the sunna. The son of Umar related, “I said to the Prophet,* `Should any of us sleep in a state of major ritual impurity (junub)?’98 And he replied, `Yes, if he has performed the limited ablution (wudu’).’ “99 However, a dis­pensation was given in this regard: ‘A’ishah* said, “The Prophet* used to sleep in a state of major ritual impurity having

not touched water.”100

Whenever he returns to his bed, he should wipe the covers or shake them, for he does not know what might have taken place thereon during his absence. He should not shave, trim his fingernails, sharpen the blade [with which he shaves], cause blood to flow, or reveal any part of him while in a state of major ritual impurity; for all parts of his body would be restored to him in the hereafter, and he would thus return to a state of major ritual impurity. It is said that every hair will demand an account for the infraction it committed.


[Coitus Interruptus]

Other etiquettes include refraining from coitus (‘azl) and not ejaculating except in the place of tilling, which is the womb, for there is not a soul whose existence God has decreed but that will exist.”’ To that effect were the words of the Messenger* of God. As pertains to coitus interruptus, the ulema have split into four groups over whether it is permissible or reprehensible:102 (a) There are those who consider it unconditionally permissible under all circumstances; (b) there are those who forbid it in all circumstances; (c) there are those who say it is permissible with her consent; evidently those proponents consider the harm [caused to the woman], which is forbidden rather than coitus interruptus itself; (d) there are those who say it is permissible with the bondmaid but not with the free woman.

As far as we are concerned, it is permissible. As to a repre­hensible act, it applies to cases where unlawfulness is disre­garded, where uprightness is ignored or where virtue is abandoned. It [coitus interruptus] is reprehensible according to the third stipulation; in other words, it involves abandonment of a virtue, as it is said: It is reprehensible for someone in the mosque to sit without being preoccupied with dhikr or prayer; and it is reprehensible for someone residing in Mecca not to perform the pilgrimage every year; this reprehensibility applies to the abandonment of what should take precedence and is more convenient, nothing more. This is firmly established in what we have explained concerning the virtue of [having] offspring, and in what has been related concerning the Prophet*: “A man has intimate relations with his wife, and is thus decreed for him the reward of a male offspring who fights for the cause of God and is killed [martyred]. “’0 He said so because if such a son is born to him, he would receive the reward of being the cause for his [son’s] existence, even though Almighty God is his creator, his sustainer,104 and the one who strengthens him for jihad. His part in causing [the child] to exist is the act of coitus at the time of ejaculating in the uterus. We have stated that there is no repre­hensibility in terms of prohibition and purification, for uphold­ing prohibition is possible only by text105 or by analogy with a text; there is no text without a basis for analogy. Rather, we have here a basis for analogy-namely, abstaining from marriage al­together, abstaining from intimate relations after marriage, or avoiding emission after penetration; all such abstentions are more preferable, but they do not constitute acts of unlawfulness or disagreement. For the progeny is formed by the sperm being deposited in the uterus, which comes from four causes: marriage, then copulation, then patience until emission takes place after intercourse, then waiting until the sperm is implanted in the uterus. Some of these causes are more closely related than others. [Thus] abstaining from the fourth is like abstaining from the third; likewise, the third is similar to the second, and the second is like the first. All that is not the same as abortion or the burying of girls alive (wad).`

These two things, in effect, constitute a crime against an already existing person; and that also has stages: The first stage of existence is that the sperm should lodge in the uterus, merge with the fluid of the woman, and become thus receptive to life; to interfere with this process constitutes a crime. If it develops into an embryo and becomes attached [a fetus], then the crime becomes more serious. If the spirit is breathed into it and the -created being takes form, then the crime [of abortion] becomes more serious still. The crime is most serious after the fetus is born alive [then buried if it is a girl]. We have said that the initial stage of existence is the planting of the sperm in the uterus, not emission from the urethra; for the offspring is not produced by the sperm of the male alone but from the agglutination of the mates, either from both his and her fluid or from his fluid and the blood of menses, and that the blood plays, in relation to it, the same role as milk to its coagulator; the sperm from the man is necessary in coagulating the blood of the menses as the thick­ening agent (rawbah) is for milk since through it the coagulator gels. However that might be, a woman’s fluid is a fundamental element in coagulation.

The two fluids are likened unto an offer and related accep­tance which result in the consummation of a contract. Whoever makes an offer and goes back on it before it is accepted has breached the contract by rendering it null and void. Whenever an offer and related acceptance take place, rescission becomes a nullification, an annulment, and a severance. As no child can issue forth from a sperm in the vertebra, likewise [a child would not be created] after the expulsion [of the sperm] from the urethra unless it mixes with the fluid or the blood of the woman. This is, therefore, a clear analogy.”’

Should you say: “But coitus interruptus is not reprehensible on account of opposing the existence of a child, it is likely to be reprehensible on account of the motive behind it; for it cannot be motivated except by a corrupt intention which is blemished by concealed polytheism.” I would answer that the motivations for coitus interruptus are five:

The first pertains to concubines who serve to preserve prop­erty from the destruction entailed by the right to manumission; the purpose of maintaining property by avoiding manumission and heading off its causes is not prohibited.

The second, preserving the beauty of the woman and her portliness in order to maintain enjoyment, and protect her life against the danger of childbirth (talq); and this, too, is not pro­hibited.

The third, fear of excessive hardship on account of numer­ous offspring, and guarding against the excessive pursuit of gain and against the need for resorting to evil means. This, too, is not prohibited, because encountering fewer hardships is an aid to religion [faith]. Without doubt, perfection and virtue ensue from dependence on and faith in God’s guaranty which is expressed in His words, “No creature is there crawling on the earth, but its provision rests on God” [Qur’an  2:6 (Arberry, vol. 1:239)]. Falling short of the apex of perfection, and abandoning what is preferable is not a criminal act. However, we cannot say that taking consequences into account as well as preserving posses­sions and hoarding them are prohibited, even though they are contrary to dependence [on God].

The fourth, fear of having female children because of the stigma involved in getting them married, as was the custom of the Arabs in burying their female progeny (fi qatlihim al-‘inath). This would be an evil intention if marriage or coitus are to be abandoned on its account; a person would be guilty of the inten­tion but not of abstinence from marriage and coitus; so likewise in coitus interruptus. Corruption engendered by belief in dis­grace (ma’arrah) is stronger in the sunna of the Prophet*. Such would be comparable to the circumstance of a woman who avoids marriage out of disdain for having to lie under a man and thus attempts to emulate them. Undesirability [in this case] is not due to abstinence from marriage per se.

The fifth, that the woman might abstain from having chil­dren on account of arrogance, excessive cleanliness, fear of labor pains, childbirth, and nursing. Such was the custom of the Kharijite108 women in their excessive use of water to the point that they used to perform the prayers during the days of menses and would not enter the bathroom except naked [because] of their excessive cleanliness. This too is an innovation which con­tradicts the sunna and manifests a corrupt intent. One among them sought permission to see ‘A’ishah* when she came to Basra, but she [‘A’ishah] did not grant it. Thus it is the intent and not the prevention of having children which is corrupt.

If you should say that the Prophet* said, “Whoever aban­dons marriage for fear of having dependents is not one of us in the least,”109 I would say that coitus interruptus is like absti­nence from marriage. By “he is not one of us” is meant that he does not concur with our sunna and our Path: Our sunna is the pursuit of the more preferable deed. Should you point out the fact that the Prophet* said regarding coitus interruptus, “That constitutes a secret form of burying children alive” and [also] recited, “and when the girl-child that was buried alive is asked,”“’ which is reported in the Sahih [of Muslim], we would reply [that] in the Sahih are also authentic reports concerning the lawfulness [of coitus interruptus]. His expression “secret form of burying children alive” is like unto his words “secret polytheism,” and that is an act which constitutes undesirability but not unlawfulness.

If you should point out the fact that Ibn ‘Abbas said, “Coitus interruptus constitutes the lesser degree of burying children alive, as conception is prevented (al-mamnu’ wujuduhu bihi) by coitus interruptus (al-maw ‘udat al-sughrah),”112 then we would reply, “He is equating the prevention of existence to cutting it off and that is a weak form of analogy.” For that reason ‘Ali* denounced this act upon hearing this saying, “A child is not buried alive until after the seventh, or seven phases have been completed,” and he recited the Qur’anic verse pertaining to the stages of creation [23:12-14]: “Verily We created man from a product of wet earth; then placed him as a drop (of seed) in a safe lodging,” up to “and then produced it as another cre­ation”;”’ that is to say, we breathed a spirit into him. Then he recited the Almighty’s words in [another] verse [81:8]: “And when the girl-child that was buried alive is asked.” If you exam­ine what we have already stated concerning analogy and point of view, you will perceive the difference between the method of ‘Ali* and that of Ibn ‘Abbas* in seeking hidden meanings and pursuing knowledge.

It appears that the Sahihayn [of Bukhari and Muslim] concur in relating what Ibn Jabir had said, “We used to have coitus interruptus in the days of the Prophet* while the Koran was being revealed.”“’ In another transmittal: “We used to have coitus interruptus; the Prophet* heard about it, but he did not enjoin us against it.”“’ There is also a report that Jabir had said: “A man came to the Prophet* and said, `I have a bondmaid who is our servant and who brings us water [to drink] during the date-picking season. I do have intimate relations with her, but I am undesirous that she should conceive.’ He* replied, ‘Have coitus interruptus if you wish; for she shall receive what has been destined for her.’ The man was absent for some time, then he came back to him [the Prophet] and said, `The bondwoman is pregnant.’ He replied, ‘I told you that she will receive what has been destined for her.”““ All this can be found in the Sahihayn [of Bukhari and Muslim].


[Etiquette Concerning Having Children]

The eleventh: There are five points concerning the etiquette of having children.

(a) The first, that one should not be overjoyed with the birth of a male child, nor should he be excessively dejected over the birth of a female child, for he does not know in which of the two his blessings lie. Many a man who has a son wishes he did not have him, or wishes that he were a girl. The girls give more tranquility and [divine] remuneration, which are greater.

The Prophet* said, “If a man brings up his daughter well, nourishes her well, and shares with her the gifts which God has bestowed upon him, she will bring him fortune and will facilitate his passage from Hell to Heaven.”“’ Ibn ‘Abbas related that the Messenger* of God said, “If a man has two daughters and treats them well as long as they remain with him, they will cause him to enter Paradise.”“’ Anas said in quoting the Messenger* of God, “If a man has two daughters or two sisters and he treats them well for as long as they remain with him, he and I will be in Paradise like these two [women].”“’ Anas also related that the Messenger* of God declared, “If a man goes to one of the marketplaces of the Muslims, buys something, carries it back to his home, and gives it to the females and not to the males, God will look upon him [with favor], and whomever God looks upon [with favor] He will not torment.”“’ Anas also related that the Messenger* of God said, “When a man brings an extraordinary present [turfah] from the market to his family, it is like bringing them a charitable gift (sadaqah) which he places among them. Let him give the females before the males, for whoever brings joy to a female is like crying out of fear of God, and he who cries out of fear of God will be safeguarded by God from the Fire.”“’ Abu Hurayrah related that the Prophet* said, “Whoever has three daughters or sisters and tolerates their hardships and or­deals, God will bring him into Paradise for having shown mercy toward them.” A man asked, “How about one?” And he said, “Even one.” 122

(b) The second etiquette is that he should chant the prayer (adhan) in the ear of the offspring. 123 Rafi’  related the words of his father: “I saw the Prophet* chanting the adhan in the ear of al-Hasan [his grandson] when Fatimah* gave birth to him.” 124 It was related that the Prophet* said, “When a man has a child and chants the adhan in his right ear and the second call (iqama) in his left ear, he repels epilepsy (umm al-sibyan) from him.”“’ It is desirable that the first words he is taught to speak when he learns to talk be “there is no God but Allah (la ilaha illa Allah)” so that these words may constitute his first utterance. Circumcision on the seventh day is prescribed in a.

khabar. 121

(c) The third etiquette is that he should be given a good name, for that is the child’s right. The Prophet* said, “Should you give a name, let the word ‘abd (fa ‘abbidu) be part of it. 117

He* said, “The names most endearing to God are ‘Abdullah and ‘Abd al-Rahman.” He also said, “Give them my name but not my surname (kunya).128 The ulema said, “That was applica­ble to his*. lifetime”; for he was surnamed ‘Abd al-Qasim. Now it is acceptable [to call children by the Prophet’s surname]. True, a person should not be called by both the Prophet’s name and his surname; for the Prophet said, “Do not give both my name and my surname together.” 121 It was said that this, too, was applicable to his lifetime. One person took the name Abu ‘Isa, so the Prophet* said, “Isa has no father”;130 thus such a name is not desirable.

The miscarried fetus (al-siqt) must be given a name. ‘Abu al-Rahman b. Yazid b. Mu’awiyah said, “I learned that the mis­carried fetus will cry out after its father on the Day of Judgment saying, ‘You have destroyed me and left me without a name.’ ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz said, ‘How so, when he might not know whether he is a male or a female?’“ Abd al-Rahman replied, “There are names that might apply to both, like Hamzah, ‘Amarah, Talhah, and ‘Utbah.”

The Prophet* said, “You will be called on the Day of Judg­ment by your names and the names of your fathers; so let your names be good.”“’ Whoever has an undesirable name, it is preferable that it should be changed; the Messenger* of God changed the name al-‘As to ‘Abdullah.132 Zaynab’s name was Barrah; the Prophet* said, “She purifies her soul,” so he called her Zaynab. 133 There has been an injunction against the use of the names Aflah (be lucky), Yasir (well-being), Nafi’ (useful), and Barakah (blessing)134 for the question is frequently asked, “Is Barakah there?” The answer would be “No.”

(d) The fourth is a sacrifice (‘aqiqah): for the male, two sheep; and for the female, one sheep.”’ But one can be happy with one [sacrifice] be it for male or female.”’ ‘A’ishah re­counted that the Messenger* of God ordered that in the case of a lad (ghulam), two complementary sheep should be sacrificed and in the case of a girl (jariyah), one sheep.”’ It has been related that one sheep was sacrificed.”’ This makes it permissi­ble to sacrifice only one. The Prophet* said, “For every male, there must be a sacrifice; therefore, shed blood on his behalf and thus remove harm from him.”“’

It is part of the sunna that the weight in gold or silver of the child’s hair [cut on the seventh day] be offered to charity. There is a khabar to that effect, namely, that “the Prophet* ordered Fatimah* on the seventh day of the birth of Husayn to shave his head and to give the weight of his hair in silver to charity.”’ ‘A’ishah said: “None of the bones of the sacrifice should be broken for the newborn.”

(3) The fifth is to put in his mouth a masticated date or some other sweet. It was related of Asma’,* the daughter of Abu Bakr,* that she said, “I gave birth to ‘Abdullah b. al-Zubayr in a tunic; then I brought him to the Messenger* of God and placed the child on his lap. The Prophet called for a date, chewed it, then spat it into the child’s mouth.”“’ Thus the first thing that entered his stomach was the saliva of the Messenger* of God. Then he chewed a date and rubbed it on his [the child’s] palate (hannakuhu), invoked God’s blessing upon him, and gave him his blessings. He was the very first child born in Islam,142 so they rejoiced over him, for they had been told that the Jews had bewitched them so that they would not be able to have children.


The twelfth: concerning divorce. Let it be known that it is permissible; but of all permissible things, it is the most detest­able to Almighty God. It is permissible only if it involves no harm ensuing from deception; and whenever he divorces her, he brings harm upon her. It is not permissible to bring harm to another unless a crime is committed on her part or out of neces­sity on his part. Almighty God said, “If they obey you, seek not a way against them” [Qur’an  4:34]; that is to say, do not find an excuse for separation.

If his father should loathe her, then he should divorce her. Ibn ‘Umar* said, “I had a woman I loved, but my father used to loathe her and command me to divorce her, so I consulted the Messenger* of God and he told me, `0 son of ‘Umar, di­vorce your wife.’ 13 This indicates that the father’s rights take priority, but he must be like ‘Umar, a father who does not loathe her for an unjust cause.

Whenever she offends her husband or utters foul language against his family, she is guilty; likewise [she is guilty] whenever she is ill-mannered or corrupt in her religion. Ibn Mas’ud com­

mented on the words of Almighty God, “nor let them go forth unless they commit open immorality” [Qur’an  65:1], saying: “Whenever she utters foul language against his family or inflicts harm upon her husband, she has committed a grave act.” This comment was made concerning behavior during the prescribed waiting period; nevertheless, it underscores what we mean.

If offense should come from the husband, then she can be redeemed through the payment of a compensation (khul’) [divestiture].”’ It is undesirable for the man to take from her more than he has given [as a dowry], for that would constitute injustice against her, unfairness toward her, and a trade [in making profit] on the dowry. Almighty God said, “there is no blame on either of them if she gives something for her freedom” [Qur’an  2:229 (‘Ali)]; thus returning what she has taken, or less, is appropriate in redeeming herself.

Should she seek divorce for no just reason, she is a sinner. The Prophet* said, “Whichever woman asks her husband to divorce her for no cause will not breathe the aura of Para­dise”;”’ in other words, Paradise becomes forbidden to her. In still another expression, the Prophet* said, “Women who seek divorce for a compensation are hypocrites.”“’

The husband should observe four matters in divorce: one, that he divorce her during her state of [menstrual] purity (tuhr), provided he has not had coitus with her. Divorce during menstruation or during a state of purity in which they had coitus, even though it does occur, is an unlawful innovation, as it lengthens the periods of her waiting (‘iddah).”’ If he should do so, he should take her back. The son of ‘Umar divorced his wife during menstruation, so the Prophet* told ‘Umar, “Command him to take her back until she is purified, menstruates, and is purified [again]; after that, he can choose either to divorce or keep her. Such is the period of waiting which God has ordained for divorcing women.”““ He commanded him to wait after tak­ing her back (iddat al-raj’ah) for two states of purity, lest the intent of taking her back should be divorce only.

The second, that he should restrict himself to one divorce utterance and not pronounce all three at once because the one utterance after a legal period of waiting indicates the intent, and he can benefit from retracting it should remorse develop during the period of waiting in which he can renew the marriage if he wishes after this period. If he pronounces all three divorce utter­ances [at once], he might regret it and be compelled to have a muhallil marry her and then wait awhile. To contract a muhallil is a denounced act for which the husband would be the cause; besides, his heart [under the circumstances] would be at the mercy of someone else’s wife [that is, the wife of the muhallil], and at the mercy of the divorce which he [the muhallil] grants. In addition, this would cause the wife to become disenchanted with him; all these are the fruits of al jams (uttering a threefold divorce). Uttering one divorce is sufficient in indicating the in­tent without danger. I do not mean to say that uttering a three­fold divorce is unlawful; rather, it is undesirable for the aforementioned reasons, and by undesirability I mean disregard for himself.

The third, that he should be kind in offering a pretext to divorce her without stern censure and belittlement. He should soothe her heart by way of gratification with a present and cure the wounds inflicted by separation. Almighty God has said, “yet make provision for them” [Qur’an  2:236 (Arberry, vol. 1:62)]; and this is a duty whenever it is the case that a dowry had not been specified in the original marriage [contract].

Al-Hasan b. ‘Ali was an unbridled divorcer and marrier. One day he sent one of his companions to divorce two women among his wives and said, “Tell them to prepare for the legal period of waiting.” He ordered him to give each one of them 10,000 dirhams. He did; and when he [the companion] returned to him, he [al-Hasan] asked him, “What did they do?” he replied, “One of them lowered her head and thus remained, but the other cried and wailed and I heard her say, ‘These are very small provisions from a parting loved one.’“ Al-Hasan bowed his head and invoked blessings on her saying, “Were I to take back a woman after separating from her, I would take her back.”

One day al-Hasan went to visit ‘Abd al-Rahman b. al-Harith b. Hisham,149 who was the faqih (jurist) of Medina and its chief, who had no equal in Medina, and whom ‘A’ishah used as an example when she said, “Had I not already traversed this course

of mine,150 I would have preferred to have sixteen males from the Messenger* of God like ‘Abd al-Rahman b. al-Harith b. Hisham.” Al-Hasan went to see ‘Abd al-Rahman in his house. [‘Abd al-Rahman] honored him and told him to sit in his place saying, “Would that you had sent for me; I would have come to you.” Al-Hasan replied, “The need is ours.” He [‘Abd al-Rah­man] asked, “What is it?” He told him, “I have come seeking your daughter in marriage.” ‘Abd al-Rahman lowered his head, then raised it and said, “By God, there is no one walking upon this earth who is dearer to me than you; but you know that my daughter is flesh of my flesh: what offends her offends me, and what pleases her, pleases me. You are an unbridled divorcer: I fear that you would divorce her. Should you do that, I fear also that my heart would turn away from loving you, and I would be unhappy should my heart be turned away from you, because you are a part of the Messenger’s flesh. If you promise not to divorce her, I will give her to you in marriage.” Al-Hasan was silent, then he arose and left. One of his household heard him saying while walking, “’Abd al-Rahman wanted to make his daughter a rope around my neck.”

Ali* used to be impatient with his [al-Hasan’s] numerous divorces and would apologize on his behalf from the pulpit saying in his sermon (khutbah),151 “Hasan is very prone to di­vorce, so do not give him [your daughters] in marriage.” A man from Hamadan rose and said, “0 prince of the faithful, we will give him our daughters in marriage to his heart’s satisfaction. If he so wishes he can keep them, and if he so desires he can let them go.” That pleased ‘Ali and he said, “Were I a gatekeeper of Paradise, I would tell Hamadan to enter in peace.” This is merely an indication that if a man, out of embarrassment, speaks ill of someone dear to him, whether wife or child, it is not necessary that one should agree with him since such an agree­ment would be undesirable. Rather, it is a rule of etiquette to disagree to the best of one’s ability, for that is more pleasing to his heart and in accord with his hidden thought.

The aim of all of this is to show that divorce is permissible. God has promised riches in both separation and in marriage saying, “And marry such of you as are solitary and the pious of your slaves and maidservants. If they be poor, Allah will enrich them of His bounty” [Qur’an  24:32]; and also saying, “But if they separate, Allah will compensate each out of His abundance” [4:1301.

The fourth, that he should never reveal her secret [private affairs] while divorced or married. Concerning the revealing of women’s secrets, an authentic khabar transmits great threat.’ 52 It is related that a virtuous man wanted to divorce his wife and he was asked, “What grievance have you against her?” And he replied, “A wise man does not reveal the secrets of his wife.” After divorcing her he was asked, “Why did you divorce her?” And he replied “The affairs of someone else’s wife are not my concern.” This indicates the husband’s obligation.


Examination of the Husband’s Rights

The authoritative statement in this context is that marriage constitutes a form of enslavement; thus she is his slave, and she should obey the husband absolutely in everything he demands of her provided such demands do not constitute an act of dis­obedience. There are many akhbar that magnify the rights of the husband.

The Prophet* said, “If a woman dies while her husband is satisfied with her, she will enter Paradise.”“’ A man went on a journey and enjoined his wife against descending from the high ground [where they lived] to the low ground where her father lived. He became ill, so the wife sent for the Messenger* of God, asking permission to descend to her father. The Prophet* re­plied, “Obey your husband.” Her father died, and again she sought his [the Prophet’s] counsel and he said, “Obey your husband.” When her father was buried, the Messenger* of God sent word to her that God has forgiven her father by virtue of her obedience to her husband.”“ The Prophet* said, “If a woman performs her five [daily] prayers, fasts during the month [of Ramadan], preserves her chastity, and obeys her husband, she will enter the Paradise of her Lord.”“’ He included obedi­ence to the husband in the basic principles of Islam. The Mes­

senger* of God described women as: “Child-bearers, mothers, nursers who are compassionate toward their children, and those who pray will enter Paradise, provided that they do not commit wrongs against their husbands.”“’

The Prophet* said, “I looked into Hell and found most of the occupants to be women,” and we asked him, “Why, 0 Mes­senger* of God?” He replied, “Because they curse a lot and enrage their mates”;157 by this he meant the husband with whom they consort. In another khabar [the Prophet said], “I looked into Paradise and the minority of its inhabitants were women. So I asked, ‘Where are the women?’ And I was told, ‘They are preoccupied with two red things:158 gold, and saffron,’ “159 meaning jewelry and dyestuff for clothes.

According to ‘A’ishah*: “A young girl came to the Prophet* and said, ‘0 Messenger of God, I am a betrothed girl but I detest marriage. What are the husband’s rights from the woman?’ He replied, ‘Were he covered with pus from the tip of his head to the soles of his feet, and were she to lick him, she would not compensate him enough.’ Whereupon she said, ‘Should I then not get married?’ He said, ‘Do, for it is good.’ “160

Ibn ‘Abbas said, “A woman from Khath’am came to the Messenger* of God and said, ‘I have no husband and I wish to get married: What is the husband’s right?’ and he said, ‘The rights of the husband incumbent upon a wife are that if he should desire her and seek to have her while she is on the back of a camel, she should not deny him his wish. It is his right that she should not give [away] anything from his household except with his permission; should she do this, the burden is hers and the compensation is his. It is also his right that she should not observe a voluntary fast except with his permission; should she do it, she will suffer hunger and thirst and her fasting will not be acceptable [to God]. If she leaves her house without his permission, the angels will curse her until she returns to his house or repents.’““’ The Prophet* said, “Were I to command someone to prostrate himself before another, I would command the wife to prostrate herself before her husband on account of the magnitude of her obligation to him.”“’ The Prophet* also said, “A woman is nearest to the face of God when she is in the inner sanctum of her house; performing the prayer in the court-yard of her house is better than praying in the mosque, and praying in her house is better than praying in her courtyard, and praying in her bedchamber (makhda’) is better than praying [elsewhere] in her house.”“’ The alcove is a quarter within the house; it is a place of shielding. For that reason the Prophet* said, “A woman is deficient; if she goes out, she will please the devil.”“’ He also said, “A woman has ten deficient qualities; if she marries, the husband covers one of those qualities, and if she dies, the grave covers all ten.”“’


Thus the husband’s rights toward the wife are many, but most important are two: the first is safeguarding and sheltering; the other is to be spared unnecessary demands and the need for having to provide them if they are unlawful. This was the custom of women with the forefathers. When a man went out of his home, his wife or daughter would say to him, “Beware of unlaw­ful gain; we would endure hunger and harm rather than Fire [hellfire]. One of the predecessors was about to go on a journey of which his neighbors disapproved. They said to his wife, “Why do you let him go when he has not left you any provisions?” She said, “Since the day I knew my husband, he has been a consumer and not a provider; but I do have a Lord who provides. The consumer goes, but the Provider remains.”

Rabi’ah [of Syria], the daughter of Isma’il, asked Ahmad b. Abu al-Hawwari166 to marry her. He declined because he was preoccupied with worship and said to her, “My preoccupations are not inclined toward women, because I am too preoccupied with myself.” She replied, “I am more preoccupied with myself than you are, and I have no [physical] desire. However, I have inherited much wealth from my husband and I wish you would spend it on your spiritual brothers, and that through you I should come to know the righteous ones, thus finding a path to God, may He be glorified and honored.” He replied, “Wait until I seek permission of my master.” So he returned to find Abu Sulayman al-Darani, who used to enjoin against his getting mar­ried and [who had] said, “None of our companions ever got married without being changed.” But when he heard her words,

he said, “Marry her, for she is a friend of God. Hers are the words of the righteous.” Al-Hawwari said, “I married her; and there was in our house a container made of plaster which had become worn out through use by those who hastily washed their hands and left after meals, not to mention those who had washed with potash.” He also said, “I married three wives in addition, but she used to give me the best to eat and used to perfume me. She would say to me, ‘Go with energy and strength to your wives.’ “ Thus Rabi’ah of Syria was likened unto Rabi’ah al-‘Adawyiah of Basra.”’

Among the obligations of the woman is that she should not squander his [her husband’s] possessions, but rather take great care of them. The Messenger* of God said, “It is not lawful for her to feed anyone from his house without his permission, ex­cept from food that would spoil if kept. Should she feed [others] with his blessing, then she would earn the same kind of reward he earns; but if she should feed [them] without his permission, then he would earn the reward and she would bear the bur­

den. -168

It is the obligation of the parents to train her in the etiquette of cohabitation with her husband. It is related of Asma’, the daughter of Kharijah al-Fazzari, that she said to her daughter when the latter got married, “You have left a nest in which you grew up and proceeded to a bed which you know not and a mate with whom you have not associated; be an earth for him, and he will be your sky; be a resting place for him, and he will be your pillar; be his bondmaid, and he will be your slave; do not make excessive demands, for he will then desert you; do not become too distant from him, for he will then forget you; should he draw near, then draw close to him; should he become distant, stay away from him. Shield his nose, his hearing and his eye169 so he will smell nothing from you but that which is sweet, hear nothing but that which is good, and look at nothing but that which is beautiful.”

A man said to his wife [in rhyme]:

Seek forgiveness from me, and you will

cam my constant affection;

Speak not when I am angry;

Do not beat me once as you would beat

the tambourine, for you do not know what the unknown may hold in store;

Do not complain excessively, for it will cause love to depart and turn my heart away from you;

I have seen love in the heart and harm; if the two should meet, love would soon disappear.



Without going into lengthy details, a summary of what con­stitutes etiquette for the woman is the following: She should remain in the inner sanctum of her house and tend to her spin­ning; she should not enter and exit excessively; she should speak infrequently with her neighbors and visit them only when the situation requires it; she should safeguard her husband in his absence and in his presence; 170 she should seek his pleasure in all affairs and refrain from betraying him through herself or his possessions; she should not leave his home without his permis­sion: if she goes out with his permission, she should conceal herself in worn-out clothes”’ and choose the less-frequented places rather than the main avenues and market places, being careful that no stranger hear her voice or recognize her person­ally; she should not approach friends of her husband while go­ing about her business, but feign ignorance of those who might recognize her or whom she might recognize; her primary con­cern should be caring for her own affairs, tending to her house, performing her prayers, and fasting; should a friend of her hus­band knock at the door when he [the husband] is not present, she should not ask questions or engage in conversation, so as to maintain her self-respect and her husband’s; she should be content with the means that God has provided her husband; she should place his rights before hers and before the rights of his relatives; she should always observe the rules of personal hy­giene, and be ready at all times for him to enjoy her whenever he wishes; she should be affectionate toward her children, zeal­ous to protect them, refraining from uttering profane words against them and from talking back to her husband.

The Prophet* said, “I and a haggard woman like these two will be in Paradise: a widowed woman who dedicated herself to her daughters until they attained the age of puberty, or [one who

has] died.”““ The Prophet* also said, “God has forbidden all the descendants of Adam to enter Paradise before me; but I look and behold on my right a woman [who] has preceded me to the gate of Paradise; so I ask, `Why does she precede me?’ And the answer comes, ‘0 Muhammad, this was a fine, beautiful woman who had orphans. She was patient until they attained their present state, so God was pleased with her for that.’ “19

Other etiquettes governing the woman include the fol­lowing: that she should not boast to her husband of her beauty, neither should she belittle her husband for his ugliness. It was related that al-Asma’i t”I said, “I went to the desert and, behold, I saw a woman with a most beautiful face married toa man with the ugliest [face]; so I said to her, `Woman, are you satisfied to be married to such a man?’ She said, ‘Be quiet! You have uttered ill words; perhaps he has earned high merits with his Lord and thus I became his reward; or perhaps I have offended my Crea­tor and he thus became my punishment. Should I not then accept what God has seen fit for me?’ Thus did she silence me.”

Al-Asma’i also related, “I saw a woman in the desert who was wearing a red garment and carrying a rosary; so I said to her, `What a discrepancy between the two!’ She replied [in rhyme]: `Part of me belongs to God and I shall not squander it; the other part belongs to folly and idleness.’ I learned that she was a virtuous woman who had a husband for whom she adorns her­self.

Another decorum of the woman is to be virtuous, and melan­choly in the absence of her husband, and to return to her sprightliness and happiness in his presence. She should never harm her husband in any way. Mu’adh b. Jabal related: “The Messenger* of God said, `Whenever a woman hurts her hus­band in this world, his houri wife says: “Do not harm him, may God reproach you! For he is a stranger in your house who will soon depart from you to join us.”““

Her marital obligations include: that she should not mourn over the death of the husband longer than four months and ten days during which time she should avoid perfume and adorn­ment. Zaynab, the daughter of Abi Salamah, said: “I went to visit Umm Habibah, the wife of the Prophet,* when her father Abu Sufyan b. Harb died. She asked for perfume containing a yellow tinge (khaluq) or something like it. She anointed a female slave with it, then touched both cheeks and said, `By God, I have no need for perfume; however, I did hear the Messenger* of God say, “It is not lawful for a woman who believes in God and the Day of Judgment to mourn more than three days over the dead unless he be a husband, in which case she should mourn for four months and ten days.”“’

The woman should remain in the house of her marriage until the end of the legally prescribed waiting period, and must not move to her family or leave the house except out of necessity.

Another etiquette is that she should perform every service of which she is capable at home. It was related that Asma’,’r‘ the daughter of Abu Bakr al-Siddiq,* said: “Zubayr19 married me when he had on earth neither possessions nor slaves nor any­thing besides his horse and a [water-carrying] camel (nadih). I used to feed his horse, give him his provisions, look after him, grind date-stones for his camel, feed him, bring water, string beads to hang on his neck, and knead dough. I used to transport ground date-stones on my head a distance of more than two­thirds of a parasang1T9 until Abu Bakr sent me a slave girl, and I was then contented with looking after the horse. It was like being freed.”’ The Messenger* of God came upon me one day with his companions while I was carrying date-stones on my head,’“’ and he* said “Akh, akh” to make his she-camel kneel so as to carry me behind him. I was embarrassed to proceed with men and remembered the jealousy of al-Zubayr, for indeed he was the most jealous of men. The Messenger* of God noticed that I was embarrassed; so I came to al-Zubayr and told him what had happened. He said, “By God, it is more painful for me to see you carry ground date-stones on your head than to ride with him.”





As in the text, all references to the Qur’an are from Pickthall’s The Glorious Koran unless otherwise noted.




  1. See al-Bukhari,Sahih,7:9.
  2. “Tillage,” frequently used by al-Ghazali, is interpreted by Watt to mean “a development of the primitive metaphor which compares sexual inter­course with the sowing of seed, and speaks of children as the fruit of the womb”(Companion to the Qu’rdn,41).
  3. The Halabi edition indicatedbil-nutaf.It is difficult to ascertain the meaning with the preposition as an antecedent.
  4. I translatedal-indhdrfrom the Azhariyah edition as a “warning,” while the Halabi edition indicates bil-indhdr, “with warning.”


  1. In Arabic:�ulama’(sing. �dlim, literally “learned man”). They are the scholars who are learned in Islamic law, beliefs and dogmas (Hughes, Dictionary of Islam, 650).
  2. It is possible that al-Ghazali is idealizing the past here as no other source has been found to substantiate his remarks. Von Grunebaum reinforces this belief when he states, “The Muslim hates change. The best Islam was in the beginning…. By clinging to the ways of the forebears, by upholding and reliving the tradition of the ancients, by eschewing innovation, the standing of his betters who preceded him would be preserved one instant longer”(Medieval Islam,240).
  3. Akhbdr(sing.khabar, literally “news, report”) is applied to tradi­tions traced back, not to the Prophet, but to other authorities such as his companions, well-known jurists, imams, etc.
  4. AthOr(sing.athar, literally “trace”) is applied to traditions relating the deeds and utterances of Muhammad and his companions.
  5. Watt states that this injunction is “usually taken to mean that the relatives should not oppose remarriage to the former husband, but might refer to opposition by the former husband to another husband”(Companion to the Qur’dn,42).
  6. Hereafter, invocations after saints, prophets, companions and those who have passed away will be deleted; an asterisk will indicate the deletions. The invocation after a saint or a prophet is, “May the prayer and peace of God be upon him”; after companions, “God be satisfied with him”; and others, “May God have mercy upon him.”
  7. See discussion in note 110, this chapter. Actually, “whoever likes my religion which I practice.”
  8. This hadith was related by Abu Yadla in hisMusnadwith an intro­duction and conclusion from the hadith of Ibn Abbas on the authority of Hasan (‘Iraqi).
  9. This hadith was related by Abu Bakr Ibn Murdawayyah in his com­mentary from the hadith of Ibn ‘Umar without his including “even if you should fall.” His transmission is weak, and this addition was also mentioned by al-Bayhaqi through his knowledge of al-Shafiti who he claimed had in­formed him of it (Iraqi).
  10. First part conforms with the hadith of Anas: “Whoever refrains from my sunna, -he is not of me”; and the rest was preceded by hadith (Iraqi). See also cAbd al-Bagi,Lulu’ wa al-Marjdn,3:100.
  11. Abu Man;sir al-Daylami related this hadith in hisMusnad al-Firdawsfrom Abi Sacid’s hadith in a weak transmission and in the Musnad of al­Darami and in the Mu’jam of al-Baghawi and in the Mardsil as related from the sayings of Abu Najih, “whoever is able to marry and does not marry, he is not of us,” and Abu Najih dissented in his friendship (Iraqi).
  12. Ibn Majah related this hadith from the hadith of tA’ishah in a weak(da�V)transmission (Iraqi).
  13. Reference is to lustfulness.
  14. This hadith is agreed upon by the sayings taken from the hadith of Ibn Masud (Iraqi). See also cAbd al-Bagi,Lulu’ wa al-Marjdn,3:99; and al-Bukhari, Sahih, 7:3. The term used here, wijd’un, literally means “bruising of the veins of the testicles until they break, so that it is like gelding” (Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon, 292).
  15. Arousal of sensuous desire through eyeing the opposite sex.
  16. Implies satisfaction of sexual urges.
  17. al-Tirmidhi made this transmittal known from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah (‘Iraqi).
  18. In Sufi lexicography, the term is also used to signify sainthood or “friendship of God” (Jabre,Le Lexique de Ghazali,278).
  19. Ahmad related this hadith in a weak transmission from the hadith of Mu’adh Anas (Iraqi).
  20. Ibn al Jawzi related this hadith in the“11alfrom the hadith, of Anas in a weak transmission (Iraqi).
  21. Implies desire for sex. According to Ibn Manztir the term applies to sexual organs of both male and female(Lisdn al-Arab,3:166). Hans Wehr mentions only “vulva” under farj (Dictionary, 702).
  22. Implies desire for food.
  23. Muslim relates this hadith from Abu Hurayrah (Iraqi).
  24. Umar b. al-Khattab, second ‘Aliph, is one of the greatest figures of early Islam and founder of the Arab empire. The West has given him the epithet of “St. Paul of Islam.” He is also referred to asamir al-mu’minin,in a sense renewing the theocratic regime of the time of the Prophet; it ceased with Umar, but the transmission of prophetic powers was revived later by the Shi­’a. He was the father-in-law of the Prophet, who married his daughter, Haflah. He died 23/644 (Encyclopaedia of Islam, supplement, new ed., s.v. “athar”).
  25. Fujdr alsomeans to act immorally, sin, live licentiously, lead a dissolute life, indulge in debauchery” (Wehr, Dictionary, 697).
  26. Ibn Abbas ‘Abd al-Muttalib, died 68/687, was a companion and an uncle of the Prophet(Encyclopaedia of Islam,new ed., s.v. `Abbas’; see also Ibn al-Nadim, Fihrist, 932).
  27. Fardgh,emptying the heart, is a Sufi tenet. It means that by ridding himself of selfish desires, man is able to receive God’s graces and become tranquil (Lane,Arabic-English Lexicon, 2382).
  28. Abu ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Abd Allah Akramah, a slave of berber origin attached to the governor of al-Balrah, became an authority on the Koran and hadith. He died in 107-8/725-26 (Ibn al-Nadim,Fihrist,75, 82, 1012).

Muhammad b. al’Ala’ b. Kurayb al-Hamdani Abu Kurayb, from al­Kufah, was an authority on hadith. AI-Tabari, a jurist of his age, acquired knowledge of the hadith from him. He died in 244/858 (Ibn al-Nadim, Fihrist, 563, 1033).

  1. Ibn Mas’dd, who died in 32-33/653-54, was a companion of the Prophet and was one of the first converts. He is a traditionist and an authority on the Koran and the sunna. To him is attributed 848 traditions, which are collected inMusnad Ahmad (Encyclopaedia of Islam,new ed., s.v. “al-Mas’tidi”).
  2. Mu’adh Ibn Jabal Ibn Aws was appointed by the Prophet as judge of al-Yaman, and helped to collect revelations of the Koran. He died about 18/639 (Ibn al-Nadim,Fihrist,62, 1045).
  3. Bard istranslated “one” rather than “some”; the referent is singu­lar (Wehr, Dictionary, 67).
  4. The term used,baniyy,stands for a descendant or a member of a family, clan or tribe.
  5. Ahmad related this hadith from Rabi’ah al-Aslami in a lengthy narration. The transmission is of fair authority (hasan) (Iraqi).
  6. Reference is to early ascetics who did not marry, but felt if they did, a wife would distract them from their devotion to the One; consequently, their material needs were the bare essentials. Al-Suhrawardi reiterates this in his commentary in the margins of the Azhariyah edition(‘Awdrif al-Ma’drif,78).
  7. Bishr b. al-Harith, or Abu Nasr Bishr b. al-afi, was born near Merv ca. 150/767 and died in Baghdad in 227/841. Bishr,*who studied traditions in Baghdad, abandoned formal learning for the “life of a mendicant, destitute, starving and barefoot,” hence the name “al-Haft.” He was admired and re­spected by Ahmad b. Hanbal and ‘Aliph al-Ma’mun (Farid al-Din ‘Attar,Muslim Saints and Mystics, 80).
  8. Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Hanbal, known as Ibn Hanbal, died at Baghdad in 241/855. He was an adherent to theAN al-Hadith,or the old traditional views. Where possible, he “derives every law from traditional sources. This compels him to be very indulgent to the hadith and sometimes to admit very feeble traditions as the basis of his decision.” He was a founder of one of the the four madhdhib (juridical rites) in Islam, the Hanbali school. He did not establish a fiqh (jurisprudence) system of his own but did answer pupils’ questions pertaining specifically to legal matters. His son, cAbdullah, collected the traditions and lectures in the Musnad (Encyclopaedia of Islam, new ed., s.v. “hadith”).
  9. That is, he was in an unenviable position.
  10. Al-Qushayri usesmartabahand maqdm in the same context. He discusses twenty stations along the mystic’s path, the first of which is repen­tance (tawbah), (Risdlah, 253-408; see also Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, 294; and Arberry, Sufum, 75-79).
  11. Talqdni (youencounter me) was translated instead of yalgdni (he encounters me), as in the Azhariyah edition, to agree with the subject.
  12. Ibrahim Ibn Adham, or Abu Ishaq Ibrahim b. Adham, was born in Balkh of pure Arab descent-a prince who renounced his kingdom somewhat after the fashion of the Buddha. His conversion is a classic in Sufi legend. He left his kingdom and family to become an itinerant dervish, living an ascetic life, then gathered a following. He died ca. 165/782 in Syria (Farid al-Din ‘Attar,Muslim Saints and Mystics,62).
  13. Farid al-Din ‘At tar maintains that Ibn Adham was married(Muslim Saints and Mystics,68).
  14. Mujahid isone who “fought against unbelievers and the like in the way of God, that is, in the cause of religion” (Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon, 473).
  15. Rak’ahliterally means “a bending of the torso from an upright position, followed by two prostrations [in Muslim prayer rituals]” (Wehr, Dictionary, 358).
  16. Reference is probably to the Arabicized Muslim whereby the “Arabic civilization becomes Muslim civilization, and it is the spontaneous collaboration of the best minds of all the Empire’s nationalities that accounts for the stupendous rise of this civilization in those two hundred years, from 750 to 950, so breathlessly crowded of human accomplishment” (Von Grune­baum,Medieval Islam,201).
  17. Abu Yacla relates this hadith from Hadhifah, and al-Khitibi inal­’Uzlahfrom his own hadith and the hadith of Abd Amimah; both weak trans­mittals (Irigt).
  18. Al-Khitabi related this hadith inal-‘Uzlahfrom the hadith of Ibn Mas’tid who was guided by al-Bayhaqi in al-Zahti, who was guided by the hadith of Abu Hurayrah; all weak transmittals (Iraqi).
  19. Al-Qada’i related this hadith in theMusnadof al-Shihab [followed by other references and transmittals]; both transmittal lines are weak (Iraqi).
  20. Abu Sulayman al-Darani, a mystic of the ninth century, died in Syria in 215/830. To him is attributed the first delineations of the doctrine ofmaqdmdt(stations) of the Sufi path Jami, Nafahdt al-Uns, 39).
  21. See al-Suhrawardi,‘AwdrifalMa’drif 76.
  22. A1-Ghazali is apparently voicing his discontent toward the writers of hadith in emulation of Muhammad, who said to those writing hadith, “Do you not know that nothing but the writing of books besides the book of God led astray the peoples that were before you?” (Guillaume,Traditions of Islam,16).
  23. Abu al-Hasan Ahmad b. al-Hawwari was from Damascus, and was a scholar and a mystic. He died in 230-31/844-45 (Ibn al-Nadim,Fihrist,456, 1002).
  24. In the Halabi editionyussabbibis used to imply that producing children is the primary aim of coitus; in the Azhariyah edition bisabab is used when a child is the accidental result of coitus.
  25. The term used iswalad,which connotes a male or female offspring.
  26. That is, increase the ranks of the faithful (Muslims).
  27. That is, after the father has passed away.
  28. Although the verse, Qur’an2:48 (Ali), rules out intercession in Is­lam, many Muslims believe in it: “And fear the day when no soul shall serve as a substitute for another soul at all, nor shall intercession be accepted for it; nor shall ransom be taken from it; nor shall they be helped.”
  29. This is a reference to the reports that in the Jahiliyah (pre-Islam) period Arabs buried their daughters alive. W. R. Smith asserts that the reason for this was twofold: fear by the parents that they could not provide for all their offspring and fear that their daughters might be taken captive and thus bring disgrace on their kin(Kinship and Marriage,291-96; see also Fyzee, Muhamma­dan Law, 5).
  30. Al-Ghazali expounds further on this subject from a slightly differ­ent position in chapter 3. In the hadith, there are transmittals both allowing and disapproving coitus interruptus. See Wensinck,Handbook,112.
  31. Watt explains “lend” as “contributing to God’s causes”(Companion to the Quran,43).
  32. His use of such terms as farad’ andbagel’maybe conscious allusions to Sufi significations since both constitute final states in the Sufi’s search for communion with God; fand’ is the annihilation or passing away of the self, but is not equivalent to the cessation of the individual consciousness as in Nirvana; and bag&’ is the “subsistence or remaining” in God (Jabre, Le Lexique de Ghazali, 265; see also Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjrlb, 243; and Encyclopaedia of Islam, new ed., s.v. ‘fand”’)
  33. The hadith states that “God says.” It is related by al-Bukhari from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah that Mukhlid al-Qatawani is the only one who quoted it (Iraqi).
  34. The complete verse is: “Who hath created life and death that He may try you” (Qur’an67:2).
  35. The Azhariyah edition adds:wa yahsulal-wigd’-that is, “and coitus results as a consequence of desire.”
  36. Al-ramal(trotting) and al-idtibdc (cloaking) are performed in imita­tion of the Prophet and his companions who did these things so that the people of Mecca might know that there was strength in them (Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon, 1159).
  37. The text isal-iftidd’(ransom, sacrifice, redeem), but al-igtidd’ of the Azhariyah edition was translated to mean “emulation.”
  38. Abti Umar al-Tawgani indicates this hadith in his bookMa�dshirat alAhlayn,basing it on the transmittal of ‘Umar b. al-Khattab, but this cannot be supported or justified (Iraqi).
  39. Al-Bayhaqi reveals this hadith from the hadith of Ibn Abi cAdiyah al-Sadafi as genuine(sahih)and based on Said b. Yasar as the ultimate source (9ragi).
  40. Ibn Habban relates it in hisDu�afd’(book of weak transmittals) as related by Bahaz b. Hakim, who quoted his father, who quoted his grandfather; weak transmittals (Iraqi).
  41. Ibn Majah relates the hadith from ‘Ali and says “miscarried fetus” rather than “child’ ; weak transmittal (Iraqi).
  42. Muslim relates the hadith from Abu Hurayrah (Iraqi).
  43. Ibn Habban first related this hadith in theDucafd’from the trans­mittals of Bahaz b. Hakim, who related it from his father, who related it from his grandfather: It is not genuine. However, al-Nisa’i related it from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah in a good (jayyid) transmittal. He states that “it was said to them to enter paradise; they would say, ‘Not until our parents enter,’ then it would be said, `Enter paradise, you and your parents”’ (Iraqi).
  44. The hadith in its entirety does not have a reliable source (Iraqi).
  45. Al-Bazzar and al-Tabarani related the hadith from Zuhayr b. Abi cAlqamah; and by Muslim from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah (Iraqi).
  46. Al-Bukhari relates the hadith from Anas without mentioning “even two”; Ahmad related this addition from the hadith of Mu’adh which is agreed upon(muttafaq�alayhi) (Iraqi).
  47. The word iswilddn(sing. wa/iid), that is, “newborn children, young infants’ ; a child who dies in early infancy, or who is prematurely born, is in paradise (Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon, 2966).
  48. Lane quotes this whole hadith fromNuzhat al-Mutaammil(Arabian Society, 197-98).
  49. In the Azhariyah edition, it isal-taghbiyahwhich would be trans­lated as “divine concealment.”
  50. The Sufis are referred to as those who are knowledgeable in the esoteric, hidden or inner meanings (Jabre,Le Lexique deGhazali, 39).
  51. The line before Qur’an8:73, which lends meaning to the quotation, is: “And those who disbelieve are protectors one of another-If ye do not so….
  52. The term literally means “the members, or limbs, of a man, with which things are gained or earned, or with which one works” (Lane,Arabic­English Lexicon,405).
  53. Al-Ghazali uses murid, which is a Sufi term for a novice or disciple of amurshidor teacher of a Sufi order who is on the Path to attain the knowledge of the One (al-Qushayri, Risdlah, 731, 746-50; see also Palacios, La Espiritualidad de Algazel, 4:90).
  54. The concept of the heart and its purification is a main tenet of the Sufis in attaining their goal (al-Qushayri,Risdlah,566).
  55. al-Suhrawardi,‘Awdrif al-Ma “drif84).
  56. Possibly cIragi Qatadah (d. 117/735), one of the companions of the Prophet and a transmitter of hadith (Goldziher,Muslim Studies,2:23; see also a reference to him as a transmitter in Ibn Kathii s Tafsir al-Qur on, 491).
  57. Watt refers to this verse (Qur’an2:286) as “charges … to its capac­ity”; that is, “requires of no one more than he is able to perform” (Companion to the Qur’an, 45).
  58. See note 28, this chapter, for identity of cAkramah.
  59. This is possibly Abti al-Hajjaj Mujahid b. Jabr, of Mecca, who lived from 21/642 to 104/722 and was a disciple of Ibn Abbas and an authority for reading and commentary on the Koran (Ibn al-Nadim,Fihrut,1061).
  60. “Darkness: sometimes said to mean an eclipse of the moon,” as interpreted by Watt(Companion to the Quran,333).
  61. Muslim relates the hadith from Ibn Umar, which is confirmed by the hadith of Abi Said. However, Muslim was unable to affirm its utterance (Iraqi).
  62. Al-Bayhaqi related it in theInvocations (al-Du’awdl)from the hadith of Umm Salamah in a transmission which contained weaknesses (Iraqi).
  63. Hadith; as set forth in theInvocations(Iraqi).
  64. Literally, the text states that he “became stationary between His hands” (Wehr,Dictionary,1091-92).
  65. Ahmad related it from the hadith of Abi Kabshah al-cAmmari-its chain of authority is reliable(jayyid)(dlragi).
  66. This is also related by Ibn Hanbal,Musnad,3:348, 395.
  67. This is the hadith of jabir. It was related by Muslim and al-Tirmidhi -it is of fair authority (Iraqi).
  68. Al-mughayyibdl(absentee) was translated because of the context, rather than al-maghabdt (outcome, consequence), in the Azhariyah edition.
  69. Al-Tirmidhi related it from the hadith of Jabir; it is authentic(gharib)(Iraqi).
  70. From the hadith of Ibn Abbas. It was stated by the Prophet and related by al-Bukhari (‘Iraqi).
  71. A son born of a concubine automatically becomes a slave as was the custom in the pre-Islamic period. On the other hand, a distinction was made also between the sons of a foreign woman and those of a freeborn tribeswoman (W. R. Smith,Kinship and Marriage,89).
  72. See 2 Peter 3:8: “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
  73. The Arabic term‘dlim(literally, “a learned man”; a scholar knowl­edgeable in Islamic beliefs) is not used as frequently as the plural form ‘ulamd’ (ulema).
  74. Hadith. It was so stated to Hasan b. ‘Ali. This utterance was said to Jafar b. Abi Talib and agreed upon by the hadith of al-Barra’. However, Hasan also resembled the Prophet … which is agreed upon in the hadith of Jahifah; al-Tirmidhi corrected it. Ibn Habban relates it from the hadith of Anas who said, “No one resembles the Prophet more than Hasan” (Iraqi).
  75. Ahmad related it from the hadith of al-Migdad b. Macadyakrab in a chain of authority which is considered reliable (Iraqi).
  76. Mughirah Ibn Shu’bah, a companion and martyr, died ca. 48 or 51/668-671. He holds in tradition a record for marriages and divorces which varies: 300, 700, 1,000. Among the public offices he held was the governorship of Ktifa. His slave, Abu Lu’lu’ah, assassinated ‘Aliph Umar(Encyclopaedia of Islam,new ed., s.v. “al-Mughira b. Shu’ba’“).
  77. Ibn Habban related it from the hadith of Abi Dharr in a lengthy tradition from the scriptures of Abraham (‘Iraqi).
  78. The Azhariyah rendition oftdmifan(desirous) was used, and not zd`inan (journeying) which appears in the Halabi edition.
  79. This is in reference to the verse, “Take thou provisions from the present world, i.e., make thou provision in it, for the world to come” (Lane,Arabic-English Lexicon,1267).
  80. Same transmittal and narration as in note 105, this chapter.
  81. In a Sufi context,irddahconnotes a willful determination to under­take the rigors of the Path, that is, to have the “desire” to seek nothing but what God desires (Arberry, Sufism, 77).
  82. A similar tradition with a different connotation and spelling(fatrah)given by Lane states, “Verily there is an eagerness [shirrah] for this Kur-an: then men have a weariness [fatrah] of it” (Arabic-English Lexicon, 1525; see also jabre, who refers to it as a “natural disposition” that exists in the heart to know God [Le Lexique de Ghazali, 222-23]).
  83. Ahmad and al-Tabarani related it from the hadith of Abdallah b. Umar; and al-Tirmidhi related something similar from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah. The tradition is genuine(sahih)(Iraqi).
  84. This is related by Ibn’Adiyy, Ibn Abbas, al-cAgili, Ibn Habban, and al-Azadi; all weak transmittals (Iraqi).Harisah isa dish of cooked meat and bulgur (al Jahiz, Le Livre des avares de &hiz, 310).
  85. Al-Nisa’i and al-Hakim related it from the hadith of Anas in a good transmittal. However, al-cAgili weakened it (Iraqi).
  86. Literally,dhikrmeans “mentioning Allah,” enjoined upon Muslims in the Koran; or in a Sufi context, “the glorifying of Allah with certain fixed phrases, repeated in a ritual order, either aloud or in the mind, with peculiar breathings and physical movements” (Encyclopaedia of Islam, new ed., s.v. “dhikr”; see also al-Qushayri, Risdlah, 464-71).
  87. Al-Tirmidhi related it and improved it; it was also related by Ibn Mijah; there is a break in the chain of authority (Iraqi).
  88. The terms he uses here aredhikr(remembrances) and shukr (thanksgiving), both mystic terms (al-Qushayri, Risdlah, 383-89; see also note 114).
  89. Possible reference to his wives as a unit. His devil is not as was defined earlier-i.e., when a woman approaches, she approaches in the form of a devil-but is used here in a metaphorical sense. In this instance, she abetted his fulfillment of Muslim obligations, hence equating the two devil­Muslims.
  90. Al-Khatib related it in the history [of Baghdad] from the hadith of Ibn ‘Umar. This was also related by Muslim from the hadith of Ibn Masud (Iraqi).
  91. There are three suras (Qur’an22:53, Qur’an  75:2, and Qur’an  89:27-30) that deal with the physical, moral, and spiritual levels of “self.” Al-Ghazali comments on the first two. See also Jabre, Le Lexique de Ghazali, 263-65.
  92. ANconnotes “wives” here since all the verbs in the sentence are in the feminine plural and, therefore, do not have the general meaning of “family, relative,” etc.
  93. AI-Tabarani and al-Bayhaqi related it from the hadith of Ibn Abbas; it was preceded by the words “sixty years.” It is agreed upon by the hadith of Ibn Umar (�Iraqi).
  94. Al-Ghazali fails here to give the other two counts.
  95. In Islamic law,saddgah isa legally prescribed alms tax (Wehr, Dictionary, 509).
  96. Agreed upon from the hadith of Ibn Masud and others in which fi [literally, “mouth”] is included (Iraqi). The Azhariyah edition givesyar­fa1uha ila f i imra atihi,while the translated text excludes fr. Another interpreta­tion could be to “offer it to the mouth” of his wife.
  97. This refers to “The Substitutes, or Lieutenants, that is, certain righteous persons, of whom the world is never destitute; when one dies, God substituting another in his place.” According to some, the assertion refers to seventy men, while according to others, to seven (Lane,Arabic-English Lexicon,168).
  98. Abu Yadla relates it from the hadith of Abi Said al-Khudari in a weak transmittal (Iraqi). The “two women” he refers to are not identified.
  99. Ibn Majah relates it from the hadith of dUmran b. Husayn. The transmittal is weak (Iraqi).
  100. Ahmad relates it from the hadith of CA’ishah. However, he statedbil-huzn[in sadness, grief] while Layth b. Abi Salim does not agree (Iraqi). As was expressed in the beginning of the fifth advantage, through tolerance and exercise of just protection of the family and children, a man can gain “salva­tion,” or atone for his sins.
  101. Al-Tabarani relates it inal-Awsatand Abu Nudaym [al-Isfahani] in Hulyat [al-Awliyd’J and al-Khatib in al-Talkhis which resembles the hadith of Abu Hurayrah. The transmittal is weak (dal (dIragi).
  102. Al-Khara’iti relates it inMakdrim al-AkhMqin a weak transmission but differs from the relater, Ibn Abbas. This hadith is also related by Abi Da’ud and al-Tirmidhi who have worthy transmitters, but there is still contro­versy over its transmittal (Iraqi).
  103. Seegharibin the Glossary.
  104. The text usesjawdrihto imply extraneous or physical acts. See note 80, this chapter.
  105. That is, because he has sufficiently subdued his passions.
  106. This contradicts his statement in the Conclusions (this chapter), wherein he states it as a condition and not as an absolute: “. . . to earn gain in an improper way is unlawful. Seeking gain takes place continually and in it lies his [ultimate] ruin and the ruin of his family.”
  107. The scales are those on which the deeds will be weighed on the day of judgment (see Qur’an4:59, Qur’an  5:9 [‘Ali]).
  108. Iraqi stated that he could not find a basis for the origin of this hadith.
  109. The author of theFirdawsmentioned it from the hadith of Abi Sa’id. However, the son of Abti ManIyr could not find it in his Musnad (dlragi).
  110. Yafa(redeem) instead of baqa (remain) was translated from the Azhariyah edition.
  111. Abu Da’tid and al-Nisa’i related it by stating “whom he abandons,” rather than “for whom he provides.” Muslim had still a third version (Iraqi).
  112. The author of the statement apparently is referring to the emptying of the heart, a station on the path of union with God which is an arduous process. Hence the novice can barely take care of himself much less be occu­pied with and care for another being. See also note 143, this chapter.
  113. See note 40, this chapter.
  114. Watt translated it (Qur’an2:228) as: “Women have such honourable rights as obligations.” Literally, he states that women “ ‘have rights similar to their duties according to what is honourable (or reputable) or customary.’ This is sometimes said to mean that both parties should keep the way open for reconciliation” (Companion to the Quran, 41).
  115. That is, he is afraid even to raise a chicken lest he leave it on the road and become a butcher. Al-Suhrawardi restates this and the need for a Sufi to be preoccupied with his own needs(‘Awdrif al-Ma�drif 78).
  116. Meaning a master over his place of abode.
  117. Al-Bukhari related it from the hadith of Anas who also related “they are eleven” (Iraqi). One tradition states that the Prophet had nine wives, among whom were ““A’isha, daughter of Abu Bakr; Hafla, daughter of Umar; Umm Habiba, daughter of Abu Sufyan; Umm Salama, daughter of Abu Umayya b. al-Mughira; Sauda, daughter of Zamca b. Qays; Zaynab, daughter of Huyay b. Akhtab” (see al-Bukhari,Sahih,7:4, and cAbd al-Bagi, Lulu, 1:74). Another tradition states that he married thirteen women, among whom is Khadija (daughter of Khuwaylid) who was his first wife (Guillaume, Life of Muhammad, 792). Ibn al Jawzi refers to fourteen wives (Talbis Iblis, 330).
  118. Al-Bukhari related it from the hadith of Anas which also contains the statement that the Prophet received revelations while he was in the bed of tA’ishah and not the others (Iraqi).
  119. Ibn Abbas has a similar allegory: “L’eau, c’est la science; et les. ruisseaux, les coeurs” (Massignon,Les Origins du lexique technique,139-40).




  1. The text has “sultan,” but the term actually implies ultimate au­thority holder.
  2. This hadith is from Ibn Umar who states: “Does not engage his brother’s fiancee until the engaged man leaves her, or permission is taken for him” (Iraqi). See also al-Shafidi,Risdlah,307.
  3. He is referred to as Umar II, who ruled from A.D. 717 to 720. He was renowned for his piety and asceticism and was considered the only pious member of the Umayyad ‘Aliphate (Hitti,History of the Arabs,219-22).
  4. The termal-zubadu bil-nirsiydn isused here to describe an ideal combination; it is misspelled in the Halabi edition, where tirsiydn (shield, disk of the sun) is given.
  5. Name of the tenth month of the Muslim year.
  6. The Prophet contracted the marriage to cA’ishah when she was seven and lived with her in Medina when she was nine or ten. She was the only virgin that he married. Her father, Abu Bakr, married her to him (Guillaume,Life of Muhammad,792).
  7. Muslim related it from the hadith of ‘A’ishah (Iraqi).
  8. This list is al-Ghazali’s compilation of divergent views. However, for an elaboration of these views and practices observed by the four juridical rites-Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafici, Maliki-as well as Sunni versus Shici concepts, see Hughes, who expounds upon nine prohibitions(Dictionary of Islam,314­18), and Fyzee (Muhammadan Law, 92-96, 106-8).
  9. Muhammad decreed that Muslims cannot marry a Magian except under certain circumstances. Magians were a religious sect in Persia that was reformed by Zoroaster in the sixth century before Christ (Hughes,Dictionary of Islam,310).
  10. The termkildbiyahrefers to a female of the AN al-Kitab (or those who possess an inspired Book, i.e., Jews, Christians, or Sabeans) (Hughes, Dictionary of Islam, 280). According to the Shiites, the term can also extend to Samaritans, Sabeans, and Zoroastrians (Fyzee, Muhammadan Law, 94).
  11. The Azhariyah edition states, “does not fear fornication.”
  12. When two unrelated people are nursed by the same woman, they are considered to be blood brothers or sisters (Hughes,Dictionary of Islam,314).
  13. The Halabi edition indicates “grandmother.” However, the Azhari­yah word was translated here meaning “granddaughter.”
  14. For a further explanation, see al-Shafici,Risdlah,205-6.
  15. ‘Iddat bayntinah isfinal divorce whereby the woman cannot remarry the husband, contrary to ciddat al-rafah, whereby she can (Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon, 285-86, 1040).
  16. The concept ofhall(literally, “untying” or “resolving”) is that after a man divorces his wife, she has to become the wife of another man, the muhallil, before he can remarry her; muhallil literally means one who “unties or resolves” the problem, making her lawful to remarry her husband (Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon, 619-20).
  17. Li`’an isthe oath of condemnation; it can also be, in Islamic law, a “sworn allegation of adultery committed by either husband or wife” (Wehr, Dictionary, 870).
  18. Al-Ghazali uses the termthayyiban saghirahfor “deflowered young woman.”
  19. Literally, the termfarjihdmeans “to safeguard her sexual organ.” See chapter 1, note 21.
  20. This hadith was related by Abu Da’rid and al-Nisa’i, which was related from the hadith of Ibn Abbas. Al-Nisa’i stated that this hadith was not agreed upon, while Ahmad stated it was of weak authority(munkar).Also al Jawzi mentioned it in Al-Mawducdt (Iraqi).
  21. Agreed upon; from the hadith of Abti Hurayrah (Iraqi).Taribat yaddh isa form of imprecation meaning, “May thine arm, or thy hands, cleave to the dust, or earth, by reason of poverty” (Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon, 300).
  22. Al-Tabarani related this hadith inad Awsatfrom the hadith of Anas. Another version of this hadith was related by Ibn Habban in al-Dtfafa’ (a collection of weak transmittals) (Iraqi).
  23. Ibn Majah related it from the hadith of Abdallah b. ‘Umar in a weak transmittal (Iraqi).
  24. See chapter 1, note 27.
  25. Al-Tirmidhi related and refined this transmittal from the hadith of Jabir stating that God said, “I detest and shall keep away on the Day of Resurrection the prattler, the braggart, and the long-winded.” This transmit­tal was also related and refined by al-Tirmidhi and Abd Da’tid from the hadith of cAbdallah b. Umar (Iraqi).
  26. Sd’ih,the term used here, denotes an itinerant dervish as well.
  27. In Islamic law, a compensation(khutah)must be paid by the wife when a divorce is sought by her (Hughes, Dictionary of Islam, 274). This law is laid down in Qur’an  2:229: “And if ye fear that they may not be able to keep the limits of Allah, in that case it is no sin for either of them if the woman ransom herself.”
  28. Nashaz isthe noun derived from the same root as ndshiz. In Islamic law, nushuz means “violation of marital duties on the part of either husband or wife, specifically, recalcitrance of the woman toward her husband, and brutal treatment of the wife by the husband” (Wehr, Dictionary, 966).
  29. Sharica is the Muslim law derived from the Koran, the hadith, and the processes of jurisprudence (Ibn al-Nadim,Fihrist,923).
  30. Ibn Majah related this hadith in a weak transmittal from the hadith of b. Maslamah. It was also related by al-Tirmidhi and al-Nisa’i with slight variations.
  31. The Ansar, or Medinans, were followers of Muhammad and early converts who granted him refuge after the Hegira (Hughes,Dictionary of Islam,16).
  32. Muslim related it from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah (Iraqi).
  33. Abu Bakr Sulayman a1-A’mash, a traditionist, died in Rufa in 148/765. He received traditions from al-Zuhri and Malik b. Anas. He was also a great admirer of ‘Ali(Encyclopaedia of Islam,new ed., s.v. “al-A’mash”).
  34. The words “to Bilal” were left out of this text, but they do occur in previous editions. Bilal, an Abyssinian Negro who was freed by the Prophet, became the first muezzin in Islam. Muhammad honored and distinguished him as the “first fruits of Abyssinia” (Hughes,Dictionary of Islam, 42).
  35. Malik b. Dinar al-Simi, who died at the age of ninety in 131/748 at Basra, is mentioned as a reliable traditionist, transmitting from such author­ities as Malik b. Anas and Ibn Sirin. He was the son of a Persian slave from Sujistan (or Kabul) who became a disciple of Hasan of Basra (a mystic) (Hujwiri,Kashf al-Mahjdb,89; Ibn al-Nadim, Fihrist, 1037).
  36. A houri is a white-skinned, black-eyed woman who is referred to as a virgin of paradise, or a nymph of the Islamic paradise.Al-hawarand the Arabic word for houri (sing. ,hur; pl. hdriyah) are derived from the same root. See Qur’an  55:56-78 for a complete description of the women of paradise.
  37. Al-Nisa’i related this hadith from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah in a genuine transmittal. Ahmad and Abu DA’fd related this hadith from Ibn Abbas in a genuine transmittal (Iraqi).
  38. Related by Ibn Habban from the hadith of Ibn Abbas. This was also related by cA’ishah and by Abu Umar al-Tawgani in the bookMa’dshirat al-Ahlaynwho enhanced it (Iraqi).
  39. It was related by the transmitters of the sunna and extending to ‘Umar; al-Tirmidhi enhanced it (cIragi).
  40. “Dirham” may be used for money or for a silver coin (Ibn al­Nadim,Fihrist,910).
  41. Related by Abu Da’ud al-Tayalsi and al-Bazzar from the hadith of Anas; by al-Tabarani inal-Awsatfrom the hadith of Abi Sac id; and by Ahmad from the hadith of ‘Ali; and by al-Hakim who made its transmittal reliable (clragi).
  42. dIliyycomes from the termcilliyan and is translated here to mean a “stone, sometimes placed upon two other stones, upon which is put to dry the preparation of curd; also used for other purposes” (Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon, 2146). It is difficult to ascertain any other referent here. The word was deleted from the Azhariyah edition..
  43. Mudd,a dry measure. “It is a quarter of a sac; the sd’ being five pints and one third; such was themudd of the Prophet” (Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon, 2697).
  44. Al-Bukhari related this hadith from the hadith of cA’ishah (Iraqi).
  45. Related by al-Arbacah from the hadith of Anas and also by Muslim (Iraqi).Sawiq isa kind of mush made of wheat or barley. It can also be made with sugar and dates (Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon, 1472).
  46. Related by al-Arbacah from the hadith of Umar. Al-Tirmidhi stated that it was genuine and of fair authority(hasan sahih)(Iraqi).
  47. This is from the hadith of Anas stating that cAbd al-Rahman b. cAwf got married for five dirhams. It was related by al-Bayhaqi (Iraqi).
  48. Compare what al-Ghazali states here with his statement on page 158 inCounsel for Kings.
  49. Ahmad and al-Bayhaqi related it from the hadith of cA’ishah. Its chain of authority is reliable (Iraqi).
  50. This is related by Abu Umar al-Tawqani from the hadith of cA’ishah and by Ahmad and al-Bayhaqi. Its transmission is reliable (Iraqi).
  51. Sufyan al-Thawri, or Abu cAbd Allah Sufyan Ibn Said al­Thawri, was claimed by the Sufis as a saint. He was an ascetic who founded a school of jurisprudence which survived for about two centuries. However, he opposed the authorities and was compelled to go into hiding in Mecca. He was born in Kufa in 97/715 and died at Basra in 161/778 (Farid al-Din Attar,Muslim Saints and Mystics,129).
  52. This is related by al-Bukhari in the bookal-A dab al-Mufradand by al-Bayhaqi from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah in a reliable chain of authority (cIragi).
  53. Abu Da’dd and al-Nisa’i related it from the hadith of Mucqal b. Yasar. Its chain of authority is genuine (Iraqi).
  54. This transmittal is agreed upon from the hadith of Jabir (cIragi).
  55. The Azhariyah edition uses the comparative formaakad(surest) while the Halabi edition uses akad (to assure, convince).
  56. This was related in a tradition as follows: “Avoid ye the beautiful woman that is of ‘bad origin’; she is thus likened to the herbage that grows in thediman(dung), that appears to be in a flourishing condition, but is un­wholesome as food, and of stinking origin” (Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon, 916).
  57. Al-Daraqutni related this hadith inal-Afrddand stated that al­Waqidi repeated it but made it weak (cIragi).
  58. Al-cirqu nazz&unmeans “the radical, or ancestral, or hereditary, quality is wont to return to its usual possessor; or it may mean, is wont to draw” (Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon, 916).
  59. Ibn al-Salah stated that he could find no basis for this hadith (Iraqi).
  60. Related by Abu ‘Umar al-Tawgani inMacdsharat al-Ahlayn.This is supported by the hadith of cA’ishah and Asma’, daughters of Abu Bakr. The transmittal is genuine (Iraqi).
  61. Grandson of the Prophet, ‘Ali’s son.



  1. This is from the hadith of Anas-agreed upon (Iraqi).
  2. Muhammad consummated his marriage with Safiyyah b. Huyayy, who was a captive and was married without a dowry, on his return from Khaibar (Stern,Marriage in Early Islam,86).
  3. This was related from the hadith of Anas by the four transmitters of hadith (Iraqi). See chapter 2, note 45, for description ofsawiq.
  4. This hadith is attributed to al-Tirmidhi who related it from the hadith of Ibn Mascad, and who made the transmission weak.
  5. Gharibmeans “authentic, but resting on the authority of only one companion” (Guillaume,Traditions of Islam, 181).
  6. Hadith of AbU Hurayrah as related by Abu Da’ud and al-Tirmid­hi; Ibn Majah perfected and introduced it in theInvocations(Iraqi).
  7. It was related and enhanced by al-Tirmidhi, and by Ibn Majah from the hadith of Muhammad b. Hatib (Iraqi). The termsaws(voice) is used to imply singing.
  8. This was related by al-Tirmidhi from the hadith of cA’ishah; how­ever, al-Bayhaqi enhanced it and made it weak (Iraqi).
  9. Hadith of al-Rubayyic, daughter of Mucawwidh, as was related by al-Bukhari with a slight change (Iraqi).
  10. ‘Ali interprets it to mean “anything that has no civil rights. It includes captives or slaves, people in your power”(Holy Quran,191, n.553).
  11. Book 15 of al-Ghazali’sIhyd’deals with prayer.
  12. Al-Nisa’i brought it forth inal-Kubrd,and Ibn Majah from the hadith of Umm Salamah. The Prophet never ceased to stress “prayers and what your right hand (possesses).” In reference to the care of women, he stressed this in the last pilgrimage which was related by Muslim from the hadith of Jabir al-Tawil (Iraqi).
  13. This refers to “a recompense, or reward, from God to a man, for righteous conduct” (Lane,Arabic-English Lexicon,24).
  14. cIragi could not find any basis for this hadith. However, see Qur’an28:9 in support of this statement.
  15. This is related from the hadith of ‘Umar as stated in the hadith of al-Tawil-agreed upon (cIragi).
  16. The earlier hadith did not contain “0 foolish woman,” and “he is better than you” (Iraqi).
  17. Haf;ah was the daughter of ‘Aliph ‘Umar and the second wife of the Prophet (Guillaume,Life of Muhammad,792).
  18. See Qur’an66:1-3. Abu Bakr was cA’ishah’s father.
  19. No basis can be found for this transmittal (cIragi).
  20. Al-Tirani transmitted it inal-Awsatas did al-Khatib in al-Tarikh. Both transmittals are weak and come from the hadith of cA’ishah (cIragi).
  21. Abu Yada brought it forth in hisMusnadand Abu al-Shaykh in Kitab al-Amthdl from the hadith of cA’ishah, which was also transmitted by Ibn Ishaq (Iraqi).
  22. Related from the hadith of cA’ishah-agreed upon (Iraqi).
  23. This was first related by the twoshaykhsfrom the hadith of Umar and Ibn al cAs; then Ibn al Jawzi shaped it and related it in al-Mawducdt from the hadith of Anas; … however, his love for Khadija is well known and documented in the hadith (‘Iraqi).
  24. From the hadith of cA’ishah-agreed upon without exception. It was related with the addition by al-Zubayr b. Bakkarand al-Khatib (Iraqi).
  25. Al-Bukhari related it from the hadith ofcA’shah (cIraqi).
  26. Hadith Anas. However, Muslim related, “I have never seen anyone kinder than the Prophet with women,” but ‘Ali b. cAbd al cAziz and al-Baghawi added “and children” (Iraqi).
  27. Abu Da’tid and al-Nisa’i related it inal-Kubrd,and Ibn Majah from the hadith of cA’ishah-the transmittal is genuine (‘Iraqi).
  28. Al-Hasan b. Sufyan related it in hisMusnadfrom the hadith of Anas without his saying “with his wives”; it was also related by al-Bazzar and al­Tabarani in al-Saghir and al-Awsat by stating “with his children,” which was supported by Ibn Lahicah (‘Iraqi).
  29. ‘Ashird’is the name of the voluntary fast day. It is held the tenth day of Muharram on the anniversary of Husayn’s martyrdom at Kerbela (60 A.H.). It is a day of mourning sacred to the Shicites (Wehr, Dictionary, 614).
  30. The hadith is agreed upon with few exceptions; “a holy day” rather than the day ofcAshurd’was mentioned; while al-Nisa’i stated in his Kubrd that cA’ishah said, “Don’t rush,” rather than, “Be quiet”; and that the Prophet said, “0 she-ass!” The chain of authority is genuine (cIragi).
  31. It is a trustworthy transmittal(thiqah)which is related by the two shaykhs: al-Tirmidhi and al-Nisa’i (Iraqi).
  32. Al-Tirmidhi brought it forth and authenticated it from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah without saying, “and I am the best among you toward my wives”; and from the hadith of cA’ishah, “people” was replaced by “wives” (clragi). Note, however, that “wife” is one of many meanings of the wordahl(Wehr, Dictionary, 33).
  33. Ahlis translated here to mean “family.”
  34. “Found a man,” that is, act like a man or be firm.
  35. Abu Bakr b. Lal related it inMakdrim al-Akhldqfrom the hadith of Abu Hurayrah in a weak transmittal. It is also stated in the two Sahihs from the hadith of Jariyah b. Wahab al-Khazad and Abu Da’tid (cIrags).
  36. Agreed upon from the hadith of Zahir (clragi).
  37. Muni ahalso means “abstinence from things unlawful, or in chas­tity of manners, and the having some art or trade” (Lane,Arabic-English Lexicon, 2702).
  38. No basis was found for this statement. However, al-Bukhari related it from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah as, “Miserable is he who is a servant of the dinar and the dirham” (cIragi).
  39. Compare Qur’an14:34.
  40. A firis the “space between the end of the thumb and the end of the index finger when extended” (Wehr, Dictionary, 694).
  41. A cubit in Iraq and Syria is 0.68m, in Egypt it is 0.58m (Wehr,Dictionary,309).
  42. The Nabataeans were a tribal group who lived in Arabia as early as the seventh century B.c. During the Muslim period, the Arabs called those inhabitants of Syria and Iraq who were neither shepherds nor soldiers, “Nabataeans”-a term used in “a contemptuous tone to the Aramaic-speaking peasants”(Encyclopaedia of Islam,new ed., s.v. “Nabataeans”).
  43. For further details, see Qur’an12:28-31.
  44. Al-Tabarani related it from the hadith of Abi Imamah in a weak transmittal; and Ahmad from the hadith of Umar and‘As.However, al-Nisa’i related in his Kubrd that the Prophet stated: “If among all the crows, there is a white-footed crow with a red beak, then no woman shall enter Paradise except one like this crow.” This transmittal is genuine (Iraqi).
  45. Abu Mans ur al-Daylami related it in theMusnad al-Firdawsfrom the hadith of Abu Hurayrah in a weak transmittal. However…. a slight transmittal … states the “three poverties, one of which is: ‘If you come to her, she will hurt you, and if you are away from her, she will be unfaithful to you.”’ This was related by al-Tabarani from the hadith of Fadalah b. cUbayd as of fair authority (clragi).
  46. From the hadith of ‘A’ishah-agreed upon (Iraqi). It is interesting to note here that all the good transmittals concerning women were transmitted by women, especially by cA’ishah.
  47. See Qur’an66:3.
  48. The translation given by Watt is, “If you two [Hafsah and cA’ishah] repent to God”; that is, “If you repent, good and well”(Companion to the Qur’dn,271).
  49. This is agreed upon from the hadith of ‘Umar, and the two women are cA’ishah and Hafsah (‘Iraqi).
  50. AI-Bakhari related it from the hadith of Abi Bakrah (Iraqi).
  51. This is related by al-Tabarani inal-Awsatfrom the hadith of Jabir. Muslim states that the Prophet “forbade the man to enter upon his wife at night for he betrays them or seeks their faults.” However, al-Bukhari does not mention the prohibition of entering at night (Iraqi).
  52. Ahmad related it from the hadith of Ibn ‘Umar. The transmittal is reliable (clragi).
  53. Agreed upon from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah (Iraqi). See al­Bukhari,Sahih,7:33-34. Ibn Hanbal quotes Abu Hurayrah differently: “Women were created from a rib which was not straightened at creation; if you straighten it …” (Musnad, 2:497).
  54. Abu Da’tid, al-Nisa’i, and Ibn Habban related it from the hadith of Jabir b. cAtik (cIragi).
  55. From the hadith of Abu Hurayrah; al-Bukhari deleted “and the believer is jealous.” This is agreed upon (cIragi).
  56. Possibly refers to Sacd, who was in love with Asma’. He was the subject of poetry and perhaps was himself a poet. There is a book entitledSacd and Asmd’whose traditions are transmitted among the “Names of the Passionate Lovers during the Pre-Islamic Period, and the Period of Islam” (Ibn al-Nadim, Fihrist, 710, 1086).
  57. From the hadith of al-Mughirah b. Shacbah-agreed upon (‘Iraqi).
  58. From the hadith of Jabir who deleted “The night I was taken through Paradise” and “maid”-agreed upon; he mentioned “maid” in an­other transmittal from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah-also agreed upon (clragi).
  59. Abu DY’ud, al-Nisa’i, and Ibn Habban related it from the hadith of Jabir b. cAtik, but it was also related in four other hadiths (Iraqi).
  60. The first part of the statement was related first, while the second partwasrelated by Abu ‘Umar al-Tawgani in the book, Mu’asharat al-Ahlayn, from the narrative of Abdullah b. Muhammad; and it appears that Abdullah b. al-Hanafiyah is the transmitter (Iraqi).
  61. Al-Bazzar and al-Daraqutni related it inal-Afrddfrom the hadith of ‘Ali. The transmittal is weak (Iraqi).
  62. This is agreed upon from the hadith of Ibn Umar, who stated, “The women were permitted to go to the mosques at night” (Iraqi).
  63. From the hadith of cA’ishah-agreed upon. However, al-Bukhari related instead, “he would have prevented them from the mosques” (Iraqi).
  64. Hadith of Ibn Umar which is agreed upon (Iraqi).
  65. From the hadith of Umm cAtayyah-agreed upon (Iraqi).
  66. Literally, that it is “safe” to “sit” or remain at home.
  67. Watt translates “keep not thy hand chained” as meaning “do not be niggardly”(Companion to the Qur’dn,135).
  68. From the hadith of ‘A’ishah-brought forth and made genuine(sahhah)by al-Tirmidhi (Iraqi).
  69. Muslim related it from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah (Iraqi). Al­Tirmidhi states it differently in a genuine hadith: “The dinar which earns you the greatest reward is the one spent on your wife, your riding animal(ddb­bah)and your companions in the way of God” (Sunan, 6:193).
  70. Precepts as spelled out in codes based on the Shari’a.
  71. Book 2 of thelhyd’deals further with menstruation and prayer.
  72. Reference is to the time element, because more than onerah`ah isusually involved; hence she could not fully perform these rak”ahs within the prescribed period. For further details see Book 2 of the Ihya:
  73. Presumably this is a reference to a Sufi ritual. See chapter 1, note 114.
  74. From the hadith of cA’ishah-agreed upon (Iraqi). A preferable translation, found in Lane, is that “he ordered, or commanded, them to cast, or draw lots, or to practice sortilege [among themselves]”(Arabic-English Lexi­con,2987).
  75. This was related by the authors of theSunanand Ibn Habban, from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah [with slight variations] by Abu Da’ud, Ibn Hab­ban, and al-Tirmidhi stating, “He does not deal equitably between them” (Iraqi).
  76. Habban and the authors of theSunanrelated it from the hadith of cA’ishah (Iraqi).
  77. From the hadith of Umar and b. al-cAg-agreed upon-who re­lated that when the Prophet was asked, “Whom do you love the most among your women?” he replied, “CA’ishah” (Iraqi).
  78. This hadith was related by Ibn Sa’d inal-Tabaqdt,and by al-Buk­hari from the hadith of cA’ishah, and in the Sahihayn [of Bukhari and Muslim] (Iraqi). rAbd al-Bagi stated that the Prophet remained with cA’ishah until his death (Lu’lu’ 3:185).
  79. Abu D5’6 d related it from the hadith of CA’ishah; also related by al-Tabarani, al-Bukhari, and al-Bayhaqi with slight variations (Iraqi).
  80. This was related from the hadith of cA’ishah (Iraqi).
  81. This is from the hadith of Anas. Ibn CAdi related it inal-Kdmil.This was related by al-Bukhari who also stated that the Prophet had nine wives (clragi). See chapter 1, note 145.
  82. See chapter 2, note 28.
  83. Abu D5’ud and al-Nisa’i related it inal-Kubrdand Ibn Majah from a narration of Mu’awiyah Ibn Haydah-the transmittal is good and reliable (Iraqi).
  84. Ibn al Jawzi related it inal-Wafd’without any support. This was also mentioned in the Sahihayn [of Bukhari and Muslim] from the hadith of ‘Umar as well as in a story from the hadith of Jabir (Iraqi).
  85. Reference is made to the utterance of the formula,Id ildha illa Allah(There is no God but Allah).
  86. From the hadith of Ibn Abbas-agreed upon (Iraqi).
  87. This latter phrase, “and made thereof relatives and in-laws, for thy Lord is omnipotent,” did not occur in the Azhariyah edition (Iraqi). The Koran’s version (25:54) is: “And He it is Who hath created man from water, and hath appointed for him kindred by blood and kindred by marriage; for thy Lord is ever Powerful.”
  88. Qiblah isthe direction to which Muslims turn in praying (toward the Kaaba) or a prayer niche which is a recess in a mosque indicating the direction of the Kaaba (Wehr, Dictionary, 740).
  89. Al-Khatib related it from the hadith of Umm Salamah in a weak transmittal (lragi).
  90. Ibn Majah first related it from the hadith of cAtabah b. cAbd in a weak transmittal (Iraqi).
  91. Abu Man~rir al-Daylami related it in theMusnad al-Firdawsfrom the hadith of Anas-it is of weak authority (Iraqi).
  92. Abu Mangur al-Daylami related it from a much shortened hadith, and this is some of the hadith with which he agrees (Iraqi).
  93. This hadith was forwarded in the fifth chapter of the book of prayer (Iraqi).
  94. Arabic has one term,inzdl,which is here translated as “orgasm,” “climax,” “ejaculation,” or “emission,” since it would be difficult to use one English term for the referent.
  95. See the complete reference in Qur’an2:222.
  96. Everything that can happen to man, everything that he can do, falls into five categories in Islam:lard, sunna, mubdh, makruh,and ardm. “Fard is that which is commanded, that which is unavoidable in order to’ find favour in the eyes of God, as giving of alms. Sunna is doing good, meritorious acts in the sight of God. But it is not a sin to omit such acts…. Mubdh are the deeds which are indifferent to both God and man. Their number is not large and they bring neither reward nor punishment. Makruh is the evil, but not the forbid­den. One can commit it without fear of God’s punishment. But the pious will omit it. Hardm … is sin, express violations of God’s commands. Whoever commits hardm may be sure of God’s punishment” (Essad, Mohammed, 355­56).
  97. See al-Tirmidhi,Sunan,1:159-62.
  98. Junub,translated here as major ritual impurity, signifies a man “under the obligation of performing a total ablution, by reason of sexual intercourse and discharge of the semen” (Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon, 466).
  99. From the hadith of Ibn Umar as the one who posed the question -agreed upon (Iraqi).
  100. From the hadith of ‘A’ishah, as related by Abu Da’ud, al-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah (Iraqi).
  101. From the hadith of Abi Sacid-agreed upon (Iraqi). See also al­=Tirmidhi,Sunan,4:103.
  102. cIragi found no basis for the following hadith. However, al­-Ghazali’s deductions are correct as he summarized existing views on coitus interruptus. See al-Tirmidhi,Sunan,4:102-5.
  103. No basis was found for this hadith (Iraqi).
  104. In the Azhariyah edition, literallymuhyihi,or “keeping him alive,” was translated rather than muhibbihi (his attachment, affection) of the Hala­bi edition.
  105. Reference is made here to an evidence or a proof made manifest by a text of the Koran or of the sunna used as an authority in an argument for proof of an assertion.
  106. Wadrefers to a daughter buried alive. “It was customary for a man in the time of paganism, when a daughter was born to him, to bury her alive when her mother brought her forth, from fear of reproach and want: but this is forbidden in the Koran, XVII, XXXIII; and some of them used to bury their children alive in times of famine; the tribe of Kindeh used to bury their daughters alive” (Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon, 2913; see also W. R. Smith, Kinship and Marriage, 153-55, 291-96).
  107. The views of al-Ghazali on the matter of coitus interruptus appear to be ambivalent, tending toward a contradiction of the view expounded in chapter 1 on the advantages of marriage.
  108. The Khawarij (sing. Kharijite), or seceders, constitute the earliest religiopolitical sect in Islam. Once supporters of ‘Ali, they became his deadly opponents (Hitti,History of the Arabs,246-47).
  109. This hadith was previously introduced at the beginning of the chapter on marriage(al-nihdh)(Iraqi). See chapter 1, note 11.
  110. Muslim related it from the hadith of Jadhdhamah, daughter of Wahab (Iraqi).

I 11. There are numerous transmittals regarding the disclosed averting of conception by coitus interruptus: Muslim from the hadith of Abi Said, al-Nisa’i from the hadith of Abi Sarma, the two shaykhs from the hadith of Jabir, and al-Nisa’i from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah (Iraqi).

  1. Although this “resembles that of burying a child alive, and is done with the same motive,” the words also refer to coitus interruptus (Lane,Arabic­English Lexicon,2913).
  2. Watt elucidates this point by saying, “a new creature”(Companion to the Qur’an,158).
  3. See al-Bukhari,Sahih,7:42-43.
  4. From the hadith of Jabir-which is agreed upon-in theSahihayn[of Bukhari and Muslim]. However, the clause “but he did not enjoin us against it” is unique to Muslim (Iraqi).
  5. Hadith ofJabir. AI-Mulnaf mentioned that it was in theSahihayn[of Bukhari and Muslim], which is not true; only Muslim related it (Iraqi).
  6. Al-Tabarani first related it inal-Kabirand al-Khara’iti in Maharim al-AkhMq from the hadith of Ibn Masud. The transmittal is weak (Iraqi).
  7. Hadith of Ibn Abbas. It was related by Ibn Majah and al-Hakim. The transmittal is genuine (Iraqi).
  8. Hadith of Anas; al-Khara’iti related it inMakarim Akhldqin a weak transmittal (‘Iraqi).
  9. Hadith of Anas, which was related by al-Khara’iti in a weak trans­mittal (Iraqi).
  10. Ibid.
  11. Hadith Abu Hurayrah as related by al-Khara’iti and al-Hakim, but it did not say “or sisters.” The transmittal is genuine (Iraqi).
  12. Adhdhana(noun ddhdn) is “to call to prayer.” It is customary in Islam that a newborn baby should first hear the call to prayer, which always begins with allahu ahbar (God is the Greatest).
  13. Hadith Abi Rafi’. Ahmad, Abu Da’ud, and al-Tirmidhi related it and made it genuine. However, the transmittal of Ibn al-Qattan is weak (Iraqi).
  14. Related by Abu Ya’la al-Mawsili, Ibn al-Sinn inal-Yawn wa-Laylaand al-Bayhaqi in al-Sha’b al-Imdn from the hadith of al-Husayn b. ‘Ali in a weak transmittal (Iraqi).
  15. Al-Tabarani related it inal-Saghirfrom the hadith of f abir in a weak transmittal (Iraqi). Circumcision among the Jews, a practice dating from the time of Abraham, generally takes place on the eighth day (Genesis 14:10-12). In Islam, circumcision is founded upon the customs of the Prophet, as it is not once alluded to in the Koran. Circumcision is “recommended to be performed upon a boy between the ages of seven and twelve, but it is lawful to circumcise a child seven days after his birth” (Hughes, Dictionary of Islam, 57). Lane stated that circumcision on the seventh day is not approved, and that it is generally performed at the age of five or six (Arabian Society, 192).
  16. Al-Tabarani related this transmittal from the hadith of ‘Abd al­Malik b. Abi Zuhayr, who in turn related it from his father, Mu’adh. Its trans­mittal is genuine; al-Bayhaqi related it from the hadith of ‘A’ishah (Iraqi). The word‘abdrefers to one of God’s qualities; the literal meaning is “servant of.”
  17. From the hadith ofJabir which is agreed upon when beginning with the verblurammd [isnamed] rather than sammd [name, command] (Iraqi).
  18. Ahmad and Ibn Habban related it from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah; also related by Abu Da’ud and al-Tirmidhi; and by Ibn Habban from the hadith of Jabir: “Whoever gives my first name, should not give my surname; and whoever gives my surname, should not give my first name.” The transmittal is genuine (‘Iraqi).
  19. Abu Umar al-Tawgani related it inMu�asharat al-Ahlaynfrom the hadith of Ibn Umar in a weak transmittal; and Abu D5’tid related that Umar pointed out a child named Abu ‘Isa; and Mughirah b. Sha’bah disapproved of using the name Abu ‘Isa and stated that the Messenger of God said, “Name after me”-its transmittal is genuine (Iraqi).
  20. Abu Da’ud related it from the hadith of Abi al-Darda’. Al-Nawawi said that its transmittal is reliable, and al-Bayhaqi said that its transmittal was incomplete(mursal)(Iraqi).
  21. Al-Bayhaqi related it from the hadith of Abdullah b. al-Harith b. Jiz’ al-Zubaydi. Thetransmittal is genuine (Iraqi). (See also ‘Abd al-Bagi, Lu’lu’, 2:60.)
  22. From the hadith of Abu Hurayrah, which is agreed upon (Iraqi). 134. Muslim related it from the hadith of Samrah b. Jandab. This was also related from the hadith ofJabir (Iraqi).
  23. Ibn Hanbal regards this sacrifice on the seventh day as absolutely obligatory: “If a father sacrifice not for his son, and he [the son] die, that son will not intercede for him on the day of judgment” (Lane,Arabian Society,191). However, the founders of the other three principal rites regard it in different and less important lights. It is obvious here that al-Ghazali is resorting to the practices at the time of the Prophet. These practices not only include the animal sacrifice on the seventh day, but circumcision and shaving the hair of the child and giving its weight in silver or gold to the poor as well. According to Lane, these religious ceremonies can be performed not only on the seventh day, but on multiples of seven-fourteenth, twenty-first, twenty-eighth, or thirty-fifth-after the birth of the child as well (Ibid. See also al-Bukhari, $ahih, 7:108-10; and al-Tirmidhi, Sunan, 5:237-40).
  24. This appears in the Azhariyah edition and completes the thought.
  25. Hadith of SA’ishah, which was brought forth and made genuine (lragi).
  26. Al-Tirmidhi related it from the hadith of ‘Ali, stating that its trans­mittal is not uninterrupted, while al-Hakim made it uninterrupted(muttasil).Abu D5’ud related it from the hadith of Ibn Abbas, except that he said “a ram” [rather than a sheep] (Iraqi).
  27. Al-Bukhari related it from the hadith of Salman b. CAmir al-Dab­bi (Iraqi). (See al-Bukhari,Sahih,7:109.)
  28. Al-Hakim [al-Tirmidhi] related and clarified it from the hadith of ‘Ali; al-Tirmidhi’s transmittal is cut off, up to the wordHasan,while its trans­mittal is not uninterrupted (Iraqi). Al-Tirmidhi stated that Hasan’s hair weighed a dirham or so (Sunan, 5:234).
  29. Hadith Asma’, which is agreed upon (Iraqi). (See also cAbd al­Bagi,Lu’lu;2:62.)
  30. cAbd al-Bagi notes that the hadith ends here, excluding the rest of the phrase. He also explains “Islam” as meaning “Medina”(Lu’lu’,2:82). (See also al-Bukhari, Sahih, 7:108.)
  31. Hadith Ibn Umar. It was related by the companions of theSunan.AI-Tirmidhi stated that it was genuine and of fair authority (Iraqi).
  32. This occurs in exceptional cases as explained by ‘Ali: “If there is any fear that in safeguarding her economic rights, her very freedom of person may suffer, the husband refusing the dissolution of marriage, and perhaps treating her with cruelty, then … it is permissible to give some material consideration to the husband, but the need and equity of this should be submitted to the judgment of impartial judges, i.e., properly con$tituted courts. A divorce of this kind is calledOut” (Holy Quran91, n.258; cf. W. R. Smith, Kinship and Marriage, 122).
  33. This tradition with the additional words, “and Paradise will be forbidden unto her,” was related by Abu Da’ud and al-Tirmidhi, who made it better; and by Ibn Majah and Ibn Habban from the hadith of Thawban (Iraqi).
  34. Al-Nisa’i related it from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah, and al-Tab­arani related it from the hadith of cAqba b. cAmir in a weak transmittal (�Iraqi).
  35. There are two concepts here: having had coitus with her automati­cally nullifies the‘iddah;and the lengthening of the diddah stems from the necessity to make sure that she has not conceived (see “Divorce” in the Intro­duction).
  36. From the hadith of Ibn ‘Umar, which is agreed upon (Iraqi). (See also cAbd al-Bagi,Lulu,2:125.)
  37. He died in 43/663 and was one of the people who “helped to transcribe the official canon” of the Koran (Ibn al-Nadim,Fihnst,48, 377).
  38. Past the time of childbearing from the Prophet.
  39. Akhutbahmay encompass exhortation or admonition, recited by a khalib (orator) from the pulpit during the noon service of the congregational mosque on Friday, and generally delivered in rhyming prose (Lane, Arabic­English Lexicon, 763).
  40. Muslim related it from the hadith of Abu Said, reiterating the words of the Prophet: “The greatest betrayal in the opinion of God on the Day of Judgment is for the man to reveal [everything] to the woman and vice versa, then reveal her secret” (Iraqi).
  41. AI-Tirmidhi first related it, but the transmittal is authentic of fair authority(hasangharib);Ibn Majah related it from the hadith of Umm Salamah (Iraqi).
  42. Al-Tabarani first related it inal-Awsatfrom the hadith of Anas, excluding “by virtue……….. The transmittal is weak (Iraqi).
  43. Ibn Habban related it from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah (Iraqi).
  44. This hadith was first related by Ibn Majah and al-Hakim, who made it genuine from the hadith of Abi Aniamah, excluding “nursers.” This is related by al-Tabarani inal-Saghir(Iraqi).
  45. From the hadith of Ibn Abbas, which is agreed upon (Iraqi).
  46. Ahmad related it from the hadith of Abu Amamah in a weak trans­mittal, stating “silk” instead of “saffron”; and Muslim from the hadith of’Izzat al-Ashja’iya-its transmittal is also weak (Iraqi).Al-ahmardnmeans flesh-meat and wine, which are said to destroy men; it also refers to gold and saffron, which are said to destroy women, that is, the love of ornaments and perfumes, also called al-asjardn [two yellow things] (Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon, 642).
  47. Hadith CA’ishah; al-Hakim [al-Tirmidhi] first related it and made genuine its transmittal from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah (Iraqi).
  48. Hadith CA’ishah; al-Hakim [al-Tirmidhi] first related it and made genuine its transmittal from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah (Iraqi).
  49. Hadith Ibn Abbas. Al-Bayhaqi first related it in a shortened ver­sion, and related itin totofrom the hadith of Ibn Umar, but it is weak (Iraqi).
  50. Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Habban related it from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah. Also related by Abu DA ‘dd from the hadith of Qays b. Sacd, by Ibn Majah from the hadith of CA’ishah, and by Ibn Habban from the hadith of Ibn Abi Awfa (Iraqi).
  51. Ibn Habban related only the first part of the hadith of Ibn Masud; the latter part was related (abridged) by Abu Da’nd from his own hadith without mentioning “inner sanctum of the house.” Al-Bayhaqi related it from the hadith of cA’ishah: “It is better to pray in the house than in the mosque”-its transmittal is of fair authority; and by Ibn Habban from the hadith of Umm Hamid (�Iraqi).
  52. It is related by al-Tirmidhi as genuine, and by Ibn Habban from the hadith of Ibn Masud (Iraqi).
  53. This was related by al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Muhammad b. Umar al­JiCabi in theTdrikh al-Tdlibinfrom the hadith of ‘Ali in a weak transmittal; and by al-Tabarani in al-Saghir from the hadith of Ibn Abbas (Iraqi).
  54. See chapter 1, note 51.
  55. Rabi’ah al sAdawiyah, orphaned at an early age, was sold into slav­ery as a child. She later settled in Basra where she was well known as a saint and a preacher and where she was highly esteemed by her pious contemporar­ies. To her is attributed the theme of divine love in Islamic mysticism. She was a celibate; is often confused with Rabicah of Syria who was married. She is entombed near Jerusalem. Her death date is given variously as 135/752 and 185/801 (cf. Farid al-Din CAttar,Muslim Saints and Mystics,39-51, and M. Smith, Rdbifa the Mystic, 5-6, 45, 140-43).
  56. Abu Da’wd al-Tayalsi and al-Bayhaqi related it from the hadith of Ibn Umar; it was also related by Abu Da’ud from the hadith of Satd; and by Muslim from the hadith of cA’ishah; al-Daraqutni made it genuine in hisal-�IlalAll had slight variations in their transmittals (Iraqi).
  57. That is, cater to his senses.
  58. The word “presence” is missing in this text but appears in the Azhariyah edition.
  59. So as not to attract attention. She should not satisfy her own vanity, but be humble and meek.
  60. Related by Abu D5’ud from the hadith of Abi Malik al-Ashjaci in a weak transmittal (Iraqi).
  61. Al-Khara’iti related it inMakdrim al-Akhldqfrom the hadith of Abu Hurayrah in a weak transmittal (Iraqi).
  62. This is possibly cAbd al-Malik b. Qurayb al-A1maci, who was the famous philologist and grammarian at the court of Harun al Rashid. He stud­ied the language of the Arabs of the desert, which is considered to be a “pure” model for linguistics. He died in Basra in 213/828 (Ibn al-Nadim,Fihrist,963).
  63. Hadith Mu’adh which was related by al-Tirmidhi, who said it was authentic and of fair authority; it was related by Ibn Majah (dlragi).
  64. Hadith Umm Habibah, agreed upon (Iraqi).
  65. Asma’ was the daughter of Kutayla, Abu Bakr’s first wife. She was the elder half-sister of cA’ishah and one of the early converts to Islam in Mecca. She was married to al-Zubayr b. al-cAwwam, and their son, cAbdullah, was “reputedly the first child born in the Muslim community” at Medina. She died in Mecca in 73/693(Encyclopaedia of Islam,new ed., s.v. “Asma‘).
  66. Zubayr b. al-cAwwam, cousin and companion of the Prophet, was killed at the Battle of the Camel in 36/656. He was a member of the council to choose the third ‘Aliph. He was also referred to asal-Hawdri,a term that refers to the earliest missionaries of Islam. There were twelve Hawaris, “who are said to have been appointed naqibs of the Medinans” by Muhammad (or by those present) as “surety for their people just as the apostles were sureties for clsa b. Maryam” (Ibn al-Nadim, Fihritt, 292-93, 1133).
  67. A parasang is a Persian measure of length, anciently of about thirty stadia (2.8 to 4.2 miles).
  68. Hadith of Asma’, agreed upon (lragi).
  69. The Azhariyah edition indicates that she came upon the Prophet.




Glossary of Selected Arabic Terms

This glossary encompasses only terms used herein that have acquired a technical usage. It mirrors existing standardized defi­\nitions as well as adjustments introduced in this work. The terms regarding hadith are used as employed by Guillaume, The Traditions of Islam. Other major helpful sources have been Farah, Islam Beliefs and Observances; Schacht, An Introduction to Islamic Law; Ibn al-Nadim, The Fihrist of al-Nadim; Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon; and Jabre, Essai sur le lexique de Ghazali.


cabd Servant of God or slave; used in proper names in combina­

tion with Allah

Ahal-Kitab People of the Book; in the Koran (5:68-69) the name is used for Christians, Jews, and Sabeans

akhbdr (sing. khabar) News, reports; the term is applied to tradi­tions traced back, not to the Prophet, but to other authorities such as his companions, well-known jurists, and imams alim See ulema

canal Fornication or committing a sin

caqd Marriage contract; formalization of the marriage vows

aqiqah Sacrifice; a sheep or goat slaughtered as a sacrifice on the seventh day after the birth of a child

acqra’ To cast or draw lots, or practice sortilege among women

cAshura’ Name of a voluntary fast day, the tenth day of Mu­harram

casr Period,’ of sunset, time of one of the ritual prayers

athar (sing. athar) Traces; applied to traditions relating the deeds and utterances of Muhammad and his companions

bags’ Subsistence in God; an ultimate Sufi state

batin Internal, hidden or inner meaning; esoteric

da’if Not fulfilling the required conditions for transmittal

dhikr Remembrance or recollection of God; an exercise by Sufis to induce ecstasy

fana Annihilation, or passing away of oneself in God; the mysti­cal union of the soul with God

faqih Islamic jurist or jurisprudent

faragh Emptying or purifying the heart; a Sufi tenet

fard Canonically imposed duty or obligation of faith

fiqh The corpus of Islamic jurisprudence

fatrah Natural disposition of the heart to know God

gharib Authentic, but resting on the authority of only one com­panion

ghusl Major or full ablution ceremony involving the entire body;see also wudu’

hadith Traditions of the Prophet; collection of sayings and precedents of the Prophet, handed down by his associates and followers

hajj A canonically prescribed pilgrimage to Mecca hardm Canonically forbidden; a sin

hasan Of fair authority, with a slight fault; approved form of transmittal

hasan gharib Authentic, of fair authority

hasan sahih Genuine, of fair authority

hayd Menstruation; important in connection with determining the time of conception and responsibility for fatherhood, as well as significant for ritual purification

hikmah Exercise of judicial authority, a rule, a decree; an edict or a prescript

hirdthah Tilth; intercourse for the purpose of having offspring

hulul Ecstasy; union with God through mystical practices

ibddl Substitution (when certain righteous people die, God sub­stitutes others for them)

ciddah Legally prescribed waiting period of a woman before remarriage

ciddat baynunah Legally prescribed waiting period for final di­vorce; woman cannot remarry her husband

ciddat al-ray’ah Legally prescribed waiting period pending remarriage with one’s divorced wife

idtibdc Cloaking oneself over the left shoulder during the pil­grimage to Mecca

iymdc Consensus; interpretation of the law according to the

opinions of the leading jurists

Cilal Defects, causes

imam Used here for leading religious personalities; it also has a number of other significations

igamah Call to prayer repeated at the beginning of the prayer ritual

irddah Desire; the aspiration to do only God’s will; in a Sufi context, a willful determination to undertake the rigors of the Path

cishd’ Evening meal and time of the fourth ritual prayer

icndd Literally means “leaning upon”; the chain of authority.

which precedes and introduces the text of hadith

izdr Seamless white cloth wrapped around loins to knee level by the pilgrim performing the hajj

jams Uttering a threefold divorce

jayyid Good, reliable form of transmittal

jihad Striving on behalf of the faith; Holy War of the Muslims against the infidels

junub Major ritual impurity; signifies a man under obligation of performing a total ablution, by reason of sexual intercourse and discharge of the semen

Kaaba The shrine at Mecca sacred to the Muslims kardhiyah Abomination or reprehensible

kasaba To earn; Qur’anic usage connotes the performance of an act for which one merits reward or punishment on the Day of judgment

khabar See akhbdr

khutt Divorce requested by the wife, who must pay a compensa­tion (khul’ah)

khutbah An exhortation or admonition recited, generally in rhyming prose, during the noon service of the mosque on Friday by an orator (khatib)

kitdbiyah See Ahl al-Kitab

litdn Oath of condemnation; in Islamic Law, can also be a sworn allegation of adultery committed by either husband or wife

ma’dd Return journey; the ultimate state of existence in theworld to come

madhhab (plur. madhdhib) Juridical rite to which a Sunni Muslim may adhere

maghrib Sunset; time of one of the ritual prayers

mahr A dowry or a nuptial gift given to the bride in a contract of marriage

makruh A reprehensible or an evil act, but not a forbidden one manzil (plur. mandzil) Stages; a Sufi tenet

maqdmdt (sing. maqdm) The stations of the faith; a Sufi tenet ma’rifah Knowledge, learning; the knowledge of Allah, the experience of ecstasy, and the gnosis of the mystics

martabah A Sufi rank or station

ma’ruf Weak tradition, yet known because it is confirmed by another

mawudah: al-maw’udat al-sughrah Coitus interruptus; significance similar to that of burying a girl child alive

Mi’raj Muhammad’s nocturnal journey to the Seventh Heaven

mubdh Permissible; a deed neither recommended nor prohib­ited

mubham Obscure; a tradition derived from a person about whom nothing is known save his name

mufti The legal authority in Islam who gives expert decisions by which the courts are guided

muhallil A man who marries a divorced (three pronouncements of formula) woman on condition that he divorce her after consummation of the marriage so she may lawfully remarry her former husband

mukhtalicdh Women who incite, urge, or induce their husbands to divorce them for a gift or a compensation (khullah) with­out any injurious conduct from the latter

mukhtalif tradition which apparently contradicts another, but which can be reconciled to it

munkar A tradition of weak authority contradicted by a weaker one

mungati’ An isndd from which a name has disappeared

murid A novice, a disciple of a murshid (teacher of a Sufi order)

mursal A text without isnad, or one with an incomplete

isndd muru ah Manliness; a pre-Islamic Arab concept which comprises all knightly virtues and the ideal of manhood

musnad Authorities by whom a hadith is passed down

mut`a The contracting of temporary marriage; legalized by the Shi‘i law

muttafaq calayhi A tradition that is agreed upon and received by Bukhari and Muslim

muttasil A tradition with an uninterrupted isnad

nafaqah In Islamic Law, it signifies adequate support for a wife or expenditure

nafs Self, soul, ego

naqib A surety for the people, leader

nasikh Abrogating; refers to the chain of authority and is used by Muslim theologians in reference to a verse or sentence of the Koran which cancels or abrogates a previous one qiblah The south, or the direction to be faced in prayer rak’ah Bow, prostration; a bending of the torso from an upright

position, followed by two prostrations with each standing for a full prayer cycle

ramal Trotting while performing the circuit around the Kaaba

Razzdq Provider; one of the ninety-nine attributes of God

sadagah Voluntary, nonstatutory alms rendered for the sake of acquiring merit with God; in Islamic Law, legally prescribed alms tax (sadaq)

sahhah Transmittal made genuine

sahih Genuine; fulfilling all conditions

Shari‘a The Muslim law derived from the Koran, the hadith, and the processes of jurisprudence

shirk Polytheism; associating other deities or “partners” with Allah

shukr Thankfulness; it is one of the stations of the mystic sigt Miscarried fetus

sunna (plur. sunan) The theory and practice of conventional Muslims, based on the Koran and the hadith

ta’biyah ilahiyah Divine fulfillment

tahlil Exaltation (of God)

takbir To glorify, praise, to exclaim “allahu akhbdr”

talaq Divorce; three “I divorce thee” utterances either at sepa­

rate intervals or at one time for finalization

tawbah Repentance; the first station on the Sufi path

thayyib A woman who is deflowered or married; a divorcee or

a widow

thiqah A trustworthy transmittal

tuhr The days of a woman’s state of purity from the menstrual discharge

ulema (sing. alim) Scholars who are knowledgeable in Islamic beliefs and dogmas

cumrah Lesser pilgrimage to Mecca

ustad (sing. ad) Ascendants, fundamentals; also meaning roots, origins, principles

cutul One who has a harsh tongue and who is cruel toward his family

wahy Revelation

waliy Legal guardian; also refers to the believer as “friend of God”

witr A form of prayer, in which an odd number of prostrations is performed, after the night prayer

wudu’ Limited ablution for or preparatory to prayer; see also ghusl

zindiq Freethinker; in the ninth and tenth centuries, the term was applied as a rule to the partisans of Zoroastrians and Manichaeans who were feared as rebels

zuhd Asceticism; a way of life which included renunciation of worldly things, fasting, prayer, studying the Koran, and simi­lar religious observances and practices

zuhr Noon; time for the third daily prayer incumbent upon Muslims