CHAPTER TWENTY SEVEN
Disciplining and Handling Wives
It is necessary to study this chapter thoroughly, for the worthiest of acts is that a man marry a virgin, who has not now a man before him.
Wise people have said, “A virgin is for you, and non-virgin is against you.” Further, it is a grave mistake for an aged man to marry a young girl, for she will become an enemy to him as he will not be able to fulfil her needs and as her needs are not met she will naturally develop an aversion towards the old man. Thus, if a man is tested with such and has married a young woman while he himself is aged then he should treat her aversion with good morals, tolerance and by spending money on her extravagantly.
This has already been explained in detail in my book ‘Al-Shayb’ (Grey Hair [Old]). One should also beautify himself for his wife just as he likes that his wife beautify herself for him, he should cover his body so that she does not see from him anything except that which is liked and she should do the same.
Section One: Act which lead the Wives Astray
A husband should not joke with his wife often, so that she does not belittle him and hence become disobedient. Moreover he should not place all his money in her hands, so that he is not placed under her control as she could take his money and leave him. Allah, May He be exalted, said,
وَلاَ تُؤْتُوا السُّفَهَاءَ أَمْوَالَكُمُ الَتِي جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ قِيَاماً
“And give not to the foolish your money which Allah has made a means of support for you.” [al-Nisa’ 4:5]
Rather he should joke with her, while maintaining his prestige and status.
Section Two: How to discipline a Spouse
The best way to discipline a woman is by preventing her from speaking with other women (who are not righteous, who possess evil traits and morals) and from leaving the house (unnecessarily). Further, and elderly woman should be assigned to discipline her, teaching her how to respect her husband, informing her of the rights of a husband, also to dignify in her eyes he who spends moderately, and act as her preserver for the insanity of a youth is dangerous.
Section Three: Marrying concurrent to One’s Age
If an aged man marries a woman who is not a young immature girl, nor an old feeble woman, then that would be better for him as she would be less arrogant and more respectful towards him.
Section Four: Needs of a Young Man
A young man demands what he wants, he cannot be enforced to do what he does not like, therefore if he wants to enjoy women then it is a choice he can take i.e. he could buy young slaves girls, if he is able to. This is because young (slave) women do not have jealousy or, at least, they do not possess it excessively, because they are owned and because of their owner’s ability to replace them and sell them. He, however should assign a keeper to monitor them and also have another keeper to observe the already assigned keeper.
Section Five: Being Content with what one has
If a man is granted a woman who is exactly everything he desired, he should forget what he missed for the sake of what he has, because branches are never mentioned when origins and roots are preserved, also having an excessive amount of women requires a lot, the least of which is taking care of them.
From the Book: “Disciplining the Soul” Ibn al-Jawzi (d. 597 AH)