Pearls of Wisdom
A Mother's Advice to Her Daughter
From Jamharah Khutah al-'Arab, 1/145
speech that forms the main content of this article is over 1400
years old, from the pre-Islamic period. The advice in the article
is certainly out of date and one-sided, but there is much wisdom
here if you look it as mutual advice for how the husband and
wife should treat each other. So both partners should serve one
another, please one another, protect one another, etc.
Abd al-Malik (Radiyallaahu 'anhaa) said: "When Awf
ibn Muhallim al-Shaybani, one of the most highly respected leaders
of the Arab nobility during the jahiliyyah, married his daughter
Umm Iyas to al-Harith ibn Amr al-Kindi, as she was made
ready to be taken to the groom, her mother, Umamah came into
her room to advise her and said:
- "O my daughter, if it were deemed unnecessary to give
you this advice because of good manners and noble descent, then
it would have been unnecessary for you, because you posses these
qualities, but it will serve as a reminder to those who are forgetful,
and will help those who are wise.
- "O my daughter, if a woman were able to do without a
husband by virtue of her father's wealth and her need for her
father, then you of all people would be most able to do without
a husband, but women were created for men just as men were created
- "O my daughter, you are about to leave the home in which
you grew up, where you first learned to walk, to go to a place
you do not know, to a companion to whom you are unfamiliar. By
marrying you, he has become a master over you, so be like a servant
to him, and he will become like a servant to you.
- "Take from me ten qualities, which will be a provision
and a reminder for you:
- "The first and second of them are: be content in his
company, and listen to and obey him, for contentment brings peace
of mind, and listening to and obeying one's husband pleases Allah.
- "The third and fourth of them are: make sure that you
smell good and look good; he should not see anything ugly in
you, and he should not smell anything but a pleasant smell from
you. Kohl is the best kind of beautification to be
found, and water is better than the rarest perfume.
- "The fifth and sixth of them are: prepare his food on
time, and keep quiet when he is asleep, for raging hunger is
like a burning flame, and disturbing his sleep will make him
- "The seventh and eight of them are: take care of his
servants (or employees) and children, and take care of his wealth,
for taking care of his wealth shows that you appreciate him,
and taking care of his children and servants shows good management.
- "The ninth and tenth of them are: never disclose any
of his secrets, and never disobey any of his orders, for if you
disclose any of his secrets you will never feel safe from his
possible betrayal, and if you disobey him, his heart will be
filled with hatred towards you.
- "Be careful, O my daughter, of showing joy in front
of him when he is upset, and do not show sorrow in front of him
when he is happy, because the former shows a lack of judgment
whilst the latter will make him unhappy.