How the Womenfolk of the Sahabah Would Address Their Husbands

By Muslim Skeptic Team -July 21, 2022

This is a guest post from Ustadh Ebn Hussein.

How did the best generation of Muslims, and those who followed them in goodness, address their husbands?

In al-Durr al-Mukhtar fi Sharh Tanwir al-Absar (a treatise of the Hanafi legal school) by Imam `Ala’ al-Din al-Haskafi (may Allah have mercy upon him), we read:

وَيُكْرَهُ أَنْ تَدْعُوَ الْمَرْأَةُ زَوْجَهَا بِاسْمِهِ

“It is reprehensible (makruh) for a woman to address her husband by his name.”

We read in renowned the commentary of this book, Radd al-Muhtar ala ‘l-Dur al-Mukhtar by Imam Ibn `Abidin (may Allah have mercy upon him):

لَابُدَّ مِنْ لَفْظٍ يُفِيدُ التَّعْظِيمَ كَـ: يَا سَيِّدِي وَنَحْوِهِ

“It is necessary [for the wife] to use forms of address which convey reverence such as ‘my master’ (sayyidi) and similar to that…”

RELATED: Marital Dynamics in Islam: Obedience Towards the Husband

He then proceeds to cite supportive evidence (with weakness in its chain):

وعَنْ عُثْمَانَ بْنِ عَطَاءٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ قَالَ: قَالَتِ امْرَأَةُ سَعِيدِ بْنِ الْمُسَيَّبِ:مَا كُنَّا نُكَلِّمُ أَزْوَاجَنَا إِلَّا كَمَا تُكَلِّمُوا أُمَرَاءَكُمْ: أَصْلَحَكَ اللهُ، عَافَاكَ اللهُ

“The wife of Sa`id ibn al-Musayyib said: ‘We (i.e. the womenfolk of the Sahabah) used to address our husbands as we addressed our rulers: may Allah rectify your affairs, may Allah give you good health.’”

However, it is undoubtedly established in sahih (authentic) reports that Umm al-Darda’ (may Allah be pleased with her) used to say the following words whenever she narrated a hadith from her husband Abu ‘l-Darda’ (may Allah be pleased with him):

“My master (sayyidi) narrated to me…”

Imam al-Nawawi (may Allah be pleased with him) says in his commentary (sharh) on the Sahih of Imam Muslim:

قال النووي في شرح مسلم قوله: (حدثتني أم الدرداء، قالت: حدثني سيدي) تعني زوجها أبا الدرداء، ففيه جواز تسمية المرأة زوجها بسيدها

“Umm al-Darda’ narrated to me; she said: ‘my master narrated to me…’

Here she is referring to her husband Abu ‘l-Darda’ and from this, it can be deduced that it is permissible for a wife to address her husband as sayyidi (my master).”

This custom is not alien to the Qur’an either:

وَأَلْفَيَا سَيِّدَهَا لَدَا ٱلْبَابِ

{They encountered her master (i.e. husband) by the door. (Qur’an, 12:25)

And here is the icing on the cake regarding the sublime position of the patriarch (husband) in Islam:

حَدَّثَنَا أَزْهَرُ بْنُ مَرْوَانَ، حَدَّثَنَا حَمَّادُ بْنُ زَيْدٍ، عَنْ أَيُّوبَ، عَنِ الْقَاسِمِ الشَّيْبَانِيِّ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ أَبِي أَوْفَى، قَالَ لَمَّا قَدِمَ مُعَاذٌ مِنَ الشَّامِ سَجَدَ لِلنَّبِيِّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ قَالَ ‏”‏ مَا هَذَا يَا مُعَاذُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَتَيْتُ الشَّامَ فَوَافَقْتُهُمْ يَسْجُدُونَ لأَسَاقِفَتِهِمْ وَبَطَارِقَتِهِمْ فَوَدِدْتُ فِي نَفْسِي أَنْ نَفْعَلَ ذَلِكَ بِكَ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏”‏ فَلاَ تَفْعَلُوا فَإِنِّي لَوْ كُنْتُ آمِرًا أَحَدًا أَنْ يَسْجُدَ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ لأَمَرْتُ الْمَرْأَةَ أَنْ تَسْجُدَ لِزَوْجِهَا وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ لاَ تُؤَدِّي الْمَرْأَةُ حَقَّ رَبِّهَا حَتَّى تُؤَدِّيَ حَقَّ زَوْجِهَا وَلَوْ سَأَلَهَا نَفْسَهَا وَهِيَ عَلَى قَتَبٍ لَمْ تَمْنَعْهُ

`Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa said: “When Mu`adh ibn Jabal came from Sham, he prostrated to the Prophet (ﷺ) who said: ‘What is this, O Mu`adh?’ He said: ‘I went to Sham and saw them prostrating to their bishops and patricians and I wanted to do that for you.’ The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Do not do that. If I were to command anyone to prostrate to anyone other than Allah, I would have commanded women to prostrate to their husbands. By the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad! No woman can fulfill her duty towards Allah until she fulfills her duty towards her husband. If he asks her (for intimacy) even if she is on her camel saddle, she should not refuse.’” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

Check yourself before you wreck yourself!

Of course, it is not outright forbidden (haram) for a wife to call her husband by his name because there is no evidence to indicate such. This is the view of many scholars of Islam. People’s customs and traditions should be taken into account regarding this matter. However, this is beside the point of this brief piece whose purpose is to raise the question:

Do you, as a Muslim, feel uncomfortable reading about how it was common for Muslim women to address their husbands with titles such as ‘my master’? If so, know that the problem lies with you and not with the Salaf’s understanding of authentic Islam, which philosophical liberalism, feminism, and other anti-Islamic isms seek to eradicate and replace with a castrated version of Islam.

RELATED: Are Wives Responsible for Housework in Islam?

يُرِيدُونَ لِيُطْفِـُٔوا۟ نُورَ ٱللَّهِ بِأَفْوَٰهِهِمْ وَٱللَّهُ مُتِمُّ نُورِهِۦ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ ٱلْكَـٰفِرُونَ

{They want to extinguish the light of Allāh with their mouths, but Allāh will perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it. (Qur’an, 61:8)}

There is no doubt that authentic Islam (which is to be found in the tradition of the righteous Salaf and with the Imams who faithfully and accurately conveyed their teachings throughout the centuries⁠—not in the mental diarrhea of ​​some post-modern heretic) poses a nightmare and danger to every ‘modernist’ (deformist); especially psycho-feminazis and other such degenerates.

The quoted statements of the scholars and the Sahabah could serve as a kind of Ruqyah for these people. A sincere and just authority could put them in a room and get them to listen to and read so-called ‘misogynistic’ excerpts from the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the sayings of the Salaf until the cows come home.

What is certain is that authentic Islam will always trigger the enemies of Islam. It will inevitably make them screech, whether they are open enemies of the Din or (even worse) wolves in sheep’s clothing (i.e., hypocrites).

But rest assured, the “reformation” (distortion) of Islam will never succeed. Not as long as millions upon millions of the ideological heirs of the Sahabah⁠—the Ahl al-Sunnah⁠—roam the earth.

لا تَزالُ طائفةٌ من أمَّتي يقاتِلونَ على الحقِّ ظاهِرينَ علَى من ناوَأَهُم حتَّى يُقاتلَ آخرُهُمُ المسيحَ الدَّجَّالَ

Imran ibn Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “There will always be a group from my Ummah that will fight on the truth, triumphant against those who oppose them, and the last of them will fight the Dajjal.” (Sunan Abi Dawud)

RELATED: Many Muslim Women Feel “Icky” About the Idea of Being Housewives. Why?

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