Ibn Kathīr on How Husbands Should Be with Their Wives


And His saying:

وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

And live together with [your wives] upon what’s known [to be right and good]. (from Al-Nisāʾ, 19)

This means speak nicely to them and make your actions, your appearance, and the way you are as good as you can. Just as you like that from her, so too, should you do the same with her, as the All-High says:

وَلَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

And they have [rights upon men] just as [men do] upon them in accordance with that which is known to be good and right. (from Al-Baqarah, 228).

And the Messenger ﷺ said: “The best among you are those of you who are best to their families, and I am the best among you [in this] toward my [own] family.” And it was from his ﷺ character and good manners that his way of being with others was beautiful, that he was always friendly and cheerful; he would play around with his family, be kind and gentle with them, and be liberal and generous in spending on them; he would joke around with his wives; he used to even have races against ʿĀishah, mother of the believers, causing her to love him more by doing that.

She said: “The Messenger ﷺ [ran] a race against me [on foot], and I beat him [in that race]; that was before I had gained some weight. Sometime later, I raced him after I had gained some weight, and he beat me and said, ‘This one’s for that one.’”

His wives would get together every night at the house of the one with whom the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ would be spending the night, and they would have dinner together sometimes. Then each would head off to her own house. And he would go to sleep with a woman from among his wives while wearing one [layer] of underclothes [not more than one layer, even if she were on her menstrual cycle]; he would let his cloak drop off his shoulders and sleep in his loincloth.

And he used to, when he had prayed ʿIshāʾ, enter his house and have a night-time chat with his [wife] for a little while before going to sleep, spending time with [her] in doing so, so that [she] wouldn’t feel lonely.

Indeed, Allāh the All-High says:

لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ

There has most certainly been for you, in the Messenger of Allāh, a good model to follow. (from Al-Aḥzāb, 21)


Source: Ibn Kathīr. Tafsīr Al-Qurʾān Al-ʿAẓīm. Al-Nisāʾ, 19.