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His wife is weak in religious commitment – what should he do?

I am a young man, thirty years old. Before I got married I was not committed, but now – praise be to Allaah – I have been blessed with guidance. I got married to a girl who graduated from the Faculty of Islamic Studies and I was happy about that because I thought that she would help me to obey Allaah. But after getting to know her, I found out that she is a very ordinary girl and she is not committed at all, and she has many negative qualities, such as: 
She cannot denounce any evil action, whether major or minor. Rather she even does some evil actions such as watching TV, gossiping, and doing few acts of worship. But she also has some good qualities, such as being good and patient, and she performs all her wifely duties and takes care of the house. 
What upsets me is that I wanted someone who would help me to be more committed by marrying a woman who was religiously committed, but I found that the one who I thought was religiously committed needs someone to help her.  
This is my problem. I hope that you can help me find a solution. Thank you very much.

Praise be to Allaah.  

The problem that you describe is one that is faced by many young men who thought that their wives could learn and make da’wah, and that they would strive hard in worship and help their husbands to be religiously-committed, no matter how much the husband fell short in that. But in fact the wife cannot be influenced by anybody as much as her husband. So if the husband does not set a good example, the wife’s commitment will soon become weak. This is what usually happens. This does not mean that there are not good situations in which the woman is the example who leads her husband along the path of guidance. 

The fact that you have found out that your wife is an ordinary girl does not mean that you have failed, and it should not be a cause of regret. Rather that should be a motive for you to seek the reward for calling her to guidance. 

What you have mentioned of her good qualities will help you to achieve that, in sha Allaah. 

So you should be the one who calls her, reminds her and advises her… fill her free time with beneficial things such as tapes, books and magazines.  Do not give up on rebuking her if she gossips or watches TV, but do that in a gentle, compassionate and loving manner. 

Try to make her join an organization for memorization of Qur’aan, or get her to attend public lectures with you, or to form ties with some righteous families. These are the best ways in which you can help your wife to strengthen her faith. 

Perhaps what you mention about her not worshipping much is related to your own shortcomings in that regard, or to your neglecting to get her to join in. Try to help her and remind her of the virtue of naafil prayers, the reward for praying qiyaam al-layl and fasting. Do as many of these acts of worship with her as you can. 

Be the qawwaam (leader; protector and maintainer) of your wife, prevent her  from doing haraam things or doubtful things.  

Ask of Allaah, saying, “Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders of the Muttaqoon (the pious)” [al-Furqaan 25:74 – interpretation of the meaning].  

We ask Allaah to set your affairs and the affairs of all the Muslims straight.

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