The relationship between husband and wife should be based on good and kind treatment, love and compassion.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect”
“and live with them honourably”
“And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable”
Based on this, each spouse should be keen to please the other and not do anything that will cause anger or annoyance.
It was narrated that Imam Ahmad (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: Umm Saalih [his wife] stayed with me for twenty years and she and I did not argue at all.
Allaah has enjoined upon spouses everything that will create and strengthen love between them, and He has forbidden to them everything that goes against that.
If the two spouses understand this principle which governs how they should interact with one another, then their life will be well ordered and it will be as Allaah wants to it be, filled with tranquility, love and compassion.
Each spouse is enjoined by Islam to do everything that will create and strengthen love, and is forbidden to do whatever is contrary to that. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade a man to pray and fast a great deal if that will impact upon his wife’s rights.
Al-Bukhaari (1153) narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to me: “Have I not heard that you spend all night in prayer and fast every day?” I said: “I do that.” He said: “But if you do that, your eyes will become weak and you will become tired. But your body has rights over you and your wife has rights over you. So fast and break your fast, pray qiyaam and sleep.”
The person who fasts is commanded to behave well, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined the fasting person not to respond in kind if someone wants to fight him or insults him. Rather he should be patient and restrain himself, and say, “I am fasting.”
Al-Bukhaari (1894) and Muslim (1151) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Fasting is a shield, so (the one who is fasting) should not utter obscenities or behave in an ignorant manner. If someone wants to fight him or insults him, let him say, ‘I am fasting’ twice.”
Al-Nawawi said: “Rafth (translated here as obscenities) means foolish and immoral speech. And ignorance is close to obscenity, and is contrary to wisdom and what is right, whether that is words or deeds.
It should be noted that this prohibition on obscenity, ignorance, arguing and insulting is not limited only to those who are fasting, rather the prohibition applies to everyone, but is emphasized more in the case of one who is fasting. And Allaah knows best.”
Al-Haakim narrated and classed as saheeh a report from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Fasting is not only (abstention) from food and drink, rather fasting is (abstention) from idle and obscene talk. If someone insults you or treats you in an ignorant manner, then say: ‘I am fasting, I am fasting.’” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5376. Idle talk is false talk, or it was said that it means speech in which there is no benefit.
Al-Bukhaari (6057) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it, Allaah has no need of his giving up his food and drink.”
This was understood to mean that these actions detract from the fast.
Al-Subki al-Kabeer said: The fact that these things are mentioned in this hadeeth draws attention to two things:
1-That they are worse when done during the fast than at other times
2-That we should strive to ensure that the fast is free of such things, and that if the fast is free of them, this is a sign that the fast is more complete.
The strength of the words implies that these things are regarded as abhorrent because of the fast, which implies that the fast is more complete if it is free of such things. He said: If it is not free of such things it is imperfect.
End quote from Fath al-Baari.
The husband’s rights over his wife are great. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them”
If the husband is angry with her because she is refusing to share his bed, then her sin is even worse, because of the report narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah in his Saheeh from ‘Ata’ ibn Dinar al-Hudhali, according to which the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are three whose prayers will not be accepted and they will not ascend to heaven or even go beyond their heads: … a woman whose husband calls her at night and she refuses.” This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, 485.
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If a man calls his wife to his bed and she refuses, and he stays angry with her all night, the angels will curse her until morning.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3237; Muslim, 1436.
In the answer to question no. 50063, we explained that sin detracts from the reward for fasting, and that sins may be so many that they erase the reward for fasting altogether.
If one spouse falls short in his or her duties towards the other, or makes him or her angry, that will be a cause of the fast being imperfect.
This applies so long as the other spouse is not angry for no reason, for some spouses get angry for no reason, and some get angry because the wife is righteous, so his anger is unjustified. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound.
And Allaah knows best.