Answer: Assalamu alaykum,
Thank you for your question.
I am sorry that you are going through so much pain and suffering from your husband’s demands and lack of tact. I pray that you can come to a solution and strengthen your relationship through this conflict.
I feel that the things that your husband is asking from you are not far-fetched, as I know many women who personally follow those protocols, but they are minor details. Covering your watch is not necessary, for example, and shoes other than black are still modest. If one chooses to take steps like these toward modesty, they will ultimately be rewarded, as nothing is lost on Allah.
I want you to know that the basis of your problem is that you are not living together. Once you live with a person, one truly gets to know them and experiences them as a whole, rather than seeing them on a few outings or having some phone calls here and there. I know many families who refuse to elongate a nikah or engagement for the mere fact that disputes can arise and be exaggerated and end up in a couple breaking up. Please try to arrange to live with him soon, as the intimacy and time spent together result in a bond that can overshadow problems and soften hearts toward one another. Only then, one can see the big picture.
As for his demands, if I were in your shoes, I would acquiesce and be patient. Ask him to treat you with kindness and know that arguing back will just cause more tension, as he doesn’t seem ready to listen. Try to keep the tension low until you live together. Then you can take a different approach and he might slow down, too. Regardless, your reward is with Allah for He said, “Today I have rewarded them for their patience: it is they who will succeed” [Qur’an 23:111].
Gain knowledge to deal with any problem
As usual, the best weapon against any problem in life is knowledge and applying it in your life. Then you will start to measure your actions against the standard of the shari`ah and not your own or your husband’s criteria. This makes it easier to reconcile and compromise with him.
Please see these articles for excellent advice on the topic:
Please see this article about marriage in Islam and the rank of the husband:
Also, I highly encourage both of you to take a course on the spirit of an Islamic Marriage so that you don’t let resentment grow and harm your relationship. You will find countless other benefits by learning your rights and responsibilities:
May Allah give you success, happiness in this life, and the hereafter.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.