Abd al-Malik said: “When ‘Awf ibn Muhallim al-
Shaybani, one of the most highly respected
leaders of the Arab nobility during the jahiliyyah,
married his daughter Umm Iyas to al-Harith ibn
‘Amr al-Kindi, she was made ready to be taken to
the groom, then her mother Umamah came in to
her, to advise her, and said:
‘O my daughter, if it were deemed unnecessary
to give you this advice because of good manners
and noble descent, then it would have been
unnecessary for you, because you possess these
qualities, but it will serve as a reminder to those
who are forgetful, and will help those who are
‘O my daughter, if a woman were able to do
without a husband by virtue of her father’s
wealth and her need for her father, then you of
all people would be most able to do without a
husband, but women were created for men just
as men were created for them.
‘O my daughter, you are about to leave the home
in which you grew up, where you first learned to
walk, to go to a place you do not know, to a
companion with whom you are unfamiliar. By
marrying you he has become a master over you,
so be like a servant to him, and he will become
like a servant to you.
‘Take from me ten qualities, which will be a
provision and a reminder for you.
‘The first and second of them are: be content in
his company, and listen to and obey him, for
contentment brings peace of mind, and listening
to and obeying one’s husband pleases Allah.
‘The third and fourth of them are: make sure that
you smell good and look good; he should not see
anything ugly in you, and he should not smell
anything but a pleasant smell from you. Kohl is
the best kind of beautification to be found, and
water is better than the rarest perfume.
‘The fifth and the sixth of them are: prepare his
food on time, and keep quiet when he is asleep,
for raging hunger is like a burning flame, and
disturbing his sleep will make him angry.
‘The seventh and eighth of them are: take care of
his servants (or employees) and children, and
take care of his wealth, for taking care of his
wealth shows that you appreciate him, and taking
care of his children and servants shows good
‘The ninth and tenth of them are: never disclose
any of his secrets, and never disobey any of his
orders, for if you disclose any of his secrets you
will never feel safe from his possible betrayal,
and if you disobey him, his heart will be filled
with hatred towards you.
‘Be careful, O my daughter, of showing joy in
front of him when he is upset, and do not show
sorrow in front of him when he is happy, because
the former shows a lack of judgment, whilst the
latter will make him unhappy.
‘Show him as much honor and respect as you can,
and agree with him as much as you can, so that
he will enjoy your companionship and
‘Know, O my daughter, that you will not achieve
what you would like to until you put his pleasure
before your own, and his wishes before yours, in
whatever you like and dislike. And may Allah
(subhaanahu wa ‘ta’aalaa) choose what is best
for you and protect you.


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