A relationship works both ways, you can't expect to get your rights without fulfilling your responsibilities too. A happy marriage is when both husband and wife understand their roles in the relationship; performing their roles their utmost best and respecting each others' rights.
In return for safeguarding my rights as a Muslim wife, I pledge to my husband that I will fulfill these responsibilities of mine with utmost care and I pray that I will be Muslimah Solehah :)
1) I pledge to you my loyalty and faithfulness; which does not mean blind obedience as Allah's rights is far above your right and I can never obey you in ways that conflict with Allah's commands.
While Islam accord to you the loyalty of wives, do note that we are human beings with feelings and emotions, so we hope that when you ask something of us, do ask nicely and tactfully. Please also consider the circumstances and situation at that moment in time.
With all my heart. I will strive to be like the one mentioned in the Sunnah:
"When a woman prays five times a day, fast her Ramadhan, guard her modesty and be loyal to her husband; it is said to her "Enter the paradise from any door you so wish."
How simple it seems but it will take a lot of effort from us especially on the last condition.
2) I pledge to you my Husnul Mu'asyarah (kind treatment). I vow to respect your views, to comment constructively on issues that I feel advice is needed, to raise my contentions with adaab (graciously and thoughtfully) to treat you with love and care and respect. In whatsoever ways that I wish to be treated, I will treat you as such. For a relationship is a two way street, treat me as your queen my love and I will treat you like a king.
3) I pledge to you my affections and intimacy when you so desire. For intimacy is one of the blessings of marriage, a halal way of satisfying our urges and a means of procreation, of multiplying our Ummah and fostering a closer bond between us.
So, as I am available to you as and when you desire, there is no reason for you to please yourself elsewhere, either in terms of print or digital media, virtual or real relationship with other girl/s (or god forbid men!) outside our sacred relationship. Tell me your fantasies and I'll try to make it work (point to note girls - an interesting sexual relation with your husband is essential to keep the flame alive; think wedding night every night *winks) Although, in reality obstacles does exist; work puts a strain on us, kids need to be put to bed, chores need to be done etc etc so guys please be considerate of the timing and do help us out so that we won't be exhausted when it comes to pleasing you.
4) I pledge to take good care of you and your wealth and our children. I will take care of your needs my dear, protect your wealth from my excessive wants (this being very subjective of course) and ensure that the kids are given proper attention and upbringing.
5) I pledge to dress nicely for you, to always appear presentable in your eyes. For which woman does not like to dress up? and the best person to dress up for is for the man in your life inside the house more importantly than outside the house.
For Allah has stated in Surah Nur; verse 31:
"...and to draw their veils all over their Juyub (body, face, neck and bosom etc) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands..."
6) and lastly, I pledge to guard your secrets in my deepest bosom and will not run to your family unnecessarily to complain about small matters that we can resolve on our own.
For Allah has stated in Surah Al-Baqarah; verse 187:
"They (your wives) are a cover for you and you are the same for them.."
As a human being, we are not free from imperfections nor bad habits though the best of us strive to be a good Muslim and try to inculcate taqwa in our life. Living with our partner day in and day out, sharing the same bed with them, who else would know us best and have to tolerate us the most?
It is therefor essential for all of us to safeguard the secrets of our partners so that his honor in society is maintained and this goes both ways too. We will not like it anymore than them should we know that they have been talking bad about ourselves to our family and their close friends. This is more than just a form of humiliation, it is also a form of betrayal. So, guard your mouth my friends. And when your husband knows that he can trust you with his deepest and darkest secret, he will treasure you all the more.
Well, that's about all that I can manage at this point in time without being too detailed. Point 4 and 5 can be written in one article by themselves. Money management, child education in Islam and Dressing up for your husband.. these are all good topics that requires further discussion and thoughts.
Will try to pen down my thoughts on that soon. Do feel free to drop some comments so that I can improve this article further.
(Author's note: This article goes hand in hand with "My Rights as a Muslim Wife" available here. )