We are given a concise description of the “best women” in this hadith:
HADITH SAHIH BUKHARI SHAREEF :5082, CHAPTER 68, THE BOOK OF WEDLOCK
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, The best women are the riders of the camels and the righteous among the women of Quraish. They are the kindest women to their children in their childhood and the more careful women of the property of their husbands.
حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْيَمَانِ، أَخْبَرَنَا شُعَيْبٌ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الزِّنَادِ، عَنِ الأَعْرَجِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ “ خَيْرُ نِسَاءٍ رَكِبْنَ الإِبِلَ صَالِحُو نِسَاءِ قُرَيْشٍ، أَحْنَاهُ عَلَى وَلَدٍ فِي صِغَرِهِ وَأَرْعَاهُ عَلَى زَوْجٍ فِي ذَاتِ يَدِهِ ”
The characteristics mentioned by RasulAllah ( SAW) for the ideal women has long reaching effects.
- The first characteristic is that they are righteous. They are described as those women of Quraish who were riders of camels. (I wonder if it also alludes to the physically fit and healthy such that they are able to ride a camel, Allah knows best)
- The second characteristic is pertaining to tarbiyah ( which is defined as overall care and guidance of those under one’s custody, in this case it refers to children) in raising children they are affectionate and kind.
(One cannot do this if mothers are not present in the life of their children. If mothers warehouse their children to minimum wage uneducated workers at an early age which is a time when the child’s psyche, sense of identity and security is developing, they cannot expect to have any significant impact on the tarbiya of their children in the future.)
- The third characteristic is that these women are careful with the property of their husbands. (Which translates into mindfulness in budgeting and spending of the family money without waste (israaf) and be mindful of spending on halal choices).
Thus, when one brings to mind an ideal model of a woman “mindfulness in three particular areas comes to the fore:
Mindful of the rights of Allah i.e. righteousness (and perhaps Mindful to the rights of her body i.e. physical fitness and strength)
Mindful of her duties to those in her custody i.e. her children and raise them with kindness and affection
Mindfulness in the use of the property of their husbands
- With gratitude to Mufti Adnan Kakakhail (Al Burhan.org) for his riveting description of the hadiths
- All the italics are my thoughts and reflections
- Blue is the actual translation of the Hadith mentioned.