Is a man required to protect his wifes?

Or offspring?

Not sure if the "jihad" tag is appropriate.

1 Answer 1


Yes, if you mean protecting them against some harm which is being inflicted on them unlawfully. A person is required to change wrongdoing with his hands if he is able.

من رأى منكم منكرا فليغيره بيده فإن لم يستطع فبلسانه فإن لم يستطع فبقلبه وذلك أضعف الإيمان

Whoever among you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand; if he cannot, then with his tongue; and if he cannot, then with his heart and that is the weakest of faith.


إن الناس إذا رأوا الظالم فلم يأخذوا على يديه أوشك أن يعمهم الله بعقاب

When the people see a wrongdoer and do not prevent him, Allah will soon punish them all.

Abu Dawud

Defending one's wife or offspring against transgressions is included in this. Indeed it has higher priority because a man is a guardian over them, guardianship includes the responsibility of protection:

الرجال قوامون على النساء

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women

Quran 4:34

يا أيها الذين آمنوا قوا أنفسكم وأهليكم نارا وقودها الناس والحجارة

O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones

Quran 66:6

كلكم راع فمسئول عن رعيته ... والرجل راع على أهل بيته وهو مسئول عنهم، والمرأة راعية على بيت بعلها وولده وهى مسئولة عنهم

Everyone of you is a guardian and is responsible for his charges ... a man is a guardian of his family and is responsible for them, a woman is a guardian of her husband's house and children and is responsible for them.


A Muslim is told to protect and help other Muslims. When that applies to strangers then it applies even more strongly to his own family:

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ انصر أخاك ظالما أو مظلوما ‏‏‏ قالوا يا رسول الله هذا ننصره مظلوما، فكيف ننصره ظالما قال ‏ تأخذ فوق يديه ‏‏‏

Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?" The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "By preventing him from oppressing others."


المسلم أخو المسلم، لا يظلمه، ولا يسلمه، ومن كان في حاجة أخيه، كان الله في حاجته

A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim. So he should neither oppress him nor hand him over to an oppressor. And whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs.


It also comes under defending one's honor and is analogous to defending one's own life and wealth.

من قاتل دون ماله فقتل فهو شهيد ومن قاتل دون دمه فهو شهيد ومن قاتل دون أهله فهو شهيد

Whoever fights to protect his wealth and is killed, he is a martyr. Whoever fights to protect himself, he is a martyr. Whoever fights to protect his family is a martyr.


جاء رجل إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال يا رسول الله أرأيت إن جاء رجل يريد أخذ مالي قال ‏فلا تعطه مالك ‏‏ قال أرأيت إن قاتلني قال قاتله ‏ قال أرأيت إن قتلني قال ‏فأنت شهيد ‏قال أرأيت إن قتلته قال ‏"‏ هو في النار ‏

A man came to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, what do you think if a man comes to take my wealth?”

He said, “Do not give him your wealth.” He said, “What if he fights me?” He said, “Fight him back.” He said, “What if he kills me?” He said, “Then you will be a martyr.” He said, “What if I kill him?” He said, “He will be in the Fire (Hell).


If the attacker is going to rape someone then is obligatory to defend them if one is able to do so.

أجمع الفقهاء على أنه يجب على الرجل دفع الصائل على بضع أهله أو غير أهله، لأنه لا سبيل إلى إباحته، ومثل الزنا بالبضع في الحكم مقدماته في وجوب الدفع حتى لو أدى إلى قتل الصائل فلا ضمان عليه. . . بل إن قتل الدافع بسبب ذلك فهو شهيد

The jurists have a consensus that it is obligatory on a person to defend the honor of his family and others. Because an attack on it is not permissible in any situation. And the obligation of defending against includes defending against unlawful sexual intercourse and what precedes it (such as fondling). So much so that if he kills the attacker then he will not be liable, and if he gets killed himself he would be a martyr.

Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah

As for protecting life or limb then according to the Hanafis and Malikis it is obligatory to defend oneself or another person and to fight the attacker, provided that the blood of the victim is protected in Islam (i.e. he\she is a Muslim or Dhimmi). According to the Shafi'is it is obligatory to fight the attacker if the victim is a Muslim and the attacker is one whose own blood is not protected (such as a disbeliever, apostate, bandit, muhsan adulterer or animal), as for a Muslim attacker they have multiple views, the main one is that fighting to defend oneself or someone else is permissible not obligatory, although it is obligatory to defend by e.g. moving the person away or informing the authorities if possible. According to the Hanbalis it is obligatory to fight to defend oneself and another if it is in other than times of fitnah (i.e. civil wars where it is debatable as to which side is correct) and if he is able to do it.

  • Thank you for the answer that does not only address the case of family. Feb 14 at 0:20

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