In World History we did a unit on Islamic history durring which we read the first chapter of "Palace Walk" and wrote a brief report on whether or not the charactor al-Jawad was a good Muslim husband based on the chapter and "Muhammad's Last Sermon."
The first chapter of "Palace Walk," written by Naguib Mahfouz, provides the reader with a new perspective of Muslim life. Despite the thoughts of many that the wife, Amina, is being terribly wronged by her husband, Ahmad al-Jawad, this is simply not true. By comparing the story with Mohammed’s Last Sermon, it can be determined that he is in fact a proper Muslim husband.
In Mohammed’s Last Sermon, the duties of a husband and wife to one another were set out. Husbands have two obligations to fulfill under the prophet’s teachings. A husband must not only treat his wife as a helper, and companion, but treat her with kindness. A husband owes it to his wife after all that she does for him and their children. A husband also has set obligations. He may decide who his wife’s friends and associates are, and keep his wife from committing adultery. As long as a husband treats his wife with respect, he has complete control over his wife. Applying these standards to the story, one must conclude that al-Jawad is a good husband in Muslim society.
In the book, Amina has a comfortable life. She lives in a large house overlooking a busy street, has a few children. Though her husband is often away from the house until the late hours of the night, she remains faithful to him, ever fulfilling her duties as a wife. In turn he treated her with dignified respect, just as he is commanded in Mohammed’s Last Sermon.
By following the guidelines set forth by Mohammed, Ahmad al-Jawad proves that he is a proper Muslim husband. Not only does he treat his wife with kindness and respect, but he provides her with the best life he can.