Recently I’ve started reading a book by Allamah sayed rizvi called “marriage and morals in Islam”. He mentioned a few quotes from the prophet and his ahlulbayt (peace be upon them). I’ve found the book very interesting but a few of these quotes are hard to swallow. Here they are:

The prophet said “ Prayer has been made the apple of my eyes, and my pleasure is in women”

The prophet said “ no Muslim man has gained a benefit after [the religion of] Islam better than a Muslim wife who is cause of his pleasure whenever he looks towards her”

Jamil ibn Darraj quotes Imam Jaffar Sadiq (as) “ Mankind has not enjoyed [anything] in this world and the hereafter more than the desire for women”

How do we interpret these? Because just by reading this it feels like women are portrayed as only for pleasure and it kind of seems like women are being objectified. I don’t want to jump to conclusions and I’m sure that I’ve understood it wrong or took it the wrong way, however these quotes does not sit right with me. How are we supposed to look at these? What is the right interpretation of these hadiths?

Pleasure here doesn’t necessarily mean sexual or physical pleasure. One of the greatest joys for a person is to have a partner in whom he can find peace and tranquillity (as the Qur’an states in Sura ar-Rum). You build a family with this partner. You share your life. You have beautiful experiences. This beings humans one of the greatest joys in life. So here the Prophet (s) and the Imams (a) are highlighting how valuable women are and how much joy (wether spiritual, psychological or physical) they can bring to one’s life. This in fact came at a time when society viewed women as being inferior. Islam here is reminding people that women are the source of great joy, so don’t underestimate them. Appreciate them and value them.