Is the incident of Umar’s wife raising her voice while discussing him true?

The Details of the Question

- I heard a hadith that included the following:
A man was angry that his wife raised her voice while talking to him. This man felt sure that his wife had gone beyond the limit and decided to complain to Umar ibn Khattab (ra) about her. Just as the man was about to knock on Umar’s door, he stopped. He heard a voice from inside, a woman’s voice. She was Umar’s wife, speaking loudly and more loudly than her husband and raising her voice. Ashamed of Umar’s intolerance to his wife, the man hastily turned back and decided to leave. The man stumbled and his footsteps were heard by Umar (ra). Opening the door, Umar (ra) asked the man, “Did you come to visit me?” The man replied shyly, “I came to complain to you because my wife was raising her voice but I realized that yours did the same thing.” Hz. Umar (ra) answered him as follows: “She washes my clothes, sweeps the floors, takes care of my children, and cleans my house though Allah does not command her to do so; she does all of them voluntarily. Should I not tolerate her if she raises her voice?”
- Is this hadith sound?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The narration in question is as follows:

It is narrated that during the caliphate of Umar (ra), a man went to the caliph’s house to complain to him about his wife, whose behavior he did not like. He sat in front of Umar’s door and waited for Umar (ra) to come out. Then, he heard a noise coming from the house. Umar’s wife was shouting at him, but Umar did not say even one word to his wife. The man at the door felt upset and thought, “Despite all his strictness and harshness, and being the leader of the believers, Umar is like that at home. How can he find a solution to my problem?” While he was leaving, Umar came out and called out to the man:

“Hey, what is the matter?” The man said:

- O leader of the believers! I came here to complain about my wife’s bad habits and her disrespect for me. When I heard that your wife said bad words to you, I gave up the idea and returned. I said to myself: How can the leader of the believers find a solution my problem when he is like that with his wife?

Thereupon, Umar (ra) said to the man:

- Brother! I try to put up with my wife because of her rights over me. She is my cook, baker, laundress, and foster mother of my children. However, she does not have to do all this. Moreover, she is the one who prevents my heart from inclining toward haram. Therefore, I put up with what she does.

When the man heard what Umar (ra) said, he said,

- O leader of the believers! So does my wife.

Thereupon, Umar consoled the man by saying,

- Come on, brother! Try to put up with your wife!  Life goes by in the blink of an eye. (Dhahabi, Kabair, p. 179; Ibn Hajar Haytami, Zawajir, 2/80)

Both Dhahabi and Ibn Hajar Haytami reported this narration without a chain of narrators and they drew attention to its weakness with the phrases it is narrated that, it is said that. (see Dhahabi, Ibn Hajar, ibid)

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