Do Not Break the Vessels of Glass
Anjashah, the camel driver, had a very melodious voice. On a journey, he was chanting for the camels to make them go fast, but there were women riding on these camels, so the Prophet (Pbuh) cautioned him, saying,
“(Drive) slowly, O Anjashah! Do not break the vessels of glass!”
Anas bin Malik, Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Al-Adab, Hadith no. 5743
The gentle simile summarizes all that can be said about the treatment of women and their delicate nature. The Prophet (Pbuh) tells men that women are as tender and susceptible to breakage as glass vessels. So be soft, gentle, and mild to them; otherwise, you will break them.
Their delicate and fragile nature and the special care that should be given in treating them is further magnified in another Hadith, in which the Prophet (Pbuh) likens the nature and special protective task of women to delicate ribs, saying to men,
“I call upon you to be kind to women. They are created from a rib, and the most bent part of the rib is its uppermost part. If you try to turn it straight, you will break it. And if you leave it alone, it will remain bent as it is. Therefore, I call upon you to be kind to women.”
Abu Hurairah, Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of An-Nikah, Hadith no. 4787.
Ribs are thin, quite fragile, and easily broken, but at the same time those delicate ribs offer protection to the delicate internal organs, and to the king of all organs, the heart. And so are women delicate and passionate, but protect their children and show love and affection to their husbands.
The nature of ribs is curvedness to enclose the heart and lungs. If they were straight they would not be able to protect the heart and lungs. Thus, the teacher of mankind (Pbuh)warns that trying to change the special nature with which Allah U has created women is as injurious and absurd as trying to turn a rib straight. It will no longer perform its protective function – and the same for women.
And just as a broken rib could be dangerous, as it could puncture the heart or lungs, a broken woman could damage the familial fabric that bonds them. Therefore, understand and accept her nature and treat her kindly.