Short Islamic Courses

The Rights of Women in Islam – Aims of Marriage‏

Today I would like to talk about a subject that is very close to many of us.  Some of us have already crossed the finish line whilst others are striving to get there.  The subject of course is marriage.  I will inshAllah over the next few weeks talk about the different aspects of marriage and in particular the role of the women and how important it is for the husband to grant her her rights.  The reason why I have chosen this angle is because in today’s day unfortunately it is the right of the women that are overlooked.

But at the same time this is a lesson to the sisters who are already married or are planning to, to understand the boundaries and to not over step the mark, even if you think you have the power to do so.  Nabi SAW told us to help the Oppressed and the Oppressor.  The Sahabas RA said that they understand helping the one being Oppressed but how to they help the one doing the Oppressing.  To which Nabi SAW said to stop him/her from Oppressing.  So we have a duty to not be Oppressed but also not to become the Oppressors when Allah SWT changes the balance of power in our favour.

THE AIMS OF MARRIAGE

The concept of marriage, from the Islamic perspective, is not that it is solely a need without whose fulfillment the enjoyment of life cannot be attained. On the contrary, Islam has explained the spiritual dimension of this union by defining it a form of worship by which one may achieve nearness to Allah.

According to a hadith:

“When the servant of Allah marries he has fulfilled half the (responsibilities laid on him by the) faith” (Mishkat)

The final Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (sallallaho alaihi wasallam) demonstrated the perfect example of this form of worship. In his practice one sees an attitude of such great respect and consideration for the delicate feelings of women that it remains unparalleled by any champion of women’s rights. His efforts to comfort and please his pious wives; his sharing in their innocent leisure activities; his regard for their emotions; and his fair treatment of them is unique in history.

“Allah, Most High, has says in Holy Qur’an

Among His signs is [the fact] that He has created spouses for you among yourselves so that you may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has planted love and mercy between you. In that are signs for people who reflect [Quran 30.21]

In this verse, Allah has described the creation of women as a token of His Wisdom and Power. As a favour to men, He has revealed that women were created for their benefit, namely peace and comfort. The fruitful end result of all the needs of men associated with women is tranquillity, peace and comfort. Therefore the outcome of all conjugal affairs should be peace and comfort. The families which have achieved this treasure are in harmony with the purpose of their creation, whereas homes which lack inner peace, despite possessing the material means for outward comfort, are absolute failures in realizing the real aims of marriage.

The object of marriage outlined above can only be achieved if the husband and wife recognize and fulfil their mutual rights. Otherwise quarrels evolve and destroy domestic peace. The nature of husband-wife transactions is such that no man-made law can enforce the complete fulfilment of rights, nor can courts of law do full justice in these matters.

The fear of Allah and of being held responsible on the Day of Judgment are the only successful motivators that can ensure the discharging of rights. Allah, Most Merciful, has blessed us with another favour, that the matter of mutual rights has not been left dependent solely upon Islamic law and the courts. He has made the desire for discharging these rights intrinsic in human nature by infusing mutual love and compassion in the hearts of spouses. Allah, Most Exalted, has said:

He has planted affection and mercy between you. (Quran 30:12)

This special quality enables the couple to care for each other beyond the stipulated minimum.

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