The Mutual Rights of Husbands and Wives

The Mutual Rights of Husbands and Wives

Equality of the Couple in Their Mutual Rights

Just as men have religious rights in regards to women, so do women have legal and religious rights in regards to men. If the management and finance of the family is one of the man duties, providing for the peace and tranquility of the family is the responsibility of the woman. If Islam orders man to be merciful and forgiving towards his wife, it also encourages women to do the same. A verse from the Qur'an reveals that;

"…The wives have rights similar to the obligations upon them(men), in accordance with honorable norms; and men have a degree above them, and Allah is all-mighty and all-wise"[2:228].
In  this  verse, after mentioning the problem of divorce and the rights of the couple in this regard says that as men have the right to divorce, women, too, have this right, but they must act in an acceptable manner.

This is the realization of Islamic law and one of the accepted principles of the society that individuals should enjoy equal rights in compliance with the law. Each should have authority according to his responsibilities. This equality would not materialize unless the people's dignity was protected by law. In Islam, laws concerning women are based on this principle. They possess rights in relation to their position and responsibility. These rights are protected within the family and the society. It is only right that a woman should furnish herself with the good qualities of piousness and dignity and well-mannered behavior toward her husband. This piousness should affect her behavior when her husband is present and would help to protect his rights when he is absent. If men are expected to perform jihad and be killed in the battlefields, this momentous task is lifted from women's shoulders. Women, too, with planning family matters and efforts in child training, can gain such values and positions that are equal to Mujahids (fighters in the way of Allah). Islam considers a well-mannered Woman, who acts on her religious responsibilities, equal to a Mujahid and her act is considered equal to jihad. This means that martyrdom in the battlefields, with all of its worth, has no superiority over housekeeping, child training and the act of marriage. A judge who issues a verdict or a governor who governs people has no superiority over a pious housewife. Islam says that women are human creatures just like men. The nature and makeup of every human being be it male or female, plays a part in society and none has superiority over the other, unless it is by the degree of piousness which is the extent of one's fear of God's punishment, and worship and submission before Him. Also, it is the care with which major and minor religious matters are acted upon. Therefore, the Holy Qur'an says:

"O mankind! Indeed, We created you from a male and a female, and made you nations and tribes that you may identify yourselves with one another. Indeed the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most God-wary among you. Indeed Allah is all-knowing, all-aware"(49:13).