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Mutual Rights and Obligations

In order to ensure an atmosphere of harmony and to promote a cheerful and successful life in the newly established nest of the newlyweds, Islam has provided guidance in defining the relationship between husband and wife and in distributing the rights and obligations arising from this relationship.

In Islam the husband is the head of the household. This is not male chauvinism. It derives from the natural psychological and physical makeup of the male. Man does not suffer from a regular monthly indisposition with its attendant adverse psychological effects. He does not have to be confined by pregnancy or for delivery; nor can he feed children from his breasts. He is therefore always ready to go out and search for sustenance for himself and his dependents. In fact it was Islam which delivered woman from her plight. It established her equality with man both theoretically and practically. It restored her dignity and recovered her freedom.

The Koran stresses her right to benefit from the fruits of her efforts as much as man is entitled to benefit from his (IV, 7). It severely condemned the old customs of ill-treating women (XVI, 58/59,and LXXXI 8/9), and protected their rights in one of the longest chapters, IV, which is given the title "Women." We have already noticed that in the process of the marriage contract, the bride initiates the offer of marriage, a significant detail which emphasizes her spontaneous free action in making this most important decision.

Let us now set out to consider the obligations imposed by Islam upon the husband toward his wife , and then proceed to discuss those of the wife toward her husband.

Adapted from: "Marriage in Islam" by: "Muhammad Abdul-Rauf, Ph.D"

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