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Natural Position of Man in the Domestic Life

From the Islamic point of view, it is extremely insulting to a woman that the law should force her to live with a husband who does not like her. The law can force a woman to live with a particular man, but it cannot secure for her the position of a beloved and central figure in the household, which she should have. The law can force a man to support his wife, but it cannot force him to be a devoted husband.

Hence, when man's love and attachment cools down the marriage becomes ineffective from the natural point of view.

Here another question arises. If the wife's love cools down, will the domestic life be affected? Will it continue as it is or will it come to an end? If it will remain intact, then how is it that the lack of love, on the part of the husband, terminates the domestic life and on the part of the wife it does not?

Is there any difference between man and woman? If the lack of love on the part of the wife also terminates the domestic life, then naturally women should also have the right of divorce like men.

In fact, the success of the domestic life depends on the mutual attachment of both the husband and the wife. But as we mentioned earlier, there is a difference between the mentality of man and that of woman. We have already quoted the views of the scientists on this point. Nature has so arranged that woman's true and lasting love comes up only as a reaction of man's attachment to her. Hence, woman's attachment to man is the result of man's attachment to her. Nature has placed the key of their mutual love within the control of man. If man loves woman and is faithful to her, woman also loves him and remains faithful to him. Woman's faithlessness is definitely a reaction of man's faithlessness.

Nature has put the dissolution of marriage in the hands of man. It is man's apathy and faithlessness that cools down woman's love. On the other hand, woman's indifference and apathy does not affect man. Hence man's indifference to woman unlike the latter's indifference to him leads to woman's in-difference. Man's frigidity is the end of conjugal life, but woman's is not so. If man is sensible and faithful, he can always regain his wife's love by showing affection and kindness to her. It is not insulting to him to compel his annoyed sweetheart by force of law, to continue to live with him, and to pacify her gradually. But it is unbearable for a wife to resort to the force of law to retain her protector and the object of her love.

Of course, this is the case when woman's indifference is not due to the immorality or cruelty of man. If man shows cruelty, the case is different. He cannot be allowed to misuse his position and to harass or ill-treat his wife. We shall discuss this point separately.

Anyway man is in need of the body of woman and woman is in need of the heart of man. That is the difference between the two. Marriage is unbearable for woman if she does not enjoy her husband's genuine protection and sincere love.

Adapted from the book: "Woman and Her Rights" by: "Shahid Murtaza Mutahhari"