The Marital Rights of Women in Islam | Amaliah (2022)

The Marital Rights of Women in Islam | Amaliah (1)

This piece was written in reflection to close friends experiencing abuse in marriage. I wrote the piece after some of my dearest childhood friends ended up in abusive and toxic marriages. As an empath, it broke my heart and affected me mentally to the point where I couldn’t sleep properly for months. I tried to find solutions to their problems, but I realised it isn’t always simple to leave these types of marriages. I also read the horror stories on various Facebook groups for mothers and every story shattered me. What I realised is that, it’s important to prevent women from ever entering these toxic marriages by ensuring rights are met at the start of a spousal search. No doubt, it isn’t always straightforward to filter out unsuitable men as some people are forced and pressured into marriages. However, I believe if even one person were to read the article and it made them think or reassess their marriage criteria then this would be a small positive step in protecting women against marital abuse.

Marrying your true love is an exciting chapter of life. It is the epitome of tranquillity, peace and comfort that humanity craves so deeply. The thought of two independent souls united through the holy state of matrimony with mutual love, respect and commitment brings me so much joy. I love the radiant facial glow of couples both young and old who are truly happy and in complete love. Love is the single greatest emotion that connects people together. When you have a similar spiritual, emotional, intellectual and mental capacity as your significant other, mountains become tiny humps and harsh waves appear as Zamzam water drops. That’s not to say there won’t be any challenges, but you will overcome any hardships as a team.

How can we find a compatible spouse who will love us and journey with us through life’s many trials and heartache?

How can we find an equal who will hold our hand and bring us solitude and calmness after a long day at the office?

How can we find our happily ever after?

(Video) Women's Rights in Islam ᴴᴰ ┇Mufti Ismail Menk┇ Dawah Team

The answer is very simple. Before you conduct lengthy background checks and converse with a potential spouse to see if your character and personality traits align, it’s paramount you ensure the suitor is eligible to marry. Marriage is a legally binding contract – whether you marry legally or/and Islamically, it is a contract between the state or/and God. The step of checking marriage eligibility is similar to making sure an employee is a suitable candidate for a role at your firm. When hiring someone, you need to examine if the candidate has all the relevant qualifications, work experience, good character and references to qualify as an employee. Similarly, when you intend to marry someone, there are conditions from the Qur’an and sunnah which a man must meet before he can put a ring on your finger.

What are these conditions?

  1. The prospective spouse must have a stable enough job in order to provide private accommodation for you and cover yours and your future children’s expenses. [Mukhtasar al-quduri]
  2. The prospective spouse mustn’t prevent you from going to the Mosque or to study. He mustn’t stop you from worshipping God through prayer and fasting – even if he does not pray himself. He must possess sufficient emotional stability to control his anger – as anger is detrimental to a peaceful family life. [Bukhari]

If the prospective spouse meets these requirements – you should make sure he is able to fulfil your rights. As with any contract, there are rights and responsibilities laid down by state or Islamic law and marriage is no different.

What are the rights of a wife?

  1. The husband must pay a dowry (mahr) to his wife. The amount of money should be what the norm is for women of a similar status in society. He can pay part of it upfront, and part of it later but it must be paid and cannot be taken back. The wife has the right to refuse sexual intercourse if the dowry is not paid. Allah SWT says in the Quran, “And give to the women (whom you marry) their mahr (obligatory bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart…” [Qur’an 4:4]
  2. The husband must provide his wife with independent accommodation. What does this encompass? A private bedroom, kitchen and bathroom – it’s a place where the wife is free to remove all her clothing and it must be separate from her family home or her husband’s family home. [Bukhari, k. Al-jumu’ah, b. Hal’ala man lam yashhad al-jumu’ah ghuslan]

In essence, a studio flat would suffice. With the cost-of-living crisis we are currently facing, it is understandable that not every man would be able to provide his wife with a studio flat at minimum. If a man is unable to afford a studio flat in areas where the rent or house price is high e.g London, he could relocate to a more affordable place if his circumstances allow. If a woman is unhappy with a studio flat and wants to live in a more spacious/luxurious home, she can contribute towards the difference. What’s essential is that the husband is able to afford at least a studio flat and is willing to pay for it.

If a wife wishes to live with her husband’s family, there will be no sin upon her husband. Living with the in-laws can work greatly for some people, and if a couple is happy with this arrangement, then there is no harm. If at any point, she decides she wants to move out, her husband must make arrangements for that. A husband must intervene if there is any ounce of oppression towards his wife, he must support her and resolve conflict harmoniously.

  1. The husband must provide food for his wife. This right may be fulfilled in three ways: the husband can buy groceries and the wife may use it to cook herself food. If she does not want to cook food, he may cook food for her. If she is not happy with his cooking, then he must give her money so she can buy food for herself. Most jurists across all the madhahib are in agreement that it is the husband’s duty to provide food and not the wife’s. The meals must include: meat once a week, dessert after every meal, some fruits, bread and oil to add taste to the food. This can be tailored if the wife has different food preferences. (Ibn Nujaym, al-Bahr al-Ra’iq)
  2. The husband must pay all the bills (electricity, gas, water etc). (Ibn Nujaym, al-Bahr al-Ra’iq)

Although the price of bills has risen significantly, it is still the husband’s duty to pay them.

  1. The husband must provide his wife with feminine hygiene products. These include: shampoo, body lotion, shower gel and a monthly hammam visit post-menstruation. (Ibn Nujaym, al-Bahr al-Ra’iq)
  2. The husband must pay for all expenses during his wife’s pregnancy and childbirth. (Ibn Nujaym, al-Bahr al-Ra’iq)
  3. The husband must provide his wife with clothes. Ibn Nujaym says the husband must provide new clothes every six months (for summer and winter). He must provide the following: two long kamees, two headscarves, a thin overcoat, trousers, two pairs of shoes and a coat. If the wife wants silk clothing, the husband must provide it. (Ibn Nujaym, al-Bahr al-Ra’iq)

Shaykh Akram Nadwi comments that providing clothes every six months is a guideline and the type and amount of clothing varies depending on need and what type of clothing a wife wears. He also mentions if a woman doesn’t want new clothing every six months, he doesn’t need to provide it.

  1. The husband must provide his wife a bed with bedding for sleeping and a chair and a sofa to sit on during the day. These items become her property. His wife doesn’t have to offer her bed to guests when they come to visit if she doesn’t want to. Ibn Nujaym comments on this, ‘Some husbands are so mean that sometimes they use the furniture of their wives and sometimes they allow guests to use the furniture of their wives (without her permission).’ (Ibn Nujaym, al-Bahr al-Ra’iq)
  2. The husband must provide accommodation and cover the wife’s servants expenses if she has one. Abu Hanifa says, “If the wife has a servant pre-marriage, then the husband must provide accommodation and expenses for the servant.” Abu Yusuf, Abu Hanifa’s student, comments, “If the wife has two servants, then the husband must cover accommodation and living expenses for both.” (al-Kasani, Bada’i al-sana’i)
  3. Housework is the responsibility of the husband; he can do it himself or hire someone to complete it. His wife may do it if she wants, and this will be an act of charity on her behalf. (Bukhari, k. Al-salah, b. man kana fi hajati ahlihi)

Hiring a house helper is common in some societies such as the gulf region, where it is more affordable compared to the UK. If a husband cannot afford to hire help for cleaning and cooking, he may live in a compact property so there’s less to clean. He may decide to cook simpler foods in the oven or a pressure cooker if he doesn’t have much time to cook before or after work.

(Video) Rights of a Wife in Islam - Dr Zakir Naik

If a wife wishes to contribute financially or if she wishes to cook, she can and this will be a great act of charity. This must however be her own wish, she must not be pressured or forced into doing so.

It is clear by the above-mentioned responsibilities of a husband that marriage is not easy. Marriage is an act of worship that requires much effort. Men must meet the conditions of marriage and be able to fulfil their marital responsibilities.

Once you have found a man who is able to fulfil your rights, you should then learn about his character, personality and goals. You can consider whether you have a similar mindset and envision a similar future. It is also important that you are physically attracted to your potential spouse. Unfortunately, people engage in long discussions with a suitor, speaking on topics that will determine compatibility without ensuring the man in question even qualifies for marriage. It is vital you only consider a man for marriage if he is financially able to provide you with private accommodation – it is your God-given right and not a favour. Allah SWT says in the Quran: “Men are the caretakers of women, as men have been provisioned by Allah over women and tasked with supporting them financially.” (Qur’an 4:34) Allah SWT has given men this financial responsibility – it’s in the nature of men to be a household leader and support their wife and children. Some people question what a wife is supposed to do with her time if it is not her responsibility to support the family financially nor do the housework. She is free to do the following:

  1. To work and spend her earnings as she wishes

  2. To study

  3. To raise her children

    (Video) Rights of Wife in Islam - Assim al hakeem

  4. To engage in charity work

  5. To complete housework (if she wishes to)

So many women throughout Islamic history have built mosques and schools – as women don’t have financial responsibility, they’re able to spend their income on these incredible projects.

Marriage isn’t only governed by laws but by Ihsan (striving for excellence) too. Couples should thrive in mutual respect, love and kindness.

The Prophet said, “The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.” (Tirmidhi; Ibn Majah).

Allah SWT clearly states the importance of kind treatment in the Qur’an, “O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should you treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the dowry you have given them. On the contrary, live with them in kindness and equity.” (Qur’an 4:19)

(Video) Women's Right to choose her spouse in Islam #HUDATV

I hope this guide serves as a useful tool in your spousal search. It is important for women to reclaim their rights to protect themselves from potential oppression. Men who are able and willing to fulfil your rights with love, will never intentionally oppress you. A man who fears God, will never harm you and will honour your rights. Every woman is worthy of finding a good man – a man who will treat you as a human being by fulfilling your rights and never abusing nor oppressing you.

May Allah SWT guide us towards righteous spouses, who will fulfil our rights, love us, protect us and never oppress us. When you fear there’s no one suitable out there for you – remember the comforting words of your Lord, “Good men are for good women and good women are for good men.” (Qur’an 24:26) Trust in God, make the effort to seek a God-fearing partner, have patience and make dua. Your high calibre husband will find you – respect yourself, love yourself, understand your worth and God-willing, true love will be yours.

Please note the views are that of the Hanafi madhab

References

  1. Mukhtasar al-quduri by Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad Qudūrī
  2. Sahih al-bukhari by Muḥammad ibn Ismā’īl al-Bukhārī
  3. Al bahr al-raiq by Ibn Nujaym al-Hanafi
  4. Bada’I al-sana’I by Imam al-Kasani
  5. Al-Tirmidhi by Al-Tirmidhi

Sunan Ibn Majah by Ibn Majah

FAQs

What is the women's rights in Islam? ›

Thus, in the Islamic tradition, a woman has an independent identity. She is a responsible being in her own right and carries the burden of her moral and spiritual obligations. Women have as much right to education as men do.

What does the Quran say about women's role in marriage? ›

He exhorted men to marry women of piety and women to be faithful to their husbands and kind to their children. He said: "Among my followers the best of men are those who are best to their wives, and the best of women are those who are best to their husbands.

What does the Quran say about womens rights? ›

The Quran explicitly states that men and women are equal in the eyes of God. Furthermore, the Quran: forbids female infanticide (practiced in pre-Islamic Arabia and other parts of the world) instructs Muslims to educate daughters as well as sons.

What is a woman's responsibility in Islam? ›

Women are often expected to be obedient wives and mothers, staying within the familial environment. Meanwhile, men are expected to be the protectors and caretakers of their families.

What are the rights of marriage in Islam? ›

Rights and obligations of spouses

According to Islam, both men and women have rights over each other when they enter into a marriage contract, with the husband serving as protector and supporter of the family most of the time, from his means.

What are the rules for Islamic marriage? ›

A marriage in Islam must be between opposite-sex partners who are not too closely related to each other. Muslim men are permitted to choose wives from among fellow believers or from among other “people of the book”: Christians and Jews. Women are expected to marry only other Muslims.

What does Quran say about husband and wife? ›

The Qur'an recommends that wives be obedient and adaptable to their husbands. Wives should also keep the secrets of their husbands and protect their honor and integrity.

Can a wife work in Islam? ›

With regard to women's work, Islam does not put any impediments in the path of a woman who wants to work. However, the Islamic system does not require a woman to work outside her home in order to earn her living. Women should be looked after by their husbands, or by their male relatives if they are unmarried.

What does Quran 4 34 say? ›

Righteous women are qanitat, guarding the unseen according to what God has guarded. Those [women] whose nushuz you fear, admonish them, and abandon them in bed, and strike them. If they obey you, do not pursue a strategy against them. Indeed, God is Exalted, Great."

What are wife's duties towards husband? ›

As a wife, she is expected to serve her husband, preparing food, clothing and other personal needs. As a mother, she has to take care of the children and their needs, including education. As a worker, she has to be professional, disciplined and a good employee.

What is a wife's responsibility to her husband in Islam? ›

“The woman should not deny her husband sexual pleasure for no genuine reason.” “She should not disobey him in any way except that which runs against the will of Allah”. “She should protect herself from any illicit act as well as protect her husband's properties in the home”.

What are wife's rights in marriage? ›

Your Marital Rights

right to receive “marriage” or “family rate” on health, car and/or liability insurance. right to inherit spouse's property upon death. right to sue for spouse's wrongful death or loss of consortium, and. right to receive spouse's Social Security, pension, worker's compensation, or disability ...

What are the rights of wife on husband? ›

Right to live with dignity and self-respect: A wife has the right to live her life with dignity and to have the same lifestyle that of her husband and in-laws have. She also has right to live free from any mental or physical torture. Right to child maintenance: Husband and wife must provide for their minor child.

How many times can a woman marry in Islam? ›

Muslim societies allow for up to four wives, but not without specific rules and regulations. In traveling throughout Egypt I had an opportunity to talk with many young women about their views on polygamous unions and their applicability to the modern world.

How long can husband and wife stay separate in Islam? ›

Divorce essentials for practicing Muslims

Under the Quran, a husband can leave his wife for up to four months in a trial separation. Once that four-month period has elapsed, the husband and wife are to reunite to continue their marriage or obtain a divorce.

Can a woman divorce her husband in Islam? ›

Both Muslim men and women are allowed to divorce in the Islamic tradition. But community interpretations of Islamic laws mean that men are able to divorce their wives unilaterally, while women must secure their husband's consent.

What did Prophet Muhammad say about marriage? ›

Muhammad

What Prophet Muhammad said about marriage? ›

Prophet Muhammad advised Muslims to marry; he forbade the practice of celibacy. He said, "Marriage is my precept and my practice. Those who do not follow my practice are not of me." He also said, "When a man has married, he has completed one half of his religion."

What does Islam say about treating your wife? ›

The relationship should be one of mutual love, respect and kindness. Allah (swt) says in Quran, “O believers treat women with kindness even if you dislike them; it is quite possible that you dislike something which Allah might yet make a source of abundant good (An Nisa 4:19).

What are the qualities of a good woman in Islam? ›

She is in a state of constant submission, certain of our Lord's love, compassion, forgiveness and providence. When she encounters a problem, she knows that Allah has provided a solution in the Qur'an, and that what matters most is her continued sincere love, submission, and trust in Allah.

How should a wife treat her husband? ›

' Let's take a look at what these are.
  1. Respect. You need to respect your husband for who he is, what he does, his choices, dreams and everything about him. ...
  2. Love. While it may sound obvious, treating your husband with love includes loving everything about him. ...
  3. A Friend, Guide And Support. ...
  4. Care. ...
  5. Gentle. ...
  6. Priority. ...
  7. Team Mate.
6 Sept 2016

Which Surah is known as the Bride of Quran? ›

Surah Rahman has been given the title 'Arūs al-Qur'ān (عَروسُ القُرآن), meaning the Bride of the Quran.

Which Surah is called mother of Quran? ›

Al-Fatiha is also known by several other names, such as Al-Hamd (The Praise), As-Salah (The Prayer), Umm al-Kitab (Mother of the Book), Umm al-Quran (Mother of the Quran), Sab'a min al-Mathani (Seven Repeated Ones, from Quran 15:87), and Ash-Shifa' (The Cure).

What does the Quran say about women's education? ›

In effect, the Qur'an clearly states that women have equal right to acquire knowledge or be educated to assume the status of the righteous people due to their possession of knowledge and understanding that leads to the obedience of God in all aspect of life—spiritually and practically.

What makes a man happy in marriage? ›

"Just being in a relationship and being committed to it, just showing up every day is an expression of [his] love," Chethik said. So what makes a man happy in a marriage? "Acceptance and appreciation. We want to be needed," he said.

What is the qualities of a good wife? ›

A good wife exhibits both care and compassion. She is sensitive to the family's needs, and does her best to provide a solution. She understands when her husband is frustrated, and tries to make him happy. Her caring disposition makes sure the family does not lack in any aspect of life.

What is a woman's role in a relationship? ›

Finding out what he wants from you. Not ignoring him even when he is with his friends. Praising him all times even in front of others Satisfying him emotionally and sexually.

What are women's rights under Sharia? ›

Sharia establishes that a woman has the right to choose a husband. The Koran dates to a time of warfare in Arabia that created many widows and fatherless children. It permits men to take up to four wives. Polygamy is legal in many Muslim-majority countries, though not the norm.

What does the Quran say about female education? ›

GIRLS' EDUCATION IS A DIVINE COMMAND

In the Holy Quran, Allah orders both men and women to increase their knowledge and condemns those who are not learned.

Can a wife work in Islam? ›

With regard to women's work, Islam does not put any impediments in the path of a woman who wants to work. However, the Islamic system does not require a woman to work outside her home in order to earn her living. Women should be looked after by their husbands, or by their male relatives if they are unmarried.

What are the 5 Sharia rules? ›

The five major goals of the Sharia are the protection of sound religious practice, life, sanity, the family, and personal and communal wealth. The acknowledgement of sound local customs throughout the world is one of the five basic maxims of the Sharia according to all Islamic schools of law.

What are Muslims not allowed to do? ›

This meat is called "halal." Muslims are also prohibited from gambling, taking interest, fortune-telling, killing, lying, stealing, cheating, oppressing or abusing others, being greedy or stingy, engaging in sex outside of marriage, disrespecting parents, and mistreating relatives, orphans or neighbors.

What are the 5 pillars of faith in Islam? ›

The five pillars – the declaration of faith (shahada), prayer (salah), alms-giving (zakat), fasting (sawm) and pilgrimage (hajj) – constitute the basic norms of Islamic practice.

What are the qualities of a good woman in Islam? ›

She is in a state of constant submission, certain of our Lord's love, compassion, forgiveness and providence. When she encounters a problem, she knows that Allah has provided a solution in the Qur'an, and that what matters most is her continued sincere love, submission, and trust in Allah.

Who quoted Quran verses to argue for women's education? ›

The correct answer is Mumtaz Ali. Mumtaz Ali was a social reformer and feminist who fought for the right of women. ​Mumtaz Ali reinterpreted verses from the Koran to argue for women's education.

What prophet said about daughters? ›

This is what is required when dealing with daughters: kindness, which results in Paradise, as the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam, said: “Whoever Allah has given two daughters and is kind towards them, will have them as a reason for him to be admitted into Paradise.” And: “Whoever Allah has given three daughters ...

How should a husband treat his wife in Islam? ›

A husband is commanded by the law of Allah to treat his wife with equity, to respect her feelings, and show her kindness and consideration, especially if he has any other wife. Nevertheless, the man may not be able to be fair and just in terms of love.

How can I please my husband in Islam? ›

How to Make Love with Your Husband in Islam - Key to a Happy...
  1. Serve Him Whenever He Wants to. ...
  2. Comply with the Foreplay. ...
  3. Washing Up Before Making Love. ...
  4. Making Love Under the Intention of Pleasing Husband. ...
  5. Wearing Perfume When Making Love.
8 Jun 2022

Videos

1. Women's rights in Islam by Hamza Yusuf
(IslamSlater)
2. Women Rights in Islam | Aurat ke Huqooq | Women's Special Bayan | Maulana Tariq Jameel
(All About Islam Official)
3. Do Husband and Wife Have Equal Rights in Islam? || Ustadh Muhammad Tim Humble || AMAU
(Al Madrasatu Al Umariyyah)
4. Rights of a Wife in Islam - Dr Zakir Naik (Reaction)
(Ngoc Anh)
5. According to Islam Woman rights in the marriage by Nouman Ali Khan
(Knowledge Of Islam)
6. Rights of women in divorce in Islam I Mufti Menk I 2019
(SHORTIMAANBOOSTERS)

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