by Sayyid Shah Aal-e-Rasool Nazmi Barakaati
All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds, our Cherisher and Sustainer. All praise is due to Allah, who created spouses for us from ourselves to gain rest and kept love and mercy between the Husbands and the Wives. Countless Durood and Salaams be upon the most perfect and unique of creation, our Leader, our Master, the Beloved of Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala Muhammad Mustafa SallAllahu Ta'ala Alaihi wa ala Aalihi wa SaHbihi wa Baaraka wa Sallam.
The Holy Qur’an says: “…So the righteous women are obedient [to Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala and submissive to their husbands], and guard in [the husband’s] absence what Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala would have them guard [i.e., their chastity and the prestige and property of the husband]…” [4: 34]
As a wife, side by side with enjoying equal fundamental human rights, a woman has been placed one degree below the husband in the matter of administering the affairs of the family. The Qur’an says: “…but men have a degree over them…” [2:228]
Compare this with the following verdicts of the exponents of modern scientific thought on this problem.
Says Nemilov: “Man, perhaps even down to the protein molecules of his tissue cells, is biologically different from woman. From the very moment of sex formation in the embryo, the biological ducting of the sexes develops along entirely divergent paths … We must recognize the unquestionable existence of the biological inequality of the sexes. It goes deeper and is of far greater import than it would appear to those not familiar with natural science.”
“The desires and conduct of the two sexes”, says Mercier, “are not similar but are complementary and reciprocal. In courtship the male is active: his role is to court, to pursue, to possess, to control, to protect, to love. The role of a female is passive … Consequent on this fundamental difference are certain others. For pursuit, greater ardour is necessary than for mere reception; and the courting activity of the male is, throughout the whole animal kingdom, more ardent than that of the female; and this greater ardour is connected with certain other differences.” .
Julian Huxley observes: “I venture to prophesy not only that the inherent differences between the sexes will not tend to diminish in the course of evolution but that man will continue, as now and in the past, to emphasize them by custom and convention.”
It should, however, be clearly kept in mind that, in the Qur’anic teaching, the husband and the wife stand in complementary relation to each other, and never in the relation of the ruler and the ruled. The Qur’an enjoins upon men: “They are your garments and you are their garments….” [2:187]
In the presence of the husband, the Holy Qur’an has not chosen her to function as the head of the family, because owing to his masculine constitution and appropriate mental make-up, the husband is better equipped to earn livelihood for the family, to bear the physical strains, and to avert dangers to the family in general. The Holy Qur’an refers to these functions of the husband when, speaking of his role for the wife. It says: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala has given the one more than the other, and because they spend of their wealth …” [4: 34]
Of course, the husband has to administer the family jointly with the wife, according to the Qur’anic Law: “… who conduct their affairs by mutual consultation …” [42: 38]
As a follower of the Qur’an, it is only in extreme cases that the husband may differ irreconcilably with the wife. But, then too, he cannot transgress the bounds of justice and mercy of the Holy Qur’an, which commands him to be always just, merciful and considerate.
The second position of the wife as administrator is, thus, not a source of suffering for her but a source of strength and a blessing.
Every woman must obey the legitimate commands of her husband. Appeasement of husband is a great virtue while the displeasure of the husband carries heavy prosecution. The Holy Prophet of Islam SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam has said: “If I were to command humans to prostrate before anyone other than Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala, I would have commanded the women to bow down before their husbands.”
The Messenger of Allah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam has also said: “If a woman dies in a state that her husband is happy with her, she would enter the Paradise”.
The Glorious Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam has also said: “When the husband calls his wife for some work, she should immediately attend his call even if she may be sitting by the side of her hearth ”. The Hadith means that the wife should give top priority to attend to her husband.
Another Hadith says: “If a husband says to his wife to transform a yellow mountain into a black one or turn a black mountain into a white one, she should obey his orders”. The Hadith means that the woman should try to perform the hardest of the hard job assigned by her husband.
The Holy Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam said: “Allah’s SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala Angels curse the woman throughout the night whose husband calls her to bed but she refuses and the husband goes to sleep in anger”.
Relations between husband and wife have been conceived as based on mutual cooperation, love and compassion. The Holy Qur’an says: “And among His Signs is this that He created your mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your ; verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.” [30: 21]
It means that : -
- Marriage is essentially a spiritual bond of union, rather than a mere physical relationship;
- Marriage should be contracted with the firm resolve of maintaining the relation for life;
- Monogamy should be ideal, because that is the ideal condition in which mutual cooperation, the common man can practice harmony and love normally and smoothly.