Marriage and Women In Islam
The sacred bond of matrimony has granted women many rights in Islam. Quran has held the bond of marriage in the highest regard and in Surat Ar-Rum, Allah says:
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.”
In many cultures there is a concept of soul mates and meant to be, Islam describes that for everyone of us Allah has created a companion. Then there is an surety that one will find solace, comfort and repose in them. And then finally, Allah says that he has put love and compassion between them.
Islam provides women the right to reject marriage proposals. She cannot be forced into marrying somebody she doesn’t want to marry.
“O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion.”Surat An-Nisa [4:19]
In Islam women are given the place to be loved and taken care of by their men (Father, Brothers, Husband and Sons). The rights of a wife start with The Mehr.
Mehr is the amount of money or valuable that a woman is given by her husband after the Nikkah/marraige. It is obligatory for the man to give her the Mehr or he will be held responsible. In Surat An-Nisa, Allah says
“And give the women [upon marriage] their [bridal] gifts graciously. But if they give up willingly to you anything of it, then take it in satisfaction and ease.”
This is not just a gift for the bride, but a security as well. In the same Surat An-Nisa, Allah says:
“And if you decide to divorce a wife in order to take another, do not take away anything of what you might have given the first one, even if you had given her a cantar (i.e. a great amount) of gold. Would you take it back by slandering her and committing a manifest offense?”(An-Nisa 4/20)
Then there is the right of Spending money.
”Upon the father is the mothers’ provision and their clothing according to what is acceptable.” [2:233 Surat Al-Baqarah]
There is no specific amount you can spend.
“Let the rich man spend according to his means; and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him” [al-Talaaq 65:7]
It was narrated from Jaabir that Allah’s Messenger said in his Farewell Sermon: ”Their rights upon you are that you should provide them with food and clothing in a fitting manner.”[Muslim]
Islam asks it’s believers to treat the women with love and kindness.
”And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit a clear immorality. And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.” Surat An-Nisa [4:19]
Prophet Muhammad instructed Muslims regarding women: I commend you to be good to women. And The best among you are those who are best to their wives.
Then there is the issue of multiple(not more than 4) marriages. Islam is the only religion that advises the men to marry only one woman. But Islam gives the men the right to marry again, ONLY if they can deal justly.
“And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice].”
The polygyny is allowed in Islam, it helps the society in general, it is estimated that roughly 30 to 60% of all married individuals (in the United States) will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage and according to research Men are more likely to cheat than women. So Islam, lessens the infidelity and helps the women who indulge with married men to have a respectable status in society.
Allah’s Messenger said: “If a man was married to two wives and is inclined to one of them (and favored her over the other), he will come on the Day of Judgment with one side of his body tilted (as a punishment for his unjust treatment).” [Imaam Ahmad]
There are many responsibilities of a married man. He should not discuss his private marital affairs with others, be kind and loving to women, exercise forgiveness, respect their needs and be sincere to them.
Islam protects the women, going through divorce. Even though this is a fairly disliked action in Islam.. The Prophet (s) said: “Of permitted matters the most loathsome before Allah is divorce” (abgh`ad al-halal `ind Allah al-talaq).
“And when you divorce women and they have fulfilled their term (i.e. waiting period), either keep them in kindness or release them in kindness, and do not keep them, intending harm, to transgress (against them). (Quran, 2:231, see also 2:229 and 33:49).