Page 88 - Islam In Focus

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Non-Material Rights
The wife’ s material rights are not her only assurances and securities. She has other
rights of a moral nature; and they are equally binding and specific. A husband is
commanded by the law of God to treat his wife with equity, to respect her feelings,
and to show her kindness and consideration. She is not to be shown any aversion by
the husband or subjected to suspense and uncertainty. A corollary of this rule is that
no man is allowed to keep his wife with intention of inflicting harm on her or
hindering her freedom. If he has no love or sympathy for her, she has the right to
demand freedom from marital bond, and no one may stand in her way to a new life.
The Wife’s Obligations: The Husband’s Rights
The main obligation of the wife as a partner in marital relationship is to contribute to
the success and blissfulness of the marriage as much as possible. She must be
attentive to comfort and well-being of her mate. She may neither offend him nor hurt
his feelings. Perhaps nothing can illustrate the point better than the Qur’ anic statement
which describes the righteous people as those who pray:
ÑÈäÇ åÈ áäÇ ãä ÃÒæ ÇÌäÇ æ ÐÑíÇÊäÇ ÞÑÉ ÃÚíä , æ ÇÌÚáäÇ ááãÊÞíä ÇãÇãÇ .
Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the joy and the comfort of
our eyes, and guide us to be models of righteousness (Qur’ an, 25:74)
This is the basis on which all the wife’ s obligation rest and from which they flow. To
fulfill this basic obligation, the wife must be faithful, trustworthy, and honest. More
specifically, she must not deceive her mate by deliberately avoiding conception lest it
deprive him of legitimate progeny. Nor must she allow any other person to have
access to that which is exclusively the husband’ s right, i.e. sexual intimacy. A
corollary of this is that she must not receive or entertain strange males in her home
without his knowledge and consent. Nor may she accept their gifts without his
approval. This is probably meant to avoid jealousy, suspicion, gossip, etc., and also to
maintain the integrity of all parties concerned. The husband’ s possessions are her
trust. If she has access to any portion thereof, or if she is entrusted with any fund, she
must discharge her duty wisely and thriftily. She may not lend or dispose of any of his
belongings without his permission.
With respect to intimacy, the wife is to make herself desirable; to be attractive,
responsive, and cooperative. A wife may not deny herself to her husband, for the
Qur’ an speaks of them as a comfort to each other. Due consideration is, of course,
given to health and decency. Moreover, the wife is not permitted to do anything that
may render her companionship less desirable or less gratifying. If she does any such
thing or neglects herself, the husband has the right to interfere with her freedom to
rectify the situation. To insure maximum self-fulfillment for both partners, he is not
permitted to do anything on his part that may impede her gratification.
The Child’s Rights : The Parents Duties
Islam’ s general approach to children may be summarized in a few principles. First, it
is a divine injunction that no child may become the cause of harm to the parents
(Qur’ an, 2:233). Secondly, by implication the parents should reciprocate and cause
the child no harm either. The Qur’ an recognizes very clearly that parents are not
always immune from overprotectiveness or negligence. On the basis of this