I begin with the Name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
“O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the Mahr you have given them, unless they commit open illegal sexual intercourse. And live with them honorably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good.” Qur’an 4:19
Marriage is meant to provide succour for both partners, an institution where rights and responsibilities are to be protected and discharged amicably with passion and compassion. One of the yardsticks of measuring the success of marital relationship is when both partners feel absolutely secure with one another. This sense of security eliminates the fear of violence, abuse of rights and divorce. If either of the partners lives under constant fear, then the very foundation of a happy marriage will be grossly undermined.
Furthermore, people need to come to terms with the fact that marriage is not only a sexual gratification contract but also a contract that entails companionship and partnership with regards to everything that defines human existence on a balanced scale.
In the verse referenced above, Allaah Exalted be He, said: “And live with them honorably” this is the hallmark of a successful marriage and if it is undermined then the marriage is bound to produce what the society is facing with today – abused relationships and high rate of divorce. In his commentary on this verse, Ibn Katheer explained that the husband is to say kind words to his wives, treat them kindly and make his appearance appealing for them, as much as he can, just as he likes same from them. From this it then can be understood that Islam demonstrates that marital relationship as a mutual one and not an oppressive nor an authoritarian one where one partner dominates over the other in an abusive manner.
Each of the partners (husband and wife) needs to understand where their rights and responsibilities start and where they end so that overlapping of these rights and responsibilities will be reduced to the barest minimum because most at times, marital conflicts result when things are not put in their proper perspective.
Allaah Exalted be He says in Qur’an 2:228: “And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allaah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” The best example in this regard is the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ he was a perfect husband, just and compassionate. Ibn Katheer in his Tafseer (Qur’an exegesis) related that the grandfather of Mu’awiyah bin Haydah Al-Qushayri asked the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ that: “O Messenger of Allaah! What is the right the wife of one of us has” The Prophet ﷺ said: “To feed her when you eat, buy her clothes when you buy for yourself and to refrain from striking her on the face, cursing her or staying away from her except in the house.”
Alas! the societies of today are suffering from famine of ideal husbands that will perfect the institution of marriage. For those in the preaching corners and counselling profession, they are inundated with marital cases that it leaves any human with a sane and balanced understanding to shed tears of sympathy. What some women go through in their marital lives is unimaginable. Husbands need to fear Allaah in being just to their wives. Husbands need to realize that the innocent wife (though not in all cases) was weaned of from her parents to the them, which means they are not only to serve as the woman’s partner but also as parents that will take care of their wards. Women going through hell in their matrimonial abodes under the full awareness of their mothers but out of the fear of societal stigma, mothers ask their daughters to stay.
It is common in this part of the world that society tends to only hype on the duties and responsibilities of wife towards the husband but wittingly or unwittingly chose to be silent on the duties and responsibilities of husband towards the wife. In simple terms, men need to be tutored on how to take care of women, it should not always be the case of women being sat down to be showered with lectures on how to be excellent wives while neglecting the husbands need to be excellent partners too. Marriage education is paramount for both intended couples and even married couples if the society is at all serious about marital crisis. This mentality of suppressing the wife to appear bossy is archaic and unfortunately some men latched onto this, thus abusing their wives. Some men divorce casually just like they casually change their clothes. At the age of 25, a young lady is divorced twice! what a cruel world!
And the Satanic sermon that women hold onto that “Men are not to be pampered” (maza ba abun goyo bane) is destructive. Women this is not good. Look at marriage as an eternal union and not a competition to outdo one another in oppression. Women also need to be appreciative of what their husbands do of love and care and should not be ungrateful. Ungratefulness breeds marital crisis. Going through the statistics of divorce rate in the society, one is forced to conclude that, there is a serious lack of understanding of what marital institution is.
Some men are after beauty with no morals while some women are after wealth with no value, hence marital eclipse. Marry for the right reasons, learn and internalize your duties and responsibilities as partners.
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