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Islamic Q and A ( 28 March 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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How Does Islam View The Institution Of Marriage? Do Husbands And Wives Enjoy Equal Status In Islam?

By Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam

29 March 2021

The husband-wife relationship is said to carry divine blessings with it. This is a relationship which weathers all seasons, no matter how harsh and keeps going on a journey of ultimate worldly love and affection, seldom spoken but always understood by the two concerned. It is a journey of trust and faith. This relationship cannot be strengthened by the words of agreement on a paper that is Nikahnama, unless it has divine blessings, which in most cases it has.

Thus goes a Hadees reported by Abu Hurairah (RA)

“Be kind to women, for they were created from a rib.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Above mentioned Hadees is in the background of the adage that says; Marriages are settled in Heaven, but celebrated on earth; the unity of two unknown souls is written right from birth.  And in local parlance, ' husbands and wives are the two wheels of a vehicle'.

The Institution Of Marriage Needs To Be Strengthened

To strengthen the institution of marriage society will have to play a positive role and be equal to both husband and wife and create a sense of trust and a feeling of being ‘made for each other’. In order to strengthen its ties through Nikahnamas and lengthy responsibilities to both the parties the society has unknowingly tried to make, both (husband and wife), understand that none of the two have to be believed by each other on the face of it. The worldly rules and regulations create confusion and doubts in the loving mind and make them believe that they are not bound by love, respect and trust but doubts and unfaithfulness.

This has not worked and will not work. Two people living together in a business-like manner or like  robots, without any sense of belonging, longing, love and trust towards each other have to decide one day on 'enough is enough' syndrome. Deeds work in businesses where one has to live with others for eight hours a day, not in a lifelong relationship.

To save the institution of marriage and make it fruitful for the husbands and wives and the generations to come, the heads of all the religious and social institutions will have to think and bring revolutionary changes in their approach towards the institution of marriage. It is better if this institution is understood and made all concerned understand the religious approach to a family, which ultimately transforms into a society and lastly, the world.

As far as Islam goes, the holy Quran says:

‘And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.’ (Quran 30:21)

The above mentioned Ayat says, Allah has created mate from among ourselves to find peace, love and tranquillity in each other's companionship.  Husbands and wives are the first cog of the society, which if wishes to remain peaceful and full of love and respect, has to practice kindness and mercy towards the institution of marriage by granting peaceful environment to the husband-wife relationship that at present is mired in controversies doubts and confusions of all kinds.

As far as the position of a wife in the eyes of Islam is concerned, let us reflect on the following Hadees:

“My brother Jibraeel has informed me and emphasized so much respect for women that I thought a husband does not have the rights to even utter ‘Ugh’ to her.” Mustadrak al-Wasaael, vol. 14, p. 252

No sane mind can say that a wife is not granted an equal place, if not higher, in the institution of marriage by Islam. It is the misunderstanding of the religions that has created controversies and has complicated and polluted this very pious relationship.

After the above mentioned Hadees which asks husbands for a high degree of tolerance towards wives, even if there is any mistake from their side, we should consider the following Hadees and understand how much this  institution of marriage has been kept on equal footing by Islam.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Prophet said, “If I were to order anyone to prostrate himself before another, I would have ordered a woman to prostrate herself before her husband.” [At-Tirmidhi]

(There are similar Ahadees and on the basis of all of them some scholars have taken it to be Sahih, whereas some others take it as a weak Hadees. Tirmidhi has quoted the above mentioned Hadees in his Sunan but has qualified it as a weak Hadees.)

If this Hadees is Sahih, just consider how much equality has been brought in the relationship of a husband and a wife. Husbands are not given a right to even utter the sigh “Uff” on a mistake committed by a wife and on the other place a husband has the position of being prostrated, if allowed for a human being.

Islam has tried to strengthen the institution of marriage by giving equal place to both husband and wife and has left no place for any of them to lose trust.

The Quran and the Hadees are not difficult to understand if the intellect is not complicated and polluted with the wishes of earthly gains.

And Allah knows the best.


Arman Neyazi is a columnist with


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