Articles on  Family / Marital Relations

By Alhaj Mohamed Khalfan, Dar es Salaam.The recent book with 30 chapters authored by him is titled �Simple Child Psychology� published by the Tabligh Centre of Dar es Salaam Jamaat.

The Perverted Relationships Between the Two Sexes

What Is the Difference Between Sacred Love and Fatal Passion?

The Husband�s Guardianship Between Abuse And Neglect

The woman is Allah�s trust , how to treat her then

The Role of Moral Decay In The Realization of The Forbidden

Marital disputes and their effect on the spiritual decline

Raising Teenagers

Womens Rights

How To Be Delighted At Good Off-springs


Men are the Guardian,

When Aunty becomes Mom,

When Privileged To Grow Old,

Meals, A drab..

Make housewife aware

Let Wife Play Mother also


Balancing Mother-Wife Relationship

Men Are the Guardian of Women And Yet���

By Alhaj Mohamed Khalfan, Dar es Salaam.

There is a kind of a culture with some men. They unnecessarily keep reporting their �normal� business or occupational problems occurring outside home to the women in the family, as if to chastise them with anxieties and get pleasure out of it.

Every business or occupation is subject to problems. A situation arises every now and then in the line of normalcy to give a cause for a temporary anxiety and yet, as always, it is taken care of to await the next one to arise. The cycle is a part of the occupational life, outside home, for men who are engaged in earning a living. This part of the men�s life is of no particular responsibility for women at home, as they too have their shares of anxieties in looking after children and taking care of homes. All adult members in a family, males and females, therefore have their respective roles to fulfill and the relevant concern and anxieties to manage.

It is therefore strange that some men should have the habit or indeed a weakness of informing their mother or wife or both of their occupational problems, as each arises in the normal engagement of the occupation, while fully knowing that it is of no direct concern to the women and therefore, there is nothing or little they can do to help in terms of ideas or experience.

Worrisome Scenario

The women may not be aware that such problems are normal with all others too who are engaged in the field of business or other occupation. They also cannot grasp the precise nature of every problem they are informed of. Therefore, the uncertainty of the aspects of varieties of problems whose quantum and effects are unknown to them gives them the fear of a serious and worrisome scenario.

It is very strange however that these very men choose not to let the women share also their joy of the occasion when they have a good news from their business or occupation because to them, it is of no concern to women at home!

There can also be those who would either exaggerate or indeed fake a situation of anxiety to bring forth some sympathy of "bicharo" from the women at however, a dear price of subjecting them unnecessarily to the doses of anxieties. Perhaps this tendency is of a psychiatric nature and its origin needs to be traced.

No other Explanation

Such a person as the head of a family is either unkind by nature or dull-minded by birth or mentally sick by infliction. There can be no other explanation.

On the other hand, there are also those saintly men in the family who are compassionate and sane in such matters. Where a situation which gives a cause for anxiety or disappointment needs to be reported to the family at home, they make a light presentation of the situation in order to lessen the share of anxiety for the women while taking upon themselves the full brunt of it. They offer a brave face to the women even where a situation is serious, because often there is little that women can do on their part to help alleviate the situation. The situation is worsened if women fall sick from anxieties.

Allah swt has placed men as the guardian of women. (Verse 4:34). Men have been created with the nature of wanting to take care of women, provide for them and protect women from harm including physical and mental agony while women have the emotional nature of wanting and needing to feel that they are taken care of and protected by men. It is this respective active and passive roles of one towards the other which fulfills the mutual feel of the �love and compassion� that Allah mentions in the verse 30:32. Therefore, the verse then significantly ends as a challenge for pondering: ���..most surely, there are signs in this (�love and compassion�) for a people who reflect.�

When the Children's 'Aunty' Becomes 'Mom'

By Alhaj Mohamed Khalfan, Dar es salaam.

A person who marries again after the death or divorce of his wife by the first marriage has one valid concern: how will he, as the head of his family with small children, manage to create and maintain a harmonious relation in an environment of mutual affection and trust between the children and their new mother normally known as stepmother.

What must be appreciated is that there is a need for the understanding of the delicate human factors involved, which are natural, and therefore, there arises also the need for an application of vision, psychology, tact and patience on the part of both the parents, jointly and singly, to address the concern.

Firstly, it must be admitted that while the wife may prove herself a perfect substitute to the husband, or perhaps even a better one where the vacancy was caused by a divorce, she will, as for the children, find it some what difficult, however zealous she may be, to fill naturally and fully the vacuum created by the departure of the biological mother. The emotional attachment between the children and their mother begins months before each is born.

Adjustment In Relation

In such challenging circumstances, the husband would be acting in the best interest of his children in particular and his family in general if he assists his wife in assuming the role of the new mother from the very first day of the matrimony by the husband discreetly adjusting his relation with the children in certain aspects of the home life.

An adjustment becomes necessary for a valid reason: With the departure of the biological mother the children, especially the younger ones, tend to get closer to the father, and consequently, the father too is drawn closer to them. The children begin to relish and cling to the exclusive love the father manifests for them. This, of course, is healthy while the children are without a mother.

However, the mistake which is normally committed by the father unknowingly though with the adverse consequence in the form of ripple effects is when he, after the arrival of the new mother, continues to show the personal motherly concern with regard to almost every aspect of the home life of the children, as if nothing has changed after the marriage and the children are still without a mother. The signal the children get is that the present mother is different from what their mother was and that the father trusts the present mother less with regard to the care for the children.

Tact More Refined

The husband therefore rightly needs to make less apparent his sense of concern and protectionism for the children and begin to act as was natural with him when the biological mother was around. The tact has to be even more refined where there is only one child and she is a girl. Her mental barrier against the perceived intrusion between herself and the father and her resistance to the adaptation is naturally great.

It is also ill advised to hold private sessions with the children to the exclusion of the stepmother or repeatedly in her absence to imply to the children that she is not "one of us". However, there can arise occasions, though rare, when such a private lecturing to the children may seem appropriate.

On the contrary, the intended new relation of trust between the children and the new mother should be so cultivated by design by the husband that the children should learn to lean upon the stepmother for protection, defence or intercession when the father happens to be angry at them. The mother should be seen by the children pleading with their father regarding the grant of their requests for anything special like new dresses or sports gear, etc. and perhaps the mother, with a prior agreement with the father, should be seen meeting or offering to meet the cost because he pretended that the intended purchases were costly.

Not Over-stretched

However, this arrangement need not be over-stretched to amount to pampering and weaken the discipline of the children.

Similarly, while it is normal for the parents, as a newly wed-couple, to be accepting invitations to meet the new relatives after the marriage, the children should be included in such engagements so that they do not get away with the feeling that a stranger has appeared in the family to woo their father away from them. They, if they are small, would not understand the sudden new relation with the stepmother and therefore they would not want to forgive her.

It is therefore recommended that the children are made to visit the new mother a few weeks before the marriage and get to know her in advance under the circumstances which are amenable to a start of friendship in the first instance. There can be an exchange of sentimental gifts, the children being encouraged to apply their creative mind for the purpose like personally stitching a handkerchief or drawing and painting on a large piece of paper to earn her compliments.

Small Drawback

There is however a small drawback. The children having started knowing her as Aunty before the marriage may want to continue to call her so after the marriage, and this should change to Mom or Ma.

The mother should be let to lead in organising the observance of death anniversary of the deceased mother to impress the children that she cares and associates with them in their feelings, if there is such a tradition in the family.

There will always be the urgency of achieving the mutual affection and trust before the stepmother begins to bear children of her own. It is of course, a matter of some concern but definitely not disaster if the relation does not warm up from the beginning or quickly. An agreeable adaptation however does set in later as the children grow up and accept the situation as normal after knowing of similar examples in other families too.

("Men and Women are Poles Apart" was an article by the same author in this column in the last issue, that is, of August 20001 of federation samachar . Editor)

�...... When Privileged to Grow Old

By Mohamed Khalfan, Dar es Salaam.

When the father gets old, older and still older there comes a time when he is perceived in the family as a person who is also getting to be different and more different from what he if he is a new person with however the same face. This is more evident if he is a widower past seventy and feels lonely and dependent at home.

This is the time then for the family to get to know this new person even better in order to get closer to him and to respect and serve him well. He is the father, the same father as he always was, after all, and that is all that matters to the family.

His sense of concern and anxiety for the well being of the family even with regard to small matters is sharpened. However, when it comes to his own personal comfort his concern is now even more pronounced.

The biological aging has its physiological and psychological effects on the behaviour of a person. The older the person grows the more prominent are the effects. The symptoms are normal in the case of the majority of aged persons, and yet they are lucky because growing old is a privilege denied to many.

It is believed that with the thickening of the blood vessels in the process of advanced aging, the constrained supply of blood (oxygen) to the brain dims the mental alertness to a level, which is scaring to those who were mentally sharp during their active life. It is mainly this, which is the reason for the slide in the self-confidence. The degrees in the slide vary.

With the self-confidence gone, the personal situation becomes aggravated when the old person additionally finds himself also dependent for his mobility or movement because of the failing vision and hearing and weak limbs along with perhaps a certain illness or more - for which there is no cure, and therefore, has to be endured to the end. The dependence for the upkeep and pocket expenses is even worse. Dress and personal appearance therefore become less important; survival through a maze of dependence is.

With all these anxieties characterised by dependence and lack of self-confidence, the aged persons strangely derive a sense of security, however false, in clinging to a daily routine of life, which he has grown used to and befriended with.

The feeling is that if they went through the life of dependence and uncertainties unharmed last month, and continue to scrap through safely the current month, they will feel safe and secured if they continue with the same routine undisturbed the following months, as they see themselves living and surviving from month to month.

The following experiences, which are not uncommon, offer an insight to the behaviour as a few examples:

I took copies of Islamic magazines in Gujarati to an old person past eighty who anxiously asked me if I had received my last electricity bill from the mail, because his family had not received theirs though it should have arrived a day before and paid for the next day.

When I was about to depart after a few minutes, he pointed out to me an electric night lamp, which he would switch on at night. He said that he needed it on while he was asleep! He kept a yellow coloured bulb as a spare for the lamp in the event of the need arising for replacement at night.

I thought that he would gladly do without light at his dinner once or twice but not without the night lamp with the coloured bulb...yellow, to be precise... even for a single night! He derived a sense security in the nightly routine of the use of a lamp for secured sleep and the supply of electricity was indeed important.

Fumigation needed to be carried out when pests began to appear crawling at night. For the fumigation to be effective, the entire premises have to be covered in one operation. The old grandfather in the family, however, warned that he would not abandon his "fortress" (bedroom). To him fumigation was not as important as the satisfaction in his sense of security derived from the continuity of his daily life routine! Fumigation was no part of it!

No wonder that there would also be a resistance to shifting from a small room to one which is more ventilated and convenient for an old person and yet no valid reason for refusal can be given because the person himself cannot even comprehend the reason for his obstinacy. This is strangely more common with those who are otherwise intelligent by their standard!

For those in the family who fail or are slow in appreciating and sympathising with the behaviour of the aged persons in the family especially those aged persons who are single, then let the Qur'anic exhortation prevail: not a sound of Ooff! comes out from the lips with disrespect to them, if the family lacks the tact of persuasion; for they too will most likely be no different when they too are privileged to grow very old.

Perhaps very few of us realise that the most productive period of this earthly life in terms of gaining the spiritual reward in the Hereafter is the old age during which a constant declaration of patience and gratefulness (sabran wa shuqran) to Allah for the old age and all the helplessness, illnesses and bereavement of the dear ones that go with it is pleasing to Allah swt. But then the blessed opportunity is soured instead by a constant declaration of a string of complaints to the fellow mortals.

(In the last issue, the author of the Family series wrote on

"....And When Aunty Becomes Mom")

federation samachar 101 June 2002

When Meals Become A Drab of Eating

By Mohamed Khalfan, Dar es Salaam.

There are "things" which we may think as small because we do not know that they in fact matter in a big way. One of such things is how a family at home have their meals.

The following scenarios are not uncommon:

The father and sons sit for meals together, leaving the female members to have theirs separately. Most likely, this arrangement is brought about to facilitate the male members to talk family shop or business over the meals.

Another example is where the entire family have meals together, but the worst part is that the male members monopolise the talk which is again often on the family business apart from other male talks like sports.


The female members are therefore "gagged" into a "disciplined" silence in front of the "bosses". The intimidation to the females may even extend to a point that asking for a dish to be passed would be a rude disturbance to the males� talk and, therefore, a breach of good manners at the dining table.

And yet there is even a worst scenario. Meals are served two or three times separately, depending upon the unpredictable timings of those who are individually present and "ready" for meals. The arrangement has a semblance of a restaurant planted at home. The difference is that there are no bills.

We cannot deny that ordinarily meals taste better where there is a company. We tend to over-eat at a nyaz-khani in Imambara when we are in a company. What can be a better company than one's own family.


In fact feeding means food, which is a necessity of life. The daily engagement is gratifying. To do so with family is a particular enjoyment. It is a �ne�mat� which is taken for granted.

Don't we keep our table spread with special dishes set out to await the arrival of our dear and near ones from a distant country as a part of the tradition of receiving them from abroad? They may not be hungry! But the dishes do not go waste!

Meals are often the only reason when the family are together and can pass on dishes to one another in a display of mutual affection.

I had a personal experience of how gainful it is to have meals together. A long company with an obstinate malarial fever and the consequent weakness robbed me of my appetite. Meals would go back from the bed either untouched or little consumed.

I needed to feed myself if I were to regain strength and begin to move about. I needed an incentive for this. I decided to be assisted to the dining table and join the family for meals. It worked!

To certain tribes in East Africa, it is almost �religious� to relish meals together from one large common platter (thaal) in complete silence. Perhaps any among them who engaged in talking meant less morsels for him.


The remorse for having lost the most enjoyable daily moments of partaking meals together in the family is felt after the head of the family has grown old and himself needs a company over meals when the children also will have grown up and left either for higher studies or emigrated abroad or married away or established their own separate homes.

The question is of priorities. Does not family come first before shop and business? The shop or business eventually parts when the head of the family grows old but the family does not part with him.

There comes a time when rushing in for meals and out again to business becomes a matter of the past in the later part of the life. However, the memory of the past haunts. If only the past could be relived this time with wisdom, that is, as a wise person who appreciated thankfully what was cooked and served and remembered what were the meals the day before.

Make Housewife Aware�. How Busy A Work-place Can Be

By Alhaj Mohamed Khalfan, Dar es Salaam.

When questioned the husband apologetically admits to the wife upon his return from the work-place that he entirely forgot to send someone on an errand which she had requested him to do.

He would not however point out in defense that he was more pressed with the amount of work that day. He knew the wife would argue by reminding him that she too remained under the pressure of the house chores and children-care - including Sundays !

He would not also point out that the work assigned by her was not that important that could not wait for the next day. If he did, he would lose the argument in the debate as to whose work was more important - hers or his! Could he go on working with the empty stomach - just to face only one example in her argument!

Such scenarios and the pattern of dialogue are not uncommon where the wife is a housewife who is only focused on the housewifery. Her home is her small but important world and she perceives the house-chores as the real challenge in life.

A great majority of the families in our community have housewives. They are wrapped up in their own small world, otherwise called "home" which is her domain while unaware of the challenges and problems faced by the head of the family in the daily occupation of making out a living for the family. They are not aware that the pressure of work at the work-place descends in waves with unpredictable quantum and with it there is the mental stress which has its toll. W

The faint idea, which a housewife has about the pressure of work a male member in the family bears, is what she perceives on the surface when she visits shops. What she finds there is an easy occupation for men, leisurely selling items and collecting money. She takes that as a normal example of occupation believing that it prevails everywhere including the offices.

A housewife while quite experienced in her rounds of shopping would not be aware that even behind the shop there is an office frantically busy with a catalogue of office work like compliance of trade regulations and taxation, assessing fluctuating financial liquidity position, banking work, ordering of goods to replenish the stock, queries from the accountant, auditors or tax departments, disputes over deliveries or quality of goods, etc.

A housewife is not aware that in commercial and industrial offices, the "normal" pressure of work is even greater, especially where the place of work is short of staff.

It is therefore the duty of the husband or the head of the family to acquaint the housewife in the family with the normalcy of the nature and pressure of work at the work place.

This information will enable the housewife to establish priorities. She would know when it is not necessary to get what household errand to be handled by the husband. She will learn to manage most of the errands and work on her own without inconveniencing the husband at his work-place.

The improvement will be remarkable. The wife will prove herself more dependable, and therefore seen more lovable. The daughters in the family will copy the example of the mother when they get married and assume the household responsibility with fair degrees of self-reliance.

Let us remember that wife is what the husband makes her. The exercise has however to begin much early after the marriage.

Behind the organized old Husband is the exhausted Wife.

Let Wife Play also Mother to Husband

- When both Are Aged and Lonely.

By Alhaj Muhammed Khalfan, Dar es Salaam.

"You keep dominating! I do not need to be told what time of the day to take bath and what dress to put on! I am not a child! I am a grandfather" After a pause, the husband added softly: "You were not like that before". This was a retort from the husband to his wife, both advanced in age.

A few weeks back there was a similar outburst from the husband when he could not find his old pair of shoes. The wife had thrown them away because they were worn out and a disgrace in public even though they were very comfortable to him.

The wife, now a grandmother, was not like that before. If that fact was pondered upon, the husband would have found that the wife was behaving normally and therefore naturally as she grew older.

It is common to find that a wife who was not dominating on her husband by her nature when she was a young mother did play her domineering role of motherhood, like all mothers do, on her children, instructing them on the "dos" and "don�ts".

However, as no womanhood is complete without motherhood, the wife wants to continue to play a mother. Therefore, when the children are grown up and separated from the parents to establish their own homes, in the same city or elsewhere, the wife is found to continue playing the role of a mother, and the husband tends to become a substitute for the children as her maternal beneficiary.

It is not surprising to see that the wife's concern for the well being of the husband is now more motherly. She would tuck in the husband comfortably well if he was careless with the blanket or mosquito net covering when he retired to bed.

It is therefore inconsiderate on the part of the husband if he rejected or rebelled against the overtures of the wife who was assuming also the kindness and concern of a mother.

A couple growing old and now on their own with the parental obligations fulfilled need even a better mutual understanding than before for a complemented emotional support.

The support from the aged wife in the house is even more important. Let her transfer her motherly attention and concern from the children, now no more under her care, to the aged husband. To interpret the motherly overtures as domination is a short sight. Behind every old but organized husband is likely to be the exhausted wife.



The Perverted Relationships Between the Two Sexes

The sexual desire that is entrusted to the human being-male and female alike-is not intended for itself, rather, it was made to be a means of achieving the attraction that leads to the lawful communion; that is the state of intimacy, love and mercy and what it entails of forming of the righteous family which is the core of the righteous community.

Keeping in mind that the state of love and the affectionate relationship in the beginning of the marriage, is liable to end-as a result of the progression of time and the involvement of each with complex family issues-the alternative which guarantees the continuation of their relationship is the state of �mercy� the following noble verse indicates, {He has set between you love and mercy}. Therefore, and in spite of al obstacles, the foundation of the Moslem family won�t shake until the end of the life.

Islam�s policy for deterring moral corruption is to keep the individual away from the causes of excitement-like gazing, conversing, touching, going into privacy and mixing-instead of remedying the consequences of that excitement; like the state of aggressiveness felt after failing to achieve the intended goal or the frequent changing of the lovers became of boredom.

The forbidden erotic mutual relations originate mostly from gazing. That is why the Noble Koran calls on both of the believing men and women separately in sura Light to {cast down their eyes}. If man consults his mind, he would see that gazing at woman is no only useless but it intensifies man�s desire for human beauty while obtaining the beautiful woman is not always possible. This will precipitate a state of suppression and distress and an occupation of the mind with multiple images which will make the lawful spouse�s image look faint compared to those much more beautiful images.

Masturbation has become a major problem of adolescence. It must be studied based on the saying � Religious topics should be discussed without shame�. The Prophet (P.U.H) dealt with it in his well-known speech when he ascribed (Allah�s) curse to �the one who is married to the palm of his hand�-the masturbator. A speech with a similar content was made by his vice, �Alee (P.U.H). How disgusting it is that man neglects serious life concerns-whether this life�s or the one to come-to become involved in a condemnable act that he is obliged to conceal and ashamed to mention; to say nothing of the generally recognized psychological and physical harm this thing causes.

Parents should take steps to prevent the situation where the above mentioned problem gets out of control, for it is an extremely dangerous thing when man�s thinking becomes dominated by sex so that he views all aspects of live through it. The solution then is to keep them away from the sources of sexual excitationlike the media and bad friends and considering the allowed alternatives instead, like the early marriage and devoting time to doing the permissible actions let alone doing the favourable ones.

What Is the Difference Between Sacred Love and Fatal Passion?

Just as many of the pious deeds begin with a hearty motion-which is superior in rank to action-like jihad, which originates from the love of sacrifice for a cause, and the attention during meditation, which originates from the love of meeting with The Divine, likewise many forbidden practices begin with a deviation in the heart�s axis. Therefore, the origin of what we are seeing of the forms of moral deviation is the forbidden passion.

The objectionable passion is the intense hearty attraction towards some person, with the tendency to reach him by any means, even if it was on the expense of reason, the norm, and the sharia. Because it affects the behaviour, originates from greed and ceases by intercourse [reunion of lovers], wise men designated it as a �melancholic� malady. This is the origin of the saying that �Intercourse is the burying ground of passion�! In other words, its origin is the love of the character and it is known that the fairness of the character dies down with repeatedly looking at it.

The original cause of the false passion is the spiritual emptiness and idleness. The heart in every state and by its nature needs something to cling to and if that vacancy is not filled with the right thing, inevitably it will be filled with the wrong thing. The best way to depict this notion is Imam Sadiq�s (P.U.H) saying: � Those are hearts devoid of the love for Allah, therefore, He let them taste the sweetness of the love for others�.

We have to watch the adolescent�s conduct, because in this age each of the sexes looks for a close friend from the other sex to fill the gap. It is however known that whoever moves to fill this gap, wants-in most cases-nothing but the physical intimacy, which only further debases the soul. Whosoever submits their body to the lover will get used to doing it every time, even if they claim honest love. The proof of that is the briefness of the relationship, the changing of the partner�s attitude and the �evaporation� of the claimed love at the first quarrel.

It is really strange to clear the heart-which was created to be a sanctum for Allah-for anyone who claims love, as soon as talking through air starts or even receiving a photo by mail. Where then is the reliable test on the basis of which man attaches his heart to someone from among the competent and honest people who deserves it? Looking for the life partner through visiting chatting websites is an illusion-a mirage-that is not to be trusted. For whomsoever expose themselves to the public, must be concealing something wrong. Where then is the Koranic command not to be abject in speech especially in a time where there is an abundance of those in whose hearts is sickness?

He who passionately loves someone must ask, without misleading himself, about the objective justification for that and the reason behind insisting on something the advantage of which is not absolutely certain! He must lastly look for other alternatives, with the lack of firm conviction in the restriction of achieving the goal to what or whom he passionately loved because insistence is always the derivative of conviction.

The Koran explicitly threatens, {Then wait till Allah brings His command}, those who prefer the love of fathers, sons, brothers, the clan, possessions, dwellings and commerce to loving Him and His Messenger. Is this threat not enough for us to check the corners of our hearts for the love that has sneaked into the wrong kingdom (place)? Let it be known that loving the Creator of love begins reluctantly only to transform into a passionate love that makes man despise everything that turns him away from his Lord. Did Joseph not say: {My Lord, the prison is dearer to me.}. Hence, being alone with the Beloved is dearer to him than being alone with the mortal, even if it was a princess in her castle.

The Husband�s Guardianship Between Abuse And Neglect

Because getting the incomplete idea might harm some people, we hope that all of you put the last three sermons together to deduce a result. The objective of the last sermons is the endeavour to establish the ideal family. It is known that marital problems do not always result from the insistence on disagreement, rather the ignorance of its concept.

The man�s guardianship over the family does not necessarily mean the dominance that is not based on the Mind or the Sharia, rather it is the Legislator�s authorization to him to be a trustworthy judge for the administration of the family affairs, because every human congregation composed of two or more people, does not function well without leadership and administration. The verse made two things the basis of this authorization; The personal gifts of the man and his family position as a husband, {For that Allah has preferred in bounty one of them over the other}, and his obligation to secure a living {And for that they have expended of their property}.

The noble Koran describes righteous women as {Obedient} and one of the criteria of obedience is obeying the husband without disobeying Allah. It is clear that when the husband feels that his wife is dominant over him, he will not continue his relationship with her, for naturally the family does not function well with two leaders, as it is the case with states and establishments. It also describes them as {Guarding the secrets}, for if the husband is to worry about his wife�s behaviour in his absence-regarding his possessions and honour-this feeling will abolish the atmosphere of confidence which is the basis of marital intimacy.

By �Obeying the husband�, we do not mean the submissiveness in which the husband is seen as a commander of a military camp, rather we mean the state of acceptance, on the part of the wife, after discussing the alternative solutions. If the husband finds preponderance in his wife�s thinking, he will automatically stop controlling her and forcing her to do what he wants.�

The woman must always make a balance between the negative consequences of stubbornness and insistence on opinion and the positive results of bearing some privation in exchange for reducing tension in the marital life, because it is not logical for the woman to get what she wants of this world�s possessions in exchange for giving away some of her religious convictions and spiritual comfort.

It is a grave mistakes that the woman resorts-from the defence position-to disclosing the man�s secrets, because the man will automatically resort to disclosing her secrets in return. The saying goes: � There are secrets in all families�. The consequence would be the exploitation of their hidden weaknesses by their foes to expose and disgrace them in the community. Afterwards, the marital life, even if conciliation occurs, will have little or no value because of that disgrace.

Jealousy has acceptable limits. Prosecuting the man for every detail turns him away from the house. Consequently, he will look for the alternatives outside it and then he would either commit sins or fall in the destructive passionate love or he would forsake his children with all what it entails of neglecting them and leaving them to destiny, because the mother alone cannot control the household.

The wife has to be realistic regarding the financial dealings with the husband, because overburdening the husband is among the causes of dislike and dispute, especially with his reluctance to expend. For what is taken out of shyness and submission-on the part of the giver-to ward off troubles, is as if taken by force.

Before getting married, young men ought to understand the necessary qualities the wife should have. What is needed is an acceptable degree of good looks and beauty, for the feminine attraction is not always based on the material meaning of beauty. This is one of Allah secrets. Add to that the importance of the presence of the pure social medium, because it is impossible to deny the unconscious effect the family environment has on all stages of growth.

One of the most important attributes of a successful marriage is the state of submission, of both parties, to the rule of the Sharia in any disagreement. If there was a living ruling authority, the presence of disagreement would be meaningless. Because disagreement is the derivative of the presence of two disputing selves. With the presence of the Sharia, this dispute will be meaningless. Reflect well on Allah�s saying: {But no, by thy Lord! they will not believe till they make thee the judge regarding the disagreement between them, then they shall find in themselves no impediment touching thy verdict, but shall surrender in full submission

Some people may wish to marry religiously uncommitted women, hoping to change them for the better in the future, but it is a risk without guaranteed results, especially with the persistence of the deviation after becoming married. It is very possible that she overwhelms him by her dishonour and not the reverse, especially if there was mutual love. It is necessary that extra precaution is practiced in a hazardous experience like this one.

We noticed, by virtue of experience, that the best candidate for marital life is the girl who finds comfort in staying at home and who does not wander much outside of it mixing with men and pursuing the temporal possessions. When the wife�s mind is occupied with things other than her family, she will not naturally offer the husband his rights.

The woman is Allah�s trust , how to treat her then

It is wrong that the husband treats his wife according to the principle of reciprocity, so that he does not treat her well until she does first. Whereas the principle {We desire no recompense from you, no thankfulness}, applies here. There is a difference between acting with complaisance for the sake of Allah-fulfilling high values-and doing it to acquire possessions of this world..

It is necessary -to achieve a happy life with the wife-that we have the divine and the transparent regard to women. For she too was created to attain her perfection. Therefore, we must regard her as a creature marching towards of Allah. Hence, we must not discourage her in her endeavour to attain perfection.

If the husband is not the kind of person who cares for the hereafter, then he must work for the benefit of his life in this world. And that is by not transferring the woman into a nervous being who expresses her feelings inside the marital establishment on one side, affecting the children�s upbringing on the other. It is known that the wife is a life partner, which makes her a good investment for he who wants to improve her capabilities so that, both the couple, their children and the society benefit.

The man�s refraining from taking the responsibility inside the house is one of the causes of the dismantling of a marriage. He starts the relationship by showing a great deal of love and affection, only to change afterwards to someone who does not regard the house a friendly atmosphere and does not take any responsibility even regarding the obligatory adequate support. Especially so if the wife is financially independent, then he will try to take away her possessions which will leave him with a mere nominal role inside the house.�

It is wrong to sanctify-during an argument-the notion of partiality of each of the couple for his or her relatives, forgetting the principle of precedence by piety. For there is nothing as the (husband�s relatives) in opposition to the (wife�s relatives) in the exact Islamic concept, because all believers are like one body, and disputes in the family should not be transferred to the bigger family, the society.

The Prophet (P.U.H.H) said: � Fear Allah in regard the two weak subjects� meaning (the woman and the orphan). It is known that suppressing someone who has no helper but Allah; is one of the causes of speeding-up of the divine Vengeance. That is why we think that he oppressor of his wife cannot advance in the way of perfection, for how could we seek nearness to Allah when He is displeased with us.

The resorting of the husband to unlawful practices, starting with looking at forbidden pictures in addition to committing forbidden deeds, will destroy the marital establishment in many ways. Because he who derives pleasure from a variety of forbidden practices, will not be satisfied by what is allowed for him, especially when he compares the available and variable forbidden to the stable allowed. On the other hand, he will drop in his wife�s estimation-who resents marital infidelity by her nature. How shall he expect respect from her after that? Moreover, Allah-who casts love in obedient people�s hearts-takes away that love from disobedient people�s hearts. This is the secret of people�s dislike to the sinful even without knowledge of their sinning.

Some regard sexual intercourse as a pure bestial action. Consequently, they might not fulfill their obligation if they-wrongly-think that it hinders them from attaining certain spiritual ranks. Whereas the matter includes an emotional as well as an instinctive undertaking, which is one of the requirements of the fortification of the marital life, in addition to making the partner happy and satisfied, provided that excess and neglect are avoided.

Showing romantic feelings and gestures in dealing with the wife is required by the Sharia. Because it is related that the Prophet (P.U.H.H) had said: �The man�s saying to his wife, I love you, never goes away from her heart�. This attitude should not be restricted to the early years of the marriage; rather it is necessary to constantly refresh the marital life with it.

The man must not seek comfort outside the house on the wife�s expense, because Allah commanded us to guard ourselves first and our families second against the Fire {Guard yourselves and your families against a Fire}. Hence, the man�s leaving of his woman to live in loneliness and isolation, especially during he night, is a kind of unintended tormenting.

Resorting to beating and the use of improper words in marital life, form the peak of the spiritual decline, which takes the glamour away from the marital life and causes a crack which doe snot close even after harmony returns.

The Role of Moral Decay In The Realization of The Forbidden

We present to you the last part of the discussion of sexual deviations, which is still among the hot issue in the life of man, to whom sexual desire was originally entrusted to guarantee the continuation of the human race. However, the sinful and foolish man changed it from a tool to a goal to the extent that some people have no concern but to indulge in it as if it was the only reason for which man was created.

Islam strongly rejects the state of moral decay, especially in the female who has an instinctive ability to attract the opposite sex. Imam �Alee (P.U.H) had commented on this one day when a good-looking woman passed by his companions and they were staring at her, he said, �Verily, these male�s sights are covetous�.

When Islam forbade the woman to play up her charms and to look exciting (the origin of Arabic tabarruj, playing up charms is burj, a prominent tower), it commanded her on the other hand to {recite the signs of Allah and the wisdom}, thus becoming an educator and admonisher instead of becoming a toy in the man�s hands.

The Noble Koran points out in sura Joseph to the elements of excitement Zulaikha had arranged in the Mighty Prince�s castle of: The soliciting (or asking gently), the closing of the doors (to achieve the arousing privacy) and the order to �Take me� (showing her desperate need). On the other side, the Koran shows the elements of righteousness in Joseph (P.U.H) like: Taking refuge in Allah first, for woman�s temptation is a difficult test, and also him remembering that he is in Allah�s hands, Allah who gave him a good lodging. Therefore, it is absolutely not fair to reward The Giver, to whom we return for reckoning after this life and its desires are over, by defying His commands.

When Koran reaches the issue of sodomy in Prophet Lot�s Sodom, it documents a contemplative state; swearing by Prophet Mohammed�s life, it explains that these people were living in a state of state of dazzlement and confusion. Is there a worse dazzlement and insanity than when man treats the canal through which feces comes out the same way as he treats the canal through which life comes out! That is why their punishment was that Allah turned their city uppermost nethermost because they do not deserve to walk on the face of earth.

Doing shameful deeds-like fornication-during teenage years deeply affects the doer�s soul making him scorn himself when he attains adulthood. Therefore, we must not give teenagers the chance to do the things that would leave permanent psychological consequences. Nevertheless, it ought to be reiterated that it is not right to give up hope in Allah�s forgiveness.

The one who is tried with having no other way but to mix with the other sex, because if the nature of his job and the like, must strictly adhere to the jurisprudence laws regarding dealing with members of the other sex. Examples are: Not going into the kind of privacy that arouses suspicion, not elaborating on unnecessary conversations and not assuming an exciting outlook. Necessities, however, should not be overestimated.

One of the disasters of using the Internet is the drifting towards visiting erotic sites. With the heated excitement and the unavailability of the permitted alternative, the result will definitely be the suppression of desire and eventually the rush into doing all kinds of forbidden deeds. We wonder, in the same context, what is the goal of spending precious time on a conversation that is either foolish talk or is an introduction to entering into the forbidden erotic conversation!

Marital disputes and their effect on the spiritual decline

It is necessary to discuss this issue from time to time because it is from among the sensitive issues in married people�s lives, as the moral deviation is the sensitive issue in unmarried people�s lives. This discussion is intended to maintain this sacred structure, in addition to discussing recent problems and solutions. We believe that the seeds of dispute are present in many family but they are awaiting the suitable environment to grow. The old saying goes: � Better prevent than remedy.

We hope that no one who hears this sermon tries to pick the points which condemn the partner, or else this discussion will be futile in effecting a change. Rather we are putting issues for the couple to reflect on between them and to concentrate on changing the reality and not accusing the other

The major damage marital disputes do is the gradual fading of the spiritual side of both disputants, in addition to causing a nervous breakdown and confusion because the mind which is divided between life troubles does not let the one reflect on issues related to the beginning of the creation and the hereafter

�From among the fatal effects of dispute, is the realization of the ground for doing injustice and transgression of limits, which in turn leads to the expulsion from the divine Mercy according to Allah�s saying: {Surely the curse of Allah shall rest upon the evildoers}, for Allah �Respites (the evildoer) but does not disregard (him)�, and men may reach this evil consequence after a period of constant disobedience as mentioned in the Tradition: � Allah will throw him down farther than the Seven Sisters�

During the early years of their lives, children look on to their parents as examples in life Therefore, if there was some mutual unjust treatment between the parents with the accompanying faults in speech and actions. the children will feel an unconscious withdrawal from religion and religious people and that is when they lose all respect to the symbols which represent religion even if they were mistaking in the application

The extent of the dispute is not restricted to the couple only, rather it reaches-even without intention-the couple�s relatives, which causes a wide split in the community, which in turn prepares the ground for different social cause of evil like; Backbiting, gossiping, defaming and other things which we consider light but with Allah they are mighty

The marital relationship is not a kind of a business so that one of the partners overpowers the other, as owners do, Neither it is a kind of a temporary contract so that each party thinks of getting rid of the other when they like. Rather it represents the peak of interblending of two souls, which is the reason of describing them as � A couple�. As their individual characteristics are mixed in the first fertilized cell, which is the beginning of a human being. Therefore, and in line with that, they ought to abandon their personal inclinations inside the marital establishment, and by that, the mother-with her soul- turns into a nursemaid for the child�s soul, as she was one day a nursemaid for his body

The importance of this discussion is made clear through knowing that the blessing of the happy family is not limited to this world, rather it goes beyond it to the hereafter according to Allah�s saying: {Those who believed, and their seed followed them in belief, we shall join their seed with them}. Therefore, it is an investment to which no investment in this world is compared. It was related that the Prophet (P.U.H.H) had said in this context: �When a man enters Paradise, he will ask about his parents and children. Then he will be told that: �They did not attain your rank and level of deeds�. Then he would say: �O my God! I had done my deeds for me and for them. Then Allah orders that they join him.

Raising Teenagers

The problem of raising teenagers is one of the problems that concern the specialists in this field. Sons usually stay under their parents control till a certain age, but the parents often misuse this control. The parents later regret it after their sons leave their control whether by marriage, migration or study. So it�s very important for these parents to give this subject plenty of time and attention, knowing that a righteous son would be like an everlasting charity which would benefit them after death!

Man has a bodily structure and a psychological structure. Just as there is a moving body, there is a growing sprit. So when we pay attention to the bodily growth of our sons, we have to pay attention to their spirits and their growth. This growth reaches its peak, integration, or low point in the age of adolescence.

There are factors that influence the growing teenager and his behavior. Some of them are internal factors like hereditary characteristics and mental structure. Obviously while these factors vary from one member of a family to another, that doesn�t imply fatalism in determining human behavior. Other factors are environmental factors like parents� or corrupt relatives� behavior, friends, scholastic environment, and finally different media that have often become devilish tools to corrupt our sons.

We notice in many cases that internal factors for sons are healthy and perfect, but unfortunately parents� behavior within the family; disputes and conflicts, disobeying religious rules, or neglecting their sons and being preoccupied with their own affairs, all of that would produce different defects in the sons� behavior. In this case, parents are the ones to be held responsible in the Hereafter.

Some parents, as we can see, do not know who their sons� friends are, and what orientations and inclinations they have when in fact they are the ones who outline their sons� behavior. We have often seen parents giving all their efforts, psychological and intellectual, to raise their son on good manners till the age of eighteen. But one red night, one trip to suspicious places, or one corrupt company turns this son upside down, and what a great loss! For this reason it is necessary to start strict and full monitoring over the sons, as long as this can keep them from evils, by watching whom they accompany, where they go and what they do.

One of the environmental influences on the teenager behavior is the scholastic environment. As we can see the school nowadays form a large part of the youths� life. Yet it is regrettable to see some parents, for financial reasons, local nearness or the like, choosing corrupt schools, or schools known to have improper breeding environments for their sons. In reality, financial spending in this matter is an assured investment, and it�s much more beneficial than spending money on life�s luxuries.

One practical recommendation in this matter is constructive dialogue. Youth nowadays have wide knowledge and awareness, and good analytical abilities in politics, economy, culture, and so forth. When the social sphere is full of imported thoughts, cultural corruptions and mercurial concepts that can be missed, it�s our duty to help the youth who live in a kind of intellectual confusion, output of this intellectual freedom, primarily by open minded discussion, instead of clashing or cursing with corruption and unbelief. This latter method would lead them to stubbornness and insisting on their attitudes, even just as a challenge. The holy hadeeth had stated something close to this: �Never raise your sons the way you were raised, because they were created for a different time than yours�.

Another practical recommendation for the parents is to establish a friendship with their sons and avoid the roughness that is widespread in eastern societies. This friendship would encourage the son to discuss his problems and concern with his parents, the ones who know what is good for him, instead of strangers. The father should himself select the most suitable group of friends for his son like those who come frequently to the mosque, before the son would choose bad ones.

Another important recommendation for the parents is to show their love, affection and satisfaction with their sons, and keep away from accusation and mistrust which will make them lose their self-confidence. The father who notices any good sign of this son should take advantage of this chance and try to encourage him, praise him and reward him. It is well known that reward is a motivator even for adults, a fact that is considered also in urging recommendable actions by the Divine Law.

If Moses and Haroon (S) were ordered by Almighty God to speak with soft words to the Pharaoh, we should certainly speak to our sons, while they are our subjects, our satisfaction and our everlasting charity, with soft words! Isn�t that fulfilling what the Almighty called for in His saying: {Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way} and {There is no compulsion in religion}. So let us ask Almighty God for help, and pray to him saying {Our Lord! Vouchsafe us comfort of our wives and of our offspring}, so that the Prophet (S) can be proud of such offspring in front of other nations in the Hereafter.

How To Be Delighted At Good Offsprings

In addition to the continuous benefaction and the useful knowledge, the righteous child is like an open account for man after he steps into the lonely life to come. What a great help it is in a time when one point could favour the score, only to find oneself showered with unexpected blessings through a righteous child! It is reported the Jesus (PBUH) was passing by a man who was being tortured in his grave and is no longer tortured; he asked Allah about that and Allah replied, � A child of his grew up and became righteous, following a right path and helping an orphan�.

One of the best blessings of marriage is the ability to add a righteous child to the Umma (the Moslem Community) so that if it was lost in a miscarriage, it would stand at paradise�s gate and not enter until its parents are let in; and if it was borne alive and died before them, they would be rewarded for their patience; and if it were to outlive them, he would pray for them. It is said that the man who lives to see his grandchildren is a fortunate man and the one who does not, is not.

The child�s rights begin in the early hours of the actual marriage, when the husband performs a two-unit prayer on his wedding night asking Allah to grant him righteous children and using the traditional supplications; and after that by naming him prior to his birth, for the aborted baby will complain about his father on the Day of Judgment saying, � If only you had given me a name!� The best kind of names is what implies servitude to Allah and also the names of the prophets and imams. How undutiful it is towards a child to give him an embarrassing name or a meaningless name like the ones we are seeing these days.

Whispering Athan (call to prayer), Iqama (the second call), sura al-Fatiha (The Opening) and sura al-Hashr (The Mustering) in the newborn�s ears right after its birth and also introducing Karbala�s clay (on which Imam al-Husayn �pbuh- was martyred) onto his palate, all help to deepen the concepts of monotheism and devotion in the newborn and would make him grateful to his parents when he grows up knowing how kind they were to him doing all these rituals. How nice it would be to share the joy with the poor by doing the Traditional Aqeeqa (immolation).

The prophet�s and the pious people�s prayers highlight the importance of the offsprings as if it was a major concern. Mary�s mother (PBUH), at the moment she gave birth to her blessed baby, she prayed to Allah to �commend her and her offsprings to protect her from the accused Satan�. Abraham too asked Allah for his offsprings to �let them perform the prayer�, praising Him for granting Ishmael and Isaac though he was old. We too are commanded to make such prayers by frequently reciting: � Our Lord! Grant us wives and offsprings who will be a delight of the eyes, and make us a model to the god- fearing�.

The Prophetic Tradition obliges us to �submerge� our children with love. It entails a reward for kissing the child and made the mere looking at him equivalent to freeing a soul. We were also commanded to behave like children when dealing with the child. This does not necessarily mean that the child is to be spoiled by carrying out all his demands.

It is no longer a secret that everything around us has become corrupt and corrupting, as in Allah�s saying, � Corruption has appeared in the land and sea, for that man�s own hands have earned�; and if it was possible for the people of those days to comprehend it, Allah might have included the sky as well! This is obvious in the atmosphere and curricula of our schools, the street and the market let alone the satellite channels and the web. This leaves us with the last stronghold, the family, and if this were to fall, surrender to the comprehensive cultural invasion is inevitable. Is it sensible or logical that the parent purchases with his own money and under his own supervision the tools of connection with the outside world without practicing any restrictions? Obviously, he is held responsible for all the consequences in this world and the world to come.

Turning away and showing discontent are useful ways of treatment. This is why refusing to share the bed was made as a way of disciplining the wife when she commits an indecency. Consistently using this tool-whether warranted or not- robs it of its effectiveness when it is really needed! Excessive anger could cause ridicule and rebellion on the opposite side. So is the case with beating, which is no way of treating humans, (except for the amount permitted by the shria).

It is a grave mistake that the parents argue about their differences in bringing up their children, in their presence. This would turn the mother, in the children�s eyes, into a �warm bosom� and the father into a harsh military commander thus preparing the grounds for them to act in an undutiful way to either or both of them. There must be an undisclosed plan upon which both parents agree. It is by doing these kinds of mistakes that we abolish what we achieved in long and difficult years of upbringing, especially in these hard times. It would help if one of the parents spent some time researching about child upbringing.

The following Hadith is one of the beauties of the Tradition of Ahl-ul-Bayt (PBUT) in that it reflects the extent of affection and mercy with which they used to treat their children, especially the females. It also reflects the depth of their relation with their grandmother Fatima al-Zahra (PBUH).

Alsokoony, a companion of Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH), said, � I came visiting al-Sadiq and was distressed, so he asked me about it, I said, � My wife gave birth to a baby girl!� He said, �O Sokoony, earth will take her weight, and on Allah is her subsistence, she will live in other than your lifetime and will live on other than your share of subsistence�. Hearing that, I was relieved; he added, � What name did you give to her?� I said �Fatima�, he said � Oh, Oh� putting his hand on his forehead for a while then said, � As long as you named her Fatima, do not call her names, do not curse her and do not beat her!�

Women's Liberation Movement was started by Prophet Muhammad (saww)

The women�s liberation movement was not begun by women, but was revealed by God in the seventh century to Prophet Muhammad (saww).

The Qur�an and the Traditions of the Prophet (Hadith or Sunnah) are the sources from which every Muslim woman derives her rights and duties

Today people think that women are liberated in the West and that the women�s liberation movement began in the 20th century. Actually, the women�s liberation movement was not begun by women, but was revealed by God in the seventh century to Prophet Muhammad (saww).

Human Rights

Islam, fourteen centuries ago, made women equally accountable to God in glorifying and worshipping Him - setting no limits on her moral progress. Also, Islam established a woman�s equality in her humanity with men. In the Qur�an, in the first verse of the chapter entitled �Women,� God says,

�O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it its mate and from them both have spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty towards Allah in Whom you claim (your rights) of one another, and towards the wombs (that bore you). Lo! Allah has been a Watcher over you.� (4:1)

Since men and women both came from the same essence, they are equal in their humanity. Neither gender can be superior because it would be a contradiction of equality.

Civil Rights

In Islam, a woman has the basic freedom of choice and expression based on recognition of her individual personality. Women are encouraged in Islam to contribute their opinions and ideas. There are many traditions of the Prophet (saww) which indicate women would pose questions directly to him and offer their opinions concerning religion, economics and social matters. A Muslim woman has the right to choose her husband and keeps her name after marriage. A Muslim woman�s testimony is valid in legal disputes.

Social Rights

The Prophet (saww) said: �Seeking knowledge is a mandate for every Muslim (male and female).�

This includes knowledge of the Qur�an and the Hadith as well as other knowledge. Men and women both have the capacity for learning and understanding. Since it is also their obligation to promote good behavior and condemn bad behavior in all spheres of life, Muslim women must acquire the appropriate education to perform this duty in accordance with their own natural talents and interests.

While maintenance of a home, providing support to her husband, and bearing, raising and teaching of children are among the first and very highly regarded roles for a woman, if she has the skills to work outside the home for the good of the community, she may do so as long as her family obligations are met. Islam recognizes and fosters the natural differences between men and women despite their equality. Some types of work are more suitable for men and other types for women. This in no way diminishes either�s effort nor its benefit. God will reward both sexes equally for the value of their work, though it may not necessarily be the same activity.

Concerning motherhood, the Prophet (saww) said: �Heaven lies under the feet of mothers.�

This implies that the success of a society can be traced to the mothers that raised it. The first and greatest influence on a person comes from the sense of security, affection, and training received from the mother. Therefore, a woman having children must be educated and conscientious in order to be a skillful parent.

Political Rights

A right given to Muslim women by God, 1400 years ago is the right to vote. On any public matter, a woman may voice her opinion and participate in politics. It is stated in the Qur�an (60:12), that Prophet Muhammad (saww) is told that when the believing women come to him and swear their allegiance to Islam, he must accept their oath. This established the right of women to select their leader and publicly declare so. Finally, Islam does not forbid a woman from holding important positions in government.

Economic Rights

The Qur�an states: �By the creation of the male and female; Verily, (the ends) you strive for are diverse.� (92:3-4).

In these verses, God declares that He created men and women to be different, with unique roles, functions and skills. As in a society, where there is a division of labor, so too in a family, each member has different responsibilities. Generally, Islam upholds that women are entrusted with the nurturing role, and men, with the guardian role. Therefore, women are given the right of financial support.

The Qur�an states: �Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend of their wealth (for the support of women).� (4:34).

This guardianship and greater financial responsibility is given to men, requires that they provide women with not only monetary support but also physical protection and kind and respectful treatment.

God tells us, men are guardians over women and are afforded the leadership in the family. His responsibility for obeying God extends to guiding his family to obey God at all times. A wife�s rights also extend beyond material needs. She has the right to kind treatment.

The Prophet (saww) said: �The most perfect believers are the best in conduct. And the best of you are those who are best to their wives.�

The Muslim woman has the privilege to earn money, the right to own property, to enter into legal contracts and to manage all of her assets in any way she pleases. She can run her own business and no one has any claim on her earnings including her husband.

The Qur�an states: �And in no wise covet those things in which Allah hath bestowed His gifts more freely on some of you than on others; to men is allotted what they earn, and to women, what they earn; but ask Allah of His bounty, for Allah hath full knowledge of all things.� (4:32).

A woman inherits from her relatives. The Qur�an states: �For men there is a share in what parents and relatives leave, and for women there is a share of what parents and relatives leave, whether it be little or much - an ordained share.� (4:7)

Rights of a Wife

The Qur�an states: �And among His signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may live in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between you; Verily, in that are signs for people who reflect.� (30:21).

Marriage is therefore not just a physical or emotional necessity, but in fact, a sign from God! It is a relationship of mutual rights and obligations based on divine guidance. God created men and women with complimentary natures, and in the Qur�an, He laid out a system of laws to support harmonious interaction between the sexes.

To foster the love and security that comes with marriage, Muslim wives have various rights. The first of the wife�s rights is to receive mahr, a gift from the husband which is part of the marriage contract and required for the legality of the marriage.

The second right of a wife is maintenance. Despite any wealth she may have, her husband is obligated to provide her with food, shelter and clothing. He is not forced, however, to spend beyond his capability and his wife is not entitled to make unreasonable demands.

The Qur�an states: �Let the man of means spend according to his means, and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him.� (65:7).

God tells us, men are guardians over women and are afforded the leadership in the family. His responsibility for obeying God extends to guiding his family to obey God at all times.

A wife�s rights also extend beyond material needs. She has the right to kind treatment. The Prophet (Saww) said: �The most perfect believers are the best in conduct. And the best of you are those who are best to their wives.�

Duties of a Wife

With rights come responsibilities. Therefore, wives have certain obligations to their husbands. The Qur�an states: �The good women in the absence of their husbands guard their rights as Allah has enjoined upon them to be guarded.� (4:34).

A wife is to keep her husband�s secrets and protect their marital privacy. Issues of intimacy or faults of his that would dishonour him, are not to be shared by the wife, just as he is expected to guard her honour.

A wife must also guard her husband�s property. She must safeguard his home and possessions, to the best of her ability, from theft or damage. She should manage the household affairs wisely so as to prevent loss or waste.

A Muslim woman must cooperate and coordinate with her husband. There cannot, however, be cooperation with a man who is disobedient to God. A husband also should not take advantage of his wife, but be considerate of her needs and happiness.

The Muslim woman was given a role, duties and rights 1400 years ago that most women do not enjoy today, even in the West. These are from God and are designed to keep balance in society. What may seem unjust or missing in one place is compensated for or explained in another place. Islam is a complete way of life.

Etiquette of Marriage | "Family-Balagh foundation"