Muqaddas Bibi, seven months pregnant woman, was killed by her own family members just because she married the man she loved three years ago, against the family will. She went for a routine check-up, where her family members convinced her to come home by saying they have accepted her decision. When she reached her parent’s house, her father, mother and brother slit her throat and she died. Just because of these type of incidents, it is thought that Muslim women have fewer rights than men in the matter of marriage and divorce, but the reality is quite opposite to this!
First, let’s have a look at the matter of marriage. It is merely a misconception that a woman has no right to speak on the matter of her own marriage; in fact a woman has equal rights to that of a man in the matter of marriage. This means that;
- It is permissible in Islam for a woman to object if she doesn’t want to marry a man and that she is allowed to marry a man of her choice.
- The ‘Nikah Nama’ is not just a normal piece of paper or a formality; it is to ensure that both man and woman actually want to marry each other and that they have not been forced to do so.
- If a man and a woman love each other, Islam forces them to convert their relationship into a marriage so that all doors for the sin of Zina are closed and their relationship becomes pure.
So if a woman and man marry each other because they are in love, they should be supported and not opposed because they did something that is truly loved by Allah!
Now let’s consider divorce. Some people say that Muslim women cannot initiate divorce in a marriage because the status of women is lower than the status of men in Islam, but that’s just not true. A woman can file for a divorce if;
- her husband treats her harshly.
- a man beats his wife and it leaves even a little mark because the ‘light beating’ actually means a beating so light that it doesn’t leave any mark.
- a man doesn’t provide his wife the basic necessities.
- a man differentiates between his wives in the matter of love and respect, the wives who feel less loved or respected.
- a man forces his wife to skip a prayer or do something against the teachings of Islam.
All these points prove that a woman can initiate a divorce, just like a man, and that she doesn’t need the permission of her husband or family.
May Allah (SWT) guide us to the right path and protect us from misguidance and evil temptations.
Article by Taha Hissam Mirza.