Marriage and muslim women

2824 words (11 pages) Essay in Free Law Essays

02/02/18 Free Law Essays Reference this

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Marriage and muslim women

Although Greece and Rome to India and China had been recognized women have no rights, but women’s are equal to men in many different aspects in Islam. The main reason is because Muslims believe that Adam and Eve were made from the same soul.


In the context of Arab, Taharah means purity. It defines the cleanliness in the sense of spiritual and physical. Thus, a person needs to perform ablution before Salat. According to the dictionary, salat is defined as prayers, said five times a day, also the second of the Pillars of Islam. It can be done either by Wudu or Ghusl, depending to the nature of the impurity which is also known as Najasah. Wudu is necessary in passing urine, passing wind or vomiting whereas Ghusl is necessary in the sexual intercourse, diffusion of seminal fluid and the stopping of menstruation and post natal bleeding. [1] 

Hayd is defined as menstruation in the simple word. In Islam, a girl who starts having their menstruation is considered as Mukallaf. Mukallaf is referred to an adult or a responsible person with sound mind and reach the age of majority. Thus, girls need to do all the regular duties of Islam such as fasting and also prayer. The menstrual cycle had been described to be had certain characteristics such as the blood is red, unpleasant smell and has a distinct.

In Islam, menstruation is not considered as a curse [2] , but a normal body function that gives the person in the need of ablution before the person can pray. During the period, the girl cannot pray, have sexual intercourse, perform Tawaf or touch a Mus- haf except for the purposes of learning or teaching it to others. There are also some woman confused whether need to pray or not when they suffered irregular or long periods.

There is no Hayd during the pregnancy according to the Islam. However, it has been known that during the pregnancy, every woman will experience a light period. In such circumstance, the woman needs to pray and fast, such bleeding is considered as Istihadah. [3] Literally, Istihadah is interpreted as to flow legally or irregularly.

On the other hand, Nifas which also known as post natal bleeding defined bleeding that follows subsequently after the birth of the child. The scholars define the maximum period of Nifas as 40 days. After the Nifas ended, it follows by Ghusl.

Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene is needs to be aware by Muslim woman. For instance, the cleaning of the private parts using water or tissue paper [4] ,removal of body hair by shaving which is recommended for pubic hair [5] and trimming of nails. Muslim women are advised not to follow the western fashion of long fingernails as it is not acceptable for them. [6] 


Islam defined marriage as a contract for life and only can be dissolved by divorce. The purpose of the marriage is not to imprison the women, treated them harshly or neither act as an arena for the battle of sexes. Marriage acts as an institution that offers secure to the couples and children they may have.

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The polygamous is said as not easier to be engaged since it needs certain conditions to be fulfilled. The crucial condition is the will of a woman is focused because no women would be forced marriage even though polygamy is being exclusive for Muslims. This should depend on the choices made by individual couples [7] . Hence the rights of women are protected.

Another condition for polygamous is the husband should be able to show he will treat the wives equally. This can be seen from the statement: “If you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, two or three or four, but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them) then only one … that will be more suitable to prevent you from doing injustice [8] .” This shows Islam intends to benefit into a female privilege but not in circumstances detrimental to women.

The polygamy actually takes account into the welfare of Muslim sisters. For example, polygamy may be a way to protect them and give them sexual access to men at a time since women outnumber men. Polygamy for sexual access to women is also being considered as protecting their welfare. This is because divorced or widowed women are considered as “man- eater”.

Since they had legitimate sexual relations in previous marriages, they are deemed in special need of resuming this. So, the divorced women may find it is necessary to marry although they are often as second wives to have sexual relations with men for their strong social sanction against the premarital sex [9] .

Furthermore, another example showing the polygamous is not easier to be carried out. A Muslim man’s right to take more than one wife is not automatically granted in Malaysia since it is subjected to the approval from the Syariah Court [10] .

In many states, the husband involved needs to get the consent from the first wife to show us the welfare of first wife still be protected but not discriminated. In addition, co- wives’ rights and obligations are also carefully defined to achieve equality. The senior wife is usually given special powers to distribute the workloads to the co- wives such as dividing monetary rewards from the husband.

Clignet (1970 and 1987, pp77) shows senior wives in polygamy are under protection to have greater authority over their co- wives and all their husband’s children.

Finding A Partner

Muslim couples are not allows to dating as they should not intimate before marriage in Islam. For example of intimacy are holding hands, hug, kiss are not allowable in Islam. On the other hand, the young women have the right and make final say in the matter of the marriage if they are really unhappy with their parents’ decision. Silence means that the young women had given consent to that marriage.

If the circumstances where woman is single and without parents, she might have a ‘guardian’ to decide for her marriage. The guardian could be someone that is well respected in the community or someone through whom she embraced Islam. [11] 

It is advisable that women to marry someone that is equivalent status or above and men should marry someone equivalent status or below. It is believed that if woman did so, it affects the stability of the family.

Besides that, Islam allows polygamous marriage. According to Islamic law, the second wife has no rights as the law of the land is concerned. Both partners must show willingness to marry and discuss all arrangements openly and honestly in the limits of Islam.

Every Muslim women have their rights. Their rights are such as they should be given food, shelter and clothing by her husband. They are entitled to a fair treatment by her husband too. Besides that, they should not be a target to be abused with either mentally or physically by their husbands.


There are certain obligations that needed to be done by wives. It can be divided into a few categories. There are:

Sexual intercourse

In Islam, the wife should not refuse sex to her husband because if she did so, she is forcing her husband to go beyond the bounds of Islam. Definitely, the rights to sexual gratification are reciprocal which means the wife has the same right as her husband. [12] 

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The wife is not allowed to discuss with anybody about the family affairs as it is intensively private. This is because people will enjoy gossiping either the successfulness that will lead to jealousy or our misfortunes. It is better to keep the family’s business in the family.

Obedience to the husband

Wife should obey her husband except when her husband goes against Islam. For instance, if a woman want pray or either fast during Ramadhan, and the husband has reasonable reason to discourage her, hence she should obey the husband’s desire.


The husband should not beat his wife just because of serving the dinner late or he is just in the foul mood. Mild beating of wife is allowable when the wife is unfaithful. On the other hand, woman has the right to decent and fair treatment from her husband in Islam. [13] 


Divorce is the most disliked by Allah as described by Islam. The procedure is only taken when all steps had been taken to reconcile the couple failed.

Type of ways for the dissolution of marriages


When the husband and wife gives a mutual consent to each other and wish to divorce, this is known as mubarat. However, there is a waiting period during where the couple may change their minds. Usually, the wife must pay compensation to her husband.  


Talaq is the unilateral repudiation of a marriage by a Muslim husband. It is a reflection of the authority which the husband has over his wife at all times, pursuant to Muslim law. The husband needs to pronounce three times before the divorce are valid in the law. It cannot given to all at the same time or be given at the time of the woman’s period. [14] When the pronouncement had been successful, then the wife is entitled for full maintenance from the husband.

However, husbands do not have absolute power to divorce unilaterally with their wives. The meaning of the word “unilaterally” from Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) is defined as “being on one side only”.

The pronouncement of “triple talaq” by the husband shall present an application for divorce to the Court in the prescribed form [15] . Divorce text message through telephone is valid [16] since it is treated as “any written letter”, but it needs verification by presenting him to the court.

Therefore, husband cannot simply pronounce talaq by this method. This indicates that the husbands must present a written application and state why he wishes a divorce. Then, if the wife does not agree to a divorce the couple must go through a counseling process to attempt reconciliation [17] .The chance given to wife going through a counseling process is an indication to take account into the welfare of the women.


Khul’ only can be initiated by the wife. The divorce initiate by the wife resulted that the wife should pay some form of compensation to the husband. In other words, it is also known as returning of Mahr, also known as Dowry. [18] 


Fasakh means judicial order for dissolution of marriage. Fasakh enables women to divorce within the twelve grounds provided by the Islamic Family Law Act, 1984 [19] . The power was widen when the husbands are given the rights to pronounce fasakh through an amendment been made over the recent years. Thus, fasakh are preferable way by either the wives or the husbands because paying of compensation can be avoided by this type of pronouncement.


The husband who accuses his wife for commit adultery shall present the witness in the court. Divorce by Li’an are only allowable when the charge is valid under the law.


Mother is the best person to take care of a child [20] . “Custody” is the right over a child, including the right to have the care and control of the child. Mothers usually are more aware of their children’s morals and moods.

However, the father shall be the first and primary natural guardian of the person and property of his minor child at where he is dead, the legal guardianship shifts to the father’s father. [21] It means as long as the father is alive, he is the sole and supreme guardian of his minor children under the Islamic Family Law Act.

The father is a legal guardianship because he provides financial support. The father is obliged to pay for the maintenance of his children. For example, the court will order deductions for maintenance from the husband’s salary if the husband is employed by the government service. Then, as male inherits double than female, he financially supports the family and a woman has no financial obligation in Islam [22] .

Thus, since the father provides financial support, hence he has the rights to hold the guardianship of his children to decide what he spent the money for.

Education and Work

The primary sphere of the woman is indeed the home according to the Islam. Unfortunately, there are women who are unable to bear children. Mortherhood is not only the role for the Muslim woman because Ayeshah (RA) never bore children but she is known as “Mother of the Believers”. She bore the sadness of never having children, but she still had her part to play in Ummah. She contributed so much to Islam knowledge, and known as one of the greatest Muslim women. [23] 

Knowledge and Education

Seeking knowledge is a duty of Muslims, which is included in the five main essential values in the Islamic teachings. Thus there is no excuse for denying Muslim girls and women an education.

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Knowledge can be divided into secular and religious. In religious knowledge, every Muslim must know at least the basics of prayers and fasting. Women are therefore need to be able to read Quran. The Muslims are said to be wrongdoing when they neglect to teach their daughters.

Whereas, secular knowledge refer to the knowledge need to be instilled in the job. A wife and mother need to be as organized and have practical skills such as sewing, cookery, basic first aid and others.

Work outside the home

Nowadays, many Muslim women work outside the home. Muslim women must notice that they should not choose the job which is prohibited by the Allah. For instance, to be a prostitute is not allowed in Islam. Besides that, their job should not involve any alcohol too. These jobs are referred as ‘Haram’. Everything of what women do, whether as a mother or career or both is of a great value. We referred it as Ibadah for which we will be rewarded in the Hereafter.

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