Rights and Obligations of Spouses in Islamic Marriage

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Seeking to understand and evaluate the main rights and obligations of spouses in an Islamic marriage, the following aims to provide a thorough, yet critical overview of an important issue. With an emphasis on the important obligations facing both men and women as they pertain to marriage, this critical essay will utilize the research of Amina Wadud-Muhsin, in her groundbreaking piece Qur’an and Women, to understand the ways in which gender is framed through an Islamic lens. Following this, an overview of the issues studied will conclude with a critical overview of the important rights and obligations of spouses within Islam. The following section turns more thoroughly to the main rights and obligations with the institution of marriage within Islam (Chaudhry, 2001).
Developed through the teachings of the late Prophet Mohammad and framed within the social context in which the doctrine developed, Islam has prescribed roles for both men and women within the Islamic faith. Islam invites all the Muslims to follow Islamic teachings in all spheres of their life for the deliverance of humanity. The Qu’ran is the sacred text of all Muslims which is revealed to Prophet Muhammad. Islamic teachings are best understood through both the Qu’ran and Hadith. Allah says in the Qu’ran, "And He does not speak out of caprice. It is not but a revelation revealed, taught him by one terrible in power. (Chapter-53: verses-3 to 5). Islam proclaims to do everything fi-sabilillah (for the sake of God). Islam also orders Muslims to visit and take care of sick persons. Furthermore, the relationship between husband and wife is seen as one of the most important social bonds which exist in society (Esposito, 2008).
An Islamic marriage begins with the nikah, which is the matrimonial contract between husband and wife. The marriage can only be said to be Islamically sound if the prerequisites of nikah are fulfilled and entered into without duress.