Women in Islam


Question: Why is it that a man can control where his wife goes?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

A moral backdrop

The first thing to understand is that we are all slaves of Almighty God, and have to treat each other with respect, concern, and kindness. Any Islamic marriage that is bereft of respect, concern, and kindness is simply not Islamic.

Another fundamental rule is that harm (physical, emotional, or psychological) is removed. Meaning that no matter what scenario the law dictates, no one is asked to do something that harms. They may be asked to do things they don’t want to, but not to the extent that there is genuine harm.

Besides these general moral parameters, there are certain rules and rights that the Islamic Law expects us to abide by. By abiding by these rules we are expressing our slavehood to Allah.

Basic Islamic Rights and obligations in marriage

The husband must provide food and shelter to his wife, and his wife must not leave the house without his permission and must allow herself to sleep whenever he wants. Both must render these rights in a nice and affable way, again assuming the neither is being harmed.

The reason why these rights and obligations are not the same as because men and women are not the same.

Please also see:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/why-must-women-pray-behind-men/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/marriage/allah-displeased/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/value-companionship-husband-refuses-marital-intimacy/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/husband-not-satisfy-marital-relations-can/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/marriage/can-a-husband-prevent-his-wife-from-working/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/can-muslim-woman-career-video/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/is-it-permissible-to-work-for-a-women-who-doesnt-actually-need-it/

Managing infidelity

Because of the differences between men and women, and the repercussions infidelity of the wife would have on the family unit, men and women do not have the same rights when it comes to managing infidelity.

Firstly, as mentioned the husband can control where and when his wife goes, whereas a woman cannot control his goings and comings.

See this answer as an example:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/my-wife-refuses-marital-intimacy-with-me-and-i-feel-unwanted-what-should-i-do/

Furthermore, though both can be subject to stoning if a charge of adultery is established against them in court, only the man has the right to public imprecation: accusing his wife of adultery and having her swear that she is innocent. This is dealt with in the Quran (24: 6-9).

She does however have the right to a divorce if he is unfaithful. Please see: https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/cheating-husband/

Please also read:

https://seekersguidance.org/articles/knowledge/being-a-woman/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/tafsir/women-part-quranic-narrative/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/can-muslim-women-be-imams-are-women-equal-to-men-in-islam/
https://seekersguidance.org/show/01-saintly-women-part-1-introduction-rank-women-islam-shaykh-abdurragmaan-khan/
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/history/influential-muslim-women-a-reader/
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/quran-articles/muslim-women-forefront-islamic/

I pray this helps.
[Ustadh] Farid

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani