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The Home and Women

 

While men are the physically stronger sex, the woman's biological make-up has made her excel as the homemaker. She alone can be impregnated, carry and deliver the child, and then suckle the baby. Her gentle, caring and self-sacrificing temperament is best suited to bringing up children and looking after the home. To say that she should also earn a living is an unacceptable injustice and implies that everything she does for her home and children is worthless and needs to be supplemented by an outside cover. A woman already has to play in society a great and noble role as mother of a new generation, a role for which no man can claim the honors. It is because of her supreme role as mother that she is entitled to three times the devotion given to the father from the children.

The roles of men and women in the Qur’aan are dealt as:

"Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend from their means. Therefore, the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in the husband's absence what Allah orders them to guard." (V. 4:34)

This Divine injunction describes the man as Qawwam (maintainer) and the woman as Qanitah (obedient) and Hafizatun lil-Ghaib (preserver of the secret). The Verse gives two reasons as to why men are described as maintainers. Firstly, because "Allah has made the one of them to excel the other," which means that He has excelled men to be physically stronger and more inclined to have a career outside the home. The history of mankind has always shown that men, from the most primitive to the most technologically minded, have assumed the role of providing food, maintaining law and order in the community, waging war against enemies, and going on expeditions in search of new lands, adventure, food and even hidden treasure. The women have primarily stayed at home to provide a stable environment for the children.

The second reason is that "they spend from their means." It is the man's duty to provide financially for his family, and it is also the man who is required to give a dower to his wife at the time of their marriage. In the castle of his home, the husband is the ruler and the wife is his pillar of support. As in any establishment, there can only be one ruler; a car with two drivers, a country with two kings or an army with two generals would all be in utter chaos and disarray. The husband has thus been put in charge of his home, but this is a responsibility and not a privilege.

Both Sexes have Rights over each other:

The different roles of the sexes means that never is one sex burdened with all the duties while the other enjoys all the privileges. Instead they both have individual duties and privileges. The Qur’aan says in this regard:

"And they (women) have rights similar over them to what is reasonable, but men have a degree over them. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise." (V. 2:228)