Many of the restrictions and rules that the Quran provides to Muslims have to do with marriage. The Muslim people hold the union between a man and woman sacred. There are a variety of rules and obligations that Muslim people must abide by. The marriage, or Nikah, is considered a legal contract that dictates how the couple hold their ceremony and how they act before and after the marriage has taken place. To the Islamic people marriage is more than just a bond of matrimony. They think of it as religious duty and social necessity.
Muslim rules state that any girl that is to be married must be a virgin prior to the ceremony. Men are supposed to be virgins also, but it is difficult to determine the fact. A woman who is thought to have lost her innocence prior to marriage risks being returned to her family and will not likely have the chance to get married again.
The purpose of a marriage to the Muslims is to provide each other with love, company, children and tranquility. Marriage is to serve as a means of both sexual and emotional fulfillment that should relieve any tension that is felt from everyday life. It is an agreement, or mithaq, between the couple that must be entered into with full and total commitment. Marriage is considered to be obligatory in the religion, and a man is said to have not filled his religious responsibilities fully until he marries.
Husband's Duties to the Wife
In the Muslim religion the husband is responsible for maintaining his wife's needs. This rule is established by the Quran and sunnah, or habitual practice. The husband has to bear the financial responsibility of taking care of the wife and making sure that she has security both mentally and physically. The wife has the rights to clothing, medication, food and lodgings as provided by the husband. The lodgings should provide for her comfort, privacy and independence. A wife who is too sick to perform her household duties is to be supplied with a maid by the husband. Along with all of this, a husband has to treat his wife respectfully and with kindness at all times.
Wife's Duties to the Husband
The main duty of the wife to the husband is to ensure that the marriage is happy and peaceful. She must attend to her husband's comfort at all times and take care of his health. A wife must always be trustworthy and never commit any deceptive acts upon her husband. No other person is allowed access to her sexual intimacy and she is not to entertain strange males in the home without the knowledge and consent of her husband. A wife cannot ever accept gifts from other men without a husband's prior approval and cannot dispose of anything without consulting her husband first.
Obedience is a vital factor in the Muslim marriage, but it is not meant as an issue of control. Obedience is put into place to keep the family unit safe and intact. The Muslim faith believes that it helps to keep everything running smoothly and peacefully. A husband has the right to be obeyed as he is the leader of the family, but the wife is still equal to him in every way. Obedience is only to be maintained when it falls under the issue of the husband's rights.
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