The Rights and Duties of Husbands and Wives


Common rights of both the spouses, the rights of the husband, and the rights of the wife. We shall explain each of these separately with the help of Allah.

Common Rights

The family is a divinely-inspired institution in Islam. Quran refers to marriage as meethaaq ghaleedh, a strong, most solemn covenant, for it leads to a number of relationships and gives rise to a set of mutual rights and obligations.

Both partners are expected to make a serious and sustained effort
to live together and play their role in society.

The institution of the family plays a very significant role in Muslim society. It is interesting to note that about one-third of the ahkaam, or the legal injunctions of the Quran, relate to the family and its proper regulation.

The Muslim family is an extended family. It is not a nuclear family consisting of the parents and children only. One of the objectives of marriage is psychological, emotional, and spiritual companionship between husband and wife.

It sustains and generates love, kindness, mercy, compassion, mutual confidence, self-sacrifice, solace, and comfort. It is the family that provides the most congenial climate for the development and fulfillment of human personality.

That is why it is said that the best place in the world is one’s home. This function of marriage and family is emphasized in the Quran in a number of places. It says, ‘And of His wondrous signs are that He has created for you, from yourselves mates, so that you may dwell in tranquillity with them. And He has set between you genuine mutual love and tender-hearted mercy.’ (30: 21)

At another place, the relationship between the spouses is described as that between ‘the body and the garment’: ‘They are your garment, and you are theirs.’ (2: 1 87)

The metaphor of garment is used because a husband and wife are close to each other just like garments, and garments cling to the body.

The husband and the wife are both described as being each other’s garment, not one as the garment and the other as the body. A garment is something nearest to the body. Such is the closeness of the relationship between the spouses.

Dress is something that covers the body and protects it. The dress beautifies the wearer who feels incomplete without it. Husband and wife complement each other.