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Islam the Misunderstood Religion Islam and Woman

Dec 20, 2013, 10:01 AM

As to the cause of the refusal of a wife to go to bed with her husband on his inviting her, there may be three causes: (1) she hates him, and so feels disinclined to have sex relations with him; (2) she loves her husband but hates the sexual act and hence refuses him-an abnormal state which nonetheless enjoys wide currency in practical life; and (3) she is a loving wife, does not hate the sexual act but at that particular moment happens to be disinclined to it.

The first of these causes forebodes a permanent condition and may thus be not confined to a particular act or period of time.

In such a situation marital bond cannot survive for long.

The best thing to do in such a case would be to the man and the wife separate from each other.

The woman in a sense enjoys more facilities in this respect than a man does, as we shall shortly see.

In the second instance too the condition of the wife may bear a stamp of permanency.

Its origin lies not in the sexual craving of the husband alone.

It must be remedied satisfactorily and a complete harmony between the husband and the wife must be restored.

Either the husband should check himself if his wife refuses him or the wife must comply with the wish of her husband like a truly loving wife as she would not like to get separated from him.

Failing this they may be separated from each other in a very gentle manner. But so long as they live together as husband and wife, the wife must according to the Islamic law, comply with the wish of her husband in sexual matters, as it is but natural.

It does not necessarily imply an arbitrary authority or compulsion.

It is meant to prevent the husband from being driven to pursue a course of moral perversion or entering into another marriage contract, a thing all the more painful to the wife.

The law does not, however, insist on the continuance of such strained relations as make the wife feel repulsion from her husband and her love for him changes into a positive dislike due to his insistence on having his way in sexual matters.

They may in this case better separate from each other.

The third situation is a temporary condition and it may easily be remedied. Such an aversion to the sexual act may be the result of physical exhaustion, weariness or occupation as her psychophysical disposition is quite capable of overcoming these in due course of time.

This form of apathy in woman may be encountered by offering gifts to her and an ingenious love-play before the actual intercourse so as to transform it into a higher spiritual union rather than a purely animal and physical relationship that it might otherwise degenerate into. This love-play may also be helpful in removing the basic cause of aversion.

If, on the other hand, a wife desires sexual intercourse but the husband is for some reason disinclined to it- a rare phenomenon among men in their youth at least-the wife is not without means to induce her husband to resume sex-relationship with her.

The very law that lays the wife under an obligation to comply with the wish of her husband also sees to it that she too should get her wishes met with.

It prescribes that the husband must also fulfill his marital duties if and when his wife should so desire.

If the husband is unable to satisfy her, their marriage may dissolve. Thus we see that in the Islamic law both parties have got their duties as well as their rights.

There is as such no compulsion or disregard of the wife implied in it.

The second obligation of the wife towards her husband is that she should not allow any one such as is disliked by her husband to tread his bed, implies that she should not let anyone enter his house that he would not like to enter into.

(This does not, however, in any way refer to adultery as it is forbidden by law and will have to be eschewed even if the husband should happen to favor it).

The wisdom of this commandment is manifest from the fact that a great many disputes between the married couples are caused by the intervention of a third person who spreads false reports, slanders and thus adds fuel to their family quarrel. What if in order to prevent such a development that husband were to demand of his wife not to allow a certain person into his house but she disregards it?

The result will be the presence of a constant source of mischief rendering the patch-up between them impossible.

Thus the obligation of the wife also purports to the good family life including the children who require a congenial atmosphere of love and sympathy for their proper and normal growth.

It may be asked: why then did the law not also provide that the husband too shouldbe under an obligation not to allow anyone into his house if his wife should happen to disapprove of it?

In normal life when husband and wife are living in peace and love and are civilized enough no such question may arise at all, as they may feel no difficulty in reaching an understanding between themselves on all such points.

But supposing that discord does creep in straitening their relations and making it impossible for them to reach an agreement between themselves, they would have to go to court for a rapprochement of their differences.

Now if the wife should enjoy the right to debar anyone from the house of her husband, it may make the matter worse, for we may at this place point out that the impressions of the woman are in most of the cases illogical as they are purely the reflections of her own peculiar personality rather than the outcome of any prudence.

They may have sprung up from her constrained relations with the in-laws, the mother or the sister of her husband.

Therefore to make it incumbent upon the husband to obey his wife in such a circumstance would not be a judicious step; it would rather be an act of mawkish tenderness that may soon suffer a change or be completely unfounded in reality.

By this I don’t mean to say that the husband is always in the right in all he does.

It is just possible that his behaviors may under certain circumstance be puerile and shifty. Nor do I mean that the wife alone is always in the wrong.

She may be quite justified in hating her husband whose nature, it is just possible, may be the real cause of their constrained relations.

But as the law is frame for the normal human life where man has been found to act more rationally than a normal woman does, it givens a degree of importance to man over woman. The wife is however, free to secure a separation from her husband if she convinced that she can no longer grin and bear with him.

The third obligation of the woman-the guarding of her husband’s property and honor in his absence-is but a natural and logical sequence of marriage such as none may dare call in question.

It is, however, not a unilateral obligation but rather a bilateral one: both husband and wife must remain faithful to each other.

Let us now take up the case of a wife and her husband one or the other of whom turns rebellious.

The fact that man is in charge and the maintainer of the woman necessitates that he should have the right to admonish his disobedient wife as the following verse clearly shows:

“As for those (women) from when ye fear rebellion, admonish then and banish then to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them” (IV: 34).

The readers must take note of the fact how this verse gradually proceeds with the description of the means of correcting one’s wife ending with the chastisement.

We admit that this privilege may be abused by some men but so can every other right.

The only remedy for such a situation lays in the spiritualand moral elevation of the people the importance of which Islam has never lost sight of.

But the law laid down in the above verse seeks to preserve family life and safeguard it against disintegration.

The law to be really useful or effective requires a power to deal with those who break it, for otherwise it is no more than an empty word; it loses all its usefulness.

Marriage is an institution that aims at the common good of the married couple.

It is supposed to realize the greatest possible good for all those concerned with the love and harmony that prevails at home without any intrusion from law.

But in the event of a married couple being at variance with each other the consequent ill-effect may not remain confined to their persons alone; it may also adversely affect the children, the next generation.

Now if the wife is the case of this trouble, whom should we expect to correct her?

The court? Well, the court cannot but widen the gulf between husband and wife by interfering with their private affairs.

Their differences may be trivial and temporary but the interference of the court may be airing them aggravate the situation.The pride of the parties may not allow them to patch up. Therefore it is only reasonable that the court should not busy itself with the trifles of conjugal life.

It may step in the important matters only when all the other means to achieve a rapprochement have failed.

No sensible man can ever think of taking to court all his petty grievances that he daily suffer from almost every minute of his earthly existence. It would require setting up courts in almost every home to dispense with such grievances day and night.

To be continued.