Rights of Marriage Partners

What are the rights of marriage partners in Islam? Kindly Explain.

Just as individual members of society are entitled to certain rights and are subsequently responsible for fulfilling certain obligations within society, family members are entitled to certain rights and obliged to fulfill certain obligations within the family structure. The Prophet (ﷺ) outlined the general hierarchy of responsibility in society in the following stated narrated by Ibn Umar (رضى الله عنه) that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“Verily, every one of you is a Shepherd and every one of you is responsible for his flock. The Amir is the shepherd over the people and shall be questioned about his people (as to how he conducted their affairs). A man is a shepherd over the members of his family and will be questioned about them. A woman is a guardian over her household and shall be questioned as to how she managed the household and brought up her children. A slave is guardian over the property of his master and shall be questioned about it (as to how he safeguarded his trust). Verily, every one of you is a shepherd and shall be questioned in regard to his flock”[1]

Thus, marriage could be considered a partnership in which the principle parties have been assigned different but complementary roles consisting of rights and corresponding responsibilities. In order for family life to flow smoothly, each partner must fulfill his/her part of the partnership. Neither has the right to demand if their responsibilities are not fulfilled. Allah has given general guidelines concerning the role of each partner in the following Qur’anic statement:

“Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard….” [2]


Book: Polygamy in Islam - By Dr. Bilal Philips


[1] (Collected by Bukhari, (Arabic – Eng), vol. 3, p. 438, hadith no. 730 and Muslim, (Eng. Trans.), vol. 3, p. 1017, hadith no. 3396)

[2] (Noble Qur’an 4:34)

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