Are Wives Slaves of their Husbands?
Social Issues
Question asked by .
Answered by Jhangeer Hanif

I understand that in Islam women are given much importance but some verses say that women are for the service of men as they are called Khatīn for giving birth and some times they are totally under men as men have got the power of divorce etc. So I want to ask whether women are servants of men as some preachers say and for this reason men of our society also think so?


I am afraid it is utter fallacy to think that wives are servants of their husbands. According to Islam, as human beings, women are neither inferior nor superior to men. The Holy Qur’ān sees both on equal grounds though it fully recognizes the psychological and biological differences. This is a reality that every sensible person has to appreciate. A country or a nation may clamorously proclaim that it has given equal rights/responsibilities to men and women within their borders. However, the reality is that nature automatically defines different spheres for both sexes to work in. If you were to visit a European country, you would seldom see a lady working as a truck driver. The reason is that women usually lack the vigor and strength that men have. Similarly, wherever you go, you will find that infants are preferably given in the guardianship of ladies. This does not show that either sex has fallen inferior to the other. It is just a demonstration of what their innate traits and abilities are. Keeping such biological and psychological differences in perspective, Islam has assigned the duty to earn livelihood to men and bearing children and suckling them to women. For this very reason also, the Almighty has deputed husbands as head of their families and have only given them the right to divorce. As far as the reward of the Hereafter is concerned, there is no difference between the two. The Holy Qur’ān places men and women in immediate comparison and then announces the sublime reward of the Hereafter:

Behold, men who surrender to Allah, and women who surrender, and men who believe and women who believe, and men who obey and women who obey, and men who speak the truth, and women who speak the truth, and men who persevere [in righteousness] and women who persevere, and men who are humble and women who are humble, and men who give alms and men who give alms, and men who fast, and women who fast, and men who guard their modesty and women who guard [their modesty], and men who remember Allah much and women who remember. Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a vast reward. (33:35)

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