Obedience to Husbands
Social Issues
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

Why should women be obedient to their husbands? This is a kind of humiliation and a kind of gender injustice. After all women are also human beings. This shows that they are inferior to men. This is hard to accept. I would like your views.


The concept of women being obedient to men and showing submission to them must be understood in the proper perspective. A family by analogy is similar to a state. All citizens of a state are expected to abide by the rules and regulations of the country they live in. They are expected to adopt an attitude of adjustment and harmony with the country. This, of course, does not mean that they cannot differ with its policies. They have the inalienable democratic right to differ and present their differences in a befitting manner. This submission is actually an essential requirement for discipline and order without which anarchy may result.

Similarly, in the case of a family set up, it is essential that the person who is its head be shown obedience. In other words, submission to authority is not specific to the gender of the authority. Whoever is the authority, must be submitted to. Gender does not dictate submissiveness -- it is authority which does. It is common knowledge that in different sphere of activities people have different abilities and justice entails that a person be made responsible according to his or her abilities and given authority on that basis. We have been informed by divine revelation that it is the husband who is more suitable to be the head of the family. Owing to this relative superiority, women are directed to submit to men not because men are superior human beings, but because in this particular case it is the men who have been vested with authority in accordance with the following verse:

Men are the guardians of women because Allah has given one superiority over the other and because they [--- men ---] support them from their means. (4:34)

If women had been more suitable for the task of heading a family, men would have been directed to adopt this attitude of adjustment. This I think has nothing to do with "gender injustice".

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