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Justice in Social Relations Marriage

According to the views of the Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah

A major component of social justice is the justice in matrimonial relations. Allah has given the wife certain rights over her husband and given the husband similar rights. Each party has to give the other his rights.

In this respect, it is known that the woman has the right to be provided by her husband for all her basic needs, food, clothes, shelter… etc and even some of the luxuriesLet him who has abundance spend out of his abundance (86:07) according to his abilities and the wife’s needs.

The husband is just with his wife if he treats her kindly: O you who believe! it is not lawful for you that you should take women as heritage against (their) will, and do not straiten them in order that you may take part of what you have given them, unless they are guilty of manifest indecency, and treat them kindly; then if you hate them, it may be that you dislike a thing while Allah has placed abundant good in it. (04:19). The husband might feel, in some cases and due to certain external or momentous factors, that he dislikes his wife. In this case he should not let this feelings dominate him. Rather he has to study the issue from the point of view of what is good and bad for him, since he might be wrong in evaluating the consequences of any action he takes.

Moreover, Allah wants the husband to give the wife her rightful dowry; He should not deny her this right or pressurize her to forgo it. He says: And if you wish to have (one) wife in place of another and you have given one of them a heap of gold, then take not from it anything; would you take it by slandering (her) and (doing her) manifest wrong? And how could ye take it when ye have gone in unto each other, and they have taken from you a solemn covenant? (4:20-21). This means that justice in this domain is a firm covenant.

Moreover, jurist's Fatwas might vary with respect to sexual rights.

The well-known Fatwa among them is that the woman has a right of once every four months. But we believe that the right of the woman is equal to that of the man. This means that just as the woman should give her husband his sexual rights whenever he needs them, the husband too has to give her this right whenever need be; that is of course without causing any harm and in the absence of any legal or physical hindrance.

Allah says:and they have rights similar to those against than in a just manner and the men are a degree above them. (This degree has to do with divorce).

Thus, the man has a right to have a sexual relation with his wife in all circumstances unless there is a legal excuse. She has to oblige and she cannot leave the house if he needs her to satisfy his needs. But there is no such need we advise the woman, as a precautionary measure, not to leave the house without the husband's permission in accordance with the view of Sayyed Al-Khouie (May Allah bless his soul), while other jurists believe that she does not have the right, under any circumstances, to leave the house without her husband's permission.

It is also impermissible for the man to hit his wife at will that is without a justified reason. Such as when the man comes home to find, for instance that his son is dirty, or that he does not like the food, or that she would be tired and asleep while he wants her to make him a cup of coffee. Such a mentality reveals that many men feel that their wives are slaves, while a woman is a human being just like a man.

Form a legal point of view a man does not own his wife through the marriage contract. This contract is a contract like any other made of articles with some binding to this party while others are binding to the other party.

A husband or a wife might think that he/she owns her/his spouse. This is not true. Both remain equal human beings that are government by the contract they agreed on.

There are men who send their wives to their parent's houses. But this is impermissible, just as it is impermissible for them not to provide food, clothes, and health care for their wives. Wives too should not leave their houses just because they are angry. It is true that sometimes they might be hit or treated violently. And in such cases they are allowed to leave. But husbands are not allowed to throw them out; if they do, they still have to provide for them. If they do not then this right becomes a kind of debt. This is only just. Moreover, a woman is not allowed to hit her husband if he is weaker than her, and this is also based on the rule of equality in rights.

Allah has laid down the basis of the matrimonial relationship on two principles: keep (them) in good fellowship or let (them) go with kindness. Those who want to preserve their marriage ought to do so through good fellowship, giving each party his right, and those who want to terminate it, should do so in kindness and not through pressures and the like. This is the theme of justice that should regulate the marriage.

Part of the kindness Allah calls for, is in the issue of housework which if stipulated in the marriage contract that the woman should undertake to do it then woman has to, but if not, then the woman has the choice. But usually when the man treats his wife kindly and lovingly the woman would gladly do the housework but when he hits or curses her or her family then how could she serve him. Marriage is an institute that serves the future and the society. Thus, whoever wants to marry, be it a man or a woman, should do so as a human being.

Relationships in the West

That is why we notice that Islam emphasized the need of moral and religious commitment in the husband's personality: “If a person with satisfying religious and moral attitudes comes to seek your daughter in marriage accept.” Morals will make him humanitarian while piety will make him fear Allah and would not be unjust to his wife. If you do not, there will be great mischief on earth and a great trouble The same thing goes to the wife, a man came to the Messenger and asked him: Whom should I marry" and the Messenger (p.) said: “Marry a woman who is religious” (who lives the morality and commitment of religion.) This is the Islamic line. Therefore the man who wants to get married should have built himself as a human being as one of the necessary conditions. He should also be seeking to please Allah in everything he does. The same thing goes with respect to polygamy. Allah demands that the man who marries more than one wife should be just in providing equally, because some men might marry two or three without having sufficient financial resources to provide for them. That is why it has been said that justice here is in spending.

Allah says: if you do not have enough resources to provide for more than one wife, then you have to marry one woman only. Justice is demanded in a field that man can achieve, but not in emotions for one cannot control whom his heart inclines to; it is not in the hands of man. But at the same time the husband should not neglect his wife: “Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire: But turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging (in the air)”. Do not abandon her, and leave her unmarried and not divorced at the same time. Marriage is not a reflection of the mood. It is a humanitarian decision taken after a thorough and practical study, through which the man does not think about himself only but also about the woman.

Talking about polygamy is very long. It is based on the general human needs that Islam instituted to satisfy, since it could be a solution to both the woman and the man.

If we suppose that it is a negative state for the first wife, it is a positive one, as far as the second wife is concerned.

It does not take into consideration the emotional aspect only but also the practical aspect of people needing one another. We notice that in the West there is a law that bans having more than one wife, but the illegal relationships are permissible and a person can have several sexual relations. In some Western countries the woman who has established an illegal relationship would be given the same rights as a wife, including half of the man's properties.

This means that the Western law has limited the legal relationship to one wife, but it permitted an indefinite number of illegal relations.

Furthermore, there is in the West now what is called gay marriage with the male marrying another male and the female marrying a female, and it is instituted in the law.

As for Islam, it has based things on what benefits man and not what corrupts him: “Does He not know, Who created And He is the Knower of the subtleties, the Aware. O ye who believe! give your response to Allah and His Messenger, when He calls you to that which will give you life;” that is on what builds life on the basis of balance and righteousness.

This is one of the laws of life. There is not what is 100% good or 100% evil. For example: before this hall was built we had more light and air but less protection and warmth. But now light and air have become less but protection and warmth have increased. The same thing goes for all matters in life.

Before marriage the single person would feel that he is free, but when he is married he would satisfy his needs, but new problems would start to appear. They question thee about strong drink and games of chance. Say: In both is great sin, and (some) utility for men; but the sin of them is greater than their usefulness. If the benefit of something is greater than its harm, then it is halal, and if the benefit is less then it is haram, but there is nothing that is all benefit or all harm.