Oh yes you read it right. I didn’t forget any woe-some ‘wo’ anywhere. I am here doing a little research on men’s rights in Islam.
Its been a very suffocating and frustrating experience being labeled as a “feminist” just because I question the way the position of men has been portrayed in our society.
There was a time when I used to argue with any Little Tom, Mr.Dick and Uncle Harry, not to speak of Little Beth, Miss Susan and Aunty Betty. And then I realized that its pointless – simply because you can’t argue with walls.
And I have given up on reading from volumes and volumes that speak of women’s rights (sometimes speaking more in terms of duties) in Islam (which is, simply put, submission to God alone), because it is quite simple really.
What many people unfortunately don’t realize, much to my distaste and their own misunderstood definition of life, is that the rights and duties of human beings lies in the different roles that they play. They differ and compliment each other.
As an individual, each human being is equal and has same rights. It is only when it comes to the roles that they play that the job-scope, job-responsibility differs. It is pretty simple if you really were to think of it. But we human beings have our way of making simple things so complex and difficult that we end up fighting over the things that we all logically agree to.
For Muslim men and women,- for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise,- for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward. (Quran 33:35)
Ah! Now isn’t that beautiful. SubhanAllah! So all those freaked out men who think Islam has given them an upper hand, and all those freaked out women who think Islam is making them second class citizens – please READ and THINK!
So since all of you can read volumes about women’s rights in Islam, I think a little note on men’s rights ought to be there. InshaAllah one day I will dedicate a book on this … (that is one of my long term plans… oh.. plz dont steal my idea…:( ), but now I am going to put it in a little note for you all to read through and comment.
Man as an individual
Man’s rights as an individual are no different from that of a woman. Just like women, men too have to pray 5 times a day, fast the whole month of Ramadan, give charity, go to Hajj (if they have the means to).
(Note: Though women are absolved from praying and fasting on certain days due to their special needs, men have no such privileges.)
Also, the same rules apply to men and women when it comes to speaking the truth always, not backbiting, being honest and all the good good deeds. Also, just like women, they have right to work and earn a living through that work.
Man as a son
The first role that every human being takes is that of a child. As a child, just like women, men have to be good to their parents, to take care of them, to be especially kind to the mothers, and other good things.
However, in addition to these duties, men are also supposed to financially support the parents, and sisters( if they are unmarried, for if they are married their husbands are supposed to do that).
Man as a husband
This is a very special role that a man takes upon himself, and obviously his role is different from that of women counterparts.
First, to get married, the man must first prove his ability and serious intention to take care of the family that this marriage would lead to. So, he must provide the wife “mehr” (an amount of money that is demanded by the bride [btw, there is no limit to the amount that can be specified]).
Now that he has got his wife and the nikah (the marriage agreement) has been signed in front of witnesses, the man has to provide a feast to the people. This marriage feast called ‘walima’ doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair, but it is meant to announce and rejoice in the marriage.
With the wife brought home, the husband has to provide for her. Men have to protect (cool.. if a lion attacks, the man must risk his life to save the wife… cool.. this is religious obligation)
men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all). (Quran 4:34 )
Well did u read it properly.. did u read “beat” and get that grin on your face? If you grinned and thought men are supposed to beat up their wifes, shame on you. If you really understood what this meant, you would be saying just as I do.. subhanAllah!.
What is asked of women is to be loyal to their husbands – and it is in extreme cases when women tend to cheat on thier husbands, that men must do something to fix the case. So a guideline is laid for them
– first admonish them
– then refuse to share bed with them
– then beat (actually it is not more than a tap with a stick as big as a toothbrush as explained by the blessed Prophet).
So even in such serious matters where men can and do tend to loose their heads, Islam puts a restrain and sets a limit.
Anyways, since Muslim women are expected to be (and generally are, alhamdulillah) loyal to their husbands, this is to speak of fixing a problem. What we all need to focus on is the fact that the man is responsible to providing for the women. If you would like to get more information on that I suggest you listen to Shiekh Yusuf Estes (Oh, I absolutely adore this man.)
Anyways, if i were to talk of the responsibility of man towards his wife in the role of a husband, that alone would need a book.. but this is just a starter … so we shall leave the delicacies for the book.
Man as a father
As a father again, man has many many responsibilities. The man must provide for all the financial needs for the children alone. However, just like women men have to take care of the children, and ensure proper education of the children catering to their need for affection and love.
Even in case of divorce, the man is supposed to provide for the children regarding food, clothing, schooling, and health expenses according to the father’s standard of life.
What I have put together here in this small note is what Islam requires of men. Because Allah made us, He understands us best. He is compassionate and full of Mercy.
And He has asked us to deal with each other with love and affection. All humans – men & women – have been asked to keep faith and do good deeds.