About the Book
Sabiruddin in his book A Muslim Husband and Wife aims at awakening the misguided people particularly Muslims to know their responsibilities towards the world at large Islam teaches tolerance, tortitute and perseverance and directs us to shun and discard hatred, prejudice and other social evils. We should turn to the Holy Qur’an & Hadith for the solution of our problems regarding our family affairs.
The author deals with different aspects of a Muslim’s family life-like Nikah, birth control, polygamy, divorce etc. along with his valuable suggestions to make Muslim marriage success.
Before discussing the rights and duties of a Muslim husband and wife in the light of the Qur’an and the Hadiths, it is necessary to have a glimpse of the situation prevailing in the Arab world before the advent of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (peace be on him and his progeny). The country was divided into tribes. The tribal chiefs were selected for their physical prowess and ability to control the people. It was “Might prevailing over right”. Consequently, the weak were at the mercy of the strong. It goes without saying that where such a situation prevails, corruption is bound to be rampant there. In most clans, the chiefs were elected on account of their nobility of birth, wisdom or courage. There were no regular laws, & no machinery for justice to be carried out. Idolatory prevailed over the entire Arabian peninsula. Religion and morality had been relegated to the past. Polygamy as popular trait. Divorce was very easy and at the whim of the husband. Female infanicide was also common. Women had no legal rights, and were treated worse than animals. They were regarded as a plaything of the males. Adultery, fornication and debauchery was the order of the day.
In fact, laws the world over at that time had deprived women of their rights. Manu’s law in India recognised her as a means of procreation, and the aim of her life was to entertain and serve the master to the maximum and die while serving him. She had no place in social life. Christianity, on the other hand, was of the view that men and the women cannot be treated at par. The man only was considered to be a human, and not the woman. Roman Law, which is the fountain-head or the nucleus of all wordly laws, too could not equalise her with man. In social life, father, brothers, husband, and sons had definite places, but the wife had no place at all. The word “human” meant only the man. Woman could stand under the shadow of her man, but could not stand with him on the same platform. The Jews called woman “A born sin” as she was considered to be responsible for the exit of Adam from Heaven
It is only the Qur’an, which not only recognised the rights of women, but gave her an equal status with men. “Wala-hunna Misslil Lazi Alaihin Bil Moroof”. (2:228) (The wife too has the same rights over the husband as the husband has over her)”. These four words gave woman the rights which she was previously denied. It was the medieval age where the sword was the final arbiter of matters. People were mercifully slain on trifles. The time was ripe for emergence of a simple & rational faith like Islam. Islam first laid down concrete laws and ushered in the world a new era in human history where amongst other things women were given the same rights as men.
Islam is the last revealed religion. It is an Arabic word. And technically means complete submission AND UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER TO ALLAH, Who has been sending His Prophet from time immemorial to ameliorate the world as a whole. Mohammed (Peace be on him and his Progeny) was His last Prophet. He identified himself as a simple human being sent by God to the earth as His Prophet, and not as a ‘Son of God’.
Now the question arises as to who is a Muslim? Does a man inherit Islam (through his birth in a Muslim family)? Is he a Muslim merely due to the fact that his forefathers were Muslims? Certainly not. A Muslim is that - and only that who adopts Islam of his own accord, believes in oneness of God, through his strong faith in Him, in the Hereafter, in the unseen, in the angels, and firmly believes and confesses that the Prophet Mohammad (Peace be on him and his progeny) was his last Prophet,’ and maintains his belief as such till the end of his life.
A person, irrespective of his caste, creed and belief, is a Muslim if he accepts the tenets of Islam and gives them a practical shape in every sphere of life. Similarly, if a person, though born in a Muslim family, does not follow the Qur’anic ways of life, cannot be called a Muslim, though he may be the son of a Muslim. He must know his Lord and his relations with Him i.e. of “Serf and the Lord; know what his Lord wants or expects from him; which is the proper course for him to tread on in order to reach His throne; what pleases and displeases Him. After attaining such requisite qualifications he must unconditionally surrender to Him and not only obey, but try to propitiate Him by complying with His orders. He must abstain and refrain himself from indulging in what the Lord does not like. He must control himself and shed his based desires and be always ready to sacrifice everything for the sake of his Lord. It is also necessary that his faith must be unshakeable and he must adhere to it strictly till his last breath. Similarly, a person after embracing Islam, must understand thoroughly what he reads in the Qur’an, and practise them in real life.
It is thus clear that for a Muslim the first and foremost duty is the acquisition of education and knowledge, and then bringing it into practise, so that his actions, behaviour, manners and ways of life could reflect Islam in the real sense, and he, in turn could influence others with the spirit of Islam. The difference between a Muslim and non-Muslim is not that of nomenclature, but of presentation of character. A Muslim must be a man of an irreproachable integrity. He must be affluent with the wealth of unshakable faith & piety, undoubtful honesty & truth. His heart must be full of tremendous love and compassion for all. He must reflect the qualities of mutual respect, tolerance, resignation, fair-dealing & devotion to duty. He must be a package of virtues & a torch-bearer to humanity at large. Unless he knows what the Qur’an and the Hadiths say, he will not be able to present a true picture of his faith before the world. For a true Muslim what is needed is true understanding of the holy books and a life pattern that adheres to the teachings of the Qur’an and the Hadiths.
Some people feel that the Qur’an can be understood only by religious heads. It is a wrong notion. There are some, who for their own selfish ends try to misguide the people by stressing that they will not understand the Holy book. They do it to establish their hold over the masses. The Qur’an must be read and understood by all. Annotating the implied meanings of Ayat No. 82 of Surah AN-NISA of the Holy Qur’an. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, in his ‘Tarjuman-ul-Our’an’’, has said that the Holy Qur’an demands that everybody himself must give his own closed attention to understand it accurately, and the notion that it is for the Religious Heads to understand is not correct. Only those, who will try to understand it will get its hidden meanings. It is like a traveller climbing a mountain; The higher he goes, the further he sees.
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