There are a number of verses in the Quran which relate to marriage directly or indirectly. This verse can give us a basic understanding of what Allah intended for us in the area of marriage.
Allah Specifically Orders Men to be Kind to their Wives
Since the most common marital flaw from the man’s side is cruelty, lack of kindness or lack of compassion, Allah and His Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) have stressed on the man the need for kindness and good treatment. Allah said:
“And interact with your wives in a good manner for if you feel dislike for them, it may well be that you dislike something in which Allah places much good.” [Noble Quran 4:19]
On this same subject, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Khairukum khairukum li’ahlihi wa ana khairukum li’ahliy.”
“The best off you is the best of you toward his family (i.e., wife) and I am the best of you toward my family.” At-Tirmidhi & others (sahih)
Allah Reminds Women to be Obedient to their Husbands
The Islamic household is arranged in the same way as the Muslim Ummah as a whole. There is an Amir who is in charge and has final authority as well as final responsibility for the household just as the Khalifah has over the Ummah as a whole.
The Khalifah is required to consult with the people of knowledge before taking important decisions. After this consultation, he is not bound by their opinions, however. Rather, he is commanded to take what he sees as the best and most correct decision, even though it may not be the favored opinion among those with whom he consulted. The Khalifah is under no obligation to consult those of no knowledge or expertise in the Shari’ah and/or the issue at hand.
Likewise the Muslim husband. His wife is his fellow adult in the household. He is encouraged to consult with her in decisions in which she may have some constructive input to offer. Like the Khalifah, he is not bound by any of her opinions and is required to always strive to take the Islamically correct course of action. Young children are not part of the “shura” of the father, particularly in issues of upbringing and discipline. Mother and father must work together on these issues with final authority and decision-making always belonging to the father. It is easy to find examples of families suffering great discord when the correct relationship between husband and wife is not maintained or when one of them puts the children above the other. Does it become a question of who is raising whom?
The Muslim father has been ordered by Allah to do everything in his power to protect his wife and children from the fire. This is his responsibility and his authority – even if it goes against their opinions. Allah said:
“O you who believe, guard yourselves and your family members against a fire whose fuel is people and stones. Over it is ferocious and powerful angels. They do not disobey and of Allah’s orders and do whatever they are told.” [Noble Quran 66:6]
Since the main temptation for the woman in marriage is disobedience and disrespect toward her husband, Islam stresses on her to control this aspect of her personality just as it stresses on the man to avoid cruelty and lack of compassion.