A follow-up: Islam embraces gender equality

Imran Hayee

Imran Hayee

M. Imran Hayee is a professor and director of graduate studies in the electrical engineering department at the University of Minnesota Duluth.


Part of the feedback on my April 6th opinion editorial, “Quran forbids men from hurting wives,” indicates a mistaken inference by some that the Holy Quran gives a husband the right to control his wife, making them unequal partners in marriage. While empathizing with those who felt that way, I would like to clarify that the Holy Quran does not allow men to control or abuse women, even in the worst possible conflicts.

In order to describe the worst possible conflicts between a husband and his wife, I used the words ‘disobedience’ and ‘rebellious attitude’ of women, which can partly be blamed for the confusion. The Arabic word ‘nashuz’ used in the quoted Quranic verse does not mean a simple act of disobedience, rather it implies a clear deviation from the expected conduct of a partner posing a tangible threat to the marriage or family integrity, e.g., having an extra marital affair or losing the family’s life savings in a poker game. When a man finds his wife committing such an act, he is likely to become angry. It is for these situations that the Holy Quran advises the man to restrain his anger and try his best to reconcile by first using dialogue followed by a temporary separation from his wife, giving her a chance to fearlessly think over her options before making a final decision of divorce.
Depending upon the gravity of the matter and willingness of… read more at muslimwriters.org

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