Leadership in Marriage - NikahExplorer
When it comes to our society’s understanding of Muslim Marriages we more often than not confuse the term Leadership with Dictatorship. Both men and women are guilty of doing this, especially when they try to interpret the following verse of the Quran relating to men:
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. Qur'an 4:34
In this verse Allah has placed the bulk of the responsibility of the household on the shoulders of the men and husbands in a relationship. This is because men have more physical strength than the other and have the ability to support women. However, this does not mean that Allah has made the men dictators over women and given them free reign on how to treat women. It does NOT mean that men can mistreat their wives and not give them their due rights. Allah has mentioned in the Quran on numerous occasions that women are to be treated nicely "And live with them in kindness." – He says in Surah Al-Nissa.
So we must understand that Allah has given men the role of Leadership in marriage, not a dictatorship. A leader is a person who not only heads the management of the affairs of whatever they are dealing with but inspires their team, motivates them and takes opinions from them.
The role of a leader in a Muslim marriage is hence no different. The husband takes care of his wife and family, makes decisions in the best interest of the family but he is also required to consult his wife before doing so, as did the Holy Prophet (PBUH). If the wife disagrees with a decision of the husband, he should ponder over her reasoning and not overtake her thinking and go about it anyway. He should respect the opinions of his wife, no matter how smart a decision maker he is. The husband must not misuse his position and must act only according to the Sunnah and the Quran.
That is what a true leader is. A husband who inspires his wife to work for the betterment of the family, who makes her do things because she herself wants to do them, THAT is the definition of a leader who is a husband in Islam, not someone who oppresses his wife so much, she has no say in the matter. Motivate, Inspire and Lead.