Relationships based on worldly values can degenerate into baseness, as often happens in marriage. When people's love and respect is based on these values, they can lose these feelings quickly when circumstances change. This is almost inevitable when love, respect, and loyalty depend on one's beauty, wealth, health, job, or status, for when these temporary and superficial characteristics disappear, so will the other person's love. Someone who follows such criteria will find no reason to continue to love and honor his or her spouse when the basis for those values is lost.
Belief, fear and respect of Allah, and decency of character are what make love, respect, and loyalty endure. Someone who loves his or her spouse for their belief and character will, in married life, be respectful, loyal, and decent. Losing one's youth, health, or beauty will not affect the love and consideration among spouses for each other, and neither will losing one's wealth or social status. They will not cause trouble or discontent to the other person because of their firm belief and fear and respect of Allah, whatever the circumstances. Believers will always be gentle and compassionate, as well as fair and tolerant, for they will consider this to be a responsibility entrusted to them by Allah. Islamic morality has a very high opinion of women and seeks to prevent them from suffering any difficulties or hardships. Thus, believing men safeguard the rights of women and are most considerate toward them.
So close is the marital relationship that the Qur'an says of the spouses: "They are clothing for you, and you for them" (Surat al-Baqara: 187). In this verse, Allah reminds people that each spouse has equal responsibilities. The word "clothing" stands for the responsibility of guarding and protecting one another and also suggests that men and women have complementary qualities.
Another verse states the importance of love and compassion in marriage: "Among His Signs is that He created spouses for you of your own kind, so that you might find tranquillity in them. And He has placed affection and compassion between you. There are certainly Signs in that for people who reflect" (Surat ar-Rum: 21). Believers consider their spouses to be gifts that Allah has given into their care, and therefore value one another greatly. They show affection and compassion when their spouse makes a mistake or falls short in some way, and know that behaving according to the Qur'an will help them overcome all difficulties and solve their problems. As a result, marriage helps both spouses find contentment and peace.
With the phrase "you have been intimate with one another" (Surat an-Nisa': 21), Allah proclaims the closeness and intimacy of married life. The secret of this closeness, intimacy, and valuing of each other is their intention to create an everlasting togetherness that will extend into the Hereafter. True loyalty and love requires this attitude. Since their love is neither selfish nor temporary, but intended to be everlasting, they are completely loyal, close, honest, and intimate with one another.
Qur'an's morality forms the basis for a marital relationship based on togetherness, one in which both parties fear and respect Allah and follow His morality. In such a relationship, each person's loyalty, faithfulness, love, sincerity, tolerance, and modesty complement and support the other person. Such a marriage is stable and long-lasting. The marriages of people without these qualities, on the other hand, are short-lived.
Islam considers marriage to be a comfort for women, for in it she experiences love, respect, loyalty, and faithfulness in the best possible way. She is always respected, valued, and honored. The absence of any pride, superiority complex, and lies enables her to find peace and contentment.
Being Protective of Women
By proclaiming "We send down in the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy to the believers," (Surat al-Isra': 82) Allah states that Islamic morality will always direct people toward the good and that the Qur'an's verses are a mercy for them. These verses, revealed to create contentment and justice among people, guarantee the rights of women in both their social and family lives. And, the verse "We bring you the truth and the best of explanations" (Surat al-Furqan: 33) makes clear the fact that the Qur'an contains all of the knowledge needed to find the value, love, and respect that they deserve in every aspect of their lives.
This is a great mercy, comfort, and gift from Allah for women as well. When people behave according to the Qur'an's morals, all disputes over the role and place of women in society, as well as the controversy surrounding them in unbelieving societies, will certainly come to an end.
We will now explore some of the verses that guard women's social rights and reveal their importance and value in Islam's moral system.
All true and lasting solutions to women's problems are found in the Qur'an. Islam, which was revealed to guide humanity to salvation, genuinely values women. Many verses protect women and their rights, for the Qur'an eliminated the prevalent misguided stereotypes of women and gave them a respectable position in society. Our Lord teaches that superiority in His presence is based not on gender, but rather on one's fear and respect of Allah, faith, good character, devotion, and dedication to Him.
Allah has revealed the steps that women need to take to ensure their protection and respect within society, and for them to find the love and dignity that they deserve. All of these measures benefit women and seek to prevent damage to their interests or any form of oppression and unnecessary stress.
Divorcing Women with Their Consent
The believers' fear and respect of Allah, as well as their belief, cause them to obey their conscience and the Qur'an's values at every moment. But for unbelievers, their base instincts and Satan are their guiding influences. Thus, they seek to satisfy their self-interest and their ego instead of acting fairly and nicely. This scenario is often seen when relationships end, such as a marriage based upon financial self-interest.
For these people, divorce means the end of all bonds based on mutual interest, for when these interests no longer exist, there is no longer any reason for them to value or respect the other party. As a result, they see no reason to do anything good for that person, and so move to protect their own interests regardless of the other person's situation.
Believers display a totally different type of behavior in such circumstances, for their only goal in life is to win Allah's good pleasure. Fully aware that following the whims of their self-interest or ego displeases Him, they adhere to the Qur'an's morality and their conscience. Therefore, even in the case of divorce, they treat each other well and with justice.
Allah commands men to divorce their wives in the best possible way: "When you divorce women and they are near the end of their waiting period, then either retain them with correctness and courtesy or release them with correctness and courtesy" (Surat al-Baqara: 231). Pursuing only Allah's good pleasure, they treat their ex-wives with tolerance, compassion, politeness, respect, and thoughtfulness, thereby continuing their former loving and respectful manner toward each other. Allah reveals the male believers' correct behavior in such circumstances:
O you who believe! When you marry believing women and then divorce them before you have touched them, there is no waiting period for you to calculate for them, so give them a gift and let them go with kindness. (Surat al-Ahzab: 49)