A Muslim marriage is a bond that is secured through collective rights and responsibilities of both spouses. It is a partnership between the husband and the wife, and both are expected to be involved in making it a success, or being responsible for it’s failure.
The man is selected as the leader of the house, and the woman as the supporting helper whose expertness in certain areas cannot be matched by the man. Some women have been corrupted by Western ideologies to want to be leaders of the family as well. But only anarchy can result in such a family where the correct and natural positions are reversed.
Both the husband and wife have certain rights and duties. A happy and successful Islamic marriage is one where both observe their duties and safeguard each other’ rights. Disregarding those rights can only lead to misery and failure.
Some responsibilities and commitments apply equally to the man and woman. For example, the duty to believe in Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and following His commands is the same for both of them. Likewise, they are both responsible and answerable for their actions. They are both equally required to learn the correct religion, worship only Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala , and call to His way. The moral standards are the same for both of them, as are the regulations for dealing with other human beings. The man and woman get similar benefit for obeying Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, and the same punishment for committing sin. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says:
“Whoever does righteous deeds, whether male or female, while he is a believer- We will surely grant him a good life, and will surely give them their reward according to the best of what they used to do.” (An-Nahl 16:97)
But, in comparing between women and men, we should know that Islam does not make equal those who are inherently different. There are situations in which men are given preference over women, and other situations where women are preferred to men. These preferences arise from the contrasting abilities of men and women in performing different tasks. Thus, rather than equating those who can never be equal, the concern should be towards dealing fairly with both.