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Financial and Moral Responsibilities of the Household

Allah, the Exalted, stated in the Glorious Qur'an:

(Men are protectors and maintainers of women because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend to support them from their means.)

[4:34]

This verse emphasizes that the financial and moral responsibilities of a household is the husband's responsibility. The natural, physical and social qualities of men demand that they take charge of these responsibilities since they are of the stronger gender and physically fit to work being free from the burden of menses, pregnancy, nursing and early childrearing. The man is the "guardian" of his own household - a shepherd of his flock in the idiom mentioned earlier - and he will be asked and accounted about all his responsibilities. Women by their natural constituency are the weaker sex, built biologically, emotionally and socially for their role as child bearer and homemaker. They are more endowed with intuition and emotional intelligence.

This is their natural feminine role that is fully honored and protected. Due to the pains and burdens of menses, pregnancy, delivery, nursing, and continual child-care, women often require various periods of confinement for rest, and they are not required to take on additional financial and vocational responsibilities for the sustenance and maintenance of the household. All these concerns affect the mental state of a woman and will be reflected in her life, attitude and behavior. This is a natural state prescribed in many civilizations, but often with many injustices, as mentioned earlier.

'Abbas Mahmoud al-'Akkad, the well-known Egyptian writer, notes:

"Women have a very special emotional make-up that does not resemble the emotional make-up of man. The companionship of a little infant or child requires a lot of similarity and resemblance between the child's mentality and his companion, the mother. She has to understand what he wants, what he needs and how he thinks and feels. Therefore, to fulfill this requirement, a woman is much more responsive to emotions. This makes it difficult for a woman, when compared with man, to be firm, fierce and determined when needed."

Dr. Alex Liberelle, a Nobel Prize winner, says while illustrating the natural organic differences between man and woman:

"Matters that differentiate between man and woman are not limited to sexual organs, the presence of the womb and pregnancy. These matters are also not limited to the difference of teaching methods of man and woman. In fact, these differences are of basic nature. The tissues of the body in both male and female are different. The chemistry of the bodies is also different in both. Certain glands excrete certain secretions that are only suitable for a specific gender. The woman is completely different from man in terms of the chemical material secreted from the ovary inside the woman's body."

Those who call for complete equality between men and women disregard basic facts and essential differences. Advocates of women's equal rights demand the same type of education to be given to both male and female, and same type of jobs, tasks, responsibilities, positions to be offered, etc. This absurdity neglects woman's nature and essential physical, mental, emotional, and social traits. Every cell of the body of a woman has a feminine quality, nursed by female hormones, just as a man has his distinct qualities and hormones. Are they blind when they wish to be equal? They don't see that each organ of every man and woman are unique in and of themselves, and different from each other. The male and female central nervous systems function in exact precision to help their respective roles in human life.

We must accept natural laws and movements as they are, without attempting to change them to seek unnatural obstruction or interference with them. For their own benefit, both men and women should build upon their natural talents and gifts, and never deviate into imitating those of the other sex, which only leads to abuse of themselves and others. Another factor is that it is a well-established fact that the bone structure and muscles of men are naturally heavier and more powerful than those of women. Men can perform more laborious and manual jobs, while women are not physically able to show comparable physical endurance. This is another proof that men are naturally equipped and qualified to assume the role of leadership over financial and vocational responsibilities of the household in consultation with their best second-halves (their wives), which is also a general rule in Islam, as mentioned previously.