Who sows the seeds of strife in the Muslim family?

By Fatima Abdel Raouf May 28, 2023 8529

The Muslim family is based on two main pillars. They are affection and mercy; (And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy) (Al-Rum: 21). Warmth comes from interacting with care, attention, and kindness, however, mercy extends beyond these feelings in relationships to discover justifications, sympathy, presence, giving up some rights, and offering extra tasks out of understanding for the other party.

There are definitely mutual, balanced and just rights and duties between the spouses according to these two Quranic principles:

The first: (And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable) (Al-Baqara: 228); Every right is accompanied by duty, but because they are infused with the spirit of love and mercy, these rights and obligations are accompanied by tolerance. It adapts depending on the situation and the capacity of each couple in terms of finances, physical health, and psychological well-being while maintaining its general outline in order to prevent misunderstandings.   

The second: "Men are the 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.) (An-Nisa: 34), and this is the degree mentioned in the first Quranic rule.

Guardianship, in short, is an assignment to the man to take over the leadership of this family with his ability to assume responsibility and his vital role in spending on the family, and guardianship does not mean at all, as some imagine, domination, dictatorship, and other ugly values that are the presumption of tyranny and arrogance.

It is sufficient to look at the Prophet's house in order to understand the practical application of the man’s guardianship. Al-Aswad said, "I asked 'A'isha, may Allah be pleased with her, 'What did the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, do when he was with his family?' She replied, 'He would do chores for his family, and when it was time for the prayer, he would go out.'" (Narrated by Al -Bukhari).

On "Al-Hudaybiyah Day," the Prophet, may God's prayers and peace be upon him, was conversing with his wife on private and public concerns. He was talking, listening, and smiling at the same time.

To attain housing and tranquillity, these rights and obligations are organized. The family is the place where each of its members can find shelter and peace in a world that is filled with pressure, hardship, and hard work.


Despite the simplicity of the philosophy of the Muslim family, despite its intense realism, and despite its true satisfaction with the normal instinct of man. The reality is witnessing an increasing fragility of the family and frightening divorce numbers, and even new crazy breeds in divorce rates (15% an increase in divorce rates in Egypt in 2021 and another increase is expected in 2022 CE), with a state of recession cases in marriage and its slight increase in rates.

In this context, we can read and analyze a group of "trends" that affected the family and created a state of chaos and confusion from two complementary perspectives:

The first perspective: Who is behind these "trends"? And why?

The second perspective: What is the significance of the interaction on these "trends"? Can we diagnose some of what the family suffers considering dealing with these "trends"?

If we take a sample of the family's "trends," which caused a state of noise on social media among the Egyptian public, we find that in less than 3 weeks, several months ago, there were 5 "trends," which began with Cairo Doctors Syndicate statements at a graduation ceremony Students of Al-Azhar College of Medicine. She informed them that a woman's primary priority is her home. What happened? A strong attack on these declarations by the women's current in exchange for a strong defence of the perspective by other currents.

This was followed by a statement by a famous female doctor that women are not obligated to cook, and that cooking should be done by sharing or by exchange. The hashtag "The wife is not obligated" appeared on social media. This was followed by statements by a lawyer and a feminist activist that, according to Islamic law, the wife is not obligated to breastfeed her children, and if she does, she has the right to receive a wage from the husband. The hashtag “The wife is not obligated” was strengthened, and it became the talk of the entire media. However, another hashtag came as a response to "the wife is not obligated" under the hashtag "the husband is not obligated". The husband is not obligated to treat the wife, and he is not obligated to do much of the luxury of life. Then a tag came to the wife of a man who works as an engineer, who betrayed him and took his money, to become the talk of social networking sites.

Here some questions arise.  

The first question: Is this normal? Is it just a “trend” that met with interaction and spread, or is the matter orchestrated by those who want to sow the seeds of discord in society? What makes me prefer the second option is that the statements of the Cairo Doctors Syndicate are old and lengthy and were taken out of context, and the video was published a year before.  Why is this trending?

The same thing happened with a statement of a lawyer and human rights activist. She expressed this opinion in an old interview published in 2017 AD, and her words were in a different context than what was published (albeit not without an attempt to tamper with family values). Who is behind this? And why?

“Trend” alone is not sufficient as a reason for what is happening, as distraction alone is not sufficient. In my opinion, the malicious aim of this fuss is to add more fuel to the flames. Fractured families, struck by disputes, are increasingly collapsing. It instills fear in the hearts of young men and women who are about to get married and imposes on them a new philosophy based on suffocating rights and duties. Divorce is a very likely option. Therefore, the young man and the young woman hesitate and think repeatedly before accepting marriage so as not to lose his right.

The second question: Why did social media users interact with these “trends” with such heat, positively or negatively?

The answer is because the question touched real pain within the family and its fragility in an atmosphere where lurking between spouses has become a substitute for affection and mercy.

A real disaster

The real disaster is what some famous psychiatrists and marital relationship counselors are doing in the face of this fragility. Instead of providing advice and ideas to support the family structure on the beautiful, positive patience in the face of what we reject from the other side, and ideas for rapprochement and understanding, and ideas for reform, we find that they talk about the inevitability of escaping from these toxic and harmful relationships. We find feminists calling on girls to postpone the idea of marriage until they settle down academically and in a job, and some of them explicitly call for spinsterhood as an alternative to failed marriage relationships after they sow fear and insecurity in the minds and hearts of girls, citing the ugliest stories as horrors for girls.

As for young men, they are painfully reluctant to marry. This goes beyond difficult economic conditions. Young people are haunted by fear and anxiety, preoccupied with the consequences of divorce. The one who contemplates the comments of young people and their participation in the hashtag “The Engineer’s Wife” notices this despair of marriage and women, to the extent that some call for immorality under the name of “cohabitation” to get rid of the negative aspects of traditional marriage.