According to following verse,what does' الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاء 'mean?

الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاء بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَبِمَا أَنفَقُواْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ فَالصَّالِحَاتُ قَانِتَاتٌ حَافِظَاتٌ لِّلْغَيْبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ اللّهُ وَاللاَّتِي تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ فَعِظُوهُنَّ وَاهْجُرُوهُنَّ فِي الْمَضَاجِعِ وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ فَإِنْ أَطَعْنَكُمْ فَلاَ تَبْغُواْ عَلَيْهِنَّ سَبِيلًا إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلِيًّا كَبِيرًا

men are the maintainers of women for that allah has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have spent of their wealth. righteous women are obedient, guarding in secret that which allah has guarded. those from whom you fear rebelliousness, admonish them and desert them in the bed and leave them. then, if they obey you, do not look for any way against them. allah is high, great.

2 Answers 2


Before going into the detail of the answer I'd like to turn your attention to the correct translation of " بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ" which is:

because of the advantage Allah has granted some of them over others,

There are a few points by which your question can be answered:

1. Society will be established even if as few as two people get together.

2. Society is in urgent need of someone to be in charge who is capable of managing affairs, skillful enough to make the final decisions in grave situations and qualified to guide the society.

3. Theoretically speaking, both man and woman can possibly be the manager of this small society which is called "Family" but they can not be in charge at the same time as too many cooks spoil the broth.

4. As you have mentioned in your question, Allah has appointed "man" as the manager of the family. There are some reasons why "man" has to be the manager in a family:

  1. Men possess much greater judicious prudence which means that they are stronger, braver and more capable of undertaking tough tasks which requires forbearance and courage while women's character is dominated by feelings and emotions which means that they are good at taking up special tasks which requires delicateness. Leadership (not dictatorship) is one of the tasks requiring courage, bravery and strength especially when the family plunge into some chaos. We cannot expect to feel comfortable by lying and putting our head on a piece of rock, likewise, it doesn't make any sense to use pillows in order to build a bridge. Pillows are useless in building bridge as rock is of no use for lying and taking rest. So when building a bridge we can say that rock has an advantage over the pillow without devaluing and ignoring the importance of pillow.

  2. In Islamic point of view, No Rights Are Granted To Anyone Unless Some Obligations Are Imposed To Them. man is obligated to provide for his wife. He has no right to compel his wife to carry out the household chores. In return he has been granted some rights: 1. His wife has to submit herself to his sexual desire and cannot prevent him from having sexual intercourse with her. 2. His wife cannot go out of the house without his permission. (Source)

5.The rights mentioned above have nothing to do with Men and Women as human beings. When it comes to the humanity the only criteria is wariness of God:

يا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْناكُمْ مِنْ ذَكَرٍ وَ أُنْثى‏ وَ جَعَلْناكُمْ شُعُوباً وَ قَبائِلَ لِتَعارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَليمٌ خَبيرٌ

O mankind! Indeed We created you from a male and a female, and made you nations and tribes that you may identify yourselves with one another. Indeed the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most God wary among you. Indeed Allah is all-knowing, all-aware.(49:13)

  • Regarding this "His wife cannot go out of the house without his permission" - as far as I know there is nothing in Quran that states this, it states that the wife shall protect her chastity in the absence of her husband and does not allow strange men in her home. Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 6:25
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    Where can you find in Quran that Fajr prayer must be performed in 2 raka't? Traditions are the second source from which Islamic rules can be deduced.
    – Amin
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 8:04
  • Then you should say that very clearly in your answer that this is based on tradition and its not "Islamic point of view". You have to be very careful. Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 8:17
  • You might've noticed that I mentioned the Source. This rule is a Fatwa which means that it is indeed an Islamic point of view that was deduced from traditions.
    – Amin
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 8:21
  • Yes but in the Quran it is specifically stated this only for divorced women 65:1 - but it is always good to error on the side of humility. I just only heard this as a restriction on divorced women, not married women. Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 8:49

It simply means that الرجال are responsible for النساء

(Traditional explanation says that الرجال means 'men' and النساء means 'women' but another innovative explanation takes into account the Arabic etymology of these two words which could means approximately the 'boss' and the 'follower' but in the context of family management, that's why I kept the words in Arabic)

"The wife cannot keep herself from her husband" the same apply to the husband, but focusing on woman is a mysogynic tradition that was introduced in religion, you will not find this in rule in the Quran.

Getting permission for woman for going outside is also a tribal Arabic tradition that has nothing to do with religion. It is a good habit to ask for permission for both of them and not exclusively for the wife. Again you will not find this rule in the quran.

Hope this helps.

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