A fairy tale of the evolving bond between men and women in the 21st Century.

I followed the Royal Wedding with rapt attention, less for the glamour but mainly for what I saw in the empowered, courageous and beautiful Meghan, who describes herself as proud to be a feminist, walk alone down the aisle of the church in Windsor with full acceptance of her chosen husband, an effusive and unreserved Prince Harry.

For me, it depicted an exciting vision of a new status of men and women in society. It was a glaring contrast to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, a novel describing a society in which women are the oppressed prisoners of men, which is still a reality for a vast majority of women around the world. Meghan appears to embody active compassion and looks set to use her new power and influence to continue supporting women around the world with Harry firmly by her side.

Seeing amazing women such as Meghan stepping into their power is vitally important for the model she offers to those women around the globe who feel that their position in society was always destined to be marginalised. This brings an enormous sense of hope and new possibilities to the institution of marriage that can have such a dynamic impact on society if it embraces progressive change. Besides love, mutual respect and acceptance of each others’ differences are the pillars of a sound marriage, which in turn is the foundation of a stable society.

“They (your wives) are your garment and you are a garment for them”

(Noble Quran 2:187) 

This verse of the Quran reveals the basic purpose and concept of marriage in Islam. Islam enjoins that a wife and husband should have the most intimate and loving relationship. Each should cover, protect, and safeguard the interests of the other partner. This profound and revolutionary verse has the following 5 practical implications:

1- The fact that man and woman are considered garments to each other suggests that both have an equal status in sharing the responsibilities of marriage.

2- As the garment covers the body in such a way that there is nothing between the garment and the body, the husband and wife should be so close and intimate to each other that there should be no secrets between them. Both confide fully in each other and share their joys and sorrows without any hesitation.

3- The task of the garment is to protect the body from outside dangers. The husband and wife accordingly protect each other from all external dangers and work together to build a home and a tranquil refuge from the harshness of daily life.

4- A garment not only covers the body but also gives it beauty and grace. Similarly, husband and wife should not only cover and shield each other from external worries, temptations, abuses….etc., but should do so with grace and dignity.

5- No one likes to live without clothes, hence men and women should aspire to get married and serve as garments to each other. (http://www.naseeb.com)

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