Husbands and wives in conflict often sound like whiny children. He’ll whine that she doesn’t ever want to have sex, and she’ll whine in turn that he’s lazy around the house and still on his mother’s apron strings. Perhaps they’ll come to a compromise to both start meeting each other’s needs more, but both are always keeping a close eye and a tight score, and as soon as one person starts to falter the other withdraws in turn. While it is important for us to understand our responsibilities to our spouse, if we never go beyond that, we’ll never get beyond a technically functioning marriage but an emotionally dysfunctional relationship. Many are the couples who fulfill the fiqhî requirements of marriage but are still unhappy. They’re unhappy because in spite of meeting each other’s needs, they still have conflict about those needs, and they don’t understand why that is or how to resolve it.
Yet too few of us, I think, ponder the rights of children in Islam—more specifically, the rights children hold over parents. The fruit of our marriages, the joy of our eyes, so integral a part of the pleasure of our lives, clearly our children deserve our contemplation as to what we ought to give them if truly we love them and fear Allah. Says Allah u by way of meaning: Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this (dunya) world (Sûrat Al-Kahf, 18:46).