The Text of the Articles of The Islamic Charter on Family
Chapter I : Principles, Values and General Concepts
Chapter II The Muslim Community's Responsibility for the Formation and Protection of the Family General Concepts
Chapter III: Between the Husband and Wife
Chapter IV: The Rights and Duties of the Child in Islam
Chapter V: From the Small Family to the Large Family
Chapter I : Principles, Values and General Concepts
Section One: The Divine Mission of Man
Worshipping Allah and Spreading Civilization on Earth
Allah honored man and distinguished him above many of His other creations. He chose man to be His caliph on Earth, to spread civilization therein by working to provide for his physical and spiritual needs; building a human society governed by the ideal values of truth, beneficence, and justice; and achieving the significance of worshipping Allah and having faith in Him Alone, and setting Him apart from His creation to be obeyed and worshipped according to the manner of His prophets and messengers.
Providing Man With the Necessary Qualities to Undertake This Mission
In order to accomplish his mission on Earth, Allah granted man the necessary intellectual, psychological, and physical abilities to make him qualified to fulfill this mission. Likewise, He sent messengers to lead man to the straightest path of guidance and success, in this life and in the Hereafter.
Section Two: Man's Divinely Inspired Nature and the Universal Norms
Possession of Mental Faculties and the Will to Change
Allah created man with the innate tendency to believe in Him. At the same time, He granted man the intellect and will that allow him to stray from his fitrah (divinely inspired nature), or to develop his abilities according to his knowledge, spiritual gifts, and social conditions. It is the existence of this intellect and this will that is the precondition for the reward or punishment that man will be dealt in the Hereafter.
Equality in the Origin of Creation and the Variation of Special Characteristics
Allah created all of mankind equal in the origin of their creation from one soul. Thus it follows, that they are equal in their general characteristics. Despite this, Allah's wisdom dictated that they should differ in some of their individual characteristics such as strength and weakness, talents, and psychological, mental, and physical abilities.
This human variation in some special characteristics is the foundation of life, as it causes individuals and societies to get to know, cooperate, and complete each other; as opposed to being an invitation to animosity and hatred.
Integration of the Spouses; The Male and the Female
Despite man's unity in the origin of his creation from one soul, Allah, with His Infinite Ability, created a couple from this soul; male and female. Only through contact, cooperation, and completing each other, can life continue, civilization be spread, and the human race proliferate; this is the way that Allah has decreed for all of creation and things in this life.
It is only by way of the connection between man and woman that the family is formed, and the family is the first nucleus of human society.
Section Three: The Singular Directive of Shari'ah for Both Men and Women, and the Differentiation in Their Roles
The Singularity of the Directive of Obligation and the Equality in General Rights and Obligations
Equality between men and women in the origin of their creation necessitates two points:
The first point is that there is complete equality between men and women in most of the general issues of life and each person is considered a completion of the other's person and mission, and a partner to him in marital and societal life. However, there are some specific characteristics that set each of them apart in their physical and psychological makeup such that each is distinguished by that which is specific to him.
The second point is that in accordance with this origin, the Shari'ah directive was issued to both men and women in a single, unified form with regard to all of the other affairs in which they are equal; such as the obligation that they have been charged with to carry out Allah's orders and prohibitions, the rulings regarding the permissible and prohibited, the principles of reward and punishment, general human rights and obligations, and human honor. Conversely, the directive was addressed to each of them individually regarding the affairs that are specific to each party.
The Differentiation in Special Responsibilities
The distinguishing differences between men and women in their characteristics, talents, and specific physical and psychological abilities do not grant one of them a higher status than the other. Rather, this differentiation is conditional upon the person's ability to perform specific, vital, life duties that the other cannot perform. It is the natural tendency that Allah has instilled in mankind, even between men alone and women alone.
Women, with their emotion, softness, and femininity, are the source of stability and psychological and social tranquility for men and for the family. With her natural instinct and unlimited patience in bearing the hardships of pregnancy, labor, and motherhood, she looks after their children and cares for them by nursing them, raising them, and attending to all of their other affairs. On the other hand, men with their strength, continuous endurance and ability to perform hard work, are responsible for making a living, providing for the needs of the family, and looking after and protecting them.
Distribution of Responsibilities and Differentiation in Legal Status
In order to establish justice and arrive at the common good, the natural innate characteristics of men and women must be taken into consideration in the distribution of the responsibilities and duties that each of them performs in the situations wherein they are required. This necessarily leads to differentiation in the legal position of each sex, however, this differentiation is limited to the scope of these situations only.
The family is one of the most important arenas in which the differences, talents, and physical and psychological constitutions of each sex stand out.
Societal Welfare Is Achieved by Affirmation of the Innate Distinguishing Characteristics
Neither logic, nature, nor Shari'ah permit these differences and special characteristics to be neglected; to do so would be to demean the intrinsic nature and deny the natural phenomena that are physically manifested in reality and in practice, and which are known to all with certainty and empirical assurance.
At the same time, Shari'ah does not allow these distinguishing factors to be applied outside the scope of the cases wherein they are required by Shari'ah or testified to by innate nature. Doing so is a form of oppression against women and an infringement upon the Shari'ah rulings, which both cause great corruption and lead to a breakdown of society and values, threatening to destroy the society over the long run.
No social system has been mentioned in the Noble Qur'an with the same level of care and detail that has been allotted to the family in all of its affairs, as is found in detail in the Shari'ah rulings.
Section four: Marriage and the Family System
"Marriage in Islam" is defined as a strong Shari'ah bond between a man and a woman that is lasting and continuous, and is contracted with each party's full consent and acceptance according to the detailed Shari'ah rulings.
The Prohibition of Non-Shari'ah Sanctioned Unions
"Shari'ah sanctioned marriage" is the only means by which it is permissible for a man to be united with a woman, and it is the only basis for forming a family.
Islam has forbidden all other unions between men and women, even if they are falsely called marriage, and it has also forbidden all things that lead to such relationships.
The Development of the Manifestations of Marriage According to the Elevation of Man
Man's creation from a male and a female reveals the divine will in making marriage a human instinct, a social necessity and an essential system to form families and social bonds between families.
The manifestations and means of marriage developed according to the extent of man's elevation over the rest of the creation; becoming a means of purifying man's sexual, behavioral, and social attributes.
The Scope of the Family
In Islam, the family is not limited to the two spouses and their children. Instead, it extends to the wide network of relatives, which includes grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, and others who are connected by ties of consanguinity, affinity, or nursing, regardless of where they are. These ties extend until they include the entire society.
The Importance of the Family and the Imperativeness of Having a Family Leader
The family, as a human group consisting of a male and a female, is the cornerstone and the primary social unit of society and within it, the pillars of society and its structural components are represented. No matter how few or how great the number of its members, they are all connected by emotional, social, and financial relationships, and all family members are regulated by a system of rights and obligations. For this reason, leadership is essential to the smooth running of family affairs, and this leadership is the qiwaamah that has been entrusted to men. It is a position of administration that is subject to the rules and laws of Shari'ah in the Book of Allah [the Qur'an] and the Sunnah of His Messenger (may blessings and peace be upon him).
The Wisdom Behind the Prohibition of Marriage Between Family Members
Islam forbids men from marrying their female mahrams (those who are related by a certain degree of proximity of consanguinity, affinity, or nursing) due to the high position that these family ties occupy and due to Islam's great concern for protecting ties of kinship from being severed, and from causes of conflict and hatred.
Section Five: The Objectives of the Family
Preservation of Progeny (The Human Race)
According to Islamic Shari'ah, the primary objective of the family is preservation of progeny or the human race, to spread civilization on Earth, and to continue the succession of generations. Allah instilled sexual desire within the body as it is the natural means of Shari'ah legislated procreation, not that it is an aim in and of itself.
To achieve this purpose, Islam limited Shari'ah sanctioned to marriage to that which is between a male and a female, and it forbade all other forms of unions outside of Shari'ah sanctioned marriage. Likewise, homosexual relationships that do not lead to procreation are also prohibited and birth control is not allowed without the consent of both spouses.
Achieving Tranquility, Love, and Mercy
In order that the relationship between the spouses does not become limited to a purely sexual form, Shari'ah has indicated that the goals of this relationship include each spouse finding tranquility with the other, and achieving love and mercy between them.
For this reason Shari'ah guarantees each family member a satisfying and happy social life based on affection, love, mercy, and cooperation through the good times and the bad; a life that achieves stability, psychological tranquility, and mutual trust.
In order to achieve this goal, rulings, and manners were ordained to enable the spouses to live together on equitable terms, and to provide a family environment full of warmth, compassion, and exalted sentiments.
Attributing each person to his Shari'ah recognized roots, maintaining the purity of his lineage, and protecting it from becoming confused is a goal of Shari'ah that is independent from that of preservation of progeny.
In order to achieve this, Islam forbids sexual relations outside of marriage and prohibits adoption . Likewise it has ordained specific rulings, enforcing a waiting period for women after divorce or being widowed, prohibiting women from concealing what is in the womb, and defining the procedures for attributing lineage or refuting it, etc.
The Safeguard of Marriage
Shari'ah sanctioned marriage protects one's chastity , is a safeguard, protects one's honor, and blocks the paths that lead to sexual corruption by eradicating the anarchy of promiscuity and immorality.
Protecting Religious Adherence in the Family
The family is the nest for its members, not only by looking after them physically, but more importantly, by instilling within them religious and moral values. The family's responsibility for this begins even before the formation of the embryo, with the selection that each spouse makes in choosing his partner, the priority in this choice being given to the standard of religion and morals. This responsibility continues and includes teaching family members faith, worship, and morals, and training them to practice them. These issues should be monitored until the child reaches the age of guidance and independence in their religious and legal responsibility for their actions.
Chapter II The Muslim Community's Responsibility for the Formation and Protection of the Family General Concepts
Section One: The Muslim Community's Responsibility to Encourage Marriage
The Basis for This Responsibility
The responsibility of the Muslim community for its members is based on the principle of the connection between the whole and the relationship between an entity and its members. Thus, the Muslim community is made up of families that are connected and cohesive like a single body, rather than being composed of detached individuals; and this cannot take place except through marriage.
The Muslim community that is on the path of guidance concerns itself with establishing righteous plans and programs to encourage marriage - and to encourage it early on, out of concern for its development and strength, and to prevent immorality.
Facilitating Shari'ah Ordained Marriage
Islamic Shari'ah has made it incumbent upon the Muslim community to facilitate the means of Shari'ah sanctioned marriage and to remove any obstacles and difficulties that deter people from it. These include:
1. Solving material problems, particularly the problem of unemployment and the housing crisis, and offering material assistance to those desiring marriage.
2. Raising the Muslim community's awareness so that they realize the importance of marriage in Islam and the individual's right to get married.
3. Inviting and emphasizing Islamic behavior that is balanced by the Shari'ah regulations regarding the type of interaction between men and women that is permitted by Shari'ah. Such interaction should be in the middle, avoiding the extremes of extravagance and negligence or overly strict limitations and wanton liberty.
4. Avoiding the habits of setting of expensive dowries and wastefulness in marriage parties should be emphasized, and evil social customs in the arena of marriage should be opposed, taking all effective measures to put a stop to these trends.
Encouraging the Youth to Marry
Islamic Shari'ah encourages youth to get married early, to prevent the causes of moral and sexual deviance.
Section Two: The Muslim Community's Responsibility to Protect and Care for the Family
The Basis for this Responsibility
This responsibility is based on two pillars:
1. It achieves one of the aims of Shari'ah; Islam has ruled that the basic rule for marriage is continuity and permanence of the family and this is the completion of the obligation to encourage marriage, for marriage cannot meet the aims of Shari'ah unless it remains and is protected and cared for.
2. The Muslim community, when it protects the family from the forces of collapse and deterioration, it is at the same time protecting itself and its social and moral values.
The Balance Between Rights and Responsibilities
It is allowed to clearly and precisely define the stipulations of each spouse when filling out the marriage contract, taking care to maintain justice and balance between the rights and obligations of each party, according to the fundamentals and rulings of Shari'ah in order to protect the family life and its continuity.
Documenting the Marriage Contract
Officially documenting the marriage contract achieves a Shari'ah and social interest, preventing either spouse from denying the marital relationship and protecting the rights of the wife and children.
Witnessing and Announcing the Marriage Contract
Shari'ah stipulates that the marriage contract must be witnessed as a means of including the Muslim community in the building of the family, and to serve as a sign that differentiates between the permissible relationships between men and women and those that are impermissible. Also, the recommendation that the marriage be announced is a way of making the contract known and it is a social declaration that a new family has been formed.
Registering newborns with the responsible agency allows each child to be attributed to his Shari'ah recognized parents and guarantees the formation of a valid family with established affiliations of kinship. Registering newborns also establishes the individual's belonging to his society and country, and procures the society and country's respect for the rights of the individual.
Combating Relationships That Are not Sanctioned by Shari'ah
By protecting noble moral and social values and combating sexual relationships and unsanctioned so called forms of marriage, the Muslim community protects the family from breakdown, and achieves happiness and stability for it, so that it becomes a suitable nest for the new generation, in addition to being a source of encouragement for people to seek Shari'ah sanctioned marriage.
Confronting Deviant Ideas
The Muslim community must confront deviant ideas that debase the relationship between the man and the woman, lowering it to one of conflict and competition; a material partnership wherein each partner's gains are at the other's expense. Likewise, the Muslim community should spread awareness that the relationship between men and women is one of cooperation and mutual fulfillment.
Spreading Awareness of the Value of the Marriage Relationship and its Etiquettes
Spreading awareness of the value of the marital relationship in Islam and the fact that it is based on love, mercy, psychological security, bearing the burdens together, and consultation regarding affairs of marital life, protects the family from the causes of disagreement and division.
Section Three: The Means of Protecting the Family
Part I: The Religious Deterrent
Building the Family on Religious Principles
Building the family structure on the principles of religion and its fundamentals in each person's selection of a spouse provides a firm foundation for this structure and its continuity.
Shari'ah's Attention to the Marriage Contract
Due to the importance of the family in the building the society, Shari'ah places special importance on marriage, enveloping it in detailed regulations and conditions that are stricter and greater in number than those of any other contracts.
Abhorrence of Divorce and Limiting the Causes of Dissolution of Marriage
Shari'ah strives to curb the causes that lead to dissolution of marriage and encourages people to hate it so that they are repelled by it. It also encourages each of the spouses to jealously guard the family structure with the greatest possible degree of patience and forbearance.
Also, in order to solve conflict between the spouses, Shari'ah has imposed numerous mechanisms to prevent any rush to separation.
The Importance of Offspring to the Stability of the Marriage
Islamic Shari'ah considers offspring to be one of the most important aims of marriage and the existence of offspring is an incentive for the spouses to avoid seeking dissolution of the marital bond.
Listening to One's Conscience and Being Aware That Allah is Watching
Unlike the social and governmental deterrents, the religious deterrent has a great effect on the human conscience. The awareness that Allah is constantly watching him and that reward and punishment await him in the Hereafter prevent him from severing the ties of marriage or oppressing women. This is something that cannot be accomplished by practical measures or in situations to which others are not privy.
Part II: The Social Deterrent
Society's Effect on the Family
The family is a part of society, and inevitably it is affected by the regulations and moral values that are prevalent in that society.
The Effect of Habits and Customs on Marriage Procedures
The family relationships that precede and give birth to marriage, the preludes to marriage, the standards of compatibility between the spouses, and the means of successful marital life are affected by the prevalent customs and culture of the society. Thus, they must be formed according to Islamic social regulations and values.
In-Laws' Involvement in the Marriage
The in-laws should be involved in the marriage to the extent that is required by the customs of the social situation. This involvement should be limited as much as possible, according to the Shari'ah regulations, while at the same time spreading adherence to Islamic values and morals to promote the relationship between each of the spouses and the other spouse's family.
Neighbors and the Extent of Their Effect
The social relationships between neighboring families are governed by prevalent social principles, and neighbors play an active role in creating family problems as well as in solving them. Thus, building relationship with neighbors on based on Islamic principles and values helps to protect the family and hold it together.
Social Takaaful (Solidarity) in the Family
Social takaaful between family members plays a principal role in its cohesion and continuity.
The Importance of Local Institutions
Local institutions play an active role in family affairs, and this role extends to include institutions that:
1. Encourage and facilitate marriage.
2. Make people aware of the Shari'ah rulings that pertain to the family and the social and psychological studies related to it.
3. Provide care for mothers, children, the elderly, wives involved in marital conflicts, and youth who have problems with their parents that cannot be solved within the family.
4. Hold meetings for reconciliation between family members.
5. The role of nurseries, schools, the media, and mosques represents the external training that shapes family members within their psyche. Thus, they should be given special attention and be enabled to perform their correct pedagogical roles that are in accordance with the principles of Islam.
Part III: The Governmental Deterrent
The Standard of Success for Legal Legislation
The standard of success of the legal legislation that regulates marital relationships is judged by its success in solving marital problems and its ability to establish justice and maintain balance between the rights and responsibilities of each spouse within the framework of the Islamic Shari'ah rulings.
Facilitating Arbitration and Resolving Disagreements
It is the government's duty to facilitate the means of litigation and the issuance of a quick verdict in marital conflicts. Execution of the verdicts in an appropriate and dignified manner as soon as they are issued should be guaranteed. Also, care should be taken to maintain good relationships between the families involved and to prevent any harm to the children.
The Government's Responsibility for Successful Family Cohesion
The Government's responsibilities include:
1. Establishing various types of social insurance systems.
2. Conducting intense monitoring of the media and prohibiting the media from presenting bad examples that discourage the youth from thinking about marriage and encourage corruption and immorality, which ultimately lead to the dissolution of the family and its collapse.
3. To see that the educational curriculum that is taught at different levels includes the level-appropriate scientific information that is necessary to prepare each student to form a successful family according to Shari'ah regulations.
Chapter III: Between the Husband and Wife
Section One: Preludes to Marriage
The Definition of Engagement
"Engagement" is when a man expresses his desire to marry a woman and it is accepted by the woman and her guardian, with a mutual promise to finalize the marriage contract in the future.
The Ramifications of Engagement
Engagement is neither marriage nor is it a quasi-marriage. It is nothing more than a mutual promise of marriage between a man and a woman that does not establish any rights or make any prohibited actions permissible. The only thing that is permitted between the two people is to look at each other at the time of the proposal so that they may make sure that they are content with the other person, and during the engagement, the woman remains completely unrelated to the man in all aspects until the marriage contract is executed.
The Impermissibility of Proposing to a Woman Who is Already Engaged
According to Shari'ah it is not permissible for a man to propose to a woman who is engaged to someone else, and it is not permissible for him to try to convince her or her family to break the engagement so that he can propose to her himself.
It is Forbidden to Propose to Women Who Are Mahrams 
It is not permissible for a man to propose to a woman to whom marriage is permanently prohibited due the proximity of their relationship by consanguinity, affinity, or nursing. Likewise, it is not permissible for him to propose to a woman with whom marriage is temporarily prohibited until the cause of the prohibition no longer ex