In islam, a woman is allowed to stipulate conditions in her marriage-contract. All conditions are allowed as long as they aren’t contradictory to islam. Conditions in the marriage-contract must be adhered to, so it’s vital to get your contract right, since these are practically the only rights a muslim woman has.
Here is a list of conditions I believe every muslim woman, or woman marrying a muslim man, must have in her contract. My list is only a start. With your help, I hope we can compile a comprehensive list that women can copy and actually use, in order to protect themselves and their rights. If you leave comments, I will add your suggestions to the list!
1. I must have the right to divorce at any time, no matter what my reasons are. When asked, my husband must offer me talaq – I shall not have to resort to khul.
2. If my husband should choose to become polygamous, he must offer me talaq. If I accept, a maintenance large enough to sustain our children must be added to my mahr. Our children must be allowed to stay with me. My children should never be forced to live under the same roof as a second or third wife. If I remarry, I must be allowed joint custody and equal time with the children. Child maintenance must be paid until the children are 18, even if I choose to remarry.
3. If my husband should become polygamous and I choose to stay in the marriage, he must pay for a full time nanny at all times when he is spending time with his other family. He must also pay for a luxury vacation for me and a friend every time he takes another wife on vacation so I can choose where and how to spend such times. He must also supply me with two independent clean bills of health for the wife to be. These are to be updated every year.
4. If my husband were to choose polygamy and I choose to stay with him, he must grant me the right to make all decisions concerning living arrangements, based on what expenses he deems to be reasonable.
5. I must be allowed to work and or study, should I want.
6. One of the main reasons to get married is to have a healthy outlet for sexual needs. My husband must make sure my sexual needs are fulfilled whenever I require, no matter if he is polygamous or not. How to manage that is his problem, not mine. To initiate sex is a man’s right in islam. But to be sexually satisfied is a woman’s islamic right. So I grant that my husband has a right to sex when it is islamically doable, but if it is his right to initiate sex, it is my right to say when it’s over, and I am fully satisfied.
7. My husband must grant permission for me to receive any visitors I like, during his absence.