during the pre-islamic era, the woman used to have no right in choosing her husband. in the islam laws, however, the woman has the freedom of choosing her husband. the imam al bukhari included in his book : “the father or anyone else does not have the right to force his daughter-whether virgin, widow or divorced- to marry without their consent”. he enclosed a hadith by abu huraira saying that the prophet (peace be upon him) said: “the woman who used to be married before has the right to marry by herself whereas the virgin must be asked for permission.” they said; “messenger of allah, how does she shows her consent?” he said (peace be upon him): “by her silence.”
on this same topic the french researcher atein dineih says: ” thanks to the prophet’s (peace be upon him) wise legislations, the marriageable girl is consulted before her marriage and the dowry is no longer given to her father rather to the bride herself. the enemies of islam have described this wise sunnah as “buying the woman”. i guess they haven’t heard about the answer muslims can provide. the dowry in some arab countries is paid by the bride’s father to the husband. moreover, the muslim man is charged with providing all the house necessities while he has no right to spend his wife’s money. further, the prophet (peace be upon him) said that the wife has the right to demand divorce if the man didn’t fulfil his marital duties, which is another right for the woman that enables her to start a new marriage life with more harmony and success.
besides to the marriage rights such as the right of dowry, the right of expenditure and the right of asking for divorce, islam states that the husband is in charge of his wife’s expenditures and is required to treat her well. once someone asked the prophet (peace be upon him): “messenger of allah, what are the wife’s rights upon her husband?” he replied: “to feed her when he eats, to provide her clothes as he does for himself. never slap her on the face or insult her, and never abandon her except at home.”