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January 5, 2011 / Man in the Mirror

A Married Woman’s Last Name

In almost all societies the trend is that when a woman gets married she has to take her husband’s last name. If she is fortunate or unfortunate enough not to have many official documents in her name, this is an easy task. If she does have a lot of paperwork in her maiden name, it becomes a bit of a nuisance to officially change her name for each and every document.
Most women happily change their last names as they want to show their husband his family that she has become a part of their lives. It also helps when the couple have children, it would be hard to constantly prove guardianship if the child and the mother have two last names.
But what most people don’t know is that in Islam a woman is not compelled to change her last name. Contrary to the bad reputation Islam has received regarding women’s rights, the religion actually promotes that the woman’s identity is never lost. She can always be known by one name, regardless of her marital status. The concept of acquiring the male’s name is a cultural rite in which the male displays ownership of his partner. But Islam does not promote ownership between a man and a woman, it is a partnership. It is a union of respect, love and harmony.
If women change their last names, they can easily face issues of inheritance, ownership of property or business and even wipe out the link to their parentage.

I shall be starting a series of posts on the relationship and rights between husband and wives…I just learnt the above fact a few days ago and I thought it was quite interesting.

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