In his weekly program on the Egyptian satellite channel, Prof. Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, underscored the role of the family in fulfilling the Divine Objective of man's being the vicegerent of Allah on earth, adding that any tampering with it is violation to that indispensable Divine Objective. That is why, Al-Tayeb stresses, family in Islam is considered a sacred religious covenant resulting in due rights and obligations on both the husband and the wife alike.
The Grand Imam meanwhile pointed out that family, like any other human gathering, needs a leader, and man in this case is the one most worthy to carry out these complex responsibilities, stressing that the calls for full gender equality spread recently in the West destroy families and cannot be applied, because all human gatherings, let alone bird and animal flocks, need leaders as difference of opinion is inevitable in case of plurality. Accordingly, in case of disagreement, full equality means but conflict and destruction, which is why there should be a leader to shoulder the responsibility at times of disagreement and crises. In truth, this is applied in small enterprises and countries alike.
Yet, the Grand Imam confirms, Islam does not obligate man to shoulder the responsibility of family leadership alone, but he should consult his wife and seek her advice. Nonetheless, he is the one entitled to take the final decision, which is the true meaning of al-Quwamah in Allah's Saying "Men are Qawwamun over women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. " (The Quran, 4:34)
The Grand Imam pointed out that family is based on integration of roles; women are more passionate so that it would be easier for them to raise children and take care of household affairs, whereas men are more able to endure hardships of work so that they would be able to support family, afford financial costs, etc.