25th Zul-Hijjah, 1435 Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem
Assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barkaatuh brothers and sisters in Islam. I hope and pray that you are in the best state of increasing eemaan. Alhamdulillaah always. Today, I wish I could make my article a lot shorter than usual but it doesn’t look like it would be so. My target group for this article is mainly my Muslim brothers and fathers and so I am really wondering;
‘Will they read?’
Yes, too many of us Muslims; the males and the females, are just extremely lazy at reading anything the worse of it, even Al-Qur’an. All the same, I just hope again that my target group will find the need to listen to and consider my point of view. Some are my loyal readers already, alhamdulillaah (smile to jannah).
My Motivator for this Article
One of Sheikh Ahmed Nazir of Kumasi’s status on facebook today says and I quote verbatim;
‘Where are the soft hearted people of Allah to rescue some young ladies from sex exploitation and slavery? Get in touch with me to see the best way to rescue less deprived future mothers of our nation. SUBHAANALLAAH!’
Ok…that set my mind whirling as usual. Many thoughts about the state of our women, future mothers as he would put it, came running through my mind. So, I asked myself;
‘This is a man trying his best to take care of the affairs of women, how about me and all the other women?’
Then the thought of an article came to mind…and there are many other means to deal with it…hoping to grab them all in shaa Allah.
The Responsibility of the Muslim Man
Allah azza wa jal says and clearly too that;
‘Men are the protectors and maintainers of women…’
(Surah An-Nisa, the Women, Chapter 4 ayah 34)
So, all that I will be saying in this article is to draw the minds of my brothers back to this responsibility in shaa Allah as a reminder.
Allah azza wa jal who always knows best did not only say that husbands are the protectors and maintainers of their wives but He, jalla jalaaluhu, generalized it by putting it as He did; ‘men’ ‘women’. So, for every believing Muslim man, you have to understand that it is your responsibility to protect and maintain the women around you….’well…I am now thinking at the maintaining aspect; are you going to feed and clothe all the women?...Challey! (smile to Jannah).
Protecting the Women
Allah, Robbil ‘Arshil ‘Azeem, knows best why He brought the issue of protecting the woman before maintaining her. There are many ways in which a woman could be protected and the essence of her protection is so that her human dignity and self-esteem is ensured.
Our noble Rasuulullaah, the peace and blessings of Allah azza wa jal be upon him is the most perfect example of a protector and maintainer of women. So I do the #LEANSEERAHCAMPAIGN on facebook so that our brothers and sisters will go back to Islamic history to see how the Prophet suallallaahu alayhi wa sallam and his beloved companions radiyallaahu anhum lived together with the women in their lives and the women around them. They protected and maintained them in every aspect of the words.
Once a woman’s ‘hijab’ was tempered with by some Jews, the Prophet, the most awesome of humans, called for war against them though he later declined. During the night vigils of the man whom I prefer to call; ‘taqwa walking,’ al-Ameer-al-Mu’mineen, Umar ibn al-Khattab radiyallaahu anhu, most of the people whom he helped were women. Women missing their husbands and reciting not-so-good poetry, he solves the problem. Women struggling to feed their children, he solves the problem. A good girl who prevents her mum from being disobedient, he rewards her. And the stories are endless. The question therefore is;
‘What are our especially Allah conscious men of today doing about the sad state of the Muslimah? Do these men not want to be like the amazing men of old?’
It is rather unfortunate and unpleasant to say even that some of these men are the very men who put our Muslim ladies in these sad states. Oh yes! It is the truth.
My story with Dr Zakir Naik goes far back to when I completed Senior High School. I read most of his lectures which are typed by a software. Later I had many of his DVDs and I watched them and I could say that; that was where the da’ee feel and passion started. Alhamdulillaah for this awesome man. His programme at the Jubilee Park in Kumasi couldn’t come on and Muslim ladies and gentlemen are standing by the road side struggling to get a car home and to school. It is very late, we are wet and cold. I was trying to help a sister get a car then our Muslim gentlemen are fighting over seats in the cars that come with their Muslim sisters.
Well, I was bored. I could not believe that young men who had come to celebrate a respecter of women, Dr Naik, could do this. Why wouldn’t they try to get their sisters who were a lot more fragile into the cars and to safety before they thought of themselves? And that is how bad the protecting of women have become.
Another example is;
I happened to spoil my usual dawn’s peace by going on facebook and the first thing I saw was a post by someone I knew who was talking about a respectable man who was playing games with one girl. Eventually the girl had complained and shown proves to her claim to them and they were trying to do something about it.
I was shaken to the core and so I was curious. Then this guy (he is family) called me at that same time to give me news that I wished and still wish was not true. The story is that of a respectable man who breaks a girl’s virginity in his car and continues to use her as he wants just because she needed his financial help. If this will not let you sad or cry, then what kind of heart do you have? So the issue of financial help leads us to maintenance.
Maintaining the Woman
Another bitter truth that seems difficult for us to say is the issue of the irresponsible nature of some of our fathers. Too many young ladies and guys have to fend for themselves because even with their fathers, it is the mothers who are working hard to maintain them. That is not because some of these fathers are unable to work but they are simply lazy and where they do, they don’t use their money for their homes but for other things. May Allah azza wa jal change them for the better. Aameen.
At the end of the day, a girl who does not get her provisions from home seeks it elsewhere and mostly, the elsewhere is what leads her to become a victim of sexual molestation by the men who are unable to control their sexual urges. They have and are ready to give to such girls what their families are failing to give them of mostly their basic needs in exchange for the girl’s dignity and honour.
The Shades of Muslim Men
I know quite a number of Muslim men who respect themselves so much and fear Allah azza wa jal enough not to stoop low to their ill desires. They fight it with all the strengths they could gather. To them I pray that Allah azza wa jal increase them in taqwa and help them in lowering their gaze all the time no matter the magnitude of the temptations to do otherwise.
There are also the men who do not care. For them, when they feel these ill desires, all they do is to work hard to satisfy these ill desires. The interesting thing is that there are always the Muslim ladies who are ready to be used in this regard so they have no problem. For these men I pray that Allah azza wa jal softens their hearts towards His consciousness so that they will put a stop to this evil.
What Men Must Know
The fact that you are striving hard to keep your linkage with Allah azza wa jal clean and free from zina (fornication, adultery) does not mean that you can trust yourself with any woman, religious or not. Most of the time, a religious person is a bit comfortable when he is with another religious person because there is this little hope that the other will not bring up any evil thoughts. Funny! Yes! Very funny! Shaitaan is that extremely tricky. He leads us on gradually and let us soften our barriers (the physical and virtual ones) so that he could now come in smoothly. Ponder! It is the truth. So, we must always be on the alert whiles keeping in mind that it is probably not the other person who will make us do the bad thing but we ourselves might suddenly miss a point. Besides, are we not told that Shaitaan is the third of a man and a woman alone?
Men, the believing ones, must know that they might try hard not to be immoral with a woman, but she could suddenly lead them that way. It has happened before, it is happening and it will happen. So, there has to be both the inward caution of the self and the outward caution of the other person.
Do Not Near It
Allah azza wa jal did not only say that we should not commit zina, but He says that;
‘And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.’
(Surat Al-‘Isra’, the Night Journey, Chapter 17 ayah 32)
How many people were able to save themselves from the zina itself after they got themselves near to it? You and I could count them on our fingers, they are that few. The stories of men such as the one who had stopped himself from committing zina with a pious woman due to her incessant plea and calling upon Allah azza wa jal as a witness is that few. Mostly, the moment you get yourself near it, the probability of you doing it, is above 50% (my own analysis).
Yet I see too many of us getting nearer and nearer zina against the command of our Creator and Provider. I will want to stick to the religious ones among us. We look at nearing zina as something so far away like watching nude women, pornography, clubbing, listening to profane music, etc. So we try hard to avoid those things. But we never look close enough to the zina that is near, right under our noses.
Young men and women are doing the small talks in the name of teaching one another about Allah azza wa jal. It is amazing how a Muslim man and a Muslim woman who have not even expressed marital interest towards one another not to talk of making it halal, could talk so softly with one another for hours in the name of doing da’awah to each other or whatever. That is a thing that each Muslim man and woman must fight against for real.
Let us talk about the case of the opposite sex best friends. Subhaanallaah! I am mostly amazed when I hear a Muslimah, a seriously practising one, say;
‘As for me, my best friend is a guy or I don’t like female friends, I prefer male friends rather.’
For whatever reason that is so, I believe that should not be the case at all. The same goes to the Muslim man. Why on earth will you choose a female whom you could marry as a best friend when you are not planning to marry her and she is not planning to marry you? Even when you are planning to marry her, then just do it. It didn’t happen during the Prophet and his companion’s time. It should not happen now. Because then we will be missing the point on modesty.
I have always believed that if someone is not your wife or husband and marriage is possible between you and him, you have the duty to keep the person at a reasonable distance because Allah azza wa jal says so. If there is the interest of marriage between you and the person, then say it and do it. And my policy now as I have come to learn is;
‘You are either married, about to marry or single.’
Anything doesn’t work because those are times when Shaitaan could make use of you quick and fast.
Is Segregation the Solution?
We could as well put this question as;
‘Was segregation of males and females the solution during the Prophet and his Companion’s time?’
I see from the little Islamic history that I read, the male and female companions of rasuulullaahi suallallaahu alayhi wa sallam doing some things together to foster the growth of Islam. The women talked to the men with respect and honour. They didn’t just mingle unnecessarily except for a purpose. Where they were together, even in the Masjid, they played by the rules. They had a sense of shyness for the opposite sex.
Today, especially with Muslims in Ghana, we have a challenge in our schools, work places and communities which does not make our segregation possible and even advisable. Imagine if all the Muslim men in our tertiary institutions decided not to deal with the Muslim women; that will be a big blow to us as Muslims because in working together as Muslims, we learn from one another and we encourage one another towards that which is good. Our togetherness, due to our small numbers compared to the others, is a source of strength for us.
For example, I work in a male populated Islamic foundation. I prefer this to working in any non-Muslim place where they would not care to mix us up and watch the males and females do what they always do; hugs, pegs, the bad talks and all. Even when you are treated with respect, seeing these things break the heart. I would prefer this to working in an all non-Muslim ladies place because then my deen is at stake and the breaking of heart is still there due to what I would see.
To be a lot more practical, working with mostly men, believing men that is, has helped me to build on myself a lot more. I have learnt to be a lot more humble, committed to the service of Allah azza wa jal, complain less, and give off my best and of course, there is always the physical and the virtual barrier (hijab) even when the extreme case of being alone with a man happens.
So, segregation isn’t the actual solution but the training of the hearts, minds and brains to be inclined towards Allah azza wa jal solely.
The Virtual and Physical Barrier
Religious Muslim ladies of today are getting obsessed about the physical hijab and niqab even. It is a good thing, no doubt. But the problem is, our whole minds are that the moment we put on our overall physical apparel, we are good to go. Then we are top Muslimahs.
What we must know is that; our overall dresses are only a physical cover and a greater deal of the whole hayaa-hijab concept lies in our attitude and how we relate with the men with whom our marriage is permissible.
The manner in which we talk to them and the content of our talks, our dealings with them on a personal level, etc. That is as important. From my dealings with varieties of Muslim sisters, something that I have learnt to do over time fiisabilillaah, I think;
‘That is something Muslim ladies must really work on.’
What men have to note however is that a woman could try her best to do all she can by building both the physical and the virtual barrier and you might still find her attractive, that shows that it is time for you to do the remaining 50% of the hayaa-hijab job, lower your gaze and make du’a that Allah azza wa jal takes the attraction out of your heart…if you cannot make her your wife.
Muslim men must note that it is not every Muslimah who could or cares about building the physical barrier not to talk of the virtual one and so for such Muslim women, he needs to put a lot more caution when he is dealing with them. He should not trust in his eemaan too much. That is how the whole immoral thing starts actually.
The Respectable Muslim Man
It is truth that a Muslim man who is able to contain his ill desires by lowering his gaze and making efforts to stop himself from going after sexual satisfaction illegally with the help of Allah azza wa jal is respectable both in the sight of Allah azza wa jal and of humans.
If it is possible for you to marry a woman you desire, do so instead of any illegal things, that is respectable and it will preserve your dignity and honour both in this Dunya and the Akhira. Where you cannot marry the person, then you need to keep an appreciable distance. That is respectable and it saves both you and the person.
There is so much to do on this issue of the dignity and honour of ‘our future mothers’ being dragged into the bin. As a man, the best you can do is to make sure you are not contributing to do this whilst we deal with the women as well.
It is true that some women will do anything to get at some men and unfortunately some men fall for it but a man should be able to handle even such women with care all in the name of protecting her fiisabilillaah. If men will do this, I believe the life of the Muslimah will be better off. Even the Muslimah who is ready to play games will not have the Muslim man to do that with.
Enough of all that. Let me leave you to ponder on this and many more that I have not written. You must know that the essence of this writing is solely so we could correct a wrong in our communities. The Prophet Mohammed suallallaahu alayhi wa sallam said that;
"If one of you sees something wrong, let him change it with his hand; if he cannot, then with his tongue; if he cannot, then with his heart and this is the weakest faith."
I have a fragile body, no strength so I could use my tongue…(smile to jannah). May Allah azza wa jal increase all those who have taqwa in it and grant taqwa to those of us who do not have it. Aameen. May Allah azza wa jal always accept our every effort to please Him solely and save us from riyaa. Aameen. And as I say always say, I love you for the sake of Allah azza wa jal solely, and I pray that He grants us His Shade and Nuur on that Day of Reckoning. Aameen.
Jazaakumullaahu khairan always!!!
Islam forever in shaa Allah!!!
Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullaah!!!
Rubaba Mmahajia Rahma Sabtiu