Is our community failing drastically?

While the economic and social conditions are changing and many women have to strive to make a living, many scholars of Islam are still saying that Muslims should copy the models of people who lived centuries ago.
They have to be dressed exactly with the same outfits as women were doing several centuries ago and they must wear only black clothes which represent their uniform!!! They should not drive and they should not work!!!
Each generation its own challenge and its own fitnah. Our community is now facing dire problems and it seems while a few are trying to workout some of these problems, others are criticising. Many men and women are full of negative criticism. They know how to criticize but they do not know how to communicate; they know how to destroy but they do not know how to construct; they know how to condemn but they do not know how to praise and encourage. They know how to copy the past but they do not know how to respond to reality.
This is the society we are living in and many reverts are learning from them!!! it means that when they embrace Islam, they also learn the diseases of the community. They lose their good manners, their past awareness and become a cultural Muslim. This is sad because our community needs different people who can assist with management, good manners, communication and societal empowerment. Our community does not need photocopy, people who imitate others, imitate their teachers while the teachers, even in nodding the head, talking or using the same expressions!!! These kinds of things, we must say : “STOP!!!!”
Issue of driving cars 
I remember once a woman whose husband suddenly died [having no children] and was driving her car to take her Saturday Deen lesson, the scholar [not aware that the lady was now a widow] was angry about those women who drive cars.
He was lecturing behind a pardah and the women were all sitting and listening to him. So, the women were quite upset and disturbed. One asked him: “who should drive them?” The teacher said: “Your husband only !!!” the widowed lady replied: ” what if her husband is dead?” He replied: “Her son?” the lady asked again: “and what if she has no son?” He replied: “She should take the bus!” and the crowd of ladies was angry, there was an uproar and they said: ” Do you know what taking bus mean? We have to travel so far, getting into the bus with our long dresses which is very difficult and the males want us purposely to sit in the middle, as if guarded by two men and we in the middle, touching us as if unintentionally, making us feel that we have entered the worst place ever, and if we happen to sit at the back, our situation is even worst”
 
And the scholar kept silent…..
People think they can learn for 5 years, even 10 years the Deen of Allah; they are still ignorant as we all do!! learning the set up, the sociological aspect of the country is important to give credible advice and to assist people in their reality.
The issue of marrying a woman because she needs financial support and moral support
Many women need help but who tell you, O men, that they want to marry you?
Once a divorced revert woman needed some financial support for the loan of her house. She has some thirty years old with an under aged son. She went to the masjid to apply for help. A married man of some sixty years old, still robust for his age, heard this and proposed to help the woman….he asked her for nikah. The woman said she was not interested in marriage but she needed ONLY some help. But the man insisted for a nikkah to get this help. And this man is married with children.
Once a widow  who looks young in her forties with a charming face said to me:
“You know I will never seek help from any man in our community. It is a shame!!! Once I needed Rs 5000 and I asked help in my community; a man who is supposed to be pious, said to me: no problem I can help you but I need to come to your place this evening!” And the widow said that she understood that his intention was not good, and she refused and the man did not support him.
There are many cases like this where men believe that women MUST marry, if they refuse, they say: “It is a fitnah, you must marry, you do not have the right to refuse!” And when these women say: “Ok, if it is fitnah, I accept to marry but please do not sexually harrass me as I am not prepared to enter in such relationship as i still love my dead husband” So the men said: Sorry, I cannot help you!”
Does help equates sexual relationship in some people mind? It means this perspective does not stand upon justice and fairness towards each and everyone. 
Conclusion 
Why do many men think that helping and supporting a woman need to be done through nikkah? Why do some men pressure women for nikkah? If you have a good intention and you want to help your sisters in need in the community, you can do so through a community welfare centre, through a jamaah where women responsible in this community will provide the money to those women. There is no need for men to personally get involved with helping these women if these women are NOT part of your mahram. This creates unnecessary problems and can involve more fitnah because staying alone with a non Mahram will end up with shaytan whispering to you. While at the beginning you had no sexual intention against her, you will end up with illusion and you will try to justify your attitude by verses of the Quran and hadith!!!! Be well aware that the Tempter is indeed a liar and his mission is to take you out of your comfort, out of your peace by giving you advice that you may think wise but the outcome can be disastrous for you and your family.
You cannot force a woman to marry you because she is asking for financial support. This is called tyranny and this is called passion. You want this woman for you and if you marry her, you can help her and if you cannot have the woman, you cannot help. This is an egoistic approach.
You can only marry a woman if the woman WANTS to marry you and is interested in you.
Da’ees nowadays are inviting for second marriage to safeguard the community. They say women are many and men few
Asking other men to marry women who are in difficulties or to tell them they will learn Arabic with these women, is only a perspective. In marriage, two perspectives must meet – the male and the female perspective. While you are marrying with a perspective in mind, make sure if the woman spouses your idea!!! A woman is not a puppet nor a doll, even though she may look so attractive to your eyes. She is a human being as any human being. She has weaknesses as well as qualities. She has her own point of view. While you may want to marry her with the objective of learning Arabic, she may not be prepared to teach you because she wants to learn your language rather!!! While you may want to marry her because she is knowledgeable, you may be too weak in the Deen to converse with her and this may end up with clashes!!! While you may want to save her from a country which is in war, she may not adapt to your culture and to your family very soon!!! While da’ees are pressuring and inviting men to marry a second time, there are many men who are not interested to do that and this is their right!!!
Consulting women and children before taking a decision
A woman has all her right to refuse you. She has her own choice. She has the right to choose a man according to her own criteria. Moreover, if you want to have a second wife, you need to discuss it thoroughly with your first wife and children. This is fairness. Consultation has been mentioned in Surah The consultation and those who consult each other in their affairs, are indeed successful. It is not an islamic way to do things in secret and to betray your loved ones: your wife who supports you everyday, who cooks your food, cares for you when you are sick and your children who think good of you. When they hear that you have lied to them or you have kept secret such vital things, they will hate you for the rest of your life, they will backbite you or they will feel the hurt but will not say anything in front of you. Your children’s balance rests upon your right and correct attitude towards their mother and themselves.
Islam is based on mercy. What Allah has not imposed on you, do not  make it a burden on you and on your family. Do not burden and tyrannize  those who need you. Make them pleased with you so that they will make dua for you and when you die they continue to support you with duas. But if you enforce laws upon them which are not compulsory and they cannot accept it, then their frustration can be a cause of your failures.
Allah has never forced anyone to marry a second time. If you are looking for a second wife, you need to see the pros and cons of this future union. You must be ready to work out two households and also two different characters and be able to manage your time between two families. You need to adapt yourself that you will no longer stay in ONE HOUSE but in TWO HOUSES with two different women who have themselves their own thoughts, their own ideals, their own habits, their own qualities, their own physical weakness [if ever], their own fears, distress, hope and ambition. You need to adapt to two different types of food, two different ways of looking at life, of raising children….you need to consider all these
You need to see the environment in which you are living. How far can you implement this in your society? You will have to discuss it with your children. Do not build a masjid and destroy another one. Allah has never burdened anyone with a second marriage. The prophet [peace be upon him] has come to spread tawheed the oneness of God. he has not come to enforce a second marriage.
While some scholars and da’ees are enforcing polygamy in their society, telling you that there are many women who are single, women are more than men….what they are not telling you is that there are a big number of men who are single, not married, either not interested in marriage, or the dowry asked by women is too huge….or they simply do not know how to meet single women, divorced women and widowed women. They are not telling you that the jama’ah must be better organised and Muslims should know each other better so that when a single, divorced or widowed woman is looking for marriage, this can be known within the jama’ah. Moreover, parents must educate themselves and educate their children that a single man can marry a widow, a divorcee or a woman older that them. This will lessen many problems in the community.
Parents must stop pressuring their sons about marrying a girl with white complexion or a girl having social status, working and career lady or a girl having financial means. Too much business is not needed in marriage, if really you say, you do not want to be alone!!!
O men do not think that all women are silly, uneducated and weak. It will be a terrible fitnah to believe this. Allah has created women to support their husbands morally, physically and spiritually. Do not impose on women things that which were imposed upon you, you would never been able to handle yourself!!!
When you impose difficult laws on your wife, you kill her beauty and her ability to develop spiritually and mentally. Then after some time, you will be the one to be fed up with her and you will want another woman. Why? Because in a house, she has become you and she is no more herself!!! Do not kill the personality of others. Do not try to change others. The real change occurs through awareness and insight while you learn and study. Study is not simply sitting and listening to a sheikh or a’lim; there are many activities that a woman can do to participate for her own growth and inner development
Feel free to exchange your thoughts
Sister Ammaara
 
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