That Man and Woman Talk

Please note that ‘this’ is generally not my forte. I believe that ‘secular feminism’ is an ideology designed to send women astray: *public, indiscriminate* sexual expression; promoting the idea that a woman can only ‘own’ her body if she exposes it every chance she gets. How will women get taken seriously if they use their bodies as tools in order to get ahead? If a man feels no need to show off ripped muscles at a board meeting, why on earth should my body be on display for all sorts of perverts to gawk at? (but then, that’s a story for another day). I agree with being ambitious and financially independent (or having the capacity to be), though. The Holy Qur’an says that ‘Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means.’ (4:34) In Islam, I get to keep my earnings and don’t have to spend a penny if I don’t want to. It is my husband’s duty to provide my needs. I have highlighted this particular portion of the quoted verse in response to those who claim that the inheritance law (which states that a male child receives double the share of a female) is unfair to women. Really, how could this proclamation be unfair when women (daughters, wives, or mothers) had NO inheritance rights in the Pre-Islamic period? In some parts of present-day Nigeria, women still cannot inherit from their fathers. In all fairness, if all a woman is required to do in Islam is pay Zakat on her wealth, how is this law unfair? It is the duty of the man to ‘spend from his means’ in order to provide the woman’s needs. He has a wife to maintain, she gets to keep her money; surely, giving him double her share is not a great injustice now, or is it? Also, in some parts of the country, the evil tradition of automatically inheriting women is still being practiced. In Islam, it is totally forbidden to inherit a woman against her will! (4:19) The Prophet (PBUH) said that paradise lies at the mother’s feet. When asked ‘who has rights over the man?’ he answered ‘his mother!’ I once wrote about women in Islam, and one of the issues I addressed was physical punishment (i.e beating). In Islam, if you must beat your wife, you must do so in such a way that it would leave NO mark on her body (i.e with a very thin bundle of%20grass, and you must have made your displeasure manifest through other means first); any man who transgresses this provision is not following Islamic guidelines. The way many women are treated in Islamic societies leaves a lot to be desired, but one thing is certain; a sick man is a sick man, Muslim or not. In the (civilized, liberated) West, there are extremely frequent cases of domestic violence. On the issue of honour killings which are rather commonplace in some Muslim societies, the Qur’an says ‘Indeed, lost are they who have killed their children, foolishly, without knowledge, and have%20forbidden that which Allah has provided for them, inventing a lie against Allah. They have indeed gone astray and are not guided’ (6:140) Furthermore, the Quran says ‘And when the female buried alive, shall be questioned. For what sin, was she killed?’ (81:8-9) The Quran even addresses the issue of rejoicing at the birth of a male child and being saddened by the birth of a daughter; ‘When news is brought to one of them of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief. With shame does he hide himself from%20his people, because of the bad news he has had. Shall he keep her with dishonor or bury her in the earth? Certainly, evil is their decision.’ (16:58-59) Killing a female (and/or a male) child is deemed evil in Islam. On the issue of polygamy (which is where most men get it wrong), the instruction is ‘marry…..two or three or four, but if you fear that you will not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one…’ (4:3). Now, while I do not wish to ever have to share my husband, I believe totally in God’s Will. If it is my destiny, I cannot escape it, all I can do is pray for a husband who will love and cherish me and treat me like a true Muslim man should treat a woman. This brings me to the second part of this ‘essay’; how should a Muslim man treat his wife? Khadijah (RA) was a renowned businesswoman. She was industrious, hardworking, and the Prophet (SAW) NEVER prohibited her from working. The romance between Aisha (RA) and Nabiyy (SAW) is well-documented, and even I blush from reading a number of Hadiths, wishing endlessly and hoping for a man who would fill my life with joy the way Nabiyy (SAW) did hers. If the Prophet of Allah%20(SAW) was loving enough to help with house chores, if he was romantic enough to let his wife wash and comb his hair, if he was kind and considerate enough to tell men not to be harsh with their wives, then why would any ‘Muslim’ man treat his wife (or wives) like filth? Nabiyy (SAW), who received the Quran, who relayed the instruction that ‘men are the maintainers of women’, did not treat his wives like they were stupid . There was a relationship of love and respect between them. He cared for his wives, and he managed his home effectively. By all means, if you must%20marry more than one woman, manage your home in such a way that peace would reign. When you cram three women into one apartment with one kitchen, how will they not fight? Women are naturally ‘funny’ (being careful with words now, lest my dear sisters descend on me); we do not like competition, and would seek endlessly for avenues to let out pent up frustration and feelings of jealousy. Unless a man needs urgent medical *neuropsychiatric* attention, he should not enjoy watching his wives beat each other up. Nabiyy (SAW) did not marry women, keep them in a house, and then neglect them. A true Muslim man would flee from the thought of not fulfilling his responsibilities over his wife, and would not view adultery like a ‘normal’ thing. How can a man who claims to belong to the Ummah of Muhammad (SAW) deprive his wife while paying serious attention to scantily clad women outside his home? How can a man who claims to be Muslim spend huge amounts of money on women of lose virtue while his wife and children suffer? Why should a Muslim man perpetrate ‘religious blackmail’ by advising his wife to be the ideal Muslimah when he is not prepared to make any effort to be the ideal Muslim husband? Which kind of selfish man guards, monitors, and ‘protects’ his wife obsessively while being very unguarded with other women? In Nigeria today, many ‘girls’ insist that ‘being a girlfriend is better than being a wife’. When a ‘girlfriend’ gets a house in Ikoyi and Asokoro while the wife does not have a piece of land in her name, how do you expect them not to say so? We must promote religious ideals, but it’s so difficult when those who have no regard for God are obviously way ahead of the game! If you are Muslim, then please BE Muslim. I am not against taking a second wife, what I am against is dereliction of duty. Men who sing that ‘a woman’s paradise depends on how she treats her husband’ should also know that it’s no excuse to maltreat her. Both the husband and wife have roles to play, and whoever breaches the ‘Quranic Contract’ as prescribed by Allah will be punished accordingly. While I’m willing to wait for as long as it takes in order to ensure that I never have cause to leave my marital home, I will not put up with un-Islamic behavior from my husband, and neither do I expect him to put up with same from me. Women should respect their husbands; love and respect are potent tools that would make a man succumb to his wife’s demands. No matter how wealthy or intelligent the woman is, her husband is still her husband and deserves respect (if you scream at a man, especially when his/your friends are around, he’s going to withdraw from you and turn down most/all requests until you’re able to ensure that you’re forgiven. Even male children do things with a lot more enthusiasm when you make them feel ‘big’ and special). Apply wisdom: don’t eye his friends maliciously lest they incite him to send you packing; Yes, he should take care of you,%20but try not to ask like you worked for it and he’s simply the custodian (a loving husband wouldn’t wait for you to ask, anyway); Work, but don’t neglect your family lest he blames his ‘misdeeds’ on you. Support his dreams, if you must discourage, do it kindly (e.g Darling, this is a beautiful idea, but look at the financial projections, are you sure this investment is worth it?), NEVER compare him to his ‘mates’, don’t make him feel low, when he’s down, be the rock that he can draw strength from. (Borrowed words of advice from my grandmother) Before we all succumb to the Western brand of feminism, we need to be made aware of our rights as women in Islam. Flashing skin does not make a woman equal; it reduces her to a sex object, and draws attention away from her intelligence. When you’re encouraged to go after your career, please bear in mind that there’s something called a biological clock; go after your dreams, but don’t forget to put that into consideration too. There are many married, successful women; being married is not a curse, marriage is not entrapment, not all men are part of the giant conspiracy to tie you down. Children are beautiful, and you deserve to have the experience too! Many of those ‘super-feminists’ are single, lonely, bitter women, and that’s the gospel truth. Not all men are perfect, as not all women are, but with good sense and patience, you won’t go wrong Insh’Allah. A supportive spouse is the best thing that could happen to anyone; support him and he will support you. Marriage is ‘half of your faith’; would you throw that opportunity away? My rant ends here; I do hope I made a little sense, though. Salam aleikum. Ms. Rinsola Abiola. [email protected] @Rinsola_Abiola

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