Thursday, 7 December 2006

When Women Emerge

No Muslim has the slightest iota of doubt in the fact that the Qur'an is absolutely infallible. How could it be otherwise when the Qur'an is the word of Allah Ta'ala who is All Knowing, All Seeing and the possessor of absolute and perfect wisdom. Every command of Allah Ta'ala is compatible with human nature and its adherence not only earns a person rewards in the hereafter, but is also vital to facilitate the smooth harmony of our existence on earth. No system or mode of life can ever be superior.

Allah Ta'ala, the Creator of men and women, the Eternal Being that blessed mankind with intellect and the One who created in human beings passions, emotions and desires, addresses His female slaves in His Glorious Qur'an with the following command:

"And remain firmly within your homes and display not yourselves like the display of the former times of ignorance."(Surah Al-Ahzaab; Verse 33)

This is the command of none other than our Creator, Allah the Most Wise. Hence by disregarding this command we will not only invite Allah's displeasure, but we will also have to suffer the terrible consequences of our violation in this world. It will be similar to the case where a person ignores the instructions of the manufacturer of a car and he fills water into the petrol tank and fills petrol into the radiator.

Absolute Necessity

Likewise Rasulullah SAW has restricted the emergence of women from the home to the situation of genuine necessity.

Abdullah ibn Umar RA reports that Rasulullah SAW said:

"A woman should not emerge from her home except if she is forced to do so." (Tabrani)

Also when emerging out of necessity, the woman is commanded to adopt full Hijaab. However in the present climate of women's lib and feminism which has risen from the decadent west, even Muslims of weak Imaan have found it appropriate to cast women out of their homes and into the outside world. Yet do we really know what goes on out there? The situation is indeed shocking to say the least.

Distribution of Work

Allah Ta'ala has given us the beautiful formula compatible with the differing natures of the genders. This is illustrated in the following practice of Rasulullah SAW. Rasulullah SAW had apportioned the work that pertains to matters outside the home (which includes earning for the family) to Saiyidina Ali RA. While the work pertaining to aspects inside the home were allotted to the Queen of Jannah, Fatimah RA.

Hence it is the man's duty to go out into the world and earn a Halaal living. Thus in a truly Islamic state where women are not found working "shoulder-to-shoulder" with men, the root cause of the illicit liaisons which take place in the working world will be non-existent.

However, when that ideal situation does not exist, the man who goes out to work must be extra cautious to protect himself.

Allah Ta'ala says:

"Say to the Believing men that they should lower their gazes." (Surah An-Nur: Verse 30)

Also the Hadith clearly states that:

" person should ever be in seclusion with a strange woman."

When these and other similar injunctions will be violated then, the obvious outcome will be involvement in grievous sins. The solution is thus to eliminate the cause, not to light the fire and then attempt to control it.

Indeed, we are living in difficult times. While numerous women venture out into the world merely to maintain a high standard of living, some venture out only to earn their mere daily bread. Hence if it is necessary, Islam has not forbidden a woman from earning. However, it is incumbent that All the laws of the Shari'ah be upheld. Among other aspects, of utmost importance is that she may not expose herself to non-Mahram males (men to whom marriage is permissible). She should also have sufficient time for her domestic activities and for the caring of her children. These must never be compromised.

Inclucating Deen

A woman has a great duty to discharge at home. The upbringing of her children require her full attention. Unfortunately, "upbringing" to a great extent has come to mean clothing, feeding and attending to the other physical necessities of the child. This is however, the necessary but less important part of upbringing. The more important part is the inculcating of Deen in the life of the child and embedding the correct morals, character and etiquette in that innocent soul. This is more than a full-time job. When mothers fulfilled this duty (obviously with the father also playing his role), many great scholars of Islam were produced e.g. Imam Razi RA, Imam Ghazali RA etc. The same is possible today - if we get our priorities in order. The job of tarbiyah to our children is not the responsibility what more job of a random maid or helper. To sacrifice the quality of upbringing only for a few cents extra, for a bigger house and a nicer car is not something intelligent to do. When Allah SWT has given us intelligence, we should use this intelligence. Do what we are commanded to do. And do what is the best.

May Allah Ta'ala give us the correct understanding of Deen and enable us to practice upon ALL His injunctions, Ameen.

1 comment:

Ashrani said...

Assalamu'alaikum - What about the wife working as a doctor? However, the present system doesn't care about the gender of the doctors and patients, such that if there is a female doctor and a male doctor each in 2 adjacent rooms side by side - they will admit a male patient to the female doctor and vice versa! May Allah swt. keep us working for His Deen - wallahua'lam wassalamu'alaikum