By: Mubina Desai
It is extremely painful to write that the followers of Islam are, day by day, straying away from the Islamic way of life; started blindly copying the life styles of others, particularly of the westerners - Jews and Christians. Prophet of Islam Muhammad (SAW) had over fourteen hundred years ago said: ''You will follow those before you, blindly inch by inch, so much so that if they enter a snake pit, you too will enter it.'' someone asked: “O Prophet of Allah, by saying earlier people do you mean the Jews and the Christians?” Prophet replied: “Who else?” (Bukhari)
This article is very important for Muslim women who work in an environment which is prohibited in Islam; and also for men who push their wives, mothers, daughters and sisters to earn money. It is also argued that the women herself wants to become self-relying to live honourably in society and that she is not forced to earn money. Is it true? Not at all! Even if they say, force is not applied by her family members - husband and the in-laws etc. - it is definitely the crushing force from the social attitudes and the collective material outlook.
The western culture of today has created such an illusion which does not exist at all in practicality. That is why women are undergoing unimaginable painful sufferings in the west. Consequently, even a wife becomes a burden for her husband and also the children for their parents.
Islam is very sensitive to the chastity and purity of a women, it forbids free-mixing and unrestricted meeting between men and women. Islam considers it wrong to let man and woman mix with each other in their fields of work and let them involve in a severe test from where it is difficult to return. Islam not only forbids the act of adultery but also prohibits men and women to go near it. The Quran says: “Nor come nigh to adultery: For it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road, (to other evils).” (17:32).
It is not fair to women that she should be taken out from her natural field of work and be pushed into atypical field; it is not beneficial for her, and rather a great loss. The pain of menstrual period, pregnancy and delivery are inevitable. Man can hardly assist her in all these difficulties and complications. It is also not fair play if she is also given the responsibilities of man. The woman is the queen of house. She gets all the love and affection from her father, brother and husband and all the members of her family and all her rights are protected in the house. If a woman does not bear the responsibility of the house she cannot even claim her rights.
Sometime for earning and living, man struggles too severely, bears all kinds of pains and faces innumerable difficulties. For maintaining and uplifting his family, he overcomes insurmountable hardships. In such a state of affairs, he deserves mental peace and content. It is the home which can provide him with all the peace and rest. If he does not get peace even at his own home, it becomes too hard for him to live. Islam teaches that a women should make her home a 'peaceful dwelling' so that man should forget all his tensions and complications after reaching his home and prepare himself for a fresh struggle after breathing an air of gratification. If women work, she too, has to struggle at work and will be in need of peace at home which a man cannot give her.
It has become established fact that there is no better nourishment for child than the milk of his mother. If a mother does not stay at home and engages herself in outside work and activities, she cannot set herself for breast feeding, and then the proper nourishment of the child lacks! It is not just enough to give him proper nourishment but the child also needs love and affection, sympathy and an earnest devotion of his mother. Nobody else can take the place of a mother for playing a decisive role. If mother remains out of home, the child would yearn for the love of his mother and he will not get it.
For the basic education and training of the child, mother is most suitable. For the purpose of education of a child, it is necessary that his teacher should be very loving and devoted to him. Children always copy or imitate their Teachers. Muslims pay very less attention on religious education. If the mother is capable of giving Islamic education to her children, they will not be ignorant of their religion, even after obtaining education in school.
Even for training the child, the role of the mother is most important and significant. It is the mother who stands as an ideal for a child. The child observes the morals and etiquettes of his mother day and night, and shapes his behaviour perceiving the behaviour of his mother. No one can teach better ethics and respect to the child except his very own, mother! The famous quote everybody knows “Behind every successful man there is a woman”, and almost every time it is a Mother. Love of mother is very much necessary for the child to get proper education, ethics, and most importantly respect towards females.
The fact is that the construction of a society depends upon the construction of a house. This is the reason that Islam has completely relied upon women to construct her house. Prophet Muhammad (s) said “If you educate one man you have educated one person, and if you have educated one woman you have educated a whole family”. Mother plays very significant role in the education of her children. Islam does not wish to thrust on her other burdens along with this responsibility. In the light of Islam, the construction of the house is no less important than jihad. Hazrat Anas (r) - a companion of Prophet - related that once a group of women asked Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that man perform some act and attain the reward of jihad, what we should do to get such reward which man get through jihad in the way of Allah? Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) replied that a woman who sits at home receives the reward of jihad in the way of Allah. (Ref: Tafseer Ibn katheer)
Many of the women who does job often gets irritated at work and they burst their anger on husband and children at home. Even women get irritated at the time of menstrual periods and they cannot handle the situations in this period. Much of the clashes between husband and wife will be in this period and women even burst out anger of the office and work place. They cannot do justice to the work as well as raising children at the same time. And God Almighty laid the primary duty of a woman to build the house by raising children because “today’s youths are tomorrow’s leaders”.
If we flip the pages of history, we come to know about the great women who trained their sons in such a way that they became scholars, scientist, doctors, warriors and what not! It is because of the training of the mother which helped the child to become passionate of his/her field and achieved success. A mother also creates another mother which in turn creates another creator of the history. The great women-companions of the prophet proved to be good mothers by effectively designing the home.
Islam allow (men and) women to work within the preview of Islamic shariah. Women can work in those fields where there are exclusively females and hijab can be observed strictly. Dignity of women is very much important in Islam and it gives utmost freedom and justice. We need female doctors, teachers, tailors, etc. which helps muslima to observe correct hijab. But the primary responsibility of the women is to protect her kingdom (i.e. home) and raise children because Allah has given a special quality to handle the house hold work to women rather than men. So she is the master of her field and no substitute can be found in her place.
Psychologist say, an expert is needed to handle and educate children. Imagine if the mother is well educated and spends the time with children then in no time our society will once again create a revolution like the companions of Prophet (pbuh).
An engineer is not bothered what happens in Medical field, neither do the doctor bothers about engineering field. Similarly, women should be master of her field and should not bother about men. Allah has given enough strength to men and women to work in their respective fields. If anyone - male or female - leaves their field then there will be natural imbalance in the society, which creates unnecessary havoc.
May Allah bless this effort with his favour and make it an instrument of understanding for us.