View Full Version : The Responsibility of the Muslim brother for his Sisters in Islam

11-03-2008, 10:21 PM
The Responsibility of the Muslim brother for his Sisters in Islam


The Responsibility of the Muslim brother for his Sisters in Islam

Sometime back, while talking to my close friend Mozzy, I expressed, concern about my niece’s misbehaviour and my wish to apply some behaviour management techniques. Mozzy usually the abrupt, heartless, blunt but altogether the wonderful friend that he is, said something which I can never forget, he said: ‘Bro, let them chill, look girls, really only truly chill when they are at their parents homes, after that, they get married, have to look after their hubby’s, their in-laws, and their own children. So let them be.’

The role of the Muslim woman in society is something which is critical, she is a daughter, she is a sister, she is a wife and she is the mother. Therefore she affects numerous individuals throughout society and hence has a great deal of influence. Her thoughts will affect the next generation, she is their educator, their tutor, their role model and can drastically influence how Islamic or unislamic the next generation of Muslim will be or will become.

There are multiple evidences that discuss the value of the mother, that place motherhood as one of the most blessed and rewarded roles that a woman will have. The prophet(saw) placed obedience and the happiness of the mother three times in front of the father. Allah swt has placed an amazing amount of unconditional love in the hearts of mothers for their children. The trials and pains of pregnancy have been compared to hajj and jihad in the path of Allah swt. Indeed one man enquired, asking our blessed Nabi (saw): ‘O Prophet(saw), if I carry my mother for miles to Hajj and then carry her during Hajj, have I fulfilled what I owe?’ Our Messenger(saw) replied: ‘ You have not even fulfilled the right of one contraction she had while she bore you’.

Yet, in society, and in Islam we find that men have been given a degree over women. Allah swt made obedience to the husband compulsory and made man the head of the household. We live in an age of political correctness where the ideas of equality are rampant, yet, as Muslims we should not fit Islam into these western constructs, for that would be asserting that equality is more ‘correct’ than the laws of Allah swt.
Rather we find that Islam, while not giving each spouse ‘equal rights’, has given both genders a balance of rights and responsibilities, recognising the differences that exist in each. This is the wisdom of Allah swt and we as Muslims must recognise that it is through this that society and mankind will achieve true tranquillity and happiness.

Unfortunately, many of our brothers, take this concept of men-having-authority-over-women in an incorrect and ultimately unislamic manner. Even though they realise that we should not be affected by western concepts of equality, they are not immune from what is actually one of the biggest dangers. Pride and Arrogance. When the idea of men having a degree over women is attached to their egoistic me/myself and I syndrome that this society builds, we find that the issue is seen as your-going-to-do-as-I-say-and-that’s-that!

The illah (legal reason) of having a degree over women is to do with the need to look after, the need to protect. It is an amanah from Allah swt that He swt will account us for and therefore we should make sure we fulfil this to the best of our ability.

The times we live in today have been fashioned by what occurred in 9-11 and 7-7. We should realise that there is now a renewed focus and backlash on the Muslim community and our sisters being the most obvious symbols of Islam (hijab, jilbab and or niqab), face the worst of times. Do they not think about the job opportunities they miss, purely because they are dressing as ‘islamic’? Do they not worry about the accusatory looks they get when using public transport or just walking in the street? Surely they are always seen as different and as not-fitting-in. Yet they bear this with patience and perseverance, not compromising on the Islamic dress and not being complacent, regardless of the consequences. These are the vanguards of Islam, the outward symbol of the Muslim community, the clear sign of the Muslims’ desire for Islam and the most obvious signs of its revival.

Yet in stark contrast we brothers have it easy, we can easily chill out till the early hours of the morning, we can do an amazing amount of sports activities, things like running, biking, weight training, badminton, squash, football, kayaking, gorge scrambling and many other water sports. Yet our sisters are restricted by their dress, by the facilities available and other ‘health and safety’ concerns related to their dress code! Come on, we as brother know the importance and vitalness of chilling out and having all sorts of halal fun, but we should realise that this is difficult for our sisters to fulfil in this society, whether it is before or after marriage.

Hence as brothers, as fathers, as husbands and as sons, we should be considerate for the needs of our sisters in Islam. We should realise that we will have to go out of our way to enable them to have fun. Let them chill with their friends, let them relax away from their normal responsibilities, visit the Muslim world, take them on holiday’s. Organise family outings such as going Alton Towers. Liaise with your local gyms and sports centres to see if they can book-out times at these venues which are exclusively women only. Get sisters to run women-only-youth-clubs where the sisters can play pool, snooker or games consoles.

Today we find that there are many liberal initiatives that are tempting our sisters away from the deen of Islam, there is an extra focus upon women, a focus to liberate them. But ask yourselves: Do they need liberating from Islam, or our cultural need-to-assert-control mentality? Our example should indeed be the Messenger(saw) an incident comes to mind where in his time when some Abyssinian slaves were dancing, and our Nabi(saw) gave his wife Aisha(ra) his arm to rest on and watch the slaves dance until she was happy.

In conclusion our sisters face enough c**p as it is in this society and so we should do as much as we can for them.


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