Dear Mother: Why the double standards?

Written by Nadira Chhipa
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Dear mother, when you shout for Safiyyah to help you cook and set the dinner table please remember to call Ridhwan to assist you aswel. How is he going to learn to serve himself if you have been serving him for two decades?
Dear mother,  when you scream at Fatima for not making her bed or for throwing her wet towel on her bedroom floor please remember that 5 minutes ago you were waiting for Suhail to wake up so you could clean his room which looked like a tornado hit it. How is he going to learn to tidy up his personal space if you keep doing it for him?
Dear mother, when you check Halimahs phone as you have become suspicious of her spending too much time texting please remember to also ask Idrees to hand his phone over for you to examine. Why is he allowed to be on his phone 24/7 without you becoming suspicious?
Dear mother, when Amina hands over her report card to you and your face saddens with disappointment as she scored two Bs please  look closely at Ahmeds report card as he did not even achieve a single A, yet he was congratulated for passing. How would he improve if you do not encourage him to do better?
Dear mother, when you angrily question  Habiba for arriving at home five minutes late from campus please give Hameeed a call and ask him why is he two hours late. How would he learn to respect and value boundaries if you do not set any for him?
Dear mother, when you yell at Aliya for not attending family functions with you please ask Ali to accompany you to the next family gathering as well. How would he recognise and socialise with your family if he is allowed to stay at home alone all the time?
Dear mother, when you advise Faheema about her duties at home after marriage, her responsibilities as well her loyalties after Nikah,  towards her husband and his family please give Faraz the same advice.  How will he know how to assist his wife, respect his in laws, be a responsible husband, father and son in law if you do not advise him?
Dear mother, when you reprimand Hannah for raising her voice or back chatting when she is angry please do not ignore Hamzah’s disrespectful behaviour and anger control issues. How would he learn to control his anger, be gentle, kind and caring if you do not acknowledge his faults?
Dear mother, when you speak to Naeema about Zina, sexual abuse, rape, physical abuse, emotional abuse, relationships, drugs, bad influences as well as indulgences please do have that talk with Khalid. How would he learn to respect a woman’s body, mind and soul if you do not teach him. How would he learn to protect himself from evil if you do not teach him?
Dear mother, when you remind Raeesa to read her salah, fast in Ramadhan, cover her body, recite the Quran and Hadith please remind Muhammad to do the same. How would he become an asset to you as well as the Ummah if you do not inculcate the love for Islam in his heart?
Dear mother, remember the boy have been blessed with from Allah is your son today, a student of life tomorrow, a wonderful husband to a beautiful lady and an amazing father to your grandchildren in the future. Insha-Allah. Raise your sons to be independent and efficient, do not make your sons so dependent on you that they find themselves unable to cook, clean or take care of their daily chores without assistance. The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W), mercy upon mankind yet he did his own chores. Why are we following a tradition and culture that cripples men by not allowing them to serve themselves. Today there are some men who will not even eat if their food is not cooked, served and dished out to them  into their plates. This is a sad reality of generation of boys who feel entitled to everything being done for them by the females of their household. This is a sad reason for the breakdown of many marriages as the husband  expects to be served by his wife just as he  was served all his life by his mother and sisters.
Dear mother, let us change this mindset, let us raise respectful, responsible , successful, understanding, caring, loyal, humble and kind men who will be a means of comfort, peace, happiness. Ameen.
Dear mother, do not set double standards as this will cause chaos and destruction in your home.
Dear mother, we have the best example, let us raise our sons in accordance with the beautiful Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W).
Dear mother, let us raise good men.
May Allah bless us mothers with strength, love, wisdom, patience and understanding always -Ameen.
Nadira Chhipa
1 Rabiul Awwal 1439
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Dhulm: Oppression or Depression?

In the Name of Allah the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

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All praise is due to Allah, the all-knowing, the all-seeing and we beseech Allah to send His noblest blessings on the Seal of the Prophets, Our Master and Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alayhi Wasallam).

The first crime or sin we could say, committed on the surface of the earth was perpetrated by the son of the noble Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) whose name was Qabil RH. As it is known, the sin he committed was no ordinary sin; it was none other than murder and what degree of murder could be worse than murdering a family member, his own blood brother, Habil RH. So ever since that day, every person that gets killed unjustly, the burden of the sin not only falls on the killer, but also on Qabil RH as he initiated killings.

In this worldly life, we see many forms of oppression, and Almighty Allah allows this oppression. Many people, Muslim and Non-Muslim ask why? It is NOT because Allah is pleased to see his servants committing ‘dhulm’ , rather it is something termed as ‘al-Istidraaj’. Something you could loosely explain as Allah loosening the rope and giving respite to stop and repent. It is when Allah Almighty gives fortunes to someone despite Him not being pleased with him/her. Our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) explained in a Hadith (Prophetic Tradition), “When you see that Allah Almighty gives good fortunes to his slaves who are always committing sins (disobedient), know that the person is being given istidraj by Allah.” (At-Tabrani, Ahmad and Al-Baihaqi)

However, it is the duty of others to stop dhulm as is explained in the Prophetic Tradition (Hadith),“Help your brother; be he the oppressor or the oppressed.” It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, I shall help him if he is oppressed but how do I help him if he is the oppressor?” He said:”Prevent him from oppression, that is you helping him.” Bukhari and Muslim.

But what exactly is oppression? It is normally termed for what goes on in war and when one takes another’s right. The literal meaning of al-Dhulm is, ‘to place something somewhere it does not belong’. For example, if one were to place his shoe on his head that would be classed as al-Dhulm as that is not the correct place for the shoe. But dhulm (oppression) in Islam has a much broader and deeper meaning. We only need to pick up a newspaper or turn on the television to see the oppression that goes on around the world, the young children suffering, the babies dying, women as well as the elderly tortured and their menfolk beaten and humiliated in front of them – the world accepts this as wrong, no matter which creed or race you are from and no matter which religion you follow.

But what I would like to shed light on is the dhulm you and I may commit; even though we would never like to be associated with dhulm or be called a ‘dhalim’ (oppressor), but sometimes we do commit oppression knowingly,or unknowingly.  Because oppression is not just what we see in Gaza or Syria, oppression is also what goes on here, in the UK; a man who beats his wife is oppression, not treating your children fairly and equally is oppression, to show ingratitude and display disobedience to your parents is oppression, to deprive a sibling of their rights to inheritance is oppression, bullying and harassing someone weaker than you in school or college or at a workplace is oppression, taking one’s anger out on an innocent individual is oppression, showing favouritism at a work place to certain employees due to unjustified reasons such as family connections, being from the same race or same sex (sometimes the opposite sex simply because they are attractive) is oppression, being ungrateful to your spouse or not spending time with him/her is oppression, not letting a father see his child without a valid reason is oppression and relaying lies or slandering someone out of jealousy and spite is oppression! The list really can go on, unfortunately.

The very sad reality is oppression is everywhere and for many of us, our hearts bleed because others cause us to bleed. Usually it is those closest to us; a family member or a relative. Hence the title of this article has been named, ‘Dhulm: Oppression or depression?’ despite the fact dhulm is normally translated as oppression it can consequently ‘lead’ to depression. And this is what we see when we look around the world; people are either suffering from oppression or depression, they are either bleeding or weeping! My little message to every brother to every sister out there who is suffering, be it equal to a prick of a thorn or the weight of a mountain, “DO NOT DESPAIR IN THE MERCY OF ALLAH!” (39:53). “Indeed, Allah is with the patient ones” (2:249). We are promised time and again in Qur’an and Hadith that Allah will give us justice for the oppression we face in this world and the injustices we have  to endure. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Give people their rights. Even the hornless sheep will take retaliation from the horned sheep (on Qiyamah)” (Adabul Mufrad).

Nothing is hidden from Allah, not even the black ant crawling on a stone in the darkness of the night nor its footprint! Let oppressors think not that Allah is unaware! Allah Almighty says, “And never think that Allah is unaware of what the wrongdoers do. He only delays them for a Day when eyes will stare [in horror]” (14:42). In another verse, “And those who have wronged are going to know to what [kind of] return they will be paid back” (26:227). And to serve as a final reminder and warning, Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah reported that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Fear injustice. Injustice will appear as darkness on the Day of Rising. Fear avarice. Avarice destroyed people before you and led them to shed one another’s blood and to make lawful what was unlawful for them” (Adabul Mufrad).

To conclude In Sha Allah, we pray Allah protects us from committing dhulm and from being the victims of dhulm, as well as giving us the ability to help the oppressed and stop an oppressor, as the saying goes, ‘Evil spreads not because of the violence of bad people, rather because of the silence of good people’ .

Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (In dire need of Allah’s mercy, forgiveness and pleasure).

27th Shawwal 1435