Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
To mark a month of thoughts, instead of the usual glorification of neglect and passivity common in Muslim circles, as if those two were virtuous acts and prayers for women who enjoy being neglected to attain Jannah, I wish to pay humble tribute to all relevant women.
It is much easier when a woman has a supply of finances from her husband and does not have to worry about earnings and expenditure. There are many women who are the income-earner in her household.
One of such women is my mum, who had to juggle earning a livelihood with family life. Despite being the sole financial and emotional support for her five children, my mum made motherhood the joy it is.
Imagine the grumblings of some Muslim women who do not bother to determine their life and wish to disturb my hearing with how being a stay-at-home mum is the most unappreciated job. As they do not mind being neglected by their husband, from whom do they expect appreciation? Me? Or perhaps from you dear readers? They should try keeping down an employment along with their family obligations. Their eyes will clear!
To honour my mum irrespective of these grumblers, I sent her a message of love. Her response: ecstasy! I sent her another. Yesterday evening she called to say she was very pleased with my show of love for her.
I am not happy with much of what happened in my childhood, but I have always tapped into all the positive experiences of my childhood, one of which was that I had what many women do not have and cannot even imagine.
While Muslims frequently glorify abandoned and passive women, I grew up under the care of a woman who did her very best for her children. You went to work, put food on the table, paid school fees, paid house rent upon the death threats you received. It was time for my love for you.
She would take us to our maternal grandparents and return the same day to continue her work and would join us a couple of days before the festivities or when she was on leave. I still recall looking into my mum’s eyes as a little girl, as I sat beside her in her car as she drove my siblings and me to our hometown for the school vacation, and seeing the fear in her eyes.
She had several concerns for security on the journey. First was the safety concern of every citizen vis-a-vis highway robberies, such that if we had not departed by latest ten in the morning, the journey was postponed. Second was the concern of every woman, especially those who live alone, i.e. sexual violation.
More personal to my mum was the death threat from my father and her estranged husband – with whom she shares a local government, but who originates from a different community – that should she ever drive her vehicle into the local government, she will be murdered.
Right from my childhood, I have always been loyal to my mum, such that whenever I was asked my village, instead of simply stating my father’s which is the norm, as children are ascribed to their fathers, my response was always: “My mum comes from such and such village and my father from such village”, in recognition of my mum’s magnificent and unique role in our life.
I pay obeisance to you, my beloved mum. May Allah keep you safe in this life and in the Hereafter. And may He guide your gracious heart to Islam, for though some Muslim women prefer to be the perfect victims of everything that moves, Islam honours women. Aameen.