Superstitious! Coward! Old fashioned! are the words that still echoed in her head. Her face was soaked with warm drops that she had shed during the past couple of hours while she had prostrated herself before the Almighty time and again in this interval. She did not know how long she had been up collecting and presenting before Allah the broken pieces of her soft heart which was brutally hurt by the ruthless comments her friends made at the college this morning. She had always been kind to them but they would always pass low comments about her attire and for her fear and concern about the Hereafter. Her only crime was that she could not leave her head and chest uncovered like them and that she could not put on skin tight almost transparent garments. She had always found it hard to show interest in the topics they would discuss. She knew that modesty was her real asset and that inner-purification was the real objective of her life in this world. How could she go against the values that the Almighty had inculcated within herself? How could she undertake to do something that her conscience would vehemently disapprove of? Now at this moment of the dark night when she saw that she could not cope with the situation anymore, she resolved that she’s had enough. She must quit going to the college and shut herself up from the rest of the world!

Such an event may take place in the life of many people with little change in the details of the scenario. But they are often led to arrive at the same decision because of the morbidly obnoxious treatment they have to receive for opting to live their lives according to the injunctions put forth by the Almighty. This is awfully ironic, that the world plays so insensitive a role to the sincere feelings of those people who wish to take all of them to the road that directly leads to eternal bliss. It is sad that those who must be respected and given an ear to hear soft words of good advice are mistreated and branded as inferior.

This writer does not have an iota of doubt in his mind that these circumstances are fair and just but his understanding of religion compels him to humbly present the complete picture before all his sisters in God so that they could know that ‘quitting’ is not what their Lord as well as this Ummah expects from them.

What they must realize is that the unbecoming behavior that their fellow human beings adopt towards their sincere feelings is nothing new and has been so since ages. When we peruse the Holy Qur’an or even study history we find that good souls always had to face hatred for showing unconditional love, hurling stones for offering the Garden of Paradise, and harsh comments for advancing words of wisdom and admonition. This however was their marvelous attribute that they never gave up and remained steadfast unless they either changed the world or sacrificed their lives for the sake of this holy mission. This quality is no doubt hard to imbibe and retain but very desirable for those who undertake to swim in the direction explored by their conscience instead of drifting along in the immoral current with other people. Further deliberation here reveals that while avoiding the circumstances resolves the crisis a person is currently facing for the time being, it allows a minor problem to eventually become a major one. To put it in other words, this attitude would surely permit the evil to entangle each and every person on the face of this earth till no one is left to proclaim the greatness of Allah. It is precisely for this reason that the Qur’an has urged us to assume the status of the exhorter as well as of the exhorted so that the good can flourish and the evil be put in check. The Qur’an thus reads:

 

Believing men and believing women are friends to each other. They enjoin what is good and forbid what is wrong. (9:71)

 

Another point that must be understood very clearly is about the nature of the test we are put through in this world. This life is not supposed to be a path adorned with roses that someone would have to tread until death overtakes them. The truth of the matter is that we have no choice but to prick our feet with thorns that have been scattered by the Almighty Himself on our way in the form of financial problems, natural calamities and humans themselves. We, therefore, must not suffer from the illusion that we will win entitlement to Paradise without being tested in this world. This idea has been expounded upon by the Qur’an in the following words:

 

Did you think that you would enter Paradise without Allah testing those of you who fought hard [in His cause] and remained steadfast? (3:142)

 

The implication being that when a believer undertakes to combat evil for the sake of Allah, he is not showered with rose petals. On the contrary, he has to face great difficulties and full-blown problems. But if he remains stoical and steadfast, he stands eligible to be blessed with everlasting life in the Garden of Paradise.

As far as the expectations of this Ummah are concerned, they must know that it wants them to become a role model for all women across the world. Everyone knows that there has been much hullabaloo over women’s rights in the last couple of centuries and much of the blame was placed on the religion of Islam for violation thereof. Feminists clamorously put forward that Islam hampers the achievements that women can otherwise accomplish in every sphere of life. Although, it is a baseless allegation that the fanatics have placed on Islam in their struggle to renounce every religion that would endorse moral limits, many people have gone astray because what they see in practice also substantiates the veracity of the allegation. Innumerable articles have been written to refute the claims of the feminists. But this alone won’t work. We must let the world see that a Muslim woman while observing all the injunctions of Islam can achieve astronomical targets that others would dare not to commence at all.

Obviously, this business necessitates that Muslim women be as daring as to challenge evil in its makeshift safe-haven and as bold as to overthrow all the absurdly fabricated claims of the feminists. They must be creative enough to introduce new chapters in the field of fine arts and as much intelligent as to make revolutionary discoveries in the field of science while keeping the Islamic attributes that make them unmatchable ornament.

(Jhangeer Hanif)

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