By.Dr.Asma Anjum Khan(@saysanjum)
Light, or hard; it’s hard for the wife.
I know, it must sound odd to you.
A woman giving a piece of advice to men?
What’s more, asking them to be good husbands?
(Aren’t we already are?)
Charity, reading and pondering over the Creator’s words, visiting relations, etc. are few of the things we generally do in Ramzan.
What about being a Good Husband?
Yes, but. You work hard and bring home a salary. Yes, you pick up the children from school. But, are you a good husband?
(What else can we do?)
For a change, you can try being gentle towards your wife, caring and soft, bring her flowers.
What ? I am making you laugh?
Now this is what I am talking about.
While we are reminded of charity, almost non-stop during Ramzan; there is little about being cheerful.
And being (genuinely) cheerful is the biggest gift, for the people around us.
[Reference: Smiling is charity, A Hadeeth]
Last week social media ,buzzed with the problem of domestic abuse or wife beating , after “The Council of Islamic Ideology CII”, of Pakistan allowed for, ‘a light beating’ of wives by the husbands.
[So Shehzada Salim was beating his beloved ‘lightly’ in that epic scene from that epic film Mughal e Azam , with a feather, stroking Anarkali’s soft cheeks?
Apologies. My filmi subconscious instantly gets to work, without prior notice. ]
But even before that we had a Saudi cleric literally demonstrating how to beat your better half.
A Muslim man beating his hijabi wife in public.
In this video, you find a sturdy Muslim male repeatedly slamming the head of his wife . Tragic is the response of the wife, who takes it calmly, as if nothing much has happened. This may be a sign of her being used to such violence. The responses of some Muslims were telling. People prayed for the husband and his reform. Why didn’t they think of getting the abuser arrested first? [ Prayers could happen, once he goes to jail.]
And seeing all this, I got my theme for Ramzan.
Increasing domestic abuse cases:
Now for the ‘light beating’ part, all I can say is , it beats the light out of me. Light, or not so light, it’s hard for the wife. The scars, physical violence leaves behind, on the psyche of the wife, are permanently damaging.
Those with a little light in their heads, would know: Light or hard, it’s hard for the wife.
I am no expert to talk on this. But isn’t it a fact that Prophet Muhammad PBUH never had raised his hands on a woman? At home or at the war front. Don’t we know he had said, the best among you are those, who are best (in behavior) to their wives? Has he PBUH not, on the complaints of women of Madina severely reprimanded their husbands for being harsh and violent? For a further in-depth and perhaps the best analysis on domestic abuse see Nouman Ali Khan.
Solutions and Remedies for Domestic Abuse:
Cases of worst sort of domestic abuse are increasing. Recently, a 17 year girl from my city was divorced within a year of marriage, as her in laws ‘suspected ‘, she was possessed. The young girl would be beaten black and blue, not just by the husband but his mother and sisters as well. [Wonder why didn’t the genie in her hit them back?]
The following suggestions can be useful, an attempt to stop the abuse and are meant especially for the young women.
I: The first rule of stopping domestic abuse is Stop it when it Begins.
If you take it for the first time, then in all probability, you will be getting it for the rest of your married life. Say NO to it, right on his first punch. If you fear breaking up of marriage, then let me tell you, getting abused for the rest of your marital life, is no marriage at all. No life, as well. We women are born with dignity granted to us, by our Creator and it’s our duty to protect it. Yes, marriage indeed is nothing but a series of adjustments but these should be from both the partners and remember there just can’t be no adjusting or accommodating with physical violence, by anyone. This includes your good husband who deems it fit to give you a nice thrash, as he likes.
II: Seek counseling, involve family, elders of the community, and other good community organizations. As a last resort you can even seek legal help.
III: If the thrashing continues, despite your peaceful efforts, and you are physically harmed by the assault, there is one fine way to stop it.
Start shouting at full volume. Jump out of your lungs.[ Remember your ice cream outings with Papa and your noisy insistence on, one more? Or those cat fights with your brothers? ]
Come on, girls, you can do it.
This is only for self defence. Your shouts can embarrass him and may compel a rethinking. Of course, it’s only a desperate attempt on the part of a helpless woman. Which cop, lawyer or family will rush to her quick rescue once the beating starts?
Only insecure and vain men, who find their power to control, slipping away from them, resort to violence against women. Their biggest support is your silence and your putting up with it. Once you speak up, they lose it all and fail miserably.
Its only you, who can stop this abuse.
Let’s now come to being a good husband part.
There is another kind of abuse; of the tongue, a weapon that can make or break a relationship.
The common scenario during Ramzan is that of people flaring up, getting high and fly in temper. Such tempests, especially near the time of breaking fasts are common. Aah, those iftars! Missing them already! The tempting images of food , all around Facebook and Twitter, makes one wonder if Ramzan is a month of fasting or been transformed into a Food Festival?
I am digressing.
Why is it difficult for men to understand what women go through in their daily ordeals at home? Try imagining [try hard if you must] the hard work she has put up the whole day, for you and your kids /parents. And all you can give her is a sneer here, a scorn there and a trump taunt about something as insignificant as, she not coming up with a dish as per your expectations. Yes, you are tired after the office but your wife is tired too. If Ramzan is the best month for the charity and smile in itself is a charity, then why deprive that single person from your generosity, who is the back bone of your life? While granting everyone else, a share of your smile, you forget the one, who easily is the one most devoted to you and to every cause closer to your heart.
Being good and smiling for the world outside home is easy enough. Difficult is being good and nice and cheerful at home and further more for/to your wife.
Try as good as you can. We women are happy in little things of life. Talk to us about your day, lend us your ears. Difficult, I know, but this is the single most important thing to do, if you want to be a good husband. If you want to do better, then help us out in the kitchen. Chop those cucumbers in neat slices, shake up that juice, you all are going to have at iftar or clean up the table, after dinner.
But don’t forget to wear that smile, first.
Your smile is her world
[Coming next: This Ramzan Be A Good Wife.]