“It seems like your brothers have you under their thumb!?“
“Erm… I’m not sure what you mean, but okay…“
I replied, confused at the sister’s statement. (Everyone is thinking “what did she just say?!”) I must be honest at that time, I rather innocently let it go (and it’s not even a bad thing), however such statements resonate when you’re reminded by something… (I’ll explain in the end how it applies to da’ees).
This conversation came back when I studied the tafseer of this Ayat…
“Men are in charge () of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard…” Surah Nisaa, Ayat 34
Allah ‘azza wa jal is telling us that men are the caretakers of women, not the dictators…
So you ask yourself – what does it mean by the Qawwam? According to Bernard Shaw it means to accomplish something, to preserve, to support, take care of - The image of the Muslim man is to support, to take care of the woman. This supporter is the one who is the maintainer of the family.
Hence, it’s not a privilege, it’s a responsibility. It’s about doing work.
And the righteous women are devoutly obedient, helping them in their vision, in their dreams, in assisting each other to worship Allah jalla wa ‘alaa.
This is misused by some men, but it’s so beautiful as it demonstrates that men have qualities women lack and women have qualities men lack. So Allah has made them to compliment each other so they can work together to be successful.
Women are the counterparts of men — right, worthy, virtuous – One who appreciates the qualities of the qawwam and is right for him.
The qawwam is making possible for this woman to sustain her sensitivity to Allah, he assists her, he is her partner and committed helper — they are the ones who will raise a family and form a cornerstone family = - who will be of those who take this Ummah to another level inshaAllah.
This is what the ideal Man should be! (By the way, I’m not saying this… This is Allah ‘azza wa jal)! He is telling us that Men do have a degree over women when it comes to leading the family, and generally in the Ummah. (Not that sisters can’t make an impact, they can, they do and they did alhamdulillah).
What can we take from this?
[dropcap2]1[/dropcap2]That Allah has given certain responsibilities to brothers that sisters don’t have. It’s about us all balancing our time out (you have to make time for this) and ensuring you do something for this Ummah, as it really is a responsibility upon us all…
[dropcap2]2[/dropcap2]The Muslim community lacks real leadership and no-one is really taking the responsibility. Meaning; doing it for the sake of Allah with IHSAAN with an aim to make an IMPACT! Going beyond just our own departmental work AND working together… How beautiful would it be if we were driving forward amazing projects?
[dropcap2]3[/dropcap2]He also reminds the men to not take advantage of the women; don’t let their zeal stop you from stepping forward. It’s supposed to be a race; it’s not about off loading to the other…
[dropcap2]4[/dropcap2]At times sisters have an issue with brothers taking too much control and brothers have an issue with sisters taking control, this is not the Qur’anic attitude, rather it’s about SUPPORTING them in the qualities we lack and them SUPPORTING us in ours and fulfilling the duties Allah has bestowed upon us.
[dropcap2]5[/dropcap2]Allah has created men as the protectors and women as their committed helpers. In the coming Ayat, He jalla wa ‘alaa tells us, don’t have hasad (envy) over each other. We need everyone in this da’wah to step up, brothers and sisters and compliment each other!
[dropcap2]6[/dropcap2]He… The Mighty, Most Wise reminds the women, that if you’re really righteous you will support them, you will help them in ATTAINING JANNAH! You will be there for them (to take the da’wah forward).
This is just to remind us that we are both unique and if we focused on what we were both good at, we’d be awesome!
Bismillah… To another day to show Allah how much you love Him!
Alima Ashfaq is the founder of I am Alima and hopes to transform it into the forefront of assisting women come closer to Allah (swt). She is the author of a number of publications, most notably Du’as of the Superstars.