By Asma Bint Shameem
He paced nervously up and down the hospital corridor. His heart was beating fast and he couldn’t wait much longer. After all, he was going to be a father soon”¦.a father of a little baby boy”¦”¦.or at least he hoped it would be a boy”¦. O how much he wanted the baby to be a boy!
But, what if his wife had a”¦.a girl? Then what? That would be utter disgrace!
What will all his friends say! How could he ever face them?
And what would his mother’s reaction? She had instructed his wife to make sure she had a son, or else”¦..
Suddenly, his thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the doctor opening the door. “Congratulations,” she said. “Your wife just delivered a baby girl!”
He stopped dead in his tracks. His heart sank”¦.his face became dark.
What did she say? A”¦..A What? NOOOO! It can’t be! There must be some mistake! But I was hoping for a son! I am ruined and disgraced! What will I tell my friends and family!
And what about my mother? She will be devastated!
Slowly, he walks away from the doctor, not even turning to look at the baby”¦..
This scenario, my dear brothers and sisters is not from a movie, nor is it something from the past.
Would you believe that this is actually happening in the 21st century in the Muslim communities all over the world, even in the United States!
Some of the Muslims, may Allah guide them, get angry when Allah blesses them with daughters. In fact, some of them even threaten to divorce their wives if she produces a daughter! What an outrage! When are we to learn? When will we get out of this ignorant behaviour?
If you visit any maternity hospital in a Muslim country, and look around at the faces of those to whom daughters have been born, listening to what they say, you will see a strange similarity between many of these people and the people of the Jahiliyyah. Allah says about such people:
“And when the news of (the birth of) a female (child) is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with inward grief! He hides himself from the people because of the evil of that whereof he has been informed. Shall he keep her with dishonor or bury her in the earth? Certainly, evil is their decision!” [al-Nahl:58-59] The husband puts undue pressure on his wife to have a boy or else he will divorce her or she will be subjected to his cruelty. Did he forget that science has proven that it is the male that is responsible for determining the sex of the baby and the woman has absolutely no say in the matter?
And not only the husband, the pressure, also surprisingly comes from the mother-in-law. Did she forget that she herself is a female? Or was she born a male and then magically changed later to a female? How absurd is their rationale!
Are these people objecting to the decree of Allah? Did they forget that submitting to the decree of Allah is obligatory, and accepting it is one of the attributes of the believers? Did they forget that it is Allah who bestows children, be it female or male, to whomever He wants and does not bestow any offspring to whomever He wants?
One of the manifestations of this dislike of daughters is that in some hospitals, when they find out the sex of the baby by ultrasound, if it is male they tell the family, and if it is female they say nothing.
This is a very serious matter and is a rejection of the gift which Allah has given, instead of thanking Him for it. This in itself is enough to earn Allah’s anger and expose one to His punishment, may Allah protect us from it.
Everyone knows the honor and respect Islam has given to women and the rights given to her by the Shariah. There is nothing in any other religion, nation or law that can compare to the position given to the woman in Islam. Moreover, the virtues of girls is not unknown, for they are the mothers and daughters, sisters, and wives.
They are one half of society which gives birth to the other half, so it is as if they are the entire society.
The Prophet (pbuh) also explained the virtues of girls and urged kind treatment of them, as he said:
“Whoever takes care of two girls until they reach adulthood, he and I will come like this on the Day of Resurrection,’ and he held his fingers together.” (Muslim)..
“Whoever has three daughters and is patient towards them, and feeds them, gives them to drink and clothes them from his riches, they will be a shield for him from the Fire on the Day of Resurrection.” (Ibn Maajah”saheeh by al-Albaani)
We should thank Allah for blessing us with sweet daughters, for it is a blessing indeed. We should fear Allah and love our children and treat them fairly, be it a daughter or son. Both are blessings of Allah and, surely, we will be questioned about them.
Stop the discrimination of girls and preference to boys.
(The writer is a student at Al-Huda Institute, Bangalore)