Saturday, February 8, 2014

In defense of women: Devotion and Loyalty

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

On the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah, 10 A.H. (623AD) in the Uranah valley of Mount 'Arafat in Makkah, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w), the best example of man, gave his final sermon (khutbah). It is a sermon that contains so much meaningful jewels and reminders for not only the Muslims of his time, but also for all generations of Muslims and humankind, those in our past, in our present and in the future. One part of the meaningful reminders is:
"O People it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah's trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well never to be unchaste." (Source: IIUM Article Collection. Link) 
Significant is women in Islam and in the Prophet's tradition that one part of the sermon touched on women, on reminding that women have rights too, they are Allah's trust upon men, they are to be treated well and with kindness, "for they are your partners and committed helpers". The word "committed" is equivalent to "devoted" and "loyal". This line tells it straight forwardly that women are devoted and loyal.

Women are devoted and loyal creation of Allah swt

MashaAllah, the words of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w), inspired by Allah (s.w.t), are completely true. Women are indeed committed, devoted and loyal creations of Allah. I have experienced it myself and I have witnessed things with my own eyes, that indeed women are beautifully crafted with the essence of devotion and loyalty, especially the devotion and loyalty towards those who are dear as well as beloved to them. They are born with this wonderful essence and it is transcended in their actions and characters.
If a woman is asked to be a homemaker, taking care of everyone she loves in the family and looking after everything at home, she would devotedly and lovingly be one, though she actually has the level of education that would make the world give her more acknowledgment.

If a woman is asked to be her man's assistant, in going through the current financially challenging era, to aid him in terms of financial needs, to go out and work, she would devotedly give her best effort in it, though she has to put aside her inner natural feminine instincts to be attached to her home.
If her man tells her that he would be back from work quite late, she would loyally wait for the husband, devotedly would welcome him with her graceful smile, though inside, she herself feels weary of a long day completing tasks at home, and at her work place.
If her man tells her that he would call her back after he has finished some tasks or work, she would loyally wait for his call, patiently consoling her heart, trying her best to understand his circumstances, though it usually takes hours and more hours, and even days for him to realize that he needs to call her back. And some men, will even forget.
These and there are many more illustrations on how devoted and loyal women can be. They are gifted with the inner strength and ability to do so. And subhanallah, this essence of devotion could further be enhanced and magnified. How is this achieved? It is through words or acts of appreciation from her loved ones, those whom she is loyal and devoted to, especially from her beloved man.  A sincere 'thank you', small gestures of kindness, simple greetings and even just a loving smile and glances. These are the only things that a woman hoped for sometimes, for her to further enhance her essence of devotion and loyalty, especially to her man.

When her devotion is being taken for granted

However, unfortunately, at times, she is denied of these words of appreciation. She keeps being devoted and loyal, but she does not receive any appreciation or even encouragement. Her loved ones, has taken her for granted.
No words of appreciation to her actions in making sure everyone lives comfortably at home, cause to them, that's part of her responsibility and routine. 
No appreciation is expressed to her sacrifices to contribute financial assistance to her man, cause to him, "Well, she voluntarily opted for it. And it is a common scene for women to work these days". 
No expression of 'thank you' or 'I love you more cause you're willing to wait for me' or a sweet gentle kiss on her cheek, when she waited for her man to come back home, because to him, "She has been doing that for years, do I have to say thank you every single time she waits?"
No expression of "I am sorry" or "I'll make it up to you", or acts of holding her hands to seek for her apology, for the many times when she loyally waited and expected for her man to call her back because he did say that he would call back but he forgot to do so, for the many times when she felt a bit down and hurt when she didn't even get his reply, and for the many times when she had to console her own heart. Sadly, all of this is because, according to his inadequate rationale, it's just a small matter, none of them matters to him and they are not important to be entertained. 
Such illustrations and many more denial of appreciation that are happening to a woman are not without effect to her. Gradually, the essence of loyalty and devotion in her would fade and wear away. Just like the outpourings of rain that flow wastefully into the drain, this essence would soon be wasted away. Slowly, this deprivation of appreciation which leads to the absence of devotion would lessen her pure woman entity. Her succumb to such diminution would make her become less emotional. To protect herself, she shield behind the dry, impassive and apathetic spheres of rationality. And if she is being continuously taken for granted, time after time, again and again, she might fall into the extreme and tell herself "That's it. I do not want to care anymore". And this is a totally unpleasant and imbalance scene.

In a nutshell

In essence, I would like to express and state a defence that all a woman needs is just some kind words or acts of appreciation for the devoted and loyal nature that are intrinsically crafted in her by Allah swt. She does not expect for material things like gold or diamonds. (Though subhanallah, if presenting her with such types of gifts are her man's way of showing appreciation to her, and he can afford them, then by all means he may). The most meaningful to her is the kind words and kind gestures of her man, so that she knows her effort and acts of devotion and loyalty are not wasted, so that she could further enhance her devotion, loyalty and commitment to him. And with all this, the love in her heart towards him will become strengthen and she could play her role as a true woman to her fullest capability and potential.

In defense of women.

Dear men,
Love the woman of your life with all your heart and you will be loved unconditionally by her in return. Try to soften your heart and ego for her. She would understand it that at least you are trying. Trust me, it is way more rewarding to treat her with gentleness rather than harshness. The rewards shall also benefit you in the end. Do not neglect her until she falls into the emotionless hole and declares that she does not care anymore. Such reaction would have an ugly impact on you and your shared life with her. Believe me, when a woman affirms it in her heart that she does not want to care anymore, she really means it, she does not and will not ever care about you anymore.

Dear men,
It's not hard to say 'thank you' to your beloved woman. It's not difficult to return her glance and smile. It's not that hard to look at her, hold her hands and say 'I'm sorry, I'll make it up to you'. It does not cost you a lot of energy to return her call or reply her messages. It won't hurt you if you sincerely buy her simple gifts. Fulfill your promises to her for this act would make her be filled with pride and gratefulness for having you as her man. Make her feel that she is valuable to you. And finally, do not ever take her for granted. As long as you love her, show kindness and treat her well, she'll be in her utmost devotion to you. Believe me, for you, men, have no idea of the immense vastness and depth of devotion that a loyal and loving woman dares to undertake for you, the man of her life.


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