Written by Heena Kausher Ansari · August 09, 2008
As a 6th grader in school I was taught in history class about 1 among various superstitious practices followed in India. A lot among them turning to social evils and targeting the weakest, the 1 such, which I remember was Satipratha. I was told it was practiced under Hinduism. As a kid just learning differences between religions I went back home and was proud to confirm from that such practice was never ever followed in Islam.
Little I knew den that its not d religion, not d time (Sathipratha was followed long back) not d man made boundaries on land, but d mind set, the thinking, the understanding of a man dominated society and its product man to rule over the fairer sex. For if it was supposed to be a reason among any of the former arguments then the case of Zarina and alike cases must have not occurred.
To people not so keen with news, it’s a case about a Pakistani 18year old married girl who suffered acid attack by her neighbor. An attack which did not stop from melting her eyelids, lips, face, shoulder, chest, but melted her beauty, her life, her hopes and questioned her existence as a free human.
Woman, the fairer sex, before the name changed was referred as the weaker sex who is also commonly used as synonym.
Why is it so, why has it always been a male dominated society. Many ‘whys’ are not answered and so we turn towards God and its religion for replies.
So talking about Zarina’s case, was that Islam taught us or is teaching anywhere? No. Going back in time, it was only due to Prophet Mohammed S.A.W that the heinous crime of killing girl child was aborted in Arab, after people accepted Islam as a way of life.
Islam is and has always been a religion which respects the status of women and encourages good treatment towards them. In fact, the heaven for which every human desire for has been told to lie at under a mother’s feet, one of woman’s various roles.
Then what is that the world doesn’t treat her so, if not equal and more important why is it so that the world thinks and blames Islam for designating woman a lower status than man.
It’s the “ignorance’. Ignorance against the laws of humanity, the philosophy of ‘live and let live’ and on top of all the understanding of Islam and its teaching.
One remarkable fact to note is that all such cases arise mostly and majorly among poor and uneducated class of people. People who are mostly at a loss to know what the religion or in fact the whole of humanity teaches them and expects them to act so.
Poor girls like Zarina are hardly imparted any education, written or oral so withdrawing every possibility of making a future by earning money. The only future they have is under a man, his name as his daughter, wife or mother and the only education they receive are the guidelines from their grandmothers, mothers, aunts and sisters to keep quiet and to accept any and all of such barbaric treatments.
They are kept away from the so called ‘modern education’ so as not to make rebels out of these innocent hearts. A girl finally turns to a pitiable soul, who having no education, no money, a family (mainly children) to feed and a heart filled with motherhood can’t leave her husband.
It’s again not their fault, with a viewpoint as theirs. It seems all tolerable to accept these hateful treatments. They are in need to be educated about the legal rights prevalent in the country and the rights which the religion bestows them with.
It’s a pity in today’s contemporary world that women have to fight for what they already deserve. Men, then also, are not ready to compromise. We read, hear and witness this brutally malicious act being repeated over and over again, only reflecting the value of women in society.
There can be many solutions for this problem. As for ignorance, solution is knowledge, for this it has to be widespread education- an education which will impart economic independence among women through employment. Other steps can be tougher laws and more importantly their strict implementation. The police investigation and the court trials should be impartial and as fast as they can be. The penalty should be no less than death for those found guilty.
Government, Muslim leaders and Ulemas should not only go on making laws or delivering speeches but instead, I hope, they be a bit practical in their sayings. Then may be, if Allah desires and all goes well, in some time we might be able to give back women their real place in society.