The Housewife in an Ignorant Society

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Among the most prominent types of identities inherited by the society of ignorance from their ancestors is that of the housewife. This identity is known by almost all the members of the society, and, no matter what the culture, it is found among the majority of women throughout the world.

This identity is cultivated in almost every girl, from her childhood on, with the expectation that she will one day certainly have to conform to that model. It is usually their mothers, the person usually closest to them, who provides them with that example. They observe their mothers and other women in the community, and little by little, they begin to adopt the identity in their own minds. The role-model is that of a woman who marries well, who is a good housekeeper, and gives birth to healthy children; she receives visits from relatives and friends, and meets with other women to have tea; she brings up her children, does the shopping, cleans the house, and other similar domestic duties.

Surely it is a beauty and blessing for someone to make a good marriage and have a good family life. Believers also desire to have such a blessing. However what is flawed here is the desire to possess them with a worldly greed, without adopting the morality and attitude proclaimed by Allah.

These young girls know nothing about the world, and believe this occupation to be the ideal for a woman. And, in the future, without questioning, that is the life they will choose.

Certainly, it is not a blameworthy thing for a person to be interested in their home. But it is erroneous to confine one’s entire world only within four walls, and to forget her real purpose of life which is revealed in the Qur’an. Indeed, these people limit their thoughts to the location in which they reside and start to live in this small world. They have small targets, small aims, small expectations and small calculations. They possess a kind of character far removed from that of believers described in the Qur’an who fulfill their duties as servants to Allah in the best form possible, aim to display best of the attitudes and conduct hoping to earn Allah’s good pleasure, constantly turn to Allah and remember the abode of the Hereafter.

In the society of ignorance, however, the most important issues occupying the mind of a typical housewife are herself, her family, kids and future plans. In a middle-income family these plans include owning a flat and thus ceasing to be a tenant, covering monthly electricity and water bills or kids’ school payments, being able to possess a car one day or renewing furniture. The goals of a housewife with better living conditions are no better than the ones cited above. Her plans are likewise made upon her home, family and kids. What makes her life meaningful is to be able to boast about the beauty of her house, the quality of education her kids get or the new car her husband has purchased.

It deserves mention here to say that all the deeds cited above are surely requisite, but the error of ignorant women here is not setting ideals for themselves beyond these few ordinary pleasures. If their lives were established on higher spiritual ideals, even if they lived in the same conditions, they would not be content to be confined to such an identity. The best example of this can be the pious woman.

A person who believes in Allah, whether man or a woman, has high ideals and broad horizons. A woman with a believer’s character takes responsibility, not only for her house, family and relatives, but for the whole world. When necessary, she may live within four walls doing her housework, and organize meetings with her friends, but her thoughts, goals and responsibilities are never limited to that. She would never let herself be an insignificant person concerning herself with minor issues. From where she is, she seeks solutions to the world’s problems, develops ideas, and bridges impasses.

An ignorant housewife, who conforms to the model determined for her by society, never desiring to venture beyond it, leads her life within the parameters drawn for her. One of the main reasons being that she assumes there is only one place for her to be in this world, and neglects to consider the fact that the day is coming when she will be called to account before Allah. Indeed, one who does not think about what happens beyond death spends his life struggling to maximize the benefits that it has to offer. Our Prophet (saas) has indicated the importance of thinking about death:

“Speak a lot about death. Because this removes a man from the world. And makes him free of sin.” (Ahmad Diya’al-Din al-Kamushkhanawi, Ramuz al-Ahadith, Vol 1, 80/16)

One who fails to keep himself occupied with the remembrance of death strives only to live without overstepping the limits set by those around him. They seek not the favor of Allah, but the approval of others. The result is a backward and ignorant way of life. The basic principles on which this way of life is founded are clear.

2012-01-20 21:16:21
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