A few days back I heard about a friend of a friend who came out of a pretty abusive marital relationship and how she suffered and still tried to “make things work” during the 3 years of the marriage. Coincidentally, the same day I got a chance to watch an episode of this ongoing drama serial called “Kesa Hai Naseeba’n” and I found it really disturbing.
With that friend’s story in my mind, I inquired more about the plot of the show and watched a couple of episodes only to find out that despite having top notch actors of our industry like Mr. Waseem Abbas and Madam Uzma Gillani in its cast and being telecasted on most watched channel ARY, this show is conveying ALL the wrong messages, which I had to talk about.
For those who don’t know, a summary of the show’s plot: Waseem Abbas’s daughter gets married to her phupho – Uzma Gillani’s son and moves to Malaysia with them only to find out that her husband is a lazy, short-tempered, physical and verbal abuser, fully supported and backed by his mother. They make her earn to feed the family while the husband doesn’t like to work. She is beaten, abused, tortured and treated as a maid. Later, the couple visits Pakistan where the girl opens up to her parents and tells them how she is treated in her susral.
Now instead of taking any appropriate action, the girl’s parents make her husband “apologize” and send the couple back to Malaysia to take care of the mother in law who had a heart attack. The couple reaches Malaysia and the girl finds out that there was no heart attack, and the husband tears the passport in front of her and tells her that now she is her slave for life, for she told her parents about the abusive relationship and hence beats the hell out of her.
Now my question to the show producers, what message are we conveying to the society? Is this how we want the parents in our society to respond in such a situation? Will such shows, encourage a woman in an abusive relationship to share her misery with her parents or will she think that “This is how helpless the parents are in our society so I should better stay shut and keep suffering”.
I am not saying that this isn’t a part of our society, I agree, we in the subcontinent, have a different customized version of Islam where women are not “supposed to” speak up against the atrocities and unfair behaviour of their husbands & In-laws. Also, I do admit that parents in our society do have this sick approach that “Jiss Gahr main Beti ki Doli Gayee Hai, Wahan Se Hi Uska Janaza Uthna Chahye” (Means no matter what, daughters should stay in their susral till death). BUT, isn’t this what we need to fight against? Isn’t this what, we should discourage?
Shouldn’t our dramas show supportive parents and brave women who KNOW that no culture or no religion can allow their husband to abuse, oppress or torture them? Shouldn’t we, as a society, urge our elders to be aware of how their daughters are being treated at their in-laws? Shouldn’t these dramas, encourage the parents/guardians of a girl to have a more responsible approach in a situation where your daughter is sharing with you how is she abused by her husband?
Usually, such articles are written by women, specifically hardcore feminists and is unfortunately seen with a view like “She is women, she will say all that”, but I, as a male, who has been brought up in this society where this issue is deep-rooted, genuinely wanted to write about this to tell all the girls being abused by their husbands for a cold meal at lunch or a delayed cup of tea or for they slept before the husband’s late night arrival, YOU DO NOT have to spend your entire life being verbally and physically abused by a such a sick minded freak, thinking that all men are like this and its the fate of a woman to suffer this.
To all the women suffering the mistreatment by their husbands, thinking that a wife is supposed to be a slave of their husband, who has imposed all the unfair restrictions on them but doesn’t allow their wives to even have a right of questioning them about anything, NO, this is NOT what you deserve. And, not all men are like that.
Every woman deserves to be loved by a loving husband like Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.W, who was when once asked in a gathering, that who He loves the most, He (SAWW) replied “My Wife, Ayesha”. It was for a reason why He (S.A.W.W) told his companions that, “The best among you are those, who are good (in behaviour) with their wives”. Also, once Prophet Muhammad Said, “When a husband and wife looks at each other with love, Allah looks at them with mercy”.
But here comes the saddest part of the story, such parents who encourage their daughters to “Tolerate the abuse” and all those mothers in laws who keep on telling their Bahus that “This is how men are”, ALL of them use “Religion (specifically Islam)” as a reference or trump card, saying Islam has elevated the status of a husband to so an so. They do all this, not at all knowing the status Islam has ACTUALLY given to wives.
A husband has rights in Islam, a lot of them INDEED, but all those rights are for those loving, caring, righteous husbands who are fulfilling their responsibilities towards their wife FIRST, NOT for the careless, jobless, senseless abusers and jerks.
Islam, where a husband is religiously bound to look after ALL, I repeat, ALL the financial needs of his wife and is bound to give her a sum as her personal pocket money. On the other hand, that very husband is not entitled to or more precisely, not allowed by Allah and His Prophet to even question about a penny of his wife’s earning or savings. So if a man needs his “Superiority or Majazi Khuda” status from his wife, we should let him first take care of each and every penny his wife/kids need for the basics.
Islam, where if a wife demands a separate house, it becomes a religious obligation, YES, a ‘farz’ for the husband to provide a separate independent shelter (according to his affordability) to her wife. So rather than expecting a wife to be a 24/7 maid at her husband’s joint family, society needs to consider this fact that if she is letting go of a right of a separate house, which Islam has given her, she is already doing the husband a favor.
I can write much more about the religious aspect of the story but it is more of a matter of common sense and conscience that NO religion can force a girl to accept insult, mistreatment and abuse, just to “make things work”. It’s the rotten, rusted and pathetic norms in our society, where even the parents of a girl expects her to stay shush about physical or verbal abuse saying, “It Happens”.
NO it does not happen! And if it does, this has to stop, women are just as equal as men in the eyes of God. Then who are we to force them to have all the compromises and oppression alone?
Marriage IS a name of ‘compromises and adjustment’, but the compromises and adjustments should be from both sides. Marriage is a name of respect, but of mutual respect. Marriage is definitely a name of letting go of your habits, interests and likes for your spouse, but yes, for your ‘spouse’, not for your husband only, which means that marriage definitely demands that “letting go of habits, interests and likes” from the husband’s side as well.
Its high time we give this confidence to our friends, sisters, daughters and all the women in our society that Marriage is a ‘Mutual Contract’, and NO, you do not have to consume your entire self just to “make things work” when your better half treats you like his slave and isn’t willing to change a bit to “make things work”.
For you are not his slave, you’re his wife, his partner, his “Libaas” as Quraan Said. And someone, who disrespects, abuses or mocks his own Libaas, doesn’t deserve it. He is the one who deserves to be shamed and humiliated publically, NOT YOU!
Let us all follow the religion in its truest sense, let us all be a more compassionate and responsible society and tell the girls around us that if you are in an abusive relationship, it’s not worth staying silent. It’s NOT your fault and you shouldn’t feel ashamed speaking up. And if you have walked out of it, like my friend did, it’s not a “Negative Label” but a medal that signifies that you are an Inspiration, a Hero!
What are your thoughts on this? Share with us in the comments bar below.