Monday, August 8, 1999
I have decided this week to write about a subject that I feel
OPEN LETTER TO THE UMMAT:
As a Muslim lady, I sometimes hear about
the conditions of my sisters who are in need of assistance. I
am an American convert to Islam for almost 26 years now. There
seems to be a re-occuring problem in this country that I must
say makes me both sad and angry at the same time. This is the
problem of some Muslim men who do not work to support their families.
Of course, most Muslim men work extremely
hard, and fulfill their obligations admirably. So this is not
an indictment of all Muslim men, but only of those who behave
in a certain manner.
It seems almost a contradiction in terms.
How a Muslim man can allow his pregnant wife to work full time
while he is unemployed for long periods of time seems to me some
sort of psychosis. We all understand, there may be short periods
of time when for some legitimate reason a husband cannot work,
illness for example. Reasonable people understand something like
this, but men who stay out of work for long periods of time (years
even), what must be their understanding of their Islamic duties
as husbands and fathers?
A Muslim lady's primary responsibility
is as wife and mother, not breadwinner. Some ladies have even
had to resort to charity from the government because of their
strained situation. Dear brothers, there are hadiths that state
a man who doesn't support his family is as one who deserts his
family, and his ibadat is not accepted until he returns.
I have heard many arguments: "I
can't cut my beard, they serve alcohol". But in the US there
are many, many, many HALAL jobs that a Muslim man can work. The
concept of working more than one job was something that many
of our fathers here in the US had to do.
So I ask, how can someone justify such
behavior? I would like to request a learned person to answer
this question in detail, it seems evident from Qur'an and Hadith
the correct answer, but there are many such cases in the US.
Where is the justice for Muslim ladies that we read about and
made us choose Islam? What becomes of the family in such a situation?
The beautiful order and justice that characterizes Islam is gone.
The US is not a Muslim country and so
Shariah (Islamic Law) cannot be practiced in its entirety, but,
I am hoping that "rightly guided" brothers can find
a REMEDY to this heinous practice. May Allah help us and guide
us to correct understanding of His religion.