ONCE UPON A WOMAN

The old man looked round. " I want everybody to know that the decision of my son to divorce his wife is his and his alone. As for me, I have never seen this kind of thing before in my life. There is no greater worship of Allah  than to obey your parents and your husband. If your husband says he does not want something. Apart from that, you have your children to consider. Your children, as far as I am concerned, should be your overriding reason for acceding to the request of your husband in this matter. Whatever travails you go through, you will reap the benefit in future. The reason we have called you Alfas is to serve as arbiters."

There were eight people in the room. They were seated in an almost circular shape round her, she being on the outer ring of the group. Mentally, as she pictured them, memories of the past few weeks flashed in her mind. There was her mother-in-law. Aminah, my daughter, she'd pleaded with her,

"in the name of Allah that you love so much, in the name of Allah that you worship so much, I am begging you to , re-consider your position. I am not your mother, but I love you more than my own daughter, and I do not want to lose you. You have been very good, very good. I don't want to lose you. Please, please, please ... "

and her mother-in-law went tearfully on her knees in front of Aminah. As Aminah, alarmed, tried to move away, , her mother-in-law grabbed her, sobbing, "Would you do this to me if I were the mother that bore you? 'Would you treat me this way?" Aminah herself had burst into tears. If she'd said any other thing, she couldn't recollect, but she recollected that she'd repeated all that she'd said the previous days of this trial, "I can't do it. I can't disobey Allah.

"1love you," her husband had told her looking straight into her eyes, his voice matter of factly. "But I can't stand extremism. I can't stand this jilbab business. Allah will forgive us if we're committing a sin, but I can't stand it, I can't. I love you: why have I bought you all the things I've bought you if I didn't love you? I am ready to do anything for you- anything: your own car; a driver, Ask, and I will give you, but on my own terms.  Doesn't Allah Himself say that you should respect your husband?"

Her mother, looking gaunt, said definitely, "You want to kill me." In truth, since the beginning of the crisis, her mother had lost weight. "I am the one you should consider," she sniffed. "You want to send me away from my husband's home? Eh? You want to ruin my life? Aminah, if I am your mother and bore you and gave you suck, then you won't do this to me. Ha! I  am ruined! Save me!" she said in tears to the Alfas. "save me from this daughter of mine!"

It was obvious that one of the two men called Alfas was itching to talk. His lips were pursed, almost spewing forth words, but the other merely shook his head solemnly. Finally he spoke. 'All praise is due to Allah Who has guided us to this path of Islaam. May His peace and blessings be upon His Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam). After this, I ask, what do we have to say in a matter that has already been decided by Allah? If we claim to worship Allah, why should we have any hesitation doing or accepting anything He has ordained for us?"

He paused for a while, then he continued: This woman is a trust from Allah. She is weak because there is no one willing to be seen on her side now. But I ask you, which woman is better than one who fears Allah and fears to transgress His limits? Where is the parent who will not love such a woman? Where is the husband who will not desire such a wife? She looks weak, and she sheds tears. But, look at her: Perhaps Allah has His angels around her giving her support and news of something better than you can ever give her now, and perhaps not. We do not know. I do not know. She is yours to do as you wish. If you wish, divorce her; it is within your rights. If you wish, keep her and rejoice in the good that Allah has given you through her. But fear Allah, for, now, judgement is given by all of us, but, later, judgement will be given bf Allah alone."

Aminah was divorced by her husband. Twelve long years have rolled by since. Her jilbab. for which she'd lost her husband, had been soaked in her tears as she'd journeyed away from her former home to the house of her brother. Had she made a mistake? Yes. she admitted, maybe when she'd married her husband, just maybe she'd married him for a little less than his fear of Allah. Her parents, eventually came round and had accepted her back. She's married again, as a second wife, to a teacher: A poor man by material means, a man with whom she's been able to do all those things, which Allah had enjoined upon her as a Muslim woman. And with Allah lies all success. 

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited