Since childhood we’ve heard that girls are a blessing sent by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’la) and the truth is that daughters are the ones who make our homes lively in the true sense, with their innocent antics and colourful personalities. Whether our own or others, the charm a daughter brings to our lives cannot be ignored. Despite this, women are so afraid of conceiving a girl in some societies.
On the birth of a daughter, apart from the anxiety of facing the disapproving husband and in-laws, the mother is also apprehensive of the difficulties that lay ahead when raising a female child. God knows what her destiny will be. What kind of people will she end up with after marriage? These are some of the worries circling her mind. From her birth till she gets married, if anyone ever recites a dua that “may Allah make your daughter’s naseeb (fate or fortune) good”, a mother always says ameen from the bottom of her heart, even if the dua is mere words for the one giving it.
When my little daughter plays with her father, mock-fights with him or cutely shows him attitude to get her own way, her antics look so cute to me. When I see her laugh and play so freely, a fervent dua springs from my heart too, that “O Allah, make my daughter’s naseeb good, and may she keep laughing and smiling in the house she will be married into.”
What is this good naseeb all about? Knowingly and unknowingly, what are we actually asking Allah (subhanahu wa ta’la) for? Does it mean a good looking and open-minded bridegroom with a lucrative job from a wealthy family? A house where money can make every worldly wish of our daughter’s come true? Somewhere she won’t need to lift a finger to do a day’s work and where she will be at liberty to roam around wherever she wants to?
In some societies, if someone’s daughter is fortunate enough to get married in to such an ‘ideal’ family, the relatives, as well as the girl herself, are seen walking around on cloud nine. A label of good naseeb is awarded to this fortunate girl and the entire family now looks at her with awe and admiration.
To me, the definition of good naseeb was the same, as I too use to ask my Rubb for a good home for my daughter but one day an ayah from the Quran shook me to the core, as it read, “And this worldly life is not but amusement and play. And indeed, the home of the Hereafter – that is the [eternal] life, if only they knew.” (Quran 29:64). I had read this verse before but this time it seemed the verse affected me inside. What a clear message from our Rubb for us and despite reading it several times I had never truly comprehended it. A sigh of regret left my heart and a sense of shame washed over me. I thought woefully, I always ask Allah (subhan wa ta’la) for worldly ease and happiness for my daughter when in reality the real good fortune is hidayah (guidance) bestowed by Allah (subhan wa ta’la) not a wealthy and open minded husband.
Unfortunately, keeping these lowly aspirations in mind we pamper our daughters blatantly, fulfill all their wishes whether right or wrong and, thinking that we don’t know what kind of circumstances they will face after marriage, we give them every sort of luxury and comfort while they are with us. Ironically it never crosses our mind that if they do end up in a financially tough situation in life, we have set them up for failure.
It is so sad that people in some societies are so anxious to get their daughters married in to a well-to-do family that in many gatherings young girls are seen all decked up as if they were show pieces in an exhibition. Many mothers are even taking their daughters around without hijab, thinking that maybe they will be fortunate enough to secure a good proposal this way.
If, due to the mercy of Allah, a mother succeeds in securing such a proposal, she can’t stop talking about the flow of wealth, the number of servants, the posh gatherings and the exchange of expensive gifts, while the mothers who are unable to achieve this feat are left watching and listening enviously. These envious mothers do not ponder that, “Your wealth and your children are only a trail (fitnah) and Allah – with him is a great reward.” (Quran 64:15)
Pardon me for saying it but when looking for a proposal for our daughters, deen (religion) is the last thing on our priority list. We don’t even think about finding out if the man we are planning to marry our daughter off to prays salah or not, whether he spends his life according to Quran and sunnah or not or whether the wealth that he has accumulated is halal or not. A man with a beard in accordance with the sunnah is the last person we would like for our daughters and if by chance the matter of salah is accidently brought up in conversation, we dismiss the lack of it, saying, “That’s not a problem, he still has his whole life in front of him to start praying, he is young now and it’s time to enjoy life. When the time comes he will start praying too.”
As for raising a daughter, when it comes to religious education, we consider getting her through the Arabic recitation of the Quran just once, more than enough. Our daughter looks so beautiful to us without hijab. It’s okay if she diets the entire year but if she doesn’t fast in Ramadan it doesn’t bother us at all. Now she seems too weak to be fasting the entire month. If she sleeps late at night then we can’t bring ourselves to wake her up for fajr prayer. After all, the poor thing was studying for her exams till late at night. We are not really worried about her real exam in life.
When delighting in our beautiful daughters, do we ever think about adorning them with the jewels of taqwa and patience? By admiring rich and liberal families, do we think what kind of values and standards we are instilling in them? Although it is not wrong to aspire to have wealth and comfort in this world, should we be making them our end rather than just the means they actually are? We need to teach this different perspective to our daughters so that they can realise the test manifested in these blessings and build a home in akhira through them. God forbid, if ever they face a loss in life they can bear it with grace and gratitude and rise in status with their Lord as a result.
What a glad tiding our beloved Prophet (sallahu alaihi wasalam) gave parents of daughters when he said, “Whoever has three daughter or sisters or two daughters or a sister and lives with them in a good manner, and has patience with them and fears Allah with regards to them then he will enter Paradise.” (Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi)
The point to ponder here is, are we raising our daughters in accordance with our deen? Are we teaching them how to handle every situation in life? Will our unwarranted pampering prepare them to face the deprivations and trials in life? Let’s resolve today to sincerely raise our daughters in accordance with the will of Allah, so that we can be pardoned and rewarded by Him (subhan wa ta’la) on the Day of Judgment. This world will end but our daughter, if she goes through the trials of this world with patience, forbearance and obedience to Allah will be the one with good naseeb. She will then truly be the daughter of fortune.