Home, Sweet Home
By Khalid Baig
“My own feeling is that we’ve pushed women too far,” says Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, the 80 year old Harvard University doctor who is frequently called “America’s Pediatrician,” in a recent interview in the Los Angles Times. “We’ve split them in two, and we have not given them back anything to support themselves on either end.” He has witnessed what forcing the women into the workforce and the breakdown of the family have done to the American children. “I just think our country is in deep, deep trouble,” he agonizes.
Opinion leaders of all persuasions agree. Ask America’s First Lady, who considers herself a champion of women’s and children’s causes. In her 1996 book, “It Takes a Village,” she offers this assessment: “… children’s potential lost to sprit-crushing poverty, children’s health lost to unaffordable care, children’s hearts lost in divorce and custody fights, children’s futures lost in an overburdened foster care system, children’s lives lost to abuse and violence, our society lost to itself as we fail our children.” This is a society in which by her account: “homicide and suicide kill almost seven thousand children every year; one in four of all children are born to unmarried mothers, many of whom are children themselves; and 135,000 children bring guns to school each day. Children in every social stratum suffer from abuse, neglect, and preventable emotional problems.” She also approvingly quotes: “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.” It is obvious that America as a nation, has bungled this thoroughly.
Welcome to the dark side of “Women’s Emancipation.” Today women are free in America. Free from the protection of a home and the support of a husband who would be responsible to provide for them. They are on their own. In turn, the children have been freed from the rigidities of the traditional home, where father and mother provide for them, take care of them, and guide them. The children are also on their own. Just in case they do not like it, the society has been experimenting with all kinds of poultry farms —day care they call them—to take care of them.
Things have gone so wrong for so long that everyone has lost all hope that the society can rectify it completely and retrace its steps. Hillary Clinton admits: “My personal wish, that every child have an intact, dependable family, will likely remain a wish.” So, she is just trying to build a better poultry farm with the help of the whole village. Dr. Brazelton knows that the children need the mother at home. “I think you are giving a gift to the child when you stay home with him as long as you can.” However, he knows that it cannot be very long, as, to stay home, “being just a mother,” is not good enough any more. He knows the psychological crisis faced by the stay-at-home mothers, so he pleads with everyone to do as much as they can.
Now contrast this with the U.N. edict that the women in the rest of the world, especially the Muslim world, must take up all kinds of jobs outside the home; that the goal should be their total economic independence. In other words, women must be forced outside the home so they are no longer available to take care of the children within the home. They must be “liberated” from the home, so they can enjoy the same fruits of “emancipation” as the women are “enjoying” in the U.S.
The destruction of the family in America, or the West in general, was not planned. It just happened as a logical result of the materialistic, hedonistic, Godless civilizational values that have gripped these societies. But the U.N. decree that the rest of the world must follow the same disastrous path, is something else. It is as if a person lost an eye to horseplay, and now wants everyone else to voluntarily have an eye removed!
It is unconscionable that we should be answering such chicanery with apologetics of the kind that normally begin with, “Islam also allows women to,” as in, “Islam also allows women to work outside the home.” Yes, it does in case of necessity, but that is beside the point. The real issue is that Islam frees a wife from the burden to provide for the family. It is solely the husband’s responsibility. In return, wife’s main responsibility is to stay home and take care of the children. The primary field of women’s endeavor is the home, sweet home. And this has to be stated without hesitation or apology. The Qur’an says: “And stay quietly in your homes.”[Al-Ahzab, 33:33]. And the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, said: “The wife is responsible for taking care of the home of her husband, and she will be accountable for those given in her charge.”[Bukhari, Muslim]. This is also the most rewarding job that anyone can think of. The Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, assured the woman who stays home to take care of the children, that she would be with him in paradise. According to another hadith, during pregnancy and the entire period of nursing, the believing mother is like the soldier on active duty. If she dies, she gets the reward reserved for a martyr. Yet another hadith says to the women: “Take care of the home. That is your jihad.” [Musnad Ahmad].
All of these clearly establish the basic division of labor between men and women according to Islam: men are responsible for the affairs outside the home and the women are responsible for taking care of the home. This division is not a relic of some dark past. It is the only basis on which a healthy society has ever been built and can be built today. The nations that have tried to alter this natural arrangement long enough have nothing but grief and trouble to show for their efforts. And they seem to be groping in the dark, unable to undo the damage and get out of the quagmire. Is there any sane reason that those who have the Light should follow them on the dark highway to disaster?
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