At the footmarks of Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him)
by Nadia Khan
This was early morning hours; only last night we had reached Madina Munawarra (the second sacred & holy city of Saudi Arabia) and after finishing Fajir (morning) prayers in Masjid e Nabwai, (Mosque of Holy Prophet), I was left standing just outside the tomb of Rasul ullah Sallahu Alyhay Wassalum, below the Gunbad e Khizra (the famous green dome) while accompanied male members of my family went inside to present their Salam (Salutations) to Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).
I was standing out side alone and watching the huge construction looking better than any seven star hotel, large ground where million could gather & pray easily, flashy lights, automatic sunlight protection canopies, glazed tiles floor, golden art work on huge doors showing word Muhammad, and inside –from where I just came out- highly maintained air conditioner & number of countless modern facilities. This is Masjid e Nabawi - the mosque of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) which was initially built by him, called by him as My Mosque, and here he is buried and this mosque became a landmark for all Muslims even after 1500 years ago and forever.
With a flash of second, my mind dates back to 1500 years ago, wondering how this mosque would be, initially, when Hazrat Usman Ghani (RA) came forward to spend money on its construction. And what was the city of Madina too; couple of hundred of small mud houses with no electricity, roads, and muddy pavements! The mosque was built as a very small with wooden trees used as pillars and date leaves were used as part of covering roof. Since then and today’s modern facilities, everything has been elevated to its highest peak except the power of Ummah!
Beside all these modern amenities, my mind was traveling to find out what the "status of women" was during these days or little before when Muhammad (peace be upon him) was chosen to become the last Prophet of Allah on earth? Number of history books pages keep floating in my mind where I can find the status of women, suddenly I could visualize that where I am standing, in a near by small room the Prophet of Allah is breathing his last breaths and saying, "O People be careful about women…." This was just the beginning of an unfinished era because what she was before him and what he had given to women during his 23 years in this world, is worth noting beside the false propaganda of West where women is used as a marketing commodity and sale able item even in 21st century!
Before Prophet Muhammad, she was a mere commodity that could be sold as & when needed, a symbol of lust to enlighten the dark nights of Arabia, or a slave who is meant for all types of work; moral or immoral. The best record was given by Quran about the status of women by saying that in an Arabic society “When he is given the good news that his wife is given birth to a female child, a girl - his face becomes blackened and he becomes ashamed. Will he hide the fact or will he bury it in the ground.” This was because that he feels that the birth of a female child is a shame for him.
From this level in 6th century when Prophet Muhammad was sent as His last messenger on earth and once he departed the world, women status was improved by him in instituting rights of property ownership, inheritance, business, education and divorce.
Even in some cases, woman enjoys certain privileges of which man is deprived off. She is exempted from some religious duties such as five times prayers and Ramadan fasting in her regular periods and at times of confinement. She is also exempted from all financial obligations or liabilities to run a family or earn the living.
By being a mother, woman enjoys more recognition and highest honour in the eyes of her Creator (31:14-15;46:15) as well as among those who believe in Allah. The Holy Prophet has also acknowledged this honour when he declared that “ Paradise is under the feet of the mothers.”
By being a mother, a woman is entitled to three-fourths of the son's love and kindness with one-fourth left for the father. The famous saying of Holy Prophet, “Your mother, your mother, your mother, and then your father” is in front of us.
By being a wife, she is entitled to demand of her prospective husband a suitable dowry that will be of her own. She is also entitled to complete provision and total maintenance by the husband. She does not have to work or share with her husband the family expenses. She is free to retain, after marriage, whatever she possessed before it, and the husband has no right whatsoever to any of her current and old belongings. Even in case, husband has not been given right to take away whatsoever he has presented to his wife, in case they both decide to get separated.
By being a daughter or sister, she is made publicly entitled to security and provision by the father and brother respectively. That is her privilege. If she wishes to work or be self-supporting and participate in handling the family responsibilities, she is quite free to do so, provided her integrity and honour is safeguarded and also maintained by herself too.
With all these thoughts - a poor woman was standing out side the hujra of Hazrat Ayesha (RA) – one of the house of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) where he, the holiest man on earth, had spend last years of his sacred life. The poor woman was thinking all about this - where she was and where she stands now after 1500 years ago.
Suddenly, I could hear the voice of my brother who was asking, “Hey! You are still standing, come on we are going back.”
Then I realized that in last 20 minutes, I had entered into a centuries old tunnel of history and was wondering as how women life was during the days of Holy Prophet, how he has given respect to a mere commodity, how he has elevated the level of women and what message he has left at the time of departing this materialistic world by saying that the “the best among you are the ones who are the best with their families (wives).”
That was the moment when I really felt proud that I am born as the follower of Prophet Muhammad (sallahu alyhay wassalum) and I am here at his footsteps paying my tribute! My heart was saying that:
“O mankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord, Who created you from a single person, and created of like nature his mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women (4:1)”
“Indeed there has come to you a Noble Messenger from among you - your falling into hardship aggrieves Him, most concerned for your well being, for the believers most compassionate, most merciful.” (9:128)