I am staring in bewilderment at the burnt corpses of the innocent little twin brothers....
The Divine Power has His own scheme of providing or withholding offspring, which is without doubt a wisdom-based system. Some yearning arms remain empty forever; some are given boys, some girls, and others both. It is another debate that a Mu'min should have firm belief in destiny, but the desire for boys is ingrained in the human breast. One can of course pray, or even wish, but not act in any way that would anger the Decider of male or female. One hears of couples that get out of their minds in their wish for a male child, are again and again swindled by doctors, hakims, quacks, so-called magicians, but even then never give up hope. Even their trials and tribulations fail to lead them to the sweet satisfaction of bowing to Allah’s will. The acquisition of a son seems to them the greatest gratification and the solution to all problems. Man faces problems and his nature makes him believe that if this problem were solved he would be happy and content with no other worries or desires to bother him; the second, third, fourth problem leads him through the same feelings and he, designating it the last one runs to solve it like a mad man. Problems keep getting worked out but his madness instead of being satiated gains new heights...the desire for sons is one such desire that maddens those who are not aware of daughters being a mercy and dissatisfied with destiny.
But you would rarely have heard a tragedy so sad, that a mother burnt her lovely innocent children with her own hands. But we, who are gradually becoming the heirs of the practical, moral, and social waywardness; immoralities, excesses, lawlessness, and corruption of bygone nations; are finding such shocking and heartless acts recurring incidence. A number of unmarried mothers do such a thing to cover their black deeds, but the little twins I am talking about were the legitimate children of their mother. The little angels were not given up to lashing flames by any other than their own mother who wrapped them in a blanket, poured kerosene over them and struck a match. The mother who is a shade of love, a sea of affection, a tower of greatness, a fortress of adoration, a sign of heaven, the most beautiful gift of nature, a sweet gentle breeze.........the mother who gives up her warm and dry bed to her wet child, becomes a shield in troubled times, provides coolness in the harshness of the world...no one can even imagine how a mother who conjures up the music of falling water, the coolness of stars, and the fragrance of flowers could throw to flames her own flesh and blood? Imagine it or not but it is the truth. This did happen at the hands of a mother in the cultured metropolis of Karachi. A woman named Zahra, laying aside family traditions, honor and shame, married a handsome, well-dressed, eloquent man of her choice.
The print and electronic media have afflicted our sisters and daughters with the disease of idealism. A number of them knock around on roads, parks, markets, clubs, parties, colleges, and universities looking about for their ideals. A few meetings and outward get up are enough to decide them on their “life partners”, putting aside family background and practical and moral drawbacks. The parents are taken aback by their daughter’s imprudence; they beg and cry, try to frighten her with pictures of future unfaithfulness, with the dishonor among the family...but she hardly cares and rejects all appeals labeling them narrow-minded social hurdles; her enemy, and God knows what. She stands fast on her decision because this is what she has learnt from digests and tele dramas.
The first few months go by in a dream and she proudly shows off her love and laughs at the “frights” given her by her family and relatives. Then the rosy tints fade and life faces her in all its crudeness, then she starts lamenting her decision. The well-dressed, handsome, loving man she had married starts to change. The outer shell sheds and out comes a frightening, hard, loathsome character. The sentimental, unwise girl who spurned the love of her parents, the sincerity of here siblings, and the concern of relatives becomes frightened. She feels alone in a place where beasts abound and there is no sympathetic hand to help her out.
And when she is left all on her own with that piece of paper with “divorce” written on it, she is either compelled to sell herself or hide her face and beg on roads, or give up her life, or...like Zahra, burn the beautiful pictures she herself created. Countless Zahras are regretful of their decisions after emerging from their intoxication and deceitful pride...but this regret is of no use.
Come to think of it, this regret should also encompass the parents who never question their daughter’s freedom, licentiousness, mixing with the opposite sex, going alone in parties, making boy friends...but when their honor is at stake, they shake the sky with their cries.
This regret should also be shared by the untruthful flag bearers of women’s rights who encourage young girls to elope and stand against Islamic traditions and who then present such cases as models for others to follow.
This regret should also be shared by those reformers who have become negligent of their duty of social reform in their pursuit of unnecessary debates, indulgence, and desire for wealth. It is the result of their negligence that has resulted in the meaninglessness of shame and honor; that has made fornication easy and marriage difficult, that has advanced dowry and countless other meaningless customs that has made the easiest of the Sunnah of Rasoolullah (salallahu alaihi wasallam) the most difficult.
Until and unless there is a restraint on the free mixing of the sexes, until the importance of chastity and modesty are impressed in hearts, until reformers play their roles in society, unless marriage is freed from unnecessary, self-made, and ignorant customs, emotionally unstable “Zahras” will continue revolting against their families; temporary bonds will continue to bind; shells will continue to break; bitterness will continue to raise its head; homes based on lust will continue to break; divorces will continue to proceed; regrets will continue to be wept over.......but there will be nothing left except burnt bodies, cracking bones, blackened corpses, news reports and lamenting newspaper columns!