The Patriarchy of a Son

It’s a boy, exclaimed the doc.See!! You delivered a boy, and he is one healthy guy!

I was still numbed by my pain, it didn’t matter what it was as long as the pain was gone. The child was healthy, born through normal delivery despite having  a cord around its neck. My battle was won!!

My son is my fourth child, the first three being daughters. No matter what me and my husband thought, it looked like the whole world around us was waiting for his arrival. Everyone was curious about what it would be after I had delivered 3 girls.

I still remember the day my 3rd daughter was born, we had no visitors, even someone as the Daaya did not ask for the tip as she was the third girl in our family. 

                             “Do betiyon ke baad beta hona tha”.

That’s all I could hear people talk. The reaction from everyone just shocked both my husband and me. She was just hours old, and this was the reception she was getting.

We may call ourselves feminist, or educated enough to not bury our daughters like the Arabs of old. But this sort of reaction buries them alive. We talk about women empowerment at the parliament, but we know the reality at the grass-root level. We claim to be followers of a religion that preaches the birth of a daughter as a way of Allah(swt) being pleased with you. But deep down, the birth of a daughter seems like a consolation prize. What’s worse is that even if the parents are content with having girls, the society hammers this thought of having a son as completing their family. The culture of a son being the flag-bearer of the family has been so intertwined with our religion, that people fail to understand that this sort of approach was never appreciated in our religion.

      The biggest example being our own beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who rejoiced on the birth of his daughters and guaranteed to be near  him in Jannah for the one who raises three daughters and looks after them well.

    Why should the birth of a daughter be looked down upon? I don’t want to sound like those feminists, who in the name of liberty for women are just killing the very nature of women.

        Islam has made women, a daughter, her birth, and her Honorable raising elevates her parents to Jannah. Fatima(RA) being an excellent example. Women in Islam are wives, like Aisha( RA) and Khatija(RA) , a pillar of support in the most challenging times for their husband. Women in Islam are warriors like Qaulah and Nusaibah, not once getting frightened on the battlefield. These women not only nursed the wounded but would use the sword in times of need. And most importantly, women in Islam are mothers, who groomed those countless men into warriors, scholars, kings who spread Islam to every corner of the world.

To my daughters: You are born in a world that will criticise you for who you are, but always remember you are a Muslim woman. You have these numerous roles to play. You are not a woman, who hides behind a veil and is unaware where her society is heading. You have duties to fulfil. You cannot be among those who are self-obsessed with just their looks, you have a far greater  purpose in life.

To my son: The world around us might have been waiting for your birth. But for your parents, that was never the case.

        Nevertheless, you are a beautiful addition to our family. You’ll be growing up surrounded by your sisters. That way, I pray you  learn to appreciate women, you learn to respect them. For an example, to lead, you’ll always have your father by your side. I pray you learn the value of perseverance from him because it is not  muscle that defines a man but being patient in the most difficult times.

            Yes, you all are too young to understand any of these. But, this is a reminder to me as a mother in Islam. A responsibility, that is bestowed by my Lord on me. To nurture you all into one of the valuable assets of Islam. I pray that Allah guides me, and many mothers like me in raising their children in these difficult times.

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