During the distractions, two sad occurrences caught my attention: The story of Maryam  who stabbed her husband for suspecting his desire for another woman; and that of Shareefah Yunus who felt violated and cried to Allah in the seventh heaven. While the former is no less than a story of physical mania and over possessiveness; the later is indeed a story of modesty and persecution. Both are however parts of the common stories of women.

Those who harrassed and insulted Shareefah Yunus at Alausa that particular day have nothing against her person; but they have many things, especially ill-feelings, against her veil, modesty and chastity, for if she had walked down the exhibition pavilion in a seductive, provocative attire, she would have probably enjoyed the woman’s attention, and even the unsolicited support of mischievous men.

But since she walked down there, fully concealed in her modesty, the crazy world and its inhabitants would never be pleased with her. It’s not actually about her faith, because even fellow Muslims who claim to be liberals would have harrassed her too, or facilitated her public ridicule. It’s however pathetic that the chaste and the righteous are being stripped with filthy tongues, while the nude is offered accolades for walking out naked! 

Last week Saturday, I was in Abeokuta to deliver the opening ceremony lecture of the University’s MSSN Jihad week and I never regretted that I did. Prior to that day however, the school had been enmeshed in Niqaab-wearing controversy. What was actually painful wasn’t the ban on Niqaab by the school authority, but the hatred with which it was banned and identified with immoral dress-code. 

It’s only a fool, the demented and the depraved mind that could script a billboard proclaiming Niqaab immoral. It is indeed another example of acute hatred against modesty. Thus, I didn’t regret taking my stand with the veiled sisters and encouraging them to remain covered, head to toes, even if the heavens would fall on that campus. 

But I warned them never to succumb to the temptation of being rude to the school authority or vacating their studies on account of that hatred and persecution. They should rather distinguish themselves with academic excellence and moral distinction. We can’t afford again the repeat of that regrettable experience of Ife and Lautech in any other university. 

The chaste Muslimah who lives in veil must never succumb to blackmail or frustration. They must continue to do what they know how to do in excellent manner. Indeed, we are proud of our wives, sisters and daughters who have always distinguished themselves in academic excellence, moral chastity and spiritual stamina, for that face-curtain is the prevailing beauty we see in them, and not even the material presence. 

After that FUNAAB lecture, a final year student who introduced herself as Aisha Ali walked up to me as I made to enter my car, explaining how my book, BEHIND THE VEIL, had motivated her to wear Niqaab and how her supervisor has continued to victimize her, asking her to remove it, but she has remained adamant. I wonder what the face veil has got to do with a final year project. Anyway, it’s part of the aversion for modesty we talked about. 

Women, in general, are materialistic and petty, yet they can be submissive to a fault.  There’s hardly any of the divine injunction they’ll not obey. The way and manner that the Muslim women of the prophetic era had hearkened the call on Niqaab in the early days of Islam is highly instructive. What could be more difficult for a materialistic human than concealing her beauty and adornment; but then, they obeyed Allah, even till date.

But there’s one crucial area of disagreement that the contemporary women have with their creator. If they agreed with Allah to obey every command that is difficult to implement, they are vehemently uncomfortable with the divinely approved privilege of polygamy enjoyed by their husbands. Thus, you’ll always find a kind-hearted, religiously committed Muslimah battling polygamy to a stand still. 

There’s hardly a sin that a woman would not commit to battle her husband’s desire for another wife. Shirk, adultery, slander and even murder are few of those crimes we’ve always witnessed them commit as soon as the news is broken to them. But how rational is that idea of disrupting your relationship with Allah, just because of your husband’s “pleasurable” desire. 
By so doing, Allah will hate you and punish your crime in the day of judgment. You’ll be depressed and agitated as well in this world; while your husband will continue to enjoy the bliss of a new relationship. Maryam Sanda has landed herself in trouble on account of that over possessiveness. She has thrown a huge dirt with horrendous odour on the faces of her parents and other family members.

You found a man who had divorced another woman, not because of infidelity. You then  started monitoring his phone and eventually reacted with the height of evil. That jewel lost by someone and picked up by you; and which you hide in your throat to strangle yourself, so that another woman would not see it, what about the careless woman who lost it – What could she do?

This is a lesson for all women who are too possessive of their husbands. It’s also a lesson for that man who is deceptively romantic that he promises his wife – to marry her and only her, forgetting that the hearts of women are too soft; fragile, indeed; and too absorbing of even lies spoken in jokes. “I love you more than anybody”, i.e. including my parents. Of course, that’s a lie, a romantic one!

“I’ll never marry another woman after you”. That’s another lie, but which the bride enjoys  to hear a few days before her wedding and shortly after. But certainly, the euphoria of this moment will cease with time and the reality of marriage will hit them both. Allah knows how many of such words that this Maryam had heard from her late hubby, for I wonder what informed her audacity to stab the man she claims to love. 

A woman’s possessiveness of her husband is indeed a myth, for why haven’t we heard of any of them – who lost her husband to death – ask to be buried along with him, if truly she is in love. Muslim women should wake up fast from their slumber and start living with the reality of polygamy, for even their Christian counterparts have chosen to cast away that deceptive dream of “me and my husband alone”.

Anything could have happened to Maryam Sanda. She may have been possessed by a romantic jinn – jinn a’ashiq. or she may be jealous and wicked in her own character. Whatever the situation, we counsel our women to be patient in marriage. Every man contemplating his first, second or third marriage must however always take the time to find about his object of admiration and her mother, before proposing her.

By Ibn Sa’ eed Abu Mazeedatil Khayr

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