Girls are often faced with the issue of not being able to study further or pursue a career because they have to be ‘housewives,’ making gol rotis for their husband and children. However, as believing women, they should look towards the Sahabiat R.A. and follow them for guidance. The Sahabiat R.A. were the most modest women on earth, yet, they were not only housewives but played diverse roles in society as well.
Hazrat Khadija bint Khuwailid (R.A) was the first Muslim woman. She was a noble person and was known for her good character. She was a widow and ran her own business. She chose honorable men to carry out trade for her. Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) went with one of her trade caravans as a salesman. She was a wise businesswoman with a strong character. Being wealthy, she didn’t desire to marry some rich man as she had rejected many proposals from the rich men of the time. Instead, she herself sent a proposal to Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W), who was known as Sadiq and Ameen, because she preferred character over wealth. Hazrat Khadija is one of the four noblest women of Jannat. Throughout her life, she helped Prophet (saw) with spiritual and financial support. When he came to her after the first revelation in a distressed condition, she comforted him with her golden words. She even took him to her cousin, Warqa bin Nofal, the Christian scholar. Despite being a wealthy and independent woman, she bore all the hardships with him and stayed by his side in Shaib e Abi Talib. Following the example of Hazrat Khadija, the Mother of the believers, the career oriented girls should try to emulate her ways in their lives. They should pursue their passion but at the same time, have a strong character and should marry someone for their religion and character, not their business and wealth.
The greatest woman scholar of all times is Hazrat Ayesha R.A. She was the youngest wife of Prophet (saw). She was married to him at the age of nine and became a widow at the age of nineteen. After the death of Prophet Muhammad (saw), she spent forty years of her life as a widow. After Hazrat Abu Huraira, she is the second greatest narrator of Ahadith and narrated 2210 Ahadith of Prophet (saw). During the lifetime of Prophet (saw), she spent her time gaining knowledge from him, and after his death, she spent all her life transferring this knowledge to the Sahaba and the people for the benefit of the Ummah. She narrated how Prophet (saw) behaved at home, how his conduct and manners were, and how his relationships were with his family members. The whole Ummah owes her due to the knowledge she transferred from Prophet (saw). The greatest Companions of Prophet (saw) used to consult her advice in all issues. Girls can pursue both Western studies and Islamic Studies and become scholars so that they benefit the Muslim Ummah.
Who says women can’t be good politicians? Hazrat Umm e Salamah (R.A.), the wife of Prophet Muhammad (saw), is an example of this. She was one of those who took oath under the tree at the time of Treaty of Hudaibiya. After the Treaty was signed up, Prophet Muhammad (saw) said to all Sahaba to change Ihram and get into daily clothes. However, the Sahaba R.A. were so shocked and sad at the moment that not a single one of them got up to obey Prophet Muhammad (saw). At this, our beloved Prophet got a little upset. Hazrat Umm e Salma used her wisdom to tackle the situation by advising Prophet Muhammad (saw) that he should take the first step in changing Ihram and shaving his head. Being the head of the State of Madina, his people would follow his lead. On her advice, Prophet shaved his head and removed the Ihram. Seeing this, the Sahaba also changed their Ihram.
Did you want to be a superwoman and were at any time inspired by the Wonder Woman? For us Muslim girls, Hazrat Umm e Ammarah is an inspiration, a superwoman. At the Battle of Uhud, when she heard the false news of the death of Prophet (saw) she grabbed her sword and went in the battlefield to find Prophet Muhammad (saw). She found him and stayed by his side, courageously defending him with her sword. The news of the martyrdom of her son reached her, but she did not leave the side of Prophet (saw).
The perfect example of a housewife is Hazrat Fatima (R.A.). She was the daughter of Hazrat Muhammad (saw) and was married to Hazrat Ali (RA). She is one of the four women of Paradise. She was born Muslim and is a role model for all Muslim girls. She ground the wheat with her own hands and used to do all the chores by herself. Once Hazrat Ali (RA) asked her to request a slave girl from her father, Prophet Muhammad (saw), to help her in the chores. She went to him but returned home without saying anything to him. Prophet (saw) later came to her home and asked what the matter was. She told him to which Prophet (saw) replied that should he not tell her that which is better than this. Then he told her the tasbeeh
of Allah u Akbar Subhan Allah and Alhamdulillah, 33 times each after every prayer.
So the next time someone says to you that the only duty of women is to make gol rotis, you know the answer to that!
By Keshaf Athar