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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Oppression - Shariffa Carlo

Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet said, "On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will grasp the whole (planet of) earth (by His Hand) and shall roll up the heaven with His right Hand and say, 'I am the King. Where are the kings of the earth?'" Sahih Bukhari vol 9: Hadith 479.

Narrated 'Abdullah, Allah's Apostle said, "Everyone of you is a guardian and is responsible for his charges. The ruler who has authority over people, is a guardian and is responsible for them, a man is a guardian of his family and is responsible for them; a woman is a guardian of her husband's house and children and is responsible for them; a slave ('Abu) is a guardian of his master's property and is responsible for it; so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your charges." Sahih Bukhari: Volume 3, Book 46, Number 730.

Allah has given us each a responsibility. We are all shepherds over our flocks, rulers over our kingdoms, kings and queens over our domain. But with the power comes an awesome responsibility. We are very responsible for our actions and those under our care.

Unfortunately, some of us take this responsibility too lightly. Men: You have been given reign over the women in your lives, your wives. You have been given reign over the children you procreate. You have even been given reign over your ailing parents. What are you doing with this power? Remember that on the day of Judgment you will be asked about this.

If a sister wants to do something which is neither dangerous, nor haram, nor a fitna, she should be allowed to fulfill her needs within limits. Remember brothers, yo are over her a degree, but with that degree comes a need for wisdom and mercy. The Best among you to his family was RasoolAllah. Look at his wives. Look to Aisha, she was a doctor, a scholar, a scientist. She taught and gave fatwas. She was present in wars and battles. She was a woman of action while being a woman of virtue. Look to this as the best example. And remember that oppression is a sin that we must avoid at all costs because it carries such strong consequences.

Allah says, Say: My Lord forbiddeth only indecencies, such of them as are apparent and such as are within, and sin and wrongful oppression, and that ye associate with Allah that for which no warrant hath been revealed, and that ye tell concerning Allah that which ye know not. 7:33

And Allah says, The way (of blame) is only against those who oppress mankind, and wrongfully rebel in the earth. For such there is a painful doom. 42:42

The Prophet also warned about oppression against others. Especially against Muslims.Narrated 'Abdullah bin Umar: Allah's Apostle said, "A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, so he should not oppress him, nor should he hand him over to an oppressor. Whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs; whoever brought his (Muslim) brother out of a discomfort, Allah will bring him out of the discomforts of the Day of Resurrection, and whoever screened a Muslim, Allah will screen him on the Day of Resurrection . " Sahih Bukahri: Volume 3, Book 43, Number 622.

And Narrated 'Abdullah bin Umar: Allah's Apostle said, "A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, so he should not oppress him, nor should he hand him over to an oppressor. Whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs; whoever brought his (Muslim) brother out of a discomfort, Allah will bring him out of the discomforts of the Day of Resurrection, and whoever screened a Muslim, Allah will screen him on the Day of Resurrection . " Sahih Bukhari: Volume 3, Book 43, Number 622.

At any rate, oppression of any type is haram, and we have to guard for it. We especially have to be aware of the consequences. Do we know that the quickest dua responded to is the dua of the oppressed?

Allah Says, And We desired to show favour unto those who were oppressed in the earth, and to make them examples and to make them the inheritors. 28:5

And the Prophet warned: Narrated Abu Ma'bad, that the Prophet said, "... and be afraid of the curse of an oppressed person because there is no screen between his invocation and Allah." Sahih Bukhari: Volume 2, Book 24, Number 573.

And Narrated Abu Bakrah: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: There is no sin more fitted to have punishment meted out by Allah to its perpetrator in advance in this world along with what He stores up for him in the next world than oppression and severing ties of relationship. Sahih Muslim: Book 41, Number 4884:

This is a warning to the oppressor, and an assurance to the oppressed. How? Well, In this verse and hadith , Allah grants respite to the oppressed in the form of blessings and extra attention to the dua. I am again reminded of a personal experience of a friend. This lady's father died when she was quite young. Her father was due the inheritance of some land upon the death of his father. When the man died, the father gave all of the land to his other son, leaving his dead son's children without an inheritance. The mother of the children was besides herself. Without this land, which they had been living on and living from, she and her children would be in a dire position. She had no recourses to get the rights of her children, so she turned to the Only One who could help her. She turned to Allah. She begged Allah to return to her her children's rights. A few days later, completely unexpectedly, the second son of this man died. Allah knows Best if this was the answer to her dua!
, but
the land was returned to her and her children as a result. The woman never meant harm to anyone, but Allah is the Most Just, and His Judgement is the Most Fair.

So we must beware of this dua - the dua of the oppressed, and we must take heart from knowing that when someone oppresses us, the answer is not to retaliate with more haram, but to rely on Allah. Many sisters complain to me about the oppression they suffer at the hands of their husbands. Many times, they either can not leave the man, so they are forced to continue suffering. My advice to them is to never forget the power of the dua, and to remember that Allah Hears them and knows of their case. Also, I must remind them that two wrongs do not make a right. A prime example is when a woman is forced to perform a task that she considers demeaning, but which is not haram for the man to ask for. I remember a speech by Muhammad Sayd Adly. He was talking about obedience to the husband. He said, "Sister, we did not fall from heaven. We are only men. If your husband tells you to do something, do it. If he says stand on your head. Allah knows why he wants you to do this, but he tells y!
ou to do
it to please him. Sister, if you can stand on your head , then do it. Your reward is from Allah." Sisters, I add to this, if you consider it oppressive, do it anyway, as long as it is not haram, and appeal to your Lord to remove this burden from you. Appeal to Allah to change his heart. Appeal to Allah for relief. And remember that this oppression is the deed of the man for which he must pay. Never blame Allah for it.

Allah says, Then there are among men such as say, "We believe in Allah"; but when they suffer affliction in (the cause of) Allah, they treat men's oppression as if it were the Wrath of Allah! And if help comes (to thee) from thy Lord, they are sure to say, "We have (always) been with you!" Does not Allah know best all that is in the hearts of all creation? 29:10

What more can we do? We can help those whom we know are doing wrong. Too many times I hear a sister complain that she is suffering from her husband. (You will notice I use the example of the sister being oppressed more so than I do the brother, the reason is that the woman is more likely to suffer from oppression because of her nature and her responsibilities). Even, she may be suffering from being beaten by her husband. When the sister goes to the masjid for help, too often she is told to be patient, or she may not even be believed. Brothers, you have an upper hand over women. You also have a way to help your sister, and this is your responsibility. If you accept for this woman to continue suffering because you do not want to involve yourself, you are helping the oppressor to oppress her. If we know of a situation where a Muslim is being oppressed we have to help the oppressed and the oppressor.

Narrated Abu Musa: Allah's Apostle said, "Allah gives respite to the oppressor, but when He takes him over, He never releases him." Then he recited, "Such is the seizure of your Lord when He seizes (population of) towns in the midst of their wrong: Painful indeed, and severe is His seizure.' (11.102) Sahih Bukhari: Volume 6, Book 60, Number 208.

And I give you the following warnings, heart softening words and duas:Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "(The Prophet) Abraham migrated with his wife Sarah till he reached a town where there was a king or a tyrant who sent a message, to Abraham, ordering him to send Sarah to him. So when Abraham had sent Sarah, the tyrant got up, intending to do evil with her, but she got up and performed ablution and prayed and said, 'O Allah ! If I have believed in You and in Your Apostle, then do not empower this oppressor over me.' So he (the king) had an epileptic fit and started moving his legs violently. " Sahih Bukhari: Volume 9, Book 85, Number 82.

My servants, these deeds of yours, which I am recording for you, I shall reward you for them. So he who finds good should praise Allah and he who does not find it should not blame anyone but himself. Sa'id said that when AbuIdris Khawlani narrated this hadith he knelt down. Sahih Muslim: Book 31, Number 6246.


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