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Monday, March 4, 2019

I AM ‘_MIJIN_ _HAJIYA_’


In contrast to ‘_Mai Gida_’, I am ‘_Mijin Hajiya_’. Mai Gida (not _Maigida_ which is a proper noun for many people) is a patriarch who barks orders in his household, whose presence heralds the end of joviality. The sound of his voice as he noisily clears his throat before he goes into his residence is a war-horn for everyone to behave themselves and maintain order. He does not smile at his wife, he assumes a darkened countenance whenever he is with her. The sign of any tenderness towards her renders him weak and susceptible to undermining by the wife. His wife’s duty is to obey his harsh instructions with alacrity, serve his food, satisfy his amatory needs and take care of the children, or ill-treatment and desertion will be her lot. Her opinion is not sought on anything about the life of the _Mai Gida_ or even her own affairs. It is for the husband to decide for her, as a woman, in the psyche of _Mai Gida_, should be far removed from any involvement in the life of her husband and his business, otherwise that spouse is _Mijin Hajiya_.

I would rather be _Mijin Hajiya_, even though the term is used derogatorily in my community; being a _Mai Gida_ is the norm. People in Mai Gida’s world consider a marriage successful only when the wife is enslaved, and bereft of her husband’s love and respect. Therefore, a husband who displays any form of affection to his wife, or honours her, or seeks for her opinion on anything is _Mijin Hajiya_. For such marital harmony to exist, according to my community, the husband must be a weakling, subservient to the wife, without any authority over her. 

I reject the standard set by Mai Gida’s world and accept that of the Prophet, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam in his dealings with his consorts, Mothers of the Believers. When he, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam was frightened after his encounter with the angel during the first revelation of the Qur’an, he did not rush to a _dandali_ (an androcentric club) where _men-only_ issues were discussed. The Prophet, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam went to a woman, his wife Khadijah, terribly distraught, urging her to cover him, that he was afraid. She took charge, gave him comfort, reassuring him that Allah shall not disgrace someone like him who does good to others, keeps good relation with his kith and kin, supports the weak and answers the call of those who are in distress. Yes, when he needed warmth, reassurance and dispelling of doubt he, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam rushed home, not to _dandali_.., he went to the Chairman (Khadijah) of the company that he, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam served as the Managing Director. 

In like manner, as Mijin Hajiya, I am a deserter of _dandali_ at the hour of fear and confusion over any matter. I rush home to Hajiya for a brainstorming session which will result in reaching a resolution and having a direction on the best cause of action.
The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam has shown a lot of love to Aisha, _radiyallaahu_ _anhaa_ to such an extent that gifts flooded to the prophetic household on the days he was in her room. People chose the best moment to sent the gifts when his heart was most tranquil in the room of whom he loved most among his wives, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam. (Al-Bukhary) 

I would not be ashamed, therefore, of showing love to Hajiya because my community chose to forsake what was recorded in the _Seerah_ on how he, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam consorted with his wives! Whoever honours Hajiya, honours me, Mijin Hajiya. Whoever vexes her, incurs my ire! 

Mai Gida expects a _yes-sir_ response to all he says, but Hafsah, Mother of Believers, radiyallaahu anhaa interjects points in the Prophet’s words to elicit more explanation. He once said that none of the people who pledged the oath of allegiance to him will go to Hell. Hafsah interjected by saying “What about the saying of Allah ‘Not one of you but will pass over it (Hell)’”? The response she got was not a slap on the face, but rather the Prophet, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam told her to read the next verse “Then We shall rescue those who kept from evil, and leave the evil-doers crouching there”. (Maryam, 19:71-71)

If the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam who was receiving Devine Revelations would be mild in his response to Hafsah’s interjection, why will Mai Gida respond violently because his wife draws his attention to a mistake in his judgement?
After completing the documentation of the Treaty of Hudaibiya which on the surface was not in favour of Islam, the _Mushriks_ denied the Muslim entry into Makkah for their Umrah even though they had assumed _ihraam_. Thus, when the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam accepted this denial and ordered his followers to slaughter their _hadyi_, sacrificial animals at the venue of this unjust Treaty and shave their heads so as to get out of _ihraam_, the ordinance of the Prophet was not complied with by any of the companions. The _Sahabah_ were so despondent by the Prophet’s acquiescence to the _Mushriks'_ demands that none of them moved when he gave the instruction on the _hadyi_ and slaughter. 

At that critical moment, grieved as he was, the Prophet sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam went into the tent of (Hajiya) Umm Salamah, radiyallaahu anhaa, wondering how will a people prosper when they demur the instructions of their Prophet. She soothed his nerves by saying “Oh Messenger of Allah! It is not disobedience. The people are in shock over the outcome of the Treaty and the loss of the Umrah due to the denial of entry into the Holy City by the Makkans. Go out to them and do what they are reluctant to do. They will follow your example”. 

The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam listened to her carefully and when she finished, he went out and did exactly as she advised. He slaughtered his camel and shaved his head. No sooner had he done so than all the people, as if racing with one another, slaughtered their animals and shaved their heads.
Thank you mother, Umm Salamah for saving the situation, abating the anger of Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam and thus averting the wrath of Allah on the Ummah because of the people’s reluctance in doing his bidding.

Mai Gida will not consult his wife on such issues as he deems himself educated and intelligent enough to know it all. But as for me, Mijin Hajiya, I have in the Messenger of Allah “a beautiful pattern (of conduct)” (al-Ahzaab, 33:21) and so Hajiya is to be consulted on my affairs because whatever happens, we are all in it together. 


Date Published: Friday, January 18th, 2019

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