HUQOOQ OF WOMEN
Commenting on the abuse of the Shar’i rights of women, Hakimul Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh) said: “Nowadays there is considerable deficiency in the fulfilment of the rights of wives. Such denial of rights is great injustice and cruelty. Husbands tend to become frustrated over even the little acts of discretion of their pure and chaste wives. In their frus-tration and constriction of heart they violate the rights of their wives. This is most unintelligent. Husbands fail to realize that inspite of the indiscretion of wives, they remain chaste and pure. They guard their chastity.
This one attribute (i.e. chastity) overshadows all their indiscretion. In this attribute of chastity the honourable females of Hindustan are in fact like the Houris of Jannat. If such a wife is deserted by her husband without him informing her, without her being aware of his whereabouts and without him having made any arrangement for her maintenance, she will remain at home guarding her chastity and honour. If the husband suddenly returns after years of absence, he will find his chaste wife in the same corner where he had abandoned her. CHASTITY Regarding this very lofty attribute of chastity in chaste women, Allah Ta’ala says: “If you dislike them, then perhaps you like something (an attribute in them) in which Allah has put considerable goodness.” (Qur’aan) Absorbed in her chastity, she has no need for pretence and display of customary mannerisms (as is the practice of unchaste women of these times).
On the contrary, the real capital of unchaste women is deceit and cunning to deceive the husband. Ignorant people describe this customary display of manners as refinement whereas it is an artificial act.”
The plaudits which Hakimul Ummat confers on women apply to the simple, chaste and purdah nasheen women of former times. Today such women are rare exceptions. Westernization has taken its toll. Chastity is the lost capital of women. They are in this age bereft of simplicity, modesty and honesty. Cunning, pretence, treachery and ingratitude are their hallmarks. Hadhrat Hakimul Ummat would have had some other comments if he was living today. The question of women in thisday remaining chaste, contented, patient and resigned to Allah Ta’ala if husbands abandon them for years, may be entertained in dreams. A little incompatibility and sternness of the husband are considered grounds for separation. Some learned men too have fallen in the snares of women, hence ‘annulments’ have become a joke. The very institution of Nikah has been reduced to a mockery.