Wednesday 20 July 2011

Culture is the Culprit - Written by Mohammed Kabir

The article below is taken from comments posted on our Facebook page by Mohammed Kabir whilst discussing the topic of forced marriages:

Our region in AJK and Pakistan before Islam was introduced was one of the most barbaric regions. We still follow a lot of those traditions. Look into history and we see how much of an unruly people we were. Change came through Islam but we stuck to traditions. The majority from Hindu times, which also stem and are entwined with deeper history before Islam. The culture of ‘what will people say’ is the biggest problem.

We have a fear of people. This needs to be replaced with a respect of Allah swt which over rides the fear we have of people.
As we all know, in the not so recent past how many people chanted praise for the election candidates. Candidates they hardly knew didn’t even know what these people would do for the region, and people laid their lives down for them. All this to look good in the eyes of the people forgetting who we should really try and please.

Similarly we give rishtha to people to look good. I believe these are the common thoughts.

1 : People will say so and so son/daughter married so and so and didn’t marry where his/her parents wanted her to. Shame on the parents.

We need to replace this with a respect of Allah swt.

2 : Somehow by listening to our children we are going against Islam. It is seen as disrespect from the children.

We have to listen to our children’s needs. They will be spending the rest of their life with this person. This one single relationship could bring the best or worst out of them. We, as parents, are responsible for this.

3 : We see children as items we can use to make ourselves look good. Get them married into a planned future model like a brraaddri system, a system to maintain ownership of wealth.

Planning the future using the life of the ones we are supposed to care for and nurture is pure evil in my eyes. That is selfish beyond imagination. It has such a wide impact on the community it’s difficult to list in a post like this.

4 : We see other cultures as evil. Our culture is the end all be all. All else is simply wrong.

All other beings are Allah swt creation. We should see them as such and realise being different is not being against Islam or being evil.

5 : We pick a rishtha we feel will ultimately take care of us in old age.

Which one of our elders actually thought yes I’m getting married so that I can take care of so and so in old age.
Which one of us actually would get married so that we can take care of so and so.

All these ways of thinking do not mean marriage.
They take away the core meaning of marriage and replace it with dictatorship, bullying, manipulation and display a disregard for another’s life.

I’m not saying everyone thinks like this but the core of our cultural beliefs revolve around such thoughts and they are as unislamic as they can get.

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