I love…mindless housework. You know when you get in the zone and you’ve totally scrubbed out your kitchen and didn’t even feel it? I was like a miss molly maid zombie (or is it a stepford wife?) and voilà just like that, I could eat off my floors.

Actually it was really mindfull housework – while mopping, scrubbing etc’ing, I was thinking about Aqsa and The Friday Khutbahs. “The Friday Khutbahs”: when you are so sure that all the sermons in your area (and maybe beyond) are going to be about a certain topic – either because it’s in the news or because it’s a particular day (like environmental khutbahs during Earth Week).

I was curious on Friday morning about what was going to be said at the mosques about Aqsa’s murder and the talking points it raised. I’ve gushed about my Islamic center previously, but I just have to gush again! The khateeb was just so phenomenal masha’Allah that I waited for him afterwards and asked him for a copy of his khutbah.

He spoke about our relationships with others and how Allah has never, ever sanctioned compelling another to believe, do as we say or dress or behave a certain way. That our jobs even as parents is merely to guide/train/educate through the guiding years and that when a child hits maturity, we are to stand back and let them make their choices – but of course offer our continued guidance and friendship. That in no way does forcing someone to do as we believe benefit us or them and instead how it harms both of the parties. With poignancy (I knew he was thinking of his own 2 beautiful daughters), he asked the congregation, isn’t it much more better to have a child that is alive – living her life perhaps not as we envisioned it, perhaps even “wrong” in our eyes (his words), but alive – rather than gone in an even worse wrong: the taking of sacred life?

And he spoke about false “honor”. How, for some, the shame (in front of others) of having a daughter “living her life perhaps not as we envisioned it, perhaps even “wrong” in our eyes” was much stronger than the awareness of God – and how this was a form of disbelief.

This to me was the most powerful part of the khutbah. Using examples from the Prophet’s life, the Shaikh related that by according undue power to the perceptions of people, we are distancing ourselves from the power we accord to God. Does it matter what others will say about how one’s daughter dresses? Isn’t it more important that God sees how we treat that daughter – with the tender and obvious love the Prophet (peace be upon him) showed his daughters instead of the violence of a twisted sense of honor? This was the focus of his khutbah.

Hearing this beautiful khutbah and then turning to read that a Muslim leader said “parents fail and bring shame upon themselves if a child chooses to abandon holy writings and not wear the hijab” (paraphrased in an article) was disheartening. I wonder how prophet Nuh would take that.

I surveyed around and found out that other khutbahs were in a similar vein to my Islamic center’s. One was about the Prophet’s relationship of tenderness and respect with his daughter Fatima and another was focused on how in order to encourage children, parents should focus on their positive points and build a relationship of good-will.

A young girl is gone and we all derive lessons. May Allah, in His infinite mercy, show mercy on her soul. And may He grant us the wisdom to see through the depravity of false honor.

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