What are You Studying Next Year?

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The year is 2016 and I am in Matric. After twelve long years… finally! I am the oldest in the school, the Head Girl Prefect, and all eyes are on me this year, expecting 7A’s!

It does not matter who, when or where it is. ‘Eid Day, funerals, doctor’s surgery, and even the teller at Checkers, everyone wants to know one thing – “What are you studying next year?” Everyone has their own ideas of what they feel you should do, but the theme is more or less the same, “Marriage can wait beti”, “Times have changed, you have to study now”, “You’re so clever, how can you not study?” and “Study teaching through UNISA, it’s a perfect job for a Muslim girl”.

Young, old, black and white. Everyone pushes you to study something, to “make something of yourself” and to “work hard because it will definitely pay off”.

The “crowning point” of the year was when a Moulana of the school walked into our class during a free period. He came to ask us... what we planned to study! Surprise! Surprise! To us girls, he gave “special advice”. We should all study something like teaching through UNISA. Why? Because what IF one day, in the future, my husband dies in a car accident and I am left with two children to support? Of all careers, teaching would be most suitable to us as Muslimahs and so we should all study to become teachers.

Alhamdulillah, I related this incident to my eldest sister who told me something which needs to be told to every Muslimah. She told me about the hadeeth qudsi wherein Allah Ta‘ala says, “I am as my servant expects of me.” She explained to me that if I expect Allah Ta‘ala to give me a life where I have to depend on people and degrees and where my future husband is going to die in hypothetical accidents then that is what Allah Ta‘ala will give me. However, if I have good thoughts of Allah Ta‘ala and remember how Allah Ta‘ala has cared for me my entire life, then why would Allah Ta‘ala stop providing for me at some later stage?

Moving forward, that same year, my other sister got divorced. Later that very same year, during the Trial Examination Period, my eldest brother was made shaheed (blessed with martyrdom) in a car accident, leaving a young wife and two children under the age of seven. How ironic! Both my sister and now widowed sister in law NEVER finished school and had no “degree to back them up”, no “work experience to gloss their CVs", but alhamdulillah, they both had Islam, imaan and tawakkul (trust in Allah Ta‘ala).

Today, my sister is happily re-married, and my widowed sister-in-law is successfully running a business from HOME. Alhamdulillah, they are neither starving nor destitute.

After trying one semester with UNISA, I left and decided not to study. However, till now, which is three years later, I am still being asked why and when I am going to start studying. A Muslim doctor even told me that she is going to keep checking on me until I enrol because apparently “brains like mine simply cannot go to waste”.

Alhamdulillah, I DO have a brain, and with regular ta’leem, madrasah, the kitaab “Modern Challenges facing Muslim Women” and most importantly – Uswatul Muslimah articles, I have used my brain and deduced that it is undoubtedly Allah Ta‘ala who provides, Allah Ta‘ala who creates and Allah Ta‘ala who sustains. Thus it is only logical to follow the law of the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. It is Allah Ta‘ala’s law that MEN are the breadwinners and WOMEN are the keepers of the HOME. Our Deen is perfect and it is us who make it difficult upon ourselves. We have lost the plot and are trying to be something we are not created to be. Men have their duties and women have their own duties. We can never be the same. Can a man ever give birth?!

There are surgeons out there begging and people who never finished school that are billionaires. It is only Allah Ta‘ala who gives, Allah Ta‘ala who takes and Allah Ta‘ala who makes NO mistakes!

Once, a man was left paralysed in a wheelchair. The doctors told him that he will never walk again. Every day, this man would talk to Allah Ta‘ala and say, “O Allah! You gave me the use of my legs the first time, so do it again”, and then he would try to get up from his wheelchair, but to no avail. He did this for around six months, and then one day, when he tried to stand up, he did not fall but he could actually walk! No doctor, no physiotherapist and no chiropractor did it! Who did it??? Only Allah Ta‘ala. This happened right here, in South Africa (taken from the book “Miracles”).

This Ummah does not depend on degrees, this Ummah does not depend on wealth, this Ummah does not need huge masaajid, and this Ummah does not need radios. What this Ummah needs is IMAAN and YAQEEN in the promise of Allah Ta‘ala!!!

To conclude my message to every Muslimah out there – you do not have to study at any secular institution. You do not have to earn your own money. You do not have to leave your home to earn a living. You do not have to support yourself or families. IF there really is a dire need, you should earn from HOME. Islam has given us rights beyond human intellect. We simply have to remove the blinders from our eyes. Read the kitaab “Modern Challenges facing Muslim Women” by Moulana Afzal Ismail if you need further convincing.