بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
This article is going to be written with… my baby cousin م (who is three years my junior, and who is also somewhat significantly taller than me,) in mind, In Shaa Allah .
Last year, when I’d first met one of my neighbours in this area: I’d asked her what she, you know…
And her first instinct, I suppose, as is common these days: had been to respond with something ‘economic’. i.e.: she’s done some hairdressing, privately. And had also been doing a childcare course.
To some: our more ‘economic’ roles is what ‘matters’ the most. Jobs. And things that ‘lead’ to… paid employment. And this is, perhaps, what we learn to mention, ‘first and foremost’.
To the extent where:
This year, when a ‘formal studies’ course I’d been doing had come to its end. And: my year of tutoring here and there (what with summer exams having finished,) had also come to a natural end. A family friend of mine had casually responded with something along the lines of,
“Oh, so you’re doing nothing now, right?”
[No. Not ‘right‘, but…
I’m actually not in charge of her personal perceptions of things!]
Some people, it seems: think that, if you’re not making £££, as a woman, then… They’re somehow ‘unimpressed’. Disappointed, even. A little… confused, maybe.
I hope I’m at least somewhat able to recognise the significance, Subhaan Allah , of the journey that Allah has been taking me on. I think, for a while, I’d been ‘taught’ to think: to be of value to ‘the world’, I ‘should’… be an ‘independent woman™’. Perhaps: get a high-flying degree. Earn £££. Think about things like… health, family, marriage… only ‘secondarily’ to those more ‘economic’ aims. ‘Hashtag Feminism’.
I think I’ve since decided: instead of asking fellow women what they ‘do’, I want to, In Shaa Allah , ask them about what they like to do.
Things like: hiking, maybe. At-home exercises. Gardening. Painting, writing, teaching. And whatever else. A woman’s value does not go up/down in accordance with whether or not she wants to become, say, CEO of a company or not.
And I’ve since realised: it is certainly not some sort of ‘blow to womankind’. To say that: I’ve really liked leaning into my femininity more, in these recent years. Spending more time at home and all.
I also… don’t think it’s ‘sexist’ that I really like it when… my male family members open car doors for me. And hold heavy bags for me.
And that: it’s my father who pays for things like my phone bills, bike, electronics, and so forth.
I hope, In Shaa Allah , that it is also in my Qadr to get married to a man with a real good heart (and… good hair. I hope,) who will also, willingly, and not ‘begrudgingly‘, look after me in such ways.
I wanna be so well-looked-after, In Shaa Allah that: things like… errrr… the option of ‘going Dutch’ (‘splitting the bill’) isn’t even on the table, you know? I’d rather… go Islamic. i.e.: I’m protected and materially provided for. And I: can take care of home matters, In Shaa Allah .
Moreover: I think I can make — and enjoy making, AlHamduli Llah — a decent sandwich. An infused-with-attention-and-care cup o’ tea, hopefully, also.
In return for the ways in which I would like to be cared for, from the Grace and RaHma of Allah , I think I would actually… kind of love… being responsible for making the food, doing the laundry, and so forth. And not feel the pressure of: ‘having’ to take care of the finances, and/or of shouldering pressures to bring up and sustain the family’s ‘socioeconomic status’ or whatnot.
We’ve been Created to carry out certain (respective) roles, and not really, necessarily, others.
And with: the individual preferences, abilities, and so on, that we’ve been Equipped with.
[Last year: I actually had a year’s worth of experience working full-time, five days a week. So I was making £. Which was the most I’ve ever made in my life thus far.
However: money isn’t everything. And making that money: came with its price, for me. I think I just felt: ‘busy’, super stressed, and perhaps… overwhelmed. It felt like… the amount of stress I’d been feeling could end up… causing ulcers or something. The sleep I’d perhaps been missing out on: not great, either.
A chunk of the money I’d been making: I ended up spending on… ‘health‘ things. Perhaps: in attempt to ‘restore’ what might have felt like had been… deteriorating.
It didn’t feel like a balanced sort of lifestyle. ‘Busy’, ‘busy’, ‘busy’, and I don’t think a ‘9 to 5‘ is for me, personally. Glad I know that now, AlHamduli Llah .]
I don’t think I can meaningfully explain that to everyone, and have them listen and understand. And: that’s okay. People perceive things how they perceive things.
But, listen: if your — and their — Creator is Telling you, and Teaching you: that these things are good for you, while those things are… not. You’ll listen, won’t you?
And hopefully: not worry too much about what the ‘world’ will think. For they didn’t create you. They don’t live your daily realities. They don’t know everything.
Capito? [That means ‘understood?‘ in Italian. I know that since: I have some relatives who’d grown up there, in Italy.]
As long as you are keeping your duty to Him : praying, trying to do good.
Stick to your morals, and He will Reward you. In this world, and in the Next one!
His Plan for you is just: way better for you than if… it were you who held the Pen that determined the courses of your life’s journey.
He Knows what He is Doing; what He is Protecting you from, Teaching you, and Guiding you towards. And you’ll have hope; have faith, in Him , won’t you?
What a difference a Home makes.
I think a friend of mine had put it quite well when she’d mentioned how: nowadays, it seems like quite a few homes seem… ‘geared towards work‘. Economic work. You know: almost… homes that come to resemble… offices, actually.
In Islam: we know that it is the Remembrance of Allah that: enlivens a home. Its spiritual heartbeat. And that: men have been Created one way, and that we women have been Created in a different way.
Similar where we are similar: members of both of the sexes… gotta eat. Drink. Sleep. And the rest.
Want, deeply, to feel loved, valued, appreciated. And so forth. But this, often: in ways that are… different.
It’s not ‘sexist’ and somehow a ‘bad’ thing for a man to want for his wife to cook for him, and clean for him, and so forth. It’s not ‘bad’, either, nor somehow an ‘affront’ to a woman’s ‘strength’ for her to want: for her clothes, home, food, to be paid for. And to want to commit real time and energy in taking care of her home and family.
Phew. Glad I know that now, AlHamduli Llah , here on the earlier end of my ‘twenties’, rather than at, say, the ‘later end’.
Maybe this is quite a ‘personal’ thing, and maybe some women are different, but:
I’m also actually not that great with ‘finances’. Like: when I heard that my uncle manages his finances, Maa Shaa Allah , with a spreadsheet on Google Docs. Me: I tried to have a ‘Finances’ spreadsheet. Or: several. I also tried to have a binder.
However, I know I am not designed to be… an ‘independent gyaldem’. And I personally don’t quite fancy the idea of living alone in order to ‘be’ what others have expected of me. ‘Self-maintaining’, on the human level. A person who works 9-to-5. Leaving things like family to just… exist on the ‘sidelines’, somehow.
And maybe some will continue to disagree with how I view things. This is okay!
I’ve found that there is much that can be said on this whole broad topic. Marriage, home, gender differences.
For example: sometimes, women will ‘expect’ for their husbands to ‘pay for everything’. But: they will complain a lot if their husband, in ‘return’, wants for them to do their laundry. Women might: accuse their own husbands — who are working for hours, in order to provide — of being akin to… ‘toddlers’. ‘Good-for-nothing’, and so forth. These can be unfair and exaggerated claims. Can result in: men’s diminished senses of self-esteem, over time.
And then: there can be… the men who might accuse their wives of ‘doing nothing’, merely because they aren’t bringing… money to the table. And so: they might ‘demand’ that their wives go out and bring money into the home too.
I get that circumstances can differ. Sometimes: a man, say, might be sick, and so his wife might need to assume that ‘role’ of being the breadwinner.
But, generally: men are men, and women are women. We have our own natures. Wants. We want to feel valued, cared for.
And: we surely benefit from, are enriched by, such things as: order, hierarchy, harmony, and mutual understanding, and appreciation, you know?
Masculinity is not, inherently and by nature, ‘toxic’.
And, apparently, statistically: men’s levels of testosterone (the ‘male hormone’) are… decreasing, in general, year by year.
In contrast: perhaps it is true that… women’s testosterone levels [we have the ‘male hormone’ in our selves, in our blood, too: but in comparatively smaller levels, of course] are… rising, in general.
*The more you do something: the more that aspect of your behaviour/identity is fortified, strengthened.
The more women are ‘expected’ to wear blazers and trousers, and go out and ‘hunt’, maybe: the more that aspect of them is strengthened.
The more… men might be expected to… let women ‘take the lead’. Allow them to ‘wear the trousers’, and so forth. Because… ‘Feminism’? While: denying, perhaps becoming ashamed to ‘admit’, their inner masculine drives…
Some men eventually, it seems, by contrast: come to wear… dresses??? As nice, and natural, as it is for men to have a (present, but small,) ‘feminine side’. I think there are real benefits to maintaining… good balance. Not over-indulging in such things. [In Islam: men are not allowed to imitate women, and women are not allowed to imitate men.]
Perhaps this: doings, and habits, which can then ‘solidify’ into ‘identity’. Then comes to be reflected in such things as… overall testosterone/oestrogen [oestrogen: one of the main female sex hormones,] levels.
[By the way, another thing that has been found, apparently, to lead to decreased T-levels in men is… visual consumption of *explicit content*. Those kinds of addictions…]
There was a time in my life when, I think, I’d found the notion of ‘Feminism™’ ‘admirable’. At school: I’d been expected to… wear a blazer. Be praised for doing certain things, and not necessarily others.
Once, I remember having a conversation with my aunts. ‘Why would anyone ‘want’ to be ‘stay-at-home”, you know?
I’ve learnt, since: that my aunts… are the feminine hearts of their homes. You walk into their homes, and, Maa Shaa Allah : it isn’t ‘all about ‘work”. It’s not an imbalance of too much masculine energy. It’s:
Food, and: it’s fun! And campfires, sometimes, and comfort, and different family activities. It’s… interdependence.
I think: no, I know. That I don’t really want to try to be an ‘independent‘ woman. ‘Gaslight, gate-keep, Girl-Boss™‘, and spend lots of time outside of my home,… act more masculine,… try to belittle the importance of my family in my own mind and heart, or anything like that.
I want to be, and am: an interdependent human being. Content with whom and how Allah has Made me: with where He has Placed me. With what He — and not any limited, fallible [fallible: capable of making mistakes or being wrong] aspect of fellow creation — has Written, with my best interests at the forefront, for me!
This particular article: I want to conclude, In Shaa Allah , with drawing upon the Example of… Maryam (AS). A woman who had been so honoured, by the Creator Himself .
And when: she’d been through that period in her life. Where: things just ‘did not make sense’ to ‘the people’. The baby who… had no father.
They might have ‘thought’: ‘what absurdity!’
They’d: been critical. Made comments. Didn’t… ‘understand’.
But, Qadr of Allah . It had all been for the best. It ultimately did not matter what ‘the people’ would say, or not say. Maryam (AS) had been blessed not only with that lofty status in the Eyes of Allah . But also: with honourable mention in the Qur’an. And: with ‘Isa (AS), the special little boy who’d spoken from his cot, as a baby.
It all had to happen. The Plan of Allah : there is not a single human being who could ever Plan things better for you, you see. So: you’ll have hope, and you’ll keep your faith, even in spite of what the ‘people will say’. Won’t you?
The truth is: they are mere mortals. They will die, and so too will you.
In living this (first) life of yours: it’s massively beneficial to learn to put your trust in Allah .
He , Alone , Knows what is best for you.