An oft-repeated phrase heard among Muslims and NOI Muslims is “your women”:
- Protect your women
- Provide for your women
- Teach your women
- Love your women
I would like to address this and appeal to my brothers to resume this practice and phrase into our collective vocabulary.
The Holy Quran (4:34) states that “Men are the maintainers of women…” God Himself enjoins man to provide for and lead the women given to him. We are to provide for her needs–material, physical as well as emotional needs. We are required to be kind to them. We are also responsible for leading them and educating them. In this, the man must keep himself knowledgeable and spiritual, employable and emotionally stable. He must be capable of improving her standard of life from when she was single. If a man cannot–whether he is still in school, he is not practicing his religion sufficiently, or he is not healthy enough to maintain her physical needs–he is not considered suitable for marriage. A man who is not working or cannot provide for her and her children (if she already has children) is therefore instructed to prepare himself for marriage. As a show of his capability, commitment, and desire to take her as a wife, the man is required to provide a dowry (gift) of her choosing in order to prove his worthiness of marriage. To prove his moral fitness for being a potential mate, he is required to court his love interest while abstaining from sexual relations and compromising situations where he may be tempted to lead her to sin. If a man is incapable of maintaining a celibate courtship, he does not have enough spiritual strength to be a reliable husband. If he cannot be relied on to protect his woman’s soul by keeping her from sin, how can be trustworthy enough to resist the powerful pull of lust and sin bombarding him every day when he is away from her? A man who cannot do these simple things is not considered a man by Islam’s standards and therefore not ready for marriage. Marriage is serious business, and only men are suitable for taking wives.
First problem in our community, our “men” are not marrying. We are courting women but we have it backwards. Sex is often the goal, and little interest goes beyond the bedroom. In fact, women are so confused by what a good man is, she is happy just to find a man with a job (or not) who tries to convince her that he is fornicating only with her. Imagine that! So, with standards so low, is it any surprise that these men do not fulfill their obligations as fathers and providers when you have their children out of wedlock? The idea of marriage seems to range from the make believe (wifeys) to out-of-reach, dreams come true (fairytale weddings). Many of our daughters don’t even play house and pretend to get married anymore–they call themselves “bitches” and aspire to be “independant” women who work and not “need” a man. More and more of our women are so confused about what they need for mates they turn to other women to be their “man”.
The Black Man is failing miserably.
Don’t get mad. We have lots of good men out here. I have noticed more men marrying than in the last two decades–but it still is not enough. When I look at my immediate social circle, I only know ONE young man under age 25 who is unmarried and has his own apartment, job and mature enough to take a wife. His older brother, who is 20 is already married, by the way. I do know a quite few young men who are married, under 25, gainfully employed and taking care of their families. I know their fathers, and they are all Muslim. (The two brothers two sentences back are Christian, btw… I know their mother.) Perhaps you will be impressed by these statistics, but you shouldn’t be. Although I am proud of these young men, they are exceptions to what we know as normal. This is a shame.
The plight of the Black man, if it is to improve, must first begin with rebuilding ourselves. We must ensure that our sons are marriage material; many of us are not doing this. We enable them by not forcing them to be self-reliant. We are not finding them good role models. We are not demanding more of them. We are not teaching them. When a woman tells me she is happy that she raised her sons alone, I do not praise this; single motherhood is a travesty, and it has taught her sons that marriage is not important. It has also taught them that their mother spent the last 18 years fornicating, and apparently having children out of wedlock, continuing to fornicate and struggle financially (or not) and spiritually is acceptable behavior. Men have to be taught that everything that happens to our children–every missed meal, every time he is cold and lonely, every time his mother is malnourished sexually (and legally), every time he is told “no, you can’t have that because I don’t have the money”), every time he is given poor advice, every time he makes a moral mistake, every time he is out of favor with his God because he wasn’t taught better–it is our damned fault. As a people, we can no longer accept this. As a community striving to improve the world our children live in–and improve our reputations to the rest of the people of the world–we can no longer afford this.
Divorce doesn’t change a thing, by the way. Today, I was speaking to a brother about my ex-wife (who has remarried) informing me that her electricity is cut off. To my horror, he told me that this “was no longer my problem”. In his view, I’m free of responsibility because the new husband should have paid the bill.
Oh no? Despite the fact that my son lives in that household? I am no rich man. But I understand that regardless of how I feel about this woman (I am not very fond of her), for the rest of my son’s life–as my ex-wife, she is considered by God to be one of “my” women. For me to allow her to live in darkness, even for a few days, would not just be a sin–especially if I have money–it wouldn’t be the very “manly” thing for me to do. Struggle is something God designed man to be able to withstand; it is not for our women and children to suffer. We do not live in comfort while our women and our children live in discomfort. It would be very bitchy for me to do so. #no homo
The sooner our men see responsibility in its full view–everything that comes with it, like it or not–the sooner our community will benefit by having real leaders. From the smallest family all the way to our political and religious leaders. This message is not just for Black men, it is for all men. We do not cease to be men just because we divorce or break up, or have financial problems, or have new women. And God does not let us off the hook because it might cause a little discomfort. Please pass this on.
Thank you for visiting my blog.