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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

nazreen talk 10

The Women’s Section in the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir, International Women’s Conference, “The Family: Challenges & Islamic Solutions”

TALK 10

SPEECH FROM THE CENTRAL MEDIA OFFICE OF HIZB UT TAHRIR

Al-Khilafah: The Fortress of the Family

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh

(1) Introduction:

  • Dear sisters and honourable guests, it is a pleasure and honour to be amongst you today and to address this distinguished gathering. Dear sisters, a Swiss family-law professor, Gaston Jezz, who visited the Turkish Republic following the destruction of the Uthmani Khilafah stated that the harmony of religious beliefs in this land, the last seat of the glorious state ruled by the System of Allah (swt), "gave birth to the strongest family hearth in the world, and this entity founded a public life which has never been seen in the history of any nation.”
  • When we hear such words of praise regarding the unrivalled nature of the Muslim family that this Ummah once enjoyed, and that was the admiration of other nations, and then we look at the sad condition of our family units today, it truly pains the heart, and we yearn for a return to a state where the strength and harmony of the Muslim family will once again be a characteristic feature of this Islamic Ummah.
  • But achieving this great goal will never materialise through piecemeal reform of marriage laws, or a few changes to our constitutions, or calls for new women protection bills, or alternative government policies on protecting the family, or by just organising awareness campaigns, seminars or conferences on saving the family – NO!
  • None of these actions will establish and protect strong harmonious family units on mass within the Muslim Ummah. Haven’t we seen that all such initiatives and strategies implemented in our lands have failed dismally to achieve this goal? This is because all these approaches fail to address a fundamental point….and that is, that there is a huge disconnect between the noble Islamic goals we want to achieve for our family structure as Muslims, and the environment of non-Islamic values and laws which surround us and our communities under the systems that we live under today.
  • This blend of opposites destroys and does not build; it is a cocktail of contradictory ideas and goals in which the family unit can never flourish. Nor can the family ever flourish under regimes and systems that rather than acting as a shield to protect the family, have systematically eroded marriage, deconstructed motherhood, and fuelled the disintegration of the family unit through their detrimental laws and policies.
  • (2) A State Built Purely upon Islam is Essential to Establish Strong Families:
  • Dear sisters, to save the family therefore requires much more than chipping away at the edges of the problem. It requires root and branch change of the political structure and systems in our lands, and comprehensive transformation of the foundation, values and laws within our societies, through the establishment of a state that truly appreciates the vital importance of protecting the sanctity of marriage, elevating the status of motherhood and creating and safeguarding healthy family units. This should be manifest by its principles, laws and systems which will practically achieve this noble vision in reality rather than expressed as mere rhetoric by politicians.
  • Dear sisters, this great vision can only be realised by a state built purely upon the Islamic Aqeeda, that implements comprehensively ALL the Islamic Shariah laws – for it is Allah (swt) alone, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise Who knows best how to organise the affairs of men and women, their rights and duties in a way that will achieve happiness and success for the family unit and all its members. Allah (swt) says,
  • إِنَّمَا كَانَ قَوْلَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذَا دُعُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ أَن يَقُولُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ۚ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
  • “The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are called to Allah and His Messenger, to judge between them, is that they say, ‘We hear and we obey.’ And such are the successful.” [An-Nur: 51]
  • Dear sisters, this state that is built purely upon Islam and that implements all its beliefs, values and laws is the Khilafah (Caliphate) based upon the method of the Prophethood – the System of Allah (swt). It is this state that truly understands and fully embraces this role of being the Fortress of the Family and generating strong and harmonious marriages and family units, for the Prophet (saw) said,«وَالإِمَامُ رَاعٍ وَمَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ»“The Imam (ruler) is a guardian and he is responsible for his subjects.”
  • It is this Islamic leadership and state that transforms the Islamic social and family principles and laws from a set of obligations and rules followed by a few pious Muslims, to a set of values and regulations that become the norm of the whole society, adopted on mass amongst the people, and the law by which individuals live their day to day life. This is achieved through its institutions and systems which nurture, implement, promote, enforce and protect the Islamic family values and regulations within the society. This is why the eminent scholar, Imam Ghazali (RM) stated, “Verily, the system of the Islamic way of life brought by Islam can only function properly with an obeyed Sultan (Khalifah).”
  • So how will the Khilafah be the fortress of the family? To answer this question, I’d like to address three important points in my talk.
  • (3)The Khilafah Will Nurture Taqwa in the Society – The Vital Ingredient to Protect the Family:
  • Firstly sisters, it is only a state built purely upon Islam that will nurture Taqwa – God-consciousness – within the whole society – rather than the pursuit of harmful individualistic whims and desires as promoted by liberal freedoms and gender equality. It is Taqwa and the concept of accountability to one’s Rabb (Lord) in every single action and yearning for His Jannah which is the frontline defence and most vital ingredient to nurturing and protecting strong family units. This is because it is the ultimate driving force for righteous actions, fulfilment of Allah (swt)’s obligations, and obedience to His Limits and Laws. This is why, the Messenger (saw) described Taqwa as the head of all matters and the collection of all goodness.
  • Dear sisters, it is Taqwa which drives an individual to interact with the opposite sex with Hayah (modesty); to abide by all the social laws in their meeting with them – whether in public, private or online; to seek marriage to protect their chastity; and to distance themselves from any action or situation which comes even close to the haram or creates suspicion on their character in order to guard their honour. It is this which minimises extramarital relationships within the society. It is also Taqwa that motivates an individual to seek a spouse based on Deen and righteous conduct to make marriage a bond of companionship rather than a commercial partnership founded upon material and monetary expectations. And it is Taqwa which is the glue which binds the successful family together for it drives each member to fulfil their duties and the rights of others with patience, diligence and compassion and to cooperate on righteousness and piety, shunning selfishness and individualism and instead acting on what is best for their marital and family life, including doing whatever is necessary to achieve tranquillity in marriage and to avoid divorce. So, it inspires the man to treat his wife well, work hard to provide for his family and fulfil his role as guardian with love, care, kindness and mercy rather than fear and violence. It inspires the woman to obedience of her husband, fulfilment of her home duties and to exert great care, time and attention in raising her children. And it inspires the young to respect, obey and care for their parents and elders…creating a beautiful harmonious family life.
  • The Khilafah nurtures this vital concept of Taqwa within the society, through its complete implementation of Islam which will surround its citizens with the sublime and moral values of the Deen, including those related to family life, and that will consistently remind the people of obedience to Allah (swt).
  • For example, with the Khilafah’s Education System, Article 171 and 172 of Hizb ut Tahrir’s Draft Constitution for the Khilafah states that the goal of the education policy is to form the Islamic mentality and disposition and to increase people’s Islamic knowledge connected with life’s affairs. Therefore, the state’s education system will instil the correct morals and understanding of the Islamic social rules and obligations in its citizens, including in the field of marriage and family life such that the society as a whole abides by the Shariah through conviction and love of its laws and rejects immorality and corrupt behaviour in all its forms, while the enforcement of the Islamic laws by the Khilafah’s political and judicial systems will punish those who transgress its limits. Furthermore, the Khilafah’s Media Policy, as also detailed in our draft constitution for the state, is to support the interests of Islam, including working to build an Islamic society that is strong and cohesive, countering any corrupt ideas while confirming and propagating all that is good. Newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, online media, conferences and other means will be employed to achieve this objective. It is all this that will foster Taqwa and the noble Islamic social values within the state which will serve as the main safeguard of the family.
  • (4)The Khilafah will Organise Society based upon the Correct View of the Relationship between Men and Women that Achieves Cooperation between the Genders and Safeguards the Family Unit:
  • Secondly sisters, the Khilafah will serve as the fortress of the family by organising the society based upon the correct view of the relationship between men and women that achieves cooperation between the genders while also protecting the family unit. Dear sisters, the Islamic system creates a society which is driven by the pursuit of the Pleasure of Allah (swt) and which holds the protection of the honour of the man and woman as sacred and safeguarding the sanctity of marriage as unnegotiable.
  • Through its education system, its media and the comprehensive implementation and enforcement of the Islamic social system values and laws, the Khilafah will direct the community’s view towards the relationship between men and women away from the obsession with the sexual aspect and pleasure to that which is in line with the true purpose of the sexual instinct and beneficial for the society – marriage and procreation. This is in addition to promoting the view of women as an honour and the importance of hayaa’ and chastity. It will therefore prohibit the destructive sexualisation of women or society or promotion of any immoral relationship whether in advertising, the media, literature or online. Alongside this, the Khilafah would adopt the khimar and the jilbab as the public dress of the woman – whether Muslim or non-Muslim, prohibiting the display of their awrah or beautification in public life – helping to maintain a pure relationship between men and women, protecting their chastity and re-enforcing the view that the woman’s status is one of honour.
  • The state will also put an end to the free-mixing and Khulwa (seclusion) of men and women that currently takes place in schools, colleges, universities, bars and clubs, and other venues as well as homes and that often leads to extramarital relationships, implementing instead the separation of men and women as much as possible in public life – whether in its educational institutions, its transport system, work places, hospitals and other locations. This segregation of men and women would even impact the architecture of houses, enabling women to enjoy their home-life in their home attire away from the gaze of non-mahrem men. This we saw with the Harems (womenfolk) under the Uthmani Khilafah which were built as separate living quarters for the women of a household away from non-mahrem men. The Turkish author Asli Sancar for example writes in her book, “Ottoman Women” how female European writers of the time described the piety and high regard for purity in the interaction between men and women in the Muslim Ottoman household, and how men strictly adhered to rules relating to the female-only environment of the harem to the extent that the husband of a Muslim woman, even if he was the Khalifah would not think of entering into the harem of his own home if he saw women’s slippers at the harem door, which indicated that there were female guests visiting.
  • Alongside all this, the Khilafah will highly encourage and support marriage, including financially if need be. We saw for example how the 8th century Khalifah Umar bin Abdul Aziz ordered for state funds to be given to those who needed it for marriage. Furthermore, Islam has prescribed severe punishments for fornication and adultery which are often attacked by secularists. However, the severity of the punishments reflects the seriousness by which Islam views the safeguarding of marriage and the family unit, for they serve as a strong deterrent and last line of protection for the family. Uthman bin Affan (ra), the companion of the Prophet (saw) said, “Surely Allah gives authority to the ruler to eliminate that which cannot be eliminated by the Qur’an.”
  • All of this sisters, creates a chaste and pure society embellished with the concept of Hayaa’, where interaction between the genders occurs in a manner which is beneficial for the community, where women can have an active public life and respect towards them is enhanced, reducing domestic violence; and where extramarital relationships are minimised, trust nurtured between spouses and suspicion curtailed – all of which strengthens the marital bond and maintains the integrity of the family unit.
  • (5)The Systems of the Khilafah will Support the Fulfilment of the Islamic Roles, Rights and Duties in Family Life to Achieve Tranquillity in Marriage and Harmony in the Family Structure:
  • And thirdly sisters, the Khilafah is the fortress of the family because its systems support the fulfilment of the Islamic marital and family roles, duties and rights of men and women to achieve tranquillity in marriage and harmony in family life.
  • It will for example, use its education system and media to build a clear understanding within its youth and citizens of the Islamic Shariah rules related to the distinct responsibilities of the genders within family life. For example, in the lessons on Islamic fiqh in its education curriculum, the state will nurture the correct view of the duties and qualities of the man as the guardian of the family who should be characterised with mercy, kindness and care over his wife and children. These lessons will also build an understanding of the importance and responsibilities of women in their primary role as mothers and wives as well as vital contributors to the progress and wellbeing of their community and society. In addition, in the secondary school stage of education, female students in additions to studying general subjects such as Islamic culture, mathematics and the sciences, will also be given the choice of taking a Domestic Option which enables them to specialise in areas linked to child care and management of the home life. Under the Uthmani Khilafah for instance, the course on Household management taught in girls’ secondary schools, as described in Asli Sancar’s book, “Ottoman Women”, provided detailed information on topics ranging from – the characteristics of a good home, how it can be protected, heated, and lighted; home medication and pharmacy to treat ailments affecting the family; the preparation of good quality food; the provision of correct nutrition for children and the elderly; the etiquettes of hosting guests; and household budgeting and accounts. All this was to effectively prepare their students for their responsibilities when they married.
  • However, the Khilafah will not only educate its citizens in the rules related to family life, it will practically support them in fulfilling their roles and duties. For example, Article 153, of Hizb ut Tahrir’s Draft Constitution of the Khilafah states that, “The State should guarantee work for all subjects holding citizenship of the State.” This obligation upon the Khilafah is based on the hadith of the Prophet (saw), «وَالإِمَامُ رَاعٍ وَمَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ»“The Imam (Khalifah) is a guardian and he is responsible for his subjects.” The Khilafah will therefore support every man to fulfil his obligation of providing for his family, including providing funds from its treasury, donating its cultivated land, and organising training for those who require it for employment, enabling them to earn a living. All this is achieved due to the sound nature of the Islamic economic system that generates a prosperous economy.
  • Similarly, the Khilafah would empower women to fulfil their primary role as mothers by ensuring that they are financially maintained always and never forced to compromise their vital duties to their children due to the economic pressure to gain employment. The Khilafah’s courts would therefore support any woman whose husband fails to provide for her and her children, forcing him to fulfil this obligation according to his capacity or face punishment if he refused. Writings from the law books of Islamic scholars during the Abbasid Khilafah for example, describe how women would file complaints to judges against husbands who did not provide them with sufficient maintenance and how the judge would enforce payment. In the situation where the woman’s husband is poor or she has no male relatives to provide for her, then it is the obligation of the Khilafah to do so, for the Prophet (saw) said,
  • «مَنْ تَرَكَ مَالاً فَلأِهْلِهِ وَمَنْ تَرَكَ دَيْنًا أَوْ ضَيَاعًا فَإِلَيَّ وَعَلَيَّ» رواه مسلم
  • “If somebody dies (among the Muslims) leaving some property, the property will go to his heirs; and if he leaves a debt or dependents, we will take care of them.” All this would also ensure that individuals would not be pressured to limit their family size out of fear of poverty. Rather the Khilafah would encourage families to have many children with the knowledge that they would always be provided for.
  • Dear sisters, the Khilafah is the only system which will return the status of motherhood to the prestigious position it deserves in society. Julie Pardoe for example, a 19th century British Historian and Traveller, wrote regarding the status of the mother under the Islamic system of the Uthmani Khilafah in her book ‘The City of the Sultan and Domestic Manners of the Turks in 1836’, “An equally beautiful feature in the character of the Turks is their reverence and respect for the author of their being...the mother is an oracle; she is consulted, confided in, listened to with respect and deference, honoured to her latest hour and remembered with affection and regret beyond the grave.”
  • Alongside all this sisters, the Khilafah’s judicial system will play an important role in maintaining the unity and harmony of marital and family life. It will have a zero-tolerance approach towards domestic violence, punishing perpetrators severely. It will stand as a guard against forced marriage and deal firmly with any other non-Islamic traditional practices and views which harm the family unit. And it will serve as an important arbitrator to resolve marital and family disputes effectively and swiftly to prevent problems from festering – by ensuring access to justice is fast, fair and free. Indeed, such was the level of justice and protection of marital rights and duties received through the Khilafah’s judicial system that even non-Muslim women in the Uthmani Khilafah, as evidenced by the judicial records of the time, preferred to set up marriage contracts according to the law of Islam and use the Qadi courts to seek recourse for their grievances rather than according to their own religious proceedings.
  • (6) Conclusion:
  • Dear sisters, from all this, it is surely clear that only the Khilafah state will serve as the true fortress of the family, strengthening and protecting it from all sides. This is why the renowned scholar Imam Ghazali (RM) said, “The Deen is the foundation and the Sultan is the guard. What does not have a foundation will crumble and what does not have a guard will be lost.”
  • So sisters, if you truly want to save the family from ruin, then it is vital that you place your focus and time into re-establishing this great state with urgency! If you want to save the morals and chastity of our children, then it is a must that you work to resume the rule by the System of Allah (swt). And if you want to create a future generation, family units and a society enriched with the righteous and noble values of Islam, then it is essential that you exert your full efforts to return this fortress of the Deen without delay! So as Hizb ut Tahrir, we call you to join this noble dawah to establish the glorious Khilafah state which will once again make the status of our families a source of pride for this Ummah, rather than a source of heartbreak. Allah (swt) says, {ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَاكَ عَلَى شَرِيعَةٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْرِ فَاتَّبِعْهَا وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاء الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ}“Then we made for you a Shariah, so follow it, and do not follow the low desires of those who do not know.” [Al-Jathiya: 18]

 

 Dr Nazreen Nawaz

Director of the Women’s Section in the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir

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