Gheera (honorable jealousy)   Leave a comment

We live in societies in which most men and women have lost their
sense of modesty, women are obsessed with their appearances and wear
clothes to be seen by others and to attract the attention of other
men even if they are married! They have lost their sense of shame.
Marriage is often looked upon as old-fashioned and short term affairs
and frivolous relationships are the norm, everyone waiting to attract
a better partner and feeling totally justified to dump one partner
for another at the drop of a hat. Feminism too has reached its peak
and men and women are told to suppress their natural emotions. Men
are not even embarrassed when their wives are dressed up and attract
the attention of other men, they don’t mind if another man sees,
chats, laughs and even dances with their womenfolk and if they do
mind, they are told not to be so possessive!In Islam we have a
concept of Gheerah.

Gheerah is an Arabic word which means
protectiveness or jealousy. It is a good type of jealousy, like when
a man feels jealous or protective over his wife or sisters and other-
womenfolk and doesn’t like other men to look at them. It is a natural
inbuilt feeling Allah has given men and women. The Prophet (SAW) had
the most Gheerah for his wives and all of the companions were known
for their Gheerah. All Muslim men should have a collective sense of
protectiveness for Muslim women as Allah says in the Qur’an, the
meaning of which is: “The Men are the protectors and maintainers of
women…” (Surah An-Nisaa, Ayah 34). Men who do not care about how
their women behave and appear in front of other men and don’t enforce
hijaab upon their wives or women-folk are called Dayyooth. Being a
Dayyooth is a major sin and a detailed discription of this evil
characteristic can be found in adh-Dhahabee’s book of Major Sins
(Kitaab ul-Kabaa’ir). A story of GheerahTo further understand the
quality of Gheerah, we can look at an incident that Asmaa’ (RA) the
daughter of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq (RA) and sister of Aisha (RA),
relates about herself. Abu Bakr was a wealthy merchant and he married
his daughterAsmaa’ to the great companion Az-Zubayr ibn al-`Awwam
(RA) who was a very poor man but a man of great piety and one of the
companions who were promised Paradise. Asmaa’ relates: “When az-
Zubayr married me, he had neither land nor wealth nor slave…”, so
Asmaa’ had to work very hard kneading dough, going far off to get
water. “And I used to carry on my head,” she continues, “the date
stones from the land of az-Zubair which Allah’s Messenger (SAW) had
endowed him and it was a distance of two miles from Madeenah. One
day, as I was carrying the date-stones upon my head, I happened to
meet Allah’s Messenger (SAW), along with a group of his Companions.
He called me and told the camel to sit down so that he could make me
ride behind him. I felt shy to go with men and I remembered az-Zubair
and his Gheerah and he was a man having the most Gheerah . The
Messenger of Allah (SAW) understood my shyness and left. I came to az-
Zubair and said: “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) met me as I was
carrying date-stones upon my head and there was with him a group of
his Companions. He told the camel to kneel so that I could mount it,
but I felt shy and I remembered your Gheerah.” SoAsmaa’ declined the
offer made by the Prophet (SAW). Upon this az-Zubair said: “By Allah,
the thought of you carrying date-stones upon your head is more severe
a burden on me than you riding with him.” (related in Saheeh Bukhari)
Look at the sense of dignity and modesty of Asmaa’! See how she felt
shy in front of men? See how careful she was about her husband’s
feelings? She knew that her husband had a lot of Gheerah so she
didn’t want to upset him by accepting the Prophet’s (SAW) help even
though the Prophet was the purest of men and even though it meant
bringing hardship on herself! And look at az-Zubair (RA), even though
he had a lot of Gheerah, he didn’t want to inconvenience his wife.
What a beautiful relationship they had! Nurturing our sense of
GheerahSometimes Muslim women don’t understand if their menfolk want
them to cover their faces or if they ask them to change something
about the way they dress or speak in public, thinking that the men
are being over-protective. But my dear sisters! If your husband asks
you not to wear a certain colour of khimaar because it brings out the
beauty of your eyes, or if he wants you to cover your face – by
Allah, be thankful! Be proud of the fact that your husband has a
sense of Gheerah for you and that he values you and cares for your
hereafter. He knows what men can be like more than you do and so
never try and suppress his Gheerah in these types of matters. And his
concern for you should incite your own sense of honour! Why should
any man be able to see your beauty and think indecent thoughts about
you? We must nurture our own and our menfolk’s sense of Gheerah by
behaving and dressing modestly ourselves and paying attention to
their valid opinions. We expect certain behaviour from them andthey
expect it of us. And besides, if our husband asks us to do something
that it not Haraam, we must do it. And Brothers! How can you allow
your wife or sister to walk around attracting the attentions and evil-
thoughts of other men? How can you not mind if she smiles as she
talks to other men. Nobody has the right to enjoy her and her company
but you and her Maharim men. You are not being overbearing if you
first encourage and then enforce the hijaab on your womenfolk because
YOU will be asked about it on the Day of Judgement and it is also a
major sin upon YOU! It is upon the men to enforce these things in
their homes and you cannot use the excuse that your wife didn’t want
to. Women need a firm, balanced, guiding hand from their men, so with
wisdom you must enforce hijaab in your home. You are a shepard and
are responsible for your flock! Allah reminds us all in the Qur’an,
the meaning of which is:”Oh you who believe, Protect yourselves and
your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones.” (At-Tahreem,
Aayah 6) There is a big difference between how Islam values and
protects women and how cheaply women are treated outside of Islam! As
Muslims we have to be careful that our Hayaa’ (sense of modesty and
shame) and Gheerah don’t wear out in a society in which people have
lost it.


Posted February 2, 2011 by thesunnahway in Gheera

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