My father – part 2
He was my main mahram. A mahram is for a woman a male who is so closely related to him you are forever forbidden to marry him and engage in sexual relations. Doing so is considered a huge sin in Allah’s eyes. You are allowed to display your ‘adornments’ to your mahrams (24:31) . Your cousin is not your mahram, as Allah permits Muslims to marry cousins, which as we know, causes genetic deformities in children born of a product of this incest. A non mahrams is referred to as ‘Na – mahram ‘. There are hadiths by Muhammad further detailing the concept of mahrams :
Al-Bukhaari (1729) and Muslim (2391) narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No woman should travel except with a mahram.
It was narrated that Ma’qil ibn Yassaar said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “For one of you to be stabbed in the head with an iron needle is better for him than that he should touch a woman who is not permissible for him.”
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “No woman should travel except with a mahram and no man should enter upon her unless she has a mahram with her.” A man said: O Messenger of Allah, I want to go out with such-and-such an army, but my wife wants to go for Hajj. He said: “Go with her.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1862
Muslim (1339) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allaah and the Last Day to travel the distance of one day, except with a mahram.”
My father acted as my mahram. I was not allowed to be in the presence of another male who was not a mahram. I was forbidden to speak or look at anything to except the ground or to make contact. If I was allowed to speak, it would be of necessity , for example my doctors or teachers. When they attempted to touch me of shake my hands I recoiled . I saw this as a sin, against the word of my noble prophet. I cursed them inwardly. Do they not understand ? Do they have no respect for my privacy or private space? Do they know I am not permitted to do this? When males came over without notice, I would be bundled upstairs in my room until they had left. When the notice was planned, I would be told the day and time before so I wouldn’t be around. My male cousins didn’t even look or acknowledge me. They were too scared of my dad. I was sitting there draped in a black shroud completely veiled. Like a black ghost. One time I tried to venture outside down the road and go shopping. I wore shalwar Kamiz under a black abaya and a simple headscarf for once. It was sunny and I was boiling. I went and bought dates for my family to share, donated money to a homeless man and bought 2 hijabs as a gift to my stepmother. My father found out. I’m not sure how til this day. Maybe my stepmom or siblings told him even though I told them not to. I got twice the abuse, for going without niqab and venturing outside the house alone. That was the last time I attempted that. I knew I needed to dress well and act well, otherwise he would get angry and I’d damage his reputation and honour. I used to frequently repeat ‘a fathers shame lied in his daughter’, mirroring the Hadith of Muhammad where he says ‘a man’s shame lies in his wife’.
I was determined to marry and bear many children. That was the only way I could please him. He suspected me once of having a boyfriend one evening. I don’t know why. I was 15 and a virgin who had never had a boyfriend. He shook me and shouted and said ‘you have, haven’t you. I said no, no I haven’t it’s haraam. He abused me until I swore by Allah I hadn’t. He used to check my phone most days and my messages, calendar , search history. I wasn’t speaking to any boy. He found nothing and still carried on. It was like he was seeking some conclusive proof. He would tell me he would disown me if I ever got a boyfriend. I asked about my brother. Would he disown him if he got a girlfriend ? He wouldn’t answer. He said for a Muslim girl, getting pregnant is a huge shame. For boys, it’s easily hushed up. His sexism pissed me off badly. I wasn’t okay with this.
From his abuse, I have a long red scar on my abdomen, my thighs, burn marks scattered on my hands, thumbs and fingers. A mark on my cheek. But the mental scars are the hardest. I don’t know if I will get used to normality 100 percent like before. I’m distrustful of males and I vastly prefer female company. I’m trying to work on disregarding this ideal that has been heavily moulded into my impressionable mind.