Alhamdulillah, my daughter is completing her first year of worldly life on 14th of July this year.It was one year before that she was born at a private nursing home in Anantnag at around 7’O clock morning amid COVID-19 fear.Today , whenever I see her giggling, chuckling and laughing in my arms, her sight as a new born baby flashes across my mind. Her delicate pink skin, small red lips, swollen fingers,small black eyes which she would open lazily– everything is still fresh in my memory. We named her Mehnoor because of her exceeding beauty. She was placed in my lap and I recited Azan in her ears. It was a dream come true. Her presence is always soothing to me and pleases me exceedingly as it was when she opened her eyes for the first time into this world . I am cent percent sure that all fathers share the similar feelings as I do but there was a time when daughters were treated as a curse and burden. If we study history of Arab it becomes clear that the pre Islamic Arab was marred by all sorts of moral and social degradations.Prople were quarrelsome and mostly drunkards, education was lacking, ignorance was on rise and poverty and misery prevailed. In such circumstances, the birth of reeked rituals, customs and social evils is a natural thing. One such ugly ritual which took birth and ashamed the entire humanity was the practice of killing daughters by buring them alive. In Arab the custom of killing daughters was very common. Numerous causes and illogical excuses were told by the murderers of their own daughters to justify this heinous crime. Firstly, they would say that they are sacrificing their children at the alter of their gods to please them. Quran says in Chapter 6 Verse 137 “And so to many of the Mushrikun (polytheists) their (Allah’s so-called)“partners” have made fair-seeming the killing of their children, in order to lead them to their own destruction and cause confusion in their religion. ” Second, they would say that they kill their children for fear of poverty. Allah condemns this act of theirs, as Quran in sura Isra says”Don’t kill your offspring for fear of want for it is We Who provides for them and for you as well. Indeed their killing is a heinous crime” Thirdly, the Arabs considered girls inferior to boys and as such nobody wanted a girl child to be born to them. So whenever a girl child was born, the father would take her away, dig a grave and bury her alive. But when Prophet Muhammad (SAW) came and Islam gained glory, the darkness began to fade away making way for enlightenment and reformation of society. Islam right from its begining axed at the roots of inhuman customs. It choked the throat of barbaric rituals, pulled man out of darkness, ignorance,to light, guidance. Man regained his lost honor and he began to live a dignified life. Furkan separated right from wrong. It showed Sirat-al-Mustakeem, the right path, to mankind.While it forbids idolatry , adultery and innocent killings on one hand , it urges a believer to respect the old and young, the men and women.Infact Islam not only prohibits female infanticide but infanticide of all kinds, irrespective of whether the infant is a boy or a girl,So we can say that,It guarantees the protection of life of all, as in Quran, we find Allah commanding His slaves to not to take a life which Allah has made sacred.
Islam gave a special status to daughters. Allah’s messenger (pbuh) urged parents to care their daughters with love and affection. Giving glad tidings to such parents Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said, “Anyone who has three daughters and provide for them, clothes them and shows them mercy will definitely enter paradise.” A man from the people asked, “And two daughters, oo Messenger of Allah?” He(pbuh) said, “And two.” So Islam changed the outlook of people, reformed them and build their character and the same people who till yesterday would mourn at the birth of a daughter in their families would rejoice today at her arrival.The same father who would yesterday bury her alive was today risking his own life for her protection. She was no longer an ill omen but the pride and honor of a loving father and a proud brother .Her birth was celebrated now as the Allah’s Messenger called all such women blessed whose first kid be a daughter. Islam preached the divine message that a girl child, if raised with love affection and care, will stand between her parents and hell fire like a shield or pardah(curtain) in hereafter. So Islam presented her as a greatest blessing for mankind. It is said that when Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal would hear that one of his relatives or friends had a baby girl, he would say, “Congratulations for the Prophets were mostly fathers of daughters.”Dear readers, isn’t it sufficient for us to celebrate our daughter’s birth that Allah’s last Messenger who was sent as the Ramatalill -Alameen was father of four daughters? Though the trend of receiving a girl child with cold feelings is reducing day by day all around world but it is a bitter truth that such unpleasant and reeked isolated cases do still exist here and there in our part of globe where a girl is still unwelcomed,unwanted and uncared . Still some people here consider her as a burden and a curse. She is still called louk-e- Maal,else’s property, and as such subjected to worest discrimination in her own family.She is still shut out of education and forced to care her siblings and to help her parents in house hold chores while male children are sent to schools and colleges.At places she faces discrimination even prior to her birth.Things are so much worse in some cases that she is aborted when parents come to know that the child inside womb is a girl.Some stone ignoramus fools still held a mother responsible for giving birth to baby girls only and torture her, least knowing that it is Allah who gifts girls and boys to whom He wills . Allah says and Quran quotes, ” To Allah belongs the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wants (and what He wills). He bestows female (children) upon whom He wills and bestows male (children) upon whom He wills according to His Will (and His plan).” Speaking biologically it not the female’s egg but the males sperm which decides the sex of a child. So if someone is to be blamed for the birth of a female child it is man himself who is to be blamed, although, he too has no control over the divine plans. Dear friends, rejoice on the birth of your daughter, love and guide her. She is a blessing to be thanked for and mercy to be desired. Those who are kind to their daughters receive special mercy from Allah. Fear not her birth and upbringing. It is Allah who has brought her to this world and it is Him who will produce means for her upbringings. She is a blessing and blessings are cherished.
(The author is a teacher by profession working in Education Zone Vailoo of Anantnag district. Views are his own)