It is said that when a girl is born, mercy spreads everywhere. It is narrated from Hazrat Abu Saeed Al-Khudri (r.a)that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Whoever has three daughters or two daughters or two sisters, and take good care of them (i.e., pay them their dues as prescribed by the Shari’ah, deal with them kindly and treat them well, ) and fearAllah Almighty in the payment of their dues, and in return of it Allah will admit him to Paradise (Tirmidhi). Similarly, when this daughter becomes someone’s wife, her faith (Emaan) is completed and when this woman becomes a mother, Paradise lies under her feet. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) has given the woman such a status that if she is a wife then; she is the most precious wealth in the world, if she is a sister or a daughter, then she is the wall in the way of hell for her Brother/Father. To know the nobility of woman, one whole surah has been revealed by Allah (SWT) showing the grade and gree of the woman. Since Islam has entitled women with such great class and noble position, but we as a humans trample their dignity considering them as an inferior creation. So here I am going to share a painful and heart wrenching story of an innocent girl that is based on true incident, who became the victim of oppression only because she was a girl. This story starts from the beautiful valley of Kashmir. Yes, of course this is the story of an innocent Kashmiri girl. There is a small village in district Budgam about twenty kilometers away from Srinagar where a baby girl was born on April 22,1994 in a noble, honourable, pious and educated family. Her parents had a great desire for having a daughter, so the birth of a daughter created an atmosphere of happiness in the whole family and with cheerful hearts they furnished their daughter a beautiful name as khushboo (name changed). Khushboo was nurtured with great love and affection. Khushboo was enrolled in school at the age of four. Khusboo’s parents tried their best to fulfil every wish of their daughter, and in return khushboo always maintained the dignity of her parents, as she was a down to earth girl. Khushboo did well not only in studies but in everything. She passed her matriculation from Government High School Aripanthan. Her 12th from Government Girls Higher Secondary School Magam. After that Khushboo got enrolled in Government Degree College Beerwah and completed her graduation with first division rank. After graduation, Khushboo qualified for the entrance examination at Kashmir University for her masters degree. At the same time, Khushboo awakens her inner potential and stepped into the field of poetry and started writing touching poems, quotes and rhymes. After completing her masters degree, She took admission in B.ed and with her hard work and dedication she also completed her B.ed course with flying colours and made her parents proud. After completing B.ed, Khushboo qualified for admission in Central University of Kashmir in M.Ed. course by qualifying the entrance examination. The life of Khushboo was going on with great peace and contentment. Happiness was everywhere. Khusboo’s life was limited from home to university and vice-versa. She used to deal with people with great care, love, affection and sympathy. Sadness was never a part of her life. She was a humorous girl who always used to bring smile on everyone’s face so she was loved by everyone be it her family members, her relatives or her friends. Khushboo was a grown up girl now as she reached the age of 26.As we know when the daughter grows up, the parents start worrying about the marriage of their daughter in a respectable and prosperous family. Apparently, Khusboo’s parents had a similar desire. As Khushboo was getting many proposals for marriage from her college days but her family always refused as she was too young and Khushboo was very much dedicated towards her studies that is why she also refused to get married till she completed her studies. As Khushboo was the darling of the house, the apple of everyone’s eye. Everyone in the house loved her, so for the sake of her parent’s happiness, khushboo finally got ready for marriage and as we know that no one has control on destiny except Allah Almighty. So finally a proposal from a very respectable and rich family came for khushboo during 2020 lockdown which her family found suitable for her. The boy’s parents brought the proposal of marriage to the Khusboo’s home themselves. The boy’s name was Zaid (name changed) who looked very shy, innocent and religious minded. Anyway, the proposal got accepted. When it came to the marriage of the loving daughter who was very dear to herparents, the whole scenario of happiness changed in the family. Sweets were distributed from all sides. Meanwhile, immediately both of them got engaged to each other, Zaid’s family was very secretive that the boy and girl should be tied in Nikkah, Only then boy and girl could talk to each other and could meet each other. They also insisted that our Islam does not allow boys and girls to meet or talk before Nikkah. But Khusboo’s family was unable to understand the reason behind this haste . At first, Khusboo’s family members refused to perform the Nikkah before marriage. But then, after the immense urging of Zaid’s family, Khusboo’s family agreed. In this way, the Nikkah of Khushboo and Zaid was performed. The family members of khushboo left no stone unturned in the hospitality of Zaid’s family and by spending hefty amount they made arrangements for Zaid’s family with great fanfare. And in this way the Nikkah ceremony came to an honourable conclusion. Everything was going well for about a month after the Nikkah khwani. But exactly one month after the Nikkah, Zaid began to show his true colours and nature. Zaid seemed to be quite innocent, noble and pious to everyone, but did anyone know that behind this person who was posing to be innocent in front of everyone, there was a heartless, lying and mischievous person. Only a month after the Nikkah Khwani, he began to show his false face. Zaid’s attitude towards khushboo became absolutely unbearable. But khushboo was quite innocent and she started thinking in her heart that maybe Zaid would get better but unfortunately nothing like that happened. There were many other flaws in Zaid which she didn’t even reveal to her own family members and it might not be appropriate to describe those flaws here. And was only after Nikah that Khushboo became aware of these flaws, and even then Khushboo completely covered Zaid’s flaws and does not even utter a word to anyone. But Zaid still didn’t like Khusboo’s loyalty and he gave her pain after pain. And day by day, instead of improving, he got worse and worse. Every day, with different excuses, he made her wail. The parents who never made her eyes wet, now she had to shed tears of blood every day.
Zaid often got headaches during midnights and used to call khushboo without thinking she might be sleepingand kept her awake the whole night. Zaid used to cry like a small baby over minor headaches and kept khushboo awake whole night and if she accidentally fell asleep with her tearful eyesthen Zaid called Khushboo the next morning and fought with her and made her cry. Helpless Khushboo came home from university in the evening tired from the day and slept with crying eyes. But because of Zaid, she couldn’t get enough sleep. Khushboo tolerated all the abuse, thinking that once the Nikkah was done, there was no way to escape from it no matter what. Then one day Zaid called khushboo and made her cry for no reason, then khushboo explained to Zaid and tried to make him understand with the blessed hadith narrated by the Prophet (PBUH). Not to speak of understanding the meaning of that hadith, he insulted that hadith as well as made khushboo cry louder and this scratched her feelings and emotions to a greater extent. As khushboo grew up in the same patriarchal society where woman treated as a commodity and when woman be it before marriage or after marriage is tortured by her in-laws, this society teaches her only one thing that is “to be silent” same happened with khushboo. Zaid was becoming religious in the eyes of the people by uploading religious posts on his social media accounts every day. In fact, he was showing that he is completely oblivious to religion but in reality he was far from religion having no true knowledge of Islam. This thing also hurt khushboo a lot and she was shattered by knowing that Zaid knew nothing about his religion and on which condition her family members had accepted the marriage proposal of Zaid. One day when Khushboo left university and reached university gate, her eyes fell on Zaid who had reached university without telling Khushboo. Since both were tied in Nikkah so now khushboo left for home with Zaid. On the way, Zaid tortured Khushboo by his baseless words. He quarrelled with khushboo in the middle of the road and made her cry profusely. Khushboo told Zaid that she would tell everything about Zaid’sbehaviour at home today. It ignited a firestorm on Zaid and hestopped the car and threatened khushboo by saying that if she said anything to the family, he would get under a car and commit suicide. By this khushboo got shocked and still khushboo explained to him why he kept threatening me by saying such baseless and nonsense things, and said that whoever commits suicide, his faith is weakened and he is called a kaafir. Zaid responded to Khushboo by saying,”Yes, I am a disbeliever, I have no faith”. This statement shocked Khushboo. Khushboo called Zaid’s mother and sister every day to inform them about Zaid’s behaviour. Zaid’s mother and sister kept khushboo quiet by saying, “Don’t tell the family about it, we will explain it to Zaid”. But in reality nothing like that happened. Zaid’s abuses and misbehaviour had became now a daily routine. Zaid fought with the khushboo every day under the pretext of something. Meanwhile, one day khushboo got to know about Zaid’s first engagement which was broken after nine months. Khushboo felt devastated. She became lifeless and her anxiety was exacerbated. Khushboo called Zaid and asked him why he hid such a big thing from them, Whyhe had not told them before the engagement; they would have also investigated further about why the girl finally ended the relationship after nine months. Zaidreplied, “Yes, we hid it, but now you can’t do anything. We are now tied in Nikkah”. Khushboo felt devastated and helpless, she couldn’t share this with anyone because of being in nikkah with zaid.Nikkah was above all for Khushboo. She respected this relation and didn’t want to create any problem in her relationship, she accepted the truth and forgave Zaid with the hope that hewould change for her. But it remained only a hope, because of Zaid’s daily quarrels, Khushboocouldn’t even eat or drink properly. When Khushboo was fed up with Zaid’s excesses, she was fed up with daily quarrels; she wanted to raise her voice against the oppression that was happening to her. But unfortunately, at the same time, Khusboo’s father got a stroke and he was admitted to the hospital. In the grief of her father’s illness, Khushboo forgot her own grief. In addition to Khushboo, parents and two brothers was in her family. One was older than khushboo and the other was younger. Khusboo’s mother was already very upset because of her husband’s illness. That’s why Khushboo didn’t want to add to her mother’s worries by mentioning any of her problems. Khushboo didn’t mention anything in front of her elder brother because after the illness of her father, the whole burden of the home was on him and at the same time, there was a lot of respect between the two siblings since childhood. So that immense respect for each other also became the reason for not expressing anything in front of her brother. By the grace of Almighty Allah, when Khusboo’s father was discharged from the hospital and his condition started getting stable, Khushboo intended to express the hidden pain inside her but she came to know that doctors had strictly advised not to put any stress on her father as he had recently been cured from a stroke and one bad news might make his condition worse. So the father’s affection and love bound her in chains and she even found it difficult to open her mouth in front of anyone. Since Khushboo was also a poetess, she now had only two supporters. One Allah Almighty and the other her own pen. With the help of her poetic pen, khushboo lightened her burden temporarily by expressing the hidden pain inside her in words. From here, Zaid did not take the name of improvement and tortured khushboo by his excesses and the poor khushboo tolerated the excesses of Zaid. But even if khushboo was helpless, in fact she was also a human being, she was part of the same universe, she had a soul in her body, and truly she was in deep pain that Zaid was unable to feel. This continued for months and day by day the burden of grief and anxiety fell on Khushboo in such a way that it affected directly her health and her condition could easily be seen on her face. The health of khushboo deteriorated day by day. Her health deteriorated to such an extent that her illness was clearly visible from her face. Khushboo started getting dizzy in university everyday and many times she fainted in university and she had admitted to the health centre of the university every day. Everyone wondered what bothered her, but what would the poor khushboo say to someone that the khushboo whose life was calm, kept laughing, today was crying for her destiny. Khushboo was tied in the bond of Nikkah and the same bond became the lock of her lips. On the one hand, the grief of the father’s illness and on the other hand, this bond of Nikkah did not allow khushboo to say anything. But then one day Zaid did something that was totally unexpected. It was a day of plantation drive at University, Khushboo and her whole class was busy in it and suddenly she got a message from Zaid “that he was on hospital bed and doctors had told him that he had very few days to live and one last time he wanted to meet khushboo. Khushboo didn’t wait a second and within no time left the plantation drive, she was so worried about Zaid that she forgot that she didn’t know the way as the plantation drive was far away from university, anduniversity had provided buses for students for the arrival and departure, finally she took courage and with tearful eyes she began to walk. She confirmed from the locals about the way. She had to travel some 70 kilometres to reach Zaid for which she had to change three vehicles. During the travel Zaidcalled her again and told her that he was waiting for her at some other place, finally when khushboo reached the said place. She found Zaid absolutely fine. He was laughing, on seeing this khushboo got shocked and cried loudly. On this day Zaid crossed all the limits without realizing how much the health of the khushboo had deteriorated due to his excesses, without realizing the effect of doing so on the health of khushboo. Khushboo asked Zaid what led him to create this fake story, Zaid didn’t reply to this as he had done nothing. Khushboo warned Zaid that she would tell her family about all his doings and to this Zaid threatened khushboo that he would commit suicide and put the blame on her. Since she wassensible, she kept silent but inside she had now decided to disclose Zaid’s true identity before her family. Her patience was totally broken now, she finally realised that she could not spend her life with the man who didn’t know how to respect a woman .She also realized that Zaidhad that sort of behavioural disorder that had no cure at all. Zaid hide the false, deceitful and insensitive man of his inner being. He started threatening, harassing, abusing again and he didn’t even realize his mistakes. Eventually, Khushboo had to fought for her rights. Because after a few months, khushboo was about to leave (Rukhsati) and it was not a doll game that Zaid would play with khushboo and khushboo would tolerate like a doll. It was not the matter of a dumb doll but of the life of a living and innocent girl. Eventually Khushboo somehow dared to express to her mother the cruelty and abuse that was happening to her. The mother heard the pain of her innocent daughter and started crying tears of blood. And then in the same way, when the rest of the Khusboo’s family got to know about the cruelty being inflicted on her, they all cried out for the pain of their daughter. The family of Khushboo seeked advice from various religious scholars and the advice from everyone was to end this relationship by getting a divorce as soon as possible, as enduring oppression was also a sin. From here, Zaid sent threatening messages to Khushboo every day and in spite of all this, Khusboo’s family waited for another month that maybe Zaid’s family would take the responsibility of correcting Zaid. But nothing like that happened. Instead of Zaid’s family correcting Zaid, they started defaming khushboo. Zaid’s family started calling friends, relatives and even neighbours of khushboo and spreading false rumours about khushboo. Zaid and his family tried every means to discredit khushboo and her character. Not only that, but Zaid himself went to university and threatened Khushboo in the presence of her friends by saying,” I will defame you and I will not divorce you till the end and I will let you suffer till the end”.Khushboo quietly endured his threats and finally gave only one answer, “No one can slander anyone by resorting to lies. No matter how many lies a person tells, in the end the victory is for the truth and even if you slander me a million times, the one who gives honour is the Allah Almighty and He is the one who honours me, will protect me.” As soon as she said this, she walked out and Zaid also left. Hearing Zaid’s threats, even Khusboo’s friends who were near khushboo were astonished and tears of khushboo began to flow in such a way that seeing her condition, one hardly could tolerate. After all, when Zaid’s truth revealed to everyone, the family of Khushboo gathers some religious scholars to get a divorce, when the two families met for the final decision, at this time Zaid’s father Showed pictures of Khushboo and Zaid in a crowded party that they once took together. He didn’t even realize that Zaid and Khushboo were tied in a bond of Nikkah and it was a common thing that there would be pictures of the two taken together. By doing this he gave a great example of his ignorance and irrationality. Unfortunately, when it came to sign a divorce certificate, Zaid’s family members came in their original colour and put the condition that all the Mahar that they hadpaid for Khushboo should be returned to them and only then the divorce certificate would be signed. They would be so greedy, so worldly people, no one even guessed. Otherwise, in our religion, it is quite clear that Mahar is the right of the girl, but Khusboo’s family felt no grief in returning the amount to Zaid’s family, because the life of khushboo was much more valuable than this Mahar and this life is the gift of Allah Almighty and it is the duty of every individual to save it.
Today we pledge to come together to this and make sure that our mothers and daughters will be safe around us and we will make sure that they are living their lives with full justice and we will eradicate this oppression of girls forever. Because no one would want the cruelty and excesses, injustices that happened with khushboo, to be with any other sister or daughter in the world.
So why let the khushboo be cruel to her life. Since Khusboo’s family wanted to free the khushboo from this hell, from this relationship which was based on lies and misery, this condition of Zaid’s family was also accepted and in this way they took back each and everything. And so khushboo was freed from this hell forever, exactly five months after the engagement. And in this way, khushboo lost belief in people who ruin the lives of innocent girls by pretending to be religious. All the claims made by Zaid’s family came out hollow. Even after the relationship ended, Zaid and his family tried their best to discredit Khusboo’s character, but she left everything to Allah and indeed, He is the defender and preserver. So this was the painful story of khushboo and such stories will be of thousands of girls of Kashmir in which many girls do not tolerate oppression and commit suicide and end their own lives. All I can say to those girls is that Allah is the Sustainer. Marriage can happen again but we cannot get life again. In our religion of Islam, where we are allowed to get married, we are also allowed to get divorced. I have seen that one of the fault of our society is that when parents see that there are some flaws in their sons, when they see that there are some bad habits in their sons, then these parents tie their sons in marriage thinking that now only their wives will mend them. Those who do not even know the meaning of marriage, those who do not even know the rights of the husband over his wife. Suchboys are married off. I want to tell the parents of such boys that these daughters are also the pride of a brother. These daughters are also the pride of their parents, these daughters are also the pride of a home, these daughters are also born by a mother, these daughters are also raised by a mother in her womb for nine months.Aren’t the parents of these boys ashamed to ruin someone’s daughter’s life without thinking that they have their own daughters too? If the same happens to their own daughter, can they tolerate that pain? The husband is the shadow of her wife, when he is not right, when he is not mentally stable, how can he protect his wife, how can he protect his daughter tomorrow? It is like being tied to a dumb doll without thinking about how a man who cannot be reformed by his parents will be reformed by his wife. He who is not guided by his parents, how can he be guided by his wife? And in this way the lives of innocent girls are being destroyed and nowadays it is seen from all sides that when the boy cannot do anything, he gets tied up in the bond of marriage. And nowadays suicides are committed from all sides; the reason for this is that if a boy has flaws, he gets married. As Khushboo was an educated and intelligent girl who had the strength to endure the ravages of society and was fully supported by her parents and family, she spoke out against oppression instead of committing suicide. Therefore, I urge all girls to raise their voices against the oppression that is happening to them instead of committing suicide, fight for your rights. And I also request the parents not to push their daughters into the fire of oppression by looking at the names and status of the people. Do not leave them alone in the mire of oppression. Instead of committing suicide, teach your daughters to fight for the truth and don’t leave them alone under any circumstances. There was a lot of oppression with Khushboo but Khushboo did not commit suicide but raised her voice against oppression along with her parents and family members. So today we pledge to come together to this and make sure that our mothers and daughters will be safe around us and we will make sure that they are living their lives with full justice and we will eradicate this oppression of girls forever. Because no one would want the cruelty and excesses, injustices that happened with khushboo, to be with any other sister or daughter in the world.
( The author is a freelancer. Views are exclusively her own)