Written by: Sosan S.
And then I got an urgent call from her mother asking me to come at once. There I got the most shocking news. Manal had died!
"How? She was okay when we met last week."
"She slipped from the stairs and injured her spine badly."
"Spinal injuries can make one paralyzed or crippled for life but rarely prove fatal. Stem cell therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy and physiotherapy, didn't you try anything?" I aasked, bewildered.
"Didn't get the chance. She died too early."
I could clearly notice that there was no grief in her voice. Being a mother it would have been really painful to discuss her daughter's death but it wasn’t.
"Aren't you sad?"
"Obviously ... What rubbish are you talking? I lost my daughter and you are asking me if I am sad or not? A weird person you are!" she remarked waspishly.
"Sorry, but you don't sound sorrowful,” I said.
"Sorrow should last for three days only."
"Yet, it isn't easy to forget your child."
"Indeed!" she replied shortly.
"You mentioned once that you had had spells of unconsciousness for a whole month after your son's death."
"This time, no such thing happened?"
"Weird. Ain't it?"
"People change with time. I have learned to practice 'sabr'. I'll go and bring something for you."
"No, it's hospitality."
She went inside the kitchen. Few minutes later she was back with tea and snacks. She placed them on the table. She put the sugar in the cup and handed it to me. It slipped from her hand accidentally. My clothes were stained.
"Oh! I'm sorry."
"It's alright. I'll just wash it off.”
I went to the washroom while she mopped away the mess. As I slowly made my way back, I heard her talking to her sister.
"You spent loads of money on her treatment but it was of no use," her sister said.
"How would I have known that she would die? Had I known that I wouldn’t have spent a single penny on her. She wasn't worth it. I just got her cured in case she grew up with all her crazy attitude then it would have been difficult for me to get her married."
"Good that she's gone. Was such a burden."
"Yes, especially after my Mubeen's death I started to despise her even more. She always remained cross with that innocent angel. Used to beat him even. Cruel ogress!"
I couldn't believe my ears. A mother could be so stone-hearted? Talking about her daughter's death like that? Sighing with relief at her loss? I stood there, unable to walk.
"Why did you call her doctor?"
"Manal was very attached to this woman. Thought it best to call her so she might not get suspicious.”
“She wouldn’t have known.”
“No, she used to come twice a month to meet her. You have no idea. This woman's really clever. Never trusted me. That's why wise people stay away from these 'psychologists'."
Inna lillahi wa inna alaihi rajioon. Manal and I had thought that her mother had changed. But she hadn’t. Manal was right when she had said, "Bad people never change."
It was hard for me to decide who was abnormal--- Manal or her mother? But then I remembered it is a custom in some places in our country to neglect daughters and detest them. Poor daughters! Why do their parents never recall the golden Ahadith regarding daughters? The voice of the Baji in whose 'Dars' I had been going regularly for years, started ringing in my ears.
"And when the news of (the birth of) a female (child) is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with inward grief! He hides himself from the people because of the evil of that whereof he has been informed. Shall he keep her with dishonor or bury her in the earth? Certainly, evil is their decision." (An-Nahl 16: 58-59)
"Whoever takes care of two girls until they reach adulthood - he and I will come (together) on the Day of Resurrection - and he interlaced his fingers (meaning in Paradise)." (Reported by Muslim)
"Whoever has three daughters or sisters, or two daughters of two sisters, and lives along with them in a good manner, and has patience with them, and fears Allah with regard to them will enter Paradise." (Reported by Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhi and others)
As far as daughter's importance is concerned in Islam, It has been said by the Messenger of Allah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم: "They will be a shield for him from the Fire." (Reported by Ahmad and Ibn Maajah)
Therefore, it is upon the parents who have intellect to accept Allah Almighty's gift with full joy and happiness, whether the gift is male or a female. Since the decision of gender is in His hands alone. He, the One free from all imperfections - and Most High says:
"To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills. He bestows female (offspring) upon whom He wills, and bestows male (offspring) upon whom He wills. Or He bestows both males and females, and He renders barren whom He wills. Verily, He is the All-Knower and is Able to do all things." (Ash-Shura 42: 49-50)
And finally, a stern warning of the 'Day of Judgment' is given to all those people who went (still go) to the extremes of killing their (infant) daughters out of fear of poverty or shying away from responsibility, superstitions or ignorant customs etc.
"When the sun (with its spacious light) is folded up; When the stars fall, losing their luster When the mountains vanish (like a mirage); When the she-camels, ten months with young, are left untended; When the wild beasts are herded together (in the human habitations); When the oceans boil over with a swell; When the souls are sorted out, (being joined, like with like); When the female (infant), buried alive, is questioned - For what crime she was killed; When the scrolls are laid open; When the world on High is unveiled; When the Blazing Fire is kindled to fierce heat; And when the Garden is brought near; (then) shall each soul know what it has put forward." (Qur'an 81: 1-14)
“The same daughters that could be the source of their prevention of their entry to Jahannum are ill-treated. When Allah's rehmat is treated and devalued like that, Allah Ta'ala surely takes that thing away," I shook my head in sorrow and left the house leaving Manal’s death a mystery to date.
"And (recall) when your Lord proclaimed: ‘If you thank, I shall certainly increase (My blessings on) you, and if you are ungrateful, then My torment is surely severe." (Surah Ibrahim 14: 7)
If any daughter in your home or around you is suffering from inequality and inattention then step forward in bringing her back to normality before her personality becomes warped forever.