At the moment, we have two people working to help maintain this house. A housekeeper and a guard. The guard is the housekeeper’s father, white beard and the like, but really nice. The housekeeper’s daughter used to work for us as well, who is now 16 and about to get married and is pretty happy.
The housekeeper, Shaheena, is not happy in her marriage. Although her husband is really nice, as a person, but pretty selfish. For example, he does work, labour work usually, but all the money he earns he spends on himself, giving the family close to nothing out of that. So, naturally the wife had to start working in other people’s homes and even involved one of her daughters into it, but she didnt realise that that daughter will get spoiled and start having affairs around.
In any case, Shaheena, when 16 herself, went through an unfortunate event, some 22 years back. Her mother had passed away when she was really young, and he father couldnt keep around 4 kids all by himself, so he decided he needed to marry. His ex-wife’s brother’s daughter seemed pretty good, also raising 4 kids on her own, she was also a good woman. Now here, this woman’s father asked Shaheena’s father that in order to marry their daughter, he would have to marry Shaheena to their son, aka the single woman’s brother. Shaheena’s father agreed. The women were swapped, leaving Shaheena very unhappy till now.
When Shaheena was telling me this story, she was sad, you could see it in her eyes, but pride would not let her demand sympathy, instead she hid her pain by cracking jokes, about how now her father was technically her cousin’s husband.
This isnt unknown in the Pathan culture, we take marriages the union of two people irrespective of relation, except of siblings.
Now she is educating her kids. Shazeenay, the 16 year old is getting married and very happy about it. My dad promised to employ her husband in a more permanent position and well paid. Her father is content.
And even after all this, Shaheena is thankful to Allah, and grateful for whatever she has and has had.This short story is not fictitious at all, rather a documentation.
But the point is, are all the girls who are victim to such unfair treatment at such an early age happy and grateful for what they have? Even if they do end up happy, does it mean its fair? Certainly not.
Spread the word. In Pakistan surprisingly this phenomenon is not as wide-spread as some other countries. I would know living in a Pathan village.
When people say that Islam encourages such behavior, I don’t blame them for thinking so. The image that Muslims have spread across the world concerning themselves and Islam will induce emotions and thoughts like that. Our people say, oh don’t look at us, look at our idea! Right, isn’t one’s idea supposed to represent him, and vice versa?
Islam does not support marrying underage girls. Maulvis might, the messed up ones.