Life Stories: The Swap

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. 

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60 thoughts on “Life Stories: The Swap

  1. Well.. Thats a very good thing you pointed to.. and again its just a drop in ocean of Jahaalat.. Such issues or issues worst than these are heart wrenching. But I would quote a story here.. I just remember the context of it.. Once in a village people complained about the stinky water in Well.. All the village would get water from that one well so they all were sick of it. They complained higher authorities and then orders were issued that well’s water got to be changed. So they changed it. After few days again water started to stink.. and they changed water again. This happened about 3 or 4 times. Then somebody sorted out that there was this dead animal in Well..which is causing this filthiness. So people took out that dead animal and cleaned well. And after that, they didnt complain about stinky water.
    So my point is we need to find reasons behind these acts..Something to break away this silly cultural bond. And I every time I find lack of education a reason of it. And not this kind of Education taught in our schools and colleges.. But such an education which doesnt make you only intelligent & skilful but build your personality in a strong way. And you come out productive for your society, for nation and for Allah.

    ah..” it would be like a dream come true..

    All the best for your great work.. and I appreciate your family’s help with Shaheena.

    Regards
    Sara

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    • Yeah, that makes sense. But even normal, good school’s education helps a lot. It sophisticates the mind. Of course, the difference between right and wrong, detecting either and then acting upon it has to come from within.. We cant just tell people to be fair, we have to make an environment in which to cultivate and culture their minds into those of good and able human beings that can later serve the world and God, alike.
      Fairness and justice are the roots of everything. Whenever there is no fairness or justice, things like these will keep happening.
      It would have still been forgivable if the guy Shaheena was forced to marry was good and able, but he was not, making her father unfair and, so, unfit as a human.

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      • Yes thats right.. absolutely.. I wonder.. what could be the starting point.. and I think its ourselves..we could be the starting point.. every individual himself could be a starting point..

        thanks for your nice posts..

        Stay well!!

        Like

      • thats right.. but even for building environment there has to be some start.. last night I was thinking about it.. and I thought.. on individual level.. this could be a slow process… no matter a long term.. but it should be through enforcement of Law… If Law enforces justice in society and put strict punishments over these kind of activities.. You will see how this jahaalat will be reduced on a big level. Just like islamic punishments.. cutting hands and all.. they sound tough very tough but just imagine, then how many people will go robbery thinking of their hands cut? hardly few.. and fools.. lol.. Although I have heard about people in Arab whose one hand is cut but they still try to steal with the other one haha.. But offcourse.. very few.. 🙂

        But Raising voice should be an endless effort for life. And going beyond it.

        Regards

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      • Agreed.. But this is a very personal matter, who will notify the authorities? The woman herself? It would be a long while before a woman stops respecting her dad’s wishes, especially when she’s not even 16!

        But yes, law must play a part. But all this, again, comes down to education. Educate the people, and things will automatically shape up! They will have to. All the developed countries are in power because of a reason. If they werent ahead of us, they would not be in power.. Thats another thing that they have more issues than us, but then they have more humans than us, as well.

        We are backward, hundreds of years.. But fairness comes from within a human being, and sometimes without. Even in the best of systems, their will be bad and unfair people.

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      • hmm.. thats right. so together LAW and Education can change fate for this nation.. And kinza I am really feeling proud to see all the feedback for your blog 🙂 i wish you all the best in future… if your ideas can change a person one in million n billions.. that means you are an achiever.
        Love you loads..

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