A very sweet sister sent me a lovely email after reading my ‘Honest Day’ blog post. You don’t have to have kids or be shouting at your kids to read and benefit from her short message. But, if like me you do shout at your husband, or your sister/brother, or indeed your kids then her points really are going to leave you thinking. By Allah, by the time I finished reading her email I was fighting back the tears…
Hope you will benefit inshaAllah.
Here is a part of her email:
Sister, I read about you shouting at your children, as I do and everyone I know do. You said you need to work on your anger management.
I want to share something with you. Last month I was reading about abusive men. I read a few books written by non-muslims just to understand what pushes a man to be so angry all the time. And then I looked to Islam to see how to cure this problem. What I found opened my eyes as to the reasons why I shout too. So this is what I want to share with you. InshaAllah.
In short, they say abusive men are angry not because they have anger issues but because they look down on their wives and kids. The books said, in the minds of these men, women and children are of lesser status than them so they don’t feel obliged to treat them well. Another issue is that men feel entitled to certain treatment and rights, such as the food to be always cooked, a clean house, their clothes always clean and ironed and the wife always smiling and understanding. But they don’t feel obliged to offer almost anything in return because they believe since their wives are of lesser status they don’t need to put any effort into the relationship. Obviously not all men hold these beliefs but a big amount of Muslim men do. I have been discussing the issue with my husband from an Islamic point of view and talked to him how beliefs are passed from a father to a son. Sometimes Muslim men don’t realise that they hold such beliefs at all and that they contradict Islam. This is a very short explanation. Now, what concerns me is that from Islam we women should take care of the house, the kids and when we add home education we end up with a long list of demands which can put a lot of pressure on us. So we may say that this is the only reason why we shout at the kids. We are under stress and we lash out on them from time to time because of this. But I asked myself, do I shout at sisters if they annoy me? I don’t. Do I shout at my mum if I am stressed? I don’t. So why can I restrain myself with other people but I end up shouting at my kids. The answer to this is very disturbing to me. I realised I give myself permission to shout at my kids because there will be no consequences, or at least no immediate consequences. If I shout at other people there will be immediate consequences. When I realised this I realised that my anger isn’t out of control. That I give myself permission to shout and I give myself permission who I should shout at. It was a scary discovery. Then I delved deeper and asked myself if I feel I can shout at my kids because they are of a lesser status. Or do I feel they are? I was thinking, if I remember that they are muslims and as such have the same status as me, (even if they are small) and I don’t see immediate bad consequences for my actions, Allah will certainly hold me to account for how I treated them. Shouting stresses them, sometimes scares them, it teaches them nothing but that if you want to impose your will you shout it out, it teaches them to shout and be out of control, it teaches them to act immature. It teaches them that it is okay to overpower those weaker than us. Hmmm. This is when I realised I need to stop and that I will stop only if I recognise the fact that they have equal status to me in Islam and that they have been given to me as amaanah (a trust): to take care of them and make them worshippers of Allah.
This is a very very short part of what I realised. But I wanted to share it with you. Maybe you will disagree. Maybe your reasons are different. I am not saying you have the same issues like me. I just thought that maybe sharing my thoughts can be beneficial inshaAllah.