Channel: Bilal Philips
Sheikh Bilal discusses with us the Iddah of windows in Kenya.
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This series is called Islam Mythbusters
where I will be dealing with a variety of myths that exist in Muslim communities all around the world, because people are emailing me, SMS me, you know, sending messages calling, etc, asking about a variety of different things, which concern many, I mean, I'm answering their individual questions, but no just so that the benefit from it would reach far more, because, you know, the one person's problem will have solved or found an answer for, you know,
likely they will not share that with, you know, the many 1000s or, or millions who hold similar
myths and misunderstandings. So, in this series, in this section of the series is, first, I'm going to be dealing with the aid of a widow in Kenya.
These are questions which are sent to me, you know, concerning, what are the requirements for a widow, because we know that in Islam, if a woman's husband dies, she's supposed to enter into what is called a mourning period of referred to as a right, during which she's not supposed to entertain,
you know, proposals for marriage, you know, it's four months in 10 days, she,
this is a her gap, period, which allows her peace from others, you know, approaching her, or requiring of her a variety of other things, she has a period which allows her to get over that loss. And after that, you know, if this carries on, she doesn't have to wear, you know, for example, in Catholicism, you know, especially in as it was practiced in the old time, but still practice even till today, in places like Italy, if a woman's husband dies, you know, then she was That's it, she for the rest of our lives on a dressed in black. So we don't have that in Islam, she returns to completely normal life.
So in that period of time, she spends more time at home, etc. She, you know, it's not that she avoids people, she can't deal with people, people, because you cannot entertain guests, people can come and see you and all these kinds of things. Now, because again, people kind of go to extremes with that, where, you know, she's just sort of locked away in the house. And no, this again, is not correct. Anyway, what I'm going to deal with is just the seven major myths concerning widows in Kenya. And this may be, as I said, beyond Kenya is just the country from which the questions came. And it's common, they're unlikely It is common in neighboring countries and maybe around the world
to the first myth is that the widow is not allowed to look at the sky.
Can you imagine that? People actually,
you know, promote the idea that a woman by her husband has died, she is not allowed to look at the sky.
I can't even fathom where that came from, you know, what is that connected to? What could that have been derived from? It's just completely insane. It is total nonsense.
It is total and absolute nonsense. The second is that she cannot remove her scarf. Even while sleeping. She has to wear a headscarf for her job all the time. So even when she's going to sleep at night, she's got to go to sleep with her hijab on again, total nonsense.
no basis for the teachings of Islam, no support in any way, shape or form. I should just add to this another myth which is commonly
associated with the scarf for women, the headscarf the job, that if a woman is in the presence of her father, she should wear a headscarf. She shouldn't appear before him without her head.
Again, nonsense. Also that if she's reading Koran,
she has to cover her head.
Also nonsense. Just because those are sort of interrelated are probably
We deal with that, again, you know, myths about reading the Koran are myths connected to the Quran in a later segment,
that she cannot leave the house to work, even though she is the sole breadwinner.
Her husband has died, they were both working
together the money they earn, looked after the family. Now she's on her own. This is her means of sustenance and survival. And people are saying no, you can't go out and work.
Nonsense, she can continue to work.
As I said, the fact that she's in the state of mourning doesn't mean she now becomes locked away in the house, you know, somebody locks, walks away with a key, she's not supposed to leave the house, that is nonsense. But it's not that she can go out and get her needs, to the shop, to, you know, shopping, supermarket to the mall, whatever, according to her needs. She minimises it, you know, she's encouraged to minimize it, so that, you know, she doesn't run into too many people people will be saying to her, you know, sorry, we heard about, you know, it can just add to the pressure on her the weight of the loss. So to allow it to, to go the weight of the loss of her husband, then, you
know, this period, she's encouraged to stay more at home. But if she's working, this is our means of survival. Of course, she continues to go to work just as she did before. I mean, if they weren't gives her some time off, no problem, you know, but she should not be expected to give up her work, simply because she is now a widow.
The fourth myth
that she's covered her face, especially if she's speaking to non Muslim men. She's not among the women who normally wear a niqab covering her face normally. But as a widow, now, she must cover her face if she's speaking to non Muslim men. Now I can understand where this came from. It's not true. But where it came from, because she's not supposed to entertain proposals, marriage proposals, although, you know, indirect
inference she can hear or can be said, but she's not supposed to accept any direct, you know, marriage proposals should be made. So I guess they figure Well, you know, for face is uncovered, then this will invite men to want to propose and etc, etc. So better for her to just cut herself off in that way. But this has not been instructed process, didn't even recommend it, you know, in this case. So know that it is also a myth, we can understand where it came from, but it's still a myth.
she must do certain additional prayers after her death has ended. I didn't go into what those additional prayers were, you know, how many records and what needs to be said in them and when it needs to be done. I didn't get those details. But apparently there in Kenya, certain particular additional prayers are are assigned to the woman who has dinner It was her it does ended, he must do. This has no basis in the teachings of Islam. Islam does not require to do any additional prayer because her husband died or passed away.
Myth number six
that she must spend a day with her maternal family before returning to her home.
The details of exactly how this takes place. Again, I didn't you know, probe into it. But they have obviously in Kenya, this practice that
the woman before returning home
to her not I guess it's not her own. The home that she was living with a husband will return home to her family that before she goes back to her family
leaving the home
She was doing the pictures her husband's home, or ex husbands or whatever, dead husband's home
that before, because maybe commonly, they would leave that home and move back in with parents would stay with parents. Because the internet could actually be done in the home of your parents. I mean, they're thinking, I guess that the it has to be done in the home of the husband at home when she and her husband lived it. But that's not true. It could be in her parents home. It's not, it's not the specified place that she has to be in for the exam.
So we're in their custom, she, I guess, she has to stay in her husband's home. And then when they end, there's over four months, 10 days are finished, then she goes back to the home of her own parents. So what they have added is that before she can go to the home of her parents, she must spend the day with her maternal family.
into the paternal family, that means her father's home, she must go and spend a day with the family of her mother.
There's no basis for it. It may be a tradition and a custom.
If you want to do it, Islam doesn't say you can't do that she's free to stay where she wants to stay. But now when you make it a custom, and you're gonna say well, custom, we're Muslim. So it's a Muslim custom that, you know, when this happens, you should do this. Now we're talking about Buddha, or invasion in the religion, because it's not a part of the religion. But if she chose to do it, it's not an act of forbidden act. It's not forbidden.
So if people
chose to go with that, not on an obligatory level,
you know, not as an obligation. In a library, this was probably a practice before Islam. When Islam came, they just kept that practice in place. This is where it probably came from.
there is no harm.
As long as it doesn't become an obligation, a religious obligation, it needs to be understood as a tradition, and a cost.
Which is not harmful, unless it becomes an obligation.
The seventh and last of the myths that were mentioned to me,
of the widow in Kenya,
is that if she makes mistakes during her adapt,
or she doesn't do her in the property properly, according to what they feel this property.
It causes pain and suffering to her dead husband out of the villa. Where did this come from?
her mistakes affect her husband. Of course not. What she does us mistakes affects her only if there are actual mistakes, it doesn't affect your husband.
her mistakes, she needs to seek forgiveness from Allah, Allah, whatever mistakes she might make.
If the mistakes are what they consider to be mistakes, any of these other six things, this is not gone by them, not follow them, the rules, she kept looking at the sky, you know that this is gonna cause pace to her husband paint her husband suffering to her husband and his grave. This is total nonsense.
these are seven myths, and I'm sure there probably many others, but these are Kenyan brothers and sisters, you know, to know that this has nothing to do with Islam.
made up false.
A couple of them maybe done
without there being harm as long as it's not made obligatory. But as long as these are principles which people are expected to follow, follow and if they don't follow them, they are considered to be an error. They have made mistakes islamically then this is all false.
salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah II.