Domestic Violence India Islam Women

Ayesha’s Suicide: Islam is Against Dowry, But Some Muslims Aren’t Ready to Let it Go

It’s high time to introspect our community’s practices. Practices followed by our very own community have created an ugly picture of this beautiful religion. Ayesha’s suicide broke me, and I have been waiting to write about it since then but couldn’t process my thoughts.

But it’s never too late to talk about this because data gathered from National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is disheartening. The data shows that the crime against women is increasing every passing hour and minute. We should talk about it more and spread awareness.

While we talk about dowry systems and the Islamic take on them, we should also look at how other Muslims react to this news.

Why Do Some Muslims Blame the Victim?

People often blame the victim. There’ve been many instances where people blame the victim without clarity. Whether there’s clarity or not, we mustn’t point fingers because who are we to judge? We can spread awareness to end inhumane activities like this. But it should never be disrespectful or hurtful.

Unfortunately, many Muslims were quick to blame Ayesha for her decision, stating that suicide is haram in Islam. Yes, suicide is haram in Islam, but we should never blame the victim. We don’t know what she went through and what harassment she faced. I’m definitely not encouraging ending your lives when the going gets tough.

But what I’m trying to say is we shouldn’t be judgmental regardless of the situation. Allah alone has the right to judge his creations.

Instead of blaming the victim, the best we can do is make dua and spread awareness about such crimes. Educate women on how they can protect themselves from such life-threatening issues. Also, there are supplications and methods that’ll help you overcome the depressing situations you’re in. Though we unfairly lost a beautiful soul to the crime against women, we must protect other women who are going through the same. Or at least, we can try.

While I write this, maybe a woman is being tortured by her in-laws or husband for dowry –this drives me crazy when I think about it.

First off, Islam is against dowry, and no Muslim is encouraged to request dowry. Second off, you’re marrying a woman, who’s obviously a human, and your marriage should be out of love and for the sake of Allah ((SWT). It shouldn’t be a trade.

Unfortunately, parents agree to give their daughters married to men who request dowry, and it still happens everywhere. It could be because of several unfortunate situations, but offering and accepting dowry should end. There are laws in many countries, but somehow we don’t see the law being practiced.

The best we can do in such situations is to raise our voices. We’ve to become the voice for the voiceless.

Weren’t There Any Other Ways Out?

Ayesha’s last video before committing suicide is disturbingly painful. She says a few things that make us wonder whether there aren’t other ways that a woman can find peace when she’s in an abusive relationship. Even though dowry is illegal, people still do it subtly, but the price is paid by women who have no means to satisfy greedy families and husbands.

In her last video, she says, “Assalamualikm, My name is Ayesha, Ayesha Arif Khan. I am not pressurized by anyone to do this. I’m doing everything at my own will. You may say life has a limit set by mighty Allah.

 Dear Dad, please close the case, till when you will battle it out with family. Arif needs freedom, and I set him free today. I was satisfied with my life, I love Arif. I am pleased to meet Allah soon. I pray I need not see a human’s face again.

 Oh, dear river please accept me. “

I can only imagine to what extent she would have suffered to hate humans to the core. She mentions that she’d not have to see human faces again, which clearly shows that her life has been miserable. It’s actually tormenting to think that a 23-year-old had to end her life this way.

However, Ayesha’s suicide has shed some light on the dowry issues in India. Shockingly, most people don’t understand that marriages don’t depend on dowry. In fact, Islam has forbidden asking dowry from the bride’s family.

Imagine doing something that Allah has forbidden, and even worse is treating your wife in the worst possible way. This shows that most Muslims have forgotten or are ignorant about the words of the Prophet (PBUH).

The Prophet said: “The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.” – Vol. 3, Book 9, Hadith 1977

I highly doubt that Muslims who torture women for dowry worry about the words of the Prophet. They don’t care what Allah has commanded and how Prophet (PBUH) had set examples.

Anyway, apart from religious interventions, there are certain laws that women have to abide by regarding Islamic marriage. Some articles mention that women weren’t given the right to divorce the husband because only the husband has the right to request a divorce in India. Some articles mention that there’s an option to plead for a divorce from the husband. But I don’t think a person with a mindset to torture his wife for dowry will offer a divorce.

Also, this is not the rule followed by all the countries. Some parts of certain countries haven’t come out of the stereotyped, male-dominant rules designed by very men who want to keep women in check.

Unfortunately, Islam doesn’t support inhuman behaviors and has no bias rules related to getting a divorce. Therefore, if there was an easy option to divorce an abusive husband, I don’t think most women who ended their lives would have decided to do so.

There are many unfortunate cases like Ayesha’s, and we can only try to bring justice. But there’s one more thing we all can do, make dua! 

When I saw the news, the little girl stuck in my mind, and I prayed that Allah (SWT) grant her Jannatul-Firdaus and forgive her sins. May she receive light and comfort in the grave. Ameen!

Shakira Shareef
Shakira is a freelance writer. She loves writing on lifestyle, freelancing, travel, self-help, business, and Islam. If not writing, she'd be cleaning or reading. Yes, zero human interaction –she's pretty boring!