When we need to embark on a trip, we often inform our neighbours or relatives so that they can look after our house and take charge in the case of an emergency. We entrust our pets to them, if we cannot travel with them. We hand over our potted plants; set our security lights to flip on in the evenings, set our house and car alarms.
We take all these precautions for inanimate objects in our possession when we travel, but what do we do about the dependants in our care when we leave them behind for good?
When you take a look at single parents who have been widowed, you realise how few of them had husbands with foresight. It is simply disheartening to see how the family plunges from grace to grass because the head of the family and breadwinner, did not make proper plans to ensure his dependants are catered for even in his inevitable absence.
Families abound where the wife has not a clue of the husband’s possessions or bank accounts. Indeed, some women may not even be aware of where their husbands work. Those who bear the brunt the most, in this society, are women who were totally dependent on their husbands with no financial independence of their own.
They end up sharing the children amongst relatives to cater for, or engage the kids in child labour. We are all aware the dangers involved in both. Others begin to dabble unsuccessfully in commerce to fend for their dependants. Some widows are known to become mistresses to wealthy benefactors while a couple of the widows remarry and with hardly a backward glance, walk into the sunset without their children who are left at the mercy of who will have them.
And these incidents are not limited to Nigeria; it is a worldwide trend. In the times of old, such widows were married to provide protection and provision for both the mother and child(ren). These days, few of these altruistic men like the Prophet (SAW) remain.
It is not acceptable for a man to embark on a journey without making adequate provision for his family so how can it be acceptable for him to embark on an eternal journey without thought of the tomorrow of his family? Islam is a completed religion and Allah has called our attention to dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s before we venture into the Great Beyond.
Dear Muslim men (and women), put your house in order today. You may not get another opportunity to do so.