Bismillah Hir Rahman Ir Raheem
Peace and blessings be upon you all
Assalam Alaikum, everyone!! I hope you all are doing well and are keeping yourselves clean, safe and at home as much as possible during the COVID-19 Lockdown. I pray that Allah removes this virus, helps those in the front-line and that we come out of this trial successfully.
Speaking of trials, I’ve been watching a Pakistani TV Series nowadays called Cheekh (Scream) at night with my family which was premiered last year and was recommended by a friend. We watch two episodes each day and it had us hooked since the first episode!
Since it has been a long time since it’s release, I wouldn’t be giving any spoilers in this gist of the series I’m about to mention as many would’ve seen it by now (but if you plan on seeing it then stop here and watch it first!). The series revolves around three friends where one friend Mannat (the ) is seeking justice against her friend who has been killed by her brother-in-law Wajih, (the man in the poster). Since the murderer was a family member, her journey to avenge her friend started weakening her ties with her husband’s and her family and put threats on her life and the lives of those she loves.
As far as I’ve seen, she was kicked out of her house, her brother-in-law harassed her mother, killed her unborn baby and her husband (her most vital supporter along with the victim’s wife) and had her sent to a mental asylum (not in this exact order), her mother sent her daughter to the asylum as well for fear of her daughter’s life and died later due to guilt, and her husband’s family stood firmly against her. Furthermore, the victim’s father went through hell as well, being made embarrassed by a corrupt police officer, losing his job and home and being taunted continuously by his second-wife who’s not the mother of the victim (the first wife passed away and wasn’t present in the show).
I’m not giving a review of this drama serial but today after we saw the episode of Mannat’s husband being killed, I felt too many emotions inside me, too many butterflies swarming in my stomach, too many heartbeats banging against my chest so I had to slam my fingers on the keyboard. There are multiple Pakistani series that depict the important theme of fighting for justice, standing up for yourself and all the horrible tortuous trials that will surely come in the way such as Yaqeen Ka Safar and Udaari, also a Pakistani film called Verna which were all amazing. The best part about such serials like Cheekh is how naturally and brutally they show the characters, all the torture and despair the good people go through and how even more cruel the bad people become trying to cover up their crimes. The good guy wins in the end always on TV but you never forget the trauma before that happens.
This series is a reminder of how desolate, barren, humiliating and heart-breaking such experiences will be and how one needs to be prepared when in this situation, especially when one is seeking justice against rich and powerful people, or their own family. If you go against evil, whether it happened to you or someone else, you start to experience that evil every day from then onward. Your life and those you care for are in danger, and due to the reality of such situations, many are often killed to scare the accuser. If not, your family and friends will leave you to bear all the struggles alone because they don’t believe you or fear the danger they’d face if they did. Corruption and bribery will hurl boulders at you. You will be cursed, shamed, shut up and cast away while the culprit will be showering in his or her magnificence. Your life will not be normal for a while, but it will never be the same ever.
However, if you decide not to take action and try to forgive and forget, you realize it’s impossible because your conscience doesn’t let you. The good inside you keeps you up at night, keeps you alert of the whereabouts of the culprit, holds you in fear while those around you are enjoying their normal lives. The good inside you is trapped, knowing that a criminal is still at large so your life is not the same then too but you live each moment of your life knowing you’re the cause of that evil spreading in the society. You may live with it, but what a life that would be………….
Eventually you’ll take action and you’ll bear what many in real life are bearing; rape victims, people murdered for honour, for their land, for money, people being assaulted for being born different, etc. Many cases like this have been ‘delayed’ justice and justice delayed is justice denied. About two years back, there was a story that came in the news about a family whose parents were killed for their land, and their children, a son and daughter, were separated and on the run and in hiding where they shared their videos on social media, appealing for help.
Verily, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice. Excellent is that which Allah instructs you. Verily, Allah is ever hearing and seeing.Surat An-Nisa 4:58
The thing I wanted to highlight most about such cases is that one will undergo and enormous weight of despair. Their life will be cut up and piece back together in a disorderly manner, but as Muslims, we have been given multiple reminders in Islamic history of such people: Hazrat Yusuf (A.S) who was thrown into a well by his brothers and lived a life of slavery away from his family, Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S) was cast away by his non-believing father, Hazrat Musa (A.S) who felt a deficit in his speech, had to stand up against the evil Pharaoh to defend the Jews, and especially, Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) was stoned for preaching Islam, lost his parents at a very young age and later on, lost his most crucial supporters, his uncle and wife, while he was going through the most excruciating trial for the sole reason that he served Allah.
The prophets must have undergone a great deal of torture and despair. Allah knows best but who knows how often their spirit nearly broke and their heart quivered and how much they wished for their trials to end. I don’t know what was on their minds but that would definitely have been on my mind, although Allah knows best. I’d have non-stop panic attacks and I’d have been so broken there’d be no tears left for me to shed. Whenever I watch Cheekh or shows and films like Cheekh, I pray that Allah doesn’t let anyone go through this hardship or gives them strength to face it because I feel that if I was in Mannat’s situation or that if I get raped (may Allah protect me and everyone from it), my life would be over as this experience would dominate my life, and fighting for justice in an unjust society or even world would take forever and who knows what would’ve happened to me or to those I love.
However, we need to stand strong. We need to keep our faith strong and we need to defend His teachings because only then will a society improve and only then will evil be eradicated for good. We need to defend the victims in our society, whether they be someone you don’t like, and we need to stand up against the evil doers, even if they are of our own blood. Allah gives us hope when we turn to Him and if we follow His commands, He will help us enormously in ways we can’t imagine and once the hardship is over, we’ll realize that we couldn’t have gone through with it without His help:
Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned.…..Surah Baqarah 2:286
Yes, our lives will be at risk but this life is temporary and if we don’t spend our time fighting for what’s right, we are doomed forever and we will sorely regret it.
I’ll end this post with a reminder that will stand firm till the Day of Judgement, no matter what we feel is convenient for us. May Allah make us just and may Allah protect us from what we cannot bear
O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.Surat An-Nisa 4:135