Follow the example of the Prophet (SAW), not society’s male stereotypes

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While a commonly-held view, fuelled assiduously by the media, is that males should avoid showing their emotions and refrain from displaying gentleness, this is not actually what Islam teaches us. We should not become so influenced by society and the media that we ignore the example of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) whilst following worldly stereotypes.

We need to remember that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) did show his emotions. He did not hide them because of his worry about what others will think. He was concerned about others and cared for them. We read in a hadith that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) described crying by saying:

“This Is Mercy which Allah has embedded in the hearts of whomever He wished of His slaves. And Allah does not bestow His Mercy, except on the merciful among His slaves.” (Bukhari)

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was a gentle person. As he is our role model, regardless of whether we are male or female, we should strive to follow his example. Being gentle includes in our behaviour and speech. We read in a hadith that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

“Allah is gentle and He loves gentleness. He rewards for gentleness what is not granted for harshness and He does not reward anything else like it.” (Muslim)

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) would also take part in the household chores and not leave everything to be done by the females in his family. We read in a hadith:

“Al-Aswad reported: I asked Aisha, ‘What did the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, do when he was with his family?’ Aisha said, ‘The Prophet would do chores for his family and he would go out when it was time for prayer.’” (Bukhari)

This is also very important to understand. When children are brought up, every effort should be made to ensure that they are taught that household chores are equal for everyone, regardless of whether they are male of female. Each person has a responsibility. Failure to see the importance of teaching this can cause bitterness within siblings and families, as well as extend to cause problems in these children’s futures.

Following the example of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) should always be our focus. We read in a hadith, narrated from Abu Hurayrah, that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) went out to the graveyard and said:

“Peace be upon the abode of believing people, and if Allaah wills we will join you soon. Would that I could see our brothers.” They said: Are we not your brothers, O Messenger of Allaah? He said: “You are my companions. Our brothers are those who have not come yet. I will reach the Cistern before them.” They said: O Messenger of Allaah, how will you recognize those of your ummah who came after you? He said: “Do you not see that if a man has a horse that has a white blaze and white feet among horses that are all black, will he not recognize his horse?” They said: Of course. He said: “They will come to me with bright faces and limbs (like the white markings of a horse) because of the traces of wudoo’, and I will reach the Cistern before them.” (Muslim, Al-Nasai)