1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In the name of Allah the beneficent, the merciful
Islam is the religion that guides human beings in every aspect of life, be it in this world or in the hereafter. Therefore, every aspect of life has its sufficient reference in the glorious Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet (S.A.W). the following Qur’anic verse affirms the statement. Allah (S.W.T) says:
There is no moving (living) creature on earth,
Nor a bird that flies with its two wings but are communities like you. we have neglected nothing in the book, then to their lord they (all) shall be gathered!1
And in another verse Allah states:
…………And we have sent down to you the book (the Qur’an) as an exposition of everything, a guidance, a mercy and glad tiding for those who have submitted themselves (to Allah)2.
The religion of Islam has laid down rules and regulations governing any circumstance a woman happens to experience in life. Therefore, I will attempt to explore and analyze all the issues concerning widowhood in Islam and the prevailing understanding according to the contemporary life today using the relevant resources.
1.2. STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
Certainly, Islam has laid down rules that has to do with the issue of widows and what a woman in this position must do and what she must not do. But in this contemporary life, the practice of widowhood is understood differently. Therefore, could it be lack of understanding the concept of widowhood? Or is it because of the difficulties during this period that made the widows not to practice their responsibilities well? Or could it be negligence or being irresponsible? More importantly, can we conclude to say that it is because of lack of assistance or attention giving to the widows? Moreover, many Muslim women who happened to become widows do not have good knowledge on what they should or should not do in their widowhood, however in this situation, they may think that it is prohibited for them when necessary to go to school, hospital, working place e.t.c. All these problems will be discussed in the research.
1.3. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be of great benefit to widows when completed and also to the Muslim society at large. It will simplify and bring closer the views of scholars. When the findings of this research are adopted and implemented, the widows will receive more effective care in the society.
1.4. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Ø To bring out the concept of widowhood according to Islam
Ø To find out the difficulties encountered by the widows today
Ø To present the teachings of Islam with regards to widows
Ø To educate widows on their responsibilities
Ø To contribute in educating/enlightening the society on the need to assist widows.
1.5 .SCOPE AND LIMITATION
The scope of this research is based on widowhood from Islamic perspective within the opinions of the four school of thoughts and what is obtainable in the understanding of some Muslims within Kaduna metropolis.
1.6 .METHODOLOGY OF THE RESEARCH
The method followed in conducting this research is the use of Qur’anic verses, the tradition of the prophet (S.A.W.) and their explanations as well as the Islamic references. In addition to consultation of various individuals in a form of interview, and also my understanding and experience on the cases of widows. All the information received was later transcribed into a simple language for the benefit of the Muslim Ummah.
1.7. LITERATURE REVIEW
Research has been conducted on the issue of widowhood from Islamic perspective and its understanding in the contemporary life. Here are the related available works on the subject.
Mohammad Fadel Rashid (n.d) in his book Minhaj al-Muslim “Path of Muslim”. The book discusses many aspects of dealings in Islam. The book is in two volumes (2Vol.), and it consists of five sections and chapters. Section one has Seventeen Chapter, section two carries Fourteen Chapters, Section Three has Twelve Chapters, Section Four has Fourteen Chapter and Section Five comes with Thirteen Chapters and the most relevant to my research work is chapter six of the section five. The author in the Seventh theme of chapter six highlighted the definition of Iddah, Rules, Wisdom and its kinds.
Abdulrahaman I. Doi (1404AH) in his book title “Shari’ah; The Islamic Law” the book contain chapters dealing with different aspect. The author in chapter 13, discussed the meaning of Iddah and Its types likewise he examine the conduct and manner on how to treat a woman during Iddah.
In the book of Sayyid Sabiq (1996), title the Doctrinal Writings of the Holy Prophet’s Sunnah “Fiqhus-Sunnah” Vol.III. The book consist of many aspect of dealings in Islam which among them is where the author examined the concept of Iddah, its kinds and the categories of women entitled to Iddah.
M.M. Khan (2011) in his book titled Islamic Law and Divorce. The book is in 2 volumes discussing different aspect related to divorce in Islam. The author in vol.2 page 153-156 discusses the period of Iddah, Rules and conducts of Iddah.
Muhammad M. Abdul-fattah (1425/2014), in his book “Al-fiqhul-muyassiruminal Qur’an Was-Sunnah” Vol.2. The author in page 838, explain the meaning of Iddah (Waiting Period) of a Divorce and Iddah of Khul’ a.
All the above mentioned works are more to do with the explanation of the juristic opinions while in my work I will concentrate more on the challenges facing widowhood in Islam and the possible ways to curve and reduce them in our contemporary society.
1.8. END NOTES
1. Dr. Muhammad Muslim Khan, Dr. Muhammad Taqi-uddin Al-Hilali the Noble Qur’an,Darussalam 2011, Qur’an 6:38.p245
2. Opcit Qur’an 16:89p493.