Stories of Transformation

An old man heard the Imam’s khutbah about women’s rights under Islam and was so disturbed that he held the Imam with his collar and said, ‘Why did you not tell me this before?  No one can help me.  Time is gone. I have committed all sorts of violence against my daughters, I took the Walwar [bride price] for each of their marriages, I stopped them from getting education, and I forced them into marriages. They are suffering every day because of my wrongdoings. For me it’s too late’”.  The imam replied, ‘it’s not too late, we have another generation to bring up’.

Student Monitor’s account of an elderly man in a Kabul mosque

The khutba of Imam Mawlawi Sahib was very effective it shocked me, I did not want my sister to go to school.  Before this, I was considering this non Islamic, but it is totally opposite.  I really regret what I did.  I promise I will not repeat that and let my sister and daughter go to school, seek knowledge and enlighten our society

Abdul Matin, congregant at Mosque #7 Guzargah Garden

Ten years ago my father died and we are 4 brothers and sisters.  We decided to divide the property of the father equally among our brothers.  One of our sisters, Gulalai, came and claimed her right, we became very angry with her and told her if you ask for such portion then we will cut off with you.  She left and cried.  Now in the light of your Khutba it means that we brothers have violated the rules of Quran to deprive our sisters from the property of the father.  Please tell me what we should do!

­Abdul Ghafar, Pajwaie district of Helmand

The only solution is to give the rights back which are proven by Quran, go back, collect all the brothers and sisters and re-divide the property.

Imam response to Abdul Ghafar

It has been very effective when the imams spoke on the issue of education for women.  We men in the community consider women going to school as a sin.  It clarified to all of us men that seeking knowledge is a must for both men and women.  The imam told us, ‘if you do not have knowledge, how can you recognize God?’

-Mr. Obaidullah, Sanatorium mosque

Now I become to know that women also have the right to inherit. I was told by my family and the people in the community that a woman has no right in the property of the father.  What the imams said in the light of the Quran and Sunnah says that we do have portions in the property of parents, husband, sons, daughters.

Roya Quraishi, Student Monitor, Jalalabad

One of the participating Imams in Kabul was asked to preside over a wedding and when he arrived he discovered that the bride was 13 years old and the groom was 28. The young bride was crying as she did not want to get married, she wanted to continue her education. The Imam refused to conduct the wedding and he gave an emotional talk to both families so that they should understand that not only is forced early marriage not legal, but it is also not Islamic and the wedding cannot proceed if the bride does not agree. The marriage did not happen, even though the Imam was offered a bribe. The next Friday the Imam gave a passionate sermon on the issue of forced marriages and now these marriages can lead to domestic violence and psychological and social damage to women. Many of the congregants were very moved by the sermon. One man stood up and said, “I have committed the mistake. I forcefully married my daughter to my nephew and she was never happy. She has three abnormal children and she is blamed for that. She is suffering from domestic violence and she thinks of committing suicide but she cannot due to her children…”

Jamila Afghani, NECDO Founder

Photos of Transformation