Open Letter written by Umme Muhammed
To Chairperson PEMRA
PEMRA Headquarters, Mauve Area, G-8/1,
Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
Subject: Ban Promotion of Concubine Culture on Media
As if women are not already facing a lot of social problems ranging from gender discrimination to honor killing to domestic violence, the media now wants to add to their problems the return of concubines?
I am astonished to see the particular drama series, Mera Sultan. In it that era is depicted when slaves and bondwomen existed and the beautiful among those bondwomen were taken as concubines by the rich men. Although Islam at its advent continued the legality of sexual relationships with bondwomen, at the same time Islam made the best of efforts to rid the society of the culture of slaves and bondwomen altogether. This culture existed previous to Islam, and Islam gradually eliminated it by promoting the freeing of slaves and bondwomen as one of the greatest virtues and the first of options when seeking expiation of major sins (Gunah-e-Kabeera).
Further, the drama is full of vulgar dresses, vulgar scenes and human ethics at its worst. The men seem like bigoted, self-opinionated, arrogant beasts who have no consideration for the feelings of their women, be they their wives or bondwomen. In one of the scenes, a woman is shown with tears in her eyes, flashbacks of their love-days and speaking emotional words, cajoling the man for him to spend some time with her, but the arrogant beast has no more compassion for her than a mere caress at her chin and an arrogant departure. In short, they pick and drop from their wives and concubines whom they desire and abandon them for indefinite time periods as they wish. In particular cases, they even deprive the women of their children for good.
The women entangled in this cruel love web have been reduced to the behavior of, sorry to say, bitches. They viciously vie each other for the Sultan’s attention, throw around poisonous looks and scheme and plot against each other nonstop. There is no concept of the women as human beings, perhaps doing some housework, or worship, or study, or hobby, or profession, or social work…A woman is either in bed with the Sultan or biting her nails as to how to get there. Curse on those men who put women is such torturous circumstances so as to draw-out such disgusting emotions and behavior from them. And alas unto those women as well! Did they really humiliate themselves so in ancient times? I wish I could time-travel into the past and scream at them…’Get hold of yourself! Either come to terms with your darling Sultan’s arrogance and selfishness or quit mooing over the Sultan. Retreat, reprieve, seek a divorce, whatever, but get a life! Get some dignity!’ And if you ask me, to hell with the Sultan…
In the aura of this drama series, sexual relationship is the only relationship that exists between a man and a woman and they could not have emphasized it any more. Had the producers gone a step further, they would have put up a banner on their room, saying ‘Sex Room’, and they would have put a sash on the concubine, saying ‘Selected For Sex’ and the Sultan would be roaming around with a flag, inscribed ‘I Am Coming For Sex’. Seriously! For when the Sultan is not in the mood for sex, he sleeps alone. There is no concept of a man sleeping with his woman just for companionship.
However, the question repeats itself. What is the purpose of showing the bondwomen and concubine culture in the 21st century when they do not exist any longer? To tantalize our men towards another dimension of promiscuity?
The youth of our generation was trained by the dramas and movies of 80’s and 90’s as to how to have an affair, how to hoodwink your parents and how to run away from home. The next batch of youth was trained by the dramas and movies of year 2000 onwards as to how to have extra-marital affairs and their justification. Now the next batch of youth will be engaged in fantasizing the buried concept of bondwomen and concubines.
I would not be surprised at men…but then men are rarely found watching these crappy dramas?! I am actually flabbergasted at women, who sit there shelling peas, and gleefully watch these dramas, enjoying the costumes, enjoying the cat-fights and enjoying the women’s misery. The only good think I can see in the Mera Sultan Series is the magnificent ancient backdrop, the royalty of ancient dresses and the exotic ancient candle-lit era. However, the despicable social politics depicted makes me sick to the guts. When you ask them why you are watching such emotionally sick dramas? They reply, ‘Just to know…’ Know what? Know the state of women when the bondwomen and concubine culture existed? What for? Do you have some intellectual project in mind? Or do you want to go back into those ages? Or do you want to mentally prepare yourselves in case this culture returns? Women, where is your common sense? Focus on your current problems and try to seek a solution for them. And seek refuge of Allah Almighty from the horror and misery of the concubine culture, lest it should return.
So does any gentleman feel like smiling here? And thinking…hey what is the big deal about the concubine culture? There is no big problem should it return. Just like women bear the situation of a second wife, likewise women would learn to live with the existence of concubines. This piece of writing is just the hollering of a female who fears competition. Everybody chill. Everybody relax. Everybody keep watching and enjoying Mera Sultan.
Well, why do not you get a ‘Sultan’ for your mother then? Meaning your father should start behaving like the Sultan. He should dump your mother when he becomes bored with her. Then, in the same premises he brings another woman, a bondwoman, a concubine. Let your father spend his afternoons and nights with that concubine. Let your mother bear it with good grace. And you too.
Hence, whosoever amongst the men fantasizes the concubine culture should immediately get hold of a bunch of concubines for their father, their sister’s husband and their son-in-law. Have a taste of the medicine first and only then market it. Unfortunately, among our gentlemen, there exists a bunch of animals who are so besotted by their animal desires that they will kosher all said just to get a handful of sexual thrills for themselves. Yet, I repeat, yet they will never like being born the son of a concubine! They will consider it humiliating. They will consider it low. They will consider it a cruelty. So do what you may, but you can never run away from this contradiction.
Before ending, I will repeat an old request which many of us have been making time and again. Mr. Chairperson PEMRA, please cleanse our media of vulgarity in general. Even if our media cannot go a puritanical Islamic media as of now, there have to be some boundaries which simply should not be crossed. Some minimal decency benchmark?
Please ban showing love scenes, extramarital affairs and now concubines. Please ban showing skintight clothing, legs and cleavages. Sorry for being so explicit but there are some low IQ people out there who say ‘Ur…where is the vulgarity in our media?’
There are also those twist-tongue ‘freedom-of-expression’ vocalists who say that ‘Who defines vulgarity? Everybody has a different opinion.’ Please invite them to some talk-show stark naked. If they refuse to come so, ask them by what standard do they consider it a vulgarity? Ask them who are they to define vulgarity? Ask them why should the talk-show go by their definition of vulgarity?
“Those who love to spread vulgarity among the believers will have a painful punishment in this life and in the Hereafter. Allah knows and you do not know.” [The Holy Quran, Surah Al-Noor, Verse 19]
“Shaitan threatens you with poverty and prompts you to commit what is indecent, while Allah promises you His forgiveness and bounties, and Allah has boundless knowledge.” [The Holy Quran, Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 268]
‘Each one of you is responsible (for his position) and each one of you will be asked about his/her responsibility’. [Bukhari, Muslim]
Sir, please play your responsible role in this regard and cleanse our media of vulgarity as much as possible. May Allah Almighty bless you with His Mercy and His Bounties in this world and the Hereafter, Ameen.