Allah! You be the witness that I consider any violation of the rights of orphan and woman as an enormity entailing serious consequences!”
~ Prophet Muhammad (saw)
Description: this painting denounces the mistreatment of grieving widows and children. Unfortunately this practice is rampant in many African countries. Ill-intended relatives and in-laws seem to rejoice when the head of the household passes away because for them it represents an opportunity to not only prey upon the deceased man’s children and wife but also to scheme in order to embezzle whatever property the deceased owned and to steal the money the community donated for the deceased man’s children. Often times these oppressed children and widows end up being homeless and destitute as a result of the persecution they endure at the hands of relatives. Working on this painting and going through its intensity was a profound experience for me because even though it depicts the harm ill-intended family members inflict upon helpless widows and orphans, it more so shows the triumph of Divine Mercy, Love and Justice. The Persecuted Widow poem can be read below.
~ The Persecuted Widow ~
The Beloved : “O My servant, return to Me!”
Lo! A father’s soul gently slips out of his body.
Ill-intended family members immediately prey
upon the departed soul’s widow and orphans,
violating their rights; it is but a plot
to destitute them.
Woe to the ones who covet
the spiritual and material inheritance
a late father leaves to his children.
You see, Light exposes all obscure intent
aimed at the helpless as such deliberate
oppression reaches the unseen worlds,
it unleashes forces to establish Justice.
In death, there is Life magnified as Love itself.
Remember the best of the Creation (saw) when he said:
” O Allah (swt), You be the Witness that I consider
any violation of the rights of orphan and woman
as an enormity entailing serious consequences!”
No authentic tradition on Earth advocates
the victimization of the vulnerable
Divine Mercy governs the Universe;
The Beloved is the Light of the Heavens and the Earth.
© 2007 Aida Toure.