There has always been one thing pounding my mind and blistering my consciousness. Ever since I was a boy I have had one question that all other curiosities; important and monumental, trivial and trite, revolve around-What makes me a man? Was it my physical stature? My sexual prowess? What about my financial means? I most surely have contemplated the idiom-money makes the man.
Although they all are ingredients of my identity, I must refer to the root of my existence to establish an intellectual foundation and practical purpose of my existence as a man. Scripture teaches us that Man is created in the image and likeness of God and given the title of Khalifah or vicegerent on Earth. (Genesis ch 1: 26, Holy Quran 2:30).Well without giving a scriptural exegesis, I can interpret that as I am created to look like God and exercise authority and guardianship over His creation. Okay, at least I know why I am fashion the way I am and given this crazy nature to run something when I am struggling to control myself! The best part about man’s make-up is according to scripture is Allah (God) breathed His Spirit into Man when He created us. (HQ 15:29) So that means I’m fully loaded with God-engineering with His Spirit as my engine inspiring me, motivating me to think like Him, walk like Him, talk like Him, with every facet and nuance of my being made to reflect and embody my Creator’s Attributes.
So at this point I am establishing an origin of myself that as a maturing man I have a point of reference to trace myself to my identity in God, Himself. But I’m still wondering, “How do I know I’m a man? What exactly is my role in the family”? Scripture says, “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women” (HQ 4:34). What does it mean to “maintain”? The terms maintain and protect are defined as:
1. To keep up or carry on; continue: maintain good relations.
2. To keep in an existing state; preserve or retain: maintain one’s composure.
3. To keep in a condition of good repair or efficiency: maintain two cars.
4. a. To provide for; support: maintain a family.
b. To keep in existence; sustain: enough food to maintain life.
5. To defend or hold against criticism or attack: maintained his stand on taxes.
6. To declare to be true; affirm: maintained her innocence.
7. To adhere or conform to; keep: maintain a busy schedule
Since Women are the most beautifully designed human beings created to reflect Allah’s feminine attributes, a man must learn to maintain a woman spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Men are by nature to make women feel secure and protected when we are in tune with our righteous nature.
As I matured I discovered my spiritual identity was intricately interwoven with my role in the family. My gifts and strengths are designed to perfectly suit my nature to reflect God in my duty to myself and women. To separate one from the other is to seriously handicap my makeup and identity as a man. I found it pivotal in my development as a man to accept my spiritual identity first then my role in the family second to validate my personal perception of masculinity. My spiritual genesis and role in the family are intricately woven to provide me a clear direction, purpose, and identity as a man. They cannot be separated without compromising my spiritual, moral, and mental development as a man in my family and society.
Thank you for reading,