There's more to what makes a family than money, says Marina Mahathir

HURIN EIN
08 Sep 2022 11:32pm
Socio-political activist and writer Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir - Photo by Hajar Umira Md Zaki
Socio-political activist and writer Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir - Photo by Hajar Umira Md Zaki
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What does it mean to truly nurture and care for the family? Will the sole factor of money be enough to build a loving and happy family?

Socio-political activist and writer Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir said there’s more to raising a family than just money.

“I think we need to redefine what is meant by taking care of the family. If we define it just by money and nafkah (alimony) then it’ll not be sufficient,” she said.

She added that raising a family requires a lot of other things like love and care which are two very important needs for the well-being of a family.

Marina said this in an interview with Sinar Daily, in response to "The Big Flip: Stories from the Modern Home Front" documentary which followed four '"unconventional" families of breadwinner wives and stay-at-home husbands.

She also commented how "flip relationships" where wives are working instead of men was not against the principles of the religion despite the Quran exclusively mentioning for the men to be caretakers of their families.

“Even the Prophet’s wife was a businesswoman so it’s not 100 per cent traditional,” she said.

She reminded the major factor for Islam’s success was due to the Prophet’s wife as her money from her successful business venture was what sponsored the religion in its efforts.

To her, it would not make sense if we were to shove our girls into traditional roles set in the sixth century where women were not allowed to work or have an active role in society.

“It does not make sense if we pull back now today. We cannot transplant those values to today in any way,” she said.

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Marina also mentioned how people nowadays tend to put people into categories and that was not how life works because each life is different and complicated.

What mattered was parents needed to do what they can in order to survive and feed their children.

In matters pertaining to who would be more fitting to work, either the husband or the wife is secondary, she said.

“You have to feed your children so whether husband or wife work, it doesn’t matter. As long as somebody can put money to the table,” she said.

"The Big Flip: Stories from the Modern Home Front" documentary was from the hands of award-winning filmmaker Izzy Chan and screened at the Residence of the US Embassy earlier this week.