I painted “The Persecuted Widow” to protest the mistreatment of the grieving. 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 it’s finally the opportunity for them to not only prey upon the deceased man’s children and wife but it’s also the opportunity to scheme in order to embezzle whatever property the deceased owned. Often times the children and widows who are subjected to such oppression can end up being homeless and destitute as a result of the abuse they endure at the hands of relatives.
In order to justify their vile actions, these relatives often evoke some flimsy “tradition” as an excuse to violate the rights of the afflicted children and their mother but in truth no authentic tradition on Earth advocates to prey upon the helpless especially in times of mourning, this is the worst kind of abuse.
The creation of this painting aims at addressing a serious issue which has more so to do with heartlessness, covetousness and dishonesty. I always wanted to address this great injustice that touches too many African children when they lose their father. Working on this painting was one of the most intense experience, it brought me great hope because even though the piece depicts the pain ill-intended family members inflict upon mourning widows and orphans, it more so shows the triumph of Divine Mercy which surrounds all the evil schemes ill-intended family members cowardly direct at children and their mother during the most vulnerable moment of their life.
“O 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)