So, once upon a time you were an ‘ordinary girl’ you wore jeans, explored in make up and went out jogging in the evening’s… the world was your oyster. You didn’t even know there was another world out there, another life, another religion called Islam. But somehow, by the grace of Allah you are here. You are interested, you are learning and you feel intrigued.
Sometimes, we let the smallest things put us off from doing something. In our head’s it is huge! For example, my own weakness is cooking. If I had to host a dinner party, I wouldn’t know where to start. I can cook lunch for my family & I but I wouldn’t have the confidence/knowledge to cook for a party of people. It’s just not something I am familiar with, it’s just not me.
Whatever that means. We use this excuse all the time, “it’s just not me.” Me. I. Ana. As a person, I cannot tell you who “me” actually is. Every day, I am changing, developing new ideas, learning new things & growing. The ‘me’ I am today, will most definitely be different to ‘me’ in a year’s time. That’s life. So don’t use this excuse too often…
Which brings me to a part of Islam that many of us found difficult, and I know thousands of women who still struggle with…. hijab.
It’s a well known fact that women in Islam are required to wear the hijab. Islam did not invent the head cover however Islam did endorse it.
Albeit Hijab is an obligation, it is beneficial and liberating for women. Like all things in Islam, whatever is made obligatory (i.e has to be done) is neither a burden nor difficult, our Lord is more Merciful than a mother and her new born child? Would she with to make his life hard & stressful? Never, ever. But that doesn’t mean she mollycoddles him & wraps him in bubble wrap so that he never has to do anything on his own.
Similarly, our Lord asks us only for what we are capable of and actually for our own good!
Why is hijab for our own good?
Society constantly tells women they are not good enough; we need to diet more; dress more provocatively and work as hard as men in order to be successful. Women who fall into this trap are prisoners in their own land. Subhan’Allah. Islam relieves women from these worldly pressures, you simply dress to cover your body, you don’t have to feel ashamed if you are not “good enough” and you don’t have to show off if you feel like you are “good enough.” This is equality.
Modesty changes wherever you travel to according to the society. In India, a six inch gap between the Saree and blouse is considered modest. But two inches gap between jeans and top is treated as “Besharam” (Shameful.)
Similarly, in some parts of the Muslim world, hijab is something we wear on our head’s. We wear flip flops, skinny jeans, a small top and then cover our hair with a scarf although, culturally this is hijab, Islamically, this definitely is not.
Some people feel hijab will take away their femininity. No longer making face, hair and nails beautiful will make them feel masculine…
Hijab is not about covering up your femininity – your beauty. Allah created all of us beautifully hence why a black women wants pale skin and a white women wants dark skin… if all of us accepted who we are and better yet, embraced it. The cosmetic companies would go bankrupt and women would feel liberated.
Beautiful is the woman who knows people, places and things don’t define her. She is defined by her acts of loving kindness and a generous heart.
Don’t cover up just to stop men from looking at you (a common instagator and misconception about hijab) because trust me, men will still look at you.
Don’t cover up because the society/culture you live in expects you to (I haven’t faced this issue personally) but as an Ummah we are quick to judge others without understanding anything about them.
Some people will tell you hijab is an ancient tradition found in all of the Holy Books.
Christians binned their hijabs long ago it’s time for the Muslim’s to do the same…
Remember, Islam and Christianity although similar in some ways, are oftentimes like chalk and cheese.
The whole purpose of hijab in Islam compared to Christianity is vastly different. Islam is about women empowerment and liberation whereas Christianity is all about sumission…to men. Not to God.
It is well known that Catholic Nuns have been wearing hijab for hundreds of years, however the reasoning behind the ‘vail’ in Christianity is vastly different. Let me explain:
St. Paul in the New Testament of the Holy Bible states: “Now I want you to realise that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of every woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays with his head covered dishonors his head. And every woman who prays with her head – uncovered – dishonors her head; she should have her hair cut off, or shaved off. A man ought not to cover his head since he is the Glory of God; but the woman is the Glory of man.” The verse goes on, I urge you to open your Bible and check. It is clear that St Paul’s rationale is that the veil represents a sign of the authority of the man over women.
Let’s skip to today’s world. 60% of people in the UK are Christian (i.e 36 million) That means that the majority of British people accept what is written in the Bible and openly declare that they are Christian which is far superior and much less oppressive than those wicked Muslims…
Recent statistics show men working full-time in the UK earn on average £29,441 per year and women in the same full-time jobs earn only £23,889.
Why is it after 103 years of fighting for equal pay women are still paid less than men?
Islam totally rejects the idea that men are worth anymore than women in any form. Modesty is for both genders. Modesty encompasses: your walk, your talk, your dress, your thinking and your actions.
The world is becoming more “Westernised” and adopting the Secular Democratic ways of the West… i.e practice your religion but in moderation. What does that even mean?
Society and the Secular way of the West is suffocating Muslim women worldwide, holding onto your beliefs will be difficult, you will look strange to many but you can do it. Hold onto your faith, like a rope, on one end is Allah holding on and on the other end, is you.
Little do they know, Islam, by fact, is the only religion in the world to consider women equal in humanity and faith with men.
To sum up, The word hijab comes from the Arabic word “hajaba” meaning to hide from view or to conceal. Wearing hijab is an instruction Allah has given Muslim women as a source of liberation, protection and dignity… “So that she may be known (as a free respectable woman) so as not to be annoyed.”
– Surah 33 Verse 59; Holy Qur’an.
Women are not going to achieve equality by putting our bodies on display. True equality will be had only when women don’t need to display themselves to get attention and won’t need to defend their decision to keep their bodies to themselves.
My advice to you, my sisters around the world: Don’t be afraid of everything alien to you, don’t let the propaganda enter your heart and don’t let society rule your life.
There is no such thing as preference between genders in Islam this is a myth, a problem within cultures and people – nothing to do with Islam.
When a man asked Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to whom should he show the best companionship, he replied:
‘Your mother.’ He said, ‘Then who?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ He said, ‘Then who?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ He said, ‘Then who?’ He said, ‘Your father.’
I encourage all my Muslim and non Muslim sisters to dream of changing the world. You are capable of such amazing things, so don’t let society hold you back.