Tag Archives: Hijab

8 Myths About My Hijab

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By Umm Ibrahim

I’ve been wearing the hijab for almost 8 years now. There’s no complex rocket science behind it. It’s just that I firmly believe that it is a commandment from Allah. Here are just some of the ideas I’ve heard people expressing about my hijab, explicitly or implicitly, over the years. Without further ado, here come the myth-busters:

1- You have a superiority complex. You think you are a better Muslim than me.

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Actually, no. I harbor no such thoughts because I know the sins I commit. I know my shortcomings and weaknesses. Allah covers them up through His Mercy.  Therefore, I do not think I (or any random hijabi) is better than any non-hijabi sister. But, I do think that: wearing a Hijab (in obedience to Allah and His Messenger) is better than not wearing a hijab (in disobedience to Allah and His Messenger). There’s a subtle difference.

2- You’re such a perfect Muslim. I wish I could be as good as you.

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You actually also get these appreciative comment from people who assume that you’re a very good Muslim. Just because I’m obeying Allah in this one obvious aspect doesn’t mean I’m doing the same in the 101 other things too. This is a potentially dangerous myth. Because yes, I do try, but when I slip, (which I often do!) you subconsciously blame the Hijab or generalize Hijabis. Whereas the fault in this case actually lies with the driver, not the car (i.e. with the Hijabi and not her Hijab).

3- You don’t like to dress up/ You’re not dressed up.

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 I do admit that I sometimes throw an abaya over my sleeping suit if I have to run out to get some groceries. But when you say that at weddings and parties, that’s not true. Peekaboo. Here, have a look at the latest kaam wala jora I’m wearing underneath my abaya. I love to dress up. But I do not love being eye-candy for non-mehram eyes. So, I simply cover up the beauty and adornment. However, if its an all-girls party, I can dress to kill.

4- You are forced by someone to wear this.

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I’m not forced by my family members or anyone else. In fact, it’s the other way round. I actually had to struggle a lot and go against my family to wear this. It remains an ongoing battle. I’m only forced by my belief in the Quran and Sunnah.

5- It must be very hot and uncomfortable in there

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Thankyou, I’m comfortable enough. I try and use lighter, more airy fabrics in summers. It is probably one degree hotter in here, but you get acclimated to it pretty soon.  It’s much more comfortable than heavy make-up, stiletto heels and false nails. And, the real thing is: “Say: the fire of Hell is hotter.” (Surah at-Tauba:81)

6- You’re a dimwit / brainwashed.

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Seriously? Just because I choose to cover up? Actually, I’m a bookworm. Over the years, I’ve been among the toppers in every curricular and co-curricular activity I’ve ventured in. I am a double gold medalist in my post-graduate Science degree from the top university of Pakistan (And I say that in all humility and gratitude, Alhamdolillah, masha Allah). I’ve been trying to study and research the Quran and Hadith in depth too. I act based upon my own convictions. I’m not brainwashed by any patriarchal sources.

You need to bring forth logic and proof instead of hollow cliches and shallow labels, similar to the ones thrown at each other on some Pakistani talk shows.

7- Your life must be boring and restricted.

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Hahaha! Some of the things I’ve been learning and having fun with (with my Hijab on) include cycling, dune-bashing, fishing, jet-skiing, yachting, camping, rifle shooting and hiking.  I love to explore and travel across the length and breadth of Pakistan, as well as other countries. The hijab doesn’t restrict me from having the time of my life.

8- You won’t get a good proposal.

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Oh well, I don’t have a handsome hunk of a husband to whack this myth away (yet). But open your eyes and look around. Are all the non-hijabis happily married? And are all the hijabis sitting and moping, forever alone?

You know what the funniest part is: Meanwhile in Mars, the poor bearded Martians are being spooked by the same myth: You won’t get a good proposal.

Strange times!

This post would actually be funny if it wasn’t sad. It’s really sad to see how we create stereotypes, generalize and make assumptions. Having been at the receiving end of these and other nonsensical myths, I can truly empathize with what our non-hijabi sisters have to hear from some quarters too.

So the final point is: Do not judge a girl by her cover (or lack of it!).

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Of Parents, Problems and Religion!

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By Umm Ibrahim

So are you fighting a daily battle, where the two people (of all the people alive), whom you love the most and you’re supposed to honour the most, are actually stopping you from obeying Allah and His Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam)?

Welcome to the band! You’re not alone. You’re in a situation faced by hundreds of thousands of practicing youth in this day and age. In fact, you will find numerous precedents from Prophet Ibrahim to the People of the cave to great Companions like Saad bin abi Waqas and Mus’ab bin Umair. Don’t you feel honoured to be mentioned among the likes of such?!

Anyways, I want to arm you with some no-nonsense practical tips to help you glide smoothly through each day with a clear vision and a strategy.

1- Make Dua:

Never under-estimate the power of Dua. I will not narrate the numerous Ayahs and Ahadith related to it, because we all know them. But, have we internalized and understood them? Look, Allah is the Turner of the Hearts. All matters go back to Him. All decisions, big and small, come from Him. If He forsakes you, who is there to help you? If He helps you, who on earth can defeat you? He can open your parents’ hearts, just as He opened yours. He is the Only One who can keep you steadfast in the face of all opposition. Turn to Him with all humility and certainty. Never quit making Dua!

2- Get your concepts straight:

Go to the scholars, and discuss your situation with them openly. Know the rulings for what you are doing or intend to do. Do your research properly. You should be in a position to refute all arguments. Make sure you are clear-headed and not confused. This will help Shaitan from planting doubts in your heart. You should know clearly that:

“There is no obedience to any creation in disobedience to Creator.” (Ahmad and Hakim)

You should also know that you, and you alone, are responsible for what you do. You will be questioned in your grave alone. On the Day of Judgment, if you will call out to your parents to lift your burden, they will blatantly refuse to do so. As Allah says:

“Nor can a bearer of burdens bear another’s burdens if one heavily laden should call another to (bear) his load. Not the least portion of it can be carried (by the other). Even though he be nearly related.” (Surah Fatir: ayah 18)

3- Be extra-nice to your parents:

This is the tough part; but Allah has obliged you to behave in the best manner with them, even if they try to compel you to do Shirk. Just don’t obey them in forbidden matters. In every other matter, go all-out in being the very best you can to them. Again, we all know the Ayahs and Ahadith regarding this. But how good are we to our parents?

Take your good behavior with them to the next level. Be the ideal kid that they would like to see.

Remember all the things they ask you to do and start doing them: Cleaning your room, Learning to cook, Helping your siblings, Waking up early.

Remember all the things they dislike and stay away from them all: Staying up late, Long phone calls.

Whatever it is, make these sacrifices for the sake of Allah. Be so good that they notice the change, and keep it consistent.

Give time to them, listen to them, laugh with them, hug them, thank them. Be so good that they actually admit it and point you out as the role model in front of your siblings.

Pre-empt their needs and fulfill them. Make them feel loved every single day.

Whatever you do for them, it will never ever equal what they did for you. You can never repay one breath of your mother. SubhanAllah! I have heard youth saying to their parents: “What have you done for me?” These ungrateful brats literally make my blood boil. Although I am a cool-headed person, but this is something that makes me extremely angry and extremely sad at the same time.

You being a better Muslim should reflect in your treatment of our parents. They should be able to see what they are gaining from it.

4- Pacify their fears:

Do you think you will become a rigid extremist by growing a beard? Prove otherwise through your actions. Do they think becoming practicing will make you anti-social and isolated. Bust the myths. Indulge in socializing and fun activities as long as it is permissible in Islam.

There was a sister whose parents were afraid that she wouldn’t get married if she wore a Niqab. She conducted an impartial survey of 200 Niqabi and non-Niqabi sisters, and the findings proved their fear wrong.

Try to understand if they have a specific rational or irrational problem and try to find a way to solve it and to pacify their fears.

5- Don’t Argue:

Once you have explained your viewpoint calmly and logically (you must select an appropriate time and manner to do this), just do what you have to do calmly. Resist the urge to keep throwing your daleel (proofs) at your parents. Having a debate every day will only worsen matters. Take their taunts with a smile. Don’t answer back. Don’t hold grudges. Smile, forgive, forget. Easier said than done. But this is the way of the Prophets and all righteous people who followed them.

Plus, there is no ego in front of your parents. To them, you’re the squirming baby whose smelly diapers they changed. How dare you behave all high and mighty in front of them? Just be patient, and trust me, they’ll get used to whatever you’re doing pretty soon. The day will come, when they will consciously or unconsciously, directly or indirectly, support you in what you’re doing.

It will be awesome in the end. But it might get horrible before that. So just hang in there. This is true for most things worth fighting for in this world.

6- Choose Your Battles Wisely:

So there are 101 un-Islamic things going on in your home and you want to rectify it all overnight? Maybe you should study the biography of the Prophet again? Take it slowly and gradually, one step at a time. Stay in contact with the scholars to know which things take precedence over others. Sometimes, you will have no choice but to choose the lesser evil. Don’t try to change things overnight. You will fall flat on your face. Slowly and gradually, start bringing your family to interesting Islamic events. Get practicing and inspiring friends to visit your home for lunch or dinner.

Keep rinsing and repeating steps 1-6, and your family will thank you one day for being the trailblazer and lighting the way for others to follow inshaAllah.

Do you have more tips or experiences to share? Let us know in the comments section below!

Thou Shalt Lower Thy Gaze!

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Lowering the gaze- yes, that is actually one of the forgotten commandments.

You mean blue eyes! Woww.” She stared dreamily into space.

I just can’t control myself when I look at him…” she swooned, gazing at the actor’s image on the novel’s cover page.

That brother and his beard was so awesome! Ah! He was… ” she giggled as she described a guy.

It’s common to hear such statements even amongst seemingly religious girls.

Humans are creatures of desire, and we must battle against these desires every single day to subdue and control them.  That’s where lies our struggle.  And that’s where lies our reward.

Take some real life situations:

Brothers, imagine yourself sitting in the midst of the busy street, waiting to complete some important tasks.  Suddenly, you see some beautiful young ladies.  You struggle to lower your gaze.  Their giggles and laughter tempt you but you try to control.  Now, you have two choices: to look around and feast your eyes, or to remain steadfast out of His fear and for the delights of Jannah.

Perhaps Allah will be pleased by your effort and will marry you to the Hoor al ‘Ayn (beautiful women in Jannah) right at that moment.  Perhaps Allah will reward you with a beautiful wife even in this world.  Perhaps Allah will make easy for you the very task you had been waiting for.  After all, He is always with you and is managing all your affairs.

Sisters, imagine lowering your gaze for this fleeting moment and then enjoying that pleasure of locking your eyes with your handsome husband.  Imagine this for both this beautiful world and the life to come in the Hereafter.  You will be his queen in Jannah if both of you enter the place together, Insha Allah.  Imagine being a queen amongst the Hoor al ‘Ayn!

You have a choice.  You always do.  And that’s what defines your present life and the life in the Hereafter.  How wisely will you choose?
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Fighting against desires is tough, but not that tough when you do it, seeking the Face of Allah Subhanau wa Ta’ala alone.  Let’s consider the case of two sisters.

As she entered the building to complete some paperwork, her sight fell on a group of brothers who were there for some work too.  She had a choice: to continue to look at them intently or to lower her gaze.  And she chose to lower her gaze out of respect, modesty, fear and humbleness for her Creator.  She did it for her purity, and for seeking the pleasure of Allah.  She was covered and by doing so, she was not oppressed but in fact, she was liberated.  She lowered her gaze and perhaps they, theirs.  She felt light.  She felt satisfied.  She felt liberated and at peace.

And the other one:

She ogled at many and fell for some and failed to fight those temptations.  Temptations upon temptations.  Evil upon evil.  And then, she finally met her husband.  She never felt true to herself.  Most importantly, she never felt true to Allah but until she repented.

As a Muslim woman, I can’t imagine myself staring at random men with desire and then getting married to another man.  I can’t imagine myself chit-chatting with many men and then talking to my husband.  In fact, I would love to lower my gaze and protect myself against lustful eyes out of His fear and then to see the blessing in the relationship with my husband.  At the same time, I can’t imagine my husband doing the same to me.  How beautiful your husband or wife would be to you – unique in their own way, without any parameters to measure the beauty with, since they would be the only one for you!  How wonderful would be the bond and how beautifully the spouses would find repose in each other!

Some people might think that this is such a trivial issue whereas we have big things to deal with in the Ummah.  I say to them: for dealing with big things, you need to work on ‘small’ things first and specifically on your seat of Imaan – the heart.  Do you really think you would be able to deal with those big issues when your heart is stinking with sins and enveloped in darkness?  Do you think Allah’s help will come to you while you are habitually disobeying Him?  It’s not about how trivial something may seem to you; it’s about racing to reach the highest level in Jannah.  Who knows by giving up this sin of yours, Allah may envelop you with mercy and raise your station in Jannah, insha Allah!

So, let your beautiful eyes be saved from committing their adultery.  Let your soul repent for the past and turn back to Allah.  Let it look forward to an amazing journey ahead with a purified gaze, insha Allah.

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Hijab

Assalam o Alaikum (May Peace be with you all)!

This blog post of mine revolves around Hijab, all about Hijab! :)

I love Hijab

WHAT IS HIJAB?

Literally the Arabic word Hijab means “Screen” or “Curtain” and so its purpose is to shield. Hijab is generally taken as a piece of cloth used by Muslim women to cover their heads. It is also called a head scarf. People wear Hijab in different ways; some of them just cover their heads and some also cover their faces, extending the Hijab into a Niqab.

PURPOSE OF HIJAB

Hijab, to many of us, may just seem a small piece cloth but it , in itself, means complete dignity. Women wearing Hijab feel a sense of protection of their dignities and graces from evil eyes. Hijab makes one feel, secure as the main purpose of Hijab is to make a women feel very precious so that she remains protected. A woman in Hijab is just like a pearl in a shell, it’s in the shell because it is special! The Muslimaat (Muslim women) wearing Hijab are freed from so many social pressures that other women in today’s society have to bear. In fact, today’s woman has become a show piece and so she has to dress up and make over herself, in such a way that she looks attractive, to avoid being pinpointed in the society.This is a lot of pressure especially for the teenage girls. But Islam always teaches simplicity and so hijab frees one from such social pressures and barriers, to have simplicity under the veil and live a graceful life. That is the reason Hijab in any form (with or without Abaya) is and should be very simple, so that it does not become a source of attraction for men.

IMPORTANCE AND OBLIGATION OF HIJAB

If we go keenly through the Holy Qur’an and the Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaahu Alaiyhi Wasallam), we find very obvious instructions about the importance of Hijab.

  • In the Light of Qur’an

In Surah Noor, Allah(Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says,

  “And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers, or their sons, or their husband’s sons, or their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigor, or small children. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allaah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.”                                                                              [al-Noor 24:31]

In Surah al-Ahzab ayah 59, Allah(Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says:

     Ya ayyuha an-Nabiyy qul li azwajika wa banatika wa nisa al-mu’minin
yudnina alayhinna min jalabib hinna; dhalika adna 
an yu’rafna fa laa
yu’dhayn. Wa kana Allahu Ghafur Rahim.

O Prophet! Say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the faithful to draw their outer garments (jilbabs) close around themselves; that is better that they will be recognized and not annoyed. And God is ever Forgiving, Gentle.

In another Ayah of Surah Al-Ahzab Allah says,

 “O you who believe! Enter not the Prophet’s houses, unless permission is given to you for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation. But when you are invited, enter, and when you have taken your meal, disperse without sitting for a talk. Verily, such (behaviour) annoys the Prophet, and he is shy of (asking) you (to go); but Allaah is not shy of (telling you) the truth. And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. And it is not (right) for you that you should annoy Allaah’s Messenger, nor that you should ever marry his wives after him (his death). Verily, with Allaah that shall be an enormity.” [Al-Ahzaab 33:53] 

From this Ayah, we came of know about the Hijabs of our Umahaat (mothers).

All these Ayaat (verses) tell us that Hijab is an obligation by Allah Almighty for all the Muslim women. They make us realize that when Islam started to spread, the Muslim women did not wear Hijab and it was later that Allah revealed an Ayah [al-Noor 24:31] making Hijab compulsory. That is the answer to all those who term Hijab just as a part of ‘Arabic cultural dress’!If after reading the above verses, one does not wear a Hijab, she’ll surely be disobeying Allah by not following His orders.

  • In the Light of Ahadith

We also come to know about the Hijab being an obligation from the Ahadith.

Allah’s Apostle used to offer the Fajr prayer and some believing women covered with their veiling sheets used to attend the Fajr prayer with him and then they would return to their homes unrecognized.

It was narrated from ‘A’ ishah that Asma’ bint Abi Bakr (Allah be pleased with them both) entered upon the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) while wearing thin clothing, so he turned away from her and said, “O Asma! Indeed when a woman reaches [the age of] puberty, it is not proper that anything should be shown except this and this”, and he pointed to his face and hands. (Abu Dawud transmitted it)

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4481.). The following version was narrated by Abu Dawood (4102):

May Allaah have mercy on the Muhaajir women. When Allaah revealed the words “and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms)”, they tore the thickest of their aprons (a kind of garment) and covered their faces with them.

So from the light of Quran and Sunnah, it is quite obvious that Hijab is an obligation and all Muslim women must observe Hijab, covering their entire body (according to some explanations face and hands can remain uncovered but the better way is to cover them too).

WHAT IF A MUSLIMAH DOES NOT WEAR HIJAB?

When we look around us, we see so many Muslim women who do not wear Hijab.It is the responsibility of those who know , to tell those sisters about the importance of Hijab because if a sister does not wear Hijab, it may cost her much in the world hereafter.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verses 13-14:

13      Those are limits set by Allah: those who obey Allah and His Messenger will be admitted to Gardens with rivers flowing beneath to abide therein (for ever); and that will be the Supreme Achievement.

14      But those who disobey Allah and His Messenger and transgress His limits will be admitted to a Fire to abide therein: and they shall have a humiliating punishment.

Sahih Muslim Hadith 6840,Narrated by Abu Hurayrah

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are two types of the people of Hell that I have not seen yet: men with whips like the tails of cattle, with which they strike the people, and women who are clothed yet naked, walking with an enticing gait, with something on their heads that looks like the humps of camels, leaning to one side. They will never enter Paradise or even smell its fragrance, although its fragrance can be detected from such and such a distance.”

 CONCLUSION

As the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said,

                     ”Ballighu ‘anni wa lau ayah”

“If you listen even one verse from me , spread it.” (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 2838)

And we have read many Ayaat and Ahadith about Hijab, so now we have to spread it to those who do not know.
May Allah reward you all for your efforts in sha Allah.
JazakAllah Katheera.