I promised myself that I would stay off of tumblr, but I needed to share this with people and I know that many of my Hijabi sisters would appreciate this, also my non-hijabi sisters who are struggling with Hijab. I’m going to posting some important parts but click on the title to read the full article.
It’s a Hijab, Not a Halo
By wearing the hijab, voluntarily or otherwise, we have presented ourselves as the role models of Islam. Hence whenever a hijabi does something wrong, the effect and repercussions are amplified in the eyes of the observers. Perhaps this is the reason that non-Muslims and non-hijabis are puzzled and often discouraged by the apparent disconnect between the adornment of the scarf and the beauty of Islam.
Hence, people are understandably bewildered when they see hijabi women backbite, quarrel, complain and unable to keep their rudeness or tempers in check. People question why some hijabis are fully compliant in their physical appearance, yet negligent with their Salah. People get a bad impression when they see some hijabis behave hysterically at concerts and football matches, flirt openly and behave lewdly. People wonder why selfish, stingy, arrogant and even abusive behaviour can be seen permeating through the physical barriers of veil. And ultimately, the sum total of all these incidents has led many to conclude that Islam starts and stops at the hijab.
So, let me make a general appeal. The hijab is not a halo. It does not render the wearer superhuman qualities. Underneath the garments is a normal human being with her own flaws and imperfections. And like everyone else, she is also susceptible to mistakes.
The scarf protects against a particular sin but it does not by itself eradicate negative habits and manners. Self-development remains an individual struggle which all of us, hijabis or not, should strive to overcome on a daily basis.
Thus I have come to realize that the scarf is neither the beginning nor the conclusion, it is merely one of the steps in our journey towards Allah.
The inner struggle continues:
- to be constantly thankful and submissive to Allah for all His bounties upon us and what He has chosen for us.
- To remember Allah in the good times and the bad.
- To find peace and spread that peace within society.
- And ultimately, to instill true shyness within ourselves –not just in the eyes of men, but also front of Allah for our conduct.
Let me be the first to admit it – I am so far from the ideal. I stumble, I freak out and I lose it sometimes. And it worries me whenever I deal with others because how I behave is no longer a reflection of myself as an individual, but rather a reflection of the Ummah as a collective. It was not a role that any of us asked for, but it came as part of the package when we started wearing the hijab and externally identified ourselves as Muslim women.
And now, I constantly ask myself – will my behaviour repulse others from Islam, or attract them towards it? The former is a scary thought. The latter, something to aspire towards.
I can only appeal to non-hijabi sisters sitting on the fence to forgive the occasional poor manners displayed by the hijabi sisters. Instead of judging them, please make du’a for them to rectify their shortcomings and be better ambassadors of our Deen. And ultimately, remember that the only relevant issue is what Allah wants of you, not how others behave.
The journey continues for all of us: whether hijabi or on the way to becoming one inshaAllah.