Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rekindling the unity between Muslimahs

It had been ten years since she had set foot in a mosque. Being at university had broadened her mind in many ways, one of them being her reconnecting with Islam.
She had begun praying five times a day a month ago, and now felt ready to pray in public, at the university’s Juma prayer.
She paused and stood a few feet away from the women’s entrance. Taking a deep breath, she pulled the silk scarf out of her purse and tied it carefully on her head. Her ponytail stuck out a bit. She smoothed the creases on her long-sleeved beige shirt and tugged at the bottom of it to make it longer over her pants.
The prayer was great. She had never felt this sense of inner peace.
Afterwards, she tried mingling with the sisters, but nobody even looked her way. A few of them even pretended not to hear her greeting. The only sister who did talk to her said in a huff:  You know your prayer is not accepted in those pants and that tiny thing you pass for a Hijab. I suggest you get more Islamic knowledge and dress properly before coming back here.
The words stung her like a million bumble bees. Too numb to respond or speak, she charged out of the hall. Never again would she associate with these people, she told herself.
And never again would she return to Jum'a.
How many times have you seen this happen? I believe there are a few terms for what we just read here, and those terms are arrogance, intolerance, and judgementality. Before I started wearing the hijab, my perception of women who wore hijab was very different. I'm not going to lie. I felt a bit paranoid because I always got the sense that they thought they were better than me because they were apparently "holy" and closer to God. After experiencing the hijab for my self, I now know that is not the case what so ever. At least most of the time. A lot of sisters who wear the hijab alhamdulilah are doing it for the right reasons and they don't show arrogance while wearing the scarf. Other sisters wear it, while believing deep inside that they are better than the girl who doesn't cover. Sisters, wearing the hijab does not make you better than a sister who doesn't. Whether you wear the hijab or not, you are a Muslim as long as you believe in Allah and his final messenger. Let Allah deal with everything else, it is not up to us to judge. Especially as Muslimah's that cover, it is important that we watch how we portray ourselves to other people, especially those that are trying to become closer to Allah. We saw in this case that a few women that were rude, caused the girl to never to return to Jum'a prayer.
Why do hijabis show intolerance towards women that don't wear the hijab? In my opinion, I believe it's because they are not happy with themselves. They feel that they are not wearing the hijab either properly or for the right reasons, so they look at the non-hijabi as a target. To them, the non-hijabi is a woman that is worse off than them so to make themselves feel superior, they proceed to judge her without knowing what's in her heart. The advice I would give to anyone who finds themselves looking down on non-hijabis, whether intentionally or unintentionally: think back to a time where you didn't wear the hijab, and think about how you felt around those that did. Most women who don't wear the hijab know that hijab is an obligation, but they don't feel ready. Instead of constantly making them feel like they are a hopeless case and that they are doomed for hell (which only Allah determines), sympathize with them and let them know that you know how they feel. HIjab is not easy, and if one does not feel accepted by Muslim's, who else is going to make them feel accepted? It's time for a movement. We need to show more respect towards each other because we are sisters in Islam. If we rid ourselves of all the backbiting, envy, and lying, we can make our bond so much stronger. I challenge you to do take this story and apply it to your life. If you've ever made another sister feel bad out of arrogance or intolerance, ask Allah for forgiveness, He is the most merciful and if you haven't Alhamdulilah, than the next time you see a situation like this happen, give the sister a reminder that she is not alone. 
I love my sisters {Muslims and non-Muslims--Hijabi and non-Hijabi}

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