Why is it that people are so offended to see someone protect their chastity and adopt their religious belief? It is not just non-Muslims who feel suffocated seeing a lady adhering to the hijaab but also some ‘liberal’ Muslims. To me, the liberal part of such Muslims is just their liberty from clothes and not a liberal mind. This evokes the words of French revolutionary Madame Roland: “O liberty! O liberty! What crimes are committed in thy name!”
A couple of years back when I went to Pakistan some of my relatives were very disturbed to see me observe purdah from non-mahram male relatives. They ‘reasoned’ that I do not have an Islamic education so why should I act so differently from the ‘normal’ folk? Well, I guess my knowledge was limited and I was not aware that the rules of Islam are not binding on every Muslim, but only those who study the religion, officially!
One of the other arguments was how can I continue to be modern if I have to be Islamic. They just don’t blend. They scoffed at a relative who said he would bring up his daughter as a modern Islamic girl. All I was upset about was that I got an incompetent thesaurus that does not give western as one of the synonyms for modern!
On a serious note, Islam is a very modern religion and a religion of all times. Islam is the religion that honours and guards everyone and everyone’s rights. No man-made law is capable of all this, modernism and Islam go hand-in-hand.
People seem to have formed a preconceived notion that women who stick to hijaab have all entered a portal to the current world through a time machine that they stumbled upon in their stone-age era. Thus, these ‘progressive’ people are exposed to such a criminal sight. What a misery for the beholder!
The West has labeled a woman who sheds off her clothes as a progressive woman (progressing in taking off her clothes?). We are fed with the idea that a successful, assertive and strong woman is one who wears mini-skirt suits and her independence is seen in her diminishing attire. A woman is simply used as a marketable commodity. She has no self-recognition. Her attire is her recognition. So, who is the one who is subjugated and oppressed: The woman who follows her religious beliefs with all her heart and protects herself from lustful eyes or the woman who is forced to give in to the latest fashion trend? This is possibly the prime reason why a Muhaajib is feared and derided. She clearly sends a message of her faith and of her not getting involved in the sexual plaything position assigned to her in the Western society. Why else would covering herself be a thorn in anyone’s side? Is she taking away their ‘freedom’ by covering herself? Hijaab is a religious statement, but weird and biased minds have turned it into a political statement – a statement of rebellion against those who disapprove of it.
A counter cashier is dismissed from her job because she wears hijaab, in the West. She is condemned and there is shock and ‘reasoning’ made that this is against the staff uniform. An Islamic bank in an Islamic country decides to implement the hijaab as part of the staff uniform. That is condemned and considered an act of injustice and oppression. The so-called secularists do not realize that their blatant hatred against hijaab has become the fuel of the hijaab drive. After the atrocities directed at Muslims in the U.S., we witnessed the number of Muslim reverts had drastically increased, much more than ever before. This fact speaks for itself.
To the doubtful Muslims, stop searching for some sheikhs and qadhis who kowtow to your wrong beliefs. Accept what Allah SWT has clearly said:
O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out or are among men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be Muslims) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. [Qur’an, Surah Al Ahzab: 59]
Say to the believing man that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils (khimar) over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! Turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss. [Qur’an, Surah Noor: 31]
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