Non-Hijabi Rant...

>> Thursday, July 29, 2010

I hope you don’t mind but I’m about to rant, LOL.

I’m a non-hijabi girl. There I said it! So what? I don’t think it is fair how we are always painted as the ‘bad Muslimahs’. Don’t you think what matters more is what is in our hearts, not what’s on our heads?!! I believe purity comes from the inside and not the outside. I know a lot of hijabi girls who date, have boyfriends, are disrespectful to their parents, etc. I’m sick of people acting like hijabis are saints and we are sinners. It’s not fair and I’m not taking it anymore.

- Your fed up, NON-hijabi

Dear MFUNH (doesn’t it look cool? My Fed Up, Non-Hijabi),

Tell me about it. It seems like our Muslim community needs to be reminded of the saying “Never judge a book by its front cover’, doesn’t it? I can tell you as a niqabi, I face a lot of stereotypes and a lot of harsh judgments. Muslims tell me that I am backward, the one ruining the image of Islam, the reason why we’re all stuck in the Middle Ages, etc. So I know how sucky judgments can be.

You are right that we should leave the judging to Allah. He subhanoo Wa’ Tala is the Only One with the exclusive rights to judge because He alone can tell what is in our hearts. He alone can unveil the action and see the intention behind it. (Yeah, choice of ‘unveil’ was intended. Pats herself on the back).

The truth is, as finite mortals, we are 'stuck' in this moment. We don't see what's going on in other people's lives or the trials they have/the journey they are on or what will happen next. I remember a hijabi friend telling me once that a woman 'meanly scolded' her- the hijabi friend told me, "Little did she know that I had just started putting it on and that not even my own mom wore it and that my parents didn't want me to wear it". The woman had no idea that she was talking to what we like to call "a hijabi pioneer"; instead, she harshly judged her and 'discouraged her' at the same time.

Also, as I said,  as human beings, we have no idea of 'the future'. We cast judgments not knowing what is going to happen or who will actually end up being the 'better Muslim'.I remember another friend (let's call her Suzy) who used to have a friend (Amirah) who sorta laughed at the way Suzy would dress/ said it 'looked funny' and wasn't proper hijab, etc. As the years progressed, it was Suzy who donned the niqab..! SubhanAllah!

Actually, your letter reminds me of at this verse:
O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the (latter are better than the (former): 49:11

It also reminds me of this hadith:

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (Salah Allahoo alyhee wa salam) say:

The first of people against whom judgment will be pronounced on the Day of Resurrection will be a man who died a martyr. He will be brought and Allah will make known to him His favours and he will recognize them. [ The Almighty] will say: And what did you do about them? He will say: I fought for you until I died a martyr. He will say: You have lied - you did but fight that it might be said [of you]: He is courageous. And so it was said. Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hell-fire. [Another] will be a man who has studied [religious] knowledge and has taught it and who used to recite the Quran. He will be brought and Allah will make known to his His favours and he will recognize them. [The Almighty] will say: And what did you do about them? He will say: I studied [religious] knowledge and I taught it and I recited the Quran for Your sake. He will say: You have lied - you did but study [religious] knowledge that it might be said [of you]: He is learned. And you recited the Quran that it might be said [of you]: He is a reciter. And so it was said. Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hell-fire. [Another] will be a man whom Allah had made rich and to whom He had given all kinds of wealth. He will be brought and Allah will make known to his His favours and he will recognize them. [The Almighty] will say: And what did you do about them? He will say: I left no path [untrodden] in which You like money to be spent without spending in it for Your sake. He will say: You have lied - you did but do so that it might be said [of you]: He is open-handed. And so it was said. Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hell-fire.

It’s obvious from this hadith that the people around the Qur’an recitor, the martyr and the person who gave charity were deceived into thinking that these people were good, when in reality, they really weren’t doing these actions for good reasons. Allah though wasn’t deceived. He knew.

This is also definitely true with hijab, too. I know some people put on hijab and their heart isn’t really into it. They’re just wearing it because their parents tell them they have to, etc. And yes, I know hijabis who commit major 'sins', as well. So hijabis are definitely not saints... The truth is,  hijabi or not...we're all sinners!

I guess you can tell then that I totally agree with you on the part about leaving the judging to Allah, but…about purity being on the inside…

I don’t think that purity really is only in the ‘inside’.

If you look in the Quran, you will find that the word faith is almost always coupled with the words good works/deeds:

103:3 unless he be of those who attain to faith, and do good works, and enjoin upon one another the keeping to truth, and enjoin upon one another patience in adversity.

2:25 But unto those who have attained to faith and do good works give the glad tiding that theirs shall be gardens through which running waters flow.

2:277 Verily, those who have attained to faith and do good works, and are constant in prayer, and dispense charity - they shall have their reward with their Sustainer, and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve…

What can we understand from this? It’s not just enough to believe/ be ‘pure in the inside, we have to ‘do’. Our faith is our input, but our deeds are our output!

Allah Subhanoo Wa’ Tala in fact, clearly says what is translated to mean:

Blessed is He in Whose hand is the Sovereignty, and, He is Able to do all things. (1) Who hath created life and death that He may try you which of you is best in conduct (best in deeds); and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving, (2)Surat Al Mulk.

He also says:
Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, We believe, and not be tried? (29:2)

See, if we get a little philosophical here, and I am entitled to do so since this is my (and the other aunties) little bloggy, we have to ask ourselves this: is it really pure to pick and choose which ones of Allah’s Commandments we want to do? Does that really reflect trust in Allah, in His Promises, in His Wisdom?

Does that really demonstrate reliance on Allah? Does it show true servitude? And ultimately, does it really show a pure heart?

It’s like this. Let’s say there’s a girl named Sara. Sara prays but she also happens to be ‘dating’ a guy. On the other hand, Sara’s friend, Noor refuses to ‘date’ guys, but she gets a little lazy to pray her fajr prayer….

Which one of these is demonstrating ‘purity’? Can we really say? Or would it simply be best to say that neither Sara nor Noor should be choosing what to do/what not to do?

Basically, what I’m trying to say (but I seem to have taken a few wrong turns) is that true purity comes from the inside and is manifested on the outside

In fact, there is a hadith that says:

“…Truly every king has a sanctuary, and truly Allah's sanctuary is His prohibitions. Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it be whole, all the body is whole and which, if it be diseased, all of it is diseased. Truly it is the heart."

To me, that the ‘rest of the body will be diseased' indicates that the body shows the 'purity and impurity' of a heart-- which means that it must be manifested on the outside through our actions(disclaimer: I’m not a scholar or anything, though)...

You can think of it this Muslims, we're supposed to submit our will to Allah, right,? That means doing what He has commanded us to and in that way, drawing closer to Him. So 'obedience' and 'actions' must matter, right?

One final hadith, I promise!

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Allah (mighty and sublime be He) said:

Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him , and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him....

So yeah, I see that Islam is all about being a servant,
Not to people’s ‘judgments’,
But To the One and Only.

What do you think?

P.S. this post is not against 'giving naseeha'. We have an obligation in commanding good/forbidding evil. It is only against judging others and acting superior to others...

P.S.S. You're not responsible for the hijabis who behave're only responsible for you :)

17 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Irendi July 29, 2010 at 3:48 PM  

Right now, I'm a non-hijabi as well. As a revert, there are a lot of people who don't even know I'm muslim. I do believe "true purity comes from the inside and is manifested on the outside."

I also know that since Allah swt will judge my actions and their intentions...wearing it simply because I'm expected to won't suffice. My heart has to be in the right place.

Do I want to wear hijab proudly & for the right reasons? Yes.

Will I do it, or tolerate being mistreated because at the moment I don't? No.

Irendi July 29, 2010 at 4:25 PM  

Correction...on my last statement I meant to say Will I do it because I'm expected to do it, or tolerate being mistreated because at the moment I don't?

S July 30, 2010 at 7:06 AM  

I think you answered the question in the best way, Masha'Allah. Tomorrow, I am holding my second halaqa meeting with two tweens (around the ages of 11-13). They are both sisters. The older one began hijab a year before she reached puberty. The younger one intended on beginning this Ramadan, but has reached puberty early, and now I can see she's changing her mind. This is great to use for her to get an understanding of the importance of "manifestation on the outside."


Little Auntie July 30, 2010 at 11:17 AM  

Irendi, Ma’hsaallah, first of all, welcome back to Islam! I am always happy to find a new sister of mine <3 The funny thing is that ever since you became a follower I have been very curious about you cause your name is so nice and unique! I’m very glad to have this chance to talk with ya :D

I like how you recognize the fact that your heart has to be in the right place. Ma’shaAllah…

So, yeah, instead of being all ‘indirect’ and letting it slide, I’m going to *belly dive* right into the lakey here and ask…What do you think is holding your heart from being in the right place? Is it fear? Fear of people’s reactions? Fear of what happen if you do wear it? Or is it something different?

Do you think that maybe you could try wearing it to a mosque you don’t usually frequent (so that no one who knows you asks you about it/talks to you about it/ you don’t feel like you’re only wearing it for their sake) and see how you feel?
Or how about maybe even wearing it to some ‘store’- again one not that close to you/one people won’t recognize you in….and again, ask yourself, why are you wearing it?

OR! How about going out to the park, a place where no one sees you, and just try it on? Just sit down by yourself and maybe have a little talk with Allah while you wear it…and just again see how it feels? You can wear it for only like 5 minutes…or 50 minutes…or even a few hours…

If you’re able to do that, wear it to a place where on one knows you, a place where no one ‘expects you to wear it, a place where maybe no one sees you but Allah…then maybe you can ask yourself is it really your heart that isn’t ready now….Or is it maybe, just maybe, your mind that’s isn’t ready yet? Maybe it’s pre-occupied with ‘how everyone around you will take it/accept you/how it will bring changes to your life’…?

If you can’t do it, yet, (and it is UNDERSTANDABLE ) and you really do understand that it’s your heart that needs some help, never fear….it all begins with really knowing whose sake you’re wearing it for. Just who is Allah and How Merciful, Appreciative, Powerful He is…You can try reading a bit more about His names and seeing how it goes..

Whatever happens though, you should not have to tolerate being mistreated for not wearing it as you said. Each and every one of us has something we have to work on—we should be helping each other on the path (with gentle nsaeeha) and not arguing and treating each other disrespectfully/scorning others/etc.

You are, no matter what, our sister in Islam.

(BTW, irendi, you don't have to answer this, personally! I don't mean to put you in the spotlight..)

Saba, Ma’shaAllah, I think it is super fantastic that you are holding a halaqah with two teenagers. Congrats, hon! U’re an auntie! <3 InshaAllah every time you talk with them and you help point them in the right direction, you’ll get the ajr…and just imagine if they teach their kids…and so forth….OH and thank you so much for your kind words about it being a good answer. I had some doubts during the day that I would be misunderstood.

oldie goldie July 30, 2010 at 1:29 PM  

excellent advice again, habeebty!

sis, the 'don't judge a book by it's cover' thing reminded me of a story a sister, a friend of mine, told me a while back.

she and her friend had been at a park with the kids. her and her friend are niqabis and they live in holland. they were walking away from the play ground, her little daughter had a play stroller that she was pushing, with a baby doll in it. her stroller stuck on a root of a big tree and the doll fell off. she couldn't let the stroller loose herself, so a teenage girl wearing a tiny bikini went to help her. my friend didn't recognize the situation before her daughter already got help and the stroller was let loose, the doll was picked up. my friend said she felt so bad. there she was, she and her friend, being too busy, feeling better than those bikini people, and she didn't even realize that her own daughter needed help.

Farah,  July 30, 2010 at 7:05 PM  

This was very well written mashaallah!

I just felt the need to add that we all have our weaknesses and we all make mistakes and things like hijab that is very public and noticeable, which, although it's no excuse, is why people tend to judge so much.

Also, because it is so public, the hijab can seem very daunting to some people, and some girls really aren't ready for it mentally and need help in that respect. What is more the hijab is not the only way for us to express what is inside.

I'm glad this issue was addressed, because although I do wear hijab myself it really bothers me how people (and even myself at one point) and especially men, are so judgemental of our sisters who don't wear the hijab and don't even attempt to make 1 excuse let alone seventy. Keep it up :)

Anonymous,  July 31, 2010 at 2:23 AM  

Asalaam Alaykum :)

I just wanted to add a hadith that really struck me when I first heard it.

One of the companions during the Prophet's time was an alcoholic. Abd Allah, in fact, would often become so drunk that he had to be brought staggering through the streets before the Prophet (peace be upon him) to be sentenced for public drunkenness, and each time, the Prophet would rule to have the prescribed punishment carried out. This was a common occurrence.

After `Abd Allah had departed from one of these all too frequent sentencings, one of the Companion's declared about `Abd Allah: "O Allah curse him! How often he is summoned for this!"

The Prophet (peace be upon him): rebuked that Companion, saying: "Do not curse him, for I swear by Allah, if you only knew just how very much indeed he loves Allah and His Messenger." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (6282)] He then added: "Do not help Satan against your brother."

Subhan Allah! This hadith clearly shows us that we are not here to judge one another but to help each other. May Allah help all of us to take this lesson to heart.

Little Auntie July 31, 2010 at 2:44 AM  

Oldie goldie, that story is such a great reminder!! SubhanAllah. jazaki Allah for sharing that. It really makes you think!

Farah! Jazaki Allah for your input. I think you're really right about the fact that it's so 'noticeable' and that's why people tend to judge it so much.

You are absolutely right in also saying that's not the only way to see the purity in the inside.

Twinkie (little miss aunty), thanks for sharing that hadith! We really should reflect on that more!

One last thing- Farah, what you wrote, actually made me reflect more about what Irendi said. Basically, sis Irendi was saying she wanted to 'sincerely' wear the hijab, right. It's hard to make sure that you are sincerely wearing it for the right reasons when you know that it's so public...

BUT, I was thinking how I once heard a daee say, don't let shaytaan trick you with the sincerity issue. He said, 'One thing many people do for example is shorten their prayers/or quickly finish them when they are around people out of fear that they are only praying to earn people's admiration'. He said, "Don't do that. Not doing an action because you're trying to be sincere is actually exactly what Shaytaan wants you to fall into." He explained that Shaytaan knows he could never tell us "Hey, why pray? and actually have that work with us", but if he disguises it under the pretense that "OMG, you're doing something wrong, better do the right thing and leave it alone," we will leave it..You see what I am saying ?

Just something I suddenly remembered. I really appreciate everyone's thoughts. :)

Pancake,  July 31, 2010 at 5:54 AM  

Assalamu alaikum!

So you decided to have another blog and didn't even invite me to read it eh?

MashaAllah, what a lovely blog!!! InshaAllah I hope to find some free time one of these days and catch up with all the posts.

As for your advice to non-hijabi sister, mashaAllah excellent advice! As someone who struggled with this issue, I can share from my own experience. I've admired hijab for several years, until one day I took the plunge and began wearing it. I went through the phase of "OMG non-Muslims are giving me dirty look" or "That woman was so rude to me because I'm wearing hijab!". Etc... But I can say one thing, hijab (simple piece of cloth) brought me so much closer to Allah, I could never imagine such level of imaan. I learned that whatever you do, do it for the sake of Allah, for He knows your intentions and your heart better. People criticize, people talk, and it's impossible to please everyone. Most importantly we should strive to please Allah.

Love you noorie!

proud muslim in malaysia July 31, 2010 at 12:08 PM  

whoa..i think it is the common problem thats happening in our world right now,including in my country, malaysia. women wearing hijab but do not potray the real image as a muslimah, this is because the misunderstood of the true concept of wearing hijab. wearing hijab for the sake of Allah. ;)

Blue Pearl August 2, 2010 at 2:20 AM  

Salaam alaikum dear one, Just dropping by to say رمضان كريم, May Allah make your fasts the fasts of those who fast sincerely, Inshallah. Barakallah feek

Shireen Baig August 2, 2010 at 6:00 AM  


I am travelling currently but today as soon as i got time i popped my head in your blog to see whats up! and man! you wrote plenty of advice i am still catchin' up on it. Just wanted to say you have done a great job!

lots of love

Little Auntie,  August 2, 2010 at 6:57 AM  

pancake, my darling, I would NEVER 'not include' you on purpose! I sent you a private msg on that place we talk in, hehe :P but thank you so much for sharing your experience with us! You're so right. Forget about people- we can never please them and that's not the purpose of our life, anyways! let's focus on Allah's pleasure :)

Proud Muslim- Jazaki Allah for poppin in here! You know, when I first started wearing hijab, I didn't really understand it, either. but you have summed up the purpose very well!

blue Pearl, awww, habibti, jazaki Allah koli khair. Ameen to your beautiful dua. may this Ramadan be your best Ramadan yet and may you be of the utu'qaa! Ameen!

Shireen, heheh, now that we are a 'team', it's easier :) Remember, we've got six hands typing now :P So yeah, more posts and faster ;) Hehe! I hope you have a GREAT vacation, though! Hugsss!

Irendi August 2, 2010 at 3:26 PM  

Well, Little Auntie...I've answered you, however I answered it on my blog since my answer was so long and drawn out. Just click my name, and it'll take you right to it!

Anonymous,  August 3, 2010 at 10:35 AM  

Just to add in my 2 rupees - the root of the word 'hidaaya' (guidance) gives a meaning of change, transformation. For example, hadiya (a gift) is something that goes from one person to another - you don't keep the gift, you give it to someone. So, when someone says I want hidaaya, I want guidance, it necessitates a change in their actions and ways. It's not enough to say I have it in my heart - that isn't true guidance. True guidance is when you're applying everything you learned, little by little, to the point that you are a new and improved person inshaAllah :)

For example, 'Umar (ra) - he was a man who was set on *killing* the Prophet (S)! SubhanAllah! But when he was guided, he truly transformed. He became this man who cared for his flock so much (his nation) that he would roam the streets of Madinah at night, making sure everyone was okay.

Just like Little Auntie said, your actions show who you are - so if you have Eman in your heart, it shows in actions. If you don't (May Allah protect us!), our actions are different.

(Side note - in the Qur'an, you will see the word hidaaya sometimes used as change, etc and not guidance!)

Chasing Purity January 10, 2011 at 5:45 PM  

I went back to Bangladesh this summer, & whoa, i was in for a rude wake up call. This particular village I went to has Masha'Allah, lots of niqabis, but I doubt that most wear it for the right reasons (But Allah knows our intentions, so who am I to judge?) so yeah, I recently started wearing abaya & hijab & when I would walk out in public, I got many comments from the men, like, "she's not covering her face! how shameful!" (dude, you're supposed to be lowering your gaze anyways) and so I just realized that attitudes like that are what turn women off from hijab & niqab in the first place. I don't blame this sister at all for feeling what she's feeling. it's so sad how we judge. it's also funny that I just started a blog of my own & my first post is on "first impressions." you should totally check it out. (:

Little Auntie July 26, 2011 at 9:11 AM  

Fashion Designer,
Let me first of all apologize for taking so long to answer you.

Nobody said that the hijab makes a person a PERFECT Muslim.

It doesn't.

It's like this. If your teacher gave you 3 assignments ..the hijab would be only "ONE assignment". You'd still have two other assignments to turn in.

But you can't confuse one assignment with another. Not backbiting and being a good person can be considered a different assignment. If you turn in that assignment but don't turn in the hijab assignment, you'd also still be missing an assignment.
1+ 1+ 1= 3.

They are each separate things that you will be accountable for.

" i get that if this has to do with charity or giving or loving ... but cloths? like wearing shorts in considered bad.. does it mean YOU think if someone is wearing shorts it means their "bad" or "un-pure" ? "

It's not just the clothes. It's the 'heart behind the clothes'. When you choose not to wear hijaab, you're actually saying to Allah 'I don't like your rules. I don't trust you. I'm doing things my own way. etc."

Does that sound like a pure heart to you?

Sister. Just because someone wears hijab but also sins doesn't mean that hijab is wrong. Hijab is an obligation. It's that person's behavior that is wrong.

Just like deciding not to do an obligation is wrong...

Every action we do and every action we do NOT do, we'll be judged on...:)

You see, a Muslim is someone who submits or surrenders to God. That is what the word LITERALLY means. Someone who believes that God has a right and a say in every aspect of their life- including even clothes.

So again..why do you think you’re ‘better than other Muslims?”

Sister, I think you are confused about one thing and that is our own internal jihad.
Each one of us has a struggle ….each one of us has a sin..something that is hard for us….that we have to resist and conquer.

Maybe for some aunties, it is ‘backbiting’. Maybe for others, it is ‘their temper’…

And for others, it is loving something greater than God…be it your ego, money, status…or boyfriend.

People have a right upon you- your parents, your family, your neighbors, the poor people…..your fellow human beings.

Your body has a right upon yourself: that you nourish it well, sleep correctly, etc.
But most of all, God has a right upon you. And that’s where you keep getting mixed up. You keep thinking if you treat others well, that’s enough. But you’ve also got to give Allah His rights.

And His rights is that you follow His rules- you decide that He is indeed Greater than anything else.

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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