To marry....or not to marry...?

>> Tuesday, October 26, 2010

as salam dear little aunty :)

I found your blog and saw you gave advice on marriage issues so i thought i would send in my question. I’m only 21 and not planning to get married, but in the past few months, there have been three good guys hinting to my family that they want to propose. Now these good guys 'disturbed' my feelings and i can't barely sleep very well --> due to over-thinking. my state of heart is in a confused situation. i know i shouldn't think about them that much since i am not planning to get married so soon but at the same time, i just can't help it. the thing is my mother really likes one of the guys and she says i should consider him. But i never thought I would be married so soon.
Oh, i’m just so lost and confused……

what should i do, little aunty?

A Confused Lady

Dear a Confused Lady,

I so know what you’re going through. I had something similar happen- a great guy came and asked for my hand in marriage. The thing was I was completely anti-marriage at that point and I really thought I was too young- I was 19 years old. I had also only finished one year of university. Anyways, in that one meeting where my parents were there, I felt he was a good guy. And my dad loved him- he was that kind of guy…he had a good education, a good job prospect, was religious, etc. but I just couldn’t imagine myself getting married so young. So guess what smart thing I did? Yeah….I said no.  Now, a couple of suitors later and fast forward a few years and I often find myself thinking I was an idiot!

So why am I sharing with you this story?

Well, it’s simple, really. Many of us imagine that once we graduate from university, get a job, have worked a bit, then and only then, the right guy is going to magically appear. Like our knight in shining armor is just waiting for us to decide when we want to get married to come along and ask for our hand in marriage. We’ve got it all worked out in our minds- just like a Hollywood scripted movie- but the reality is much more different.

Mr. Right doesn’t always show up ‘at the right time’…. or what I should say is, the time that we think is right’.

More often than not, he shows up exactly when you were not planning on meeting him. And while in a movie it might seem pretty dang hilarious or ‘oh so sweet’ when Mr. Prince Charming shows up at the ‘wrong time’, it’s really not ‘funny’ in real life. It’s confusing. Suddenly, everything is upside down downside up! And everybody is waiting for you to make probably one of (if not ‘the’) biggest decision of your life and you just don’t know what to choose (especially if you’re like me and deciding what pair of shoes to buy is a major decision for you :P).

So yeah, I can understand your confusion and I can understand your ‘fear’, even. But let me tell you that I happen to know more than 3 girls who got married when they were 20 or less (19 & 18) and each of them wasn’t expecting it- each was still in university- but it worked out for them, Ma’sahAllah!

On the other hand, I also know one sister whose father, thinking that he had her best interest in mind, refused to let her meet any of the suitors who asked for her hand in marriage while she was still in university. Today, she is almost 30 years old and still not married. The unfortunate part though is that she confessed to me that she sometimes wishes she could have at least met those suitors…

Now, I’m not saying you should just throw yourself at any guy who comes or you won’t get married! Not at all! What I just mean is seriously CONSIDER these potential suitors. If you do find that one of these suitors really does appeal to you religiously, rationally, emotionally, and physically, then don’t let your age stand in the way. Our age is just a number- it doesn’t reflect (or it doesn’t’ always reflect one’s maturity or wisdom level, at all.)

Instead, what I think you should do is ask yourself this question:

If this man were to come five* (or how ever many years you want) later, what would I say? And then you need to ask yourself: Well, what if he doesn’t? What if he doesn’t come back? What if it’s now or never?

You also need to make lots of dua, and pray istikhara. When you pray istikharah you agree to let Allah decide what is best for you….and of course He always chooses what is best for you at this moment, for your future and your afterlife! (When you say the dua, Allah Subhanoo wa’ Tala will either make things easier for you, showing you that yes, this guy is good for you, or make it ‘really hard’, proving to you that this person isn’t really good for you.)

Of course, I do know that it can be really nerve wracking and very frightening to suddenly think of yourself with a new role (that of a wife) but just because something is a little hard to think about, doesn’t mean you should just completely turn away from it without thinking.

Yes, with marriage comes great responsibility (so I can understand your concern about needing to be 'mature and all'), but don't forget the other beautiful aspect to marriage. Love within the realms of marriage is beautiful, especially when both partners are well informed of Islam. When you read about what the Prophet (sallah Allah alayhee wa salam) used to do with his wives (May Allah be pleased with them)- like the way he used to always turn the cup to drink from the exact place Aisha drank from/ the way he raced her/ how he used to help around the house, or the way he joked with his wives- it makes you realize that marriage can be wonderful (spoken like a true 'single' girl, right :P Hahah!).

However, if you’re convinced that you’re not ready for marriage and you’re really sure you need more time to grow religiously/ emotionally/etc., then be honest with these suitors. We don’t date in Islam so having a relationship is not acceptable. If these suitors are really that great what you can do instead is tell them that you need time. Are they willing to wait a bit?

Well, hope my answer could help you a bit. InshaAllah, I will be keeping you in my adeya. inshaAllah things will be easier for you and you will be able to sleep. Feel free to write again and tell us any updates or anything.

Your sis and aunty,

P.S. sisters, if you've been through something similar/ whatever, please do share.


Those little...backbiters

>> Saturday, October 23, 2010

Assalamu Alaykum. I have learned that listening to backbiting is haram and one should not listen to it, but sometimes I find it hard to stop a person from backbiting another person, I'm afraid that I might offend him/her or something, especially if we're not really friends or he/she is older than me so I need to be extra respectful. So sometimes, all I do is just leave the room or act like I have to go, but sometimes I just cant leave. Please advise me on what to do. Thanks


Dear Sister,

Wa’alykum as salam wa rahmatullah wa barkatoo ! Well, I gotta admit it. This is a super tough question. I mean, how many of us have been in that situation where we sat down with some seemingly innocent friends/even sweet grey haired ladies for a cup of tea only to find out that their particular cup of tea includes a little extra ‘spices’- someone’s dead flesh…….

Yeah. Backbiters…

They’re hard to deal with (but we have to admit that we’ve also sometimes messed up ourselves and “backbit”). Anyways, it’s great that you sometimes leave the room, but I know that isn’t always possible.

What I would suggest doing is simply saying:

“You know, auntie/uncle, sir, *respectful term*, the thing is, I’ve personally made a lot of mistakes myself that I really hope people don’t know about. Wouldn’t it be a lot better if we concealed this person’s mistake so that inshaAllah on the Day of Judgment Allah will conceal all of ours? Maybe instead we can just talk to him/her and give them naseeha, inshaAllah, or make dua that Allah will guide them?”

See, the great thing about following this method is that not only would you have avoided listening to haram, you would have also done your Islamic duty (which is advise them against backbiting).

However, I’ll be the first to admit though that method doesn’t always work. Sometimes, the person insists that they are not backbiting or that they have to tell you this…blah blah blah…

If that happens, we switch tactics depending on the scenario:

Scenario 1:

  • Backbiter: an older relative of mine
  • Victim: another relative
  • What’s being said: that the other relative did something completely rude/unbelievable

My stance: I simply sorta crinkle up my eye brows, look a little confused and say in a respectful but disagreeing voice: “I really don’t know that about him/her. In fact, this person has always been …… If that did happen, I’m sure there’s a reason and maybe we can ask him/her about it.”

It might be a little hard to try this method, but if you defend the ‘victim’, inshaAllah you will have the greatest defense ready for YOU on the Day of Judgment! The prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam said:
“Whoever defends his Muslim brother’s honor, Allah will defend his honor on the Day of Resurrection.”

Scenario 2:
You’re meeting someone you either

  • a) Know has a history of backbiting
  • b) Don’t really know and may turn out to be a backbiter

You decide on the conversations and what you’re going to talk about in advance! Be armed with an Islamic magazine/ interesting stories/things that will keep the conversation interesting but won’t lead to backbiting.

As soon as you sense that the Backbiter is about to begin- you know when they’re about to start- you just switch the conversation:

“HEY, did I tell you about this hilarious thing that happened…” or “Do you have any advice on how to deal with headaches/stomach pain/etc. whatever,” :P

Of course, there could still be countless of other scenarios. The important thing to do, though, in each case is to keep in mind that even as a listener, you have an active role in the conversation. You give the message to the person whether to continue or not….If you let your face show you discomfort and your unwillingness to ‘engage’ in the conversation, the person will sense a ‘red light’...

And you know what I’ve discovered is that if you consistently give people – EVERYONE around you- the message that you don’t want to talk about others or hear others being talked about, the word will soon spread about you- you’ll find people automatically guarding the way they talk around you, inshaAllah.

Well, I know I couldn't think of any 'super idea', but I hope the readers can also chip in some more suggestions for you, inshaAllah =) May each and every one of us guard our tongues and listen to only that which pleases Allah. May we honor our sisters and brothers and treat them the way we want to be treated :D

- the little aunties

P.S. for those who want to know more about the seriousness of backiting, please see here


Easily salah

>> Wednesday, October 13, 2010

You guys seem to be girls with high iman ... so can you give me advice on how to increase the khushu' in my salat? Because I often feel like I get distracted by little things in my salat and I want to be able to make salat in a better fashion. Of course, I know I should make dua, but can you give me some other tips. Thanks!

-- Easily Distracted.

Dear Easily Distracted!

What a fantastic question. I mean how many of us start praying and end up remembering the homework assignment we’d totally forgotten about, discovering a new pattern in the carpet we’re praying on, and thinking about the comeback we should have told that rude person….? The truth is, many of us find ourselves thinking about something completely different than the prayer at hand (including the aunties here), so I’m really glad you brought up this topic….

Here are a few suggestions that I've heard from various daees and inshaAllah the readers will be able to provide us with their own personal tips! 

First of all, don’t let the salah ‘interrupt’ your work. What do I mean by that? If you are doing some kind of assignment for example or studying for a test and you realize that asr adhaned (lol, a made up word), but you keep working and then finally, half an hour later, decide to stop and pray…it doesn’t take an auntie to figure out that you’re probably going to be thinking about that assignment/ upcoming test in the middle of your prayer. That’s why you should STOP whatever you are doing ten to fifteen minutes before the prayer time.

Seriously? Yup, seriously. The idea is that you have to CLEAR your mind BEFORE you start praying. Nouman Khan called it ‘flushing your mind’, lol and you really can’t do that if you are making the salah an interruption of your work…..

(Now, one way I have found that helps me to clear my mind is to open the Qur’an randomly and read a few pages. SubhanAllah, I can tell you that landing on a page that discusses Allah’s Mercy/ the reward we get/ can really help motivate you to pray WELL.)

• There’s also another benefit to praying early or right when the adhan calls- the closer you pray to the adhaan, the more likely the adhaan's 'come to prayer, come to success' will remain fresh in your mind and this may make you feel more devoted in staying focused. And also, it lets you NOT rush your prayer.

• What else? Well, many of us think that khushoo begins when we say Allahu Akbar. Actually, khushoo should begin when we say Bismillah. Do you know when we’re supposed to say that? When we begin our wudoo. That’s when we should start thinking about the fact that we’re about to meet our LORD, Allah.

The truth is our ‘wudoo’ itself is an act of worship. I want you to try and think about these hadith the next time you are doing wudoo:

Abu Hurairah (radhiAllaahu'anhu) reports that Rasoolullah ( Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said When the Muslim (or 'Believing') servant makes wudu and washes his face, then the sin of everything he looked at with his eye comes away with the water, or with the last drop of the water, and when he washes his hands then the sin of everything he stretched out his hands to comes away with the water, or with the last drop of the water. And when he washes his feet every sin which his feet walked towards comes away with the water or with the last drop of the water - so that he leaves clean (clear/pure) from sins. [Reported by Muslim (1/148) and others].

Uthmaan (radhiAllaahu 'anhu) said: Rasoolullah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said Whoever makes wudu and makes it well, his sins come out from his body, even coming out from under his nails. [Reported by Muslim (3/133) and others].

Can you imagine? When you are washing your face, whatever you ‘watched’ or ‘heard’ or ‘said’ that was wrong….all those sins are being washed away. Whatever you touched….those sins are completely being erased. That’s before you even start praying!! What about when you actually start? What happens?

Well I can tell you this….Allah subhanoo Wa’ Tala turns to you!

That’s right. When you turn to Him, He turns His Glorious Face to you...

Abu Dharr reported that the Prophet said: "Allah faces the slave while he is in the salah and keeps facing him as long as he does not turn.

But if you turn away from Him and you start thinking about something else, well, here’s the rest of the hadith:
If [the slave] turns, [Allah] turns away from him.”

Another hadith says that Allah calls out to the person who has turned away: To what is better than I? (which I basically think of meaning “Did you find something better than I??”

Did you? Did you find anything better than Him? Whenever you start to feel your attention slipping away, ask yourself that, before Allah asks you!

It’s also extremely important that when you start your prayer and say the istiadha or “I seek refuge in Allah from the Shaytan” that you mean it! If you feel in your heart that Allah is your Refuge and that He is protecting you from Shaytan’s whispers, you’re bound to concentrate more.

• The next essential thing to concentrate on is reciting surat Al Fatiha.

If Arabic is not your first language, it’s really important that you know EXACTLY what you're saying. So keep on looking over the translation and think that every WORD is worship. As you utter Surah Fatiha, think about the words in your mind. And what they mean to you. Do you want to be guided along the straight path? I bet you do - so when you pray 'sirratilmustakeem' - feel that you are really PLEADING to you Lord that you WANT to be along this path, and devoted to your Lord.

• Remember, each time you recite a verse, Allah Subhanoo Wa’ Tala answers you!

• Hmmm, what else? Well, A lot of us fall into the trap of reciting the same surahs over and over again….more specifically, Qul huwa Allahoo ahad (or surat Al Ikhals). The problem with that is that it sometimes ‘becomes automatic’ or ‘routine’. We’re no longer even thinking about what we’re saying, right. That’s why, it’s really important that you VARY what you recite.

• Actually, this may come as a surprise to you but that also goes for what you say in your rukoo and sujood and even opening dua! That’s right. Islam didn’t say that you HAVE to say the same thing, day in and day out….The Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam used to say several different things…

For example in the rukoo:

Subhaanaka Allaahumma Rabbanaa wa bihamdika Allaahum-maghfir lee.

Glory is to You , O Allah , our Lord , and praise is Yours . O Allah , forgive me.

Allaahumma laka raka'tu, wa bika 'aamantu, wa laka 'aslamtu khasha'a laka sam'ee, wa basaree, wa mukhkhee, wa 'adhmee, wa 'asabee, wa mastaqalla bihi qadamee.

O Allah , to You I bow (in prayer) and in You I believe and to You I have submitted. Before You my hearing is humbled , as is my sight , my mind , my bones , my nerves and what my feet have mounted upon (for travel).

And many others! You can see the different things that you can say here: 

It’s also really important you ‘give yourself time’. Pray slowly. If you don't pray slowly, then do... this way you can think about what you're saying. And, inshaAllah, stay focused on your prayer.

Some other tips….

• Try to actually have ONE ROOM in your house where you pray. I mean think about it. If you’re in the t.v. room and the t.v. is on, you’re probably not really going to be thinking about the salah. The same thing goes if you have your laptop open/ books on your bed….Chances are, you might find yourself peeking over there during your salah, rather than concentrating on what you’re actually doing. BUT, if you have one room where you always pray, inshaAllah, with time, you will be able to program yourself that this is the ‘salah room’. It will be your GETAWAY. That’s the room where you get away from this dunya and meet with your Lord. (A lot better than a secret garden, don’t you think?)

• Get rid of needless distractions. Check the temperature of the room beforehand. You really don’t want to be saying “Malik yawmid deen’ and actually thinking “Dang, it is so hot in here….wish I could turn on the .a.c.” Switch your mobile onto the SILENT mode. If you suffer from ‘fixthisscarf a million times during salah syndrome’, try to get a safety pin and pin it properly before salah time. Again, these are small tips, but I know that they can be major distractions.

• You might also want to consider having special prayer clothes. This is also to help get you in the mood of salah.

• Avoid having a really colorful carpet.

• Tell your family beforehand that you are going to pray. It would be great of course if you prayed WITH them, but let’s say you follow the thinking that women should not be imams for each other……tell your mom, “Okay, mom, I’m going to go pray now. If you need anything, I should be done in 15 minutes or so” (or however long it takes you but do remember to pray slowly, hehe). This way you won’t have the whole family searching for you/calling your name/ sorta thing that happens…

  • -Qur'an. Alhamdulillah, develop a beautiful relationship with the Quran and read with meaning, understanding, contemplation, sincerity and above all - devotion., Every word, every LETTER is sacred and from ALLAH. SubhanAllah - Allah will guide you , inshaAllah.

• Oh and if you’re a person who hangs out on the computer a lot, let me tell you about this awesome computer program that fellow blogger Rukhpar Mor talked about. This program counts down the prayer times for YOU…..It’s like whenever you’re on the computer, you’ll see how many more minutes/hours left till the next prayer time and it says the Adhan and all….Coolio, or what?!

Besides all this, I encourage you to read this really short but fantastic book called “Taste it!” which I put up before as well as this other answer in our blog to a question on salah:

Finally, I know it’s morbid, but reflect on the fact that at the end of the day, you are going to have ONE LAST prayer. Every person dies after a prayer….this prayer could be your last.

So make it count!

May Allah make us among these people:

Certainly will the believers have succeeded: (1) They who are during their prayer humbly submissive (2)… And they who carefully maintain their prayers - (9) Those are the inheritors (10)Who will inherit al-Firdaus. They will abide therein eternally. (11) (Surat Al Mu’minoon)

These are just a few little suggestions....I pray you will be rewarded and always smiling inshaAllah! (:


What if I Take it Off?!

>> Friday, October 1, 2010


Maybe i should ask this question to myself first before sharing it with you and yes I did but I still haven't have any answer to it,anyway I have this nawaitu in me saying that I wanna wear hijab but there's always this little thought in me saying what if one day I stop wearing it again just to look more prettier,to showoff my hair and all. what if it wont last long to wear this hijab? so tell me my dear little me with this..I wanna wear it but I'm scared it won't last long.

What if I take it off?!

Dear WHAT if I Take it oFf?

First of all, hun, I love how you said that you maybe should ask yourself this question first. Sometimes, it’s really hard to ask ourselves these questions because deep down inside we know the answers, don’t we? But you know what? The fact that you realize that the answer at the end will really come from you…well that’s a really good sign, Ma’sahallah.

And of course the fact that you WANT to wear hijab…..that’s fantastic!

Of course, I can understand that you hear that tiny little voice. I remember that voice. And even though it’s really tiny, it’s kinda loud, isn’t it? “What if? What if I take it off? What if I look ugly in it? What if…” Yeah, Little Ms. Annoying Pants (that voice) is pretty loud!

But you know what? You have to realize that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”.

You know what that means? It means we have nothing to be scared of but being scared of something. You know why? Because 'fear' prevents us from doing anything, from progressing, from moving from one place to another.

Fear paralyzes us.

We will never know the future- if we fear what we’re going to do ‘next’, we’re never going to do anything! Think about it. Do you ever say, “I’m not going to pray maghrib because I may not feel like praying next month” Or: I’m not going to fast Ramadan because maybe a few years from now I’m going to get thirsty and break my fast?

I highly doubt it!

Here’s another example. Let's say I were to tell you, in order for you to get to grade 12, you have to finish grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11, and only then can you start grade 12. Would you tell me, but I'm scared I'll start going to school and then in grade 5 or 8, I'll wanna drop out, so I'm not going to go to school?

Would that really make sense? No! I bet you would tell me, "But if I don't go to school, I won't have a successful life". Even if you were to ever feel like dropping out because of all the tests, homework, annoying people at school and drama, you wouldn't, right? Because you understand the importance of your education with the rest of your life.

What about the importance of obeying Allah's commands with your life? In the after life? (Please don’t think I am saying that the hijab is the only thing that we Muslims do, though.)

You have to realize that this fear that you have is most likely coming from Shaytan. He’s preying on your tiny little worries. You know why? Cause Shaitan doesn't want you to listen to Allah, just like he didn't. He doesn't want you to do what Allah has commanded, but he knows that you wouldn't listen to him if he were to tell you straight out "Don't wear hijab", so instead, he uses a different tactic. He whispers to you, "No, no if you wear it, you're gonna take it off. You're gonna be ugly. You're gonna..."

So you know what you have to do? You don't listen to him. You ask Allah to help you, guide you and protect you from his whispers. You ask Allah to keep you steadfast when you wear it. Every time you pray and you say in surat Al Fatiha, "Guide us to the straight path" (Ihdinasirat al mustaqeem), mean it! And when you say Ameen, be sincere. Allah will never ever let you down if you are sincere and truly want His guidance.

What's more, you have to 'redirect' this fear that you have. The thing that I told you in the beginning- that we have nothing to fear- isn't exactly right. We should have fear, but it should be fear of....ALLAH.'That should be the fear that directs your life, not the fear of whether or not something will happen in the future. Yes, Allah is the Most Merciful, but if reflecting on His Mercy doesn’t move you to be a better servant, then reflect on His Power and His ability to completely replace us all with servants who better worship Him, who place Him above their selves. Truly reflect on where He is right now in your life….What place does He hold?

And ask yourself- who created you pretty? Did you create yourself? Wasn't it Allah who created you beautiful? Doesn't He have the right then to decide who you show your beauty to?

More importantly, does wearing a scarf take away your beauty?

How could following what Allah has ordered you to do detract from your beauty? It doesn't actually change your beauty; it just guards it. Think about it this way- does the shell make the pearl ugly? Does it take away the pearl’s beauty? Or does it make it even more valuable?

The hijab is just like that shell. It doesn't erase your beauty. You’re still who you are- still beautiful- still a treasure! You are still the same gorgeous person that you are!

You’re just -hopefully- more conscious of Allah’s presence in your life. The truth is the hijab helps keep you in check. You said yourself that you might want to show off your hair. Showing off is a big thing in Islam, right? Wearing the hijab reminds you that you did not create yourself. You are not your own Lord. It reminds you of "Allahu Akbar". God is Greater.

So now what to do? I want you to really really go and buy some hijabs! Start taking some actions towards it and see how you feel. Tell your friends you want to wear it and throw a hijab party. For one thing, that will also make you think twice about 'taking it off', because you would have told everyone about it, lol.

I’ve also personally found that writing it down can also help. Write down 'I will wear Hijab'. Write it down a few times. Look at those words and believe in those words. Because I believe in you, and you should believe in yourself too. If you've already felt that you want to start observing Hijab then you've conquered the greatest mountain already. Now you're just near the top. And you know you can take the last step but the fear of falling is worrying you. But you've got so far, sis. I'm sure you can find the courage to take that last step. Don't be scared of what the future may hold, because to be honest, anything can happen, and we don't know. You just have to hold on to the fact that Allah is always, always, always with you.

The really important thing though is to not worry about what might or might not happen tomorrow and take everyday as it comes. It might be harder some days than others but this struggle is just making you stronger. And that Allah is simply testing you hun.

Be patient and don't stop trying to fight these fears...

"O, you who believe, Persevere in patience and constancy, vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear Allah; that you may prosper" 3:200

If you're patient and you persevere and try really hard to remain patient, if you keep your trust in The Most High but at the same time fear The Most High and Him alone, then will you prosper huni. And when Allah says you'll prosper it will be the best prosperity.

Remember that Allah is closer to you than your jugular vein, the veins in your neck, that close! With Allah always with you, you gotta take that last step.

Just say “Bismillah”- in the Name of Allah… the same way Prophet Nuh alyhee as salam said:

And [Noah] said, "Embark therein; in the name of Allah is its course and its anchorage. Indeed, my Lord is Forgiving and Merciful." (11: 41)

Well, sis, I believe you can do this! I promise you that it will become a part of you, if you give it a chance!

Let me know if you need any more convincing, hehe, and in the mean time, please please join

You'll find lots of inspiration there, inshaAllah.



Does this Make Me an Extremist?

Fist , I'd like to tell you that I just love reading your blog and every answer refreshes me!!
I have read most of the questions you've answered, including the niqab question.
My question is related to that.

You have listed out various problems a niqabi can face, but my problem is different. I feel shy when I wear the niqab.(+gloves n socks)

I am from India, and here, people are not so aware of what a proper hijab is. I used to wear an abaya just while going out. But last year, I statred wearing hijab and that was not a problem at all. Recently, I just did some ''research'' on whether niqab is obligatory or not and I decided to start wearing it all times ( obviously in front of non mahrams only) .
When I wear niqab outdoors, it's absolutely fine, as many people do it, so I don't feel like an alien.
My problems is at home, in college and at parties and gatherings. People don't realize that my cousin, my sister's hubby or my uncle ( aunt's hubby) is also a non mahram for me. When I try to wear niqaab indoors, they ( my own brother, for example) give me weird looks and ask me not to go to the extremes ( as there are opinions that niqaab is'nt obligatory).

I don't feel encouraged at all, I feel discouraged all the time. People cannot change with me, I accept this, but I feel they must respect my decision to change. I was a big sinner, but that doesn't mean that I cannot be giuded by Allah!

My cousin, with whom I used to be like I am with my own brother, and other non mahrams literally get scared when they see me!!!

All this makes me so self conscious that I IMMEDIATELY panic( i don't show it) and remove my niqaab, and then feel terribly guilty and it shows on my face that I am sooo irritated. So people think I am confused within myself and an ''extremist''!

There's another problem. When I am home, or even in my room, any of my cousin or my sister's hubby just rush in and I am in there, with no hijaab, looking to hide somewhere!

All this is really upsetting me a lot. My brothers say, '' Are you mad, he's( my cousin) just your brother!!'' My sister makes me feel the same with her husband. ''It's just him, don't go overboard''. At that moment, in a hurry, I cannot explain to them that he's my non mahram!

At home, many times, I have to be locked in for hours. I can't eat, drink or even use the wash room...he he!! Now going to the fridge wearing a niqaab can be ridiculous for them.

I wanna be a complete niqaabi. Now what do I do in such situations. Please note that the mixing of men and women won't stop here and men will enter without permission.

My mom understands but she cannot do anything about it.

How do I give an answer to people who tell me, ''It's just him!''

How do I respond when people remind me of my sinful past just to make me feel as if I am still worthless.

I am a very shy person and I am always wondering what the other person is thinking about me.
I avoid most of the parties and gatherings and parties, but I can't avoid all ( if my father asks me to come etc.)

At parties, it's a very ''wrong'' thing if you DONT wear makeup according to people, so you have to be well dressed too!!!
I am very scared of showing off in matters of religion, and I my mother has clearly told me that wearing gloves ( and niqaab infront of relatives) is showin off..
I know in my heart how hard I try not to show off..!!

Please help.
Dear Sis,
MashaAllah, it’s wonderful that you decided to do research and have decided to wear nicaab. :D May Allah keep you steadfast and make it easy for you.

Now, let’s just say I was smiling from ear to ear when I saw your question. No, I don’t enjoy other people’s pain and I’m not belittling what you’re going through. It’s just that I can really and boy do I mean R.E.A.L.L.Y. relate to what you’re asking. I know how tough it is. But you know what- we’re going to try our best to help you.

The truth is I understand both sides…where you’re family is coming from and where you are. In this post 9/11 world, the word ‘extremism” just keeps bouncing around…. But how do we truly know whether we’re becoming extreme or just taking a deeper interest in Islam?

It’s simple.

We return to the Quran, Sunnah, and the example of the Righteous Predecessors. We can’t just decide ourselves. And that’s where most people get a little confused, including your family. (This is actually one of the big issues if you can clear up, everything else should get a little easier. )

Let me give you an example to make it a little clearer. . I mean, if you told your classmate, Jessica, for example: “Hey Jess. You know- no matter how irritating my mother is to me…even if she like uses vulgar language with me… or she gives me an unrealistic list of chores…as a Muslim, I’m not allowed to roll my eyes at her, let alone say “Ugh”. That’s considered a major sin.” You know what Jess might call that?

But the Quran clearly tells us that’s not the case (I’m sure you’re familiar with that verse in surat Al Isra since most parents love to recite it ;)).

Another example… What if you tell your Muslim friend that when she’s making wudoo, she needs to be very careful to make sure she gets everything wet properly and that if she leaves the space of a quarter dry, her wudoo isn’t actually right. Your friend might mistakenly tell you: Hey, that’s extreme. Allah is Merciful. He’s not going to judge us on something as small as that.

But the Prophet (sallah Allah alayhee wa salaam) told us very frankly in a hadith that it’s not acceptable.

One final example, I promise. Let’s say you told your dad you want to change your life and from now on, you’re going to try your best to fast a day, then skip a day and so on so on. Your dad might tell you: That’s pretty extreme. But according to the Prophet (sallah Allah alayhee wa salaam) that’s the way Dawood (alayhee as salaam) used to fast and it was actually the best kind of fast.

My point in all of this: that what defines extremism isn’t us. It’s whether or not the action would have been approved by the Prophet (sallah Allah alayhee wa salaam). And we know whether something would have been approved by looking at the Quran, at his own sunnah, and at the best examples there are (the Companions and their followers).
I know you know all of this, but you need to try to bring this up with your family because if you can get them to see this point, you’ve already won half the battle. Again, the idea is doing extra good deeds approved by the Prophet (sallah Allah alyahee wa salaam) and scholars of the ummah, isn’t extreme. Praying sunnah isn’t extreme, right? Fasting on Monday and Thursday isn’t extreme either, right? Similarly, wearing nicaab isn’t extreme. Yes, some scholars think that it isn’t obligatory- but that makes it 'extra', not 'extreme'. At the very least you are doing what is considered an ‘extra credit’ kinda thing- a bonus project! Ma’shaAllah.

So what should you do when your family tells you: Hey, it’s just your cousin, or your brother-in-law, etc. If you’re sure you want to wear nicaab, then the most important thing is that you don’t take it off so you don’t give your family mixed signals. Why is it so important? Because the minute you’ve taken it off, you have given your family the impression the nicaab is negotiable. The next time X passes by, your family is going to pressure you to take it off again and they’re probably going to use the fact that you took it off last time as ammunition. They can’t understand how serious you are about it unless you find it within yourself to decline to take it off.
What else?

It’s time to get your Quran out. I’m serious. In a very respectful manner, tell your family that you understand they think you’re being a little extreme but you’d like to have a chance to explain your position. Then, pull out the Quran or a translation of the meanings of it and open up to Surah-An Nur, Ayah 31. Have them read the aya and very gently point out that this ayah gives all of the exceptions.

And say to the faithful women to lower their gazes, and to guard their private parts, and not to display their beauty except what is apparent of it, and to extend their headcoverings (khimars) to cover their bosoms (jaybs), and not to display their beauty 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 womenfolk, or what their right hands rule (slaves), or the followers from the men who do not feel sexual desire (elderly men), or the small children to whom the nakedness of women is not apparent, and not to strike their feet (on the ground) so as to make known what they hide of their adornments. And turn in repentance to Allah together, O you the faithful, in order that you are successful

Subhan Allah- Allah didn’t leave us to guess who to wear hijaab/ nicaab in front of. This is one of the most detailed ayahs in the Quran. It very clearly explains who can see a woman’s beauty and who can’t, including elderly men and young boys. Does it include cousins? Nope. Brother-in-laws? Nope again. Is this important? Definitely- when you think about it, actually, Allah didn’t just leave us with a hadith or one of the Companion’s explanations. He spoke about this matter directly and He included it in His Quran. That’s how important it is.

The next thing you need to do is to take your sister on the side and explain that you are really uncomfortable with your brother-in-law entering unannounced. Tell her that you know he thinks of you as a younger sister but rules are rules and this rule was put down by Allah, the Creator, who knows us best. Remind your sister there is a very serious hadith about inlaws.

The Prophet (sallah Allah alayhee wa salaam) said, ‘Brother-in-law is death”.

Death! That’s how serious it is. Again, tell her it isn’t anything personal but you don’t want anyone to be upset on the Day of Judgment. If she seems really hurt or surprised, you can soften the blow by emphasizing how Islam is such a practical religion that the Prophet (sallah Allah alyahee was salaam) told us to separate between brothers and sisters in the bedroom (we’re talking real brothers this time,lol) when they reach age 10. At the end of the day, all you’re asking for is for your brother-in-law to knock on the door and give you time to dress appropriately. That’s not really that much. If your sister still doesn’t seem convinced/ cooperative, tell her that you’re sorry but you are going to have to lock the door.

Next thing…you need to talk to your brother about your cousin. Again, remind him that as Muslims, we’re supposed to submit completely to Allah’s Commands. Remind him that as much as you might not think of your cousin sexually, he still isn’t your brother and there are limits. In a firm but gentle manner, ask him to respect the fact you’re trying your best to please Allah and you would like his support.

As for your cousins being scared of you—well, obviously since they’re not your mahrams, theyshouldn’t be hanging out with you as a buddy anymore, right, but I do understand how painful it must be to have your family treating you as someone scary. All you have to do is keeping wearing it. They’ll get used to it! It takes time…but soon, they won’t get into a full blown panic when they see you.

About showing off…. MashaAllah! It’s great that you’re so worried about it. The truth is it seems to me that you are not a show off because a show off wouldn’t care if they were a show off, now would they? I hate to disagree with your mother and I mean no disrespect, but I don’t think that wearing gloves is ‘showing off’. Showing off is something that is in your heart- if you sincerely believe that you are the best and that everyone else is a sinner and is ‘beneath’ you, then you’ve got a problem…but if you are just trying to follow an opinion that nicaab and wearing gloves is obligatory/wajib/a good extra thing to do, all you’re showing is commitment to Allah. You’re struggling in His path…just keep checking your heart and inshaAllah you’ve got nothing to worry about!

Finally, don’t listen to those people who keep putting you down because you didn’t have a perfect past. Tell them you know you weren’t exactly a role model, but you’re trying now to change and you hope they can help. Remind them that some of the Sahaba (alayhum as salaam) had their own problems in the past but with Allah’s Guidance, became the best people. I mean the people in the Prophet’s time used to say it was more likely for Omar’s (Radiya Allah anhoo) donkey to become Muslim than him to embrace Islam…and look at who Omar (radiya Allah anhoo) ended up becoming! The man the Prophet (sallah Allahoo alahyee wa salaam) said would have been a prophet if there was supposed to be a messenger after him (alayhee as salaam). This link might also help:

Wishing you all the best and may you be among those whom Allah shades on the Day of Judgment,

Your Sis,

p.s. An example of ‘extremism’, in case you’re wondering, would be like deciding to do ghusl/take a bath for every prayer.

Other examples in this hadith:

Narrated Anas bin Malik: A group of three men came to the houses of the wives of the Prophet asking how the Prophet worshipped (Allah), and when they were informed about that, they considered their worship insufficient and said, "Where are we from the Prophet as his past and future sins have been forgiven."

Then one of them said, "I will offer the prayer throughout the night forever.” The other said, "I will fast throughout the year and will not break my fast.“ The third said, "I will keep away from the women and will not marry forever."
Allah's Apostle came to them and said, "Are you the same people who said so-and-so? By Allah, I am more submissive to Allah and more afraid of Him than you; yet I fast and break my fast, I do sleep and I also marry women. So he who does not follow my tradition in religion, is not from me (not one of my followers)."

Another hadith:

Anas ibn Malik (Radiya Allah Anhoo) reports: “The Prophet ﷺ came one day into the mosque and found a rope stretched between two pillars. He asked what the rope was for. He was told that it was put up for Zainab, so that she would hold on to it during her prayer when she felt too tired. The Prophet said: ‘No. Take it off. Let everyone pray when they feel fresh and comfortable. When they feel tired, they should sit down.’” (Bukhari)

p.s.s Jazaki Allah sis for your kind words about the blog. We love meeting new sisters and we’re glad to have met you!


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