I hope you all are well by the grace of Allah عزوجل in sha Allah ☻
As enough of an issue in the world is that Muslims are a minority and are judged by others in the communities, we have taken it upon ourselves to extend this issue. We have minorities within the ummah, whom we judge. The minority groups, if you haven’t guessed already, are hijabis and niqabis. Included in these two terms are also women who observe burqas, chador, etc.
The typical Muslim woman in the West looks like everyone else, even in some Muslim countries Muslimahs do not take upon extra coverings. Thus it is normal in certain families for a woman to be free of the hijab and burqa while women in hijabs or burqas are seen as an abnormal minority. Women of these minorities are often looked down upon, especially those who observe the niqab. I once heard a person say “itna bhi extreme hone ki kya zuroorat hai” (“why is she going to such an extreme”) “itna bhi islam strict nahin hai” (“Islam is not that strict,”) “yeh log aapni taraf se Islam banate hain,” (“these people make up (parts of) Islam themselves”) and even “I hate niqabis.” Unfortunately, I have heard all of these sayings by Muslims themselves directed towards niqabis. These statements were said without any haya’, shamelessness prevailed in the atmosphere.
I once went around asking people what they would think if I started observing the niqab, the responses –
“I won’t be your friend anymore.”
“I won’t let you.”
“Why would you even do that?!”
“I won’t go out with you in public.”
“Please be joking.”
Stop. If you do not agree that the niqab is a part of Islam, that’s your interpretation, but if that woman roaming the streets in the niqab believes that it is, then respect her interpretation. Perhaps, even if niqab is not obligatory, Allah عزوجل is more pleased with the niqabi you’re bad-mouthing than you. Allah عزوجل sees her struggle, Allah عزوجل sees how big of a sacrifice that woman gave to Him. Allah عزوجل sees that she loves Him so much, that she is ready to cover herself completely even though she knows that she will be looked down upon society as a whole and also by her own ummah. Do you know the meaning of ummah? Relearn it if you judge niqabis.
I once went to the religion building at my university, after I finished praying I asked a niqabi if she wanted to use the prayer mat I had (Note – I wear the hijab, not a niqab), and I can’t tell you how her eyes started gleaming. I could tell how big of a smile was on her precious face by the twinkle of her eyes and the crinkles that formed around them. Her smile was contagious and such a pleasant sight, but it made me upset. I understood that the only reason she smiled so big is because she doesn’t experience kindness often. Kindness for her is rare on a social level. She is our sister in Islam, we share the shahadah for goodness sake, why would you mistreat her?
Put your differences aside, don’t create the unnecessary fuss! We are ummah, why do we not act that way? Allah عزوجل hates for us to create division in the ummah, and look at us. We pick up every single topic in Islam and point fingers. How can we expect non-Muslims to accept us if we ourselves don’t accept us? Is it really that bad that your sister believes in wearing the niqab? Can we not just support each other like we are supposed to? That niqabi is not doing a crime, she’s simply trying to please Allah عزوجل and look at you! Look at you, demeaning her! Astaghfirullah, you call yourself righteous and on the straight path while degrading your sister? Have you no shame? But you run your mouth as if you are some great scholar of Islam! Who are you? Are you Sheikh Ibn Tayimiyyah? Imam Bukhari? Imam An-Nawawi? Open up your narrow mind. It’s okay to disagree but absolutely not okay to be disrespectful. Do not complain about the brother/sisterhood of Islam being at loss and the love being at loss if you are one of those who look down upon others because they have an interpretation of Islam, especially one that is backed up by various scholars and does not involve a crime, different from yours.
As I mentioned before, personally I wear a hijab. The fuss I got on that, Subhanallah, was despicable. “Abey yeh kya kardiya?!” (“what have you done?!”) commented 3 people. “Force kiya hai? Kya zuroorat thi?!” (“Did someone force you? What was the need (for this)?!” Muslims, these were comments by Muslims! Believe it or not, people were calling my mother asking her these questions, people who I barely even know!
A friend of a friend asked me “why did you do this? Hijabis are fake – they wear the hijab and then do haram things.” The audacity, I barely know you yet you had the audacity to say that. Can you imagine? Yes, there are some hijabis who do haram, but there are non-hijabis who do that as well. Just because non-hijabis look “normal” does not mean they should not be held accountable if you are going to hold hijabis accountable for haram. There are hijabis who do haram, and there are devout hijabis. There are non-hijabis who do haram, and there are devout non-hijabis. Why the stereotype? Why hold one specific group of Muslims guilty of sins? And should you even do that? If you have seen someone acting erroneously, then tell that person. Don’t go around telling everyone else but them, advise them and keep quiet to the rest.
A friend argued – hijabis represent Islam, so they should follow Islam properly. The others don’t matter because they do not look Muslim. Sure, okay, that’s a valid point. But the hijabis who do engage in major sins are usually women who were forced to wear the hijab. So ultimately, they aren’t “fake” if they were forced to wear the hijab as they did not choose to look “Islamic” while engaging in sins. Try to understand others instead of sitting in your tiny bubble, pointing out the haram things people have done (while you yourself are engaging in haram through your arrogance!).
Absolutely, the case can be the other way round – people judging those who do not cover, and in that is an equal evil. However, in this post I discussed the typical scenario of the west and some eastern countries.
Edit: I also acknowledge that this can happen between bearded and unbearded brothers, and Muslims of different sexualities.
Open your minds ya ummati. Stop creating unnecessary divisions. We need to stand together. We share the shahadah, why is that not enough? We are brothers and sisters who must act as a family.
Narrated by Abu Musa –
Some people asked Allah’s Apostle, ‘Whose Islam is the best? i.e. (Who is a very good Muslim)?’ He replied, ‘One who avoids harming the muslims with his tongue and hands.’
– Sahih Bukhari: Volume 1, Book 2, Number 10
Narrated by Ibn Abi Mulaika –
When there happened the disagreement between Ibn Az-Zubair and Ibn ‘Abbas, I said (to the latter), “(Why don’t you take the oath of allegiance to him as) his father is Az-Zubair, and his mother is Asma,’ and his aunt is ‘Aisha, and his maternal grandfather is Abu Bakr, and his grandmother is Safiya?”
– Sahih Bukhari: Volume 6, Book 60, Number 186
“Qatādah relates that: –
`Umar رضي الله عنه saw some people behaving badly during the Hajj pilgrimage. He recited the verse: “You have been the best of communities brought forth for humankind…”, then he said: “If you wish to be part of this community, then fulfil the condition Allah has placed on it.”
He meant that they must command what is good and forbid evil, united in their faith.”
Verse: “You have been the best of communities brought forth for humankind: commanding good, forbidding evil, and believing in Allah.” [Sūrah Āl `Imrān: 110]
I pray for the ummah to understand each other, be easy on each other, and to stop holding grudges and judgment. I pray for the ummah to be there for each other, stand up for each other. I pray for the ummah to act as an ummah.
Anyway, In sha Allah we will grow to be more positive people.
Take care my fellow readers,