Hijab, A Badge of Honor

I pen down my thoughts saddened by the memories of some of my friends who used to be good observers of hijab. They exchanged it for a road that they think would take them towards a great career. It is disheartening to see how fragile our imaan is, that in our journey when we reach a point where we have to choose between our Islam and the duniya, we choose the lesser of the two. How easily do we forget to follow the commandments of the one in whose hand lies the success of this world as well as that of the hereafter! How can we even think of trading anything at the cost of our Imaan? “Duniya”, the word itself means “the lower level”. Moreover we are not certain of our future. What the next minute, the next second would bring for us is a mystery, but our deaths are guaranteed and so is the fact that we shall be answerable to Allah for our deeds.

In a world full of negativity, we really have to be strong because it is not easy to follow Islam at a time when no one leaves a chance to insult us. But this is nothing new. We read in our history how our beloved Prophet and his companions were tortured in the blazing deserts of Arabia by the enemies of Allah and Islam. But who is in a better state today, the ones who were torturing or the ones being tortured? Aren’t the companions now in the state of eternal happiness and tranquillity? These are tests from Allah and tests by their nature are temporary.

My dear sisters! Being Muslims, we have made an agreement that we will happily confront all challenges that stop us from following Islam. This agreement is hidden in the word ‘Muslim’ itself which means submission and we must testify through our words and action that we are slaves of Allah and that indeed we have submitted ourselves to Him. It should also be a matter of pride for us to be slaves of Allah, our creator instead of our desires and will.

Allah says in the Holy Quran

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient” (2:155)

“Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tried?”  (29:2)

Therefore Allah will surely test our imaan. But at the same time He, The Most merciful has said

“Allah does not burden a soul beyond its capacity” (2:286)

So when we are undergoing a certain hardship it actually means that Allah knows that we are strong enough to overcome it.

As humans our desires always accompany us and at times we feel belittled in front of other people due to their reaction to our hijab or dressing sense. But consider this – isn’t it a Badge of honour that our modesty is a topic in the Quran, a divine book whereas their beauty is a topic of discussion in magazines? This dress code has been given to us by Allah so why do we hesitate to put it on? Why do we feel low when we are being neglected or avoided even after Allah has said that all honour belongs to Him?

“And let not their speech grieve you. Indeed, honor [due to power] belongs to Allah entirely. He is the Hearing, the Knowing.” (10:65)

This means that even if for the time being we feel like we are being ignored – but if we are truly following His commandments – we should never be disheartened or hopeless of his mercy. Think that it is just a test and we have to face it by seeking Allah’s help, which is through patience and prayer. In sha Allah things will be easier for us soon and we shall find ourselves among the most respected individuals of the society.

Perhaps a major reason which stops my sisters from observing hijab is a feeling of insecurity that if they put on their hijab they would be counted among the backward classes of society, that people will ignore them.

“So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers” (3:139)

This is such a convincing and an inspirational verse. It should always help us be strong and steadfast in our religion, especially the sisters who think hijabis are considered backward in society. This verse is an eye opener, that the only way to be a respected and honored in society is to be a true believer. And it is the weakness of our imaan and lack of understanding of the Quran that we follow teachings of other people in an attempt to fit in, forgetting the fact that copying others is what leads to insecurity and feelings of inferiority. Islam on the other hand wants to make a role model out of each of us.

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