Sunday, July 17, 2011

Am I Less A Muslim Without Hijab?

*This article is written based on a few opinions with regard to hijab and the writer acknowledged the finding points of views. The answer is in you.

One sweet day, me and two my Muslim girlfriends, Mastura and Sheila (both not real name) were having coffee and chit chat about life and one friend suddenly said, "Wearing hijab might have been a mistake for me. I don't feel like it's made me become a better Muslim because I feel like I'm deceiving people when they look at me as an example even though I'm still struggling with a lot of things," She continued, "However, if I take it off, is it really something Allah will punish me for? It seems like such a petty thing. Isn't the most important thing is to have a clean pure heart?"asked Mastura. Mastura starts wearing hijab when she is in high school which wearing hijab is mandatory to all Muslim girl. Since then, she starts wearing it but, she did take it off sometimes when she hangs out clubbing with other friends.

Another friend sharing her views, "I disliked the thought of covering my beautiful hair and my parents never forced me to wear it. It doesn't even help when my closest friends in school are non-Muslim and they always commented to me about how pretty I looked without my hijab. As my mother started wearing hijab in her 40's, I assumed that I would start wearing it when I get older," said Sheila (not her real name) Aged 26. She starts wearing hijab when she was 18 years old after her father passed away.

Her father's death made her realized that life is short and she could die before making her decision to wear hijab. "The thought of what if I fail to repent my sin for not wearing a hijab before I die lingered in my mind for several days. My sisters wear hijab and they advised me that I should start to wear it too so that I can be closer to Allah and pray for my father,"

And I asked, "If you're not wearing hijab, isn't going to make a different to your prayer and the love that you have for your late father?"

Sheila pause before answered it, "It’s accrued to me that, 'how can I expect Allah to forgive my father's sins if I continue to sin by not wearing a hijab'. This logical reasoning was the reason I started to change. Even though I do my prayers, fast in Ramadan, and be kind to people, Allah will love me whether or not I wear a hijab. Allah has given me so many blessings in life and I can't even do something as simple as putting a cloth over my head for Him?"

Mastura: What is the intention of us wearing hijab? For me, it is to get closer to God. But, when people imposed a hijab upon us, I feel like, it’s a burden. And it's not real thing for me.

Sheila: The most important thing is for us to have purified hearts. Allah emphasizes this in the Quran when He states that on the Day of Judgement nothing will be of benefit to the servant except "one who brings to Allah a clean, sound heart" (26:89). The question is, how does one achieve that? What purifies us and cleanses our hearts?

Me: So what you saying are by having a pure heart you can get closer to God?

Sheila: Purifying our hearts is the goal, but the means to reaching that goal is through the very real and specific physical prescriptions and commandment that Allah has given us. It is through His obedience and through following the teachings of our religion that we clean and polish our hearts. It is for this reason that I have to say hijab is not something trivial. Anything that leads us to spiritual awareness, elevation, and purification - that helps us come closer to Allah, cannot be considered trivial or petty. Perhaps it is more likely that there are hidden depths within it that we do not perceive, or that we are not putting it in the proper context of its deeper and meaning.

Me: I get you. However, can we have pure heart without wearing hijab AND get closer to God?

Sheila: For me, by wearing hijab, simply saying that 'I am a Muslim', meaning - I am someone who is trying to follow this religion, who accepts it as truth, sees beauty in it and hopes to beautify myself with it.

Me: I think what a person needs, is a steady and constant diet of good deeds and spiritual nourishment. We cannot rely on one particular deed to 'make' us better Muslim. A feeling of happiness at doing something good for the sake of Allah and energy to do more, improve us. What is the point of wearing hijab when your heart is struggling what is real to you?

Mastura: I am struggling to answer that question when, I don’t have the opportunity to decide what is real for me.

Sheila: What stopping you from decided what is real for you, then? You scared what 'other' people think about you when you decided to take off your hijab permanently?

Me: Yeah, Mas. Are they control your life or you, yourself?

Mastura: The society does give impact to me. My family and also my friend. If we notice our society today, many wear hijab because they want to be accepted in the community. Because, it's normal to see a Muslim girl wearing hijab and for others, not wearing hijab is seen as committed a sin.

Me: We are sinners, wearing or not wearing. The amount of iman only Allah knows and that is between each of us with God.

Sheila: Wearing hijab to me, bring more good than evil. But, wearing hijab can be evil when the intention is not pure from heart. We usually mislead and judge people based on the appearance.

Me: It’s not that when I wore hijab makes me a better Muslim because at first, my intention is to make my family happy. They thought that if I wore hijab I would behave like a typical Muslim girl.

Mastura: Why are you taking off then? Are you not behaving like a “typical Muslim girl”?

Me: It’s not the issue Mastura. The issue was I have been suppressed by exercising my decision – I wasn’t allowed to decide what is best for me., because other people want to be right. I have no issue when most Muslim women decided to wear hijab, they really know what she is doing and what is her intention of doing it is merely because they want to get closer to God. What’s wrong of wearing a modesty cloth without hijab? Can’t they be aligned with intention; be good, do good and say good.

Sheila: The reason hijab is imposed to the Muslim women is to protect their dignity - to level up the status of the women.

Mastura: Or, is it to protect men’s interest? Many of my Muslim friends, when they get married, they decided to wear hijab as what their husband requested them to. Owh, another friend of mine married and for her to be accepted fully by the husband’s family, she need to wear hijab. What’s funny, she only wore it when she was with the family. Wasn’t that looks like a hypocrite?

Me: Oh, well… whenever I reach my parents’ home, I have to cover my head with hijab because, I am not allowed to take it off. I felt guilty but, I don’t want to be someone that I’m not. I have to face up that wearing hijab is not my choice. Not for now.

Sheila: If not now, then when?

Me: Are you agreed that in Islam, there is no force? Tak ada paksaan dalam Islam. Every word and action must be aligned with our intention and the intention is because of God. But, now wearing a hijab is a labeled, is identity. For me, as long as a Muslim women, wore a modesty cloth and behave morally, is good. She has a right to choose. Wearing hijab is a personal choice.

Sheila: Wasn’t wearing hijab is wajib to every each of Muslim women?

Mastura: Cover your aurat is wajib but, to what extant is women’s aurat?

Sheila: Our face and two of our palms.

Me: There is a surah in the Quran stated for the women to cover their bosom but did not precisely pointing out about cover their hair. It's in our interpretation.

Sheila: Wearing a hijab don’t hurt you instead boost up your value as a women.

Me: What boost up my value as a woman is how I behave and how much I protect myself from committed evil. As far as I concerned, my action and my word determine what is best for me and anything I do is between me and my God. Islam promotes good and good shall I be. Wearing hijab or not, does not determined I am a better or less a Muslim. Everybody has a right to make their stand on how their religion makes them. I am practicing Islam they way I understand it and I believe in their teaching. If one day, I shall wear hijab just because, I want to and not I have to.

Sheila: It’s your choice definitely dear. And wearing hijab for me is my choice as well and I love wearing hijab.

Me: I’m glad you feel that way Sheila, and that is how it supposed to be. Mastura, seek what’s true in your heart and God will deliver to you, goodness and Allah knows best.

Mastura smiles.

*Writer notes: There is no right or wrong decision in life. It's only solid decision.


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  2. This is great. I honestly can relate to you. And I understand your point of view. I feel that I need to purify my heart and want to wear hijab for myself and Allah(S.W.T) I, also need to strengthen my iman. Society is playing a big role on me. It is making me afraid of what people will think. But, inshallah the time will come where, it wont matter what the society thinks, and that's when i'll know that it's my time. The time for me to wear the hijab for Allah(S.W.T) and myself. As of right now i'm still in highschool but inshallah I will be able to wear it soon. May Allah grant us all guideness. And alhamdouliah I was born into islam. My others Also get guideness Inshallah.

  3. i can definately relate to you. i was forced into wearing it since primary school, and things got quite rough in secondary school. to the point i was not allowed to perform a for a school play cuz 'some' teachers made the rule that i must be wearing it to do so. its not something i hate, just something i have different opinion on although i have no problem with those who choose to wear it. all i can say is it should feel right to you, not forced into it or worn out of pressure. for now, i choose to perfect my solat and be the best human being i can possibly be. jazakallahu khair :)

  4. thank you for make time to read my article. there is a lot of issue relating to hijab n Muslim women and i am still learning n understand the teaching too.

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    1. indeed. Let us all pray good things come to us in many ways include the true light of Islam. :)