Assalaamu alaikum [peace be to you],
The following article describes Hijab from the point of view of a Muslim woman:
My Journey to Freedom
It will be three years since I stood before two Muslim sisters and declared openly my belief in God (Allah) and His Messenger, peace be upon him… Stepping out of the darkness of disbelief into the light of Islam, it’s funny that I found such freedom in the very thing that was keeping me from Islam in the first place – the hijab.
Even though I get the wide gamut of strange stares, points and comments, this covering makes me feel honoured, safe and cherished.
The word hijab comes from the Arabic word “hajaba” meaning to hide from view or to conceal. Women who don’t reveal their beauty in this society and give in to this oppressive system, are looked upon as invisible, without sexuality and backward. Because I’m often mistaken for a nun, or terrorist, I feel the reactions to the hijab for many women, is the truest test of being a Muslim.
But in reality, the hijab is easy!…
In instructing us to wear the hijab, Allah has not given Muslim women more than what they can bear of injunctions and obligations. For Allah says (translation): “And we do not lay on any soul a burden except to the extent of its ability, and with Us (God) is a Book which speaks the truth…”
Since the heyday of the feminist movement, there has been an increasing amount of scrutiny placed on the dress and status of Muslim women. According to these “liberated” women, the hijab not only covers the head, but also covers the mind, will and intellect. They say that our dress code is outdated and oppressive, and it stops us from being productive human beings. They speak out of ignorance when they say that our hijab does not belong in these modern times, when due to the constant decrease in moral values in the world today, circumstances make the hijab even more necessary.
From the dawn of civilization, flowing dresses and headscarves have always been associated with “Godliness” or “God consciousness”. Even the Christian pictorial representation of the earlier prophets and their womenfolk bear familiar likeness to the dress ordained for Muslim men and women (e.g. the Lady Mary -may the God almighty be pleased with her-).
This tradition of modesty is reflected in the Qur’an (7:26), wherein Allah says:
“O Children of Adam! We (God) have bestowed clothing upon you to cover yourselves and as an adornment (for beauty); and the clothing of righteousness – that is best.”Qur’an 7:26
The God -glory be to him- enjoined hijab on the Muslim woman to protect her from harm. He knows His creation, and knows that when women make a dazzling display of themselves, with immodest clothes, perfumed bodies and made-up faces, it serves to increase the sexual deviance of the overall society. Many of those who are misguided however, would have us think that the hijab is a portable prison that restricts our minds, lives and hearts. It is none of these things, and in order not to fall victim to their plots, we must begin to understand what the hijab truly is- a source of liberation, dignity and protection.
What the Hijab is…
– An act of Obedience to The Creator.
– An Act of Honour & Dignity.
– An act of Belief & Faith.
– An act of Modesty.
– An act of Purity.
– An act of Bashfulness.
– An act of Righteousness.
– A Shield (against unwanted attention).
What the Hijab is NOT…
– It is NOT something new. Muslim women follow the example of righteous women in the past such as Mary, the mother of Jesus -peace be upon them both-.
– It is NOT a symbol of oppression.
– It is NOT required in non-public places where there are only females and close male relatives (Mahram).
– It is NOT a means to restrict a woman’s freedom to express her views and opinion, or to have an education and a career.
– It is NOT an act of defiance, confrontation or protest to non-Muslims.
– It is NOT a portable prison.