“Don’t force your cultural values of what constitutes oppression. Making the choice to wear the veil is not a symbol of oppression, rather it’s a reflection on the deeply ingrained beliefs regarding women as a whole. Why should women be judged on the basis she is wearing a hijab? Dare to interrupt the male gaze and brace yourselves for accusations your oppressed-and the implicit assumption is your too dumb to notice”.
Come and learn about Muslim women who wear the hijab-be part of insisting and responding to dialogue. Join us on World Hijab Day Feb 1 http://worldhijabday.com/
Hayaa plays a huge role in the lives of Muslims because it is a very important part of our Eeman (faith/belief). If we do not have any form of hayaa in us then it is most likely that our Eeman is very weak. For as it states in the following hadeeth:
“There are more than 70 branches of Iman (Faith). The foremost is the declaration that there is no God except Allah and the least of it is removing harmful things from the path. And Hayaa is a branch of Iman.”
Islam’s laws about hijab, its ban against free mixing of men and women, its teachings about gender-relations — all of these reflect a deep concern for Hayaa. For men and women who have not lost their Hayaa, these come naturally.
There is a moving story from the earlier Islamic period about a woman who learnt that her young son had been lost in a battle. She ran in a panic to confirm the news, but before that, she took time to make sure that she covered herself fully in accordance with the newly revealed laws of hijab. She was asked how did she manage to do that in a time of great personal tragedy. She replied: “I have lost my son, but I did not lose my Hayaa.”
Anyone who is a believer should build their personalities and their character with the good dimensions of hayaa. The most important is that he/she must be shy of doing ANYTHING displeasing to Allaah Subhaanu wa Ta ala, with the belief that he/she will have to answer to all their deeds.
If one develops a sense such as this one, it will help the believer to obey all of Allaah’s command and to stay away from the sins. Once the believer realizes that Allaah is watching us all the time and we will have to answer for every move we make in this dunya, he/she would not neglect any order from Allaah or His Messenger (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam). So the stronger this sense of hayaa becomes, the more it motivates one to make sure that Allaah doesn’t see him/her doing anything forbidden. The way to develop this hayaa is that one must keep learning and absorbing more and more knowledge of our deen.
Anger my mother expressed at my appearance
“I strongly recommend this [World Hijab day] experience. It truly is humbling. One of the greatest experiences I have had is a hijab last February. I wore it to see how my friend Salma Rah and all the other women feel when they wear their hijab. At first, I was nervous about it. What will it feel like? What happens if I get laughed at? But what I did not expect to get was the anger my mother expressed at my appearance. That single emotion proved the experiment worthwhile. “Why would you wear that? You are Christian?” I told my friend had asked me to wear a hijab to support the women who wear it and are getting abused because they do.
Wearing a Hijab is the easy part, being out in the world and seeing the reaction is the hard part. Honestly, I almost took it off when classmates laughed at me. But I persevered and told them I was supporting my friend and women who wear a hijab on a daily basis that suffer abuse from people who don’t understand. It is a great way to walk in my friend’s shoes.
Thank you for asking me to understand.”