By Sahar Al-Faifi
I’m going to share a few pieces of advice with those who wear the Hijab or Niqab. And they are directed to me first and foremost.
Renew your intention
My dear sisters, always ask and remind yourselves of the reason you wear the hijab or the niqab. It should be to please Allah. Otherwise, renew your intention. Keep in mind that, with such correct intention, if we work for 8 hours while wearing a hijab, insha Allah we will be rewarded for those 8 hours because it is an act of worship. The same also applies if we wear a hijab at school or college. We will be rewarded for that, inshaAllah.
The second piece of advice that I would like to share with you, my dear sisters, is that we should not be judgmental. If Allah has blessed us to express our faith and practice it by wearing the Hijab or the Niqab, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we are better than our sisters who do not wear it at all, because Allah knows what is in their hearts. They may be closer to Allah than us because they may be much better than us in other aspects which only Allah knows. So, do not judge our sisters who decided not to wear the hijab.
Thirdly, be proud of your Muslim identity, don’t be an apologetic Muslim. There is nothing wrong with our face. There is nothing wrong with being a Muslim. So, always express your faith confidently, live your faith and love it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Verses of the Quran
Another piece of advice that I want to share with my dear sisters is to memorize and reflect two chapters of the Qur’an, which are Surah al-Ahzab and Surah an-Noor. In Surah Al-Ahzab, Allah explicitly tells the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) to command his daughters, his wives, and the believing women to lower down their garments. Now, garments have different interpretations. As we know, niqab and hijab are just modern names. But the Surah is a reminder for us that we lower our garments, we wear the hijab, for the sake of Allah. The Surah includes a modesty code, meaning that our dress code implies an ethical code to be practiced by both men and women.
In the Chapter of Light (Surah an-Noor), Allah defends Aisha the wife of the Prophet (may Allah be pleased with her) in her most difficult time. She was accused of certain things. The hypocrites were slandering her and her chastity was questioned. It was a really difficult time for her but she stayed strong. She left her problems to Allah and so Allah helped her.
There must be difficult times in your lives. During those times, be like Aisha. Be strong. Connect with Allah. And if Allah is with us, no one can be against us.
If all those Islamophobes and haters come together to attack, humiliate, and abuse us, they will never do so unless Allah wills. So, be like Aisha. Please try and report all of the Islamophobic abuses you face. Even if you find any discrimination in the workplace or any racist remarks, please report them to the police. I know you might think that they’re not going to do much about it, and there’s a truth to that to some extent. But we need some statistics. We need some numbers to show the scale of the problems and we cannot do that unless we have numbers. So, please report them.
Join the Community
In terms of practicality, my suggestion for you is that we join organizations that tackle Islamophobia. Allah will never change the conditions of people until they change what is in themselves. We have to lead the fight, not leave it only for the left-wing or some certain organizations. We have to be the change catalyst and lead the change.
Own the Narrative
My last advice is that we should equip ourselves with the skills and knowledge to break down all the stereotypes and misconceptions about Muslim women in general. It is really the time for us to own our narrative, to speak on our behalf, to lead our fight. It is absolutely imperative to show the world the reality of who we are – strong, powerful, educated, and integrated Muslim women participating in public life. And we do that because of who we are, because of our faith. So, let’s show the world the truth and the reality of us.
Your feedback is very important. Please share your comments and questions.
Molecular Geneticist by profession, community organizer, anti-Islamophobes, revolutionist by actions, universal freedom and justice seeker.