I read a blog yesterday called "Practicing Islam in Short Shorts." And it really caught my attention so I decided I wanted to respond to it. Basically it's about a Muslim girl who writes about her experience as a non-hijabi Muslimah. First off I want to mention that I am in no way shape or form perfect or better than the author of this blog, but just like how she expressed her thoughts and feelings, I will be doing the same. I know for a fact I will receive hateful comments for supposedly being close-minded or whatever but I will proceed on what I think. I will comment on points that were made in the blog, so one might have to read the blog before reading this.
We live in a world where we are influenced by almost everything around us. I understand we don't like to stand out or be different, for example when someone tells me "You don't have an accent" I am filled with joy. Because having an accent means being different, as if the Hijab isn't enough to make me stand out immediately. So I see where a lot of us Muslimahat come from when it comes to hijab. Although let's remember that one of the main points of Islam is to "Suffer in the way of Allah" and for Muslim sisters I see that wearing the hijab during these times is the biggest and greatest Jihad.
First thing, the excuse of "it's the intention that matters" is used way to often in the wrong context. Yes, we see a lot of hadith (Traditions) from the Prophet emphasizing on the importance of intentions. A quick example that I see a lot is Muslimahat not wearing the hijab and saying, "I don't wear the Hijab because I have the intention to obey Allah (God) and dress modestly." What's wrong with this picture? Action and intentions are intertwined- so to say one has the intention of being modest but without the action, which is actually wearing the Hijab, what is the point here? Another example is one who says "I pray to Allah in my heart." We all know the 5 prayers are extremely important in Islam, isn't that contradicting the intention without acting upon it? This doesn't mean to act on one's intention you must announce it to the world, no. It's common sense; action is the support to one's intention. Let's relate this to school – I have an exam the next day I make the intention to study that night, but instead I decide to go out with friends. So tell me, am I going to fail or pass this test?
Another point I want to mention is that we humans love to omit things we don't want to follow. Islam is not just a religion it is a way of life, and we all have our own ways in perusing that, although we have to be sensible and realistic on how to do so. To follow only part of the Quran and ignore the rest is advantageous. Let me give an example here, if it was okay to choose what we want to follow than Prophet Mohammed would have chosen ways that would've pleased the people of Mecca, he would've skewed some rulings of Allah to benefit himself. In that case though, we know The Prophet is perfect and would have never done that. So, here's a real world example: I am a Muslim and I am invited to a party, but one of the requirements is to bring an alcoholic drink. We know in Islam its haram to purchase such beverages, but I am just bringing the bottle; I won't be drinking. I'm buying the drink ignoring the fact that it's haram, but not drinking, because it's haram to consume it. What do I get from it, probably a pat on the back and acceptance? Is it really worth the sin?
Let's be honest here, The Holy Quran is not an easy text. One must know Arabic to study The Quran. Other important factors are: Know the history of the Surah or Ayah, who it was sent down to, and why? I can't just look at an ayah and make my own translation. It just doesn't work that way, there's a reason to every word mentioned in the Quran. We are creating our own Deen here, with adjusting the rules to fit our lifestyles, to please people and gain acceptance. As Muslims we're different, whether one wants to believe it or not.
Allah is by far the most merciful and just. For example someone is arrested for murder and in front of the judge all of the evidence are clear that he was the one to commit the act, so the judge will most likely do what is just according to his books of code and rules. It's the same with Allah, when we face our Master he will look at our actions and try us according to his book. Did we break the rule? How much of it? And what is the most fair punishment or reward. Just because we say Allah will punish one doesn't mean he isn't merciful, he is being fair.
Now to end my rambling, I am not telling anyone to go change their life, worship and act as one pleases but we must use our minds and really see if what we're doing is right. I am just putting out the facts, that we humans love to change and alter things so we feel better about ourselves, to cover the wrong and replace it with "I think it's okay" well what we think is okay, The Quran most certainly doesn't say it's okay, and like I said The Holy Book is a guide and a way of life that we should try to follow as close as possible, and before we do-we must understand it. Lastly I saw a comment on the blog saying "…The future Islam deserves" By God if the future of Islam consists of altering the words of The Quran, doing everything that goes against it, we will have no Islam. We need to set a better example for our younger sisters, we need to show them how to be strong, how we can all observe the hijab properly here in the West according to our teachings and not to be afraid. Let's educate our young sisters that the examples we need to look up to are Fatima Al-Zahra and Sayeda Zainab, how they observed their Hijab and modesty, and how they practiced Islam. We're individuals and have our own minds, but no matter what, we need to look up to someone, so let's choose wisely.
May Allah Guide us all to the right path.