Copyright © 2003-2011, Aishah Schwartz. Permission granted to circulate among private individuals, groups, or in not-for-profit publications in full text and subject title. All other rights reserved.

November 24, 2005

Just a Rant...and Co-Rant...on The "H" Word

Assalamu Alaikum! I found an article today that will be inserted under my opening comments that neatly summed up for me exactly why I resist posting material on the subject of hijab. (Okay, I did post one...) You see, in addition to the comments made in the article, what we have to realize is that we cannot cram Islam down the throats of those exploring or coming into it, or those who have lived in Muslim families but are just coming to a point in their own lives, where they have decided for themselves to truly embrace and begin to practice their religion. There is not a single one of us on the planet that is on the same level of development in their deen. Not a single one! And when we engage in arguments over-who-is-right-or-wrong-and-who's-idea-of-whoever's-interpretation-of-whatever-proof-they-want-to-present-is-the-only-one-we-should-follow... Astafurgallah al-azeem! Are we really helping or pushing away the sisters that are seeking guidance? Some reverts take hijab (in whatever form is for them at the time) on the very same day that they make their Shahada, and some sisters never wear it a day in their lives! Does that mean one is right and one is wrong, or that one is going to the Paradise and one is going to the hellfire? Who are we to say!?! Only Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala knows!!! Do you realize that even in Egypt it was not so long ago that the percentage of women wearing hijab was so small that it was more common to not see it than to see it!?!? In Egypt today, Al-hamdulillah, it is clearly evident that the people are seeking a return to Islam, and hijab is everywhere, in every shape, style and color. Al-hamdulillah! I, for one, see this as a great progress! And yes, one may wear it with jeans, and one may wear it with a skirt, and one may wear it in jelbab and one may wear it with an abaya...BUT ALLAH SUBHANAHAU WA TA'ALA IS THE ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS OUR INTENTION!!! We must remember this first and foremost in our discussions, manners, and above all before we dare to spare one mili-second in judgment of another! As Muslims striving to perfect our deen we are all at different levels in our growth, so who are we to bemoan that this sister is wearing hijab one way, and that sister is wearing hijab another way, and that sister is not wearing it at all, and thereby judging that they are wrong just because they are not living up to our expectations in compliying with the multitude of varying interpretations of how we are to practice every single known facet of the religion??? Imagine how overwhelming this is to the new Muslimah?!?!? Al-hamdulillah that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala is All-Knowing, Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful, Most Generous and Most Patient...just to name a few of the 99 different adjectives attributed to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala!

Food for thought: The Qur'an is a Message from Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala to humanity. It was transmitted to us in a chain starting from the Almighty Himself (swt) to the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad (saas). It took 23 years (610 CE to 622 CE) to complete the revelation of the Qur'an; this in and of itself, is a perfect example of how long we might consider it could possibly begin to take for a revert or person just beginning to embrace Islam from his/her heart to fully develop in the deen! But honestly? Perfecting our deen is a lifelong process if you really think about it.

So imagine the revert who is bombarded in his/her first days, weeks, months, the first year...by brothers and sisters telling them, you have to do this, and you have to do that...and all now! Imgaine if we truly knew the rate at which Islam loses reverts because of this bombardment of information and demands?!?!

We need to step back sometimes and consider at what point our discussions and arguments are doing more harm than good; bottom line.

And that's the end of my rant...I'll turn it over now to the sister who wrote the blog post from Living Tradition. Outside of what I just said, what she said wraps it up pretty tight. (continued here) Copyright © 2005 Aishah Schwartz Permission is granted to circulate among private individuals and groups, to post on Internet sites and to publish in full text and subject title in not-for-profit publications. Contact author for all other rights, which are reserved.

6 comments:

  1. Asalaamu alaikum,
    I appreciated both opinions here on the subject of hijab. It is indeed an overargued and overemphasised topic. It is also true that many other far more important issues are forgotten due to focus on the veil. So, mostly I am in agreeance with you. Just a small criticism however.... despite both Aishah and the other sister saying that they do not want to comment on the validity of hijab - both are most clearly pro-hijab in their writing, and both add in that they believe that hijab is the will of Allah. So, in effect, both comments will still be inflammatory to those who may not believe that hijab is the right path.
    Wa'salaam
    Aisha (australia)

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  2. Wa'Alaikum Assalamu wa Rahmatuallahi wa Barakatuhu!

    Wallahi, Habibti, it is true! I have even just today thought of you and it has been my intention to reply to your last email...it is true!

    And as I was about to sign off for the THIRD time tonight, yet another thing kept me at my keyboard! *LOL* As I had to stop and jot a note to you.

    I pray you and your family are well and thriving and that work isn't wearing you down! Ameen!

    I wanted to thank you for making me smile at a moment when, wallahi, I was wiping tears from my eyes...but they weren't sad tears...Al-hamdulillah. I have been working the past two days with another sister to help bring a new Shahada to Islam! Allah Akbar! So now I am sharing it with you! Isn't Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala just amazing!

    I love you for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala...and I hope you love me, too, inflammatory remarks and all...*wink*

    Love and hugs!

    Ma'Salaama,
    ~Aishah

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  3. Assalam alaikum...
    Really well put! It is nice to see a post like this. The fact of Hijab is important but should not be put ahead of Salah, or charity.

    "do you think that Allah subhanau wa ta'ala is sitting above us with his hand on his chin, shaking his head back and forth and bemoaning the fact that this sister is wearing hijab one way, and that sister is wearing hijab another way, and that sister is not wearing it at all? "
    I like that comment... we cannot ever know what our judgement will be and only Allah subhanau wa ta'ala knows what our intentions are... definately have to tread carefully when discussing these issues you never know who you may influence in your talks...both negatively and postively!

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  4. Assalamu Alaikum,

    This post was edited on November 27, 2005 to remove the quoted (in italics) portion of the article that Sister Aalya referred to above. Not that I didn't appreciate your comments Ukht! On the contrary, it was nice to hear from you! But in order to avoid any appearance of "shirk" I thought it best to rephrase the paragraph. Allahu Alam.

    Ma'Salaama,
    ~Aishah

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  5. As salamu'alaykum sis,

    I just found your blog randomly, very interesting and inspirational masha'Allah.

    Your sis

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  6. Dearest Aalya,

    I received your email expressing concern about the quoted section that had been previously inserted in the article. I didn't know how to reach you any other way, so I am hoping you might revisit to check the comments.

    Please, you did nothing in error, dear sister. Actually, when you quoted the exact phrase from story that I went back and re-wrote, it was a Good Thing! Because the comment and my subsequent comment allowed for anyone else who might have read the article before to know and understand the reason why I felt it necessary to make an adjustment to the paragraph.

    So you see, you did nothing or said nothing wrong Habibti...in reality you were actually very helpful, sa?

    I love you for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. If you have Yahoo Messenger you may find me as eyeonjannah. I hope to hear from you, insha'Allah.

    Ma'Salaama.

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