Monday, 3 February 2014

I Am Taking My Hijab Off... Really?

Asalam Waliykum,

Have you come across these questions before? Perhaps you were the one asking them?

Q: Should I remove my hijab because of harassment after 9/11?
Q: Someone bullied me at school after the July 7th attacks, am I allowed to remove my hijab?
Q: I was attacked while walking to the shops because of my hijab, can I take it off?
Q: People verbally abuse me when they see me in the streets, I feel scared, can I take my hijab off?
Q: I can't get a promotion in my job because of my hijab, can I remove it?
Q: No one will employ me because I wear the jilbab/hijab, should I take it off for the interviews and then try wear it after?
Q: Can I alter the idea of hijab to suit my environment, so maybe a turban and keep my clothes modest?
Q: I am not allowed to wear hijab at my school what should I do, am I allowed to take it off?
These are the questions I have been asked and ones I have seen asked to many sheikhs and imams. More and more women who practice hijab externally are asking if they can remove it for any given reason.
Before any sheikh can issue any fatwa, each case needs to be looked at individually. So just because a certain sheikh issued one sister a fatwa then it does not mean it applies to everyone else. If any of you are wanting to know then I can only direct you to ask your local Shiekh, contact Islam Q&A that can issue a fatwa online they are peer reviewed, if in the UK also go to the Sharia Council in London. Other then that no one else can judge your individual case and give you a fatwa, especially those who are not qualified at all.

Above all, we need to help ourselves and not become a nation that is dependent on others, we should look for ourselves into the lives of the women during the time of the Prophet SAW and the golden ages of Islam to find the answers.
I have gone through nearly all these things myself, I have been abused because of my hijab, refused work, refused education, refused basic human rights, refused respect and dignity, lost friends (Muslim and Non Muslim), I have had to walk home from work and listen to people threaten to abuse me and hurt me and even rape me. The most recent event that I remember is walking home from work, past a few young chavy boys, one proceeded to pick up a piece of wood from a fence and threatened to beat me with it. So yes, I have had my fair share, I have been there, I have been scared, returning to my home shaken up and emotional.

But are we at the stage where we are living in fear every waken hour? Has it gotten to a stage that we are not safe in our own homes. Lets be realistic, this may happen as a one off for some, or like me a little more often. But in general it is not a daily occurrence,  and not an hourly occurrence. It is not to the point that I am being oppressed beyond imagination that I am not able to live or function at all. Are we at the stage where Sumayyah bint Khabat (RA), was tied up and tortured for days and then killed for her faith in Allah?? Are we really experiencing that in our lives? 99% of us no, and let me make this clear I am speaking of sisters in the USA and Western Europe. Alhamdulillah we are not even experiencing 1% of what the early generation of Muslims had to go through and what we see happening to the ummah in the middle east and Asia. today
We need to look at how the pious and most devoted to Allah dealt with the oppression, that is why we need to revisit the hadiths and the historical books on the lives of the early generation of Muslims often. They are not some nice fairy tales that we read at bed time. The stories of these people are relevant for us today.

Most of these incidents that we sisters experience are one offs, and the few perpetrators are foolish and uneducated extremists. Yes the ordeal can be frightening and it can have a detrimental affect on us, because we are used to an easy life with no worries, no fear of poverty no fear of oppression and we are more then often then not, free to practice Islam without fear. So when something like this happens it feels like the worst thing ever. But when we put things into perspective we realise that firstly and MOST importantly, this is only a test from Allah. Will our iman be shaken from something like this? Will we disown our Hijab, or honour for some low lives?? Is our deen determined on the actions of a few? Therefore, why do we wear hijab and follow Islam, to please the people or for Allah?
I know one sister who reluctantly wore hijab to start with, and the first sign of trouble she was quick to remove it. This can only reflect the true nature of a person, the foundations were never there to begin with and they are willing to give up their hijab, any excuse will do. Without a strong foundation and strong conviction of love and respect for Allah how can we expect to withstand any test, just as the person who builds his home on sand. In many cases we need to revaluate our deen, the very basics and essence of the shahada.
What was rather alarming and upsetting for me, was that one young sister asked a certain You tuber "Shaykha" and I use that term in a sarcastic manner, her school does not allow hijab what should she do? The sister answering is not a sheikh, not an alim and is hardly practicing herself yet she told the young girl that it is ok to remove it if the school says so, and that she should look at other ways to be modest and the headscarf is not the only thing hijab is about. Astagfirallah, I watched in horror and in utter shock. Who gave this "shaykha" the authority to give such an answer, on who's authority I ask???!!! Instead of directing the young sister to a proper sheikh, given her a number to call for her mosque etc, she decided to issue a fatwa herself!!! O_o

We have to remember that hijab is an obligation and that Allaah has enjoined on the Muslim woman, which is proven in the Qur’aan and the saheeh Sunnah, and the ummah is agreed upon it despite the differences in their madhhabs and schools of thought. No madhhab has deviated from this view, and no faqeeh has gone against it, and this is what the practice of the ummah has been throughout the centuries. Allaah says in the Quran:
“O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allaah is Ever Oft‑Forgiving, Most Merciful”
[al-Ahzaab 33:59] 
“and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment”
[al-Noor 24:31] 

I personally have come across issues like this, where I have had to choose my hijab over an amazing job. And I know if I was ever in that predicament of that young sister, I would firstly kick up a fuss, make the school aware I am not happy to comply, get parents involved, get the media involved, seek legal advice. If all else failed and nothing worked I would remove myself personally from that school and attend another school or opt for home schooling. That is me, because I am devotedly passionate about my hijab and very defensive about it, it is part of me, part of my identity as a Muslimah. No job, no education can ever make me remove my jilbab, no amount of money. In Sha Allah I pray Allah makes us all have that mentality and love for hijab too, because that is how we should be. When the Ansari women heard of the ayat concerning hijab they wasted no time to implement it and that is how we should aim to be, In Sha Allah. Just as passionate about implementing the Quran into our lives and love for the hijab.
Another point I would like to raise is related to my previous post here Modern Day Traps- Sisters on the go or stay at home? That if times do get difficult then we need to see what we can do to ensure our safety, for example going out only for necessity, having a mahram with us and the obvious not traveling alone at night. There is a Fatwa and further explanation on this matter on Islam Q&A given us examples of what to do and what steps to take Islam Q&A.
Again, I stress if you have certain questions then direct them to the appropriate people. I can give my opinion based on my Islamic knowledge that I have, BUT, always check with a sheikh or scholar! Never turn to anyone for a fatwa especially some non practicing You Tubers who are 'Hijabistas' or 'Fashionistas'. They are the wrong kinda people you want to be consulting with when it comes to matters of the deen.

Jazaka Allah khier for reading, What goodness is in this post is from Allah and anything that I have said is wrong is from myself. I hope this can be of benefit to some sisters, and if you know this will help someone then you are free to share.

Wasalam -x-