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LANALLAH __Islamic BlogZine__
Sunday, October 10, 2004

Why I choose to be ‘Undercover’...

p.s a long article but please do take the time off to read it as it contains may jewels of wisdom from 'the horses mouth' as we would say.Our message to the world - In the words of Dawud Wharnsby Ali :

--> They say, "Oh, poor girl, you're so beautiful you know
It's a shame that you cover up your beauty so."
She just smiles and graciously responds reassuringly,
"This beauty that I have is just one simple part of me.
This body that I have, no stranger has the right to see.
These long clothes, this shawl I wear, ensure my modesty.
Faith is more essential than fashion, wouldn't you agree?

This hijab,
This mark of piety,
Is an act of faith, a symbol,
For all the world to see.
A simple cloth, to protect her dignity.
So lift the veil from your heart to see the heart of purity.

They tell her, "Girl, don't you know this is the West and you are free?
You don't need to be opressed, ashamed of your femininity."
She just shakes her head and she speaks so assuredly,

"See the bill-boards and the magazines that line the check-out isles, with their phony painted faces and their air-brushed smiles?
Well their sheer clothes and low cut gowns are really not for me.
You call it freedom, I call it anarchy."

This hijab,
This mark of piety,
Is an act of faith, a symbol,
For all the world to see.
A simple cloth, to protect her dignity.
So lift the veil from your heart to see the heart of purity.
Lift the veil from your heart and seek the heart of purity. <--

To all those considering going into Hijab or Niqab , Alhumdulillah your thoughts are facing in the right direction.Take the first step and Allah will assist you.We don't know when our time in this world will be up.

To all those Muslimahs who wear the Hijaab and Niqab even though people may look down on you or taunt you , we salute you!Lets keep the flag of Islam flying high!

Why I choose to be ‘Undercover’...
By Binte Abdul Khaliq

“Excuse me,I’m just curious , why do you wear that?” I stopped in mid-turn and faced the lady at the cellphone counter at Woolworths. ‘THAT’ of course referring to my Niqab. For a second I was caught off-guard.I have been asked this question many times before by non-muslims. “Its for protection..” I mananged to stumble out.Inwardly I gave myself a little shake-you can do better than that! That must have sounded so lame! So I used the example of a jewel and pointed out that something so valuable wouldn’t be just left out for all to see,you would cover it up to protect it.She nodded her head as if she understood and I knew what was coming next.. “ Do you have to wear it because you are married?” I told her no,I’m not married and both her eyebrows shot up. “So how are you going to get married??” If I had to compile a FAQ,this would be one of them.I explained it to her. “But you might be hiding a lot of beauty under there?”she quipped.
“But that’s the point!” I told her. “I don’t want to be judged by my LOOKS,I want to be judged by WHO I AM.” When I left her she seemed to understand.At least I hope she did.

This incident once again reminded me how misunderstood Islam is,especially about why we Muslim females have to cover up.It is seen as a stigma of oppression.Forced on us by our oppressive husbands who wish to impede us from being liberated…

What IS the ‘liberation’ of woman all about? We hear it all the time: Woman need to be ‘free’. They need to release themselves from the cruelty of ‘oppression’. But what is the yardstick for deciding whether a female is oppressed or not? You cannot judge something if there is no standard to judge by.In today’s western societies, this yardstick very much seems to be the length of a woman’s skirt…The sister who is covered under the Burqa in Afghanistan in ‘oppressed’,but the one who poses naked for millions to see is tasting the fruits of ‘liberation’? It makes me sick! If that is freedom,then it comes at a cost,and that cost is her Haya! Her Modesty.

Narrated Abu Huraira (R.A)
The Prophet said, "Faith (Belief) consists of more than sixty branches.And Haya is a part of faith."

Hazrat Abu Hurairah narrates that the Holy Prophet (SWAS) said, “Modesty is part of Imaan and Imaan is in paradise and obscenity is part of hard-heartiness is in hell."(Ahmad, Tirmizi )

"Verily! Allah is Hayaa (modest, bashful) & Sitteer (i.e. the One Who Shields - from disobedient acts). He loves Hayaa (i.e. He loves for one to practice modesty and bashfulness) and Siter (shielding; covering)." [Collected by Abu Dawud; An-Nissa’ee; Al-Baihaqee; Ahmad; & in Saheeh An-Nissa’ee]

Hazrat Ibn Mas'ood reports that the Holy Prophet said, "Verily, amongst the words people have obtained from the sayings of the past prophets is that when you are immodest (unashamed) then do whatever you desire."(Ibn Majah)

Women are sacred in Islam. The amount of respect that Islam accords to us females, would turn a woman of any other faith green with envy,if she only understood what respect meant.That leads us to the question: What is respect? To receive respect we have to respect ourselves.We have to value this body of ours that ALLAH has blessed us with.We have to realize that we aren’t cheap playthings for any male to gaze at .We are worth much more than that.

I feel inferior when I am judged by my looks, the type of clothing that I wear, the amount of skin that I am showing off. Infact, I feel down right oppressed when judged by those standards! The woman who feels that to feel respected,she needs to live up to the disgusting standards of the west-is actually a slave.She has no freedom.She is trapped in this cruel prison of insecurities,of demoralization ,of unsatisfaction.She loses her self respect by constantly putting herself down and comparing herself to others.And yet she tries , desperate to be noticed-to feel RESPECTED.

Let us use the illustration of a beautiful bird, which boasts exquisite feathers but it’s internal organs are not in order ,it would die.On the other hand, if it’s inner body was perfect but externally it had no feathers or wings it would not survive either. Similarly, total spiritual perfection cannot be complete by just the inner or the outer purification alone.It goes hand in hand.It often happens that people think that their outer dress does not matter as long as ‘their heart is clean’.On the other extreme,it means nothing if a sister is dressed in full hijaab and niqaab if she is not protecting herself from impure thoughts and her inner self is corrupted.Again,it works hand in hand.

I know that it is not easy,living in western societies.We are bombarded by immorality at every turn.Open any magazine or newspaper-You will have to see it. Driving home and if your gaze happens to fall on the billboards surrounding you-you will have see to it.Innocently checking your e- mail,you will have to see it.Immorality stares us in the face. Subconciously we are being programmed. We are being told the way to dress.We are being told what makes a successful,liberated woman: looks,make-up,perfect figures and skimpy clothing. And the markets are BOOMING…we are falling into their traps,and some businessmen are out there rubbing their hands in glee!

Who are our role models? Hollywood and Bollywood stars? Supermodels? Kuffar who are paid millions to commit zina for all to see and enjoy.For that’s what it boils down to.If their looks were taken away,if they weren’t prepared to act so shamelessly ,if their natural,God given modesty came between them and their careers-They would be sacked faster than you can say they “Lights..camera..action!” and the next money hungry,beautiful woman would not hesitate to grab the opportunity at any cost and would do anything to please.It’s sad.

If I choose to cover myself,that does not make me weak.It strengthens my identity as a Muslim Woman and reminds me to be modest at all times.It protects me from many sins that otherwise I might have been tempted by shaaitaan to fall into. For example, I would not be seen dead near a Cinema or a nightclub or some other fitna-filled place while I am dressed in full Islamic attire. I don’t have to be suffering everyday by painfully spending hours of preening before I feel I am of a socially acceptable appearance. I don’t have to subject myself to undue stress since I have much more chance of escaping the swinging pendulum of the fashion industry and the desires of the male population. Islam has given me rights and it has given me rules.If I abide by them, I am promised a content,happy life in this temporary world and I am promised the unimaginable,uncomparable pleasure of the everlasting Akhirah.I am happy to be seen as a Muslim Woman who chooses to veil herself by choice. I am not oppressed and I am not uneducated but I am respected.I have been given freedom by my creator ALLAH TA’ALA who knows what is best for me and what will harm me,after all-HE created me.

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