Of dodgy men and hijaab

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

My mom came to visit me last week and over the weekend I sent her off to take the bus back home. We took this excruciatingly long journey to the bus port itself, and to make matters worse, the bus driver was constantly screaming curses at those who cut his way. Either he was busy with that, or his driving was atrocious. He would swerve from one lane to another and we could hear cars screeching to a halt behind us.

It was our first time taking this bus so we weren’t sure of the places it travelled to except that we knew we would alight at the last stop. We were in this area which I couldn’t forget because it made me feel like I was entirely in a different country. The place was filled with foreign men loitering around and the shops sold fake goods and god-knows-what-else. There was dirt everywhere. The buildings wer run down and had black patches on the otherwise white concrete walls. Two women walked down the street and I could see eyes immediately darted in their direction. My mom was immediately worried because I would have to travel back to school on my own after she departs.

It turns out that our stop was right after that area. Although we were some distance away, there were still these ‘dodgy’ characters hanging around. But I realized something – being in proper hijaab really deflects that unwanted attention from these people. I can’t help but notice that other women are being stared at even though they are not dressed provocatively.

For the first time in my life, I’ve never felt more safe in this hijaab. We hear comments by these ‘modernists’ and ‘feminists’ groups about women being oppressed in hijaab and that it does not serve any purpose. Ironically, even my professor who teaches me Islamic Jurisprudence this semester feels the same way about hijaab. His reason was that women are forced to wear it by men and that as a result of wearing it, we suffer from hair loss, headaches etc. Even though we gave him many ahadeeth about hijaab, he was still not convinced. To him, the word ‘juyubihinna‘ and ‘jalabeeb’ vaguely tells us to cover our hair but instead to cover our bosoms only.

The Qur’an may not have explicitly mentioned about hijaab but if we were to look into the reason why the ayaah was sent down and the ahadeeth that accompanies it, hijaab is indeed a command from Allah SWT to the believing women. Even if we do not understand the hikmah behind hijaab, as believers, we submit to His orders. We say ‘sami’na wa ata’na‘ (we listen and we obey) when Allah SWT commands us to do something. We don’t question except that we trust that He knows what is best for us. Think about this: Prophets Wives and the Sahabiyaat wore hijaab (in fact, niqaab). Don’t we want to emulate the Best of Women even in their dressing? Aren’t they our role models that we look up to from their akhlaq right down to the clothes they wear because we believe they are rightly guided? It wasn’t until yesterday that I felt extremely glad that Allah has ordered this obligation upon us. And I think to some extent, I understand that probably the hikmah is that this hijaab protects me from leering eyes of some of these men.

I reached home safely al-Hamdulillah. But not before shooting dirty stares at this man sitting in front of me who was checking out young girls in the bus. I had to control myself from swinging my hands in his face. SMACK!!!

Anyway, one good outcome that came out from doing research on hijaab, I came across articles that gave evidences on niqaab and I’ve never felt more convinced of it. It must have been years ago when I was doing research on niqaab! Teeheehee, I have this urge to tell my prof that thanks to him, niqaab sounds more appealing to me now 😛

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