Niqaab rant (whatever you want to call it)

Assalamualaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

My friend asked me this question yesterday which goes along this line – “How are you going to find a job with you wearing niqaab?”. Her question was actually less direct but that’s basically what she wanted to ask. I think this question is perhaps nothing new for niqaabi sisters eh?

Before making my decision to wear niqaab, I’ve thought a lot about this. Trying to find work in the future is inevitably going to be a challenge for me – no doubt – but the nagging question which remains is that, “Who is the one who actually provides for you and gives you sustenance? Isn’t Allah the one who gives you rizq?” So really, why do we worry so much about the future then and why do we treat it like as though we determine our own fate? I do not know what my future hold for me – heck, I don’t even know what will happen to me in the next 10 mins – but I put my trust in Him when I made this decision that Allah knows what’s best for me and He will guide me through it.

And then she gave a few scenarios on “what if you have to remove niqaab?”. The thing I don’t understand is that, why do people make a big fuss when a sister decides to remove niqaab like as though she is committing a huge sin? If she traded niqaab for tank tops and skinny jeans, then that’s something questionable but I think so as long as she remains properly covered then really, there is no issue. I told her that if I have to remove niqaab, then I’ll consider my circumstances. For example, if I desperately need to find a job to support my family then that’s darurat. Or even if my current university decides to have a new rule that niqaab is not allowed (actually, niqaab isn’t allowed but there are many niqaabis here so I reckon it’ll be a big issue if they try to implement such a ruling), I’ll try to find ways around it and if I can’t, I would probably comply to it. Niqaab is a sunnah to me and if circumstances do not allow, then I’ll weigh my options first and remove it if I have to . For example, Niqaab vs Education – Seeking ilm is wajib so in circumstances like this, I’ll probably not keep my niqaab..but allahu alam.

There are three things which I want to point out from the above rant:

1) When you want to make a decision (i.e wear hijaab, have a beard etc) to do a Sunnah for example, don’t let your “what ifs” keep you from doing them. Put your trust in Him fully, and that whatever happens in the future, Allah will guide you to what is best.

2) We plan for the future but we should live like we will not see tomorrow. Again, when we think about the future, we wonder if this good deed that we are planning to do, will be an obstacle for us to find a job etc. Well, who guarantees you the future? And who can guarantee that you will see the end of today? If you have the means to do this good deed now, then rush towards it because you might not have the chance to do it tomorrow.

3) Our lives should not revolve around worldly matters only but we should far-sighted in making decisions. I saw this term “Be jannah-focused” and I think that basically encapsulates my third point. Like for example, a few people asked me how I was going to eat with niqaab on. I mean like, why are we so concerned about food etc when those are just minor things in life. The question should be – how does wearing niqaab gets you to Jannah? So let’s be more focused on that goal and not let the smaller things in life obstruct it.

There. Finally I let it out of my chest!


A personal take on the recent events..

Assalamualaikom wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

Most of us would have read in the news that the derogatory movie about our beloved Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam which led to many protests and also unfortunate deaths. If there’s one lesson we never fully learn throughout history is that how we react to such insults never result in a positive outcome. Why? I don’t remember a time where we actually responded in any way other than through protests and carrying equally insulting slogans during demonstrations. The result? Casualties, lives were lost and yet the issue is not still resolved.

Riots and violent protests are contrary to the teachings of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam. We want others to hear our voices but how can anyone use fire against fire? I received an email about how the protests that took place in Sydney would further cause more disruption and chaos instead of educating the public about the true teachings of Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam. The protests were supposed to be a peaceful one but with inflammatory slogans such ‘behead those who insults Prophet’ do not exactly spell out ‘peace’. The sister said that when survey was done amongst the youth, majority of them have not even seen the movie and yet their response was emotional rather than a rational one. And this made me think about how we are quick to react to insults by non-Muslims but when we see another Muslim doing haraam, skipping their obligations, we close an eye to it. We choose to ignore when it is a greater insult to Islam that we are not performing our duties as Muslims rather than insults by ignorants who lack knowledge of Islam. It’s not that Muslims should be accepting of derogatory comments made against our beloved Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam but we should know where our priorities lie. An article which I came across recently mentioned that it is usually those who rarely support da’wah work, or being involved in Masjid/community events are the first to spring to action when there is an insult against Islam.

What exactly are our priorities? Is it important that we retaliate violently when someone mocks our Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam as compared to speaking up on the current issues that our Ummah is facing? Refer to Suraah Anbiya’: Allah SWT speaks about Prophets being mocked for generations – this was not something recent but in fact has occurred centuries ago. Yet, this remains true even in our times. Yes, we stand up to defend him but we must not forget that no matter how these haters try to defame his name, they will not succeed. Like the 9/11 incident, it compelled others to study about Islam and eventually becoming Muslims when the irony is that, the perpetrators are supposed to be Muslims. The same could happen if we remain patient in times like  this and respond to it tastefully. There are other issues that our Ummah need to address and can be rectified but yet we choose to remain silent – domestic abuse, issues faced by teenagers, the practise of cultural traditions that contradict religious customs, oppression faced by our brothers and sisters around the world and the list is endless.

The killing of US official and casualties caused only taint the image of Islam and reinforces the perceptions of non-Muslims that violence is part of our beautiful Deen. I remind myself and all of you that Allah SWT has commanded us in the Qur’an to ‘invite others with beautiful preaching’ and that ‘if you find those insulting your religion to leave them immediately’ or say ‘salaam’ (peace) and walk away. Ask yourself if how you are responding is in accordance to the teachings of Islam.

In response to the movie, a sister I know created an event to raise awareness and shared about Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam. They gave out flowers to the audience during the event as well. I can’t say how impressed I was to see such a beautiful initiative being carried out. We need more creative ways like this to give da’wah (also like how iera did theirs during the Olympics) and channel our energy towards something which can benefit others. In the end, when we handle such insults in a rational manner, the tables are turned against these haters themselves.

“Compromise after marriage..”

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

One good advice which I read online recently is that: Don’t compromise before marriage; Compromise after

I think this advice is quite important to take note of especially when you are looking to get married. You might already be sure of the things you want in a marriage but when you are going through ta’aruf, sometimes you might not realize that you are compromising too much at the expense of your own happiness.

Say for example, you enjoy attending dars at masjid; perhaps that is the best class to learn Aqeedah and at the same time, it’s a golden opportunity to bond with other sisters. But the prospective spouse prefers that you remain within the confines of your home to learn the Deen instead. Being ladies, I think we are a bit too soft sometimes and when we negotiate, we might end up agreeing to his requirements which are may not be parallel to yours. To some extent, some of us might even mould our expectations of marriage around his. I’m not suggesting that we become stubborn in our decisions and refuse to allow minor differences. Instead if you view something as important in the marriage (in this case, learning your Deen at masjid) you are looking for, then stay firm on it. Marriage should not be a one sided agreement – merely accepting his requirements and dismissing yours! The husband and wife should be complementary to one another; both sharing the same goals and aspirations rather than the goals of one person.

Allahu Alam

Your thoughts?

Bridge over Wadi

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

If you enjoy watching documentaries about the social and political situation in Palestine, this video might be of interest to you. I came across this documentary about Arab and Jewish children attending a bilingual school together somewhere in Palestine. Despite their intentions to integrate both Arabs and Jews, they  are faced with obstacles in trying to establish the schools itself. Teachers find themselves trying to impose their values and beliefs upon the children and this in turn has caused an uproar amongst parents themselves.

Personally, I find the initiative to set up such a school is a platform to understanding one another better; A small step towards social cohesion between Arabs and Jews. But I don’t necessarily agree that they should celebrate each other religious festivities just to promote a mutual understanding between one another. Social cohesion is through accepting each other’s differences, not necessarily a need to participate in the festivities.

Think about this: How do you reconcile two different races that have histories stained with each other’s blood in a single environment? Do you reckon this will work?

Haha, I hope I’m not boring anyone.. If you enjoy watching documentaries like I do, check this youtube page out: Journeyman Pictures

Videos on the niqaab ban.

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh,

The first two videos are interviews of two sisters on the niqaab issue in France by different television channels – BBC and Ten (an Australian channel). I presume that most of us would have seen the debate between Srs. Hebah Ahmed and Mona Elthaway on CNN. For some annoying reason, Facebook deleted the video from my wall and I couldn’t find it on another sister’s wall too. [on a sidenote, please be more aware of what you write/share on Facebook. It is starting to creep me out after a recent incident]

Please watch the last video especially [there’s music]…Honestly, I don’t know what to make of it.

I know this is a satire to ‘ridicule the hatred of some and gain some inspiration of it’ as stated by them but do you think it can possibly be misconstrued as making a mockery out of the niqaab? What are your thoughts on this? Please share because I’m very curious 🙂

My thoughts on niqaab ban

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh,

As most of you already know, the niqaab/burqa ban took effect last Monday. I’ve been reading posts by sisters and brothers alike who expressed their outrage over such ban so basically, there isn’t much to add. Sister Fatimah who spoke in the video encapsulates important points of what this ban signifies.

What disgusts me the most would probably be feminist groups who are supposedly ’emancipating’ Muslim women from being ‘forced’ into wearing niqaab/burqa but unfortunately, they choose to close an eye when it comes to subjugation of women in many aspects of our society. They are fighting for a lost cause as Muslim women were given their rights more than 1,400 ago Allahu Akbar!

And since more niqaabi sisters are speaking out on niqaab being their personal choice , feminist groups are now changing their tactics and are instead fighting for the health of niqaabislack of Vitamin D as a result of little exposure to the sun! Subhan Allah! Let’s see what other excuses they can come up with under the guise to ‘free Muslim women’..

However, as much as we criticize those who oppose our Islamic beliefs and values, should we not reflect on the state of our Ummah and how it has played a role in the downfall of Islam? A lecture I watched recently mentioned that how can Allah give us Izzah or Honour when we have not completed part of our contract ? We want Allah to grant us victory and yet as Muslims, we forsake our obligations and instead transgress His laws. We call ourselves Muslims but our actions very much reflect those from Jahiliyyah.

As an Ummah, we are weak in face of oppression against these tyrants. We pride ourselves for being the fastest growing religion, however what percentage is actually out there fighting for the rights of Muslims? But worse, how many of those who claim to be Muslims but are in fighting against the rights of Muslims? This niqaab ban would have probably not been plausible if our own Muslims had not been supporting it in the first place! In an article which I came across by an Imaam from a leading University, he explicitly derided the niqaab as being a ‘cultural monstrosity’ and ‘the product of male chauvinism’. Surely, someone of his calibre would at least have some knowledge of Islam to understand that niqaab was worn by the Best of Women! And in fact there are more of such Muslims who are vehemently fighting for the niqaab ban.

In the Qur’an, Allah swt says:

“Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls)” (13: 11)

How can the Ummah be victorious if we are still very divided, or that those living amongst us have a disease in their hearts? Our Ummah will constantly be humiliated by these tyrants unless change begins within ourselves before He can grant us success in this Dunya. The kufaars will constantly force their way of life and beliefs upon us unless each and every one of us embrace this Deen fully. No matter how we much we compromise our Islam to please them, they will never be pleased until we leave the religion.

p/s/ I wrote this after my Mid sems so if some points don’t connect, you know why 🙂

‘Burnout’: Part 3

We can look to the lives of Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam and his companions as they are countless examples on how they gave Da’wah. They were not always ‘soft’ in their approach but it was all depending on what situation they were in. How you give da’wah to others should be the same way as how you want others to give da’wah to you.

I’ve always admired a particular ustadh’s way of giving da’wah. Although it was a Fiqh class, he would carefully list out the daleels from different Imaams, discussed it throughly before coming to a conclusion. He doesn’t immediately say ‘This and that is haraam‘ but allow us to reason and understand fully before saying, ‘This particular issue is preferable over another‘. Subhan Allah!

Before I end this extremely long post, I would like to point out that not I am not making a collective judgement against those who adhere to the Creed of Salaf as Salih as not everyone behaves in this manner. It is only reflective of those whom I have come across and personally interacted with.

As for the title ‘Burnout’ – I am slightly feeling the ‘Salafi Burnout’ as the sister has noted but that does not mean that I’ve stopped learning according to Qur’an and Sunnah, or have left Islam nauzubillah! I’m prioritising my time learning the Deen through lectures and articles, and lesser through people insha Allah.

Lastly, as always – this is a reminder for me first before any of you. Sometimes, I do forget that I can be harsh but this will be a reminder for me that I should always strive to follow the Qur’an and Sunnah closely from their understanding of the Deen down to their speech and behaviour insha Allah.

An article to share with all of you here (it’s in my language but you can try translate it insha Allah)