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Viewed from within the Veil (Part Two)

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Last Updated on Saturday, 01 April 2017 08:58

The Fourth Step

The number of Muslims in Japan are few and are therefore seldom seen. Yet the response of the Japanese to my white khimaar was encouraging. I encountered neither rejection nor mockery. People assumed that I belonged to a religion, but they did not know which one. I overheard a young girl whispering to her friend that I was a Buddhist nun. Once, on a visit to Paris, I was in the same subway car with a Catholic nun. The Catholic nun’s covering and veil is a symbol of her devotion to God, and Christians respect and recognize her for this. Likewise, the hijaab is a symbol of devotion for every Muslim woman. I wonder why people who respect the nun’s covering criticize the hijaab of a Muslim, considering it instead a symbol of extremism or oppression!

Read more: Viewed from within the Veil (Part Two)

   

Viewed from within the Veil (Part One)

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Last Updated on Thursday, 30 March 2017 15:49

The following is a Japanese woman’s account of her journey to Islam. She explains, in detail, the various phases that she went through as a new Muslimah and the various misunderstandings that she initially had regarding the position of hijaab and niqaab in Islam. From a simple headscarf, she progressed until she was covered from head to toe, embracing hijaab and niqaab in its entirety.

In the beginning of the 1990’s, when I embraced Islam in France, the controversy surrounding the wearing of hijaab in school was an extremely heated issue. The French were faced with economic problems which had resulted in high unemployment and social insecurity. This was predominantly felt in the big cities. The immigrant population, especially from Muslim countries, was seen as one of the causes of unemployment. The sight of hijaab in their towns and schools aggravated already negative attitudes towards Muslims. The majority of people thought that allowing students to wear hijaab was against the public education system’s principle of neutrality on religion. I had not yet become a Muslim, and I did not understand why the schools were so concerned over a mere piece of cloth worn on a student’s head. Observing the hijaab from the outside, I also did not understand its significance to Muslims. But I considered that in maintaining neutrality in matters of religion, the schools should still respect a student’s beliefs and his performance of religious duties. As long as this expression did not disturb the school’s discipline, it should not be prohibited.

Read more: Viewed from within the Veil (Part One)

   

‘Handed’ the Hijaab

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Last Updated on Monday, 09 January 2017 14:05

A young Muslim girl from a gulf country recounts the incident that lead to her entering hijaab. She said:

How I adored “tabarruj” (displaying one’s beauty in public)! I would follow the latest trends and fashions of abaayas (the ones which attracted attention with their colours and shapes). My opinion of the Islamic abaaya (the loose one which covers the body properly) was that it was just made for the old fashioned poor girls!

One day, I went out with a group of my friends to the mall. I went out as usual, applying full make up to my face, perfumed and wearing an attractive abaaya. When a sister saw me in the mall, she came to me and advised me, in front of my friends, to wear the proper hijaab so that Allah Ta‘ala would not punish me in the Aakhirah.

Read more: ‘Handed’ the Hijaab

   

Guided to the Garb of Niqaab

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 December 2016 08:50

Back in the 80’s, ever since I was a young girl, I always admired the very few women I saw in niqaab. The noor of their garb made them outshine all other women. I didn’t know that it was an obligation on Muslim women, but in my heart, I knew that it was right and I was in love with it. As a little girl, I said to myself, “One day, I will cover myself.” But as I grew up, I had nobody to share this desire with. Hardly any of my family members or friends even wore a scarf full time. So I naturally wanted to “go with the flow”. My guilty conscience troubled me throughout my teenage years. “Nobody covers themselves up in this area,” I thought to myself, “What will they think of me?”

Finally, alhamdulillah, when I was eighteen years old, Allah Ta‘ala blessed me with hidaayat. My desire and dream was to go to university, but alhamdulillah, my father prevented me. I was distraught! All my years of hard schoolwork now in vain! Alhamdulillah, this sadness made me turn to Allah Ta‘ala and He chose for me to attend madrasah for a year. I was now in an environment with so many women that wore the niqaab that I couldn’t believe it! There were so many girls and women who were wearing the niqaab and alhamdulillah, at the age of just eighteen, I had realized the beauty of the niqaab. Allah Ta‘ala gave me the taufeeq (divine ability) to wear the niqaab and my childhood dream had now come true.

May Allah Ta‘ala bless Moulana Yunus Patel (rahimahullah) for inspiring me.

   

Going Against the Grain

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 December 2016 15:48

They would often call me a straight A-student, an over achiever, a walking brain, a genius; but it was not too long before the tides changed and I became rather low in their eyes, a waste of space and talent, an overall let-down and an absolute disappointment, merely because I went against the grain of society.

As I strode along the path of my schooling career, I considered various possibilities of furthering my studies... the opportunities were endless: engineering, medicine, architecture, teaching, etc. Like most students my age, I was still uncertain and awaited until my matric year to decide.

Read more: Going Against the Grain

   

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