4th Rabi-ul thani, 1437 Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem
Assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barkaatuhu dear sisters. Humility is an extremely beautiful thing just as arrogance is ugly. Some of us are born and bred with the humility attitude whilst some of us have to go through the humility learning process. Whatever be the case however, you must work at being humble because there is absolutely no reason you should be arrogant; you are just human and you are totally dependent on Allah azza wa jal. You are not self-sufficient, Allah azza wa jal is. Smiles!
A Beautiful and Inspiring Woman; Asmaa
Asmaa Hussein is one of the women on facebook who has for years inspired and still inspires me. She’s been tested and how she handles this test; deriving from it all kinds of great life lessons is amazing. And we pray that Allah azza wa jal will accept from her. Aameen Yaa Mujeeb.
So this woman runs a website entitled Rukaya’s Bookshelf for her very little girl, Rukaya. In one of her most awesome articles which I would recommend every lady to read; she makes some heart touching and profound statements and those statements are what I want to base this article on.
One Critical Lesson my Mum Taught Me
Even as a child, my mum made me understand this simple rule of life;
‘Know that there will always be that someone who needs whatever you have of material things a lot more than you do. If you think it is bad and you need something better, at least someone will be fully content to have that which you consider not good enough for you. And if you think it is perfect for you, even someone else would have loved to have it too. So therefore, sharing of our material things was completely worth it.’
When I had to be in the boarding house for months, mum gave out my clothes to those she knew needed them a lot more than me because she was hopeful that at least for the few weeks we usually spent on vacation, I could manage with a few items of clothing. And gradually, she taught me to understand why that was one of the most beautiful trait of humanity and then I fell in love with that also.
Campus and the Desire to Bridge the Hijabi – Non-Hijabi Gap
Back in the university, we wanted so badly to see that Muslim ladies did stuff together regardless of whether they are part of those in hijab or not. This is because we realise that it seemed those who did the hijab acted towards the non-hijabis with the ‘you don’t want to obey Allah’ attitude whilst the non-hijabis acted towards the hijabis with the ‘you the so called righteous ones’ attitude.
It got better along the way and I pray that the situation is best now. But that is the case of the Muslimah today. We are categorised variously. The major categorization being that some are observing the hijab whilst others are not. And when you come to the hijabis, you see all kinds of hijab; from the sexy to the funky to the boring to the simple, etc hijabis. Now the sexiness and funkiness and simpleness and boringness of the hijab is something we must all work on. The Hijab is a whole concept about which we must learn and do right. As we work on coming together as Hijabis and non-hijabis, there is one thing we must understand; there is absolutely no need for us to compete with one another in the hijab fashion world.
The Brand doesn’t Matter, the Concept Does
I grew up seeing my mom give out her clothes and ours to people who needed them. She would almost empty her wardrobe when she is giving away her clothes. Then she sticks to a few. Note; what she gives away aren’t old clothes but clothes she wears. She doesn’t give them away because she is going to sew a lot more; no, but because she believes others needed them too and since she could afford some more if she needed them, but to keep sharing.
Now, I see us the young Muslimahs of today getting almost obsessed with the material aspects of the Hijab concept. We care too much about fashion and class. We care too much about changing clothes every other day whilst we pack all the others in our wardrobe. We want to be seen in a new clothe at every gathering. The veils are countless, the shoes to match, the hijab pins to match and all the other accessories. No matter how expensive some kind of abaya is, we still want to have different colours of them or different types of them. Now, this quote from www.becomingminimalist.com is worth reflecting upon;
‘We are a society drowning in our possessions. People are looking for freedom and rescue. They are searching for new solutions. Those who adopt minimalist principles in their wardrobe choices are discovering more productivity, less stress, less distraction, less expense and more peace. We have no idea how much of a burden our possessions have become until we begin to remove them. But when we do, we immediately discover a new life of freedom and opportunity.’
Interestingly, if anyone should be completely at peace when it comes to dressing, it should be the hijabi yet we find ourselves in that complicated situation where we are drowning in our hijab. We are in a position where our hijab is gradually becoming a burden and taking majority of our productive time because we want to fit in the status quo. Now to Asmaa Hussein’s advice to her little girl on this situation in an article entitled; ‘You are Beautiful…and Why it Doesn’t Matter; she says;
‘What you wear doesn’t matter. Brands don’t matter. The things you own, if used selfishly, proudly and without care or consideration for others will only cause you to be regretful on the Last Day…You can certainly love white or black, pink or blue, green or purple. The Prophet (SAW), too, had a favourite colour. You can dress according to your preference and culture, within the limits of modesty. That’s normal and natural. To deny our desire to clothe ourselves well and to look good is to deny a part of our humanness. So dress modestly and neatly. Make sure your body is clean and that you care for the cleanliness of your surroundings. Brush your teeth. Brush your hair. Keep your body healthy. These things are a trust given to you by God to take care of. And that’s the complete and holistic way of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Outer cleanliness, neatness, modesty and health are actually tools we should use to enhance our worship…’’
And the best part of the advice is yet to come. Definitely, Islam allows us to want to look good for ourselves so far as we are modest and stick to the rules of Allah azza wa jal and so far as we are not doing it for someone’s interest but to seek Allah’s pleasure; that is cool. But then we must understand that we need to feel that sense of freedom to understand that we should not let the world dictate to us the number of clothes we should have, their colours, styles, when to wear what and all those. We should feel free to not be obliged to do make-up to fit in, to forcefully get that hijab even when we clearly cannot afford it or it is too luxurious just because others have it. And that is the part of Asmaa Hussein’s advice to her daughter that touched me to the core. She said;
‘In fact, you can wear clothes that are considered to be out of style, I don’t care. You do not owe anyone a wardrobe that is continuously updated with what’s in style. You definitely do not have to keep up with the potentially detrimental ‘hijab trends.’ You can wear the same thing several days in a row, as long as the clothes are clean. You’ll soon realize that this is just not what matters most.’
And I do not have to add anything to this. It is deep enough for personal reflection. And I am hoping and praying that we could have Muslimah’s who do not just feel obligated to adhere to the ‘potentially detrimental ‘hijab trends’ but who will feel free to wear even the same apparel several days in a row as long as it is clean provided that is what they have or even if they have more, provided that is what they want because soon we will all come to realize that it is not what matters most in life.’
Keep smiling for sadaqa. May Allah azza wa jal pardon all our wrongs and continue to guide us on the right path always. Aameen Yaa Affuw Yaa Haadi Yaa Allah.
Jazaakumullaahu khairan always!
Rubaba Mmahajia Rahma Sabtiu