Shazia Ahmad | March 11, 2010 4:15 am
This article is taken from another website. Views expressed in this article are those of the author and may or may not be the views of From The Pulpit and DiscoMaulvi
I understand that hijab is required, and I’ve been wearing it for some time now but I feel like putting it on might have been a mistake. I don’t feel like it’s made me become a better Muslim, and I feel almost like I’m deceiving people because they look at me as an example even though I’m still struggling with a lot of things. Also, if I take it off, is it really something Allah will punish me for? It seems like such a petty thing. Isn’t the most important thing having a clean heart?
Assalaamu `alaykum dear questioner,
Thank you for asking this question which opens up a number of important issues, and for entrusting us enough to share with us some of what you’re struggling with. I ask Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala – exalted is He) that He makes the words that I write beneficial to you and others who are reading, and that He leads you to the best decisions.
I’d like to start by addressing what I believe is the least important factor in this equation, and that is ‘what other people might think.’ It should never be the case that we alter our practice of Islam or our worship for the sake of other people, or what they might think or assume. People may be quick to judge or jump to conclusions, but whatever thoughts or opinions they have are strictly their responsibility, and not something we should be overly concerned with.
You said that you’re worried that wearing hijab may be deceiving, because people see you as better than you really are. But in truth all of us are sinners, and it is only from Allah’s mercy upon us that He is as-Siteer – the One who veils our faults and our flaws, and makes us seem better than we really are in others’ eyes. One famous scholar said, “If sins had a smell no one would come near me because of the stench!” Every single one of us has deficiencies and weaknesses, has made mistakes, has taken missteps or is presently taking them. We only do the best that we can, and any good deed that Allah grants us the opportunity to perform should be considered a blessing that we take advantage of. Instead of worrying about not being good enough, we can instead consider this as an opportunity to be thankful to Allah for concealing our negatives, and pray, “O Allah, forgive me for what they do not know about me, and make me even better than what they think.”
You will be hard-pressed to find anyone on this earth who can be considered ‘worthy’ of being a representative of Islam, because everyone has one dimension or another in their faith or practice in which they are lacking. However that doesn’t mean we should stop encouraging each other by whatever means are available to us. There is a very beautiful hadith related to this issue:
Anas relates that, “We asked the Prophet ﷺ, ‘O Messenger of Allah ﷺ, shouldn’t we refrain from calling others to goodness if we don’t practice all good things ourselves, and shouldn’t we refrain from forbidding wrong things until we ourselves have abstained from all the bad?’ ‘No,’ he replied, ‘You should call others to goodness even if you don’t do all good, and you should forbid bad things even if you don’t abstain from all of them yourselves.’” (Al-Tabarani)
Remember that by wearing hijab you are not saying to others ‘I am Islam’, but simply that ‘I am a Muslim’, meaning – I am someone who is trying to follow this religion, who accepts it as truth, sees beauty in it and hopes to beautify myself with it. I remember a quote attributed to Yusuf Islam: “Islam is not a state of being but it is a process of becoming,” – becoming more, become better, striving to reach that state of perfect submission and connection with Allah Most High, and May He help all of us achieve that, ameen.