To Hijab or not to Hijab

It was several years ago and my younger sister and l were living in an exclusively white  neighbourhood down town.  ‘There is a Muslim woman living here’ my sister said excitedly.

‘I have never seen a Muslim woman’ l said. ‘Anyway how do you know she is Muslim?’

She is Somali and she wears a hijab my sister said. I have seen her many times. I sat up, this also got me excited, not only was there a Muslima in my neighbourhood, she was also Somalian like us!

I imagined us going over to her apartment  and making friends. She would be nice and motherly , my sister said she was mature woman.

We would bond over our deen and our  Somaliness. The only three Somalis in Kings Cross.

It was many months later l saw the Muslim woman. She was wearing a black hijab and was fully covered. Yes, another Muslim lived in the neighbourhood. How nice?!

When she got near us, my sister and l said Asalamualeykum to her. The woman looked at us up and down, from my little sister and back to me taking in a good long look at the way we were dressed. She saw we had no hijab, hair exposed, jeans and blouses and decided to do something very unIslamic. She decided not to reply to us.

I always believed that it was polite, even wajib to say Asalamualeykum to a fellow Muslim whether you know them or not. The Hadith says that every time you say Asalamualeykum to a fellow Muslim, Allah gives you a mansion in heaven.

We didn’t know this woman from Eve, she didn’t know us either and l can only assume that she was judging us by the way we were dressed.

We didn’t have our bodied exposed, we weren’t showing cleavage or legs.  We were decent just not wearing a hijab.

It is ignorant for Muslims to judge each other on appearance. Just because you are not in a head to toe abaya doesn’t mean you are any less of a Muslim.

It does not by the same token mean that because you are in a full abaya, you are a good Muslim.

We have all heard of the Saudi women who peel off their hi jabs to reveal tight trousers and miniskirts as soon as the flight is about to land in a western country.  Are they considered good Muslims because they were wearing abayas when they left Riyadh? Is it not cool to wear an abaya on the streets of New York? Is Islam somethings that is only practiced in Muslim countries.

This brings me to Queen Rania of Jordan. A deeply religious Muslima, who gives thousands to charity and who has admitted to never missing the salaah. Is she a bad Muslima because she is not covered?

I’m not saying we have to stop wearing hijabs.  Let us wear hijabs but let us stop judging other Muslimas who choose not to wear one.

The woman in the hijab could be harbouring too many sins and using the Hijab and abaya to hide behind.  Whilst the non hijabi Muslima might be pious and God fearing.

As for the Muslima in down town Kings across who chose not to respond to our greeting, she is the loser. At least we wished her Asalamualeykum and we , my sister and l have each gained a mansion in Heaven. I.A.

And Allah knows best.


3 thoughts on “To Hijab or not to Hijab

  1. Assalamu alaikum dear sister,

    Indeed it was a sad thing that happened. It is a right of a Muslim on another to be greeted and to get response to his greeting. May Allah guide the sister.

    On the other hand sister, I do no agree with your explanation. Whether our good deeds are accepted or not is known only by Allah. But to choose a good deed to cover up for a sin is not right.

    Yes there are many who wear hijab and sin. On the other hand there are many who do no wear one but surpass in every other goodness. But but but my dear sister, do we have to choose to be from amongst the above two options?

    Why do we not see ones who wear the hijab as well as do good deeds of the righteous? Subhanallah 🙂 This category of people should be looked up to instead of those who do some things of deen and leave rest.

    Just how praying salah, giving zakat, observing sawm, sadaqah, humility etc. are signs of muttaqeen, wearing hijab is also obligatory in complete obedience to Allah. Subhanallah.

    This is a reminder to myself first. May Allah make me and you amongst the completely obedient servants

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Waalaikum salaam Sister
      Thank you for your kind feedback which l take on board.
      Of course there are hijab wearing Muslimah who are righteous and follow the Sunnah.
      My point was my sister and l were being judged by this woman for not wearing the hijab.
      If two young girls said salaam to me, l would respond whether they were wearing hijab or not. I would be responding to the greeting it’s just good manners.
      Not wearing a hijab does not make them bad or lesser Muslims and l cannot judge as they may grow up to do good deeds.
      Only Allah knows who ends up getting a good deed. I including that bit about the mansion which l had believe for years if you say salaam to someone, you build a mansion in heaven. And Allah knows best.
      Ameen sister and may you be rewarded in this life and the next. xx


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