Down the Memory Lane: The Journey of My Veil

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Disclaimer: Below is not a rant but reflections based on my personal experiences on covering up. It has asked a lot of courage from me to write on this topic. I write here for my people as how we should really see it not how as the customs teach us to and my sisters who are intending to wear it. Allahumma taqabbal minni ameen.

“Ah well, for you it’s Islam that is your refuge…that you have confided in – for others it can be music. The ultimate solace. The food of the soul.”

 He said moving his hands as if to make a very valid point. I was spell-bound.

All so often I think it’s easy to shrug off the struggle we are doing.

Ever thought what it takes to wear hijab in 40 C? To go to our workplaces in black garbs that welcome unhealthy, astonishing and nasty stares? That welcome unwanted comments and remarks from the most affluent and respectable people and employees of the society and organisations respectively? That makes us stand out from the crowd? [Stand out like fishes out of water I mean]. We – the only ones to wear this dress when the others love to smudge their faces with Estee Louder and Mac. Ain’t I have a heart?

Indeed ain’t I have a heart? I ask myself.

Am I turned too old? Too old for this fashion fiesta? Burhi rooh.

Don’t I want to “show-off” my floral long skirts? (I love long skirts by the way!)

Why do we do this?

Why do I take the hassle of covering my face. Am I a Miss universe, too pretty to protect my face from the evil eyes of others?

Hoor pari tu ho nahin!”

“You must be the oppressed woman. Because your husband might have asked you to cover your face Namra. He is strict. Maulvi!”

“Of course you are a down trodden woman that society has cornered. The so much emotional baggage persona!”

“Too much of your Islamic musings girl, just too much.”

I had no answer. Why cannot I explain?

Why don’t I have anything to say when I must explain the beauty my niqab offers me. The liberation it gives me. The peace it entitles me.

Do I have a mental disorder? Am I a by-product of Islam’s extremism?

Wait.

Doesn’t Allah say that the believers are extreme in His love?

“What do you think of yourself? That you are too much Islamic and we are not practicing it at all?”

“Sara Islam aap per hi tu khatam hona tha.”

Wait! Did I miss a point here? Or are they missing a point here?

 “You don’t seem like an engineer to me!”

“You have wasted all and made no use of your engineering degree! Parhi likhi jahil.” 

All so often I think it’s easy to shrug off the struggle we are doing.

But my academics have taught me who I am in this vast universe. I am nothing. I am just another being accepting His omnipotency. His servant. Muslim. You mean I have to be a heady-haughty-teen to tell you that I graduated from a prestigious university with high grades in STEM? Will you then grant me the acceptance?

I better not.

All so often I think it’s easy to shrug off the struggle we are doing. When I decided to cover 2 years back, it was a decision I had made mulling over for several years. Now that Alhamdulillah I practice it, I won’t give it a second thought. لا حول ولا قوة الا بالله

Only the thought of it makes me shudder. Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raajioun. It’s the essence of my existence now. The prime part of my sojourn without which I am incomplete. It has taught me modesty, liberated me from the shackles society binds us and gives me independence. It gives me peace and solace I long for. It makes me content. It gives me courage. It makes me confident enough.

“But it’s the gray area of fiqh.”

“It’s not obligatory chanda (beloved).”

I have studied that the wives of the prophet Muhammad PBUH used to wear veil and in order to follow the foot steps of them this is my point of following. O Lord! Make it ever easy for me. I seek your refuge against all the evil and negative thoughts the Shaytan instill in my mind. Ameen. Inna Lillah.

I have friends too…from the “liberal”and from the Islamic rooted communities. I have seen many practicing it and some who have shed-off the niqab altogether…no it does not make me boost with pride…it makes me vulnerable in my bones. It’s that two minute silence moment for me. The hearts ache. For how our families in general have made our brains washed just to savour and relinquish the worldly fantasies. That following a good deed is so overlooked that I have to care for the people. Tears. Sighs. And following a bad deed is so so easy that everybody welcomes it with open arms. Why don’t we feel ashamed when we flaunt our sleeve less gowns? why don’t we die with guilt when we step outside our homes without covering up? Why don’t we jolt when we see our daughters, sisters, wives and mothers wearing see through dresses? Don’t we think that’s it’s time to question our ghairah?

“Shadi hi tu hai.  Shadiyun main purdah kaun karta hai.”

“Loot at her how beautiful she is looking flaunting her golden starred maxi and you….”

 O Lord! Accept this from me. Ameen.

I remember how I and my family toiled. The blood, tears and sweat. The verbal jabs we have endured all in the process of finding a “prince” for me. Now that I have got one Alhamdulillah let’s keep this for another post insha Allah. Bi-idnillah. 🙂 It does not matter. Your niqab is not a hindrance in your “rishta seeking process” my fellows. Tear the woebegone syndrome. Rather Allaah SWT wants to check your niyah, your persistence and your courage in His path. No I am not saying that I am the most taqwa wali…but I can never assume attaining His displeasure for the sake of a life which starts without His mercy and barakah. Sighs.

Can we really trade our life at a low cost of shedding it off for this dunia?

All so often I think it’s easy to shrug off the struggle we are doing. It’s difficult to do the actual required work in His path. To do the real struggle. The needed one. Mujahida. Curbing our desires to look good and flashing off beautiful flairy dresses.

But No.

It might be easy to shrug off the struggle that we are doing but what for? The trade-offs are so low cannot we see? This struggle is precious, it’s my life line, it’s the prime point of existence. Uboodiat. I am nothing if I don’t follow His rules in my life.

رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ

[Who say], “Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower.

(Suratu Aal-Imran:8)

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11 thoughts on “Down the Memory Lane: The Journey of My Veil

  1. A truly thought-provoking piece. I love the way you have described all the struggles one has to go through to practice the “shariah veil” so simply and yet so accurately. I have learned a lesson in the 28 years of life in this world that do whatever your heart tells you to do and be true to yourself, your faith/your God even if it annoys other people (not hurt them in a literal way) because people are never going to really like/love you anyway. Why would one’s “Haya” ever hurt someone else, my mind cannot fathom.

    There’s a Hadith that says: “Every religion has a character and the character of Islam is modesty.” (Muwatta)

    On another instance, the Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) enlightened us on the subject saying: “Among the things that people have found from the words of the previous prophets was: ‘If you feel no shame, then do as you wish.’”
    (Al-Bukhari)

    May Allah accept your efforts and give the rest of us the strength to follow the right path. Ameen.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this.

    Like

    • Assalaamu ‘alaikum Nida!

      I LOVE your blog. It’s a must read for me , alhamdulillah!

      Read almost ALL of your posts, love your struggle in Allah SWT path.

      Jazakillahul khair for stumbling here. Keep reading and in contact. 🙂

      Much love and duas.

      Like

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