Monday, August 29, 2016

DEALING WITH ISLAMOPHOBIA





I'll just break right in to it- it's a terrible time to be living in. Islamophobia is just getting out of control and the news has been just so shocking.

For one, 3 young Muslims were asked to get off a plane and were questioned for about one hour just because they had Arabic text on their phones! Then there was this pre schooler who mispronounced cucumber as "cooker bomb" threatened with counter terrorism. A child for god's sake who hardly knows to even pronounce words yet! What's the world coming to? Oh and just so if you don't believe all these, you can check the news here:

 


Then of course, the trending news on social media about French officials who demanded a woman to remove her burkini in the beach. 

And oh dear, the hate comments on Twitter, Facebook, etc. There was this time when I used to get all riled up when someone insulted me on Twitter but it has become such a norm that I've gotten so used to it. If there's one thing I've learnt, it's that people who talk utterly disrespectfully, then no amount of talking, showing proof and resources, nothing at all is going to change them. There's only one way to deal with hate and that's what the Quran teaches us. In these times where Islamophobia is hitting an all-time high, this is a great time for us to show the world the real beauty of Islam and the message of peace. 
 
And the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them [harshly], they say [words of] peace - Quran 25:63
 
I know that sometimes when the insults get too much to bear, you might want to vent your anger out but know that people judge Islam by Muslims so if you speak harshly, that's how they are going to label the entire religion as a whole. It's not a personal matter of letting your anger out. Look at the bigger picture- if you do so, you're tarnishing the name of Islam itself.

So how do you deal with all the hate and insults? 

"You will surely be tested in your possessions and in yourselves. And you will surely hear from those who were given the Scripture before you and from those who associate others with Allah much abuse. But if you are patient and fear Allah - indeed, that is of the matters [worthy] of determination" - Quran 3:186

 
It's amazing how perfectly Allah has arranged this verse. It's a reality- all of us will be tested at some point and all of us will have to deal with Islamophobia. Sometimes from our own families and friends and that can be unbearably hurtful. So how can we deal with it?
 
Allah says it most beautifully in just 2 words: Sabr and Taqwa. The abuse and hurtful comments are really difficult and sometimes, all we want to do is scream but at this time, we have to be patient, no matter how tough it may be. Swallow up your anger, bite down on your frustration and be patient for the sake of Allah. 
 
The next is Taqwa. We cannot exercise Sabr if we don't have Taqwa because if there's one thing that can force us to be patient, it's the fear of Allah.
 
Remember that even the Prophets weren't spared of this. They were hurt on the basis of Deen so be patient over all this and fear Allah in how to react or respond to hurtful comments; otherwise, we will end up being the oppressor.
Secondly, stop going for debates. If someone asks a question decently, respond decently. Otherwise, just ignore them because in most cases, talking will do no good. And no matter how hard it may seem at that time, make silent Duaa to Allah to guide that person to Islam. If Umar Radhiyallahu anhu who came to kill Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu alaihi wasallam could become such a devout supporter of the Prophet, then surely guiding anyone, no matter how wrong they are is easy for Allah.
 
And while I'm at it, just because of a few shallow minded Islamophobes, don't generalize everyone. There are so many wonderful people out there as well. Treat everyone well because what Islamophobes say and insult, it's a sin they should bear and if you insult them in the same way, what difference is there between us and them?

 
"And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend." [Al Quran 41: 34]



I know, this is really difficult sometimes but you know what? It's a test. A test of your Imaan, your character and your values.

Next time you are entangled in an Islamophobic mess, you'll know how to come out of it, In sha Allah, and inspire many people along the way as well.
 
 
 

Friday, August 12, 2016

POST RAMADHAN- I FEEL SO LOST!





So, it's just over a month since Ramadhan has departed and yet, it feels like an age ago. To be honest, this has probably been my worst post-Ramadhan ever. I have never missed the month so much! :( 
 
During Ramadhan, SubhanAllah, I was so happy. I think my soul was happy, which naturally made me happy. I read this post online that goes somewhere around the lines of "Do you know why you are so happy in Ramadhan? It's because your soul is doing exactly what it's meant to be doing, that is worshiping Allah". That is so definitely true and I'm sure most of you'll can relate to this as well. Not for a single moment in Ramadhan did I feel bored, depressed or any negativity for that matter. There was just one focus and that was worshiping Allah. No wonder I was so happy.
 
And then, Ramadhan ended and there came all the negative thoughts that washed over me like this huge tidal wave. We have given Shaytan so much of power over us that we allow him to dictate our thoughts and moods without trying to fight back ourselves and this naturally leads to a pit fall. 
 
I'm not saying depression or sadness or worry is a bad thing. It's natural but we should not allow it to dictate our lives. Why is that we had so much of hope and life in our Duaas during Ramadhan but now, we feel like Allah is not even listening to us. If you do feel that way, and I'm saying this to myself first, it's because we have gone far away from Allah. Allah is the same merciful Lord as He was in Ramadhan but are we the same obedient slaves to Him as we were in Ramadhan? Allah is still there with us, He still descends to the lowest heavens every single day during Tahajjud so that we may ask Him whatever we want and that He gives it to us. And what are we doing during this time? Sleeping. If we feel so low and depressed, then it's our own fault.
 
Sometimes the only way you can get out of all this is by just talking to yourself. Constantly remember and remind yourself that Allah is always there with you, ready to answer your Duaas but are you ready to talk to Him? Remind yourself that Shaytan wins us over by making us depressed where we start questioning what Allah has decreed for us and when you feel this way, remind yourself that accepting fate is part of faith. Good and bad both come from Allah so ask Him to enlighten and inspire you. Ask Him for strength to overcome Shaytan and your own nafs. 
 
If you miss Ramadhan and you want to feel that spirituality you felt during that month, then do some things that you did during Ramadhan. Recite the Quran, at least 2 pages per day. If we could recite 2 entire chapters a day during Ramadhan, then 2 pages isn't a huge deal, is it? It might take anywhere around about 10 minutes, at the most. Also, study the Tafseer of the Quran. There are plenty of free resources online where you can listen to the Tafseer of the Quran so dedicate an hour a day for this as well, In sha Allah. (You can listen to it on Youtube where Ustaad Noman Ali Khan is teaching the Tafseer of Surah Baqarah. It's amazing, SubhanAllah so listen to it). Pray your Sunnahs and give charity. In sha Allah, your soul will be content and you mind will feel refreshed.
 
We need to re-connect with Allah. And that shouldn't be something we do only during Ramadhan. Push yourself to worshiping Allah with humility and submissiveness and see for yourself if your soul doesn't rejoice at that.
 
May Allah make every day of our lives an opportunity and a means to come closer to Him. 
 
 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

IN THE SHOES OF A HIJABI/NIQABI




So the Hijaab and the Niqaab- the topic that always seems to be on the spotlight when it comes to Muslim woman and is seen as a worldwide symbol of subjugation, oppression and backwardness. A piece of cloth that screams "I'm oppressing the one who is wearing me!". The cloth that that says "I'm uneducated, limited, forced into wearing it by my male-dominated religion". 

So yes, this is the Hijab and Niqab in the eyes of many non-Muslims. But are they the ones who are wearing it? Do they know for a minute how it feels to be wearing it? Do they understand how it feels when you want to wear it but people who you know nothing about and who know nothing about you suddenly feel like they have all the rights to demand you to wear what they want?

Let me show you what it's like to be a Hijabi/Niqabi. No, no, no, no... Don't freak out. I know you might be disgusted with the very idea of even putting on Hijab/Niqab *virtually* but just step into our shoes for a moment. You might just begin to understand us.

In the shoes of a Hijabi/Niqabi

You choose to wear the Hijab/Niqab because it is a personal choice and yet, people think you are forced into wearing it. 
Each time you step outside, you have to endure taunts and insults and you are constantly being jeered at for doing something you want to do. 
You wear the Hijab/Niqab and they claim that it subjugates you and you know that it's only a form of freedom for you. 
They say you are oppressed and yet, they oppress you by questioning your rights to wear what you want. 
And on top of that, they claim that you are accepting slavery when you know that by wearing the Hijab/Niqab, you have never felt more free. 

You feel free by wearing your tank top and shorts. We feel free by wearing the Hijab/Niqab. I mean just think about it- how would you feel if a person suddenly comes out of the blue and decides that he/she has all the rights in the world to tell you what is freedom and what is oppression. We all have a brain of our own and we are capable of thinking on our own, thank you very much. So yeah, what you think is oppression is my freedom and what you think is freedom is my oppression. This is how humans are. We are different, we have different ideas and we have different opinions. Be mature enough to embrace that.

But please, keep your opinions to yourself. What makes you think you have the right to force people to thinking in your way? Turn the tables around and a bit and give people their own freedom. Don't claim to be liberating them by forcing them to remove what they want to wear and then clap yourself on the back and say "Hey, I liberated that oh so poor oppressed soul by just forcing her to remove what she loves to wear which by the way is oppressive and I'm only doing her a favour by liberating her of that creepy piece of oppressive material". 

Does is make sense? Of course not. I'm as baffled as you.

Think from a Hijabi's/Niqabi's perspective for just a moment. She has a heart and she has a voice. Let that be heard as well. If wearing the Hijab/Niqab is her form of freedom, then please, have the simple decency of giving her the freedom she wants.



Thursday, May 26, 2016

INTERVIEW : AN INSPIRING YOUNG NIQABI

 
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Assalamu Aleikum,
This is an interview I had with sister Juwayriyah.She has a blog mashallah and it is very beneficial here is the link to anyone who is interested in reading it: notafragileflower.wordpress.com


Jazakallah for your participation and patience. I hope we all benefit from this wonderful interview. May Allah bless and guide you.


Tell us a little about yourself?

 
I'm an eighteen year old American girl- (not your average one, I'm afraid) Interested in art, writing, reading, and human rights....I lived in Yemen for nearly ten years before returning here and growing up. I wear the niqab, which I guess is pretty unusual, but I'm proud of being unusual. I was homeschooled by my mother and am hoping to get my 'government approved' diploma this year.

What inspired you to wear the niqab?

 
My mother and older sister. I wanted to be just like them when I started wearing it....I remember being so proud when I got my first niqab. Now that I'm older I realize there's more to it than 'being like Ummi' but I feel the same about it.

How old were you when you started wearing the niqab?

Maybe nine? But at that point it wasn't something I had to do. I didn't realize how unusual that was until we came back here.

A lot of people tend to believe that wearing the niqab is a barrier for education, work, and social life. What are your thoughts on this?


As for work and education, I believe anything you can do in khimar you can do in niqab too. It's not seen here so often, of course, but in Yemen doctors and teachers and students all wore the niqab (around men, of course) and no one batted an eye. About social life- often it's up to to you to make people feel comfortable, but once they get that you're just a girl like all the other girls, things are fine.

You live in a Muslim minority country. Is wearing the niqab difficult there?

 
I also live in a practically zero-Muslim area in America! However- surprisingly -not particularly, I don't think. I don't go to school, so I was spared that, and It's usually nothing worse than the occasional ninja remark. You have a consciousness of being different, but it's not that hard for me. I've also learned not to judge people at a glance- some of the unlikeliest people have been the loveliest.

How do you feel when people react negatively towards you wearing the hijab and niqab?

 
Usually it just passes me by. I've gotten used to it......usually the rudest people are cowards and refuse to make eye contact, so it's just kind of pesky. I've never felt physically threatened; however, the most disturbing incident was one man who said he was going to shoot me. It was just a nasty over the shoulder comment, but I think that's the worst I've got. I feel like I belong here too, so they can just keep away if they don't like it.

If someone approaches you asking you why you wear the niqab. How would you respond to them?

 
We are told to cover our beauty to avoid causing or falling into wrong, and this is how I believe is the best way. It also brings us closer to Allah and further from trying to please the people, and I think that is the greatest kind of freedom.

How do you feel you have changed after you started wearing the niqab?


Honestly, I can't pinpoint something exact; it was just such a normal step towards growing up. One thing I can say is people always think I'm older than I am (which is okay for now, but in ten years-) and because my mother taught me to hold my head up and follow my convictions I do earn respect- from others and myself. But since I came here and was forced to defend the step I think it has made me a stronger person- since I got through the doubt and came out on top.

What advice would you give to young muslim women wanting to wear the hijab or niqab but are afraid to do so?


I tell myself that the pleasure of Allah is worth unimaginably more than the pleasure of the people-or yourself- but it's not always that easy. I understand being afraid of scaring people off or even angering your family, and it's not easy. But I think in the end the people who are worth it will accept you- as a person, not a niqab or hijab. I don't want to stand before Allah and have nothing to say- nothing except excuses, which are worth nothing. And since you never know when that will be, don't wait. Also that there are so many of us out there that will offer you strength and a proverbial shoulder to cry on , so if you need help, don't hesitate to ask. We are your sisters.

Tell us more about your blog

Well, I started it because I thought there were too few blogs out there that showed our side of things. Nobody really wants to listen, but if we make enough noise, someone will listen. Everyone wants to weigh in on the niqab debate (not burqa, people!) but too few of us who actually wear it are invited to say what we want the world to hear. I decided to invite myself. I might regret it. It's also about some other things I think need discussion (none of that yet) and poetry which I took the plunge and decided to share and see if I'm really a horrible poet. Oh, and it's called notafragileflower.wordpress.com

The Quran is beautiful, but we always have that one verse which is special to our hearts. What is yours?

I think the ayah I love best is about the believers, when Allah says-
(And when they hear Al Laghw (dirty, false, evil talk) they with draw from it and say- "To us our deeds and to you your deeds. Peace be to you. We seek not the ignorant.") It contains so much grace in it, and too few of us have try to have that grace and peace with other today. My favourite Surah is Surat Yusuf... it's such a truly beautiful story and an example for us all.

Any niqabi incidents you would like to share?


Eating a melting ice cream cone with my squirming babysitting charge on my lap- and his melting ice cream cone in my other hand. Suffice to say, It. Was. A. Disaster. Fortunately I was going home afterwards, not the other way around. I would have been too ashamed to appear in public in that mess! :).. Moral of the story: Don't get two ice cream cones on a hot day, because you won't have a hand to lift your niqab.

Your parting words


Always remember why you're doing something. If you're doing it for Allah, you'll be the winner. 
 

Note: If you would like to be interviewed for our blog, leave us an email on niqablovers@gmail.com and we'll get back to you, In Sha Allah. Sisters only.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

OF SELFIES AND POUTING HIJABIS




O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies . That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever OftForgiving, Most Merciful”

[al-Ahzaab 33:59] 

One thing that has not been understood by Muslims and non-Muslims is in relation to the Hijab. While the non-Muslims are quick to pounce on Hijabis/Niqabis with the infamous "oppressed/backward/slave" tag, sadly, even Muslims need to understand the concept of Hijab properly.

The biggest misconception is that people believe that the Hijab is just the headscarf and once you don that, you have fulfilled the obligation of wearing the Hijab. Sisters, you know as well as I do that this is not true. Hijab is so much
more than just the scarf you wrap around your head. It's a set of morals and a code of conduct. This is the Hijab the Quran tells us about

“And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts”

[al-Ahzaab 33:53] 

An important note here: I've heard a lot of people comment on this Ayah saying that it applies only to the wives of the Prophet Salallahu alaihi wasallam. So here's my question: If Allah has commanded this for the wives of our Prophet, then what is the case with us? Do we think we are better than the Ummahatul Mu'mineen that we don't need to follow this Ayah?

So, this is where the topic really heats up. Is it ok for Muslimahs to upload pictures of themselves online? If Allah has commanded that we Muslimahs should speak from behind a screen and that this is purer for our hearts and for their's, then I'll let you think for yourself about publicly uploading your pictures online.Just think of it: there are probably hundreds of online psychopaths who are probably staring hard at the picture you uploaded right now! *shudder*

Before jumping into conclusions that I am an extremist, let me make things clear. This is a really wide topic so please make sure that you read it right up to the end before coming to any conclusion.

Uploading pictures online has taken huge leaps and is still taking, in fact. Hijabis uploading pictures of themselves with their faces dolled up with make-up and with their hair uncovered in some cases too. And more recently, the obsession with the pout and selfies. Need I even mention what a provocative pose the pout is and what kind of respect are we giving the Hijab if we pout with the Hijab and upload those pictures online? I don't meant to be harsh, but what do you really expect out of uploading your pictures online? Is a few likes and "MashaAllah's" really worth it when you are displeasing Allah? This also applies to a few Niqabis who upload their pictures online with their eyes heavily made up. I'm not giving away Fatwas or anything like that because of course, I have no authority to do so. But just think for yourself- do you think it's a good thing to do and what do you really gain by it?

For the Sake of Allah sisters, read this with an open mind. It may be that you are not aware of the dangers you are causing to yourself and the people who are actually viewing your picture. It is true that just like women, men need to lower their gaze, but aren't we responsible for what we give them to gaze at? And if they gaze at our pictures (which is obviously a huge possibility given the fact that we have probably uploaded our best picture), shouldn't we share the burden of that sin too? Trust me on this sisters: It is NOT worth it!

While I am at it, I really need to point out another thing to the brothers. Please make it easier for the sisters to lower their gaze online too because lowering the gaze is a command for the women just as it is for the men. 


Like I mentioned at the start of the post, some of you might want to lash out at this being too extreme, but please remember what Allah says in the Quran about Shaytan making our deeds fair seeming to us. 

"... but Satan made their deeds attractive to them" [Quran 16: 63]

"And the record [of deeds] will be placed [open], and you will see the criminals fearful of that within it, and they will say, "Oh, woe to us! What is this book that leaves nothing small or great except that it has enumerated it?" And they will find what they did present [before them]. And your Lord does injustice to no one." [Quran 18: 49]


And what will Shaytan who tempted us to upload our pictures online say on that Day?

"And Satan will say when the matter has been concluded, "Indeed, Allah had promised you the promise of truth. And I promised you, but I betrayed you. But I had no authority over you except that I invited you, and you responded to me. So do not blame me; but blame yourselves" [Al Quran 14: 22]


On that day, we are going to regret, but how will that regret benefit us? Change yourself today, and In Sha Allah on the Day of Reckoning, we will be free from any regret, In sha Allah.

Here is a really detailed explanation on the Ruling on a woman uploading her picture on Facebook

May Allah give us all understanding of Deen and if I have offended anyone with this post, I'm really sorry. Just feel like this is something I had to talk about.



Saturday, May 7, 2016

WHO IS NIQABLOVERS AND WONDERFUL NEW ANNOUNCEMENT!

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu,

I'm really excited for this post because of a wonderful new announcement... Well, I'll get to that in just a while In sha Allah.

Unveiling NiqabLovers




To start off, a lot of people have asked me how I started the Niqab Lovers twitter page and blog. There was way more than just one person involved in it. I had some good Twitter friends on my personal Twitter account and I don't remember exactly how, but I got into an argument with someone about the Niqab. They said it was oppressive, I argued and said it wasn't and you know with an online argument... It just keeps going. So thankfully, my twitter buddies joined in and we started talking about how we can sort of create an awareness about the Niqab and clear the misconceptions about it. The thing is, most the girls were non-Niqabis but the support they gave has taken Niqab Lovers to where it is today, Alhamdulillah. Munazza from India, Sameeha from Bangladesh, Munna from New Zealand, Aisha from Sri Lanka and Ifrah from India, together with my sisters Ashfa and Zahra (who now has her own Twiter Dawah page and blog Islamic Truths) decided to start a Twitter page. Also, thanks to my oldest sister Nashra for her ideas, support and tweets

We decided on the name Niqab Lovers and started it straight away. The first few days, all of us were busy on Twitter trying to get people aware of the page, etc and everyone contributed in tweeting. They started it off and I've continued it. They haven't been able to tweet after that but may Allah bless all of them for their support and help and grant them goodness in this world and in the Hereafter. 

If it wasn't for their ideas and shoutouts and of course Allah's help, the page would have stopped a long time back.

Anyway, throughout these four years, the Niqab Lovers journey has been an impressive one Alhamdulillah. I've had lots support (yes, from non-Muslims as well). A lot of them have tweeted me and asked me to carry on with what I'm doing and I've even had emails from non-Muslims who have supported the Niqab. There was a Christian brother who wrote me a extremely beautiful email about the Niqab and it was so humbling to read how much he admired sisters wearing the Niqab. May Allah guide him!

SubhanAllah, sometimes, we are so narrow-minded that we think if one non-Muslim hates the Niqab, we sort of put the rest of them in the same line. I did a online survey collecting the opinions of what non-Muslims thought of the Niqab and SubhanaAllah, the results were beautiful. You can read it here: SURVEY RESULTS: WHAT NON-MUSLIMS SAY ABOUT THE NIQAB

That's as far as the support goes. Naturally, when you involve in Dawah, you expect criticism and I've had my fair share of it. In fact, what's most disheartening is that majority of the criticism I've had has been from Muslims. 

Also, I've actually lost count of how many people have accused me of being a man masquerading as a woman just to subjugate women into wearing the Niqab so here I go. Sorry to disappoint those who thought I was a man! Sometimes I wonder if people are shallow-minded to think that we Niqabis don't have a voice and if we do voice out our opinions, they come up with the most absurd reactions!

I've talked about the Team Niqab Lovers but as for me. Well this is sort of awkward to introduce me... I'm Afra, from Sri Lanka. Eek, that was weird :|

Anyway, the NiqabLovers journey has been tremendous. I initially started the page to create awareness about the Niqab, tell people about how liberating the Niqab is, speak on behalf of all Niqabis that we wear what we want to wear as a choice and it was not forced and that we deserve our rights. I tried to enlighten people but I sort of enlightened myself in the end. Reading through all the messages, emails and stories, and writing my thoughts out has opened my eyes on how beautiful the Niqab actually is and now, the Niqab means so much more to me. 

I'd be missing out on such an important part of this journey if I don't mention all those sisters who have volunteered to be interviewed for the blog and contributed in guest posts and who have taken the time to share their stories, experiences and views. The blog wouldn't have gotten anywhere without you people :) 
You can read all the interviews that we had here: Interviews
And the guest posts hereGuest Posts
And also for everyone on Twitter for the retweets and shoutouts. Jazakallah khair! :)

Thank you for being part of NiqabLovers! Also, for all those who have emailed me and encouraged me, you can't possibly imagine how much that has helped me. Thank you so much for the Duaas! 

A person emailed me about a year back and told me he would like to offer some financial help for the blog. SubhanAllah, there are people out there who'd do a lot to discourage you and your Dawah but also know that their criticism is weak and short-lived. But the support that people give is deep and so strong. May Allah reward all of them.

From being invited to feature in documentaries, live TV and radio channels to featuring on online magazines, NiqabLovers has come a long way from where we initially thought it would. That's how much Allah will help and support you.

For sisters and brothers who want to start an awareness or Dawah page, by all means do. It would bring about a change in someone else but above all, it will bring about a huge change in you. All of us have our own social media accounts and we can do Dawah even from there. Just think about it- If you post a reminder to recite Surah Kahf on Friday, someone reads that and that actually recite it, imagine the rewards you're going to be getting? Put it in this perspective: We all know how long Surah Kahf is and if one letter (not word, a single letter) carries the reward of 10 good deeds, how much would you be left with if you recite he entire Surah Kahf. And that's how much you will get if you inspire someone to recite is as well. That's how appreciative Allah is of even the little good that we do.

And yes, you are going to have to be strong and shoulder the criticisms and insults of a few shallow-minded people but know that there are countless amazing people out there who will continue to support and make Duaa for you. Start any good in the Name of Allah, expect His reward only and His Help and He will definitely send help exactly when you need it. And more than all, it would be worth it.

This is where Allah sent along one of the greatest help Alhamdulillah. You must have read the post about my blog hiatus and how I have sort of struggled with finding time to blog more frequently with work, studies, anxiety and also another project I've taken up. Well, a few weeks back, a sister emailed me and said she would like to volunteer. I replied asking if she wanted to contribute for an interview or blog post and I'll be honest- I was secretly hoping that she wanted to volunteer to posting on the blog and YESSS! That's precisely what she wanted to do so yeah, that's my huge announcement.

I'VE GOT A CO-BLOGGER, ALHAMDULILLAH!!!


Hafsa, over to you.

Assalamu Aleikum, My name is Hafsa Salah. I am currently residing in Egypt and I am a student attending an arabic institute. And I am also a Niqabi. In sha Allah I will be participating in this blog with sister Afra as her new co-blogger in sha Allah.The main reason I want to join this blog is for the sake of Allah, to gain reward from Allah and to benefit others and myself.

Like all muslim women today, I want to shed light upon misconceptions and misunderstanding people have against niqab, hijab and women in Islam.In sha Allah I am interested in writing articles about modesty, islam or anything my sisters require of me that I have knowledge of. May Allah reward you all.

In sha Allah, the blog will be updated more frequently now. Please make Duaa for us! There are days when it all seems too tiring but if you're firm in doing what you what you want to, Allah will send His help.

Once again, just want to remind that we are still open for interviews and guest posts so feel free to contribute. Also, if you have any suggestions for any topics that we should write on, let us know. Feel free to email us on niqablovers@gmail.com




 



Friday, March 11, 2016

INTERVIEW: A BEAUTIFUL NIQAB JOURNEY




Assalamu Alaikum Warhmatullahi Wabarakatuhu,

Just coming out of a long blog break and Jazakallah khair for the messages sisters! It's really your Duaas and support that keeps this blog going. Yes well, somewhat going but I'm working on it! ;)

Anyway, this is an interview I had some time back with Sister Adrie Hurmathullah. This should have been posted a while back but as you know, I've been a terrible procrastinator. Jazakallah khair for the lovely interview sister and Jazakallah khair for your patience! 

Do read through this amazing interview. There's a lot of inspiration and advice you can get from it, In Shaa Allah.


Tell us a little bit about yourself

My name is Adrie Hurmathullah and for the past few years I have been trying to figure out who I am as in: where do I see myself in the next few years, how I can improve my religion and help people to better understand it, and lots more! You can kind of say I'm overwhelmed with over thinking most of the time.

How long has it been since you've been wearing the Hijab?


Although I have been Muslim from a very young age, I hadn't began wearing hijab until I was sixteen and then recently decided that I wanted to wear niqab. I hadn't known that I would be so comfortable with doing so since I don't like the attention (I'm very shy and quiet) but its an amazing journey that I don't regret.

You now wear the Niqab. What made you take the extra step?


When first wearing niqab I would say I got my inspiration from watching my first YouTube video. Although my Nanni wore it occasionally, I was a little embarrassed to ask her and my mum. However, there was a girl around my age at the time who spoke of the importance of niqab and it being fardh.

Was it a difficult transition, going from a Hijabi to a Niqabi?


In the beginning it was a little difficult since I lost even more friends because they believed I had radical terrorist groups. But I took baby steps each day from occasionally wearing niqab to wearing it entirely EVERYDAY.


A lot of people tend to believe that wearing the Niqab is a barrier for education, work and social life. What are your thoughts on this?

To be honest, wearing niqab hasn't prohibited me from receiving a higher education. I am currently in Uni and the city I live in has a large population of Muslims and beautiful mosque. But it also depends on the environment and the individual. One problem that I have had lately is finding a job. Most people refuse or oppose hiring Muslim women due to the scarf and wearing niqab makes it a little more complicating. But in shaa Allah, I will be starting my own business soon which will eliminate the current troubles.

You live in a Muslim minority country. Is wearing the Niqab difficult there?

Unfortunately, a lot of Muslims in the US are being blamed for the actions of others. Some Muslims are also discouraged from following Islam as a whole. But I personally don't allow it to get beneath my skin. I keep mind that Allah is the all-knowing creator and whatever situations we experience is for a reason. It's important to remember this world, the Dunya, is only temporary and as a Muslim I am striving for something far more rewarding.

Is there any Niqab incident that you would like to share?

About a month ago I went into a store to purchase lunch. But I was told to leave or remove my veil. If I hadn't, the police would be notified immediately and I would be put in jail. But that is illegal here since a store is at fault for denying a person service because of their faith or opinion.

What is your best Niqab/Hijab moment?

My best niqab moment is everyday when my husband looks at me and tells me that I am even more beautiful with niqab and that he admires my dedication to Islam.

How do you feel you have changed after you started wearing the Niqab?

I am less self conscious about my appearance face wise. I don't have to cover myself with make-up and wonder what others will think. I am more confident and focused. 

If there are sisters that want to wear the Niqab but are afraid of doing so, what would your advice to them be?

Niqab isn't something that happens overnight to get use to. It takes time to adjust but if it's something you want to do then do it. Other people's thoughts and concerns shouldn't be yours because it is your life. People will continue to judge and mock you until the day you die. Niqab is a good thing. 

How do you think that Niqabis should deal with any hate?

Hatred is caused by ignorance and misconception. You cannot make someone see what has always been in front of their faces. Even when the resources are provided they'll continue to refuse. The only way to cure hatred is with kindness, love and forgiveness.

Niqab and freedom. This is something non-Muslims have misunderstood terribly. How do you feel that wearing the Niqab makes you feel free?

Wearing the niqab is an act of freedom. Each person has always been entitled to their own views and to dress as they pleased. Niqab is just the same for me, and in shaa Allah my sisters will be given the same freedom to make choices that are suitable for them.



Note: If you would like to be interviewed for our blog, leave us an email on niqablovers@gmail.com and we'll get back to you, In Sha Allah. Sisters only.