The other day in Madrasa, we were given a lecture on how thankful we are to be chosen as Muslims. Whatever people might say about Islam doesn’t affect us because we know that Islam has raised women, dignified them and shown them what it is to lead a respectful life. They might say Islam oppresses women by jailing them within their homes and making them wear the Hijab and Niqab but being a Muslim, all of us know in the heart of our hearts, that without Islam, our lives would hold no value whatsoever.
Well, to talk about the lecture, our teacher told us about sexual exploitation of women-which can be seen ever so apparently on movies, magazine covers, advertisements, newspapers, you name it. Why do scantily dressed women appear for a motorcycle tyre advert? It’s just not related is it? But then that’s how the world sees it- Women (or rather half naked women) are what boosts their commercialism. Women are no longer women. They are just toys and commercial products made and beautified for men to enjoy. Take models for example. They are nothing more than walking mannequins to showcase their bodies and clothes. The other day I came across an article where a famous model was asked to walk down the ramp with a million dollar bra encrusted with diamonds. The answer she gave was just shocking! She said that she was truly honoured to walk down the ramp with such a valuable piece. SubhanAllah! What is this world really coming to? Selling their bodies to market underwear! And this is what they call liberation. Liberation from what? From their clothing, their dignity, their respect and their morals? If this is their idea of liberation, I swear, I’m more than honoured to be a Niqabi and with each passing day, I realize the value of my Niqab more than ever!
The problem with people is that they easily believe that freedom is what is stereotyped by the media. They think that by wearing such clothes, hanging out with boyfriends, partying, drinking and dancing is what freedom really is. If they are living a life of complete freedom, why is that suffer so much from depression, which, in most cases, leads to suicide? Is it all an overdose of freedom for them? All these people know very, very well that it’s them who are living a caged life-a life of oppression where they are exploited for their beauty and thrown away like toys afterwards. What has their sense of freedom actually given them? If anything, it has only lead them towards a life that is controlled by men and their desires.
Some people might pity us for wearing the Niqab, because they believe that by wearing it, we are being oppressed. We, Niqabis, on the other hand pity them because their glitzy lifestyle is taking them nowhere. Tell me, who should be pitied? Us, Niqabis who are covered up perfectly at our own will and who do not allow men to exploit us in any way possible or these half naked women who are being enjoyed by men, and later dumped away like trash?
That same day after this lecture in Madrasa when I was returning home, I caught sight of a poster on the wall, where 4 women were all dressed in barely anything at all. Men, who were passing by, were all gazing openly at it. I couldn’t help but utter a heartfelt, ‘Alhamdulillah’ and I prayed to Allah that He guides all these women with Hidayah (Islamic Guidance). I sincerely thanked Allah that He didn’t make me one of those women who’s pictures where plastered unashamedly on the roads. I thanked Allah that He dignified me as a Muslimah. I thanked Allah that He gave me shame and Haya. I thanked Allah that He gave me Islam and I thanked Allah that He chose for me to be Niqabi- someone who chooses what men see of her and what they don’t. And isn’t this what freedom is after all?