Friday, May 8, 2009

A monologue

“I’m so tired.”
“Tired of what?”
“Of all these people judging me.”
“Who judged you?”
“Like that woman, every time I sit with her, she tells me to wear hijab.”
“Oh, hijab and music! The mother of all topics!”
“Yeah! I listen to music without hijab…haha!”
“Maybe she was just giving you advice.”
“I don’t need her advice. I know my religion. Can`t she mind her own business?”
“Maybe you misunderstood. She was just being nice.”
“Keeping out of my business, that would be nice…”
“But it’s her duty to encourage you do to good.”
“Trust me. That was no encouragement. And what do you mean `good` ?”
“Well, wearing hijab, that would be a good thing to do.”
“Says who?”
“It’s in the Qur’an, isn’t it?”
“Yes. She did quote me something.”
“She said Surah Nur, and other places of the Qur’an.”
“Yes, but it’s not a big sin anyway. Helping people and praying is more important.”
“True. But big things start with small things.”
“That’s a good point, but what you wear is not important. What’s important is to have a good healthy heart.”
“What you wear is not important?”
“That’s what I said.”
“Then why do you spend an hour every morning fixing up?”
“What do you mean?”
“You spend money on cosmetics, not to mention all the time you spend on fixing your hair and low-carb dieting.”
“So, your appearance IS important.”
“No. I said wearing hijab is not an important thing in religion.”
“If it’s not an important thing in religion, why is it mentioned in the Holy Qur’an?”
“You know I can’t follow all that’s in Qur’an.”
“You mean God tells you something to do, you disobey and then it’s OK?”
“Yes. God is forgiving.”
“God is forgiving to those who repent and do not repeat their mistakes.”
“Says who?”
“Says the same book that tells you to cover.”
“But I don’t like hijab, it limits my freedom.”
“But the lotions, lipsticks, mascara and other cosmetics set you free?!
What`s your definition of freedom anyway?”

“Freedom is in doing whatever you like to do.”
“No. Freedom is in doing the right thing, not in doing whatever we wish to do.”

“Look! I’ve seen so many people who don’t wear hijab and are nice people, and so many who wearhijab and are bad people.”
“So what? There are people who are nice to you but are alcoholic. Should we all be alcoholics? You made a stupid point.”
“I don’t want to be an extremist or a fanatic. I’m OK the way I am without hijab.”
“Then you are a secular fanatic. An extremist in disobeying God.”
“You don’t get it, if I wear hijab, who would marry me?!”
“So all these people with hijab never get married?!”
“Okay! What if I get married and my husband doesn’t like it? And wants me to remove it?”
“What if your husband wants you to go out with him on a bank robbery?!”
“That’s irrelevant, bank robbery is a crime.”
“Disobeying your Creator is not a crime?”
“But then who would hire me?”
“A company that respects people for who they are.”
“Not after 9-11″
“Yes. After 9-11. Don’t you know about Hanan who just got into med school?
And the other one, what was her name, the girl who always wore
a white hijab…ummm…”

“Yes. Yasmeen. She just finished her MBA and is now interning for GE.”
“Why do you reduce religion to a piece of cloth anyway?”
“Why do you reduce womanhood to high heals and lipstick colors?”
“You didn’t answer my question.”
“In fact, I did. Hijab is not just a piece of cloth. It is obeying God in a difficult environment. It is courage, faith in action, and true womanhood.
But your short sleeves, tight pants…”

“That’s called `fashion`, you live in a cave orsomething? First of all, hijab was founded by men who wanted to control
“Really? I did not know men could control women by hijab.”
“Yes. That’s what it is.”
“What about the women who fight their husbands to wear hijab? And women in France who are forced to remove their hijab by men? What do you say about that?”
“Well, that’s different.”
“What difference? The woman who asked you to wear hijab…she was a woman, right?”
“Right, but…”
“But fashions that are designed and promoted by male-dominated corporations, set you free? Men have no control on exposing women and using them as a commodity?! Give me a break!”
“Wait, let me finish, I was saying…”
“Saying what? You think that men control women by hijab?”
“Specifically how?”
“By telling women how and what to wear, dummy!”
“Doesn’t TV, magazines and movies tell you what to wear, and how to be `attractive’?”
“Of course, it’s fashion.”
“Isn’t that control? Pressuring you to wear what they want you to wear?”
“Not just controlling you, but also controlling the market.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, you are told to look skinny and anorexic like that woman on the cover of the magazine, by men who design those magazines and sell those products.”
“I don’t get it. What does hijab have to do with products.”
“It has everything to do with that. Don’t you see? Hijab is a threat to consumerism, women who spend billions of dollars to look skinny and live by standards of fashion designed by men…and then here is Islam, saying trash all that nonsense and focus on your soul, not on your looks, and do not worry what men think of your looks.”
“Like I don’t have to buy hijab? Isn’t hijab a product?”
“Yes, it is. It is a product that sets you free from male-dominated consumerism.”
“Stop lecturing me! I WILL NOT WEAR HIJAB!
It is awkward, outdated, and totally not suitable for this society … Moreover, I am only 20 and too young to wear hijab!”
“Fine. Say that to your Lord, when you face Him on Judgment Day.
“Shut up and I don’t want to hear more about hijab niqab schmijab Punjab!”
She stared at the mirror, tired of arguing with herself all this time.
Successful enough, she managed to shut the voices in her head, with her own opinions triumphant in victory on the matter, and a final modern decision accepted by the society – but rejected by the Faith:
“Yes!” – to curls on the hair – “No!” – to hijab!

“And he(/she) is indeed a failure who corrupts it [the soul]!”
[Holy Quran,Surah As-Syams 91:10]

“Nay! You prefer the life of this world; While the hereafter is better and
more lasting.”[Holy Quran, Surah Al-A’la: 87:16-17]

“You are the best community (Ummah) raised up for (the benefit of) humanity; enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong and believing in Allah.”[Holy Quran, Surah Ali Imran: 3:110]

originated from (

Friday, May 1, 2009

Troubles everywhere. Why?

A person's mind and thoughts can travel the world until there is
nothing left to explore. There are no boundaries to where the mind
can go, which is why that there are so many fields of knowledge and
experiences that people can achieve.

The knowledge of human beings spans the highest mountains to the
deepest oceans. Mankind has explored everything: deserts, wastelands,
the heart of the planet, all rivers large and small, even the
intricacies of the human brain.

On its journey of discovery, the human mind has wandered all four
corners of the globe. The mind has roamed and explored the deepest
jungles, learning about the creatures that inhabit it and other
natural treasures. All the resources of the world have been explored
by their minds.

The world seems to have shrunk under the scrutiny of those who study
every aspect of it. There is nothing that people have not seen and
analysed. All the secrets of the world are out in the open.

That is how great the human mind is in exploring every corner of the
world. And this has yet to consider the additional exploring that can
be done when the physical body can travel along with the mind,
enabling closer study and the reveal of more secrets of God's world.

It is with the power of the human intellect that the planet's secrets
are revealed, as though the human brain is a bird, soaring over the
world freely. The world is akin to an open book, with its contents
visible to anyone to read.

If that is the state of the human brain, it is free to roam the world
at will. This is the extraordinary ability of the human mind as
created by God Al Mighty, the Most Powerful.

Still, although the ability of the human mind seems to be without
boundaries, at the same time the human soul is becoming narrower and
more restricted because the faith is weak when the person is not with
God. Their lives are difficult and tormented without God, as though
they are in living in a darkened cell. At these times even the brain
with all its abilities cannot help them. It, too, will be trapped in
the darkness. All thoughts and knowledge will be powerless.

Where is the proof? There is a great deal of evidence, we need only
to look around at the world we live in today. For example, whenever
times are difficult, such as being hit, being criticised by the
spouse, bankruptcy, losing a job, falling ill, having broken bones,
being caught and put in jail, and so on so forth, the soul feels
trapped and screaming for help, because the iman is weak or lacking
altogether. The soul suffers. The wide world feels small and
confined, and the body feels like it has been buried alive. The mind
that was previously free and independent, rich in knowledge and
flying all over the world cannot help. Thoughts run wild. Feelings go
haywire, principles are abandoned, confidence is lost.

It is only then that we understand, if only the mind has strength but
the soul is weak, then in the end the mind will also be affected and
lose its usefulness, affecting everything else in the person. Their
characteristics, habits, morals and behaviour will change. In fact,
the only things that won't change are their name and the colour of
their skin. But all that is within them will change completely. Those
around them would be shocked speechless to see the changes that come

That is what happens when the soul is weak and lacking in faith. The
person will feel trapped whenever hardships occur. They are akin to a
bird trapped in a cage, rattling and pecking and wrestling the bars
in a futile attempt to free themselves, driven by madness and

This is why in Islam, everyone is commanded not only are they to
strength their minds, it is more important to strengthen their souls.
The soul is to be strengthened with faith and the traits of God
fearing [taqwa], so that when they are tested, the soul will not
suffer in agony. All their confidence and principles in their
religion would not sway. Their mind will continue to function
properly because the soul is stable and unaffected.

Thus, let us not say that our soul is trapped by worldly problems.
Let us not confine out soul in the torment of the lust [nafs] that
naturally do no want our souls to be free and independent. Let us not
let our soul suffer from the hardships that come our way. We should
let our souls free to explore not only the four corners of this
world, but also the after death world (malakut world), spiritual
world and the hereafter, so that it is as free as it can possible be
from all restrictions.

In addition, what is more important is that people constantly keep
their spirits close to God. They should bring God with them wherever
they go, and so they are never alone. Let us make God our spiritual
friend. We should not turn our back on our opportunity to be close to

The Veil

They say, Oh, poor girl, you’re so beautiful you know
It’s a shame that you cover up your beauty so.

She just smiles and graciously responds reassuringly,
This beauty that I have is just one simple part of me,
This body that I have, no stranger has the right to see,
These long clothes, this shawl I wear, ensure my modesty,
Faith is more essential than fashion, wouldn’t you agree?

This hijab,
This mark of piety,
Is an act of faith, a symbol,
For the world to see.
A simple cloth, to protect her dignity.
So lift the veil from your heart to see the heart of purity.

They tell her, girl, don’t you know?
This is the West and you are free?
You don’t need to be oppressed, ashamed of your feminity.
She just shakes her head and
She speaks so assuredly

See the bill-boards and the magazines
That line the check-out isles,
With their phony painted faces and their
Air-brushed smiles?
Well their sheer clothes and low cut gowns
They are really not for me,
You call it freedom, I call it anarchy.

This hijab,
This mark of piety,
Is an act of faith, a symbol,
For all the world to see,
A simple cloth, to protect her dignity.

So lift the veil from your heart to see the heart of purity,
Lift the veil from your heart to seek the heart of purity.