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So you’re sitting down with your friends and you’re having a good time. All of a sudden, one of your friends, let’s call her X, starts talking about hijaab. Uh oh. Whoopsy daisy. You don’t like how this conversation is going….you can already feel that you aren’t going to agree with what your friend says. Sure enough, X says something along the lines of “Hijab is only about being modest. I mean, the Qur’an doesn’t even say the word hair”…All of your other friends are nodding and looking at that other friend, X, like she’s some sort of Saint or something.

What to do? Speak up? Tell them that the Qura’n does say to obey the Prophet (Sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam) and that is where the exact ruling comes from? Have them think of you as some preacher, or worse, an extremist…Or you can be quiet and not say anything….

mumble You decide to mumble something about “being pretty sure that wasn’t right.

Course you say it just loud enough, I mean low enough, that they can’t hear you. But hey, at least you said, it right? Better than the last time where you didn’t say anything at all—having done your duty, you relax and join in the “Fun”.

What you don’ t know is that your other friend just went through the same inner struggle you went through and so did the other one too. Nobody spoke up because they were too scared too; everybody assumed that the entire group was unanimous in the decision that hijaab is “just modesty” …and because everybody thought everybody else agreed with it, nobody wanted to oppose the entire group, so everybody was quiet about it. This is actually defined by sociologists as groupthink- and it occurs in all places and all times.

BUT! This is not Islamic thinking. In Islam, we are told to “Speak up when something is wrong!” Just listen to the Prophet (Sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam’s) hadith:

“Whosoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart; and that is the weakest of faith.”

Now some of you might be thinking- well yeah, we’re thinking in our hearts that is wrong, isn’t that okay? But pay attention to the hadith: it says: “If he is not able to do so”— meaning you better have no way of speaking up. You see, it is not enough for you to be good and to leave others. Not enough at all:

It was reported that Allah ordered Jibreel to destroy a village that had become extremely corrupted, but Jibreel asked Allah, “O Allah, in this village is your servant that constantly prays to You”, Allah replied, “Start with him! For his face never changed with disapproval to what had been going on.” Because he didn’t speak up, because he thought it was enough for him to be good, he too was punished with the sinners.

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Asalamu aliakum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatoo,

Niqabis Studying

Imagine. 20 girls jumping up on their desks, screaming because a mouse just went scurrying across their classroom. Do you see it? Do you hear it? The shrieks, the laughter, the confusion? Yeah, it was utter chaos, but it was a lot of fun, too. It really happened to my class back when I was in high school. And gosh, I miss those days.

Now, I’m in university. And yes, I am perfectly aware that there are perverse stalkers on the internet, which is why I’m not usually one to speak about my private life online. But, today, I’m going to be a little daring and say a detailed fact- I live in the UAE and I attend a segregated university. You’re thinking, “big deal”? Pretty ordinary. Well, it is a big deal. I finished 12 years of schooooool…a big deal to me! No, seriously, it’s more than that. It’s a bigger deal than that because a lot of the world has this image of Muslim/Arab girls being the oppressed daughters, the lowly wives, the uneducated girls…And you know what? We’re not.

In fact, hmm…well, wait. Are you ready for this? Are you sitting down because we wouldn’t want you to faint…

Thousands of Muslim women attend university. In the UAE, there are even universities made exclusively for women, such as Higher Colleges of Technology for Women. Think about that. Universities just for women. What does that mean? It means that women must be attending university, must be learning, graduating, getting degrees…if women weren’t going to the universities, the universities would have to have been shut down because let’s face it- in the end, universities run on the tuitions of the students, don’t they?

But that’s not all. Going to university isn’t really the “big deal.” The big deal is when we, Muslim women, earned our rights to get an education.

Take a wild guess…

A couple more guesses….

Okay, enough guessing. Time to spill the news. Wait, I just have to check one more time: you’re still sitting down, right? Sitting properly in your chair? Not balancing on only one leg of the chair? Good, good. You’re ready!

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Bismillah

Allahoo Akbar

Asalamu aliakum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatoo,

My father’s bank account diminished greatly in an astonishing two weeks. And before you say it, no, it’s not because he has three daughters, but because of a series of almost unbelievable events. One laptop mysteriously “died”, and then, a few days later (perhaps finding it too difficult to go on without its friend), the other laptop soon followed. The radiator of the car was massacred- fixed- and then, ruined again. A graphic calculator worth around $100 was also ruined. And, then, in a hurried attempt to inform our father of the things going on, we broke the telephone. To you, it probably seems cruel that we kept informing him of our latest catastrophes. But, to us, his daughters…well, we knew he could bear it. Because when you know your place in this world, when you know that in essence, you are a nobody, that you are a servant, that you belong to the Creator, that to Him belongs all that is in the Heavens and the Earth, that He is the One and True Sovereign, nothing can really put you down. Because you know, no matter what problem, crisis, difficulty comes along…. He is a thousand times more Greater.

Two words, if felt by the heart and understood by the brain, can diminish the most mountainous hardship into a mere pebble. Allahoo Akbar. Allah [is] Greatest! (1)

He is Greater than all, and He is Capable of Everything! Allahoo Akbar! It is He who causes the non-living to breathe, the living to die, the mountains to crumble, the thunder to roar, the lightening to strike, the heart to beat (2), the sick to heal. Allahoo Akbar! It is He who can cause an arrogant rich man to die penniless, an infertile woman to give birth to a joyous bundle, a drowning child to be saved, a cancerous patient whom doctors have given up hope on to be cured, a blind person to see…Allahoo Akbar! It is He who caused a whale to swallow a man and then let him be free. It is He who created the stars, the sun, the moon- the Entire Universe. Not a word is uttered that He does not Hear it. Not a problem occurs, that He can not solve- not a thing in this world, that He is not Greater.

When you know your place in this world, when you know who you are and who He is, nothing can let you down.

And that’s who I am.

A Servant of God. A Servant of the Most Compassionate.—–

Note-

[1]- Allah is the Arabic word for God. Many don’t know this. But it’s true. Even my Arab Christian friends use the word Allah 🙂

[2] The Heart Beats! If you wish to read a miracle that occured a few days ago: Miracle