Rafed English

Through Another’s Eyes

Often times the power and influence that our words and actions carry escapes us.

There are countless reasons a girl chooses not to wear hijab. Maybe she thinks she’s not religious enough or worried that she will have to change her entire lifestyle. Most reasons are often personal, but there are times that someone will not put on hijab due to other people’s actions.

A line I’ve heard on more than one occasion in the past is, “I’d rather not wear hijab and be a good Muslim, then wear hijab and be like her!” As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve said that line myself a few times in the past.

It’s almost instinctual to think that any girl who says that is simply making excuses not to wear hijab, that she’s pinning her insecurities on someone else. And though this may be true, we should also look at it from the other point of view. Maybe her insecurities are valid. Maybe, just maybe, she has a point.

This by no means justifies the reasoning for not wearing hijab however, as we alone will be accountable for our own actions and not those of others, but it is just to put things into perspective from the ‘other side’ of the story, as perhaps our actions as Muslimahs donning the hijab may be a possible deterrent for another to doubt the concept herself.

Watching our Attitude:

One of the reasons a non-hijabi might say such a thing is because many girls tend to think that because they are wearing hijab, they may be better than the girls who are not covering. This mindset is not only destructive for the hijabi, for obvious reasons, but also for the sister who is not wearing hijab. An arrogant attitude can, and often does, “turn off” other girls from wearing hijab, because they might think that once someone puts on a hijab, they become rude or take on a superior attitude.

Is it Serving its Purpose?

Then, there are the girls who cover, but unfortunately, their actions are not exactly “Islamic.” It’s true that just because you wear a hijab, doesn’t mean that you are perfect or don’t sin. However, wearing a hijab entails more than just covering your hair and a sister who covers has to remember that her actions are more “on display” compared to someone who does not wear a hijab.  Sometimes, girls who don’t wear the hijab are better in their actions compared to the girls who do and, once again, people turn away from wearing hijab because they see a hypocrisy that does not please them.

Both of these scenarios often hinder non-hijabis from getting to know hijabis enough to befriend them, learn from them and become influenced by them. Instead, this attitude creates a divide that restricts both people from getting to know the goodness in the other.

Refraining from Judgement:

It’s easy to point out the weakness in others, especially a physical weakness that is very apparent, like a girl who hasn’t put on the hijab yet, but it’s a lot more difficult to look at our own faults and notice the mistakes in our attitude and actions. So we should try to focus on ourselves and make the changes that we need to become better Muslims. We have to remember that our appearance and our actions should not portray just hijab, , but Islam as a whole, so that we don’t become a means of turning anyone away from this beautiful religion.

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