B i s m i l l a a h i r R a h m a a n i r R a h e e m
THE HIJAB AS DA'WAH
Most Muslims are familiar with the various reasons that Allah has required women to wear hijab: The hijab reflects modesty, purity and respect; it lessens temptation so that more serious sins will be avoided; it protects women from the harm and molestation of evil men; a woman who wears hijab will be evaluated for her intelligence and skills rather than her appearance.
One important aspect that is often overlooked, however, is thatthe hijab is a symbol of Muslim identity. A woman who covers her head is making a statement that she is a member of the Muslim community and that she follows a particular code of moral conduct.
Allah says:"O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women to draw their outer garments around them. That is more suitable that they will be known (as Muslims and chaste believing women) and not be abused."
"...that they will be known..."
In America, where Islam is the fastest growing religion (Alhumdulillah) , many people are coming to know what this head covering really signifies and to understand the religion that mandates it. The hijab, in effect, is an amazingly powerful tool for dawah; one that Muslims themselves are probably not even aware of. As with any tool, the key for effectiveness is appropriate and knowledgeaing people to the true religion.
How can a woman perform dawah for Islam when she is not even practicing it herself? To do this would be a form of hypocrisy and it will not be successful.
Once a woman begins to wear hijab she completes a large portion of her responsibility for dawah with very little effort.Each time that she goes to the grocery store, the library, to work, to school, or to any other public place, she is spreading the magnificent message of Islam.This is not only because of the outer hijab that she wears, but more importantly, the modesty of her behavior that accompanies it.
When a woman refrains from flirting with men, limits physical contact, and is reserved and respectful, people may become curious and want to learn more about this intriguing faith. It may just sow the seeds of something wonderful.
At the University where I teach (which happens to be a private, Catholic school), women are often interested in my manner of dress and demeanor. Each semester I have at h today there is a law that requires women to cover their heads in church?"
"Have you read in I Corinthians (Bible, 11:3-10) the verses that Paul wrote:
'Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head.
And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head - it is just as though her head were shaved. If a woman doesn't cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or shaved off, she should cover her head."
"Did you know that there are some Christian denominations, namely the Amish and the Mennonites, who still require women to wear the head covering?"
"Were you aware that is was the custom of Jewish women to go out in public with a head covering and that some denominations still practice this today?
This can also be a cogent segue to more crucial topics such as the fact that Moses, alayhes salam, Jesus, alayhes salam and Muhammad, sallalahu allahe wa salam, were all prophets of the same God and that they each carried the same basic message.
Islam corrected the errors that had been introduced into previous revelations by humans and completed the process that was planned by Allah.
We should be proud to be Muslim.
We should also be grateful for the gift that Allah has given to each one of us: The perfect truth of Islam that is our key to paradise. All others are being deluded by Satan and following paths to destruction.
With our gift comes the responsibility to share the truth with those who are less fortunate.
We are all responsible to carry the light of Islam.
The hijab is an outward manifestation of this light that burns within, and it can be an effective tool for fulfillment of our obligation.
We choose whether to develop this light into a bright, radiant star or let it be extinguished by foolish and selfish desires.
By Dr. Aisha Hamdan, AlJumuah Magazine,
Volume 10, Issue 5, Jumaada-A- Ulaa, 1419h