When I Covered My Head, I Opened My Mind

Category: Featured, Life & Society, Women Topics: Hijab (Head Cover), Veil (Burqa) Views: 7231
7231

As a non-Muslim living in Western society, the idea of modesty was not exactly foremost in my mind. Like all other women of my generation and mind-set, I thought such ideas were antiquated and excessive. I felt pity for the poor Muslim woman who had to "wear all that junk," or "walk around in bed - sheets" as I used to call it 

I was a modern woman, educated and liberated. Little did I know the awful truth. I was more oppressed than any Muslim woman in the most culturally oppressive village in the Muslim world. I was oppressed not by an inability to choose my clothing or to choose my life-style, I was oppressed by an inability to see my society for what it really was. I was oppressed by the idea that a woman's beauty was public, and that lustful admiration was equal to respect. 

It was when Allah guided me to Islam, and I put on the hijab, that I was finally able to step out of the society in which I lived and see it for what it really is. I could see how the highest paid women were those who exposed themselves to public display, like actresses, models and even strip-tease dancers. I was able to see that the relationship between men and women was unfairly stacked in the man's direction. I knew I used o dress to attract men. I tried to fool myself by saying I did it to please myself, but the painful reality was that what pleased me was when I was admired by a man I considered attractive. 

I was not able to see that I was oppressed until I stepped out of the darkness of this oppressive society into the light of Islam. With the light shinning on the truth, I was finally able to see the shadows that had been so obscured by my Western outlook. It is not oppression to protect yourself and society; it is oppression to voluntarily throw yourself into an unclean social quagmire while thinking that it is the best way of life. 

I am grateful to Allah that He allowed me to recognize that when I covered my head, I was taking away from people any means for judging me other than my mind, my soul and my heart. When I covered my head, I took away the incentive for exploitation based on beauty. When I covered my head, I made people respect me because they saw that I respected myself, and when I covered my head, I finally opened my mind to the truth. 

One of the factors which attracted me to this great deen of ours was the fact that so much of it can be understood based on logic and reason.  Islam is a great religion that satisfies all of our basic intellectual and emotional needs; it does this simply because it is the truth, and the truth is always easy to understand and defend. 


  Category: Featured, Life & Society, Women
  Topics: Hijab (Head Cover), Veil (Burqa)
Views: 7231

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Older Comments:
UM KARIM FROM ENGLAND said:
Thank to God that finally non muslims are becoming more knowledgable and understand the reasons for hijab. I say to all the sisters either reverts or born to seroiusly consider to start wearing hijab if they dont all ready do so. Try not to care about what other people or family members say, if you lose friends because of it well do you really need friends like that anyway? I have been a muslim for more than 10 yrs now and chose to wear the hijab and eventually everyone got used to me dressed in a different way. The hijab frees you, your body is your business and yours alone. I seriously ask all sisters to consoder their actions and to remember that we are all answerable for our actions on Judgement Day. salaam alaikum to all
2007-02-04

ABDUL LATIF NASIR FROM USA said:
as a muslim living in the usa, i totally agree with this old manisfestation to the world. the people of old wore this attire, such as mary the mother jesus christ she was the first woman to put on a head garment and cover herself to protect her self from the lustful eyes of this world.Its not oppression to follow what the creator of the world has commanded us to do. The sooner people realize that the better off the world will be.
2007-01-02

NAJEE EL-AMIN KEITA FROM UNITEDSTAES OF AMERICA said:
wonderfull!!!very inspirational Allah is great!!
2006-12-27

KRIS FROM MALAYSIA said:
Assalamualaikum wrbt and greetings to all.

To Sister Sharifa and Brandy welcome to Islam. As your Muslim brother, I am proud and above all, Praise be to ALLAH SWT, the Creator and Sustainer of life, and the Supreme Ruler of the universe.

That ALLAH SWT has Guided you and instill in your hearts the the desire to find and search the truth, and now that you have found the truth, hold on to it.

As your Muslim brother, I am proud and I find lessons in your quest to know our Creator to be touching, and your endurance is an inspiration for all new Muslim brothers and sisters worldwide.

And I pray that may you be showered by GOD with HIS Rahmah and Baraqah always Insya ALLAH.
Wassalam.

Your Brother in Islam,

Kris
2006-12-21

ADEEL FROM USA said:
asalamo alaikum
Welcome to the religion of truth,very nice article.Living in newyork,i see majority of muslim women wear hijab as a fashion because they don't cover the parts of body which are suppose to be fully covered,I hope u wont be one of those women who just think that head is the only part to be covered and give least importance to those parts which are most attracted to men.
2006-12-21

IBN NASSIR IBNO FROM PHILIPPINES said:
I am from Philippines sister and i really touched by what you have written article, and i just hope that my gf would see that also,allah bless you...
2006-12-21

BRANDY FROM UNITED STATES said:
This was a wonderful article. I am a recent revert to Islam, and have been struggling with wanting to cover for almost two months now. I feel in my heart of hearts that it is the correct thing to do, and I want it more than anything but I am cautious because I am afraid of losing my relationship with my parents. I am a caucasion American of Irish descent, and after having converted almost 8 months ago, my parents are only recently talking with me about it and acknowledging my choice. I recently spoke with my husband's aunt who is covered and she told me that there will soon come a day that I realize it does not matter what my parents think that this is a positive, wonderful decision and that Allah will not leave me, He will be by my side when I tell them of my decision. It was a great relief to see this article regarding this beautiful way of life for decent Muslim women, and I have now made my decision. Alhumdulillah, it is wonderful to read an article written by a strong, intelligent and kind Muslim woman. Thank you!
2006-12-20

HASSAN FROM USA said:
Totally agree
2006-12-20

NOR RAMLI FROM MALAYSIA said:
MasyaAllah..May Allah bless us and give us courage in jihad fisabilillah.
2006-12-20

UMU MUSAB FROM US said:
Masha Allah...Sister I thank you for having the courage to see the truth of Islam and its treatment of women.
2006-12-19

SWDR FROM USA said:
How I wish that the western wannabees in muslim countries can open their minds and think like this muslim woman. I suppose they are just unfortunate.
2006-12-19

CLEMENT FARHAD FROM USA said:
Dear Sister Sharrifa,
As-salaam-alai-kum,

May Allah continue to guide you and protect you from the mundane things of earth. You have discovered a fact which most women may yet hope to realiize. And perhaps, may spend a life time searching for that inner peace which only Allah can give. It is extremely beautiful to look at our sisters who take pride in executing the commands of Allah!

The dress code is important. But equally important also, is the salah. When combined, its an unbeatable feat!

May Allah give you the strength to continue to prostrate to Him for as long as He has decreed.

Should you need additional help, please email me at [email protected].

Sincerely,

Br. Clement
2006-12-19

MAS FROM UAE said:
Splendid! May Allah bless the author and give us guidance to reach and extend the truth.
2006-12-19

RUBINA FROM NY said:
I do agree with the writer of this article, and i welcome her to the real beautiful Islam not the one our media and culture shows...good work
2006-12-19

FATIMA FROM AMERICA said:
Mashallah,
that was an impressive article. May Allah give you paradise for your courageous act, and I also ask him to give other women,(Muslim and non-Muslim alike), the guidance, strength, and courage to start wearing the Hijab as well.
2006-12-19

JAWAD FROM USA said:
Macha Allah. It is such a beautiful comment. May Allah reward our sister for the time taken to write, and guide her toward the right path of Islam. Inchaa'Allah our reward will be Janaa.(paradise)
2006-12-18

RAFIA MALIK FROM CANADA said:
Thank you Sharrifa for sharing such a powerful article. It was indeed very inspiring and worth the read.
2006-12-18

SAMER FROM PALESTIN said:
Jazak Allah Khair always.
2006-12-17

BAHRONI FROM PAKISTAN said:
A beautiful post and definitely an eye opener.wasalam
2006-12-17

SALMA FROM QATAR said:
The dear sister's other article, May Allah bless her and her family.

http://www.zawaj.com/articles/woman_carlo.html
2006-12-17

FATIMA, LEE FROM S.KOREA said:
It's very impressive and truely this is a reality.
2006-12-17

AROOJ FROM USA said:
Beautifully written. I wish every person would read this article . " the truth is always easy to understand and defend" May Allah help us all believe in the truth, and the religion Islam.
2006-12-17

AYISHA FROM UK said:
I admire your courage and strength to wear the hijab, i was converted into Islam this year all was fine until i started to wear the hijab all i got was are your sick or are you wearing it for any reason or just fancy wearing it i even lost a very good friend. I stopped wearing it i would like to wear it again and return to Islam as i too found Islam good for me i loved reading the Quaran and i learnt lots from it but found a few things that you have to do a bit hard. I pray to Allah he will guide me in the way he guided you. I will always respect Islam and Muslims. Please pray for me so i will be guided by Allah.
2006-12-16

NOURA FROM UNITED STATES said:
i agree this subject is right and i myself was raised to dress the way of attracting males and my own father didnt protect me from the harm by american men if the american men could see the way islamic men treated there women they would see the truth that islam is the best religion...
2006-12-16

AMIRAH STLAURENT FROM USA said:
Alhundillah, I am so greatful to allah
to havebeen giving the opportunity to read this article my daughter has come of age (puberty) and attend public school she doesn't want to wear hijab we are struggling with this because she has twoo younger sisters who will not go without them I don't want her to confuse them so I will give her this jzakall karil to sister Sharrifa for this as salaam u alaikum
2006-12-16

AYESHA FROM USA said:
Mashallah, this is a wonderful expression showing the immense value of hijab. Working in the corporate environment and wearing hijab is a daily challenge for me. This article is a perfect reminder for all Muslimas as we seek to be succesful in this dunya and the Hereafter..and the Hereafter is tbetter!
2006-12-16

SHERI FROM UNITED STATES said:
It wasn't until I was introduced to Islam that I found the peace I was searching for. This article is true- people's minds are not clouded w/inappropriate thoughts when they must focus on your MIND/HEART/SOUL instead of the body. It is only for our benefit. Hope others are encouraged from reading this.
2006-12-16

MD. MERAJ ALAM FROM INDIA said:
Welcame Sister, infact its not a conversion rather its a revert, as we started the right way (since the first day of the world) gone astray in between & now the come back with the mercy of ALLAH.
2006-12-16

RAIS AHMED FAROOQUI FROM INDIA said:
Sister Sharrifa,

Assalam-u-alaikum-vr-vb!

How bold is your article on Covering Head and Opening Mind. May Allah guide all of us the same way as it happened to you in all walks of our lives and esp. uncovered women to the right path and follow Islam in its true spirit.

Amin Summa Amin

Jazakallah-u-khair,

Fi Amaan Allah
2006-12-16

FATOUMATA FROM GUINEA said:
when i read this article thank allan for geving his bless to all those who's anderstand islam well and sister sharrifa may allan continue guiding u and all of us to the good deen for the rest of our life and may allan forgive our sin before death.thank u asalamaliku.
2006-12-16

MOHAMED SALIM FROM U.S. said:
This is what the Western women should read or be told to get out of theier hidden opression.
2006-12-16

NAGIB FROM USA said:
May Allah give you the strength to carry the message to people who desperately need it.May Allah help you to be the bridge between the muslim and the western community.Subhanallahi wabihamdihi subhanallihil azim.
2006-12-16

ABID FROM USA said:
I am very happy to hear about the positive affects Islam has on your life. You are an inspiration for all women. I congratulate you, and pray that may Allah give you all good things.
2006-12-15

ZINEDINE FROM MOROCCO said:
Maa sha'a Allah,

Sister Sharifa, you are brave...and now that you know the truth please stick to it forever!

All the best to you and your family!

Wa salaamu alaikum
2006-12-15

BRANDY FROM CALIFORNIA, USA said:
Thank you so much for writing this article. I converted about seven months ago, and since then have toyed with the idea of covering. At first I said I would wait until my husband and I had children, so I could set a good example. But more and more recently my heart has been pulling at me that I shouldn't wait to set an example for them, I need to do it to be an example for all, and to live in the modest and right way that Muslim woman should live. I am struggling with telling my parents, as they already are having a hard time with my conversion. I am also struggling with telling my husband, because although he was born in the Muslim faith, he is not as devout as I am, and I am afraid he will no longer find me attractive or appealing. I know this should not be a concern, Allah should come first, but I am only human, and not perfect. This article came on a day after I spent last night reading the Noble Quran, dreaming wonderful dreams of living my life as a proper covered lady, and after getting up this morning to pray to Allah for his guidance. You don't know how much it means to me that I logged on and saw this article, you have perhaps helped me make a huge step in the right direction. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
A'salamm u'Alaikum.
2006-12-15

FATIMA FROM UK said:
May Allah stregthen our heart and guide us, make us among his creation his pleased with.
Thanks to Almighty God to show you his light and we should pray for other to.Thanks
2006-12-15

MARYAH FROM MEXICO said:
Assalaamu alaikum:
I find truth in your statements sister.
My daughter who once was a legal assistant once told me the same thing.
She worked in a law office that would fire a female clerical person who gained weight, got pregnant or gained the age of 25.
My daughter who is brilliant was let go by this firm when she became pregnant with her oldest daughter,she did not reflect the image they wanted to portray.
She is non muslim, but she is a modest dresser and believes a woman should be valued for her person and not her looks.
I too feel safer in hijab and modest dress.
As for my daughter, she is now the editor of the legal section of a respect local business publication. She is respected for her talent and ability and NOT her looks! (even though she is beautiful!)
2006-12-15

NAGIB FROM USA said:
May Allah make you the bridge between the Muslim and the western community.May Allah give you the strength to carry the truth to the people who desperately need it.May Quraan be your way of life and the people surrounding you.Subhanallahi wabihamdihi...subhanallahil azim.
2006-12-15

TASNEEM FROM USA said:
Loved your article..make me proud of my religion and no doubt hijab or covering up is the best for having self respect.

2006-12-15

M FROM USA said:
That is a sincere article.
May Allah bless you
2006-12-15

ADAM FROM NIGERIA said:
My oh my. What a piece. So short but so mighty.

This is the part i love much when sis Sharrifa says: "One of the factors which attracted me to this great deen of ours was the fact that so much of it can be understood based on logic and reason." Unlike other religions where u are not allowed to use reasoning! How truthful!

Well done sis. Keep writing.

May Allah continue to guide us unto the path that is straight to Himself, ameen.
2006-12-15