treasure_chestIn many secret locations, treasure-chests, deposits, safes, banks, hidden excavations in the ground and chambers, people have hidden away from the eyes of men the most precious of items, the likes of money and jewellery. Some hide them out of fear of theft, whereas other items, such as precious stones and gold, are hidden in order to preserve their beauty and worth. Sadly, before the dignity of woman comes the need for the security of material assets.

The hearts which contain faith in the One Ever-Watching Lord ache in pain when seeing the abuse, misuse, oppression and brainwashing of women who are engrossed within titles of freedom and modernism yet unclad and devoid of shame and honour. Indeed, they have stripped off much more than their clothing: their ability to be judged for who they are over what they wear and look like. They have become prey for many men whose unrestrained glances relish and covet them with animalistic and hedonistic looks. Even many of their men don’t mind them being an open show for both the indecent people to stare at them and for decent people to become embarrassed by their immodest exposure. Strange indeed is their greedy protection for their precious inanimate objects, such as money, diamonds and jewellery that they so fastidiously store away, in comparison to their protection of the women of their homes, their ‘soul-mates’, wives, mothers and daughters.

I ask you: what liberty is there in being openly paraded in front of all men indiscriminately, regardless of whether they are drug addicts, alcoholics, gay, paedophiles, porn addicts... Are such women truly FREE?! Or are they free to be devoured by a godless, capitalist, hungry and sex-driven society. THAT is why majority of the monstrous media outlets relish in annihilating good ethics and morals. The media and news weekly censure the evil advances made towards women, such as date-rape and molestation, while simultaneously, hand-in-hand, they openly declare war against the pure veil. Yes, the very veil worn by Mother Mary, which was once upon a time for them an icon and embodiment of modesty and refinement, has now become, as declared by Jack Straw’s and Mr. Sarkozy’s Jihaad, a garb of the social outcasts.
No longer does it matter who doesn’t wear next to anything... it’s about who wears the ...burqas and abayas!

The Reality

Ah! How dark memories eat away at the tranquillity and peace of many a woman and young girl, who are now to live with regrets that tarnish and stain their lives.

My sisters, a woman –especially the Muslim woman - is more precious and deserving of attention and care than the most exquisite and beautiful of gems, diamonds and expensive stones. For she is a human being, with a heart that gushes forth sentiments and feelings from within her soul. She is a mother, a daughter, a wife and above all, she is from the Ummah (the people to whom the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) has been sent) of Islaam. Unlike these materialistic assets, she is a woman who is free to enjoy the permissible delights of this world, view its enchanting scenes and enjoy the shade of the expansive heaven above. She can breathe the freshness of the autumn breeze and can see her reflection in the lakes of summer.

Yes, she can do all this, while being covered and protected within the warmth and care of her Islamic attire. A Muslim woman wears her Hijaab and Jilbaab knowing that it is an open statement of her belief and faith in Allah, the One and True Lord. She walks with happiness, tranquillity and peace emanating from her heart. This is because she has been blessed by her Lord with the honour of wearing the dress code of the believing women of all times.

The Muslim Woman’s role models are the Mothers of the Believers and how excellent these role models are indeed! Her guide is the Qur’aan, of which the character of the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) was a receptacle.

The Sahaabiyaat's Reaction towards this Divine Command

Dear Sisters! Let’s open our hearts and allow it to sink in the words of the Lord of the heavens and the earth, {And say to the faithful women to lower their gazes, and to guard their private parts, and not to display their beauty except what is apparent of it, and to extend their head-coverings (khumur) to cover their bosoms...} (Surah an-Nur, verse 31)

Imaam Abu Abdullah Qurtubi (rahimahullah) said,

"Women in those days used to cover their heads with the Khimaar (cloth), throwing its ends upon their backs. This left the neck and the upper part of the chest bare, along with the ears, in the manner of the Christians. Then Allah commanded them to cover those parts with the Khimaar."

Imaam ibn Katheer (rahimahullah) wrote,

"{Extend their khimaars to cover their bosoms} means that they should wear the Khimaar in such a way that they cover their chests so that they will be different from the women of the Jaahiliyyah (Time of Ignorance) who did not do that but would pass in front of men with their chests uncovered and with their necks, forelocks and earrings uncovered."

My dear sister, Allah (the Mighty) has not only sanctioned the Khimaar, but another garment also comes your way, which will envelop your beauty, your very being, your physical charm and preserve it for him who is worthy of you, who has respected you by taking you under his protection in the name of Allah and by undertaking the strong covenant of marriage. More importantly, by wearing it you will be following the Words of your Creator, you will be actualising your honourable title of being a Muslimah, a woman who submits to her Lord. Your love for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) will adorn your actions, just as the horizon is adorned by the golden light of dawn. For, Allah (the Mighty) commanded His Messenger to announce to all the Muslim Women, of which you my dear Sister are also a member,

{O Prophet! Say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the faithful to draw their outer-garments (jalaabeebihinna) close around themselves; that is better that they will be recognized and not annoyed. And God is ever Forgiving, Gentle.}

You are following the way of the pious women before you. Therefore, envelop yourself with Allah’s guidance and mercy by following His teachings, just as the Sahaabiyaat did. Umm Salamah, the Mother of the Faithful said,

“When the verse, {That they should draw their Jalaabeeb close around them} was revealed, the women of Ansaar (the women companions of Madinah) came out as if they had crows over their heads by wearing Jalaabeeb.” (Sunan Aboo Daawood, Book 32 #4090)

In fact, some of the Sahaabiyaat remained in their homes and would not go out until and unless they had a Jilbaab. In Prophetic Narrations (ahaadeeth), we find that the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) commanded the Sahaabiyaat to come out for the ‘Eed gathering. One of them then asked the Messenger (peace be upon him),

"O Messenger of Allah! What about the one who does not have a Jilbaab?” He said, "Let her borrow the Jilbaab of her companion." (Saheeh Bukhaari, Book 8 #347)

It is noteworthy that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not say that she could suffice with a baggy shirt and a baggy lower-garment, as the men wore. Secondly, he did not have to define to her what the Jilbaab actually was. This is because the Jilbaab was understood and known to them, both by language as well as by the faith that glowed and alighted the path of guidance for them. In truth, many of us today know what the Jilbaab signifies yet try to interpret it to mean something else. Is it really ignorance or is there a bigger agenda… of the satan that perches on the heart of man when Allah (the Mighty) isn’t remembered.

Let’s look at how the female Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) wholeheartedly complied with the command of their Lord, submitting to it by embracing the Jilbaab. In Rooh al-Ma’aani, 22/89, it says,

“After the revelation of this verse, many female Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) used to emerge outside their homes with complete reticence as though birds were sitting on their heads. They used to cover themselves with long black cloaks.”

niqaabigrey89As I come near to the conclusion of this article I wish to present to you, my dear Sister, a beautiful narration of our Beloved Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, "Allah said, ‘My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him.’” (Saheeh al-Bukhaari)

That is why we find many of the female Companions also adopting the face-veil. For many the face-veil brings about a frown on the face, but as for those who are acquainted with history know that the face was covered not only by many Muslim women but also by many pious women in the past. For it was an emblem of modesty, something to be respected and not vilified.

After Surah an-Noor, verse 31 had been revealed, the Mothers of the Faithful, as well as the Sahaabiyaat (Women Companions), continued to wear Niqaab with the approval of the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam). This has been specifically mentioned for Umm Khallad (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 14 #2482), Asma bint Abu Bakr (Muwatta, Book 20 #20.5.16), and some Qurayshi women who were visiting the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) (Sahih Bukhari, Book 54 #515).

Therefore, we should respect the Niqaab even if we do not don it ourselves. How can our hearts have a dislike, an itch against any of the practices of the Sahaabiyaat? Although there is a difference of opinion over whether the Niqaab is binding upon a Muslimah, there is no difference of opinion over the fact that it is a highly recommended action. Therefore, the Khimaar (a big Hijaab fully covering the chest) and the Jilbaab are a must and binding upon every single Muslimah who has testified in the Oneness of Allah and the Messengership of the final Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).

Following the Deen al-Haqq (true religion) is an honour and great blessing. For, Allah (the Mighty) has blessed you with belief in Him, without you ever having seen Him. That in itself is truly a miracle. Not only that, dear Sister, Allah (the Omnipotent) has blessed you in becoming a follower of the Final and Noble Messenger Muhammad (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam), although you have never sat in his presence nor met him in this life.

Let’s not shy away from being enveloped by the teachings of Islaam and the command of our Lord and His Messenger, peace be upon him, and let’s allow our every single breath to be an act of worship until we meet our Lord.

And surely, the meeting is soon.