I am that Hijab
A stunning and powerful poem on hijab by guest writer Aatifa Shareef
Originally posted on http://www.igotitcovered.org
I am that Hijab
That cloth, that fabric
That symbol, that fear
In people’s eyes
Why does she wear it?
I am that cloth
Grippingly around her head
Secure but comfortable
Strong but delicate
Covering her hair, her ears, her neck
I am that fabric
Gracefully around her head
Protective but alleviating
Simple but beautiful
Displaying the beauty within, the pride within, the soul within
I am that concept
Gloriously around her head
Fierce but merciful
Unyielding but blessed
Compelling the wearer to go on, the onlooker to pause, the bystander to ponder
I am that liberation
Graciously around her head
Desired but attained
Unseen but felt
Refusing the persecution, the unwanted glares, the harsh words
I am that freedom
That concept, that liberation
That symbol, that serenity
In her eyes
That is why she wears it.
Aatifa Shereef originally wrote this poem in 10th Grade for an English assignment requiring a creative piece on freedom. The first thing that popped into her mind regarding freedom (ironically to some) was to write about hijab! “I am that Hijab” was previously published in The Columbus Dispatch, and was submitted to this site by the author. In 2009, she graduated from The Columbus Academy in Gahanna, OH, and is currently a freshman at Northwestern University.
I am reading a small booklet by one of our great scholars, Muwaffaq ad-Din Ibn Qudama Al-Maqdisi, better known as Ibn Qudama. The title of this booklet is called Al-Wasiyyah (The Advice) and it is the kind of writing so typical of our great scholars (may Allah have mercy on them all). A few statements and paragraphs when read slowly and contemplated on, carry such a deep and beautiful meaning. One can really appreciate the magnitude and depth of their words, as they spread the fruits of their wisdom and Taqwa. It reminds me of the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam), where there was so much power and meaning behind what seemed to be a simple statement Subhan’Allah.
I had to share with you all just a few paragraphs of this work. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. At the least I found quite a few great reminders in it, where we can remind ourselves, our kids, family, students, and those around us. I just love the wording and can only imagine how much more beautiful it is read in the original Arabic language. May Allah help us all to learn Arabic for His sake; Ameen.
————————————————————————-Excerpts from Al-Wasiya
The Advice of the esteemed scholar Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi Section I: Hastening to Act
I say, and Allah is enough for us, and an excellent guardian. The world is an opportunity, so gain benefit from it. Know, may Allah have mercy on you – that this world is the field whose harvest is the next world, the market where it is gained, and the place where provision and profitable goods are obtained. In it the forerunners emerge, the Godfearing win, the true are successful, those who work reap profits and the falsifiers lose.
This abode is the place of the hopes of the people of the Garden, and the people of the Fire.Allah, exhalted is He, says about the people of the fire,
They will shout in it, ‘Our Lord, take us out and we will act rightly, differently from the way we used to act.’ ” (35:37)
He, exhalted is He, says,
If only you can see when they are standing before the fire and saying, ‘If only we could be sent back again, we would not deny the signs of our Lord and we would be among the believers.’ ” (6:27)
It is related that Ibn Masood said,
The souls of the martyrs are like green birds which go about in Paradise wherever they wish and return to the lamps hanging from the Throne. When they are like that, your Lord will look at them and say, ‘My slaves, ask Me for what you wish,’ and they will answer, ‘Our Lord, we ask you to return our souls to our bodies, and then return us to the world to be killed again.’ When He sees that they do not ask for anything else but that, they are left.” (Muslim)
Know my brother, may Allah have mercy on you, that Allah, exhalted as He, knows that they will ask that and yet they will not be returned to this world. Rather, so that they become desirous of it He wants to inform the believers in this world that in the Garden their wish will be to be killed in His cause.
Ibrahim At-Taymi (one of the great Imams and Jurists in Kufa) said, I imagined myself in the Garden eating from its fruit, embracing its virgins, and enjoying its bliss, and then I asked myself, “My self, what do you desire?” It replied, “I want to return to the world to do more of the deeds by which I attained this.” Then I imagined myself in hell burning with its fire, gulping down its hot water and eating its bitter fruit. I asked myself, “What do you desire?” It answered, “To return to the world and perform actions by which I can deliver myself from this.” So I told myself, “My self, you have what you wished, so ACT!”
Know, may Allah have mercy on you, that in the graves people wish that they can say a single glorification of Allah to increase their good actions, or to repent some of their bad actions, or perform a single rakah to elevate their degree.
If you were to compare this life to unending eternity, you would know that every breath is equal to more than a trillion years in bliss beyond number, or the opposite of that. Something like this is priceless.
So do not squander the gems of your precious life doing nothing, and do not waste them without achieving recompense. Strive to take no breath except in an act of obedience or an act by which you draw near to Him. It would sadden you to lose one of the gems of this world after possessing it. Indeed, if you were to lose a dinar, it would trouble you, yet you waste your hours and minutes without grieving for your life that is passing by without recompense!
Make your heart reflect on the blessings of Allah for which you should be thankful, on your wrongdoing so that you ask forgiveness for it, on your neglect so that you repent, on the creations of Allah and His wisdom, so that you recognize His immensity and wisdom, on what is before you so you seek to prepare for it, or on the judgment respecting something you need to learn.
Moisten your tongue constantly with remembrance of Allah, supplication to Him, asking for His forgiveness, reciting the Quran, reading or teaching knowledge, commanding what is right and forbidding what is wrong, or in putting things right between people.
Occupy your limbs with acts of obedience and let the most important of them be performing the obligatory prayers in their times in the most complete form – and then in what will be of benefit to people. The best of that is what will be beneficial to their deen, like teaching people deen and guiding them to the Straight Path.
When we face inevitable hardships in life, we can find inspiration from the story of Hajar, Ibrahim’s (alayhi salam) wife. She was left alone with her baby son Ismaeel (alayhi salam) in a desert in Makkah without food and without water. Hajar did not know what Allah SWT had hidden for her but she was obedient and remained patient. We see now some of the tremendous blessings that manifested from her patience and Taqwa – one of which include millions of people following her actions between Safa and Marwah during Hajj every year. Did Hajar ever think that during her big test, that she was actually doing something that would be a cause for millions of people to imitate her each year – thereby earning millions upon millions of rewards until the Day of Judgment! Through PATIENCE and trust in Allah, comes a multitude of unimaginable blessings. Likewise, lack of those virtues at the least can be a cause of many lessons to be learned. Here are some words of wisdom about Patience from two of our Shuyookh (rahimahullah).
May Allah SWT make us among those who are patient and successful; Ameen.
From the Greatest Causes of Fitna Shaykhul Islam Ibn Tamiyyah Ibn Muflih said in "al-Fur'oo : 6/160-161": Our Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah said: The general of the trials and tribulations (fitna) which have occurred: the greatest of their reason is a decrease of Patience.
And as such: Fitna has two reasons:
- Weakness of knowledge or
- Weakness of Patience
Indeed ignorance and transgression are the causes of evil.
And the doer of evil; he will do it due to :
– Or due to the fact that his soul wants to do that.
Every person has to exercise patience in order to face difficulties, whether he does so willingly or unwillingly. The noble person exercises patience willingly, because he realizes the benefits of patience, and he knows that he will be rewarded for his patience and will be criticized if he panics. He is aware that if he does not have patience, panicking and impatience will not help him to regain missed opportunities, and will not take away things he dislikes. Whatever is decreed and is qada’ wa qadr cannot be prevented from happening, and whatever is decreed not to happen cannot be made to happen. So an attitude of impatience and panic actually causes harm.
A wise man said: “A man with wisdom as soon as adversity appears does that which a foolish man does after a month (i.e. he resorts to patience)”.
The ignoble man exercises patience only when he realizes he has no choice. After wasting a lot of time and energy and panicking and struggling, he realizes that his impatience will not help him. Then he exercises patience in the same way that a person who has been tied up to be whipped exercises patience.
The noble person practices patience in obeying Allah, whilst the ignoble person exercises patience in obeying the Shaytan. So ignoble person have the greatest patience in following their own whims and desires, and have the least patience in obeying their Lord. They have the greatest patience in spending in the way of Shaytan and no patience when it comes to spending even a few pennies in the way of Allah. They will endure many difficulties in order to follow their own whims and desires, but cannot bear even the least difficulties in order to please their Lord. They will endure slander for the sake of committing wrong action, but cannot exercise patience in putting up with slander for the sake of Allah. Such people will avoid enjoining the good and forbidding the evil for fear of what people will say about them for doing so, but they will expose their honour to slander and bear it most patiently for the sake of following their own whims and desires. Similarly, they are not prepared to practise patience in devoting themselves to Allah, but when it comes to devoting themselves to Shaytan and their own whims and desires, they will exercise remarkable patience. Such people will never be noble in the sight of Allah, and on the Day of Resurrection they will not be raised with the people of nobility and decency.
Qadr of Allah my grandfather on my father’s side just passed away at the age of 96. He lived in in the Guangzhou Province in Southern China, in a very poor village with most of my father’s side of the family living there as well. When I went to China a few summers ago, I was going to meet him for the first time. Qadr of Allah I never made it to Guangzhou – I was extra sad because this is also where the first Masjid in China was built by Saad ibn Abi Waqqas (radiy Allahu anhu) and I really wanted to visit it with my father. Next time Insha’Allah.
When I phoned my father to ask how he was doing, he told me he would be flying to China in 2 weeks for the burial. When I asked why they were waiting 2 weeks to bury him, he replied, they had to look at the calendar for the best day (there are “good luck days” and “bad luck days” to perform certain actions like getting married, moving, burying a deceased, etc), and then everyone attending would go and make certain ritual prayers to the gods. Subhan’Allah – these are but 2 common cultural traditions, totally based on shirk, that I grew up with almost ALL my life. By Allah’s favor He has taken me far away from it to the point where I even forgot about them. So when I was reminded about it from my father, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I used to live and follow these types of beliefs as if they were mere instructions in a manual, without even thinking twice about them. without even thinking that anything was even wrong with it. Now Alhamdulillah I realize the magnitude of these baseless, DARK practices, and the great harm in them. On one hand I was so grateful to reflect on where I was and how Allah SWT took me from that darkness into light, and how Allah SWT has guided me to Tawheed, for my son and myself Alhamdulillah. Then on the other hand I listened to my father speaking and became very sad, because I understood my family’s mentality very well as I was raised by them with the same exact mentality.
I understood how my family sees there is nothing wrong with these things, as they are just cultural traditions. I understand and greatly appreciate how Allah freed me from those shackles and guided me to Islam. As much as I am thankful, I am also sad that my family is still in that state of darkness. Hediya is from Allah SWT, and He will guide only those whom He wills. I will not stop making du’aa for them and trying with them, as anyone can be guided at any moment if Allah wills – and I do not question His Qadr either way. But this whole incident was a huge reminder to me on how temporary life is in this Dunya. The means to Jannah are spelled out for us and through His mercy we can attain it, yet there are so many internal and external deterrances that distract us from our purpose here. We fight so many demons and weaknesses on a daily basis, and without Allah’s mercy we would be losers. Allah SWT gives us so many favors. Although I am grateful for them, I personally feel I fall short in many ways and can do much more to show my appreciation. May Allah SWT help us all to thank Him, remember Him and worship Him in the best way. Subhan’Allah things can change in a person’s life in a split second, but when the angel of death comes, there is no turning back. Whatever we have done in this life will earn us punishment or reward by His mercy, but our ending is what counts. Death is always a reminder especially for the believers, and this was particularly a big reminder for me, as I reflected on my family and my personal path, by Allah’s will. May Allah keep us all firm on the Deen and help us all to die in a state of Islam, leaving this Dunya with a good ending. Please make du’aa for me and all of our Ummah. Please, also make a du’aa for my family’s guidance Insha’Allah, as well as all of our families. You are all in my du’aa as well.
Jazaka Allah Khayran
– Remember that with the rise in temperatures there will be an evident rise in fahisha/shamelessness and all types of immodesty that will surround you and I.
– Remember to guard your eyes and guard your faith for these are the times where fitnah/trials will approach us from all corners.
– Remember that no matter how difficult it becomes to maintain your modesty, Allah Subhanhu wa ta’Ala knows of every single sweat, tear and struggle along the way. He, Subhanhu wa ta’Ala is closer to us and knows us better than we know our own selves: “And when My servants ask you concerning me, I am indeed close (to them): I respond to the du’a (prayer) of every suppliant when they call on Me.” [2:186]
– Remember that the blazing heat of the sun can no where be put into comparison with the heat of the blazing fire: “The fire of Hell is more intense in heat.” [9:81] Remain firm on modesty and Allah will further strengthen your firmness on His Deen.
– Remember, it may be that you strive to cover yourself and lower your gaze during these heat-filled days; whether it be with loose garments, hijab, jilbabs, etc… but just imagine the heat you feel with the hijab or thobe is not even an atom’s worth of heat that fills the Hell-Fire:”Surely, those who disbelieved in Our Ayat, We shall burn them in Fire. As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for other skins that they may taste the punishment.” [4:56] and “By no means! Verily, it will be the Fire of Hell. Taking away (burning completely) the scalp!” [70:15-16].
– Remember that this life is nothing but a split moment and very soon we will stand in front of our Creator and be held accountable for every single sin: major, minor; known, unknown; evident, hidden! Likewise, if you and I strive towards the good then we will be rewarded with Allah’s mercy, His forgiveness and His pleasure: Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri said that the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Allah, the Exalted and Ever High, will say to the people of Paradise, ‘O residents of Paradise!’ They will say, ‘Labbayka (here we are!), our Lord, and Sa’dayk (we are happy at your service!) and all the good is in Your Hand.’ He (Allah) will ask them, ‘Are you pleased?’ They will say, ‘Why would not we be pleased, O Lord, while You have given us what You have not given any other of your creation?’ He (Allah) will say, ‘Should I give you what is better than all this?’ They will say, ‘O Lord! What is better than all this!’ He (Allah) will say, ‘I will grant you My pleasure and will never afterwards be angry with you.'” [Ahmad]
– Remember that if you ever doubt yourselves or when you waver in your faith, remind yourselves that this religion is the best there is and there is no better place to be than on the path of Guidance: “It is He Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, to make it superior over all religions even though the idolators hate (it).” [9:33]
– Remember that even the fish in the sea and the birds that fly in the sky testify to the Oneness of Allah and are obedient and submissive to Him. Moreover, even if our shadow prostrates to the Majesty of Allah! Why then should you and I, a fashioned creation of Allah, not be subservient to Him?
– Remember that there is nothing better that you can fill your hearts, your tongues, your ears and your thoughts with than the recitation, the understanding and the implementation of the Glorious Qur’an. “So be not in doubt about it. Verily, it is the truth from your Lord.” [11:17] Ask Allah Subhanhu wa ta’Ala, to make the Qur’an, the spring of your heart, the light of your chest, the banisher of your sadness and the reliever of your distress, just as Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) used to supplicate [Ahmad]
– Remember that there is not a thing nor a person that can bring any harm or good to you except if Allah wills for it to happen. And remind yourself, anything that Allah wills is good for you whether you see the immediate good in it or not.
– Remember that you and I should not look to complain about our grieves and sorrows to created beings. Instead we should only complain to Allah and He is the Only One we should turn to. Just as Ya’qub (alayhi Salaam) said, “I only complain of my grief and sorrow to Allah.” [12:86] You may be at a point where you are pouring your heart out to your friend and just a minor distraction such as a cellphone call will end it all. Likewise, a therapist needs to be available at the office hours or an appointment needs to be made to let out your feelings and emotions.. Similarly, just as you are pouring your thoughts and feelings out, the therapy session comes to an end! In direct contrast, the complaining or “session” with Allah does not require any appointments, no distractions and no time limit! You and I will gain so much more if we speak to our Rabb for He knows you better than you know your own self!
– Remember that with every difficulty comes ease: “So, verily, with every difficulty there is relief. Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.” [94:5-6] Allah will never burden you and I beyond what we can handle. And Who can possibly know us better than our Creator!
– Remember that during times of prosperity and happiness, turn to Allah in gratitude and thank Him for what He has blessed you with. And when hardships and adversities come about, turn to Allah with patience and remind yourselves of the patience of Ya’qub (alayhi Salaam) when he lost his beloved son and immediately uttered the words: “So (for me) patience is most fitting.” [12:18] Let you and I choose patience and gratitude over all other alternatives.
– Remember that time is very limited and every moment of ours counts and will be questioned of on the Day of Resurrection. On that day we will search our pockets for any good deeds that can make our scales heavy so as to save us from the blazing heat and entire us into eternal bliss.
– Remember that the greatest deprivation for mankind is not the lack or shortage of food, nor shelter. Rather, the greatest deprivation is the inability to see the One Who created you and fashioned you. The One Who provided for you, bestowed His continuous blessings upon you. The greatest deprivation is not being able to see your Rabb! ‘Abdullah bin Qays Al-Ash’ari said that the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Two gardens, their pots and whatever is in them are made of gold, and two gardens, their pots and whatever is in them are made of silver. Only the Veil of Pride of Allah’s Face separates the people from gazing at Him, in the garden of Eden.”
– Remember…For Allah says that only a few actually remember Allah: “Little do you remember!” [7:3]
-Reflect for Allah did not create everything that surrounds you out of vain. Rather He, the Most High created everything to serve a purpose. Strive to be of the people who reflect: “Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding. Those who remember Allah standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): ‘Our Lord! You have not created this without purpose, glory to You!” [3:190-191]
– Remember to be thankful for there is nothing that you have except that Allah has blessed you with it yet still we busy our lives and never stop to thank Him Who is deserving of all thanks and praise: “Little thanks do you give!” [7:10]
– Remember to remember…and remind so that you may not forget!
Taken from sistersmagazine
Brothers from different walks of life tell us what they love most about their wives – may Allah reward them with good!
“What I love about my wife”
How would life be without my wife?
Would all be rife
I care not to think of that plight amiss
So much I love ’bout her, too long is the list.
Her faith in her Lord and her pure and dear heart
Tis the reason I married her, but that’s just the start
Beauty pervades her, in every way and thought
These are blessings so countless … can never be bought
Her smile, her gentle face, the sparkle in her eyes
When our kids are causing havoc, logic defies
So hard-working, striving to make her family content
Yearning foremost to make her Lord happy
Reasons enough for a singler’s lament
Desire and doing in her life is her worth
Allaah upon us Your Mercy shower,
And increase our blessed state
And Your Mercy enshroud her when she’s raised from this earth
So when you asked us to write “what you love about your wife”
That blessings so countless, I dare not think of life
And after so many years our love still gets stronger
Allaah I cannot thank you enough for all that you have given me
Just allow me to be with her in Jannah
And make our bond stronger.
By Abu Abdillah
34yrs old from London, UK
What do I love about my Muslim wife?
Everything. My wife is the closet partner and friend I’ve ever had. She is the ‘backbone’ of our household. After a very long day at work, it is very comforting to come home and just be with my wife (& the screaming kids). She is my ‘treasure box’ and the ONLY key is with me, alhamdulillah. The most satisfying thing to hear from my wife is to hear how much she loves me, which builds further the bond between us.
Should I be allowed to re-run this life again, surely this would be the one thing I would not change.
Tansar Hussain, UK
What I love about my Muslim wife is her ability to adapt to different
situations and surroundings. It’s not easy for women who marry and move away
from home, having to start all over again, leaving behind their family and
friends….its something us men take for granted!
“My wife, masha Allah, loves to learn about Islam and takes time out of her busy schedule to read authentic Islamic books on issues of Tawheed, ‘Aqeedah, Islamic manners etc… My wife does her best to implement Islam in our family life and does not just practise Islam when it is easy to but also when it gets difficult alhumdulillah. She is very patient with me when I am angry in trying to calm me down and does not leave me until she has found a way to please me. She is playful and likes to joke around once in a while and lightens the mood when life gets stressful. My wife is very particular about the house and works very hard to keep it as clean as possible, masha Allah. I find her to be a very good mother attentive and loving to her kids’ needs as well as in disciplining them when it is needed. She is careful to thank me for every good that I do (i.e. provide money for groceries and needs, take her out on a date etc) – she has even expressed guilt at forgetting to say thank you to me after she bought groceries!
Abu Taimyyah, Age 37, United States
Allah is so Merciful and Gracious that if I tried to count the blessing that my Lord has bestowed upon me I would not be able to do, I just might lose my fingers! And one of those blessing is my wife. All praise is for Allah and no one else. In His infinite wisdom he gave me a prize, a jewel, the blessing of a righteous wife, masha Allah. She has this unconditional love that is tremendous and beautiful, Allahu akbar! We have six children and this August, insha Allah, it will be eleven years that we have been married and the only thing I would trade her for is Jannah. I love my wife ‘big much’. I ask Allah to keep us together until He calls us back to him, ameen. I ask Allah to bless those Muslim marriages out there with love and goodness from His Rahma, ameen.
Amir Abu Hudhayfah Ali-Dorsey, East Orange NJ, Masjid Rahmah
Her patience – especially with me
Her support – when others would have given up
And I thank Allah that we are together and may He keep us that way.