Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another Hijab Post

Yes, that's right... yet another hijab post. We see them everywhere. Blogs, forums, emails... everywhere. But this one will be different! Yeah right. As a revert I get asked a lot when I started to wear hijab, and later when I started to wear niqab. It seems to be a really fascinating story to some. Especially those who don't cover. I'm not sure if its because they want to really learn why or they want to validate why they don't.

A sister once asked me if I cover outside of school. I thought it was an odd question at the time. Why would I wear niqab to school and then not cover any other time? And that was also the first time I realized that some of the other sisters I work with don't cover outside of school. Now you may think that as long as they show a good example for the kids that there should not be a problem. This is not the case. Our community is not that large, and I hear whispers from some of the students that they saw Sister so and so out at the store and that they could see her hair and her jeans were really tight. Most of these whispers are from the girls and all of the girls that say this are 'of age' for covering full time. The issues caused by this are two-fold. One, the girls now either question the legitimacy of covering or they question the legitimacy of their teacher. Two, we have teachers that do not 'practice what they preach'. At some point during the year at an Islamic school every teacher has to give a reminder about the proper dress code for a Muslim. So does that make that person a hypocrite for saying one thing and doing another? This scares me very much because of the following hadith
"A man will be brought on the Day of Resurrection and thrown in the (Hell) Fire, so that his intestines will come out, and he will go around like a donkey goes around a millstone. The people of (Hell) Fire will gather around him and say: O so-and-so! What is wrong with you? Didn't you use to order us to do good deeds and forbid us to do bad deeds? He will reply: Yes, I used to order you to do good deeds, but I did not do them myself, and I used to forbid you to do bad deeds, yet I used to do them myself." (Book 54 Hadith #489 Bukhari)

I don't want to come off as judgemental. The reasons that people don't chose to cover are their own, and its between them and Allah Subhannah Wa Ta'Ala. I just wonder if they wonder what the consequences of that choice will be.


أم ترافيس said...

Assalamu alaykum -- have you tried to make dawah to them and explain what you heard or think? Of course you have to be delicate, but I think it might be your responsibility to try?

Amber said...

Teachers have a responsibility to be a good example for their students, both inside the school, and outside.

I live in a relatively small town, and attended one of the two private Christian schools in the area. Our English teacher was fairly young, and recently married. She preached all the right things in school, but a bunch of us caught her out in a restaurant, dressed 'for a good time' and flirting heavily with a man that we knew wasn't her husband.

Even in a larger place, you never know who you're going to run into. Kids see *everything*, and if you're practicing 'do as I say, not as I do', you lose their respect.

Candice said...

When it comes to people who don't cover, I think it's fully their choice and no one else's (although it would be OK to have a conversation about it and encourage the person) but in the case of teachers, it's just different. They have the responsibility of being a good example to their students, and that is in and out of school. Reading what you wrote, I am left wondering why they are teaching at an Islamic school at all. Do they actually believe in what they are teaching or not? If I had made the decision to not wear hijab (whether it's because I believe it isn't obligatory or just because I don't want to wear it), I wouldn't be trying to get a job in an Islamic school that believes it is obligatory. It's kinda baffling to me why these people are even working there.
I wanted to ask you though: Do you teach with niqab on? Or you wear it out of class like hallways or if a male comes in? I've never been in a situation where I was taught by a niqabi, or even speaking directly to one, but just imagining it, I feel like it would be more difficult for the children trying to learn if they couldn't see any facial expressions or lips moving (especially young ones). Was wondering your take on it.

Jamilah said...

I flip my veil back when I'm with the kids. That might be different if it were high school but for now its fine. I wear it in the hall and up in the masallah..

Noshi said...

I know many sisters who do this. It's as if they believe that the only "public" place they must be dressed appropriately in is school. It's really weird to me. But, Allah Alim. May Allah Ta'ala guide them. Also, a lot of sisters who go back home (guilty of this before I really learned about hijab) to their countries, remove their hijab. I don't know why I did. I was very young, too. At that point, I really didn't even know why I wore hijab. But, eventually I learned, alhamdulillah.

asalamu alaikum