I was listening to yet another lecture on hijab with Yasir Qadhi and there was nothing very unique about it, it was very dumbed down and simple and it was the usual stuff. But something at the end sort of struck me when he spoke about the *importance* of hijab. He said something to the effect of we shouldn’t put it before everything, like it’s not more important than praying and other things but we’re also not going to say that the way we dress is irrelevant, because it is relevant. It seems like people don’t like to hear that last part. Now before everyone jumps on me, I know and believe that hijab is fard by ijma, there’s no ikhtilaf on at least covering everything but face, hands (and feet? I’m not going to get into this, that is not the point of my post so don’t bother.) I get that.
I just feel like the outward aspect of hijab is so emphasized for some women that once they wear it, they think they’re done and this is a phenomenon that can be pretty damaging. I know many parents that I know of want their daughter to wear at least the headscarf and ignore what type of clothing she wears, so we have so many girls in tight clothing and hijab. These negative things are only coming from us giving an outward symbol more importance than the qualities of modesty and chastity and the type of clothing worn.
We all know that “hijab” was revealed in Medina so the women were already intensely faithful. But we’ve gotten to the point where if a Muslim woman who might come from a non-practicing family shows up to MSA wants to learn more about her deen, the first thing she might be presented with is a headcover or she might be lectured on why hijab is fard. I’ve seen this. (I’ve actually been that girl but alhamdulilah I was born a Muslim and didn’t know much and learned a lot and nobody ever spoke about hijab but I ended up choosing it myself after guess what? learning about my religion) The girl never comes back to MSA. Duh I wouldn’t either. It’s very possible in this day and age that she might not even know basic seerah or some sciences of the Qu’ran and people are lecturing her about hijab as if it’s the criteria. Like Shaykh Hamza says, it’s an obligation but don’t make it a hijab between her and her deen. It can’t be a hijab between her and her deen. That’s so detrimental. If a Muslim boy wanted to learn more would you lecture him about kufis, beards and thobes?
Like Dr. Jackson said: “Social order should not be based on a perfect Muslim.” The Muslim community needs to be more inclusive.
I hear about these MSAs that don’t have any non-hijabi members. Now I understand a lot of them may not be interested in MSA but i can’t believe that about all of them. They complain about MSAs being too condescending and exclusive. That is not the way. Only with God’s grace was I not in a horrible MSA like that, or else I would have ran away from this deen and I seek refuge with Allah.
People come into university very confused and girls and guys come in and are interested in MSA. Those freshman events are pivotal and important. The MSA after all and said is done is a STUDENT organization funded by the UNIVERSITY. It is not a Sunni organiation, it is not a Shia organization it is not a male organization it is not a caliphate it is not the Kingdon of Saudi Arabia. After all, a non Muslim could lawfully be President because it’s student run primarily. I could be president of the Jewish Students Association whether I’d be elected is another story, but the point is these are student clubs so not being inclusive is foolish.