In our Masjid, there are some sisters that do not cover themselves properly. What is the best way to inform them.
Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
We need to approach this issue through hikmah or wisdom and efficient methods of teaching and guidance.
The fact that we are living in a time of fitnah, the mere fact that men and women are coming to the mosque, should be a sign of hope. We should, therefore, not turn them away by insisting that they comply with all of the teachings of Islam at once. The Prophet (peace be upon him) never used such methods: instead, he insisted that the preachers and teachers should always make it easy for people: He said, “Make it easy and do not make it hard on them, and give them good news and don’t turn them away from Islam.” When he sent Mu’adh to Yemen, he told him to start with the priorities: he told him:
“You are going to the people of the book, so the first thing you should tell them is to believe in the oneness of Allah. Once they accepted it, then tell them about salah, once they accepted it, tell them about zakah, once they accept that, tell them about fasting…” he never mentioned anything else. In other words, all other matters should come later once they have imbibed the essential beliefs and practices.
Aishah, the beloved wife of the Prophet, also tells us that the strict laws of haram, such as the prohibition of fornication, adultery, and drinking, were only revealed in Madinah after the people imbibed the realities of faith. Otherwise, people would have said it is too hard for them, and they would give up Islam altogether.
So we ought to welcome women and men who may not be wearing proper modest attire but educate them through persuasive sermons, lectures and classes, and Insha Allah, they will on their own be motivated to comply with these requirements. I know this from my experience serving the Muslim community for over four decades. In my early years, we would rarely see Muslim women wearing proper Islamic attire even while entering mosques; today, however, the situation is vastly different.
So, let us be patient and pray that Allah makes us instruments of guidance through our words, behavior, and actions.
Almighty Allah Knows best.
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