All of us know the uncomfortable stares. The looks that seem to pity us. People who click their tongue seeing us. The whispers. The outspoken words…
And all of this because we cover our head. Because we wear a piece of fabric around our head and chest.
We dress modestly because we follow our Lord. We follow His commands, we are extremely certain that whatever Allah has decreed is the best for us.
However, sometimes facing everyday life negativity, we need some reassurance. We need some backup. And we need support to boost our self-confidence.
To Be Recognized
Allah tells us in Quran that we should cover ourselves so that we become known. He wants us to be recognized as believing women.
A few years ago, I traveled from Germany to Poland by train. I wore a broken-white headscarf and a long dress. All of a sudden, the train stopped for a long time in the middle of nowhere. The people in the train started talking to each other.
At one point, a man asked me which Christian order I belonged to. I was quite surprised about his question. And I told him that I was Muslim and that is why I covered myself. Now it was his turn to be surprised.
Another time, I was asked a similar question upon arrival at the airport in my home town.
These two incidents made me ponder. I was recognized as a woman of God because I covered. People thought I was a Christian nun. That made me feel really proud and happy that people recognized me as a woman close to God. But at the same time, it made me feel sad because people did not think that a white European woman can be Muslim.
Remind People of God
So, the two men who associated me with a Christian order knew that women close to God cover themselves. They knew that women who decided to spend the rest of their life in the service of God would cover their entire body except hands and face.
Through my dress, I reminded them of God. Despite them not being Muslim, they knew that a woman close to God dressed that way.
However, they were surprised to see a young woman covering her whole body except hands and face. That is why they asked me to which order I belonged.
A friend of mine told me a similar story. When she returned home to her village to visit her family, an old man would come running towards her, crying. He was so touched by her appearance. She wore a long dress and a light colored head scarf.
Later, her mother told her that the old man had thought that she looked just like the virgin Mary, Maryam – the mother of the Prophet Jesus.
Praise be to Allah!
This man associated a Muslim woman with one of the greatest woman in history.
Similar to Mary, Muslim women show their love and fear for Allah through their dress.
Of course, there are many other ways to do that. However, dressing the way Allah wants us to dress is certainly one special form to show our love and obedience to Him.
Why Allah Wants us to Cover
My personal two encounters and my friend’s story illustrate one reason why Allah wants Muslim women to cover. He wants us to be recognized as women who are close to God.
Allah wants us to be known as women of God. He wants that when people look at us, they will remember Him. Praise be to our most perfect Creator!
Of course, there are many other reasons and wisdom behind Allah’s decision why women should cover. However, we should especially remember this point.
Because, when we feel down because of people’s comments. And when we feel low because of people’s looks, we should remember that we only want to please our most beloved Allah.
We want to be recognized as Muslim women because of Him. And we want to be known as women who follow God’s commands because of Him. We want that every single person who sees us in the street is reminded of our amazing Creator.
That’s why we cover! We do it for Him! To please Him!
So, next time you feel that people discriminate against you, make dua for them. Ask Allah to open their hearts. And ask Allah to make them remember Him when they see a covered Muslim woman.
Make dua for yourself and all the Muslim women in this world to be steadfast in following His commands. Ask Him to make you among the pious, God-loving and God-fearing.
May Allah make it easy for all Muslim women to follow His commands. And may He make all of us a means of guidance for those who want to be guided.
And Allah knows Best.
(From Discovering Islam’s archive.)