So let’s get one thing straight, WHAT IS HARAM FOR ME IS HARAM FOR YOU. Just because I choose to wear a hijab does not mean that I am held to a different standard than a sister who doesn’t wear a hijab nor am I held to a different standard than a Muslim man. Day in and day out there are new posts about how girls who wear hijab can’t do X, Y and Z. Just the other day, I saw someone post about how hijabis shouldn’t be at a Drake concert, but you were at the same concert, so why is it haram for her but not for you? There are so many posts about how hijabis shouldn’t be wearing makeup; not Muslim women as a whole, but specifically those who wear hijab. There seems to be a real liking towards constantly pointing fingers at hijabis and holding them to this unrealistic pedestal. To put it nicely, it needs to stop.
Publishing posts that ridicule others will always do more harm than good. You don’t know what someone could be struggling with. When you make such vicious posts, you’re inherently belittling the struggles that hijabi women go through (especially in the West) and pushing sisters away from wearing the hijab. There are Muslim sisters out there who are struggling with wearing the hijab, and they shy away from it even more because of how hijabis are constantly bullied by their own community. Ultimately, it makes Muslim women feel like they can’t wear hijab if they aren’t perfect. We all struggle with different things in life, but telling a woman she is not worthy of the hijab because she listens to music or wears makeup, is something that is not taught in Islam. We should not be a burden on anyone who is striving to please Allah (SWT). Wearing the hijab is a direct act of obedience and love for Him and no one should come between that. Why would you actively want to play a role in a woman not wearing the hijab? How will you accept the blame that because of your words, a sister decided she wasn’t good enough to wear her hijab?
The lack of acknowledgement about topics like this within our community has inevitably facilitated people to believe that they can judge and talk down to whomever they please and believe that they are “right” in doing so. I’ve heard many of my friends say that they didn’t feel comfortable coming to the masjid because of the demeaning words and stares from older sisters. One of my friends told me that a sister at the masjid told her that her salah (prayer) would not be counted because she was wearing shalwar kameez (typical south Asian wear that covers the entire body) and not an abaya. I didn’t know that we’re allowed to play God now? How can she make such a bold statement when she knows nothing of that girl’s relationship with Allah (SWT)? It was due to this very statement that my friend was afraid to continue going to the masjid because she felt like she wasn’t good enough to pray there. Being so critical of someone, especially in a place of worship, will not accomplish what your intention may have been.
We’ve said it before; advising someone is a good idea because as Muslims we are encouraged to so, but that method is not by posting it on social media in a shaming fashion. That does not mean that you take to Twitter and go on a rant about how horrible “fashion forward hijabis” are nor does it mean that you shame others for doing something that they enjoy when you in fact are doing the same exact thing. If you feel someone is doing something haram, then advise them one on one and do it in a sense that they do not feel attacked in any way. It is possible to advise someone without putting them down. Use your words wisely and carefully.