….Oh, look Twitter, it’s ‘Bash a Muslimah Day, again.’
Look around the Twitter-sphere and amongst the bots and madness, you’ll find an ample amount of people waiting and willing to give their opinion on any topic (@HassanMBD discussed these at length.) One specific piece of clothing seems to be discussed on a daily basis, I’m surprised it isn’t trending all the time.
Every day on Twitter is ‘bash a Muslimah day.’ Every. Single. Day. You can guarantee that a Muslim sister in a some corner of the world will have a load of vitriol and abuse thrown at her. And no, I don’t mean from the likes of the EDL, I mean from ‘her own’ people. It is almost as if they’re sat there waiting for someone to ‘slip up,’ a Twitter Sheikh is never too far away.
Now, some of you will say that I’m over exaggerating and should just let it go. Which is fine and understandable. However, when you’ve been at the end of it or have seen it, it’s very hard to do so. A few months back, I saw some comments which left me seething. I really tried not to get wound up, it was impossible not to. I tweeted a few comments, and responded to the initial tweet and took a Twitter sabbatical.
You won’t be surprised to know that the initial Tweeter who made the comments, never responded to me. Nor, did they apologise for what they’d said. In fact, instead they mocked another Muslim because it got them a few RT’s and that was it.
I’m sorry, let’s rewind. Who made you the judge of people? Who gave you the ijaza to mock another sister? The most weird thing is, those who tend to mock the Hijab wearing sisters (and believe me, the Hijab wearing get more stick than the none), tend to be adolescent boys living with their parents and high on Irn Bru, they themselves don’t show themselves to be ‘practicing Muslims,’ their Twitter is filled with flirting and innuendo with the opposite sex [you know the type I mean, the same type that they’d be embarrassed for their parents to see their Twitter profiles, yet don’t realise Allah knows all] and most hilarious of all, you look at their shisha filled twitcon, and think, honestly?
‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Amr said, “The Prophet of Allah, upon him be peace, was never obscene or coarse. Rather, he used to tell us that the best among us were those with the best manners.”
Like sisters don’t have enough of an issue trying to wear the Hijab in a western world, without judgement from fellow Muslims. Like us Hijab wearing sisters don’t struggle on a day to day basis explaining to people why we are wearing what we do, we hold on to our identity for dear life. I’m not saying sisters in hijab don’t make mistakes, I’m saying they are human too. Treat them as so. And no, not for some internet warrior who has reached puberty to mock us. We don’t wear the physical hijab or the spiritual hijab because man has told us to, we follow the words of Allah, and do so as a sign of worship. Realise this.
What amuses me most of all is this notion that some people have that a ‘hijab’ is a piece of cloth and exclusive to females, as if in some way Allah doesn’t decree for males to do ‘hijab.’ If a piece of cloth was all that was required to be the perfect Muslim, wouldn’t everyone do it? Who says the Hijab is exclusive to females? As much as the Hijab is physical, it is spiritual, it speaks about your manners, your etiquette, the way you walk, the way you talk, the way you eat, the way you converse and approach other people and above all it is about what is inside your heart and comes out of your mouth. All these things Allah has spoken about for MALES and FEMALES.
The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said:
A Muslim is one whom other people are safe from his tongue and his hand.
Tweeting is equivalent to speaking. Do you think the thousands of tweets you’ve got aren’t being recorded? The vitriol you spout about others isn’t recorded? The backbiting you do isn’t written down by your angels? The number of people who post an awesome tweet about hijabi sisters, followed by a Qur’an quote, and within the same few minutes, a Tweet filled with hatred about their parents, makes me stop and pray for them. How can you justify sandwiching the words of Allah inbetween the greatest Allah has bestowed on you as a human? How can you then use this as a brush to tar sisters with? How can you honestly write a tweet filled with awful language and post it, knowing that you’ve forced your Allah-abiding angel to write that down in your recording? How can we feel no shame that an angel, made free of sin and only there to follow the commands of Allah is having to write in our books the words we use.
Don’t sit behind your keyboard, or smartphone, tweeting about ‘oh, today I saw a hijabi and she did…’ Are you free of error? If you’ve NEVER done anything wrong in your life, then that’s fine, go ahead and judge. Go ahead and make the comments you want, at the end of the day, they’re between you and Allah. Chances are you’re human and have made mistakes, chances are, you haven’t reached elevation and been guaranteed Jannah, chances are, you need to work on your own spirituality. Chances are, you don’t even know that sisters circumstances. Why was she doing what she was?
This reminds of these wise words:
“If a friend among your friends errs, make seventy excuses for them.
If your hearts are unable to do this, then know that the shortcoming is in your own selves”
You have no knowledge of that individual. The person you’re tweeting you, you have no knowledge of either. How do you know what struggle she has gone through of wearing the Hijab? How do you know how far she is in her journey to wear the Hijab? If you established and afforded Islamic etiquette, you wouldn’t even ridicule your sister in public, if you had genuine concern for her, you’d show her manners. Unless of course, this is all a bravado and a way to show what a wonderful Twitter Sheikh and Muslim you are. And most likely, in order to fill in the gap in your own inadequacies and hide your own sins. Because that is what humans do, we highlight what we perceive to be errors from others to hide our own.
On this same topic, I am bored of non-hijab wearing sisters passing judgement on Hijab wearing sisters, almost as a justification for them not wearing it. Please. Do me a favour, concentrate on your own well being, worry about where you’re going in life and once you’re sorted, then sure, go ahead and give the Naseeha you have, which I’m assuming by then you’ll have established Hijab wearing in order not to come across hypocritically. If you choose not to wear one, fine, don’t make comments like ‘Yeah, well, I saw so and so, and she was wearing a Hijab and doing this.’ These are excuses, is that what you’ll say to Allah?
“And do not follow that of which you do not have knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart – [you] will be asked about all of those.” Qur’an, [17:36]
Muslims are often taught about saying nothing if you’ve nothing nice to say. This applies here. If you’ve got a Muslim username on twitter, or you state you’re a Muslim, then by Allah, you have a responsibility to act like one. Don’t let everyone else down. And if you’re unable to act like one on Twitter because it doesn’t get you enough followers, then don’t state you are one. Establish the deen inside your heart, and then pass on advice. It’s all well and good posting an endearing tweet every now and then, but only you and Allah know what is in your heart.
The sooner we realise and wake up that Twitter is as much a dawah tool as we are, it represents us, the sooner we can rid of the Ummah of the cancer that is backbiting and hypocrisy.
This is probably the most rantiest blog I’ve ever done, I wanted to keep it short and nice, but I’ve seen people use the nice approach and it’s just not working. Even if one person is able to take something from this, then Alhamdulillah. Also, this is not some ‘holier than thou’ post, I am human and make errors, both in life and on Twitter. I’ve made various, and when I’ve lost myself, several people have reminded me and made me see sense, for which I’m entirely grateful. Both Muslims and non Muslim, etiquette and manners costs nothing, but is an amazing gift you can give to others.
I make no apologies if this has offended anyone, if you feel this is directly at one person in particular, then that’s not true, if you feel it is directed at you, it probably is. If you’ve taken offence, then look within yourself. Sadly, such is the state of our Ummah that this needed to be said. And was long overdue. An independent educated Muslim woman is here to stay, she can be practicing, educated and a mother, and there’s many more to come inA.