Judge A Book By Its Cover? Or Nah?

Now making its way up to the podium…. *drumroll please*…. the never-ending topic of hijab (head cover).

Is wearing of the hijab really a commandment of Allah (God)? Does it showcase one’s piety? Is it an act of worship? What are the guidelines to proper donning of the hijab? “If I don’t wear it “right” should I wear it at all?”

All of these are wonderful questions! And quite frankly, they are questions that many Muslimahs out there are asking. It is sooo important to never lose your curious nature as that is how we successfully navigate throughout this life. Ask and you shall receive lol. Unfortunately, whenever the topic of hijab comes up the haram and halal police arrive on site and the finger pointing and judgmental comments begin. This is the most common attitude taken when discussing hijab, however, it is not the angle I am choosing to approach from. I am not going to answer the questions aforementioned. I am not here to tell you what is right and wrong when it comes to the details of wearing hijab. I am not a scholar by any means and do not claim to be. But I am here to say that the JUDGEMENT HAS TO STOP!

Interestingly enough, my name (Unakem) means not to judge by the outward appearance. Pretty awesome huh? I really believe that the names we are given play a role in our lives on some level. But, I digress….

Why do we tear our sisters in Islam down? Why do we act funny when sisters without hijab greet us with ‘Asalamu-alaikum’ in public settings? Why do we have a conniption and lash out with negativity instead of CHOOSING to uplift each other for the sake of Allah (swt)? IT HAS TO STOP! In the words of sister Omaya Zein, “Who are you?!” Ask yourself this question…..”Am I perfect?” Let me tell you the answer, no…far from it! People are very quick to form judgements about others, and often without looking at themselves first. We should not be ok with being so harsh to other Muslimahs, whether in person or on their social media pages. It’s tacky. Every single one of us is on a journey in this life. No two paths are identical. A sister who is immodest in her dress may take years to make a change in her appearance, but that does not mean we should ostracize her and not love her for who she is. That does not mean we shouldn’t uplift her simply because she doesn’t meet our “standards”? Is that what Islam teaches us? Is that what Allah (swt) or Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would encourage? NO! We are bonded by our belief in Allah (swt), our belief in Muhammad (pbuh), and the belief that Islam is the way of truth. That makes us sisters in Islam! That is our glue! But there is so much division amongst us when we need unity. Just because a sister wears hijab and/or dresses modestly does not make her a good person! Yes, I said it, because it is true. And vice versa, just because a sister is not modest or doesn’t wear hijab, doesn’t mean she isn’t better than you in the eyes of Allah (swt)! I have seen it with my own eyes y’all. Don’t judge people simply by the way that they look. We miss out on so many great friendships when we do so.

Let us not forget the hadith of the prostitute who entered Jannah because of the small deed of giving water to the thirsty dog. All glory be to God! Can you even begin to imagine what disgust and shame would be spoken about her by our very community? But we are not There’s also the story of the pious monk, Barseesah, who ended his life as a murderer under the guile of Shaytan (the Devil) and prostrating to him! YOU do not know, ONLY Allah (swt) knows the unseen, that which is in the hearts of man. We do not have the right to say who is a good Muslimah or a bad one. Surah Al-Qalam [The Pen] (68:7) says “Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has gone astray from His way, and He is most knowing of the [rightly] guided.” God is Al-Khabir, The All-Aware, and Al-Hasib, The Bringer of Judgement! Let’s not forget who we are and what our role is not.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe we should remain stagnant in our faith and obedience to Allah (swt). Change starts from within. I don’t believe in complacency and accepting a stunted way of life. We should not get comfortable where we are in our journey. Our reverence towards our Lord should spark a fire inside us to promote change in our lives. We should strive for growth mentally, physically, emotionally, and socially in Islam. We should encourage one another to be the best versions of ourselves. BUT that can be done with respect. It seems as if it’s always people who don’t know you that are wagging their fingers at you. My sisters please start to build relationships FIRST! Get to know each other FIRST! As you build rapport and a relationship with one another those words of advice mean so much more because they are now felt to be coming from a place of understanding, sisterhood, and love.

So to all of my sisters wearing niqab, hijab, turbans, afros, or cascading locks down your back…..modest or immodest….you are welcome here!

What do you think? Feel free to leave your comments and thoughts on this topic below. As always, remember that there is Zero Tolerance for disrespectful, hurtful, or negative comments. Thought provoking debate and dialogue is welcomed but please be respectful 🙂



Friday Khutbah: The Story of Barseesah – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZsi4sX27vo



4 thoughts on “Judge A Book By Its Cover? Or Nah?

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