The dainty Pearl shone like a gem, so rare
A teardrop of a maiden in despair,
Like the brightest star discovered by man,
Both beauties combined of here and There.
"Why, you ask, do we cover ourselves?" asked she, as I sat up straighter in my chair and listened intently. "You don't really have to dwell that deep into it. It is because we are pearls; the most beautiful pearls there ever were. For who would want their pearl to get stolen?"
And it was as simple as that. Just a single comparison and the message was understood. Sometimes, you marvel at the intricacies, lost too deep into them, and forget to look at the clearer picture. We are blessed to be born into Muslim households, where each individual is given his or her due right, where every human is considered an equal of the other, where the only authority is but of the Almighty. Why then do we confuse ourselves? The answers are all present in His Glorious Book.
“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognised and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.” (Quran 33:59)
The Lord, ever so gently, tells the Prophet of what is better. It is not an order. Rather, it is an advice for what is better for the women. Today, we see that some of the women may opt for the hijab while the others might not. They may think that wearing one is a sign of suppression. I couldn't disagree more with them for I believe the hijab liberates women and gives them more confidence. They can go about their duties without being subject to harassment. What they should understand is that they are too precious to be viewed by everyone.
I find that I learn more each day and that once upon a time, I was among those who did not understand what wearing a headscarf was like until the day I decided I wanted to wear it. After all, isn't it the Creator, Allah, whom we should work towards pleasing than His creation, man? I used to think I would not have enough strength to face the questions thrown at me but when I decided to take up on this simple habit, things became easier themselves. Nobody told me that I should cover my head. Not friends or family. It was my own decision and I now pride upon it and pray that I never change.
The wearing of a hijab is quite simply one of the acts for thanking God for His blessings, for creating us the way we are. It does not make us less intelligent or smarter than the other women. It only makes us a notch better on the spiritual scale. Where women in the 21st Century are striving for their rights - and more specifically, for their education - they should also work upon illuminating their soul. For what could be better for the generations to come than a woman who not only had a pure heart and a sharp mind but also a luminous soul?
To conclude, the bounties of the Hereafter are undoubtedly too great to overlook such simple matters but what could be better than to improve yourself to make this world a better sojourn?