“You wear too much makeup” “You’re a fitna” “Cover the top of your foot” “Perfume is haram” “Do you want guys to give you attention?” “OMG you listen to music?” “Stop acting so Americanized”
“You’re wayyyyyy too conservative” “Don’t you know niqab is cultural and not required in Islam?” “Show me your face… I bet you’re hot” “I don’t want my kids to be around girls as conservative as you” “You’re sooooo boring, Hannah” “Stop acting so Saudized”
I have literally heard all of these statements said about me IN THE PAST WEEK.
Every single one.
So, which is it? Am I too open or too conservative?
Guess what, I’m neither. The best part about religion is each person has his or her own religion.
What I do is between me and Allah (swt).
If I decide to parade the streets tomorrow in a bikini, that’s something I have to answer to Him for.
If I decide to wear gloves and abaya alrass, again, it’s between He and I.
Stop judging me, people.
I’m not too Americanized and I’m not too Saudized. I’m not too wild and I’m not too conservative. I’m moderate. Some things I am conservative on and some things I’m open minded about.
At the end of the day, Alhamdulilah, I can say I’m a good person. I know both sides and I am on a perfectly moderate path towards Allah (swt).
I know it’s difficult not to judge people. I am quite judgmental at times myself. But, I really do believe that what we do is between us and Our Creator. I can disagree with you and still respect you enough to shut my own mouth. From Him alone do I seek forgiveness for anything I have ever done to displease Him.
Case in point:
Today, I was sitting outside of a hardware store with my friend. I am wearing niqab, black abaya, a black long dress underneath and looking perfectly normal. Yes, I wear makeup… and yes, you can see it on my eyes. My friend was with me who happens to not wear niqab, in a pink abaya, but looking perfectly acceptable as well in terms of Islamic dress for women. A woman walked up to me and told me what I’m wearing and putting makeup is a fitna and Allah is watching me and blah blah blah. I understood 80% of her rant about how I look (in Arabic), but I stopped her to tell her I don’t speak Arabic just to make her realize how silly she sounds. How absolutely ridiculous it is to come up to someone and tell them about how what they are doing is sinful when really I’m not doing anything wrong. I wanted to tell her to go to any mall and give the same speech to girls that don’t cover their faces nor their hair. There were others around me less conservatively dressed, and yet I am the one lucky enough to get the comments.
I’m not offended by her. I’m mad at her.
I don’t believe I should be held to a lesser standard of Islam because I’m a convert. That’s something really important to me. But, if I was a weaker person who perhaps had recently converted, what would this comment do to me? This could change my opinion on the whole religion. Our words - and especially our criticisms - are more powerful and hurtful than we realize.
I'm mad because she could have really hurt me if I was anyone else. I'm mad she had the nerve to say something so judgmental without knowing the first thing about me.
A few hours before that, I was talking to someone who I was potentially going to work with and the work would involve children. When the client found out I cover my face, he said he was very much against this and that he did not believe in niqab and it is just cultural and blah blah blah. So, in this case, I’m too conservative. He laughed at me. Told me I was essentially crazy for wearing it and that this is not Islam. With tact, I responded that this would not be an environment that was suitable for either of us and I wished him the best of luck.
I can’t win, guys.
I have a million flaws. I am far from the person I hope to someday be. But, if you want to notice my flaws and take time to really think about them, please keep that information to your DAMN self.
I don’t say this enough, because I know it sounds like I’m narcissistic, but, Alhamdulilah I am SO EXTREMELY PROUD of the person I am. I have been through HELL in my life. I have been hurt beyond belief. Allah continues to give me these tests that take me to my limits. I have suffered through so much. And, I have handled myself with grace and patience and humility EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
I have had the kind of life people write books about because the number of trials I have had - that I don’t talk about here - is unbelievable.
So, when you look at me and see someone who is flawed, know that I am doing perfectly well... I am amazing… and, most importantly, I am just as Allah (swt) created me.