I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading the Islamic Bulletin. I have been following it now for a couple of years. I would like to relate to you a very interesting experience I had while traveling from Oregon to California.
I, along with six other Muslim brothers, left out home in Corvallis, Oregon to attend an Islamic meeting in California. While passing Oakland, California, our van broke down near a limousine rental place. Two of the people working at the limo place saw us stranded with the hood of our van raised. Although it was a Saturday night, the busiest night in the limousine business, these two men offered to drive us in their limo, without charge, to our destination.
We asked to be driven to the nearest Mosque. Because we were unfamiliar with the Bay Area, we took out the 'List of Mosques Sheet' I had saved from your last edition of the Islamic Bulletin. The nearest mosque to us happened to be the Oakland Islamic Center on 31st Street and Telegraph.
On our drive to the Masjid, we began to speak about Islam to the two men. They both said that they were Seventh Day Adventist and very happy with their religion. We then thanked the men for driving us and gifted them with a container of honey.
When we arrived at the Masjid, the two men still refused to charge us. A Bayan (talk) was being given inside the Masjid, so we invited the two men to listen to the talk. Although one was a bit hesitant because he wanted to return to work, the other agreed to attend and convinced his buddy to join him and only 'listen'.
After the talk (Bayan) was over the two men were so touched by the lecture and happy with Islam and the prophet Muhammed (saw), that they accepted Islam.
So not only were we blessed with participating in them becoming Muslim, but we were fortunate enough to find a mechanic at the Masjid who fixed our van.
May Allah reward all those responsible for this interesting, informative publication. I found the articles thought provoking and stimulating.
I do feel compelled to respond to the somewhat offensive letter by the brother on Hijab in your last issue. I spent a lot of time trying to respond in a way that will not Insha Allah create further conflict.
The brother is right in reminding sisters of their need to cover. However, this letter is symptomatic of the gross over preoccupation of the Muslim Community at large men and women with this issue of Hijab. Hijab is a crucial aspect of our deen. It is necessary for fulfilling our duty to Allah, for our self-protection, for feeling proud to be Muslim this is undeniable. But surely, it is the "Inner Hijab" of both men and women that is of primary importance. You know, following all the other teachings of the Quran and Sunnah, being a kindhearted person, helping the needy, performing dawah you remember?
Ultimately, we are all only answerable to Allah for any of our actions. It really does not concern anyone else, especially not a stranger as this brother is to the women he mentions. The brother is being lighthearted and playful which is fine. I too very playfully do wonder how this well meaning brother is able to have studied "insufficient hijab" to such a level that he has actually invented categories: 'yo-yo hijab', 'saran wrap' etc. Yet he is still able to continue to keep his gaze lowered as Allah commands. I don't wish to turn this into a gender battle but isn't it funny how you hardly ever read articles on how Muslim men should lower their gaze? Yet this is as important a part of "Hijab" as any headscarf or jilbab you can buy.
But on a very serious note, as your editorial points out, Hijab like so many other issues is a personal, spiritual journey. We are all at different stages on that journey. It is not easy to live in a non-Muslim country and walk around looking very different to the mainstream population. Muslims do face many different kinds of harassment because of the way they dress. No one puts on a scarf and says "Yippee, here I go can't wait to look different from everyone around me." It may take weeks, months, or years of coming to some kind of inner peace with what Allah has asked of us and what Society demands. Again, this is true of many of Allah's commandments, so why obsess about Hijab? Who are we to judge anyone's level of faith or commitment to Islam? Where are we finding the time to do this when our Ummah is in such disgraceful disarray, and Muslims are being persecuted across the globe? Is Hijab to be the only identity for a Muslim woman? If I have said anything to offend, I apologize. Allah alone knows best.
I am a Muslim woman
Feel free to ask me why
When I walk
I walk with dignity
When I speak
I do not lie.
I am a Muslim woman
Not all of me you'll see
But what you should appreciate
Is that the choice I make is free.
I'm not plagued with depression
I'm neither cheated nor abused
I don't envy other women
And I'm certainly not confused.
Note, I speak perfect English
Et un petit peu de Francais aussi
I'm majoring in Linguistics
So you need not speak slowly.
I run my own small business
Every cent I earn is mine
I drive my Chevy to school & work
And no, that's not a crime!
You often stare as I walk by
You don't understand my veil
But peace and power I have found
As I am equal to any male!
I am a Muslim woman
So please don't pity me
For God has guided me to truth
And now I'm finally free!
Please participate in this Newsletter by sending us your letters, comments, or suggestions so we can make this newsletter your favorite. All correspondence should be addressed to:
The Editor of the Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186 San Francisco, CA 94141-0186
|Note from the Editor|
|Letters to the Editor|
|Islam Makes Inroads in Italy|
|Britain's Prime Minister Praises Islam|
|Barbri Demolisher Accepts Islam|
|The Most Beautiful Names of Allah|
|Death is Coming|
|Al-Banna's Letter to a Muslim Student|
|Women in Islam|
|How I Embraced Islam|
|The Qur'an & Science|
|Benefits of Sujud|
|The Origin of Arabic Numerals|
|Stories of the Sahabah|
|Sayings of the Prophet|
|The Miracle of Honey|
|This is Islam|
|Everybody - Nobody|