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Can we think of this scenario together please? Yes, thank you for your undivided attention.

So, we all know that Mombasa has been having high crime rates in the recent years right? The youth gangs, mapangas and all the radical groups. Yet if you ask anyone, they’ll tell you that Nairobi is the scariest and most dangerous place in this regard. Isn’t it why we call it Nairobbery? Whether you are in Mombasa or Nairobi, there is a probability that you might actually be attacked or robbed in either places right? But you’d still take extra precautions to safeguard yourself when in Nairobi than in Mombasa, am I wrong? Great. We agree till this point. Naturally, this is the logical way to deal with these two scenarios according to the threat.

Now that scenario aside, here is a totally different scenario. I have seen this quote several times and I feel it is very deep. It goes like this:
“Was it really my fault?” asked the short skirt.
“No, it happened with me too,” replied the burqa.

It is very very deep and what we can stipulate from this quote is that:
#Rape is real.
#Anyone can be a rape victim despite their religion, their age, their looks, their clothing, their race or their lifestyle. Whether you wear rags and live in the streets or are a classy, married woman in your home, rape could get to you.
#We are in a cruel, evil and ugly world. This is our reality.

I mean, this is such a messed up world we are in at the moment. So messed up. We have people marrying their dogs and incest seems normal. How more messed up can it be than it already is really? We have people raping 5 month old babies and 98 year old men. Yes, men are raped too. We are lost and a twisted society.

Now that we have known we live in a perverted world, what are the chances that the one in a burqa will be raped compared to the one wearing provocatively?

The truth is, chances may be close to 50-50 because rapists are just rapists. They just go with how their self drives them. And that’s how scary it is. Nonetheless, wouldn’t you try at least do whatever you can, to not provoke unnecessary emotions in the man across the street?

Scientifically, men have as much as 20 times more testosterone in their systems than women. This makes men typically aggressive, dominant and more narrowly focused on the physical aspects of sex. They say that in men, the dominant perceptual sense is vision, which is typically not the case with women. In a situation where a woman sees a potential relationship/marriage in a man, he sees her physical features and what he can do to her. Yep, lust is the word. Now, this obviously doesn’t justify when men misbehave towards women but at least we are enlightened that men are naturally inclined to women unlike the magnitude women are inclined to men. It is definitely not the same.

Daleel in the qur’an? Allah (S.W) says in surat Al-Imran: {Beautified for men is the love of things they covet (desire); women, children, much of gold and silver (wealth), branded beautiful horses, cattle and well-tilled land. This is the pleasure of the present world’s life; but Allah has the excellent return (Paradise with flowing rivers, etc.) with Him.} So women are like gems in the eyes of men and this is mentioned in many hadiths, ayats which state that women are for men. Have you seen anywhere in the holy books where it is written on how men are a gift for the women or anything of the sort? No. Because women are the gifts, they are the ones who are precious. This is also why the man has to pay dowry when he wants to marry a lady. She is his gem. Not the other way round. We women hold a high status because yes, a man can’t do without a woman. It was why our mother Hawa (R.A.A) was brought into this world; for Adam. Not Adam being brought for Hawa. Are you getting the picture? I hope so.

I am just trying to break this down into small bits so we can stay on the same page.

From the scientific fact mentioned and the ayah up there, do we finally see the wisdom why Allah (S.W.) to cover herself entirely while the man is asked to cover only what is between his knees and belly button? Yes, because men are never going to change any time soon. They’ll still stare at you and there is a high probability your daughter will be cat-called and her daughter too. They are naturally and biologically inclined to look at you and flirt and just try to sweep you away. It is not right. It definitely isn’t but the reality is that our world is perverted and with social media being here, immorality will remain a challenge for a long time. The few good men who actually observe self-control and respect women, doesn’t mean their testosterone is any less, it just means they made a choice to behave appropriately (cheers to the good men aye?)

Getting to my point now, dear fellow Muslim ladies, don’t you think we have a responsibility to actually TRY and not provoke these beastly men? Back to the Mombasa/Nairobi example. Don’t we think our dressing does have an effect to a certain extent on how men react towards us?

I am sorry but I don’t really agree with ‘my dress, my choice’ because one, it puts our worldly pleasures ahead of what Allah has actually asked from us. Do you think the ladies who observe proper hijab don’t wish sometimes they could also doll themselves up and share their images with the world and get praises? That is a natural desire…yet they swallow it up and just laugh when people tell them they look like hababas in their jilbabs and all other kinds of jokes and mockery. It is a struggle for them too yet they still choose deen over dunya. Number two, we tend to forget that our actions do have consequences. Would you rather have a strange man staring at you with your body curves exposed or with you in a full hijab? Rape and harassment aside, we know that that is beyond our control and as said earlier, sometimes you could get raped either way. But still, wouldn’t you feel a little bit safer, even if just a tiny bit, safer being in a burqa and he can’t really see you as YOU with all your curves and all that? I intentionally highlighted the word ‘strange man’ because however much you think you know someone; this man who could even be your relative, you just never know when they might actually turn against you. This includes a father, an uncle or even a brother. So yes, they are still strange men and that’s why despite us being allowed to be comfortably dressed in front of our mahrams, there is still a limit on how much they should see and a level of modesty to observe. A man is still a man at the end of the day and satan doesn’t take a break just because these are people too close to you. The only who man who won’t be a stranger to you is your husband who rightfully deserves to see you.

You know what’s the saddest part of this story? We are denial. We are in denial that our actions have consequences. We are in denial that we are going wrong. Just to set this straight, I am in the least bit appropriate to talk about the perfect and proper hijab because I also know I am not exactly there. But I also know that this is a concern that we should talk about. My dear sister, when you share your photos of yourself without hijab or an improper dressing, you don’t get to complain when men misbehave because both you and the man are in the wrong. You provoked him, he misbehaved. Both are wrong. So you don’t get to remove the blame from yourself…at least not entirely. And when a fellow lady comes up to you and humbly (I said humbly) asks you about your hijab or advises you about your improper dressing, you say, ‘You can’t judge me. Only God can.’

Where we go wrong is not just the sinning, it is the exposing the sin and bringing God into the equation by saying only He can judge you. Sinning is one thing and exposing our sins is another. We all sin in our different ways and perhaps at this point you don’t observe the right hijab. That is fine sister. Strive to be a better human being. Pray a lot and get closer to Allah. But you deciding to expose it with the justification that only God should judge you, is you being in denial that your actions have consequences. The prophet peace be upon him said, as stated in sahih Bukhari,
“All of my ummah (nation of followers) will be excused, except for the mujaahireen (those who make their sins known). And verily it is a kind of mujaaharah (exposing one’s sins) that a man does something (sinful) at night, and then in the morning, when Allaah has screened his sin for him, he says, ‘Hey So-and-So! I did such-and-such last night…’ And the night passed with His Lord screening him, and he wakes up casting aside the screen of Allaah from himself.”

We all trip, we all make mistakes…why are we so quick to attack anyone who comes to us to correct us? Why are so bitter to anyone who actually just wants the best for us? We sin, we expose the sin…fine. Someone comes to us in a good way and shows us how we are losing our sense of direction yet we backlash them and criticize them publicly because ‘they are being judgmental’

If one is an influencer,the situation becomes even worse because several people amongst the followers who look up to them would regard their actions and words as bible truth and imitate them because they are the role models. Imagine on yaumul qiyamah seeing yourself with a lot of bad deeds, not because you did them but because you did them and influenced other people to follow your footsteps. That said, I really appreciate social media influencers who actually speak out about their hijab (or any other) of their struggles openly and they don’t deny they are in the wrong, instead, the say openly how they are trying to change and become better individuals such that their followers don’t get a twisted view and do the wrong as well.

We need to accept our mistakes. We need to stop being in denial and accept that our actions have consequences. We have a choice here; whether to be Muslimahs who sin but are striving to change and be better or Muslimahs who sin, expose and justify their sins. (This applies to men too)

That said, if you see me tripping, girl, please find me. Please tell me. Please splash water on my face and widen my eyes. Knock my head hard if I become rebellious and reject the truth. I do want someone to love and care for me enough to show me when I am going wrong. Because yes, those who care for you truly will always try to lead you to what is right.

P.S I know this article will probably provoke some bitterness and anger, so here’s my apology in advance. It is not because I am perfect or being judgmental; it is only out of my deep concern on this matter that I write this. It is also okay if you don’t agree with my ‘thinking out loud’, let us agree to disagree. May Allah guide us all, ameen.

The Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) conveyed to us something of the previous prophets’ messages, that “If you have no shame, then do as you wish!”

I rest my case.

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A freelance writer, journalist, poet and blogger venturing mainly in social and community issues, study and analysis of behaviour and life, and the plight of the under-dogs in the society. 'I feed on human stories.'

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