Haya for women? Listen up sisters! We need to stop deciding that other women are not following haya because they are active, speak loudly, communicate well, or become leaders.
Haya is not the same as meekness, shyness, quietness, or being awkward around men.
It’s about your internal state, your motives, frame of mind, and how you carry yourself. Every woman KNOWS when she is trying to be liked, attractive, interesting, and appealing to a man. You just KNOW deep down when it’s happening.
But it ain’t all about dress code, and being visible. It’s more about the energy and presence you bring into a room. (And that’s for men too)
I used to joke that I was the “sister with no haya” because I could go to a table of food at the same time as a brother in the MSA or at a masjid iftaar and get the starving girls some food because the brothers forgot to stop munching at the buffet table. I used to be the “go to girl” to raise my hand to ask questions from other teachers because sisters claimed they were too shy out of haya to ask.
I challenge you: Is it haya or is it fear of being judged? Is it truly fearing Allah in your actions or fearing what “the brothers” will think of you?
I read recently a sister was saying that a woman who isnt covered properly was leading a meeting with brothers and sisters, and how could we blame the brothers if they decide not to participate again because of her since the were uncomfortable looking at her.
Since when did Islamic activism or organizations become for the perfect, and may Allah forgive the one who thinks that they are above another. MSAs, ISOCs, board meetings, the MASJID is a place for people to BE a Muslim, and being a Muslim is a daily struggle of submission.
If a brother is uncomfortable it’s because the brother himself has issues he has to own up to and fix – it’s not because of the sister. SubhanAllah, we have all this judgment in our little meeting rooms, but these same guys are going out into university to become doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, artists…whatever…. mixing with the WORLD where women exist. If they can’t hold their own in a meeting with an uncovered sister while talking about Islam, then I fear for them in the real world.
We sisters are not responsible for creating your safe haven from the “fitnah” outside. That safe haven is found wherever you go by fearing Allah and lowering your gaze in public and in private. You brother, are in charge of finding your self control, not your sisters in Islam.
Let people be a part of the Muslim community as they are, and focus on changing who you are so you can accommodate them.
People get all into “dawah” talk trying to help non-Muslims find Islam, but they have zero tolerance for their own fellow Muslim brothers and sisters. (I shudder at my early days of Islam when I too, fell into such a trap)
If Allah blessed you with steadfastness to worship Him and obey Him than that should create a greater humility in your heart, not pride. So she doesn’t cover, and you judge her, but then you want to turn around and try to call people to Islam? Seriously?
“But sister Megan, she knows better.”
And you know better too, and thank Allah for all the sins He covers up for you, all the backbiting you’ve done, or looking at haram behind closed doors, or any other hidden sin you hide. How many times could someone catch you and say “you know better?” Be careful of finding arrogance because your sins are harder for others to see.
“But shouldn’t we tell her to at LEAST cover up at the MSA/ISOC/IslamicClass…? I mean it’s fard…”
Unless she is praying and her prayer isn’t going to count without her covering – then no, you don’t need to tell her. I mean seriously, do you think that a Muslim girl in attendance with tons of other women in hijab is so clueless to not know that other people prefer she covers? Most know, but they aren’t ready, they can’t, they are scared, they feel insecure, they have so many reasons not to….
But they do want what you want: and that is to become a better Muslim, to make a difference for the sake of Allah.
How could you stand in someone’s way because of this?
We have to start learning how to focus on ourselves, and be HAPPY when someone wants to participate in Islamic activities. Give people a chance to learn and grow without judgment, and soon you’ll find those same people become your teachers and you are their students.
I know women are jealous of other women, and I know that men struggle to not sexualize women.
We all know that – but in order for our Muslim communities to become strong, we have to work from the INSIDE out, not the OUTSIDE in here in the West.
When a person is ready, because of your character, and you following the Sunnah – they will change, they will want to change, and then they will come and seek advice and counsel from you.
Let’s chill on the judging, and get busy! and Allah knows best.