Herein are chips and slices of my mind:
Some happy and some sad;
Some angry and some desperate; Some hopeful and some despondent;
Some ferocious and some benign;
Some opinionated and some detached;
Some of love and some of anything;
Some annoying and some haunting;
Some happening within me only to continue within you...
They are my releases...
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
And the fate of the Hijab…?
And the fate of
Only in the not distant past,
in the heydays of the Boko Haram violence, it became a problem in Maiduguri for
men to wear the beard, a Sunnah in Islam. This was as a result of military
crackdown on suspected Boko-Haramists in the city. Many men who saw it a
religious duty to grow beards, and those who just wanted to grow them either
for purposes of convenience or of simple preference, were force to have to
shave clean for their own safety. In fact even outside the epicenters of the
insurgency, if security agents saw one with beards at checkpoints they looked
at such a person twice; with suspicion that is. Today, the Hijab is gradually
beginning to take over from the beard.
Only two days ago, there was
another bomb-blast in Maiduguri which claimed about sixty lives. The blast took
place in a crowded market in the city which was beginning to experience some
relative respite from such occurrences, the last one being sometime in July.
The twin bombing was said to have been carried out by women dressed in Hijab on
a suicide mission. There is however a variant account which says that the first
explosion was purveyed by a popular mad woman in the market who was apparently
coaxed by the terrorist to deliver the bomb at the target spot. She did and
died along. Then the second, carried by a woman in Hijab on a suicide quest,
went off hitting the many first responders to, and onlookers at, the first.
The point here is that now, the
terrorists have resorted to the use of women; and women dressed in hallowed
garb. In the last couple of months, virtually all the bombings that have
happened were carried out by women and all of these women were dressed in
Hijab, the Niqab type; and one wonders quite realistically: how are women
donned in Hijab going to be treated in our society now that a pattern has
One asks this question because of the place
of the Hijab in Islam, where it has been strongly emphasized in matters of
decency and modesty especially as they pertain to interaction of women with
members of the opposite sex and indeed strangers as a whole. True enough,
when one considers the global cultural trend and its general level of
permissiveness and license in the name of modernity, one cannot but accept
the truth that a woman well clad or in the Hijab is an embodiment of
This quest for modesty expressed through the
wearing of the veil is not peculiar only to Islam. Long before the birth of
the religion, the Semites – people
of Southwest Asia, including the Arab and Jewish peoples, and the ancient
Assyrians, Babylonians, Carthaginians, Ethiopians, and Phoenicians – had
their women clad in veils, Hijab, and only women thought to be loose would
not be so dressed. Christianity came and upheld that way of life and it
continued to be a mark of women who have chosen consecrated life since the
first century AD. One of the earliest recorded convent was around 292 AD,
the Women of St Pachomius. The first woman recorded to profess as a nun in
the Church was Marcellina, on Christmas day around the year 354AD. She
received a veil from Pope Liberius. Her brother, St Ambrose, in his
reflections on chastity and modesty, which his sister embraced marked by
the veil, wrote: “behold how sweet the fruit of modesty, which has sprung
up even in the affections of barbarians. Virgins, coming from the greatest
distance on both sides of Mauritania, desire to be consecrated here.” This
is just to demonstrate the commonality between Islam and other faith and
cultural traditions in the pursuit of modesty. Islam, however, upholds the
Hijab at doctrinal or dogmatic levels.
many countries in the west have taken harsh positions against the Hijab to
the dismay of Muslims. They have advanced reasons largely bordering around
issues of terrorism, safety and security. In fact other countries who had,
before now, been most tolerant are gradually taking hostile stand to the
Hijab. Muslims have considered such posturing as an affront on their
protected rights to religious freedom and expression.
Muslims want to look at it, some among them have gone under the nobility of
the Hijab and committed havoc of damning proportions, and people and
societies who have second thoughts about how they countenance the Hijab
also have their own justification. If one begins to sample opinions on our
streets right now as to how people would react to a woman coming behind
them in Hijab in the market, the result can only be left for one to imagine.
Muslims must stand up and win this battle against elements among them who
have dragged and are still dragging their religion into the mud before the
rest of the world.