Archive for the ‘honesty’ Category

A lot of people ask me if it’s not tough to wear the Hijab. Or on how I bear the heat in the layers of cloth around me. And I agree. It is not the easiest of things to follow. No it is not. But I only reason that not all ‘right’ things are necessarily ‘easy’.

For that I draw on my childhood experiences in the examination halls. Cheating and copying (in exams) were never like ‘BIG’ sins. It was the unsaid rule that while you nobody ‘copied’ for the entire paper, a sneak or two here and there was after all, only human. Many times the examiners also shared the same belief. So cheats usually ruled the roost during the exams. And no, you didn’t have to be a ‘poor’ student for that. The good students joined in the party; the right answer to a ‘fill-in-the-blank’ question could get you that precious one mark needed to top the class. Well that was the story always, year after year even through college.

But you know what? Alhamdulilah, we siblings RESISTED. Mum always told us that Allah was watching and while she was the toughest taskmaster when it came to academics- always RIGOROUSLY pushing us to reach the top, she despised dishonesty. She made it loud and clear: her children weren’t going to be paltry thieves, selling their souls for a few marks. (Of course she made life tough if we missed those marks because of lack of efforts though! lol)

But does it become ‘easyto be honest about your work “JUST BECAUSE MOM TOLD US TO”? Darn, it’s the TOUGHEST thing! When all around you people are sneaking, whispering, passing little ‘chits’ with answers in them…sigh! It is confounding. And then the mockery: “Oooooh! Miss Goody Two Shoes! Raja Harischandra’s heir apparent! What’s God gonna punish you for just a mark?”

And oh, God save you if you refuse to ‘help’ someone during the exams!
Scene One
Girl:”What’s the answer to Question number 3?”
Me:”Don’t know.” (Returns to own work)

Scene Two
I will cut it short: you are the VAMP of the class- selfish, proud, unhelpful and then some more grudges against you.

Scene Three
You try to make sense to your friends. Try telling them that you are NOT all that prepared yourself, but would rather not cheat. And then they come up with theories like ‘God will bless us if we help each other’, ‘God understands; he will forgive’, ‘Between justice and mercy you must choose mercy’, blah, blah, blah. Did they not hear of the Quranic verses that God will punish them if they construe a lie about him?

As a teacher I am faced with more than just raised eye brows when I snatch away the answer papers of kids caught cheating. Sigh. As I said, the ‘right’ thing is not necessarily the ‘easiest’.

I draw this analogy whenever I am asked about the difficulty level in donning the Hijab. Oh yes, it does get hot. And yeah, I feel like showing my designer outfits, dangling chandelier earrings and done up hair at social dos too. Sometimes I even given in to the devil, I must confess; but I try to do as much as I can. But there are other benefits too. When we sacrifice something for Allah, he sends mercies on us in ways we least expect. And it ain’t THAT difficult either. After a while you get used to it. And there is the satisfaction of having done the ‘right’ thing. Plus, who says you need to look ‘bad’ in a Hijab? I take active part in designing my stuff and I think it’s pretty elegant and dignified (not to mention smart), Alhamdulilah. So there. I will end with this beautiful little poem that I found on the net. Don’t know the source, but so endearing, and I guess it pretty much sums it all 🙂

You look at me and call me oppressed,
Simply because of the way I’m dressed,
You know me not for what’s inside,
You judge the clothing I wear with pride
My body’s not for your eyes to hold,
You must speak to my mind, not my feminine mold,
I’m an individual, I’m no mans slave,
It’s Allahs pleasure that I only crave
I have a voice so I will be heard,
For in my heart I carry His word,
“O ye women, wrap close your cloak,
So you won’t be bothered by ignorant folk”
Man doesn’t tell me to dress this way,
It’s a Law from God that I obey,
Oppressed is something I’m truly NOT,
For liberation is what I’ve got
It was given to me many years ago,
With the right to prosper, the right to grow
I can climb moutains or cross the seas,
Expand my mind in all degrees
For God Himself gave us LIB-ER-TY
When He sent Islam,
To You and Me…

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