12.

MUSLIMAH OR NOT?

Amina and Zainab were cousins of about the same age, who were very close to each other. In dressing however, they had completely different choices. Zainab enjoyed wearing all the latest western fashions and couldn’t be bothered that they were so immodest. Amina though was very conscious of how she dressed. All her dresses were long and covered her completely. She also always wore her scarf when going out anywhere. “You look like an old granny!”  Zainab would often say to her. “Take that awful scarf off your head!”

Amina would just ignore her. She knew that by dressing in an Islamic manner, she was showing respect for the body that Allah had given her and she was also pleasing Allah.

One day, Zainab’s father took the two girls to buy ice cream. As he stood in the line to buy the ice cream, the girls found two vacant chairs on the side nearby and decided to sit on them. A Muslim lady soon passed by. She looked at Amina and made salaam to her. Amina softly returned the salaam. The lady however then saw Zainab but didn’t greet her and walked away.

Zainab felt hurt at the fact that the lady had only made salaam to Amina. A few minutes later, a girl of about their age, passed by and made salaam to only Amina, who returned her greeting. By this time, Zainab was quite upset. “Why do people only make salaam to you?” she wanted to know. “Can’t they see me? I’m not invisible!”

Amina, who could see how upset Zainab was, gently explained the reason for the people’s behaviour. She said to Zainab, “When they looked at me and saw my dressing, they immediately realized that I am a Muslimah, which is why they made salaam. They didn’t know whether you are really a Muslimah or not, which is why they did not greet you.”

Zainab looked down at her clothing and felt disgusted with herself. Her fashionable clothing didn’t seem so great anymore. She realized that as long as she dressed this way, strangers would never know that she was a Muslim and they would not respect her, as they respected Amina. She also realized that she would not gain Allah’s pleasure. She made up her mind that never again would people be confused as to which relegion she belonged to. She was a Muslim girl and proud to be one. In future she would show it in her dressing also.

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