Unfortunately, many concepts of Islam are misunderstood today. One very important topic is regarding the headscarf. While the consequences of not fulfilling certain practices, such as praying and fasting, have been clearly explained by Rasulullah (saw), no such claim has been made regarding women who do not wear a scarf. It is unfortunate that religion is reduced to dress code and appearance, and in the case of women, to wearing a scarf. Some even go as far as claiming women who do not wear a scarf are considered unbelievers. According to my understanding, this is a very incorrect viewpoint. There is not a single verse or hadith about what will happen to a woman if she does not wear a scarf! Therefore, none has the right to make any judgment about what she may face if a woman chooses not to wear it. We may only say, “This is something between her Rabb and herself – the judgment belongs to Allah alone.”

Having said this, nothing can be a greater mistake than her saying, “Since I do not wear a scarf, I might as well not pray either”! If she chooses not to wear a scarf, that is fine. She can still pray, fast and perform pilgrimage. Just as she wears a scarf during prayer then takes it off during her daily life, she may perform pilgrimage with the necessary dress code, then continue her life with her usual clothing afterwards. Her choice not to wear a scarf is between Allah and herself, but it is not in any way preventing her performance of pilgrimage.

This is how everyone should evaluate their lives! In terms of the time zone that is of relevance to us, we are only living a few seconds of life on earth. The Rasul of Allah (saw) says, “People are asleep; upon death they will awaken.” They will wake up with death! The implications of this statement looks to both physical reality and consciousness. It is in this dream-like life we are currently living that we have the opportunity to prepare for the eternal life awaiting us after death. But most of our lives pass us by without our realizing the Truth – with the hustle and bustle of childhood, youth, adulthood and career years, etc. We don’t even know how much longer we have, perhaps we have already neared the end of our lives! A sudden car accident may be it! The point of no return!

So, let us use this short time wisely! It is like our house has caught fire and we have only seconds to save whatever we can! Whatever has burnt has burnt and we don’t have time to mourn over the past; we must only concentrate on what we can do from this point on. To claim, “But I do not wear a scarf,” and neglect all the other practices, is the greatest mistake one can make! Let everyone look to the things they ‘can’ do! Let the ones who can attend the Friday prayer, attend the Friday prayer, and the ones who can pray 23 times a day, pray 23 times a day!

Good for those who can pray five times a day, but to say I can’t pray five times so I might as well not pray at all is plain absurdity. If you can’t pray five times then pray four times, if not four then three. Even if you just pray your morning prayer before you leave the house, it is better than not praying at all.

To do something is better than doing nothing at all!

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