My uncle is very well learnt on the Quran, so one day at a family function he said to me, maybe if you read the Quran you wouldn’t look like such a letter box! I was mortified, I respected this man so much but when he said that my defences were up.
Now obviously his comment made me think twice about my appearance and why I dress the way I do, so. He also made some other points which was along the lines of this, islam has been narrated now by a bunch of men who are in a position to impose their interpretation of Islam, which is why we have what we do.
Of course I thought, if Islam was a product which was manufactured by two organisations, one run by women and the other by men, the end product would look very different. And if we look at the way the Muslim woman is dressed today, is this not just the man’s interpretation of how a it should be.
Hijaab is a set of conditions which also applies to men, and lowering of the gaze is one of them. If a woman is dressed from head to toe with bearly nothing showing, then of course it will be easier on the man. However if the woman was before him with her face uncovered the man has to deal with his nafs (desire) and lower his gaze.
At the time of Prophet Muhammed SAW we had women in the workplace, giving talks and even been scholars. So the management of Islam was healthly, however over time men have now taken over and the womans perspective has become very quiet in volume.
Going back to the advice of my uncle I now have a copy of the Quran written in English which I commit to reading everyday. I’ve gone back to relying on the words of Allah to guide me to what is good for me and keep me away from what is bad. May Allah aid us to protect ourselves from a fire whose fuel is men and stones, Ameen.