Protect me from myself!
In order for me to present an argument that preserves the right of a woman to exercise what is her interpretation of something considered to be a religious act of worship, that reflects devotion to her Lord. I would ask us to examine the following scenario’s.
Let us imagine there are two females. One wants to be a lap dancer in a club where she gets paid to take off her clothes. The other wants to extend her modesty as far as possible by covering herself completely only showing her eyes.
Both acts are determined by one of two. The lap dancer’s choice is to please herself (do what she wants), where as the other female wants to please her Lord (as an act of Worship).
Limitations on what both females do are controlled by one determining factor and that is Law. Law as we may understand has two functions. To protect us from ourselves and those around us.
It seems we are living in a country that is constantly evolving in their attitudes and beliefs. And if we look back only 20 years ago, an immoral or loose woman was considered to be someone who wore a skirt above her knees. Today these very same values seem almost invisible whilst we are immersed in a new culture that glorifies peoples right to do as they please.
I would like to present an example that I believe demonstrates that society’s thinking is being manipulated if an awareness is not present. In 2002, Bill Gates launched what he called, “The tablet PC edition”. Unfortunately it didn’t take off, but why? Is it because society’s ability to arrive at an understanding of how this tablet could have a place in our society had not been addressed. 10 years later, technological developments such as smart phones built an understanding of the benefits and functions of the tablet in a society that is now busy and accepting social networking as a part of everyday life.
My point is 10 years ago, people did not recognise or understand the ‘tablets’ place in our society. I believe the same is happening here. The veil is part of a set of attitudes and beliefs that demonstrate a level of devotion and gratitude to the Lord.
It seems today’s culture is leaving behind the concept of pleasing other than god, and anyone who chooses that party is set up to fail. We only need to look at the array of celebrities who have had emotional break downs despite having it all!
Success for a Muslim is abiding to the laws that God has lay down, whereas success it seems, for those who do not believe in God, is accomplishing everything ‘the self” desires.
Which brings us back to our two females. If allowing men to objectify her and treat her as though she is nothing but something to be looked at and paid for is not considered to be wrong to the lap dancer, then so be it. The law says she is fit to do so.
As is the case with the woman who chooses to cover herself, limiting a man’s ability to objectify her and only take from her what is necessary (a conversation). Both of them are protected by laws.
The laws of the land are made by judicial bodies and government predominately consisting of men. And how convenient it is that lap-dancing clubs have been given a green light, not only to exist in our society but to promote their business by advertising on bill boards.
I have certainty that man cannot be trusted, I therefore put my trust in my Lord Allah, to protect me from mankind and even myself. And at times where I may be doubtful as to why I’ve been commanded from doing something I enjoy. I exercise my faith that after hardship comes ease and My Lord knows best. My reward will be paradise, where I’ll be re-united with lost ones and loved ones who all put their faith in Allah.
Spirituality is difficult to convey as it is not something that can be physically grasped, but it if were I could only explain it like this. When you ask me ‘why do you cover your face’? I can present to you a drawing of an apple, but this wouldn’t be good enough. So I could give you a photo of an apple, again this wouldn’t be good enough. I could then place in your hand an apple and ask you to hold it. This wouldn’t be good enough. I could finally ask you to bite into the apple and digest it, this is a holistic experience that has led me to the belief I hold today. You are not just taking away a drawing of an apple.
Majority of Muslim women have explored and developed a thorough understanding of what the veil means to them, Which is why I urge people to consider what they are a part of. Even someone who doesn’t believe in God has the ability of making the right choice if they examine who they are and what they are part of.