The beauty of hijab, story of Sister Ummi Kulthoom Binti Ahmed of South Africa

The Happiness in My eyes is provided By Allah through Niqaab.

I remember that evening so vividly. Maghrib salaah was performed and we sat down at the Dasterkhaan for supper, eargerly awaiting the news of the Hilaal. I had an “announcement” to make and I began…
” Mummy & papa … I’ve been contemplating wearing Purda for a while now , and I think I am now ready for the commitment.. Insha Allah I hope to start tomorrow”.
Taken by surprise, my parents simultaneously asked : Are you sure you going to manage??” Being the studious child that I was, I knew their concerns : (Is she going to abandon her studies, not complete matric, be the only one in her class to wear Niqaab & most importantly is she going to abandon it after a while). I re-assured them of my decision , and what followed were tears of happiness , hugs and Naseehah (advice) from my parents. Having seen my mum wearing Niqaab, I had always admired her strength & perseverance in upholding this sacred commitment and had the intention of one day following in her footsteps. Excitement drew as the Hilaal for Ramadhaan was confirmed on Cii,, whilst I searched for a comfortable Niqaab in mum’s collection.

As most people would agree, doing additional Ibaadah, good actions etc become a lot more easier to fulfil in Ramadhaan, the very reason I planned my new step in life.Thus on the 01 of Ramadhaan 1425, I began a new journey in my life. A personal choice of trying to fulfil the commandment of the Quraan . As Allah SWT mentions in Surah Al Ahzab : “Oh Prophet AS , tell your wives and your daughters and women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies. That will be better , that they should be known so as not to be annoyed. And Allah is Ever Off Forgiving and Most Merciful. “. Entering my grade 9 classroom that day, I was greeted by a group of contrasting 14 year olds. Some ran to congratulate and embrace me, whilst a few huddled at the back of the class ,analysing my new adornment. “ She’s probably going to aalima class next year, possibly marrying a Moulana” and their whisperings continued. As with all things in life , one has to face challenges . Amidst the comfort of being in all Girls Muslim school , I still had to brace myself against nasty remarks floating from fellow learners as well as teachers regarding the Niqaab. Being young and naïve at the time, I sometimes wondered whether I had made the correct decision. Reassuring me was a Hadith wherein The Prophet Muhammad SAW said: “The greatest Jihaad is to battle your own soul, to fight the evil within yourself.” High school years passed by quickly ,and I learnt to love the Niqaab like never before. The inner peace and satisfaction was one of the most rewarding aspects for me . My parents support, motivation and encouragement was my anchor, as they eliminated my insecurities & worries with Hikmah (wisdom) & love . May Allah SWT preserve them , and grant them the best of Dunya & Akhirah. As I completed grade 12 , there were more than 8 girls and a few teachers that had also started wearing Niqaab Alhamdulillah.

The next step was university. Being the only one in Niqaab ,I now faced my challenges with greater understanding , experience and appreciation. Through the Mercy of Allah SWT, lecturers and fellow students were most accommodating. I never experienced a single encounter of discernment or discrimination. Through my 4 years at university ,I participated at presentations both internally & externally , tutored & invigilated tests & exams without any compromise from my side. How true are the words of Ibn al Qayim :” Be sincere in your aim and you will find the support of Allah surrounding you. “This was a perfect representation of what I experienced, which leads me to the critical element of Niyyah (Intention). Whatever we do in life, let’s make it our concern to rectify our intention and do everything solely for the pleasure of Allah SWT.
Personally, my Niqaab was a barrier to the many fitnahs that one is often faced with at university. More importantly it was a form of Dawah .At lectures, exam venues , the library or just walking down the corridor , I would often get asked about my dressing, Islam & ,women by non -Muslims. Most students assumed I was married and enslaved into wearing this dressing, whilst others presumed that I was mourning the death of a family member. I am grateful that I could share my personal experiences with them, and expel some of the absurd notions that people have regarding Islam & women.

Having completed my Degree, and Post grad studies, I now needed to complete my articles, having chosen the Chartered Accountant (CA) profession.. A Hadith in Tirmidhi narrates the Prophet SAW said: “If you put your trust in Allah, as you aught ,He most certainly will satisfy your needs as He satisfies those of the birds. They come out hungry in the morning, but return full to their nests”. Wallahi , it was no initiative on my side when I received a call from one of the Big 4 auditing firms to come for an interview. Alhamdulillah the interview was successful and It’s now 8 months since I started as an audit trainee. Being the only one in Niqaab again, the mere representation of being Muslim, I am constantly questioned about Islam and my Niqaab. Another opportunity for Dawah . Alhamdulillah. One of the key observations from my interaction with diverse groups of people, is their lack of knowledge regarding Islam. The vital factor is not to be apologetic about being Muslim nor in Niqaab. Educating fellow collegues & friends with the essential elements such as Halaal food, shaking hands with males, travelling with males , Salaah times , fasting etc creates a better relationship as well as mutual respect and understanding. Working in the Corporate world, my Niqaab is a symbol of Freedom in this enslaved dunya. A representation of empowerment that few would understand and true liberation in not having to conform to corporate attire, a form of slavery in itself.

In conclusion ,Niqaab means different things to different people. For some a way to further the idea that they don’t need to be judged by their looks but by what they say and do. Whilst others hate it and don’t see why anyone would want to wear something so suffocating. Some try it for a while and leave it . And others wear it solely for the reward of Sunnah and gaining the pleasure of Allah SWT. As I reflect at the 9 years that have passed, there is nothing more than sincere gratitude to Allah SWT for guiding me and accepting me into dorning the Niqaab. For me it was a journey of gaining greater proximity to ALLah SWT. Just by wearing the Niqaab, I had an added responsibility of portraying Islam as best as I could and this led me to a greater consciousness of our beautiful Deen, Islam.

My dear sisters: “your worth is much more than to be reduced to an object, a pretty face or beautiful legs . You are a soul, a mind and a servant of the Almighty and your beauty is defined by the beauty of your moral character. So don’t worship the beauty standards and submit to the fashion sense in public. Eternal success lies in your submission to something Higher.” {YM} I pray to Allah SWT , to guide us all in righteousness. May we uphold the true value of Hayaah that the Niqaab represents and May ALLAH SWT reward us all in our endeavours. I leave you with the words of wisdom of Hazrat Moulana Yunus Patel Sb Rahmatullah Alayh:” Do for Allah’s SWT pleasure and He will grant you from HIS unlimited treasure. “

Ummi Kulsoom Binti Ahmed

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amazing story subhanallah !!!!! It shows you can still follow your dreams and goals the niqaab shoud never stop you ALLAHU AKBAR

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3 thoughts on “The beauty of hijab, story of Sister Ummi Kulthoom Binti Ahmed of South Africa

  1. Mashallah but sis ure not supposed to be working. If u r so concerned about the concept of niqab, u wud prefer to stay within the confines of ur house. That is the best for u. N ALLAH knows best.

    • Not for once do I say it is correct, but best to understand a persons circumstances before making a rulings on their situations, safoora and safeera may Allah be pleased with them, fetched water for the animals due to their fathers old age yet observed the injunctions of purdah whilst directing moosa AS to their home Allah knows best

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