‘Is faith measured by the surface?’

By Puteri Balkish

She is a Muslim girl. She still is and will always be.

She had chestnut waves and blonde streaks in her hair and donned a short-sleeved top with a mini skirt with black boots on a regular basis.

She succumbed to every single ‘adventurous’ thing you could possibly imagine – boys, cigarettes, liquor, drugs – and made clubs her daily playground. Like all of us, she had her own share of shaken faith towards the One, and the only religion she was devoted to is the adrenaline rush she gets when the DJ spins his mix through the speakers. Showing off her killer moves, she liked being the centre of the party.

Suddenly, the whole world just caved in on her, and she decided to turn over a new leaf. She started doing her obligatory prayers and decided to refrain herself from her old habits.

One day, as she was loitering around the mall, she realised that it was time for prayers, so she headed to the nearest mosque for ‘Asr. (Mind you, she had no scarf on her head.)

She walked in and went to take the prayer garment and prepared to take her wudhu’. As she was looking for a spot to perform her prayers, an old Malay lady gave her a piercing stare and said, ‘Rambut karat, skirt pendek, kalau kau solat pun memang tak guna kalau perangai macam kafir.’ (‘Blonde hair, short skirt, even if you pray, there’s no point to it if you behave like a non-Muslim.’)

Those very words stung her heart like an arrow laced with acid. She dashed out of the room after praying with tears falling down her cheeks.

Surprised? Why? The ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude seemed condoned by our society for ages.

Ceasing to accommodate, but abruptly quick to discriminate and condemn.

Despite the injunction regarding the aurah in the Holy Book, in Surah An-Nur’, the reality is that not all Muslim women lead their lives by covering their heads.

Let me pop a question; “What power do you actually possess to turn an imperfect person into a kafir?”

Being a hijabi is not as easy as it seems.

Being a newbie myself, it has not even reached a year since I started wearing it, and believe me, I constantly struggle with temptation.

I still have lots to fix, my inner self is still wobbly. I am not even at a level where I can proudly say that I am properly covering my aurah and I know that, and trust me, like other hijabis out there, we are all trying to be istiqamah and improve.

I have never felt like I am at a higher position than another Muslim woman whether they don the hijab or not, and I believe that every Muslimah out there should feel the same.

We all have our loose ends when it involves faith. None of us are saints. We are born and bred to possess certain flaws. ***

Puteri Balkish

KUL, MY | Not an optimist or a pessimist, but definitely a realist.

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