"Allah certainly dislikes three things for you: vain talk (and carrying tales), wasting of wealth, and (unnecessary) excessive questioning."(Bukhari)

Alhamdolillah I have rediscovered deen and try implementing it in all areas of life. I am quite sincere in carrying the hijab and consider the veil very seriously as well! But does that really mean that I have to meet the expectations of the people around me and worry about following the latest fashions be it wearing fitted garments or low neck-lines and abandon those of our deen?!!!

My hubby practically spent his entire boyhood in the mosque alhamdolillah. He attended different "ijtimaa" or congregations meant for the dhikr of Allah all his life alhamdolillah. He recited istighfaar each time he laid eyes on a female out of fear that Shaytaan might lead him to sinning! Yet, when he finally grew a beard after hajj, he felt he wasted so many years doing nothing! Now he had finally done something to please Allah swt! Yet I saw people transforming into question marks expecting answers from both of us!

I have three elder sisters alhamdolillah. The one immediately before me began wearing the head scarf much earlier than the rest of us. MashaAllah it was a bold step and required courage. Then came the zillion questions that she never had to answer when she was not wearing the head scarf and people were actually fine with whatever she wore, whether it was jeans and t-shirt or a sleeveless outfit! Poor her! Aaaargh!

I was fortunate to make my umra twice alhamdolillah! Before I had travelled to Saudi Arabia for the purpose I had heard many tales about the rudeness and vanity of the Arabs. My experience taught me otherwise! I felt welcome, comfortable and inspired! The people of Arabia cannot be cursed I figured, our Holy prophet(s) belonged to this nation! And if they made mistakes... hey, theyre human! Allah swt pardons us if we ask forgiveness then who are we to raise fingers at a nation and defame them! They are the most hospitable of all nations, catering to the needs of millions of hajis around the year. There is no off season for this blessed site! People on official trips to Riyadh and Dammam and Jeddah also make it a point to take a slight detour and perform their umra! Ramadaan sees an inflow of millions, followed by hajj when millions of hajji dont only perform their rites within the premises of the kaaba but move out to Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafaat for the performance of the Hajj rites! And who is it that makes sure that there is ample water supply in the desert for wudu n ghusl of each and every pilgrim? Who is it that cleans up after the millions of travellers? Who is it that erects tents annually in Mina and removes them them after the pilgrims have departed? It is the nation that Allah swt has appointed for the hospitality of the pilgrims... The Saudis!

The zeal with which these people serve pilgrims day-in and day-out is remarkable! They ae so kind to each individual and make every effort to keep the pilgrims facilitated. SubhanAllah! Are they not the chosen ones??!!!

The patience and hospitality of this beautiful nation reflected the teachings of the Holy Prophet (s) who did not waver, let alone, curse anyone for being rough and ignorant towards his teachings! SubhanAllah!

The challenges that this nation has to face in spite of all its goodness is a lesson for all us who encounter raised fingers and mindless queries in the way of Allah swt. There still remains so much for us to do in order to earn Allah's pleasure, that mindless banter should not discourage us.
In the Holy Prophet(s) we have an excellent example of putting up with social challenges. His announcement of prophethood as well as the declaration of the Oneness of Allah had an entire society against him. Neither did he fight needlessly nor did he think wrongly of the people. His silence and steadfastness set an example for the kuffar and muslims alike. And now I understand that he sought the help of Allah swt alone which is why he never failed or fell weak!

I sincerely ask Allah to give hidaya to these people who may feel that they are concerned about our well-being and social status by actually creating false standards in society expecting us to meet them instead of allowing us to follow the path laid by Allah swt.