I am a butterfly. A beautiful butterfly. Other butterflies are jealous of me because my wings are lovely with a spectrum of black, purple and green colours. Something that no other butterfly possesses as far as I have seen. All the flowers want me to hover over them because I make them look beautiful too. And when I do that, I get a lot of compliments and praises. I get the attention of every passerby even if I don’t plan to.
Oh! What a wonderful life, you may think. Compliments, invitations, beauty, attention … what else do I need? It might sound foolish to you but I am not happy. Why am I an object of display for everyone? They can choose to comment on me whenever they like, they can praise me whenever they like and they can even abuse me whenever they like. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if my beauty was only for a few selected beings, flowers or humans, who would really value it and never harm me or abuse me?
Oh I wish I could hide my beauty under a hijab. I think the world is show piece shelf where everyone is displaying themselves and competing against one another to appear more appealing to the eye than the other. Don’t they realize that it is a never ending battle which only results in dissatisfaction. Sometimes, I too see a beautiful butterfly and it makes me slightly jealous .And then, I start becoming unthankful to Allah for whatever I already have. If I were in a Hijab, I wouldn’t have been a part of this battle automatically and I would never have been unthankful to Him. Beauty is so short lived anyway. Is it not better that by taking a hijab, I would get out of this competition and then would never have to worry about facing the world one day when I am not beautiful and young anymore?
Oh! how lucky for women, Allah has created for them the Hijab. The hijab that gives her self-respect in a society where men treat women as objects of entertainment and delight, just like humans treat me. If I were in a Hijab, I wouldn’t have been so easily commented upon by humans. I would have had more self respect and dignity and I would always be sure that I will not be abused wherever I go.
Even with all the beauty that I have, I am not valuable. Yes, even with all the compliments and praises I get, I am least valuable. Value for something is created when it is not freely available to anyone, in fact, when it is very difficult to get. My beauty is freely available to ever passerby. Do you think that they value me? No. Even if they get hold of me, they just keep me in their diaries and then forget about me and later discard me when I die. Pearls, on the other hand, are so valuable. Have you ever wondered why? Because you only find it under the deep deep layers of sea and it is assessable to no one but very few. Those who possess it are proud of it and really value it. If Pearls were so freely available on land and on the sea shore, no one would have even cared. I wish I could hide my beauty under the deep layers of hijab so that those who possessed me, valued me.
Life would have been so much better, if only I could do Hijab.
I wrote this article for Iqra Times, IBA’s religious newsletter, almost one year back. At that time, I aspired to be in the team that published Iqra Times. Today, Alhamdolilah, it has been one year that I am the editor-in-chief of the newsletter. If you want to access copies of the two issues of Iqra Times my team and I worked on, click;Here]