To my judgemental Sister,
Thank you for your comment on my public social media page. Thank you for taking the time to find something you consider to be a flaw in me and highlighting it for all to see.
From the moment I started my venture as a visible non-hijabi Muslim entrepreneur, you have been there.
You have made your presence noticed and made sure I understood your disdain for me.
At times it is easy for me to shake off your negative comment. After all, I don't know you so your opinion of me means very little to me.
But there are still times when your comment upsets me. Times when it makes me angry or sad. And in those times, your comment stays with me for days - like a bad flu I can't quite shake off.
What upsets me is not your attack of me. As I said already, your opinion of me is not relevant to me. The upsetting part is your need to try to publicly 'shame' other people. Your need to point out the flaws of others. And your apparent need to feel better than others.
And you do so with very little regard to how your comment might make the person/people on the receiving end feel. Not everyone has thick skin, Sister. Not everyone can shake things off easily. And for some, your comment might be the last drop in an already overflowing cup.
You know exactly what you're doing when you write your comment. You may try to excuse your action as a mere observation or a genuine request to help. But deep down inside, you know it is petty and judgemental. And what's more; you know it's wrong.
“O you who have faith! Avoid much suspicion. Indeed some suspicions are sins.” [49:12]
It also upsets me that in a time when people are fighting for inclusivity on a global scale, you're so willing to shun me out because my Islam looks different to yours.
It hurts me to feel the need to remind you; there's more to being a Muslim woman than wearing a hijab.
I almost lost my faith once. I moved away from Islam. I diverted and went down a path that gave me no peace.
I have been lucky so far - Allah chose not to close my heart to Him and his blessings. I can only pray that He continues to enlighten me and make my journey closer to Him an easy one.
Although I may not look like you, talk like you or act like you I'm still your Sister in faith. And as such, I hope you can learn to respect me for our commonalities rather than disapprove me for our differences.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
[…] I swear by Allah – there is no God but He – one of you may perform the deeds of the people of Paradise till there is naught but an arm’s length between him and it, when that which has been written will outstrip him so that he performs the deeds of the people of the Hell Fire; one of you may perform the deeds of the people of the Hell Fire, till there is naught but an arm’s length between him and it, when that which has been written will overtake him so that he performs the deeds of the people of Paradise and enters therein.”
[Al-Bukhari & Muslim, Narrated by Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud]