The ‘Booty Shakin’ HOEJABI- where we went wrong

19 Apr

Originally written for and published on the blog ZaraEsque

Floating around Facebook and Twitter today was a video and much talk of a Muslim woman in hijaab (Islamic head covering) ‘booty shakin’ in public. I watched the video and saw a sister dancing provocatively in some sort of ‘dance off’ with a guy. After watching it, I skimmed the comments, some of which disgusted me more than anything else, encouraging me to write a piece. However, I was not tempted to share it- a point I will discuss later on.

People have alot to say when it comes to a woman in hijaab. Especially women who don’t wear it, and also men, who have had no experience wearing the hijaab that women wear. People where mainly aggravated by the fact that this woman was wearing the hijaab. And this is one of my main problems with the reaction to this video. We can all agree that a Muslim woman in hijaab ‘booty shakin’ in public is not permissible, but neither is it for a Muslim woman who doesn’t wear hijaab. Yes, with hijaab comes certain manners and ettiquette, a responsibility to represent Islam in the right way, as you are somewhat ‘wearing’ Islam. BUT, Muslim women who don’t wear the hijaab also have that responsibility. If this video was of a Muslim women without hijaab dancing, with the title “Muslim girl booty shakin,” or even worse “Muslim HOE booty shakin,” would she have received the same backlash? Realistically, I doubt it.

For me, this is nothing to do with the hijaab, this is about the etiquettes and manners of a Muslim woman in general, hijaab or no hijaab. I am not saying this to condone my sister- many an online shaykh and shaykha have done that already. I am saying this to those who have focussed on her hijaab, and made the entire thing a ‘hijaab’ issue. A woman who doesn’t wear the hijab still has the responsibility of representing Islam right. That responsibility is not, and should not only be on the shoulders of those who wear it.

Furthermore, how much do we know about this woman and her hijaab? How long has she even been wearing the hijaab? Could she have possibly put on that day? For those of us who started wearing the hijaab later on in life, we know that it is very easy to over-compensate with other things to make up for what we are ‘hiding’, whether it be wearing more make-up than we wore before, or tighter clothes, for example. Moreover, how much do we know about her deen? Does she pray 5 times a day? Does she stand in tahajjud while the rest of us are tucked up nicely in bed? Nobody knows, and typical of Muslims today, people have not given her that benefit of the doubt.

From the comments I have heard relating to this, to the title of the video alone, I realise that the Muslim community has a long way to go when it comes to addressing these issues, and nurturing people so that they can move on with life and represent Islam in the right way. The description if the video reads:

Typical Hoe doing Her Thang. Disgrace. I hope your dad sees this and shows you really how to booty shake! if you want to be a hippo then go to 1m20s is epic! HAHAHHAHA cant wait to see your dads face. and to all the fags telling me to remove it, Do 1 and jog on. you need to be taught a lesson! moro bala tikeh moro gulamor furi. kuthar khise loth. botli. bafor shamneh giya khombol lorasnaa. bala tikeh baaaaash dhiba. shorom hayaa kichu nie. BALA TIKEH MORO. ami ashiya mori zie ram

‘Hoejabi’? Really? Dancing in public may not be permissible, yes. But since when is it permissible to call your sister in Islam or anyone for that matter, a whore? The name calling is also a sin be it in public or privately. Funny that, as those name calling in public are condemning a sin done in public! And do people not know the seriousness of calling someone a whore or a slut? These words are accusations. Accusations of promiscuity. What proof do people have of this? Have we forgotten when Aisha, may God be pleased with her, was accused of such a thing? It was so serious that Allah sent revelation condemning it. Yet with such ease we accuse eachother, be us Muslims or non-Muslims, of such behaviour.

Another problem we seem to have is covering eachother’s sins. Even if people meant well, why share the video? Each person who shared it took on a responsibility. They exposed the sin of their sister and instigated hateful or ridiculing comments. Have we forgotten that if we cover the sins of others, God will cover ours? No matter how many people saw this video, I was not about to expose her, for that will go on my record. The same goes for the person who filmed and shared it. For someone who clearly has no adab (manners) as is evident from the description of the video, they had no right to film or post the video. They condemned this act so strongly, yet they were sitting in this environment in the first place. To me, this is a hateful act. This is not someone who wants the best for his/her sister. Many may say that in writing this post I am inadvertently sharing the video. But the purpose of this is to point out the lack of adab we have when dealing with these issues.

We all sin, we just do it in different ways. In shaa Allah (God Willing) this sister has repented for hers. Question is, have we repented for our sins, done publicly or privately? We all sin in private and in public at some time or another, we’re just not recorded and exposed on You Tube. But we are recorded.

I am in no way saying that this sister, or anyone else should not be advised, after all,

One of the worst sins is when a man says to his brother, ‘Fear Allah’ and he replies, ‘Worry about yourself.’ (Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud)

But there is a way to give advice; it is not in public, humiliating the person, or littered with insults. There is a big difference between judging someone and advising them with sincerity. Advice, warning/using this situation as an example are ofcourse a must when it comes to issues like this, but there is an etiquette in doing so. I truly believe that sharing the video does not really aid in doing this, after all, if an imam / scholar were to talk about this issue in a sermon or lecture, would he pull out his laptop and play the video? Would he name and shame the sister in a derogatory manner?

My dear sister in this video. I hope you get to read this. I am sorry you have had so many hateful comments and so many of your so-called brothers and sisters sharing it. You made a mistake, but that is between you and Allah. My sincere advice would be to repent, and watch where you go and who you keep as companions, as clearly there are many snakes in the grass waiting to expose us. I cannot speak of your sincerity or what is in your heart, as only Allah has that knowledge.

My last question is to those who shared this video or spoke badly of this sister or anyone else you consider to be a sinner- did you make duaa for them? Sometimes it’s best to keep your mouth shut and just raise your hands in prayer. Your fingers would have been more useful in aiding your prayer than typing a hateful message or clicking the send button.

May God forgive us all.

~ Zara

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3 Responses to “The ‘Booty Shakin’ HOEJABI- where we went wrong”

  1. Jennah Ramadan April 19, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    Salaam Alaikum dearest sister! Wonderful post! I remember seeing this on twitter.I didn’t try to find it, from start I read in twitter I was sad that this would be up on YouTube,I had assumed, wrongly, that the girl herself posted it. I am glad to find out that it was not her but am Mitra ashamed and disgusted that someone else could be so hateful! This is a form of bulling & abuse! It should be stopped, we assisters need to take a stand, and try no not back bite or encourage others to! This is a reminder to myself first as I am guilty of this, May Allah have mercy & forgive me!

  2. R.Paris May 7, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    This is very well said and so true. Too many times as “religious” people it seems we condemn the acts of others maybe to feel temporarily holier than thou. This is a sin.
    And we cannot claim to be followers of God when we would rather bring each other down than pray for each other and help guide each other.
    I am not a muslim but I feel the pain for sisters who are judged for wearing the hijab, judged to the standards of other men..like we forget we are all judged by the Creator’s standards alone! I enjoy this blog and hope many people read and learn from this no matter how devout they are! God bless you for your efforts x

    • EEMAANcipated May 8, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

      Thank you very much for your comment, you are exactly right, we cannot claim to be true believers until we start to respect and pray for one another. Please continue to enjoy and share the blog, peace xxx

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