If you get upset or sad when a hijab-wearing Muslima decides not to wear the hijab, that shows you still have some taqwa, some ghayra, some himma still left in your heart. It’s not toxic. Allah says:
“Whoever honors the symbols of Allah – indeed, it is from the piety of hearts.”
But this is a sentiment that you can’t understand if, in your mind, the hijab is not a symbol of Allah and of Islam, but rather, just a symbol of personal choice and self-empowerment. If the hijab just represents personal autonomy, then wearing it is no more or less meaningful than wearing a swimsuit. If all one cares about and celebrates is choice, then choosing to wear the hijab is equivalent to choosing to ditch it. Or choosing to wear something else entirely. It’s all choice!
But in reality, the hijab is anything but a choice. It is an obligation that requires submission. Just like for all the commands of Allah, obedience is necessary. We must submit to our Master. Allah commands and we obey.
Some of Allah’s commands are gender-specific. Hijab is required of women. Friday prayers are required of men. Etc. Taqwa is not gender-specific. Both genders need it in order to bow their heads and say: we hear and we obey.
The sweetness of obedience and submission is something the modernized human being can never experience. Modern man is deluded by the mirage of choice, endlessly chasing every desire that bubbles up into his heart. But we were created to submit to our Maker. That’s our natural state and that’s what will bring us the most satisfaction and fulfillment in every sense of those words.
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