Well two days back, I was travelling in bus with one of my friend after office. As I am from past two months, that day too I was dressed in a simple abaya and scarf. I live in a state where national language, hindi, itself is less spoken and if you speak in hindi, people (locals normally) have a tendency to throw a second look on you (I could never figure out what expression that look wanted to convey, disgusted, irritated, amused, startled, unwanted what??). On the other hand, if you speak in English (local language of course not being English) no one seems to have a problem or will care to notice you.
Well that blessed (??) day a little opposite of the above happened. Me, a chatterbox, can hardly keep quiet and then a place like bus where people are in their own worlds, I don’t mind at all to speak on any issue under the sun. It’s a public transport, public freedom, and I am the public. That day too, I and my friend were talking, in hindi, as usual given both belong to north. The guy (35-40yr old) sitting opposite to us was like any other co-passenger, lost his own world, cursing the traffic, or whatever..who cares. Only at sometimes our eyes used to meet, as normally happens in public places.
I have this unexplained and less understood habit of switching over languages unconsciously like most of the teenager these day do, thanks to two different language worlds they live in, one at home, one beyond that. So, as I said I was speaking in hindi and all was right until I suddenly switched to English and went on speaking in the same pace and fluency, thanks to my language-hopping-habit. This guy, as such suffering from a knee jerk reaction, suddenly looked up and started staring at me. *Lost and confused*. I looked back at him; I think probably looking for an answer for his reaction. I went through the same phase explained above which I normally face speaking hindi, only this time it was for English, he continued to stare for long..and I started feeling uncomfortable. I looked back at him in hope that he will stop looking at me but that went on.
I am still wondering why was he staring at me suddenly at the mid of the journey..Did he, like many people out there, thought I was uneducated and oppressed simply because I was wearing an abaya and a scarf or probably he never saw anyone speaking English (a 0.001% possibility). I am not joking or exaggerating the issue this has happened to me before too, one of my classmate seeing me for the first time in scarf asked me if I was getting engaged and leaving studies (c’mon do you think I am really going to that); once in a Levi’s showroom a girl, wearing the similar look as the man on the bus, stared at me from top to bottom and then bottom to top, at times I wonder if I look that weird; they must have thought what I am doing in Levi's showroom for the reason which they know better; a high school friend, now in a different city, just jumped on my decision of hijab and said “dear you look beautiful, what’s wrong, leaving your studies ??”.
Ehhh does my hijab has anything to do with my studies? What’s wrong with people I can’t get that. Does my hijab make me look ugly or uneducated? Well uneducated will be better, or at least far from modern education. For the reason unknown, people here have a tendency to make a conclusion that if you are in a hijab or any type of Islamic clothing (including men) you might be just one among those living below the poverty line Muslims, uneducated, poor, unpatriotic (well might be a terrorist too), illogical, following blindly the verses of a book which was written 1400 years ago.
For the misconception of such people I would like to clear that the book which you are thinking about is first of all called Qur’an Shareef, give it the same respect as you give it to Bhagwad Gita and Holy Bible (c’mon don’t start judging me here, I am just demanding respect for my religion not disrespecting others), and I know it was written 1400 years ago but holds the credit of being unaltered (not even a single word, mind it) from such a long period of time. Isn’t that enough a reason to respect it. It is the only Holy book which is not abridged, mutilated, and is read in the same language all over the world.
And if I am a Muslim, doesn’t mean I am unpatriotic, I am a passionate Indian. My dad is in defense and I have lived like a normal Indian kid all my life (minus the discrimination faced as a gift being Muslim). And ya I AM EDUCATED, and all Muslims are. For the kind information of ignorant, the very first word of Qur’an Shareef was “IQRA” meaning “read”.Be educated. Educate others. Because Allah loves knowledge.
Surah Al-Zumr, ayah 9 reveals:
"Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know?"
Surah Al-Baqarah, ayah 269 reveals:
"Allah grants wisdom to whom He pleases and to whom wisdom is granted indeed he receives an overflowing benefit."
So how on earth can you even imagine that Islam prohibits Muslim (or say Muslim girls) from gaining education. I aspire to be a part of an MNC or start a company of my own, and I bet I will do that without compromising on my religion (inshaallah).
And those who think Islam is a religion of past, based on illogical and unscientific views then prevalent in the society, I would like to Quote some of the following verses and pictures which shall clear their doubts.
Picture Courtsey : A random album;
Verses Curtsey : The Holy Qur’an Shareef
1.(The Qur'an, 96:15-16) - "No indeed! If he does not stop, We will grab him by the forelock, a lying, sinful forelock."........The expression "the lying, sinful forelock" in the above verse is most interesting. Research carried out in recent years revealed that the prefrontal area, which is responsible for the management of particular functions of the brain, lies in the frontal part of the skull. Scientists only discovered the functions of this area, which the Qur'an pointed out 1,400 years ago, in the last 60 years. If we look inside the skull at the front of the head, we will find the frontal area of the cerebrum. A book entitled Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology, which includes the results of the latest research on the functions of this area, says:The motivation and the foresight to plan and initiate movements occur in the anterior portion of the frontal lobes, the prefrontal area. This is a region of association cortex…It is clear that the statement "the lying, sinful forelock" corresponds to the verse.
2. Everyone, including identical twins, has a unique fingerprint. In other words, people's identities are coded at their fingertips. This coding system may also be compared to the barcode system that is used today. While it is stated in the Qur'an that it is easy for God to bring man back to life after death, peoples' fingerprints are particularly emphasized: (The Qur'an, 75:3-4) - "Yes, We are able to put together in perfect order the very tips of his fingers."
3.From the moment of the big bang, the universe has been constantly expanding at a great speed. Scientists compare the expanding universe to the surface of a balloon that is inflated......In the Qur'an, which was revealed 14 centuries ago at a time when the science of astronomy was still primitive, the expansion of the universe was described like this:"And it is We who have constructed the heaven with might, and verily, it is We who are steadily expanding it." (The Qur'an, 51:47).....The word "heaven", as stated in this verse, is used in various places in the Qur'an with the meaning of space and universe. Here again, the word is used with this meaning. In other words, in the Qur'an it is revealed that the universe "expands". And this is the very conclusion that science has reached today.
4. The above illustration shows the water droplets being released into the air. This is the first stage in the formation of rain. After that, the water droplets in the newly formed clouds will be suspended in the air and then condense to form rain. All of these stages are related in the Qur'an..... (The Qur'an, 30:48)-"It is God Who sends the winds which stir up clouds which He spreads about the sky however He wills. He forms them into dark clumps and you see the rain come pouring out from the middle of them. When He makes it fall on those of His slaves He wills, they rejoice".
5. This illustration shows meteors that are about to crash into the earth. The celestial bodies wandering in space could pose a serious threat to the Earth. Yet, God, He Who creates most perfectly, has made the atmosphere a protective roof. Thanks to this special protection, most meteoroids do not harm the Earth, as they fall to pieces in the atmosphere.. (The Qur'an, 21:32)"We made the sky a preserved and protected roof yet still they turn away from Our Signs.."This attribute of the sky has been proved by scientific research carried out in the 20th century.
6. Today, the relativity of time is a proven scientific fact. This was revealed by Einstein's theory of relativity at the early years of the 20th century. the Qur'an included information about time's being relative!... (The Qur'an, 22:47)-"They ask you to hasten the punishment. God will not break His promise. A day with your Lord is equivalent to a thousand years in the way you count."...... (The Qur'an, 32:5)-"He directs the whole affair from heaven to earth. Then it will again ascend to Him on a Day whose length is a thousand years by the way you measure."...... (The Qur'an, 70:4)-"The angels and the Spirit ascend to Him in a day whose length is fifty thousand years."... (The Qur'an, 23:12)-"He will say, 'How many years did you tarry on the earth?' They will say, 'We tarried there for a day or part of a day. Ask those able to count!' He will say, 'You only tarried there for a little while if you did but know!"
7. While referring to the Sun and the Moon in the Qur'an, it is emphasized that each moves in a definite orbit. "It is He Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. They swim along, each in an orbit. " (The Qur'an, 21:33)It is mentioned in another verse, too, that the Sun is not static but moves in a definite orbit:"And the sun runs to its resting place. That is the decree of the Almighty, the All-Knowing. " (The Qur'an, 37:38)
So I hope this was enough to clear the misconception that Islam is a religion of past and that it prohibits education. So the guy in the bus, or the lady in the Levi’s showroom, or my dear friend and classmate, get this straight I AM NOT GETTING ENGAGED and I AM NOT LEAVING MY STUDIES. Next time don’t stare at me like that (I hate writing such long post, please heed for that sake).