| By Ahmad As-Sowayyan
**Editor-in-chief — Al-Bayan Magazine
I was on a visit to one of the Islamic centers in Germany when I noticed a woman dressed in full Islamic hijab. I had never seen such proper hijab in the West. Glad because of what I had seen, I thanked Almighty Allah. Later, a friend suggested that I learn from her husband about how she had become a Muslim — which I did.
Her husband related: My wife is German. She is an obstetrician and gynecologist. She used to have a clinic for treating sexually transmitted diseases, which could infect women. She conducted vast research in this area, and one of the specialists suggested that she go to another country where the demographics may show different results in order to make her research more comprehensive.
She went to Norway and stayed there for three months. There she found results similar to the ones reached in Germany. So, she decided to go to work in Saudi Arabia for a year. And she began to read about the history and culture of this Muslim country. At that point, she felt contempt toward the Muslim woman. She wondered how these women could submissively accept the hijab. She saw it as quite humiliating.
A Turning Point
When I arrived in Saudi Arabia, I discovered I had to wear a cloak over my body. I hated that. It made me feel like a prisoner, and I felt extremely humiliated by it. I decided, however, to accept that as the price I had to pay to complete my medical research.
I worked for four continuous months at the clinic, and I saw hundreds of women. I did not come across a single case of sexually transmitted diseases. I began to feel bored and somewhat restless. When seven months had gone by without adding a thing to my research, I became frustrated. I left the clinic one day, feeling angry and upset. One of the Muslim nurses asked me about what was bothering me, and I told her about it. She smiled and said something in Arabic, which I could not understand. When I asked her to explain, she said, “What you are seeing is the fruit of virtue; it is the reward that we get for following the guidance of Almighty Allah, Who says:
(For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in Charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise — for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.) (Al-Ahzab 33:35)
I was really touched by the Qur’anic verse quoted by the nurse. I started to think about it, and I continued to read more of the Qur’an and the hadiths. Eventually, Almighty Allah guided me to the understanding that the dignity and honor of women are in virtue and hijab. I realized that most of what was written about the hijab in the West is from a Western standpoint, which has little understanding of true virtue and dignity.
I started to think about how the West had managed to change our views on hijab. And to make a long story short, any way I looked at it, I found that virtue came to change and became a rarity as a result of the media using women to alter the norms of the society. What I fear most today is that Muslims end up following that same road of liberalism and shamelessness. Following the way of life of our religion is our only hope of salvation from the same fate.
It is truly disturbing that AIDS has begun to be evident in the Arab region. This disease is the result of the collapse of a value system and the spread of sexual corruption. We find that the values and ethics of Islam are constantly under attack in the media. People are flooded with movies and programs that reflect total lack of shame and virtue. I know this may sound outrageous to non-Muslims. But, it is true that we today live in a world that feeds itself sins and illicitness disguised under the cover of freedom and modernism. What would one expect to happen next? It has to be more of the same fruits we are getting now.
We can only escape from such madness and corruption by being committed to our faith and by observing the laws set by Almighty Allah at all times.
In a Qur’anic verse, Almighty Allah warns:
(Indeed, those who like that immorality should be spread among those who have believed will have a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter. And Allah knows and you do not know.) (An-Nur 24:19)