3 Minutes and 56 Seconds.

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When was the last time you stood up to speak about Islam?


3 minutes and 56 seconds, that’s all it took.  That is all it took for me, in my public speaking class, to stand up in front of a crowd of Non-Muslims, a crowd of people that have been brainwashed for years by the media to believe that Islam oppressive to women, to clarify its beauty to women.  To explain that the hijab found in Islam, frees women.  I stood there, my voice loud and clear, confidence and passion up, eye contact maintained with my audience, hand gestures utilized at all the right times, and revealed to them, the truth of hijab.

Below is the outline I used and created myself on the day of my speech.  I thought I would share:

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Outline for Speech

Topic:  Covering my body as a Muslim woman.

General Purpose:  To inform.

Specific Purpose:  At the end of my speech, my audience will know that Muslim women cover by choice and are free, not oppressed.

Central Idea:  Why I cover, why Muslim women at large cover, what it does for me and how I feel about  it.

Intro:

Looking in the mirror over three and a half years ago, I thought to myself, “I just need one good reason.  One reeaallllyyy good reason to cover.”  So I stood there, by myself for a moment, tilting my head while trying to adjust a scarf over my hair, and it came to me, “For God.”  And that was it.  I made the choice to observe the hijab permanently.

The hijab is the clothing that a Muslim woman wears that covers her head and body that is worn for the sake of God alone. Quite contrary to the untrue popular belief, we Muslim women do not adhere to the hijab because some manipulative, controlling man told us to do so.

It might also come as a surprise that the hijab is absolutely not meant to degrade women.  Instead, it is meant to highly uplift her status in abundant ways, as I will explain shortly. However, if we look at what the media hurls at us, we see that it is meant to hide her identity, subjugate her and degrade her.  But I tell you, as a practicing Muslim woman, as a woman who lives in a family in which almost all the women do not cover, that this is a powerfully advertised, blatant lie.  And such a powerful lie it is, because countless people actually fall for it.  So I am here simply to explain the truth and clear up falsehood.

Body:

I. Sole reason Muslim women cover.

A. Above all, hijab is worn for the sake of God alone, because in the Quran, He commanded us to wear it.

B. Islam teaches us that the purpose of life is to worship God.

1. We worship Him in all aspects of our lives, such as eating, walking, talking.  Hijab is worship though clothing.

II. Numerous benefits of hijab.

A. It allows us to have a deeper, more personal relationship with God.

1. Wearing the hijab is a reminder, directly on my body, that I am being watched constantly by my Creator. Thus, I strive to be the best I can be in my day to day life.

2. Hijab is also the flag of Islam for others.  Thus, I always keep in mind that I am not just representing me, Mahvish, I am showcasing the religion of Allah so I have to habitually maintain myself with excellent character.

B. It teaches us and those around us to respect the modesty, opinions and high status of a woman.

1. You don’t need to look at the figure of a woman to appreciate her.  This is actually disrespectful.

C. It teaches us modesty not only through clothing, but conduct as well.

1. The hijab has grown into me, I carry its lessons everywhere, even at home.

2. Because of the hijab, I highly value my hayaa, and therefore would never have the heart to wear immodest clothing in front of anyone, including those who can see me without the hijab.

Conclusion:

Overall, the hijab can be looked as the symbol of the pure love a Muslim woman has for God; it reflects her willful adherence to His laws.  Not in any way is it oppressive, and I speak from great experience, it is actually quite freeing.  It reminds me, and Muslim woman at large, to be the best person we can be and that it’s the inside that counts.  It teaches us modesty not only on the outside, but in the inside as well, and best of all, it brings us closer to our Creator.  Hence, not for all the riches in the world, would I ever give up my hijab.

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In the end, people, including my teacher, loved my speech.  They thanked me for clarifying this mysterious topic and I left an impact on them, Insha’Allah, for the rest of their lives.  I erased the years of filth created by the media in a matter of minutes.  Alhamdulillah.  So don’t be afraid to speak out to defend the religion of Allah regardless of the short amount of time you have.  After all, a little can really go a long way.