I Cover My Head, Not My Brain


Guest writer Faria Alam expostulates how her hijab serves to protect her intellect. 

As we checked into our hotel room, the portrait on the wall grabbed my attention. There was such a phenomenal difference between myself and the girl in the portrait. With my green abaya and khimar I felt like a queen, with no one being able to judge me by my body. However on the wall facing me, there stood a girl in the portrait with almost no clothes, and her features were exposed by the inch. I realized that not every woman has been blessed with such a gift; rather most women are being sold and their bodies being commodified.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has created us for an amazingly beautiful purpose in life. This purpose is to be achieved with all three elements that a human is created with: namely the soul, the body and the intellect. Being created a female, I realized that Allah’s Divine ordainment of the hijab protects not only my soul and my body, but very importantly my intellect as well.

This simple piece of cloth I use to cover my body serves as a constant reminder of my ultimate purpose in life which is to live a fulfilling life in the obedience of the Lord of the worlds. It reminds me that I am a Muslimah, a slave to God only, and that I need to strive for excellence all the time. It constantly ignites the flame of iman within myself to serve God through various acts of goodness. If I start speaking foolishly or letting my gaze wander, the touch of the silk cloth brings me back on track, alhamdulillah. Thus I am always in  a constant state of utilizing my intellect to serve Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala  by various acts of worship.

Because hijab serves as a constant reminder, I don’t try to waste my time in useless activities, looking at unbeneficial things, speaking fruitlessly and thus preserve my intellect from misuse! Through hijab I am engaged in a constant inner struggle to look beyond the set standards of beauty on the cover pages of magazines and instead build my own personality and identity. Through hijab my sexuality is in my control through which I protect myself from lustful looks and filthy comments and thus avoid unnecessary stress. Through hijab, my focus on any work is at its full which  helps me gain super-productivity in whatever I set out to do.

Hijab is my freedom; it fosters intellectual growth within me and facilitates my intellectual ability to reach its peak, with the permission of Allah!


Faria Alam, 20 and is currently pursuing her double bachelors’ in Islamic Studies from Knowledge International University and Islamic Online University. She is a Tajweed and Islamic Studies teacher at her local Islamic School. She envisions to revive women scholarship of Islam biidhnillah by making Divine Knowledge readily accessible to them. And empower them to make Divine Knowledge easily understandable for modern era people by relating it to their daily life implementation in sha Allah. You can visit her blog at: http://iamalima.org/you-are-mine-and-only-mine/