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Hijabi's and Bullying by Minara El-Rahman

Posted on April 27, 2013

Minara El-Rahman is a social media professional who is also a licensed attorney from the San Francisco Bay Area with a passion to inspire our younger generation about Islam, especially in the arts. She launched her blog, "Hijabi Life" as a Muslim lifestyle blog to help Muslims find tips and ideas about food, marriage, parenthood, and fashion. “I believe that change comes from the youth. We need to give our younger generation the tools they need to shine in our Ummah.” You can follow her on Instagram @hijabilife.

We all know that bullying almost seems like a rite of passage for teens and early adults. But what do you do if you are a hijabi? Hijabis are so highly visible that for teens and young adults, they can be an easy target for bullies.

I started wearing hijab at a very awkward young age. I started when I was 12. As a 12 year old starting middle school, you are already at a disadvantage because no matter who you are, or what you look like, you will get picked on. I remember how it was actually a Muslim boy who went around for weeks telling everyone at school I wore the hijab because I had cancer and had no hair because of chemo. I remember crying about it, but I refused to let someone else dictate my life; especially in something I knew in my heart was an essential part of my deen.

If you are tempted to make fun of another person, please remember what Islam says about bullying. In Surah Hujurat Ayah 11, Allah (S) says,

"O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one's] faith. And whoever does not repent - then it is those who are the wrongdoers." 

We are all guilty of this. However, we need to turn to Allah (S) and sincerely repent if we ever bullied or teased anyone.

While times are changing, it seems that people are not. With the rise of social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, I have seen even more negative comments on pictures of beautiful hijabis saying things like, “ugly” or “this is not hijab.” These people hide behind the anonymity that the Internet affords us. While some may feel like this is just others being judgmental, I actually believe it's a form of bullying. Why is that? According to the American Psychological Association, bullying is, “A form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort.” When people post their hurtful comments, it can be to intentionally hurt or undermine the other person.

Seeing that type of behavior may be discouraging, but I want to tell you ladies that it does get better. Don’t give up hope and try to rise above the bullying. My policy for social media is I try to share as many positive comments as I can to help brighten the lives of others.

Believe in yourself and Allah (S) will help you. Ultimately, no one person can be there for you 100% of the time, but Allah (S) will be. In Bukhari and Muslim it is narrated from Abu Huraira that the Prophet (S) said that Allah (S) said:

"As my servant thinks about Me so will I be for him. I am with him if he will remember Me. If he calls on Me in himself I will call him in Myself, and if he calls on Me in a group of people, I mention him in a better group in My presence. If he approaches Me one handspan, I will approach him one arm's length; if he approaches Me one arm's length, I will approach him by a cubit; if he comes to Me walking, I will come to him running."

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