I used to be called ‘funky Hajia’ in the university. Funky loosely meant that I was up-to-date, fashionable, a sociable. Hajia is the term used to describe women who have gone for Hajj but loosely used to address women generally in Northern Nigeria. I despised the name as much as I despised when someone said, ‘But you don’t look (or talk) like a Muslim!’ ‘And how do Muslims look?’ I would often retort.
Funnily enough, there was a time I liked that title and being told I did not seem Muslim. I used to think it was a compliment. I used to think that meant I was refined and classy. Until I realised that those of us addressed this way were those who were on the lowest rungs of the Iman ladder. We were just starting to practise Islam and had not gotten our dressing properly; we fixed nails and used wigs, socialised freely with the opposite sex and weren’t so strict with things like salaah, fasting and alcohol.
In a bid to seem more socially accepted, we refuse to improve on ourselves islamically because, let’s face it, it’s cool to be called ‘funky’ while practising the deen! It’s like eating your cake and having it. It’s replacing honey with the cheap high-fructose corn syrup; tainting quality caviar with watery broth. It’s illogical!
We have been singled out by Allah for His beautiful and perfected religion, created in the best of ways but we insist on diluting ourselves in order to be thought of as a ‘happening chick’ or ‘man’s man’. Allah has set us apart from the rest so why do we slavishly imitate others when they should try to be like us instead? Why do we make cool what is not Islam when what is cool instead is Islam? We should blaze the trail for others to follow.
Nothing should deter us from striving to be better Muslims living according to the Qur’an and Sunnah to the best of our abilities. Nothing; and definitely not the need to be ‘funky’.
May Allah facilitate this for us.