We Are In The Season Of Hijab Queen

While Nigerians are still wagging their tongues over the emergence of a so-called hijabi as the new Miss Nigeria, as if in a vicious cycle, another so-called hijabi (Adar Yusuf Ibrahim—a Somali Student) emerged as Miss University Africa Beauty Pageant. I cannot really tell when our universities became arena for beauty contest; though I don’t bother to find out.

The point is, in quick succession, two ‘hijabis’ became beauty queens within two days. This is indeed a watershed in the history of hijab wearing. But the hijab, before now, had been a symbol of primitiveness, retrogressiveness, and disdainfulness in the eyes of the secular modernists. How it suddenly becomes a new bride that deserves the hugging of its avowed enemies calls for serious interrogations. I hope the ‘ulama (Islamic scholars) are not sleeping.

I do not dispute the assertion of those who argue that it is agenda setting choreographed to achieve some specific disingenuous goals. This seems to be very glaring. Rather, what disturbs me is the argument that it is a mere coincidence. A mere coincidence!? But common sense disagrees with this coincidence. Thus no one should blame me for aligning with common sense.

Be that as it may, the plan to desecrate the hijab is expertly orchestrated. Our role (every reasonable Muslim—especially the clerics) is to nip this ugly trend into its reek emitting bud. But how do we go about this considering the fact that these so-called hijabi beauty champions do have their constitutional right to freedom of expression? This is the big question. Yet the answer is simple only if we are serious Muslims whose consciousness of Allah is not in question.

The Qur’an is very categorical on this, it says “Ward off from yourselves and families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones.” (Q 66:6). May Allah protect us from Hell. If we had obeyed this simple instruction, these ‘hijabi’ queens—who are our kids, sisters, nieces or cousins—wouldn’t have emerged among us nor attributed themselves to us. One important lesson is that we have all shirked our responsibilities which makes our homes porous to devilish influence.

Though people continue to see this as influence of the West, while this could be true, it is not absolute. For, there are many Muslims in the Western world who wince at this—they find it nauseating. They could not believe their eyes that a Muslimah from historic Kano and another one from an absolute Muslim country (Somalia) won a beauty contest and allow this shamelessness to find its way into their annals.

Yet, some secularists—who refuse to renounce Islam—opine that these ‘Muslim’ queens should be left alone. They argue that if they go to Hell, it should be none of our problems. After all, Hell is in the Hereafter. At the core of this thinking is, undoubtedly, individualism which abhors the concept of man as his brother’s keeper or individualist anarchism which recognizes no limit to individual rights.

What singles people out as the best community from hordes of many others is their ability—or willingness—to command what is good and forbid what is bad. We must not look the other way when people tread the path that leads to Hell. And also, nobody, with substantial knowledge of Islam, says these models of immorality would go to Hell for their participation in the beastly contest. What concerned Muslims are saying is that, participation in beauty contest makes one suitable candidate for Allah’s wrath. Certainly, no one, who is conversant with the teachings of any of the celestially revealed religions, has problem with this basic.

There have been criticisms against Kano Hisbah on their threat (if that is true) to invite Shatu’s father. As I argued in my previous article, Shatu has democracy—which Aristotle declared the worst form of government—as her protective gadget. Put differently, she—and her ilk— may choose to further participate again and again. Any official threat against the family only amounts to grandstanding as far as I am concerned. Though Hisbah can go ahead to admonish the family perhaps they will realize the shame this has brought to the Muslim Ummah. Then, and again, it has to be in a polite way. No compulsion in religion.

Furthermore, Hisbah has been fingered—by Muslims and non-Muslims—for selective justice against the poor in their fight against immorality. I cannot defend Hisbah on this. If the allegation is true, this is against Islam. The Islam I know which I have studied for many years (and still studying) with keen interest, has no room for selective justice. In fact, it abhors it. Selective justice is no justice at all—it is a worst form of injustice.

If the semi-nudity seen in ceremonies of some high profile northern political leaders were actually not condemned by Hisbah as alleged, at least other Muslims and clerics condemned them. Plus, this does not exonerate any Muslims from blame whenever they choose the animalistic way under the disguise of beauty contest. Therefore, the notion that Sharia is against the poor is wrong and Hisbah—if it is truly a morality police—should help set the record straight by its subsequent engagements.

On whether the Kano State Government would give Shatu a red carpet reception, this depends on how true is the State’s claim to Sharia. However, what the Muslims expect, if she comes to Kano and if she is actually from Kano, is a red carpet rejection if there is anything as such. But is she really from Garko as claimed or there is more to it than meets the eye? I am not clear on this.

That beauty is the prime determinant of Miss University in Africa only emphasises the rot in our universities. Our first class graduates go home with nothing, but beauty queens (probably bimbos) go home with everything. And we call these universities? May Allah guide us.

Abdulkadir Salaudeen


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