Words Arwa P.
Illustration Fatema A. (cosmicweavers)
Foreword Zahabiya H.
We’ve all heard the rhetoric. A veil, a headscarf, it’s all a form of keeping us bowed. Bound. But what needs to be revealed is not our heads or our limbs but our minds and our hearts. Keeping us rooted, our libaas means we are wearing our past and our futures, our values and our dignity, we are wearing our identity. The piece below explores this journey and the constant reminder we have in our libaas of how limitless we now are.
The first time I got a negative comment for wearing a rida, I was 13 years old. I was in a public restroom and a ‘white’ lady in her mid-30s looked at me and said “Look at you- young and beautiful. The men in your life should not be allowed to oppress you that way.” – I was young, probably didn’t know what oppressed meant, and had never imagined a response. I probably just gave her a quizzical look, smiled, and headed out. It didn’t end there though. Her comments nestled uncomfortably in my subconscious- they would come out and wave when I least wanted them too. I craved and needed a response. It would be a few years before I got any kind of an answer, but I eventually realised that the rida was not in any form oppression, it was a freedom that I got because at one point in history- it was given up.
Every depiction of Mary is of her veiled. It’s the subtle reminder of her chastity, her honour and her feminism when the disbelieving men in her era questioned those values.
Maulatena Fatema AS hid behind a door when she realised that the man at the door would not give her time to veil her beauty. She chose to, instead, endure the trampling between a door and the wall. Yet, the disbelievers did not understand. When she followed her husband outside of the door, they deliberately slapped and whipped her- trying to ‘oppress’ her veil. Still, covered not bound, she laid out an argument in the chambers of the enemy- words that left each man there unconfused about who was haqq and who was not.
And, in Karbala, one of the last instructions of Imam Husain AS to the women of his family was to cover themselves- twice. He knew that they would be ‘oppressed’ into taking off both layers, chased far into the jungle to be snatched of their veils- they would be slapped, whipped, bruised, and the disbelievers would come near enough to snatch them of their earrings. Still, Zainab AS stood her ground in the courts of Yazid, shaking each man there with her eloquent speech, once again clearing the confusion about who was haqq and who was not.
On the way to those chambers, when Imam Husain’s AS raas mubarak visited Shireen’s house, and she wept as she asked him how she should get the honour of his ziyafat, he responded that one way would be to give the women and children of his household relief by giving them chaddars, veils.
After the restoration of al-Jame al-Anwar, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA decided that his mumenaat- the women coming to the Fatimid Misr to remember the tragedy of Karbala of Imam Husain AS and his family, should come wearing the rida. When asked what difference between his royal family and the common women would then remain, his response was that his goal was to make us his family. If we loved him and would shed tears in the remembrance of Imam Husain- Fatema’s AS son, Zainab AS and Umme Kulsoom’s AS brother, Sakina AS and Ruqaiyah’s AS father, each of the Fatimid Imams’ father, our Maula- we were counted in his family and that we deserved the honour to wear the rida. We entered Misr the same way we left. Covered, not bound.
So no, I don’t wear rida because I am ‘oppressed’ and I definitely do not wear it because ‘the men in my life’ have told me to.
I wear it because these clothes do not only define me and give me my identity- they are a constant reminder of my history- of my past, of my present, of my future.
I wear it because those women took it off that day so that a day would never come when I would need to.
They wore it to show me that I don’t need to be ‘young and beautiful’ to get anywhere or be anything- my assets were my knowledge, my values and my beliefs.
It reminds me that my aspirations are far beyond this world, my goals are eternal, and the foundation is so deep in the ground that no amount of technological advancement, science or educational leaps will be able to uproot it.
I can do anything I want because I am covered, not bound.
Very touching and so well written!
Beautifully written.. all our young girls should read it to strengthen their resolve and dispel any doubts that the naysayers plant!
A very well written piece which covers our beliefs and thoughts perfectly.
Like the umbrealla saves us partially from rainfall, but we still enjoy the rain. (Neamat)
Like the skin covers the flesh, it may cover the body as a whole, but it still has pores to let warmth and nature enter. (Pleasantries)
And so, just like that . . .
The rida may cover our physical presence, but it lets us breathe and consume in all regards. Pshycially and spiritually.
Its a wholistic concept.
If you are what you wear. Then we are definitely covered, but not bound.
So very beautifully written and heart touching…it perfectly conveys our thoughts and feelings
Its so touching that all young girls n women who don’t wear Rida will do so after reading this article! KUDHA TALLAH MUFFADAL MAULA NI UMR SARIF NR QAYAMAAT NA DIN TAK DARAS ANE DARAS KARE! AMEEN!!
Very well written !
Perfectly expressed article…i am proud to be covered….but my views are open…
beautifully u hav expressed r beliefs n thoughts.
Very well composed !!! It beautifully portrays our beliefs …Excellently written
These r words of all women compiled together . Our attire is our beauty when I started wearing it I felt protected felt walking in this world with pride started receiving respect and best part felt inner satisfaction
Excellently worded!!!!! Very important for all those young minds..
Excellent article and indeed a motivation for those who hesitate to wear our Attire in public due to whatsoever reason.
Well written!!! Inspiration for younger women.
A very beautiful thought which is v v well explained…
A deep rooted tarbiyat can be seen in ur words.
Superb…. Beautifully put in words the thoughts which we all share….. This is today’s women….
I fail to puts word my reply.. iread … excellent write up.. a must read for all..!
Well versed & enlightened all the aspects of wearing rida
Beautifully written…all that comes negative in young minds due to surroundings, an inspirational story for them.
Thank you for such a lovely insight. A must read for all those who doesn’t respect the Rida.
Very nicely written. Yes this has been questioned to many bohra women but it has never made us leave our rida, never made us leave our values.
Well written great motivation to all who never regret to wear rida
Very well written…
Very well written and well expressed.
Excellent article which really shows what we think we feel
Liked it sooooo much
Modernity doesnt lie in our attire or appereance but it lies in our thoughts, your write up is a perfect answer to people who shun our libas al anwar in the name of modernization.
We feel pride in wearing our rida and are the true symbol of mordern dawoodi bohra women!!
An enlightened thought to ponder by the coming generation .So blessed that our aqa moula had already taught us to wear rida as a sign of sanctity and not boundati
Freedom is measured by your thoughts not by your attire..
Very nicely illustrated ,good
Wow what an article! I am covered, not bound! After years of being asked – why do you wear a rida – and – don’t you feel out of place – I think I now have the perfect answer! Thank you so much for sharing this powerful and beautiful article! Jazakallah!
Very nicely expressed
Very well expressed. I wear my rida with pride and I feel so safe and secured.
Truly encouraging words ……that leaves a mark behind
Very beautifully expressed views in wearing rida ..our identity..by wearing it we feel blessed n proud , confident in every way
True..yes covered not bound..must read article. Thanks Mighzal team n writer Arwa ben
Very true nd touching
Beautiful written. Clever mind understand well. Each and every single line tells us that our liba’s is everything don’t be shy when you wear it. It gives you courage, Peace etc. Hope every girl will wear rida after reading this.
Excellent n a very apt text. All young girls should read it.
With tears in my eyes… I say… I am glad my daughters wear the rida from the day of their misaaq…. Where ever I have traveled,places where nobody is so covered, people have looked up with respect …n wanting to know abt who we are.. It’s a must read for each n everyone of us.
Very well written !!
Well written and explained. This generation needs more of these article. God bless you.
Of course a proud lady always carries her hijab in a unique way n am proud to b a women of substance
Wery good written we proud to be wear rida
So very well said…….
Constant reminder of my history…….it completes everything……after dat no explanation is further required…..if we respect n love our ancestors den definitely we will wear d Rida…..
Very well written
Proud of today’s children
They have understood the concept so well
Very well written and it is this determination only that made me disobey the rules of my college and stand in a rida to compere the annual college fest. My teachers amd everyone asked me whether it would be okay for me to remove the rida and I refused and told them that this is my attire and I will never drop it. Well I was a first yr junior college student and it made me proud that inspite of people telling me I made it a point and stood in my rida to compere the fest!!
Very beautifuly written… Inspired alot
Our goal , our motto , our aim , our destination , our desire , our attire : All covered but not bound !!
it is very touching and very well msg
Awesome ! Well written article.It establishes the modern concept of highest well defined human standards and growing intellect .The rida being a truly blessed wear .SubhanAllah !
Great piece of writing…..
👍its nice and helpful article for all those dwdi.bohra women ,they hesitate to wear rida,its also protect from BAD EYES( BURI NAZAR).allah hafiz.
very well said…
Beautifully written!! An inspiration for those who don’t feel uncomfortable wearing rida in public…
Beautifully written!! An inspiration for those who don’t feel comfortable wearing rida in public…
Well said Ben , beautiful thought
to the point and heartfelt ….and inspiring …everyone specially our young ones
plz keep us posted
Very well written ..an inspiring article for all the women of our Dawoodi Bohra community
Amazing words, straight from the heart.
Very well written
Very well written fact ..I believe v r d bandis of Moulatona Fatema a.s v shuld proudly follow d footsteps of Moulatona Fatema a.s …..w muslim women shuld feel proud to except such a beautiful attire called Rida .
Soo true.. but still there are so many ladies who fail to understand this….i love my rida its not only beautiful but also gives us the sense of security ans assure us that our maula is always with us…
Beautifully explained that Rida is not bound for us. A must read for those who doesn’t wear rida.
Very well written
Beautifully written. My libaas is a mark of respect and I wear it with pride.
Beautifully written and so well expressed
Excellent write up….our beliefvery well defined
Vry heart touching msg 👌👍🏻
Excellently written……..expresses today’s dawoodi bohra women
It’s nailed it so perfectly. We are covered, not bound.
Very well written and beautifully expressed about our identity and pride…keep it up..👍
BE LIKE A DIAMOND PRECIOUS AND RARE NOT LIKE A STONE FOUND EVERYWHERE
BLESSING US WITH THE BOUNTY OF RIDA OUR MOULA (TUS) HAS REALLY MADE US MORE PRECIOUS THAN A DIAMOND
MOULA MOULA MUFADDAL MOULA
so true. By wearing the rida we not only gain our moula (tus) happiness but also gain eternal happiness for ourselves.
Its written very well… This article can give motivation to does who regert to wear rida as they think its not in fashion
Written a superb article !!!it really expresses wt i hv been feeling all these years👍👍👍
Very well written
Beautifully conveyed the message
A big salute to you lady!!! Amazed with your thoughts after reading the story tears came and I actually cried . Thanks for sharing such a beautiful concept of RIDA
Very well written !!
Excellent we are covered, not bound for the sky is the limit for us nay even beyond that for it is our minds which are liberated. Our RIDA has given us instant recognition, respect and identity wherever we go. Things of immense value are always covered and protected and I am proud to be such a woman
Exclnt article…my role model is Zainab a.s.n Maulatona Hurratul maleka who teaches us hukkul mumena…ds article is jst an example of it…proud of my ridah….
Very well written! !!👌👌👌
Yes I am covered. But not Bound. Thank you so much for this article. These kinds of article makes me believe more in my attire!
So well said and expressed. I hope it inspires others who wear rida only occasionally.
👌 beautifully written …..
I completely agree and understand that we are covered by the love of moulana. It is every mumenaats pride to wear a rida which covers her beauty from getting bounded and, in fact gets her to a lime light of people as the most respected women of a place.
Very well written..
Definitely puts thoughts into the right perspective. Bravo Arwa
Very well expressed……excellent
prefect written…. its our pride to wear rida … it is our unique fashion.
Wearing a rida gives us immense protection & we are proud to be dawoodi bohras in saaya of our beloved maula .long live our aqa maula syedna Ali qader mufaddal Saifuddin(T.U.S) …..
Very well written… covered n not bound…. proud wearing rida
Yeah its beautifully written n wearing rida is safe n we are proud to be a dawoodi bohra long live aliqadr moula
You have soo well written it .. and soo well answered to alot of things. .. thank you soo much for this article ..
Very will Writting
Very well written
Wonderful article!! I’m proud I’m born as a Dawoodi Bohra woman.
This article exactly said the words which I always wanted to express! I’m speechless how amazingly the words are put! 👏
A beautiful and inspiring article which sums up our cultural heritage with dignity.