The term “Modesty” in Islam is a very debatable topic but coming from this society I would enjoy writing about it. My name is Sabeena Ahmed Khan (‘KHAN’ from the epiglottis) and I am a 25-year-old young, Independent woman raised in a family where I was taught to determine my own conduct — including my ‘veiling’.

After completing my schooling from Lucknow, I moved to Delhi for my Graduation. Coming from a Muslim Society, one doesn’t expect a woman to move out from her house and mix with an integrated gender for higher education. And cherry on the top, I chose to enter the field of Designing.

Despite the world of modernization, it was difficult for the society to accept the fact of me breaking the stereotype of ‘the basic role of a women in the Muslim society’. It surprised how I came across as a woman of self-independency rather than social dependency.

“I recall a small incident that happened months back during my fasting days in the holy month of Ramadan, when I went out in my modest western attire (jeans and shirt) and a fellow Muslim turned up to ask me if I had been fasting or not.”

Does that mean, not restricting myself to veiling or wearing the basic salwar Kameez attire or having the same attitude towards the culture puts a pause on my religious practicing and treat me differently in my own community?

Was my faith in Allah and the belief of veiling the eyes from all the temptations and lusts which is considered haram not enough to call myself a Muslim?

The Quran quote:

In Chapter 24 known as an-Nur (the Light), in verse 30, Allah commands Prophet Muhammad as follows:
“Say to the believing men that: they should cast down their glances and guard their private parts (by being chaste). This is better for them.”

This is a command to men that they should not lustfully look at women (other than their own wives); to prevent any possibility of temptation, they are required to cast their glances downwards. This is known as “niqab of the eyes”.

It is a myth created by the society that a Muslim woman must veil her body to be called a Muslim. What they don’t understand is that, my clothing or style of living does not define my level of Iman but the spiritual connection I have with my Allah. The concern is not what society thinks, but what each of the Muslims think about themselves. Its time when the society needs to adopt the principle of “veiling their eyes” rather than asking every Muslim woman to “veil their body”.

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