Back through the years, I recall an incident that made me create a stereotype about some sisters in the deen.
It was on a Saturday evening after Asr and my Samsung Duos just got stolen from my mother's shop. I had been invited to a Qur'an class by a sister whom I met in one of those organized tahjjuds. Her mum had forced her to come, so did my mum; you know those kind of attitudes from mums when they feel you're becoming unreligious for not wanting to attend some religious gatherings. We got talking, exchanged contacts, introduced me to a weekend Qur'an class which she attends and somehow I showed interest because I wanted to learn something new. Need I tell you that my intention was not to become the next superstar ustadha, I just wanted to explore new things.
On that particular Saturday, I was wearing a long sleeve top on a "pencil" skirt with a skullcap on my head and a scarf that I hung graciously on my head. After Asr, I wore a sleeveless maxi gown that I already brought from home for my new class on my cloth and the top served as a covering for my arms that could have been left bare. I wrapped my scarf into a hijab and tada!, I hurried off to class. When I got to the central mosque that the sister told me, I had to start asking from the mallams that sell Islamic materials around the mosque for the exact venue because my phone has just been stolen and it was the only source of communicating with my invitee. I got to the class about some minutes past five, made teslim to the ustadh, sat on the mat, introduced myself, asked me some questions to know my level of Qur'an recitation, told me to open some pages as he was testing my knowledge of Arabic numerals and he suggested I get some texts on tajweed. The ustadh excused me from the class as he won't be able to start the class with me until I get those texts for effective teaching but I couldn't take my leave as I've not told my invitee what happened and apologize for my lateness. I forgot to tell you that I felt so odd when I entered the class because other students were clad in niqab and hijabs that were longer than mine. Oh my! purple evening gowns
After the class, I made my teslim to her but she refused to respond. At first, I thought she was angry at me because of my lateness but my assumption was totally wrong! She told me that I gave her the highest disappointment of her life as I deceived her to thinking that I was a sister with some level of understanding. She lamented on my size of hijab and how her friends would wonder where and how she had met me. Meanwhile, she had seen me with a hijab that was below the waist in size and somehow she felt she could initiate me into her clique but NO! I do not fit anymore because of my hijab length! Trust me,I gave her appropriate responses!
On that day, I was so disappointed and extremely bitter at how someone would be so uncouth and cruel to have rub those words on my face. I got home, did my chores, couldn't eat, went to bed and cried myself to sleep because of my phone and my experience that day.
After a week, I got a new phone that could do basic operations and access social media. I tried getting back to this sister but she wouldn't pick my calls nor reply my messages and that was when it dawned on me that sects exist and sectarianism is truly eating our souls as Muslims and has created disunity amongst us. Meanwhile, I do not know the sect she belongs to. Allah knows best! I gave up on her and made a decision not to like her kinds too as if you do not like/want me, I can choose not to like you too! I have my mind and I can choose to hate, love or remain indifferent.
This continued for a couple of years and in that period, if you clad yourself in khimar or niqab, I can never like you no matter how hard you try to be friendly! But I was wrong! I hated others because of just one mannerless uncouth sister. Besides, good morals do not lie in the way you cover or dress, it lies in personalities and the tailor who sews khimar or niqab doesn't use aqeedah or fiqh as the thread to sew whatever she wants to sew.
Sometimes, we do not know whom we inspire by our speech and manners. Tread softly.