How an under-dressed girl was received.
This story came to me months ago when I was in the UK for an interfaith summer school for Abrahamic religions. It was told by a girl who once attended the sister-school (Dar az-Zahra) of the school I’m attending (Dar al-Mustafa), located a few streets away.
One of the things you’ll hear frequently in Tareem is a gathering where people would recite the Burda, also known as The Poem of the Cloak/Mantle. It is done in schools and homes. Randomly and weekly. Ceremoniously and casually. Big and small. With and without percussions.
*The Burda is a series of very well written Arabic poems about the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) written by Imam al-Busiri. It is an expression of passionate love, known and recited across the world for many centuries (thus many styles of recitation), although much is forgotten. The poem is also found in the Prophet’s mosque in Medina.
For example, during weekly Friday prayers when men are at the mosque, my aunt, her daughters and guests would be reciting it. If some of them are involved in preparing lunch, knives and chopping boards will be brought into the room so they can still do what’s needed while be part of the gathering.
Being a small town that’s rather international, having visiting tourists, scholars and students, it’s common to have guests and random walk-ins. Dar az-Zahra is a ladies only vicinity and in it they keep their hijab on as well as the standard black outer clothing that covers one’s typical normal clothing.
Once during the Burdah, a girl sits in with no head-cover nor the standard black outer clothing, which is also the school uniform, so you can imagine how she stood out in this gathering in the school. On top of that, her dress was standard style to what you see ladies in Western-like societies may wear.
So she was under-dressed in more than one way. But what happened next was remarkable.
Students were shocked. Some just didn’t know how to react (indeed they were there to learn). At the front of the gathering, were one of the Habaabas – a term used typically for a respectable teacher and/or older lady who is also a descendent of the Prophet (pbuh).
She walks over to the girl, greets her, shakes her hand, hugs her welcome. Then she brings her to the front, back to where she was sitting. She sits next to the girl, facing the crowd, till the end of the program, holding her hand, smiling. And that’s how the girls of the school had an extra class that day.
One of the things observed here is the emphasis towards scientific knowledge of three things. Sacred law, rooted spirituality and Prophetic love. It’s a knowledge that helps keep many clear, balanced and steadfast, just as it had done for many others in the past (and present) though we may not know today, myself included.
See Comment box below for more on the Burda.
**Note: only if you want to receive update for every post updated, then click on The Zain Gallery, then find the Subscribe/Follow button and choose See First. Something like this I think. Otherwise updates will appear (on your Timeline) randomly, sometimes, or none at all.