To Be the Red Crow

There is a report narrated by Ahmad and Abu Ya’laa from ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas who said, “Whilst we were with the Messenger of Allah (saw) on this mountain path, he said, “Look, can you see anything?” We said, “We see crows, and one of them stands out because its beak and feet are red”. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “No women will enter Paradise except those who are as rare among them as this crow is among the others”” [Silsilat al-Hadith as-Saheehah, 4/466, no. 1851]

To be a woman of Jannah means to be notably different from other women.  Even to be ostracized by other women.  Your habits, manner of dress, likes, dislikes, pastimes, are all radically different from that of the crowd.

What is the most common habit of women in gatherings these days?  They chit chat about dunya matters and they backbite.  A lot.  They have tendencies to exaggerate, to boast, to be suspicious of others, to complain about their loved ones (most notably their husbands) and to assume things of other people that they have no reason to assume.  The woman of Jannah avoids all this, and forbids others from doing so as well.

The dress of the woman of Jannah is modest, it covers, she does not wear loud colors, she does not follow the “fashion” of these times of jahiliyya.  She stands apart, and she stands strong, with her faith as her companion.

Sometimes, it is your only companion.

Nobody said going to Jannah was going to be easy.  To be “the Red Crow” you have to resist that basic, human instinct to “blend in.”  Women, by nature, are eager to please, and I assure you, there is nothing more displeasing to the average person than someone who calls to the haqq, enjoins what is good, and forbids the evil.

Making the decision to wear nikaab and practice shariah pardah was easy.  When I realized it was what I had to do, I did it.  Alhumdulilah.  Dealing with the aftermath was difficult.  Everyone was looking to me, the girl born and educated from the West to lead my family into the Jahilia concept of so-called “modernism.”  My pardah was met with some stiff opposition, and I often found myself alienated by people I considered close to me.  People didn’t want to hear why I chose to do this, why I changed my life so completely.  When I started a religious thread of conversation, people’s eyes started to glaze over, or their faces would take on a “there-she-goes-again” expression.

But here’s the thing I got out of that experience: the friends that stayed, or the friends I made because we recognized each other as fellow “Red Crows,” are the best friends I ever had.  We may go years without seeing each other, but Alhumdulilah, when we meet, the sisterly bond is there.  We meet, we speak, we love each other, and we separate to go back to our lives all for the sake of Allah (SWT) alone.

So yes, being a Red Crow is difficult.  But know that you are not alone.

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Comments
5 Responses to “To Be the Red Crow”
  1. salman says:

    Mashallah very beautiful article.

  2. Red Crow says:

    *cries*

    You know, more often then not we’re faced with that issue of colorful hijabs. First off, before going into lengths of what we should wear/not wear…we should (and by “we” I truly mean “me first, then all”) be more focused on ridding ourselves of bad manners and filling the void of tawheed and understanding our connection to Allaah SWT. How many salawaat do we practice without truly concentrating with khushoo’? One is too many. So Subhan’Allaah, it’s always pestering me when I go to small sister get togethers and all I hear is shaykh so and so said it’s not haram to wear sparkly hijabs…Fatwa giver X made ijtihaad and said it’s not as important to adorn hijab in the West…Mighty Shaykh said we should assimilate much more and not regress to the times of old…and the list goes on subhan’Allaah.

    To be the Red crow is such a beautiful position to be in…but how many women recognize that today? Seriously, if you think about it, we’re not where we should be in our level of “solidarity”. Or perhaps, this is
    just me and my present situation Insh’Allaah, perhaps it will melt over in a few days lol. But essentially,
    my perspective is this…I’d rather leave the discussion of haram or halaal and divert more attention to just
    helping my imaan grow via knowing the lives of the first people to practice Islaam. It is sad to say about myself that I still can’t recognize many names of the sahabis/sahbiyaat and that’s sad. Then when I hear shyookh being glorified for their teachings of how to practice in the West with more ease and assimilation (i.e. clothes, actions, no niqab, working with intermingling etc.) I feel a bit stalled in my time, waning away as this stuff doesn’t penetrate my brain simply because my Taqwa was not established firmly enough. Where’s the istiqamah? Where is my aqeedah? This isn’t about abandoning the crowd and turning to the “correct” belief, not at all, the study of haraam and halal is important but for myself, I gotta say, I’m way behind it and to me, I have no right learning this solely before I have perfected or grown more firm in my Imaan.

    OK, I guess I made a habit to come seek advice from you on this blog…lol Sorry. Verily in the remembrance of Allaah SWT do the believing hearts find rest… will do that more often and keep the mouth or rather fingers…shut 😉 Take care! Wasalamu alaykum wa rahmatollahi wa barakatoh

    • I agree that its very important to focus on strengthening the eman, learning the basics of aqeedah, the establishment of taqwa and tawheed. Most importantly, we need to be ever mindful of our connection with Allah (SWT). Tawheed is essentially the vital part of our deen, what sets it apart from others, one that need to constantly be aware of Inshallah. I totally see where you are going with this.

      I think my purpose with this blog is not to give people a “You Are Here” map of the path to get to Allah (SWT) because frankly, I don’t have it. There are so many ways to walk the sirat al-mustaqeem and so many things to learn that it’s impossible for me to prioritize what is best. I just love sharing with you guys the stuff I come across on my personal journey, the stuff that feeds my eman and makes my soul glow.

      The unfortunate thing about life is that hindsight is always 20/20. Like when I think back to high school or college, I think about how I didn’t plan my years very well and even though I graduated on time Alhumdulilah, if I had only understood all that pre-requisite stuff and all that exemption and proficiency exam stuff ahead of time, I could have had a much more organized academic life and possibly even graduated earlier. I fear that about my deen too, that I might get to be late in years and think, man, if only I had planned my spiritual education better I could have achieved this or that level of eman or maybe I could have earned a higher status in Jannah–Maybe planted a few more trees there, built a few more houses for myself. But at the same time, I feel like Ilm of the deen is NOTHING like Ilm of the dunya because EVERYTHING is important and EVERYTHING applies and EVERYTHING is something you’re actually going to use later in life. Its not just, look lets get the prerequisites and required courses out of the way, and then we can do the fun stuff if we have time. It’s ALL a required course from where I see it. Just make sure you have all your bases covered. Learn all there is to learn about Salah but if you know you’re going to hajj in a few months, you gotta realize you need to know it inside out and backwards before you get to Jeddah airport.

      And Allah Knows Best.

  3. Umm Sulaym says:

    Dearest Sister,
    Asalamoalaykum warahmatullah!

    You have no idea how empowering your words are. SubhanAllah. I wish to be a fellow ‘red crow’ soon inshaa’Allah. And I know I’m almost there being one too, I hope Allah SWT grants me that status before I die.
    I had never ever read this hadith before and it’s horrifying how very few women will enter Paradise. But naturally as I see around myself, it is obvious that we’re so prone to falling into the traps of Shaytan. Even though I’m not a Niqabi (and so desperately a Niqabi-wannabe), it is so very difficult when sisters point out that they do not see you in colour in public gatherings…and comment on the ‘unyouthful’ way you dress in. And it’s strange how I personally feel so beautiful in black jilbab and loose clothing that how they dress seems ‘ugly’. It’s one’s attitude that totally changes when one realizes what her Rabb loves and then one’s love and hate becomes for His Sake only.

    Please pray for my hidaya!
    It’s funny but I have never met you or anything but my love for you for the Sake of Allah SWT keeps on increasing everytime I visit your blog. It’s very hard to find a sister who is willing to fight the popular opinion/culture for the sake of her deen and that’s why it is extremely difficult to find true beneficial companionship. I understand how you feel. May Allah SWT bless you and your family with the best of this dunia and Akhira.Ameen. And may He SWT love us for whose Sake we strive.Ameen.

    Love,
    -UmmS.

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