This past week I came across a new hijabi face, which is unusual nowadays. Being on the same campus for years, and being that it is the end of a semester, I was quite surprised and delighted to see this sister whom I had never seen before. She was clearly an older adult, but it is not uncommon to see sisters with husbands and kids attending college. Smiling at her, I approached her to give my salam and to make some small talk. My shoes were slippery with sand and dust so I almost slipped, but I caught myself and began talking to her while laughing behind my niqab at how I almost fell.
I talked to her for just a couple of minutes, or maybe even less. Then I began to tell her about the MSA on campus. I first mentioned the clubroom to her and told her that she can pray there. She listened and politely responded at the appropriate openings. I was about to continue on but she interrupted me and said, with her arm on mine and with a smile on her face “By the way, I’m a professor here.”
That was my initial reaction. But as I keyed into her body language (the fact that she had already began to turn and walk towards the elevator) and her facial expression, I realized that this is the reaction she was expecting. I was supposed to stop after she said that, perhaps even offer an apology of sorts. But you know, I’ve never been one to take hints. (lol) So upon realizing this fact, I continued on and let her know that that doesn’t matter and that she can still come to events. At this, she stated that her students keep her up to date with all of this, and this made me happy because it meant that there were Muslim students out there doing their jobs. I showed her my approval at this, and gave her my hearty salam.
Point of Benefit: If your job is to give da’wah to the Muslims, everyone is fair game. (Just keep in mind the restrictions and dangers in a sister giving da’wah to a male, or a brother giving da’wah to a female.) You’ll find some MSA workers who become like scientists as they closely inspect the prospective person from afar, peering at them closely, as if looking for a neon sign in their hand that reads: “Yes, I am Muslim and I’m looking for the MSA room. Please help me.” Some sisters who work with MSA’s may think that they should only approach hijabis, or that they should not approach a Muslim who is standing with a nonMuslim friend. Or some may think that if the Muslim is a professor, that it is actually considered rude to tell him/her about Islamic events and activities on campus.
If you find yourself ever thinking thoughts like these, honestly ask yourself: Are these whispers from Shaytan? Then seek refuge with Allah swt and continue on with the message, because regardless of who it is, you never know when you will be the catalyst for change in that person’s life, bi’ithnillah.