Veiling Is Not Failing (A true life feature story of Muslimahs in face veil.
Story one. (She prefers the blog for privacy)
Our feature guest for today is Hajia Majeedah Tosin Salau.
She’s a native of Ibadan in Oyo state. She was born into the family of Late Prof A.M Salau (The late professor of physics and LAUTECH former vice chancellor) and Alhaja M.M Salau. She’s the second out of five children.
She was born in Ile Ife in Osun state.
She attended Obafemi Awolowo University Staff School in Ile ife for her primary education, Moremi High School Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife for her secondary education and University of Ado ekiti (now ekiti state University) for her tetiary education.
She has BAEd in Curriculum studies/ English Language.
Her journey into hijab started in the university, she was fortunate to study in a school with a strong Sunnah dominance. She was trained “not to obey the creation in disobedience to the creator”. So this phrase was always her yard stick.
She started with plain and patterned ( plain hijab and patterned flowing dress), later she progressed to plain on plain and in her final year( 2nd semester) she picked up the niqab.
She wore it till end of session and took it off when she got home. Fortunately after few months she was called up for NYSC in Taraba state. There and then she resumed the rewarding act till today Alhamdulillah.
She was inspired by 2 sisters then: Sister Madinah Mimiko (umm Abdrobbi rosul) and Sister Khadijah Abubakr (Umm Abdullah Albani).The first time she went home with niqab during her NYSC was tough, it was a day she could never forget in her life.
Her parents could not comprehend. They were suprised on how an unmarried young lady would cover up. They felt she could never get a suitor. They were afraid she wanted to impoverish herself etc. They were terribly worried.
Her journey into entrepreneurship: She had been an independent person since childhood. She love to do things by herself and never like depending on people. Her father was a disciplinarian with very strict principles. He trained his children to be hard-working, determined and focused. So after her NYSC she got a job as a lecturer in a College of Education in Ibadan.
She worked for 3 years before quiting when she was about to have her 2nd child.
After the birth of her “last” child, she decided to officially have a business of her own. During this child bearing period, she ventured into different types of petty trading.
The idea of Little Genius came at a time she least expected. She met a sister through her husband and the sister introduced her to one of her neighbours. This neighbour happens to be an experience teacher/consultant who just relocated to Ibadan by the virtue of marriage.
She met this neighbour (a Muslim sister) and they got talking. They discussed a lot about schools and educational system and she realised how knowledgeable and passionate she is about teaching and learning of kids. So she asked her why she doesn’t have a school yet but she replied her she is a teacher’s teacher (She trains teachers) and she may not have time to manage the school. So she told her she could do it and she will be willing to assist and help in anyway.
She forgot about the discussion totally until 2014 when her husband brought up the idea that she should start a school. She told him she wasn’t interested but he insisted and told her he would assist.
He started the research and did all the paper work. The next thing was fund which obviously they didn’t have. It was quite capital intensive. So she went to her Dad and he gave her the startup capital which she’s forever grateful for. And in her exact words “I pray Allah forgives him, spare him from the torment of the grave and grant him jannah”
The school started bi idhnillah and they were faced with several challenges. Rivalry from Sister schools, low enrollment and patronage, debt from parents, extortion from government agencies and unfriendly policies, low funding because of unavailability of halal loans etc. But she kept moving because she saw it as an act of ibaadah and ways of modelling future generations of Muslim. She saw it as a way of contributing towards the development of Islam.
Managing her Deen, home and work has not been a piece of cake. It’s been hard work. But she gives thanks to Allah that has taken her this far.
An advantage is, she leaves home together with her kids and come home together, this really assisted to put their acts together.
According to her, the major thing is planning. Weekends usually are used to prepare for the week. Wash and iron all uniforms during weekends, cook in bulk and store in the freezer, reduce outings and do more important family obligations, Get housekeepers if you can afford it to do occasional general cleaning of the house etc.
Have a “to do” list where all tasks to be done at work on daily or weekly basis would be enumerated. This will assist to keep you on track.
Ensure you always set aside Salah time. Get up to pray immediately it’s time, don’t delay. Recite Quran daily. Maybe at night after Isha or in the morning after fajr, schedule a time for it.
Look around for a reputable halqah in your area and attend every week, it’s very important.
Her general advise to sisters is to put their trust in Allah and never underrate themselves. Everybody has gotten a potential naturally. A unique gift from Allah. We can’t all be tailors or teachers. Try to discover the gift and develop yourself on it in as much as it’s within the limits of the sharia. Don’t ever allow anyone to determine you. You are You and nothing more. It’s not about money most times, because not all businesses or ideas require money. Some have to do with the skills alone. It’s about how commited and serious minded we are. Being a Muslim woman doesn’t make you a mediocre. let’s always strive to be the best in whatever we lay our hands on.
May Allah reward our feature guest in person of Hajia Majeedah Tosin salau-Alim (Umm Summayah) for sharing her journey to growth despite the Niqab with us, we say Jazakillahu khairan wa baarakallah feek. Keep soaring higher and keep basking in the euphoria of Allah’s rahmah.
May all her efforts towards the deen, society and family never go unnoticed and unrewarded by Allah. May Allah strengthen the bond between her and her husband. According to her, the idea was conceived by her husband. Behind a successful woman is a support system who’s the husband.
Veiling is not failing, Niqab is not a hindrance to achieving your goal in life. Keep climbing until you reach your destination. Winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win. Even though it’s taking time, do not give up because giving up is not an option.
The Niqab is neither a sign of backwardness, nor ignorance nor mental incompetence but a woman’s duty and her right to her Lord.