There are people everywhere who like to intimidate others. I joined a few like-minded women and made a small but progressive organization. We have given voice to numerous sisters. Even the most orthodox Muslims know inside their heart that Hijab/Niqab are not ordained by God. They are like a herd of sheep following sheep.
1. Please refuse to get intimidated but remain polite.
2. Let them look at this verse:
9:71 Believing men and believing women are colleagues of one another. They enjoin virtue and forbid vice. Together, they help establish the Divinely prescribed Way of Life, and set up the Economic Order of Zakaat. This is how they obey God and His Messenger. These are the ones on whom God showers His grace of success. Certainly, God is Exalted in Power, Wise.
[The believing men and women, working together, do not deliver empty lectures. They enjoin virtue and forbid vice by personal example, knowing that the Qur’an is the Eternal Criterion of right and wrong. 2:185. ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’, ‘Right’ and ‘Wrong’ are not vague entities. The Qur’an clearly defines them in 2:177 and many other verses. In short, good is all that helps people and evil is all that hurts them]
How can a concealed, clad woman come out in the society to enjoin virtue and forbid wrong?
3. Tell them that it is forbidden to cover hands, feet and face during Hajj.
4. Dr Shabbir has given you a great hadees for hadees lovers.
"Ibn Umar said that during the times of Rasulullah (S) men and women used to do Wudhu together." Wouldn't that expose the women's heads, faces, forearms and ankles to men? [Bukhari, Kitabil Wudhu]
Let the critics look at their copy of Bukhari, Kitabil Wudhu.
Then there are too many Ahadees that describe a particular woman's appearance including their hair colour as they appear before Rasool s.a. and Sahaba karaam. Were they clad in burkas or Hijab/Niqab? Did the Sahabiaat care for their head covers when helping the Muslim soldiers in battles?
5. Show them that it is the Bible that commands head cover for women, not the Qur'an.
NEW TESTAMENT - CORINTHIAN I
(From THUS SPEAKS THE BIBLE by our respected Dr Shabbir Ahmed)
11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
11:4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
11:5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
The Quran does not ordain head covering for any, although the Muslim clergy erroneously promotes it.
11:6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: ----.
11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
11:8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. [Creation of the woman from Adam's rib is a Biblical theme which the Quran dismisses]
11:9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. [So, why cover the head?]
Why these boisterous claims?
13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understanding all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience ----.
14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
It is indeed baffling to see the Evangelists blame the Quran about women's rights wherein no such ordinances are to be found.
Please do not lose heart. Stand up for your rights that Allah has given you. Many women will be grateful to you and Allah will reward you in both lives.
Your Sister who faced similar challenges as you are doing.