Proactive woman preacher becomes popular among Asir girls
By HAYAT AL-GHAMDI | ARAB NEWS
Published: Jun 17, 2010 00:03 Updated: Jun 17, 2010 00:03
ABHA: When a local female dawa activist approached five high school students in
Khamis Mushayt they tried to run away afraid they would be badgered for not
donning their hijabs properly and for wearing abayas that had colorful
The dawa activist, called Noura Al-Saad, however, remained calm and impressed
the girls with her politeness, kindness and respectful way of giving dawa. She
made such an impression that the girls invited her to deliver a speech at their
Al-Saad, who works for the Islamic Affairs Office in Khamis Mushayt, is a
popular name amongst women in the region, particularly students, as her
speeches are moderate, positive, constructive and kind.
The five high school students who initially tried to make a run thought Al-Saad
was a stereotypical dawa activist - harsh, unkind and abrupt. Such women try to
force women to wear large, black and dull abayas, something many women feel
Haila Nafis, a specialist in social affairs, said what these girls did was
expected because the majority of dawa activists have a tendency to preach in a
harsh manner, which drives people away.
"The Prophet (peace be upon him) had a different tone, he was welcoming. His
methodology was based on forgiveness and being positive," she said, adding that
all extra-curricular activities in schools tend to be religious and that other
activities should be included.
"Most women preachers criticize girls if they see a minor decoration on the
sides of their abayas. These types of attitudes keep girls away. I have been
criticizing this strict method, which is also adopted in schools. How can they
force girls to wear full black abayas, gloves and socks and then when they
leave school they see a teacher who isn't wearing the face veil," she said,
adding that these strict rules are introduced by certain individuals who wish
to force their own ways on others.
"My daughter was suspended from school for a month because she took off her
face veil in the school bus. She only did this to take medicine," said Nafis.
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