The Covered Cleaner: Part 1

The Covered Cleaner

(Part 1 – The job)

by Dark Vagabond


Chapter 1 – Veiling

Mohammad Akbar had made a great deal of money at his job as an industrial engineer. His job brings him satisfaction and wealth, but it takes away much of his time. Being a single man in his nice San Francisco apartment, he needs someone to clean it and take care of his everyday chores.

Mohammad is also very religious follower of Islam. He is grateful to live in America, but the lifestyles of the people he sees troubles him. He would like something to make him feel more comfortable, like he was living in an ideal Islamic society.

He interviews three people for the position of housekeeper. None of them seem right. The first applicant seemed uncomfortable in his apartment, the second looked as though she would steal from him, and the third had no references and appeared to be lazy and disrespectful.

Nicole Breck, a 19-year old student at Washington Community College, needed a job, but she didn’t want to do what everyone else was doings. In spite of this, it looked like she would be cleaning to make extra money.

Mohammad turned on his television, and after he was finished watching the news, he began channel surfing. The images of women and their behavior made him want to turn it off. Girls would dance around drunk, say things he never thought he would hear, and wear bikinis for soda commercials.

Mohammad suddenly had a thought, something that just might help him deal with all of this flaunting, something which would make him feel like he was living in a better place. He would hire a young woman to be his housekeeper, and she would be veiled while working for him.


The doorbell rang, and Mohammad answered. “Hello, I’m Nicole Breck. I’m here to talk to you about the housekeeping job,” said Nicole.
“Of course. Come in,” said Mohammad.
“My job, as an engineer, requires me to work many hours. There is no time to clean or do my chores,” he continued.
“Yes, there are a lot of people like that here in San Francisco,” replied Nicole.
“For this, I will need you to do a large deal of my laundry, clean the bathroom and sink, vacuum, and pick up my dry cleaning. I also expect you to take my calls and similar tasks,” said Mohammad.
“Would you need me to do any cooking?” asked Nicole.
“No, I can take care of that. There are many fine places to eat in town, and I am a fast cook when I need to be. Have you had any housekeeping experience before?” he asked.
“I’ve been cleaning for my mother and father for years. I have never really had a job before, because I have spent time working on school and helping my family do things,” she said.
“That is alright. I would rather hear that you have done those things than spend your time at meaningless workplaces. You sound like you are just who I am looking for. Can you start on Tuesday?” he asked.
“What will be my salary,” she asked.
“I believe that you will find it more than fair. I will offer you one and a half times what most maids in this city make,” he said.
“Wow, that sounds great,” she replied.
“There is just one more thing which I would like of you before you have this job,” said Mohammad.
“Yes, what is it?” asked Nicole.
“When you are working here, I would like you to don a veil like a muslimah.”
“What?” asked Nicole in a surprised and confused voice. “I don’t understand, why would you want that,” she continued, thinking about walking out the door.
“It is my trouble adjusting. I’ve been living in America for years, and I still cannot stomach how women act sometimes. They’re always on television showing much more skin than they should. They’re doing things that they should only do for their husbands. They are disrespectful to themselves and they make their culture look bad,” he explained.
“Um, I don’t understand the connection. That does not explain why you would want me to wear a burqa,” she continued.
“I would want you to wear a niqab. I believe that this place should be my sanctuary from the outside world. I wish it to be a place where Islamic values will be upheld, a place more like my native culture, somewhere which makes me think I’m living in an excellent Islamic paradise,” he explained.
“Would you want me to wear this in public,” she asked.
“No, only here in the apartment,” he said.
“Alright, I will think about the veiling part. Can I get back to you,” she said.
“You have my phone number,” he asked.
“Yes, I will call you and let you know,” she said.

Nicole then left. She thought about this strange job offer. He was a Muslim, so it wasn’t that odd that he would want her to follow Islamic customs while working in his house. Plus the pay was quite good, and she wouldn’t be able to match it anywhere else with a part time job. Although she felt a little uneasy she felt that it would not be a problem, and called Mohammad to accept the job.

She appeared in his apartment on Tuesday as he had asked.
“Hello, Nicole. I have ordered a niqab from the Internet for you,” said Mohammad.
He then proceeded to show her what it would look like. She still felt strange, looking at the model wearing the veil. Her eyes were the only visible part of her body.
“I have prepared a black sheet for you to wear until it arrives,” he said while handing her the sheet.
“Thank you,” she replied.
“Will you be able to fold it on your own,” he asked.
“Yes, I think I can make it look like the pictures you showed me,” she said as she covered her hair with the black sheet. Her face was then covered.
“Excellent. I must be off to work now. You know everything which you must do, and remembered to remain veiled unless you are going to do a chore outside of this apartment,” said Mohammad.

Nicole thought that the cover over her face really helped when dealing with smelly chemicals, particularly in the bathroom. She thought to herself that she would be wearing some kind of mask while doing all this anyway, so her employer’s request didn’t seem that peculiar any longer.

A few days later Mohammad came home from work. “How have you been these last few days? I see that the niqab came, and you were able put it on just fine,” he said.
“Yes, it fits well and feels very soft,” she replied. “May I ask where in the Qu’ran it commands women to wear this?” she continued.
“There are many verses in the Qu’ran and Hadith pertaining to this. Most Muslim scholars translate these to mean that women should cover in the way you are now,” he answered.
“If you were a woman, would you wear this,” she asked.
“Most certainly. However, Allah made me into a man, therefore I have my own dress code, but do not need a veil,” he said.
“Would you like for all women to wear this,” she asked.
“Nicole, think about what many of your friends are doing right now. They are at pools in bikinis, at hotels with men they barely know, bending over so that men can see their thong underwear. This had lead America, a place with great potential, to fall before divorce, abortion, and all manner of sexual indecency. Women in this nation used to be modest, wearing bonnets and hats. Now Allah is displeased with how American women use their bodies, and American society is becoming decadent. Millions of non-Muslims can see this,” said Mohammad.
“Well, my friends don’t do those things, but I get your point,” she said.
“Look at yourself in the mirror. If American women dressed like you are now, do you believe these problems would exist,” he asked.
Nicole did not know what to think. Yes, there are many problems caused by sexual irresponsibility, but would veiling stop any of this? It sounded silly to her. “I’ve got to do the dishes,” she said.

The next week, Mohammad brought a partner named Dale from his engineering firm to his apartment. Dale saw Nicole, and they were both surprised to see one another.
“Hello,” asked Dale in a shaky voice.
“Are you Mohammad’s wife,” he asked.
Nicole was frozen; she had never expected anyone other than Mohammad to see her like that. “Um, no…” she started.
“This is my housekeeper, Nicole,” said Mohammad.
Believing this to be bizarre, Dale wanted to leave. “Mohammad, I forgot something at the office. It’s about a CAD which has to be done by tomorrow or it could cost the firm thousands. I’m so sorry that I can’t have dinner now, maybe some other time,” he said, then he opened the door and sped away in his car.
“What was that?” asked Nicole.
“Huum?” said Mohammad.
“You said that no one other than you would see me veiled!” she said.
“I said you would only have to wear it around the apartment,” he answered.
Nicole became upset and decided to quit. She couldn’t have wealthy, powerful men see her like that.

Chapter 2 – Second thoughts

Half Past four in the morning came and went as the first stirrings of a new day rose to life across the city. Nicole lay upon her bed, listlessly staring up at the ceiling, filled with vexation. Three days had passed since the terrible, unexpected meeting with Mohamed’s colleague. Anger? Betrayal? Hurt? She vacillated between all three emotions.

Half Past four in the morning came and went as the first stirrings of a new day rose to life across the city. Nicole lay upon her bed, listlessly staring up at the ceiling, filled with vexation. Three days had passed since the terrible, unexpected meeting with Mohamed’s colleague. Anger? Betrayal? Hurt? She vacillated between all three emotions.

How dare he who had asked so much of Nicole – a great price many a modern woman would have flatly refused to pay, even dream of allowing a stranger (and a westerner at that) to see her so shockingly attired. The effects of such a confrontation obviously overwhelmed this poor fellow also, who, upon encountering the spectral black image of our poor girl, fled as quickly as manners would allow.

Who did he think he was? Had womankind fought the battle for liberty over the past century only to see tyrants as her would-be employer crush all their gains under the boot of Islam? Nicole’s anger flared into indignant rage. No one, no man, had the right to oppress her beneath a smothering raven veil, regardless of any so-called cultural sensitivities! The matter was settled. As soon as possible, her resignation would be forthcoming and a complaint lodged with the appropriate authorities forcing Mohamed to rescind his original demands in the instance his vacancy was re-advertised. Nonetheless, through such Burning emotions, discordant thoughts nibbled conspiratorially away at the fringes of her conscience.

Images of modern western femininity were, Nicole begrudgingly conceded, far from feminine. Over the past forty years, the bounds of decency had been repeatedly stretched until young women paraded themselves through the streets and populist media in a manner which would have been considered little short of pornographic only two or so generations earlier. What was the lot of so many of Nicole’s peers? To be leered at, harassed and degraded at every turn; Good grief, a dear friend had even been terribly assaulted whilst at work – her professional legal position obviously no protection!). The anger simmered on. It was repugnant, an overt surrender to weak submission, that women even need think of curbing their own behaviour for the sake of this collective lack of male self control. After all, weren’t she and her friends entitled to dress how they pleased? Flesh was flesh, and the body was beautiful! Why not display one’s assets to an appreciative audience. Regardless, the constant tug of that”still small voice” quietly proclaimed another truth.

Through the grey pre-dawn light, a lone image held her gaze hypnotically across the room; that of her mother’s great great grandmother, taken well before the word “suffragette” formed itself upon female lips. Embodied within the photograph was the very essence of femininity – strength, piety, modesty and an all-pervasive genuine beauty radiating from a timeless countenance, delicately muted with the sheerest of veils falling from a proper. Widely -brimmed bonnet. Taken whilst sitting, every facet of costume sought to undertake a double duty; to conceal and ensure absolute modesty while displaying loveliness and a measure of refinement unknown to Nicole’s generation.

Facing her audience of one, this long-sleeping matriarch was attired thus. Seated upright, a dark bonnet in delicate brocade framed her face with its filmy gauzy veil protecting her features, tying at the chin with a bow. From this point, a high collar concealed her neck, sweeping in cromwellian fashion well over the shoulders, modestly keeping any hint of a bust strictly private. Voluminous sleeves -trimmed with lace reached modestly past the wrist. Dark gloves and a large, fur-lined muff took care of delicate hands. Contrasting sharply, a waspen silhouette culminated in a waist of impossibly tiny proportions, no larger than 13 or 14 inches, ensuring any natural bodily definition remained hidden. From this diminutive waist, voluminous skirts guarded all from gazing upon safely obscured treasures, falling in innumerable folds over the feet of an icon from another world. Nicole’s resolution trembled as two opposing armies of thought battled within her mind. Surely, her ancestor must have been repressed, trapped beneath a costume as hampering as any bourka! But yet, but yet from the safety of silken ramparts, she commanded all she surveyed, forcing any who approached her to concentrate upon mind and spirit, liberated from the insecurity of exposure facing so many today. With growing horror, a realization Muslim ideals of modesty may be indeed valid after all rocked our young lady’s world, muddying the moral waters still further.

Battling the confusion, Nicole found herself quite unable to consider radical action against Mohamed. Unlike the overwhelming majority of his gender, the manner in which he interacted with his maid was exemplary! With a gentleman’s refinement Nicole experienced nothing but kindness and courtesy at every turn – a far cry from her friend’s appalling experiences. Still gazing upon the family photograph, the voice of conscience quietly convinced our lady to reconsider; to call him and make ammenze

Mohamed restlessly fingered the prayer beads sliding through his right hand, completely unable to focus upon a single recitation. Rising dutifully for Morning Prayer long before daybreak vexation gripped him, an assault even the refuge of meditation could not block.

Three days had passed since that jarring, unexpected reaction from his colleague upon visiting Mohamed’s home. This man he had grown to trust through his years employed with the company. After all that had transpired between them, such a fearful reaction injured Mohamed’s trust painfully. As if this were not awful enough, Nicole, by now a trusted household member, had fled upon cursing him to the sky, leaving him once again alone. Western women, it seemed, remained collectively beyond redemption, regardless of superficial adherence to the superior order prescribed by Islam. One course of action therefore remained – dismissal! Course now set, one thought pervaded Mohamed’s turmoil – memory; memory of the west’s not-so-distant past, where Christian ladyfolk, in accord with their Muslim sisters, attired themselves in purest modesty, carrying themselves with refined propriety lost upon modern females.

Opening his eyes, Mohamed’s gaze fell upon a curious pamphlet resting upon a side-table he’d been meaning to throw out for some time. Issued by the society of friends (more commonly known as Quakers), the background of this quiet group intrigued him with their simplicity, spirituality and message of modesty. Browsing the net, site upon site revealed itself. No small number called their adherents, especially ladies, back to spiritual and physical morality, advocating amanner of dress worlds away from that of “Liberated” American womanhood. To his astonishment, an entire unknown universe of feminine decorum revealed itself. Unreported in any newspaper, Ignored by mass-media giants hell-bent on sexual exploitation for their own greedy ends, non-Muslim females were standing up for right, turning their backs on Sodom and Gomorrah! From Amish to Catholic, Adventist to Bruderhoffer, women were reclaiming the veil and their god-given dignity. Softening his resolve, Mohamed slowly re-considered Nicole’s harsh penalty. It was his right – his duty to HER heritage that she be admonished and taught proper manners when conducting herself in public life. She would learn to take the veil – as Allah intended, regardless of feminism’s immoral corruption. It was, after all, even her obligation as a woman of Christian heritage to cover her head and attire herself with “shamefacedness” as her Bible instructed. She would learn, and Mohamed took it upon himself as a holy duty to prepare her for a pure life of modesty and submission to the unquestionable godly law of authority.

NOTE: Biblical NT references to headcovering are to be found in I Corinthians, Chapter 11 Additional reference can be found in 1 Timothy, Chapter 2, 9-10. (the King James Version makes use of the word “shamefacedness”).Any good concordance will provide the meaning of this term, referring to a humble turning away from what is wicked).

DISCLAIMER: This is fictional story. It is not meant to reflect on Islam or Muslims in any way, good or bad. Mohammad Akbar is a fictional character, and does not represent the authors’ views on Muslims.


In 2011 Skanderbeg has fulfilled this by adding 15 more parts to the story. Read on in The Covered Cleaner (Part 2).

Back to the The Covered Cleaner main page…


2 thoughts on “The Covered Cleaner: Part 1

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s