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Why Do I Wear Hijab?

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    Why Do I Wear Hijab?

    By Sultana Yusufali, a 17 year old High School student. Published in Toronto Star Young People's Press

    From www.thetruereligion.org


    I probably do not fit into the preconceived notion of a "rebel". I have no visible tattoos and minimal piercings. I do not possess a leather jacket.

    In fact, when most people look at me, their first thought usually is something along the lines of "oppressed female."

    The brave individuals who have mustered the courage to ask me about the way I dress usually have questions like: "Do your parents make you wear that?" or "Don't you find that really unfair?"

    A while back, a couple of girls in Montreal were kicked out of school for dressing like I do. It seems strange that a little piece of cloth would make for such controversy. Perhaps the fear is that I am harbouring an Uzi underneath it.

    Of course, the issue at hand is more than a mere piece of cloth. I am a Muslim woman who, like millions of other Muslim women across the globe, chooses to wear the hijab. And the concept of the hijab, contrary to popular opinion, is actually one of the most fundamental aspects of female empowerment.

    When I cover myself, I make it virtually impossible for people to judge me according to the way I look. I cannot be categorized because of my attractiveness or lack thereof. Compare this to life in today's society: We are constantly sizing one another up on the basis of our clothing, jewelry, hair and makeup. What kind of depth can there be in a world like this? Yes, I have a body, a physical manifestation upon this Earth. But it is the vessel of an intelligent mind and a strong spirit.

    It is not for the beholder to leer at or to use in advertisements to sell everything from beer to cars. Because of the superficiality of the world in which we live, external appearances are so stressed that the value of the individual counts for almost nothing.

    It is a myth that women in today's society are liberated. What kind of freedom can there be when a woman cannot walk down the street without every aspect of her physical self being "checked out"? When I wear the hijab I feel safe from all of this. I can rest assured that no one is looking at me and making assumptions about my character from the length of my skirt. There is a barrier between me and those who would exploit me. I am first and foremost a human being, equal to any man, and not vulnerable because of my sexuality.

    One of the saddest truths of our time is the question of the beauty myth and female self-image. Reading popular teenage magazines, you can instantly find out what kind of body image is "in" or "out." and if you have the "wrong" body type, well, then, you're just going to have to change it, aren't you? After all, there is no way that you can be overweight and still be beautiful. Look at any advertisement. Is a woman being used to sell the product? How old is she? How attractive is she? What is she wearing? More often than not, that woman will be no older than her early 20s, taller, slimmer and more attractive than average, dressed in skimpy clothing.

    Why do we allow ourselves to be manipulated like this?

    Whether the '90s woman wishes to believe it or not, she is being forced into a mold. She is being coerced into selling herself, into compromising herself. This is why we have 13-year-old girls sticking their fingers down their throats and overweight adolescents hanging themselves. When people ask me if I feel oppressed, I can honestly say no. I made this decision out of my own free will. I like the fact that I am taking control of the way other people perceive me. I enjoy the fact that I don't give anyone anything to look at and that I have released myself from the bondage of the swinging pendulum of the fashion industry and other institutions that exploit females.

    My body is my own business. Nobody can tell me how I should look or whether or not I am beautiful. I know that there is more to me than that. I am also able to say "no" comfortably then people ask me if I feel as though my sexuality is being repressed.

    I have taken control of my sexuality. I am thankful I will never have to suffer the fate of trying to lose/gain weight or trying to find the exact lipstick shade that will go with my skin colour. I have made choices about what my priorities are and these are not among them. So next time you see me, don't look at me sympathetically. I am not under duress or a male-worshipping female captive from those barbarous Arabic deserts. I've been liberated.

    ----------------
    "No leaf falls except that He knows of it, and no rain drop forms except that He has willed it."

    #2
    but women have the right also to expose
    thier beauty and let the world know thir uniqness. can we paint the butterflies same
    colr the flowers same color make honey little bitter?

    Comment


      #3
      When I cover myself, I make it virtually impossible for people to judge me according to the way I look. I cannot be categorized because of my attractiveness or lack thereof.
      It is a myth that women in today's society are liberated. What kind of freedom can there be when a woman cannot walk down the street without every aspect of her physical self being "checked out"? When I wear the hijab I feel safe from all of this.
      Dear rvikz,

      it would have been nice if you had actually pondered over the message of the above article before responding.

      We don't need a woman to show the world her uniqueness to recognise it. We know the uniqueness of a woman when we look at our mothers, our sisters, our wives and our daughters. We know their beauty and acknowledge that indeed they are a blessing from Allaah - subhaan wa ta'aala. And we should treat them as such, not like objects of amusement or to fulfill our fancies and desires.

      &peace

      -------------------
      "No leaf falls except that He knows of it, and no rain drop forms except that He has willed it."

      Comment


        #4
        Yeah, near naked men always did appeal to me.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Hasnain:
          Dear rvikz,

          We don't need a woman to show the world her uniqueness to recognise it. We know the uniqueness of a woman when we look at our mothers, our sisters, our wives and our daughters. We know their beauty and acknowledge that indeed they are a blessing from Allaah - subhaan wa ta'aala. And we should treat them as such, not like objects of amusement or to fulfill our fancies and desires.

          &peace

          And unless a woman is covered from head to toe it isn't possible to do this?

          Comment


            #6
            Shirin,
            Salam,
            I consider you a person of logic, and was very surprised to see that one coming from you!

            Hmmm, firstly: It is possible; in a perfect world. But we're all aware of the number of sickos in this world, and also of how it really isn't implemented in ANY society.

            Secondly: Islam follows this simple principle, a women reserves her beauty for those who are related to her in some form, since most others would be inclined (at some level) to think differently towards her simply because she's of the opposite sex; or at the very least, they would regard her as being beautiful.

            Now Shirin, to use as an example, what would you think of a woman who shows off nude in public and allows men to use her as sex tool? I would certainly consider someone as such very cheap. To give everyone the right to use you is very cheap. Similarly, if you let every other person appreciate your beauty, it just means that you have no concern about your respect. Its something that should come from within. You should have enough respect of your beauty to not show it off to just anyone who wishes to take a part off it.

            There's some shair, which i cant recall exactly but it goes against these lines:

            Chehra wo nahi jis pe nigah jam jaye;
            chehra wo hai ke jis ko dekh ke nigah jhuk jaye;


            Hijab is only the physical aspect of 'Sharm -o- Hayaa'. A lot of it comes from within, from realizing that your beauty is not for the world to see. Though, I doubt I can change your outlook on this matter, we all have excuses and/or reasons for our beliefs.

            (rather long reply; only because I had read a similar post from you in some other forum and still had that one in my head)

            [This message has been edited by ammarr (edited March 19, 2002).]

            Comment


              #7
              ps- yeh I know what the next argument will be: 'Oh, but why not change the thinking of 'Men' instead of stuffing it all onto the poor suppressed women.' But I think I'll wait to see what your POV is.

              Comment


                #8
                people are looking at islam from
                the 'arab', 'bedouin', orthodoxed point of view. you all fail
                to see that islam is UNIVERSAL...and it has to be able to adapt to
                different cultures. when the sura mentioned 'modest' dress, it
                had to be understood by many different cultures

                Comment


                  #9
                  I must admit, this is a very well written article, especially for a 17 year old. However the logic is flawed or perhaps her article is not clearly written.

                  Below are the murky issues seen in this article. She does not define to us what "hijab" means to her. If hijab means the covering on one's head, then her logic is quite flawed.

                  Contrary to her statement, I believe the hijab is a mere piece of cloth covering the author's hair, how does it prevent people from sizing her up. They will still judge her looks, her face is quite visible; they will judge her clothes ( hijab does not mean abaya); they can still see her makeup or lack of makeup.

                  This article makes too many assumptions. Covering one's hair does not prevent her from being "checked out" by others not does it prevent people from judging her. She is contantly judged, there are people who look at her and think she is an oppressed, weak, female who lacks intelligence or a threat to western society (terrorist), merely b/c of that piece of cloth on her head. Isn't that being judged?

                  The author is making assumptions that if a woman covers her hair that she rejects fashion, make-up, jewelry, and other things they may disdain of our "superficial" society and thus becomes the epitome of modesty. Not true There are hijabis who are just like their nonhijabi counterparts, and indulge in fashion, make-up, jewelry, gossip, perfume, backbiting...

                  I would like to challenge this woman and those who support her views with this thought. Do women who have that piece of cloth differ so much from those who don't, does that piece of cloth make such a significant difference in a person's character & intentions? Right now as I sit here in my sweatshirt and Jeans, am I a heathen and as soon as my hair is covered, I become a modest, pious, muslim? Do we as muslims come only in two flavors: 1.religious & perfect 2. Nonreligious/rebellious/ an utter shame to Islaam and total contradictions to the ideology of Islaam? Does that piece of cloth all of a sudden give people wisdom and sense to reject utter displays of superficiality, materialism, and other nonsensical treads seen in our society. I don't think so

                  There are many of us, non hijab women, who have the sense to ascertain what is in our best interest. Many of us non-hijabis have not become slaves to fashion or other oppressive trends. And it doesn't have to do anything with religion either, I have tons of American Christian, Hindu, Agnostic friends who are not manipulated by the "man's world" and defy trends which objectify them.

                  I respect your beliefs and your rights to practice them. I believe that as muslims we must practice Islaam to the best of our abilities in our lives but we must not impose our views on others nor judge them. Sadly this is not regarded by many of our brothers and sisters in Islaam. We need to remember that we each answer only to God, not anyone else.

                  [This message has been edited by Muni (edited March 20, 2002).]

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Points to ponder, instead of being another brainwashed soul like that girl!
                    [*] Why don't Muslim men cover themselves with Hijab?
                    [*] Won't they be checked out by women?
                    [*] Why should Muslim men be judged based on their attractiveness or lack thereof?
                    [*] Aren't muslim men blessing from Allah, if we look at our brothers, fathers and grand fathers?
                    [*] Why won't 4 muslim men be married to 1 woman at the same time and she can divorce them one at a time to marry a newer man?
                    [*] Why is it in Islam a man not inferior to a woman and it is the other way round?



                    [This message has been edited by kumarakn (edited March 19, 2002).]

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Kumarakn, let me point this out first: I hate pathetic people, the ones who seem to question Islam time and again when the real purpose is not to learn but rather to confront.

                      I figure you didn't take the time to read my post. I'll expand once again, one last time.
                      • Why don't Muslim men cover themselves with Hijab?

                        Won't they be checked out by women?


                      Muslim men follow hijab. The hijab is a little different since there is an obvious difference b/w the male and the female. Don't compare apples and oranges. The male hijab includes keeping a beard, covering yourself from your chest downwards to halfway down your calf. Like I said 'Hijab' is not a piece of cloth like most people would like to assume. Hijab is the proper amount of covering to make your beauty less obvious.
                      • Why should Muslim men be judged based on their attractiveness or lack thereof?


                      No, muslim men are judged based on their piety and their character.
                      • Aren't muslim men blessing from Allah, if we look at our brothers, fathers and grand fathers?


                      And what? Dont blabber man, state your point nice and clear.
                      • Why won't 4 muslim men be married to 1 woman at the same time and she can divorce them one at a time to marry a newer man?


                      Hmm, last time I checked, the rule was only in place because of the wars, which always left more women widowed. Only to provide safety to the widowed women.
                      • Why is it in Islam a man not inferior to a woman and it is the other way round?


                      ASSumptions my friend, will make you look just like one. Where did you get this one from? Men and women have different responsibilities based on what they are biologically capable of. Its not about 'inferiority'.

                      ------------------
                      L䧧, Pz hQd, Hm hl, Tm dR..

                      Comment


                        #12
                        ammar is absolutely right..

                        Hijab is a modest covering of the head and the body of the Muslim women. Muslim women must wear the Hijab because Allah ordered it.

                        The Quran says, Say to the believing man that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; and that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands..." (Qur'an 24:30-31)

                        Islam has no fixed standard as to the style of dress or type of clothing that Muslims must wear. However, some requirements must be met.
                        1st - body must be covered
                        2nd - looseness. The clothing must be loose enough so as not to describe the shape of the woman's body.
                        3rd - Thickness. The clothing must be thick enough so as not to show the color of the skin it covers or the shape of the body.

                        and believe me those are just for our own pretection, you should knwo why bad ppls do rape, what attracts them towards girl, just because they think that girls are soo hot, and you know when girls looks hot only when they wear tight cloths, when their most attractive part of the body is exposing...

                        now tell me kumar dont u think that women in Hijaab are more secure than others who dont..

                        dunn give me any example, cuz u never know when bad days comes, just tell me if v muslims girls do proper hijaab arn't v safe enough.. ???

                        ------------------
                        Friendship is a precious gift from ALLAH, only lucky ppl have got this gift. And thank God, I am among those ppl

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I don't wear the hijab so I'm not an expert to discuss this, BUT I wanted to mention this anyways. A friend of mine who wears the hijab, was discussing this issue; according to her she wears the hijab NOT for the sake of preventing men from staring at her, she doesn't wear it "for the laws of any man or woman, but for the laws of Him Who Created those men and women". For her, it's a supreme symbol of her independence and freedom; far be it for her to have to resort to fashion magazines to find out what's "in" and what's not. She is her own person, free from societal norms and restrictions. The core message of Islam is, afterall, submission to the One Supreme Being - and by wearing her hijab, she is freeing herself from the shackles of what she perceives as self-damaging societal attitudes and norms. By wearing the hijab, she says that she is surrendering herself completely to Allah's Laws, not to the laws of an artificial system.

                          [This message has been edited by Nadia_H (edited March 19, 2002).]

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Amarr,
                            Sorry to disappoint you, but I do not and will not cover my head in everyday circumstances.

                            Because I say one things isn't true it doesn't mean the opposite is.
                            Because I don't agree with you it doesn't mean that I'm not logical!!! I could say the same.

                            I don't cover my head, and I don't think that my religion requires me to. Great that some people think that they can cover themselves and be virtuous as a result. I think that being virtuous is a lot harder.

                            I dress modestly and neatly. I cover myself and don't make a public display of my body. I try and behave respectfully towards others, whether they agree with me or not. I try and be honest with myself and others. I know that Allah will judge me, not by how I obey in hear of criticism and threats by other people, but because I have thought and considered the information I have and chosen what I think is right, not what is easy or convenient. For some people that may mean covering themselves completetly, for me it doesn't. That's what I think I should do.

                            I don't think that a man's beard is part of a "man's hijab". That is sunnah - something rather different.

                            It takes courage to say that to some people. Many muslims are only too ready to condemn another one with different opinions.

                            How many times I have heard a muslim saying that another person is not muslim because they disagree with their interpretation of Islam... let's try and be a lottle more tolerant of differences, after all you or I are not the judge.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              ------------------
                              |~*ham uskay hain hamara poochna kia*~|

                              [This message has been edited by masi420 (edited March 19, 2002).]

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