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Switch to Forum Live View My hijab, or my job?
6 years ago  ::  Mar 17, 2008 - 10:20PM #51
witness22
Posts: 6
Wow! Last time I looked at this post, I think three people had responded. I was shocked to see my post headlined on the Islam section at beliefnet today, and even more shocked to find *pages* of posts in response!

I'm sure some of you (Miraj) will be happy to hear that I've stopped wearing the hijab. I realized that as much as it felt right to wear it, I didn't know enough about Islam and I was afraid that in my ignorance I was going to do something very wrong that would give non-Muslims the wrong impression of the religion.

Thank all of you for your advice, even the tongue lashings! I didn't wear the hijab to cause conflict - it was just the reaction of my co-workers. (To give you an idea of how bad it was, one afternoon a couple months after my post, a man stopped his car alongside our building, probably the most private place he could find, laid out his prayer rug, and began praying. I litterally had to stop the men I worked with from calling the police to report "suspicious behavior" and going out to harass the man and chase him off. I kept them arguing with me until the man had finished and left.) I agree that I don't want my faith to antagonize other people. But where do we draw the line? We can't keep pulling the line back to accomodate other people's prejudices and misconceptions and hatreds. That only fosters it. I don't mean that we should be up in people's faces with it either, but if women stopped wearing the hijab - or people like that man stopped praying where they could be seen - because of the west's prejudices and misconceptions, people here would never have the chance to understand things differently.

It's hard for me to explain why I love wearing the hijab, even though I'm not Muslim - and even if it's not actually required. I felt *beautiful* in it - but it wasn't about how I looked. (I'm sure I was doing a really clumsy job!) When I get dressed in the morning, I always feel like I'm putting on someone else's clothes, even when I'm wearing things I've had for years. But the first time I put on the hijab, it was the first time it felt like I was putting on something that was mine, that I belonged in. I felt beautiful, not because of how I looked, but because I felt like myself in a way that I hadn't known was missing before. When I looked in the mirror, I recognized myself in a way I hadn't before. The only statement by it that mattered to me was the statement that it made to myself and to God - like wrapping myself in a promise or an idea of the kind of person I know I am not yet, but that I want to become. It was a reminder to myself of this. I felt like I was putting on my faith and my dreams. I don't know if that makes sense, but it's the best explanation I can give.

Unfortunately, I haven't gotten any further in my decision on whether to become Muslim. I need help understanding this, but haven't been able to get to a mosque from where I live. I'm moving though - this week actually - and I discovered there is a mosque near by. I've tried contacting them a couple of times by e-mail to find out about visiting, but I haven't gotten a response. Can anyone tell me how to find out about going there? Is it okay for me to just show up if I can't get a hold of anyone? What would be expected of me as a visitor? I know that they have classes there in English once a week. Does anyone know if it might be acceptable for me to go to learn more, even if I decide not to become Muslim? I'm finally getting back into school for a theology degree (thank God!), and I'm worried about learning about Islam from a text book taught by someone who doesn't practice the religion. Whether I convert or not, I would much rather learn about Islam from the teachers and Muslims at a mosque if I can.

Thanks and blessings and peace.
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 18, 2008 - 6:48PM #52
newmuslimlady
Posts: 176
Quote: Unfortunately, I haven't gotten any further in my decision on whether to become Muslim. I need help understanding this, but haven't been able to get to a mosque from where I live. I'm moving though - this week actually - and I discovered there is a mosque near by. I've tried contacting them a couple of times by e-mail to find out about visiting, but I haven't gotten a response. Can anyone tell me how to find out about going there? Is it okay for me to just show up if I can't get a hold of anyone? What would be expected of me as a visitor? I know that they have classes there in English once a week. Does anyone know if it might be acceptable for me to go to learn more, even if I decide not to become Muslim? I'm finally getting back into school for a theology degree (thank God!), and I'm worried about learning about Islam from a text book taught by someone who doesn't practice the religion. Whether I convert or not, I would much rather learn about Islam from the teachers and Muslims at a mosque if I can.

Witness22- I'm sure any Mosque would be more than happy if you came and wanted to learn more about Islam, whether you decide to be Muslim or not.   The main Mosque and Islamic center where I live has open houses to anyone who wants to learn more about Islam.  Church groups, senior groups, etc. come most weekends and listen to a lecture and the Mosque even serves them lunch.   They also have classes on sundays for non-muslims who just want to show up and get information on Islam.  So I'd just show up and ask when they have classes or lectures open to the public.   As long as you dress modestly(not saying you have to cover your hair,etc.) when you come to the Mosque I wouldn't worry about anything else.   Just walk inside and be yourself.   No one is going to bite ya. LOL.    I'd like to say that I give you a lot of credit for wanting to learn about Islam from the source, not from some non-muslims who most likely will try to misguide you.  :)
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 28, 2008 - 8:49PM #53
Cooper
Posts: 400
[QUOTE=monotheist;27276]Wa'alaikum Assalam:

I'm really happy for you that God is leading you to Islam.  Take your time.  Try attending a mosque.  Most have classes and halaqas (study circles) for new members or people interested in Islam. 

Peace.[/QUOTE]


Good advice.  I say the same thing to people who are considering conversion to Judaism....take your time, study, go to synagogue.


This woman should wear her head scarf and then take legal action if he fires her.



Shalom
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6 years ago  ::  May 02, 2008 - 4:56PM #54
Ms_Sunshine
Posts: 14
How sad is it that people feel that they need to make a choice between wearing hijab and working?
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6 years ago  ::  May 06, 2008 - 4:46PM #55
simply_believe
Posts: 23
[QUOTE=witness22;23599]Asalamu alaikum. I hope I'm posting this in the right place.

I am seriously considering taking Islam as my faith. I've only been studying it for a few weeks, and there's many questions I still need answered first, but no other religion has captured both my heart and mind the way Islam has. I pray at the correct times whenever I can, or as close to it as I can get, and even if I don't convert I find myself loving the hijab and Islamic ways of dressing. But I've discovered that I work in an environment with deep-running prejudices and fears.

I told my boss that I wanted to wear the hijab to work one day to see how customers would react (and secretly to see how my coworkers would react). My conservative Christian boss was shocked at first (no one has any idea that I'm considering converting) and almost said no, but eventually agreed, thinking I was doing it as a social experiment since I want to go into theology. But he said I could only do it on a day when the store owner wasn't there, because if the owner saw me in the hijab he would "blow up". When I asked why, my boss told me that it was because the owner was a "good, faithful Christian" - a very complimentary, twisted synonym for "intolerant" in this situation. In the process of talking about me doing this "experiment" my boss also told me that there was actually a rule against it. Well, actually the rule is against wearing hats, but the rule says "no headgear", and now that I've brought this up "headgear" is now being interpreted as including hijab - and it was made very clear to me that this is the one and only time I will be allowed to do this "experiment", and that if it starts causing any problems with customers, I am to immediately take it off (although I think my coworkers are already reacting much more than the customers will).

So I'm faced with a dilemma: I want to wear the hijab! Even if I don't convert, I think I want to wear it. But now I could get fired, not on the basis of my religion, but because I'm wearing a headscarf. Do they really think that if I put a piece of fabric on my head it makes me a different person than I was yesterday? No! It is only an external expression seen today of what was already in my heart yesterday, and many days before that. But it has been made clear to me that these men I work with are extremely conservative Christians who want the entire world to be a reflection of themselves and their values, and I'm already forced to sit all day and listen to them vent their prejudices, and there is no room in their hearts for tolerance.

Part of me wants to start wearing the hijab just to get myself fired so I don't have to listen to their hate anymore. I took this job out of desperation, and I don't like the work or the people I work with. But to get the job I had to give my word that I would work there for a year. It's only been three months. As wrong as all this is, I'm not sure it would make it right to break my promise. It takes a month to train someone for this job, sometimes longer, so if I quit during the middle of the busy season I would be leaving them in a lurch. Part of me has no problem with that - if they don't want to work with a muslim, I don't want to work with them (really I'm rather afraid to), and I'd rather quit than have them looking for ways to fire me. I know that if I did convert they wouldn't allow me to pray at work - I had to fight with them and almost pass out just to get a lunch break! But on the other hand, the owner's son has cancer, and I have heard him crying to God to know why his son has to suffer, and I don't want to add to his burdens by breaking my word and putting him in a hard place.

So, the dilemma is: my hijab, or my job? Please give me advice!

Peace and blessings upon you all.[/QUOTE]

Walaikum assalam,
Sister, they cannot tell you what to wear. if Hijab is your part of dress, you have to talk to your boss. My company have same rules but i have a beard, I have this jewish girl, she cover up her hair and our boss is okay.

If you worry about the job, then Allah hads promise for food. He said you born with your Rizq(food). Its pre-determined. so, don't worry about your job.  He is the Raziq(the Food provider). Ask God for help, believe in Him and then leave everything on Him. You are not doing any thing wrong.

Assalam u alaikum
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6 years ago  ::  May 06, 2008 - 4:49PM #56
simply_believe
Posts: 23
[QUOTE=newmuslimlady;366345]Quote: Unfortunately, I haven't gotten any further in my decision on whether to become Muslim. I need help understanding this, but haven't been able to get to a mosque from where I live. I'm moving though - this week actually - and I discovered there is a mosque near by. I've tried contacting them a couple of times by e-mail to find out about visiting, but I haven't gotten a response. Can anyone tell me how to find out about going there? Is it okay for me to just show up if I can't get a hold of anyone? What would be expected of me as a visitor? I know that they have classes there in English once a week. Does anyone know if it might be acceptable for me to go to learn more, even if I decide not to become Muslim? I'm finally getting back into school for a theology degree (thank God!), and I'm worried about learning about Islam from a text book taught by someone who doesn't practice the religion. Whether I convert or not, I would much rather learn about Islam from the teachers and Muslims at a mosque if I can.

Witness22- I'm sure any Mosque would be more than happy if you came and wanted to learn more about Islam, whether you decide to be Muslim or not.   The main Mosque and Islamic center where I live has open houses to anyone who wants to learn more about Islam.  Church groups, senior groups, etc. come most weekends and listen to a lecture and the Mosque even serves them lunch.   They also have classes on sundays for non-muslims who just want to show up and get information on Islam.  So I'd just show up and ask when they have classes or lectures open to the public.   As long as you dress modestly(not saying you have to cover your hair,etc.) when you come to the Mosque I wouldn't worry about anything else.   Just walk inside and be yourself.   No one is going to bite ya. LOL.    I'd like to say that I give you a lot of credit for wanting to learn about Islam from the source, not from some non-muslims who most likely will try to misguide you.  :)[/QUOTE]
show up to your local mosque. no body should say any thing. If you still don't get any respone, go to www.sahriaboard.com and ask these well world known scholars to give you the response you were looking for. I know you will get the esponse from these scholars with in fews days at the most. take care and assalam u alikum
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6 years ago  ::  May 06, 2008 - 4:53PM #57
simply_believe
Posts: 23
[QUOTE=witness22;364215]Wow! Last time I looked at this post, I think three people had responded. I was shocked to see my post headlined on the Islam section at beliefnet today, and even more shocked to find *pages* of posts in response!

I'm sure some of you (Miraj) will be happy to hear that I've stopped wearing the hijab. I realized that as much as it felt right to wear it, I didn't know enough about Islam and I was afraid that in my ignorance I was going to do something very wrong that would give non-Muslims the wrong impression of the religion.

Thank all of you for your advice, even the tongue lashings! I didn't wear the hijab to cause conflict - it was just the reaction of my co-workers. (To give you an idea of how bad it was, one afternoon a couple months after my post, a man stopped his car alongside our building, probably the most private place he could find, laid out his prayer rug, and began praying. I litterally had to stop the men I worked with from calling the police to report "suspicious behavior" and going out to harass the man and chase him off. I kept them arguing with me until the man had finished and left.) I agree that I don't want my faith to antagonize other people. But where do we draw the line? We can't keep pulling the line back to accomodate other people's prejudices and misconceptions and hatreds. That only fosters it. I don't mean that we should be up in people's faces with it either, but if women stopped wearing the hijab - or people like that man stopped praying where they could be seen - because of the west's prejudices and misconceptions, people here would never have the chance to understand things differently.

It's hard for me to explain why I love wearing the hijab, even though I'm not Muslim - and even if it's not actually required. I felt *beautiful* in it - but it wasn't about how I looked. (I'm sure I was doing a really clumsy job!) When I get dressed in the morning, I always feel like I'm putting on someone else's clothes, even when I'm wearing things I've had for years. But the first time I put on the hijab, it was the first time it felt like I was putting on something that was mine, that I belonged in. I felt beautiful, not because of how I looked, but because I felt like myself in a way that I hadn't known was missing before. When I looked in the mirror, I recognized myself in a way I hadn't before. The only statement by it that mattered to me was the statement that it made to myself and to God - like wrapping myself in a promise or an idea of the kind of person I know I am not yet, but that I want to become. It was a reminder to myself of this. I felt like I was putting on my faith and my dreams. I don't know if that makes sense, but it's the best explanation I can give.

Unfortunately, I haven't gotten any further in my decision on whether to become Muslim. I need help understanding this, but haven't been able to get to a mosque from where I live. I'm moving though - this week actually - and I discovered there is a mosque near by. I've tried contacting them a couple of times by e-mail to find out about visiting, but I haven't gotten a response. Can anyone tell me how to find out about going there? Is it okay for me to just show up if I can't get a hold of anyone? What would be expected of me as a visitor? I know that they have classes there in English once a week. Does anyone know if it might be acceptable for me to go to learn more, even if I decide not to become Muslim? I'm finally getting back into school for a theology degree (thank God!), and I'm worried about learning about Islam from a text book taught by someone who doesn't practice the religion. Whether I convert or not, I would much rather learn about Islam from the teachers and Muslims at a mosque if I can.

Thanks and blessings and peace.[/QUOTE]
You also have legal right to pray. If they don't let you prayat work, then you ask them to go to mosque. You could do that on office. This is in constitution. Nobody, even President Bush cannot stop you from your right to pray.

If they stop you from this, then get a good lawyer and sue them for discrimnation and hate crime. We all are with you..
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6 years ago  ::  May 07, 2008 - 5:29AM #58
GraceSA
Posts: 1,100
[QUOTE=simply_believe;482035]

If you worry about the job, then Allah hads promise for food. He said you born with your Rizq(food). Its pre-determined. so, don't worry about your job.  He is the Raziq(the Food provider). Ask God for help, believe in Him and then leave everything on Him. You are not doing any thing wrong.

Assalam u alaikum[/QUOTE]

I disagree.  You should be concerned about your job, and food situation.  There are MANY starving Muslims in this world.
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6 years ago  ::  May 07, 2008 - 9:01AM #59
docwitchy
Posts: 284
[QUOTE=simply_believe;482048]You also have legal right to pray. If they don't let you pray at work, then you ask them to go to mosque. You could do that on office. This is in constitution. Nobody, even President Bush cannot stop you from your right to pray.

If they stop you from this, then get a good lawyer and sue them for discrimnation and hate crime. We all are with you..[/QUOTE]
______________________________________________________________________________

Whereas everyone has the right to pray, an employer does not have to provide time off from work specifically at a certain time for prayers. An employer does not have to provide a specific place either. I'm not the only Muslim on the staff of my hospital. And all of us understand that our duties and responsibilities to our patients come first, every time, all the time, no exceptions for anything. We have a chapel in the hospital which may be used by anyone for prayer, and is in fact often used. It is not dedicated to any particular faith, but is open to all and I'd be among the first to complain if that ever changed.

I am concerned that some brothers and sisters seem to want employers in the United States to give Muslims special considerations and rights. This is the WORST thing we Muslims can do in terms of our being good Americans, which the huge majority of us are!

Getting back to the hijab issue, we don't care if employees wear religious clothing, including the hijab, a long as it doesn't  interfere with patient care, and, of course, does not intrude into sterile places like operating rooms or ICU's. NOBODY ENTERS MY OR WHEN I'M OPERATING IN ANYTHING EXCEPT STERILE CLOTHING IN ACCORDANCE WITH GOOD MEDICAL PRACTICES...which have nothing to do with any religion including mine. One of my favorite nurse-anesthetists is a sister who comes to work in a hijab and wears it when not in scrubs. When she is in scrubs, on the floor, or in the OR she OF COURSE is clothed like all the other medical professionals in our hospital.

I suppose this issue will never go away :(

Salaam,

Mariah
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6 years ago  ::  May 07, 2008 - 12:56PM #60
tired1
Posts: 79
Aslamu aleikum,
I'd have to weigh in on the side of postponing wearing the hijab to work. I'd suggest that you seek a more flexible employer first as it sounds like your work environment is pretty insensitive. I'd also like to point out the one can achive modesty with out wearing a large acarp as it typically seen. many sisters do exactly what Miraih is speaking about. They wear a modified version. I, for example, am a professor at a large university. Technically I could wear full abaya and niquab, but it wouldn't be tacitly accepted. I rpobably wouldn't be teaching and certainly wouldn't have the level of opportunity I have now. I know that's sad but I have to earn a livelihood and take care of my kids so I can't ignore the situation. What I do is to wear a full coverage hat and a turtle neck under a loose jacket. and  pants. I'm just a covered up but in a manner more in keeping with my role. Islam is not so rigid as to prevent better ways of living our lives. Work on Islam and the basics first and then gradually make changes in your life accordingly.
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