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Switch to Forum Live View Question about hijab
4 years ago  ::  Jun 16, 2010 - 7:12PM #1
Coronis
Posts: 21

I am asking this out of curiosity, not judgement. I am not Muslim, though I am considering conversion. I've read a lot of opinions online, and I just want to hear some opinions here (as in, individual opinions, not "this is the only right way for everyone" kind of stuff).


 


Which of these do you feel (for you) is most in keeping with the principles of hijab?


1) Wearing simple, modest, loose clothes in plain colors that cover everything but the head and hands, but leaving the hair uncovered.


OR


2) Wearing more fitted clothes that still cover the body with a brightly colored, fancy headscarf?


OR


3) Wearing boots, a plain, calf-length skirt, a loose fitting t-shirt (arms showing past the elbow), and a headscarf that also covers the neck and chest?


 


Alternatively you can just spell out what hijab means to you, if your comfortable sharing.


Fellas, feel free to give your two cents but I would really like to hear opinions from the ladies, as they're the ones who choose whether or not to wear hijab. So lets everyone try to keep this light and respectful.

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2010 - 7:07AM #2
Ceren
Posts: 1,430

Hey Coronis! These are my thoughts:


a. I think "modesty" is quite culture-determined. So what is more modest or less modest will depend a lot in the culture.


For example, in some Muslim-majority countries wearing fitted clothes with a bright headscarf would be considered more modest than wearing a calf-length skirt with a short-sleeved shirt and headscarf.


b. I think the big question (and the hard one to answer!) is "what is required of me". Because in reality, wearing a loose, plain dress with a hijab is more modest than the 3 options you listed. Then wearing a burka is even more modest. Then on top of that staying in your house all day is even more modest! However... are these things required? What is required? What is the limit?


I have to go to work, but I do have some more thoughts. For now, I think that option a) or c) are fine.... the only thing is that I'd probably ditch the headscarf on option c) because it looks "weird" (from a Muslim perspective) to use shorter sleeves and headscarf... in my limited experiences, the sisters that did this attracted quite a bit of attention from Muslims... and quite a few unwanted "lectures".


All the best,


Ceren

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2010 - 10:26AM #3
Coronis
Posts: 21

Interesting thoughts, Ceren, I can't wait to hear the rest! It would seem the headscarf does kind of negate any kind of religious anonymity - for better or worse, Muslims and Non-Muslims alike will see it as an invitation to judge you (from what I've seen online, anyways - whatever happened to lowering one's eyes?). As I've said elsewhere on these forums, I'm ambivalent about the headscarf. Of all the practices it is probably the least relevant to me at this point... I'm mostly focused now on 1) telling the people in my life about my interest in Islam, and 2) Learning the daily prayers and integrating them into my schedule. But the headscarf is also the most obvious outward display of Muslim faith (and perhaps the most debated), so I can't help coming back to it. Also, I've spent years struggling with major body image issues and hiding myself in ugly baggy clothes (I now dress in properly fitted and - at least by Western standards - decent clothes), but I sort of equate that old look with a feeling of shame about my body - which has nothing at all to do with Islam, but could become a barrier for me down the line.


Looking forward to reading your future posts Ceren!

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2010 - 9:08AM #4
Ceren
Posts: 1,430

Jun 17, 2010 -- 10:26AM, Coronis wrote:


But the headscarf is also the most obvious outward display of Muslim faith (and perhaps the most debated), so I can't help coming back to it. Also, I've spent years struggling with major body image issues and hiding myself in ugly baggy clothes (I now dress in properly fitted and - at least by Western standards - decent clothes), but I sort of equate that old look with a feeling of shame about my body - which has nothing at all to do with Islam, but could become a barrier for me down the line.



Peace Coronis!


I know exactly what you mean... you know, I have been a convert for 5 years now and the topic of hijab still comes from time to time. 


I think that at some point I became sick of it and refused to speak about it. Since an early age, I was aware of the "objectification" and "sexualization" of women and it really affected me. I realized how my friends and I would endure painful clothing (heels, tight stuff that barely let us breathe) for the sake of "beauty" and looking good. And then I saw how my male friends did not do any of that... and I realize there was something wrong with that picture! So I think that at 17 I gave up heels, tight uncomfortable clothing, spending hours on my hair, and make up (I'd still use make up for special ocassions). Ah... it just felt so liberating! I could not understand why my friends would choose waking up an hour earlier just to "look good". I've always thought... WE ARE MORE THAN THAT!!! We women are a lot more than what we look like and I refuse to participate in this standard... I refuse to join this madness!


So then when I joined Islam and all I could hear about was hijab and covering, and heard very little about praying, being a good person, not gossiping, etc, etc... I felt the SAME objectification and sexualization as before... before I was seen as an object that needs to be uncovered, dressed in sexy clothes... and now I was seen as an object that needed to be covered and hidden. I wanted to scream... WE ARE MORE THAN THAT!! And on top of that I saw very clearly how this obsession with hijab left many of us with empty spirituality since we never spoke about it and so our groups were full of gossip, self-righteousness, envy, etc, etc..


The period I wore hijab was nice. I felt I was part of the "in group", people automatically assumed I was a "good muslim convert". I would go to the MSA events and just fit right in, etc, etc.  But something felt strange.  I think that no matter how I personally looked at the issue I just did not (and still cannot) believe it is obligatory. I read the verses in the Quran, I read the hadiths... and I'm still puzzled how people came to the conclusion that it was obligatory. And I could not follow blindly what scholars were telling me and just negating what my conscience was telling me :(    I guess this was esp. because of my religious history. When I was a catholic and had serious doubts about trinity, transubstantiation, etc. people would tell me... "oh Ceren, don't be silly, just believe what the priests are telling you, and how they interpret the bible, they are the ones that know, you know nothing". Well... guess what? All those priests and all those centuries of theology were wrong.  I don't want to make the same mistake again. It was my God-give mind that led me to Islam, then I'm sure my God-given mind cannot be that horrible.


But this is something that made sense to me. I do know people who have read the same verses as I have and came to the conclusion that hijab is obligatory and they do wear it. I have other friends that are not sure whether hijab is obligatory or not but they wear it because it makes them feel really good, it helps their spirituality and their connection with God and it gives them also a sense of "community". All praise be to God for that. Miteypen wrote a beautiful post on her reasons to wear hijab here.


All the best,


Ceren

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2010 - 10:12AM #5
Abdullah.
Posts: 882

Salam


The purpose of hijab is to protect women from sexual harrassment and to identify them as modest and chasty women rather than 'loose' women; it is also to prevent men from going astray by getting attracted by 'seducingly dressed' women, thus hijab [this is reffering to 'hijab' as the full body cover rather than just headscarf that also covers neck and bosoms] should be loose, i.e not tight fit so as to show the shape of the body, and i think less colourfull one's will be the best for after all the aim of hijab is to 'not attract men'


hope this helps


Salam

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2010 - 10:47AM #6
Coronis
Posts: 21

Jun 18, 2010 -- 10:12AM, Abdullah. wrote:


The purpose of hijab is to protect women from sexual harrassment and to identify them as modest and chasty women rather than 'loose' women; it is also to prevent men from going astray by getting attracted by 'seducingly dressed' women, thus hijab [this is reffering to 'hijab' as the full body cover rather than just headscarf that also covers neck and bosoms] should be loose, i.e not tight fit so as to show the shape of the body, and i think less colourfull one's will be the best for after all the aim of hijab is to 'not attract men'





Thank you Abdullah, its a theory I have heard in a few places before, but I have some issues with this theory. I understand the proposed purpose of the hijab, but there is no piece of clothing in the known universe that would protect a woman from sexual harassment - you could make her walk around inside a cardboard box, some men would still objectify and disrespect her. Why? Because some men are bad people, not because of how a woman is dressed. Women are human beings and by that alone are deserving of dignity.

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4 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2010 - 11:56AM #7
Ceren
Posts: 1,430

Jun 18, 2010 -- 10:12AM, Abdullah. wrote:


The purpose of hijab is to protect women from sexual harrassment



Currently, hijab does not protect women from sexual harrassment, not here in North America, not in the Middle East.


Jun 18, 2010 -- 10:12AM, Abdullah. wrote:

and to identify them as modest and chasty women rather than 'loose' women;



As a gynecologist working in a multicultural hospital with lots of Muslim women, I can guarantee you that hijab is no sign of chastity. Prostitutes wear hijab in the middle east and pakistan.


The difference between "modest and chaste" and "immodest and chaste" is not a triangle of fabric you put on your head. In addition, making such a judgement of a woman based on a piece of fabric on her head is not only shallow, demeaning, and objectifying of women, but it is also wrong according to Islam.


Jun 18, 2010 -- 10:12AM, Abdullah. wrote:


 it is also to prevent men from going astray by getting attracted by 'seducingly dressed' women, thus hijab [this is reffering to 'hijab' as the full body cover rather than just headscarf that also covers neck and bosoms] should be loose, i.e not tight fit so as to show the shape of the body, and i think less colourfull one's will be the best for after all the aim of hijab is to 'not attract men'



Consensual sex will only happen when 2 parties agree. So if a man is attracted by a woman "seductively dressed" and the woman does not want to do anything, then that man doesn't need to worry about anything.


In the case of rape, that is a serious disgusting crime that has nothing to do with being "seduced" or not, and absolutely no man should ever, ever, ever rape a woman even if women were to walk down the street naked. "NO MEANS NO".


And if a man cannot control himself and feels he's gonna go so astray and he will be so disturbed by seeing women dressed seductively, then he can stay locked up inside his house and let us, the rest of the world who is civilized and can control our urges, roam free on the streets.


The world is full of temptations: women, men, money, power... if you can't learn to deal with these things in a positive way then you'll have a hard time in this world.


 




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