Taking Off My Hijab
I put on a headscarf because I felt God wanted me to cover up. But then I wondered if it was really required of me.
09/30/2011 03:02:25 PM
Thankyou for sharing our truely wonderful story and emotions! Nevertheless I would humbly comment here that indeed true Islam is being more practised in the so-called western advanced countries! The only reason for the hijab/head scarf and decent clothing is that a woman be seen her mind, talent & intellect and not as a lustful object. hence, the special rights awarded to women as well. The Holy prophet pbuh, gave voting rights and rights of education, inheritance, protection all those years ago which were seen in the western countries in this century! True Islam 'love for all, hatred for none', peace, tolearance, justice.God Bless! And last but not least, there is no force in Islam!
07/26/2011 01:35:24 PM
Salaams everyone! Surah 7:26 states that RIGHTEOUSNESS is the best cover (in summary). For some reason many of us Muslim women have forgotten about that part in the Holy Qu'ran, or no one pays attention to that part and solely focuses on Surahs 24 and the 30 series. Allah(SWT) also prescribed our dress code for us which is to be clean and modest (men and women), and for women to use their veils to cover their bosom. Allah(SWT) does not make any mistakes or run out of words. Allah(SWT) has made this wonderful religion of Islam easy and simple to follow, but yet we are so divided over head coverings....seriously??? I have seen sisters who wear skinny jeans and a tight fitted shirts with a khimar or "hijab". So does this make her a better Muslimah than the one who has modest dress on and not covering her head? I've even seen sisters with the clown makeup who wear "hijab'? But aren't we supposed to show less of a display of our beauty? People have different views and interpretations of the dress code for what Allah(SWT) has prescribed for us. We as sisters tend to judge each other so heavily on the emphasis on covering the head which in fact divides us...yes shaitan seems to do a great job at doing this! The hijab in the Holy Qu'ran meant a screen for the wives of the prophet for when visitors came to the prophet's house. I don't know how hijab and head covering became coincided with each other??..?? Anyway I have friends who cover their heads, some who don't cover their heads, and even some who wear niqab. I don't judge neither one of them and love them all because they are MY SISTERS IN ISLAM!!!
05/31/2011 02:59:42 PM
Salam everyone... I would like to say, by me reading this confusion has really came upon my brain. I have been muslim going on three years and I always had doubts about wearing my hijab.. alhamduillah I have been wearing my hijab for two months now and sometimes I feel that I want to take it back off. Yes, I love the fact that men dont look my way anymore but as a woman I have always dressed modest but never covered my hair.. Its crazy because I am a cosmetologist and in the fashion industry so its kind of hard to show my work and fashion.. InshAllah I WILL FIND MY WAY!
01/17/2011 10:51:14 AM
I thank Allah for your sharing those personal thoughts. I became Muslim over ten years ago. I covered my hair because that is what everyone else did, and I read it in the Quran. Then, a year later I met a Muslim woman dressed in all black wearing niqab, and I went to her house for three days to learn the Quranic interpretation that she knew. She explained to me how to choose books that followed her brand of Islam. I started wearing niqab, but after two years another sect showed me the niqab was not required. I was very saddened that Muslims were divided and held prejudice against other Islamic sects. Whole heartedly each Islamic sect believes in the truth of their scholars, their own hadiths which are used to interpret the Quran. During Ramadan, two years ago, I read an english translations of the Quran that showed how the Arabic is mistranslated. Since, Allah blessed me to read Arabic I began finding out the Truth. Again, each sect translates to english and insert conjecture according to their brand of Islam that they want to spread. I was very upset and asked Allah how can they do this - confuse people and mislead people. When I was Christian and had doubt about the bible, I went in a cold hallway of my house and bowed down (face to the ground) and prayed to Allah for the truth. It was Allah who showed me the Truth. The four schools of thought did not bring me to Islam. I prayed to Allah about all that I have learned because I want to go to paradise. In arabic, Allah does not order a women to cover her hair and to put pins around her neck to cover her ears and neck. Of'course you kind find any fancy you like in the Man Made hadith. I follow one Hadith(Al Kitab), and the 100% True Hadiths of the Messenger of Allah which is in the Quran. Scholars (lords) have become their gods. May Allah bless you Andrea for following what Allah has instilled in your heart and mind. May Allah shower us all with His Wisdom and Knowledge Salam
12/28/2010 10:12:09 AM
Interesting, But I think t eh author is questioning something that makes little sense in practice and contradicts many things we see in this modern world of ours. The Words of the Quran are taken far too literal and not by their meaning according to context., Much like people misunderstand the word Consummate , when referring to instances in the Quran and the Bible, and The Talmud, to mean Sexual intercourse. In this instance the word "display" would mean a wanton show or Beauty, Heavy makeup, Revealing clothing, Strong perfume. In short clothing and accessories MEANT to entice the senses. Form the Interpretation of the previous Writer, and with all due Respect I must disagree. 1.Why do some women wear makeup with a Hijab? Is make up not a display of beauty? 2. Why do some women in Hijab have Nail Polish, For that matter why have Hijab in different colors if it supposed to be a modest 3. Other things entice the imagination , Beautiful Eyes, Hands, a sultry voice. Just how far should this go. Oh wait the Taliban did that already, Burkahs and women not being allowed to speak ... The Intent of "24 31" was not to have women ashamed of their Beauty , but to hold it as precious and be humble about it , not be flamboyant and make it cheap. Again it's not a question of questioning Allah's word and his direction, it is questioning our ablity to understand and process what we have been given. And so far, the translation from text to practice is somewhat making women a second class , in their own society and religion. Which contradicts many things in the Quran teaching that woman are precious , our equals and are to be respected as such.
12/25/2010 06:32:36 PM
TO THE AUTHOR AND ALL THOSE WHO QUESTION AND DOUBT: 1 Do you use a hijab when you pray 5 times a day? 2 Do you follow the rules and regulations of praying 5 times a day? 3 who do you pray to 5 times a day? 4 Do you know what you are reciting when meditating 5 times a day? 5 Would you "feel" comfortable to pray,facing the qibla 5 times a day without a wearing you're hijab? 6 Would you feel comfortable praying in different forms just b/c you don't think it's comfortable? I certainly do not doubt what millions of people on earth,who've passed on and who lived prior to me have practiced and believed.If you don't doubt and cleanse youre mind,heart and soul from all suspicious thoughts you WILL find yourself close to ALLAH,you're heart WILL expand in adoration and love which is undescribable,and the only way to unlock this divine experience is to pray regularly and praise ALLAH with the duas,you cleanse your heart and feed the hungry soul which just wants to get close to the warm love of ALLAH.Soon things not of this world start to be revealed and you KNOW,it;s just proof,given to you as priveledge b/c you believed and loved unconditionally without a speck of doubt.This happens when you are wearing a hijab, and that's enough proof for anyone. in essence i feel pure from the glare of the demon,when I am covered,and believe me the seytan is always hanging about each and everyone of us,just trying to steer us off the right path....I am a witness.
12/25/2010 03:04:08 AM
Salaam, I believe one of the most necessary things in being Muslim, is it has very little to do with ourselves, but servitude to the Almighty Creator. In His creating us, it is in order to get to know Him, and the Love He gives. Ladies are asked to cover due to an honor He has given, why wouldn't one want that honor. It's been the way of all the messengers ladies, since Abraham peace be upon him, and all before him. I do understand however, the struggle, as truth is unique and not a common thing. So most common and easy is not the way of Him. Please, do not take my words as criticizing, but in hopes of you reconsidering. That's it's truly and honor given by the Almighty Creator, He chooses to hide His treasures, as He so likes.
12/20/2010 02:44:09 PM
I fully support the comments furnished by Khadijah Evans, which reflect the true spirit behind Islamic 'rules', I used the word rule here, as being a true religion (which of course is also the last one) is based upon certain rules or principles. 'Covering of bosoms' by Muslim ladies is a rule!.... an identity .... a unique status allocated to 'Islamic sisterhood' ........ So, Ms. Useem! you can have your 'brain storming' on matters not covered in Quran or Hadith but advocating the defiance from God's 'clear' instructions is not acceptable. The writer may not observe the Hijab at all, she may wear what ever she wants to wear, no one is bothered, in fact even in Muslim countries very few women wear. No one has an objection over it as, she is responsible to 'Someone else' Who will be there to decide on the day of judgement...... However, arguing against Allah's instructions is some thing different and very serious.......... Besides, We should also consider the Sahih Hadith of Holy Prophet (PBUH) which teach Muslims for 'Not stressing too hard on newly converted Muslims for implementing Islamic obligations' and give them room/ time to 'change' gradually........... I think in the case of writer this aspect was missing. Anyway! it is never too late, she should study Quran and Ahadith with more deliberation and try as well to understand the 'actual soul' behind every principle............. Peace be on you and all the readers, Amen!
07/22/2010 04:16:26 PM
QUOTE: "At that moment, I saw how religious opinions become rules, and how rules become cultural norms, and how norms can extinguish the bright light of individual truth." Yes, religious opinions DO become rules because the Qur'an and Hadith are not "living documents" as the Christian Bible seems to be - changing as as the centuries go buy and based on the current sense of morality of it's followers. As far as "culture" goes, hijab isn't a part of "Islamic culture," it is a part of Islamic teaching. As far as Qur'anic teaching goes:" 24 31, "And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; 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…" What exactly was that supposed to mean?....." It means we ( the believing women ) are not to display our BEAUTY. What is the most beautiful parts of a woman? The parts that draw the attention the of men? The hair, face, and bosom. And how can we draw our veils over our bosoms if we aren't already wearing one? Obviously in this verse Allah is expecting us to already be wearing one. QUOTE: "I guess I am uncomfortable with aspects of the Qur’an and classical Islamic law that allow polygamy, or unilateral male divorce, or make a women’s legal testimony worth less than a man’s. In my mind, now, the scarf is of one cloth with those ideas,.....Some of these principles are deeply embedded in Islamic law and scripture, ......with my belief in God’s oneness......" Hmm, so the writer is saying that the only thing she believes about Islam is the Oneness of Allah? So do Jews. Perhaps she should investigate Judaism as a more agreeable religion to practice.
08/16/2009 02:01:21 PM
This was the actual quote i was refering to in my second post... "The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) stated that in later generations of his Ummah there would be "women who would be dressed but naked and on top of their heads (what looks like) camel humps. Curse them for they are truly cursed." [Muslim]"
08/16/2009 01:55:13 PM
I apologize for such long posts but i think there was no other way i could explain... May Allah guide us!
08/16/2009 01:54:14 PM
cont... The Wives and Daughters of Prophet Muhammad Saw are more pious (In Surah Nur Allah alludes to the piousness of Hazrath Ayesha R.A) then any women now can be, they were more practicing then we are, their Iman (Faith) and their Ibbadas were much stronger and sincere than ours and hence their connection with Allah. They did not dresses to express it, yet those pious women wore Hijab and i m sure if the commandment to cover was revealed in the time of Khadija R.A. I m sure she would not have hesitated a bit to wear it. These women of Arab wore Hijab in the scorching heat of the desserts they used to go to mosque for prayers, travel in these clothes( 1400 years back traveling in the dessert was not easy) nursed the wounded in wars etc...If they can do it why cant we?...aren't these women role model for us? The point is we all go through confusions why a piece of cloth shall be a criteria?, sometimes our past lingers with our present, sometime our lack of understanding but i think everything is natural After all you are deciding to change your way of life! you are deciding to be not the same person you were before!...and some confusion and doubts and questions are pretty obvious, but to deal with them is not give up and justify yourself but to Pray for understanding and knowledge and most of all practice. Like Quran says there are seven skies no science has yet proven it but Since Allah has said it, We belive there are and inshallah when Allah give human more knowledge in science , it will prove the Words of Allag. In the same way take the matter of Hijab you are confused do not know, Pray and believe in Him and He shall guide you most of all Trust Him. For He Accept prayers and guide people who ask for guidance.
08/16/2009 01:52:22 PM
cont... Allah in the Quran say : "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..." [Noble Quran 24:30-31] What is "beauty" of woman?...i think any sane person would be able to identify the woman's body parts that any man find attractive...i am sure 98% things will be common even though the interpretation was subjective! 2:208 O ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the evil one; for he is to you an avowed enemy. When You enter Islam You make a covenant to Allah the first pillar of Islam that he is the Lord of all things Only worthy of our worship and that Prophet is the Messenger of Allah...Precisely doing what Allah and His prophet has ordained ...the do we have free will? we have limited free will either to chose what Allah wants us to do or reject it .... In the Quran Allah Says 3:32 Say: "Obey Allah and His Messenger.: But if they turn back, Allah loveth not those who reject Faith. If we are not clear on what Quran is saying we have the example of Prophet "Ayshah reported that Asma' the daughter of Abu Bakr came to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) while wearing thin clothing. He approached her and said: 'O Asma'! When a girl reaches the menstrual age, it is not properthat anything should remain exposed except this and this. He pointed to theface and hands." [Abu Dawud] "O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out or are among men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be Muslims) and not annoyed..." [Noble Quran 33:59] The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) stated that in later generations of his Ummah there would be "O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women to draw their outer garments around them (when they go out or are among men). That is better in order that they may be known (to be Muslims) and not annoyed..." [Noble Quran 33:59]
08/16/2009 01:51:28 PM
Assalamoalekum! Dear sisters i would like to put forward few questions.. Ask yourself why you chose Allah as your God? and once you chose Him as the Lord of this Universe why you not trust him enough for the orders he has given us as Muslims? There has been a lot of talk about true religion being about establishing connection between God and oneself, when you cant trust God with His decisions what connection here we are trying to establish? What is kufr?...it does not simply mean not beleiving but hiding the truth or rather rejecting the tuth...When one say I believe in Allah then every single ayath of the Quran is in order and denying even one word due to ones own lack of knowledge, understanding, faith, courage watever is kufr. Somebody talked about the difference of culture and the impracticality of hijab (due to the time the particular ayath was revealed)....Allah made the Universe he 'made' the cultures,He made US and when He ordered something dont you think He is not Wise enough( Allah forgive me) to accommodate all the conditions, time, limitations and factors? If you do not trust Him to be that who do u believe in? ISn't it He the best of Planners? 3:54 And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned, and Allah too planned, and the Best of Planners is Allah. Yes Hijab does not make u a super woman, and dressing is not the only criteria to judge but one simply wears Hijab coz Allah commanded it for our own betterment, and when you obey the command of Allah it brings you more near to Him...and that does not only apply to Hijab but everything he has ordered. If you are not taking Hijab it is your personal choice and hence respected but do not justify it as the Commandment for Hijab does not exist coz then you are denying what the Allah and the prophet Ordained...
08/11/2009 02:34:00 PM
I can't believe the "novels" ladies wrote on here about hijab. If you are afraid of your God and think He will send you to Hell for not covering your head, then cover up and pray you will have your reward. My God does not require my covered head in order to have a relationship with Him. How dare you attribute so little to Him!
08/11/2009 02:12:40 PM
All religions, and in this case, Islam, give guidelines for life in order to protect us and to develop our relationship with God. But we are also given brains and live in different cultures and circumstances. We have free will and are obligated to think things through, not just blindly follow religious texts and men's opinions.
08/09/2009 09:05:03 AM
Hi Andrea: I was born as a Muslim in a moderate Muslim family. My parents never asked me to wear hijab, but then when I graduated of senior high, I decided to wear hijab. My reason was simple: I read an article on a national magazine that told how difficult for woman Muslim to wear hijab in western country. It made think at that time that I should be grateful because I lived in Indonesia where no oppression against wearing hijab or no. So that I wore hijab. But years later, when I work as humanitarian worker who had to work in a place where hijab is a must, I began to think that it wasn't right. I always believe personal is political. Then I took off my hijab. However, it is quite strange that I feel more spiritual when I don't wear hijab. I try to understand Islam in different way because I always believe that Islam always teach us about peace. No oppression should be made. And, there's one book about hijab that I really like. The title is Veil: Modesty, Privacy, Resistance and written by Fadwa El Guindi. As an anthropologist, I agree with El Guindi that hijab is part of fashion.
07/29/2009 11:15:53 AM
That verse in the New Testament is attributed to an apostle, not God; it suggests women cover their head in church to show submission to man. Read the posts here carefully for clarity on "hijab." However, careful reading is no guarantee you will understand the truth. Everything is simply a reflection of the mind that perceives it. The Truth will set you free. Your beliefs have been created by collective egoic fear. Muhammad's message is misapplied by fundamentalists. Try to learn something from your sisters. That may mean you may have to hang up your superiority hat, however. Leave your shoes and ego at the door.
07/28/2009 10:14:25 AM
Covering the head is an order from god and is a must for all, Jew, Christian and Muslim women. I can actually provide you with the verses that mention or relate to hijab in the Old and New Testaments God's orders that were conveyed should not be tolerated and have nothing to do with personal freedom. I think you are just looking for excuses. May Allah guide you?
07/24/2009 05:18:07 PM
07/24/2009 05:11:49 PM
JazakAllah khair 2belove, thanks so much for your kind words - it means a great deal! ma'salaama
07/24/2009 05:09:45 PM
That link says it all regarding this issue. One by one, all veils come off, in an allegorical sense. Thank you for your input. PS Sometimes God isolates us from others so that we can depend solely on Divine Guidance from within for answers. You're never alone!
07/24/2009 04:47:36 PM
Good feedback 2belove - I will also contribute this article, which I found to be interesting: http://www.islamfortoday.com/syed01.htm - at the very end, the author states "In the matter of hijab, the conscience of an honest, sincere Believer alone can be the true judge, as has been said by the Noble Prophet: "Ask for the verdict of your conscience and discard what pricks it." Islam cannot be properly followed without knowledge. It is a rational law and to follow it rightly one needs to exercise reason and understanding at every step (Syed, I, 2001). I think that is also good input.
07/24/2009 04:39:23 PM
A "KHIMAR" (veil covering the head) is not a covenant between a woman and God. What is worn by fundamentalists is a khimar, not a hijab. The meaning of the word has been altered. A hijab is a domestic screen/seclusion, and Al-Hijab, the verse in the Qur'an, was prompted by Umar, according to hadiths. Narrated Umar: I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Good and bad persons enter upon you, so I suggest that you order the mothers of the Believers (your wives) to observe veils." Then Allah revealed the Verses of Al-Hijab. Aisha has also been attributed with saying: (to the Prophet), "I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires," in response to verse(33.51). In the metaphysical sense, a hijab is an illusion -- a partition between the seeker and the Sought. Without the illusion, there is no separation.
07/24/2009 12:52:06 PM
wa'alaykumasalaam WRWB wintervixen - jazakAllahkhair for your post...I would just want to add that explicityly *covering one's hair* is not part of the 5 pillars of Islam - whatsoever. And there has been much debate over the translation of hijab - it does not mean "head cover"; rather it means a partition - ultimately, to guard one's modesty. Ultimately I want to please Allah -- but I also need to feel that I can make it through a day feeling comfortable that I can practice my deen to the best of my ability for the rest of my life - day in and day out. Right now, adding a peice of cloth (mind you, I have a HUGE collection of hijabs, alhumdulilah) adds a level of stress that I am not mentally equipped to deal with right now. Later that may change, but what will not change, alhumdulilah is my dedication to al-Islam and following the 5 pillars of faith. - Also, I do believe in being modest - in my humble opinion, I do practice modesty, admittedly not as much as some sisters, but we are all created different. Why can't we just encourage one another in our strong suits and make duaa that our weak suits are strrengthened by Allah (swt). Again, may Allah grant us all Jannah, inshAllah. After soul searching, I find peace in covering my entire body, but not my hair - does that make me evil and is it justifiable to put me in the category of kafir? AstaghfirAllah. If we are to believe the hadith of the woman who was a prostitute and was saved into al-Jannah from offering a starving thirsty dog water to drink, are we to believe that this same loving God will punish other sisters who practice Islam day in and day out, but show their hair in a society where hair is not considered immodest to display? Again, just opening up for dialogue - I know some sisters may say this topic is "shocking", but come on, even in Muslim countries, there are plenty of sisters who don't cover - it is not that shocking- it's one of those "elephant in the room" subjects that many just don't wish to delve into.
07/24/2009 12:36:41 PM
lilmuslimah - wa'alaikumusalaam wr wb. why fear what others think if what you're doing is something that Allah s.w.t. Instructs you to abide by His Laws? who are we pleasing? who are we afraid of? people or Allah s.w.t.? Islam is 100% submission to Allah s.w.t.. Submission means to embrace fully what has been prescribed for mankind by Allah s.w.t. Hijab is mandatory as stated in Al-Qur'an and Hadeeth. I am deeply disturbed about the contents of this article because the author is going against Allah s.w.t.'s Orders by taking off her hijab and many others applauded her move. I am not implying that a piece of cloth on a woman's head indicates her takwa nor those who don't wear the hijab doesn't pray at all by asking about the solah. What I am trying to say is (1) putting on the hijab is obligatory & (2) praying 5 times a day is obligatory - both are obligatory. So, if a person can disregard the mandaotry hijab because she doesn't feel that's a part of her personal self, what about the obligatory prayers? Do the people who post here, who disregard the hijab, do the prayers consistently? You want proofs or dalils? Here they are: verses from Al-Qur'an and Hadeeth (http://islamic-world.net/sister/hijab_in_quran.htm)
07/24/2009 10:45:00 AM
wintervixen - asalamualaykum...first, I don't think anyone is being catty...it is just very much expected to receive they type of response you wrote - as I noted in my *long* post, I used to be just like that. I think the whole premise of the article highlights a subject that is not brought up by women in this situation due to the fear of being judged by humans and ostracized as you quickly attempted. This is an open dialogue in which I think we should all be respectful, and one that I do not think should result in any kind of accusations. If you are wearing hijab for the right reasons and it is something you feel comfortable with - mashAllah, and may Allah bless you - but with all due respect, as a human, and a Muslima, you should not assert damnation - especially without citing anything to support your judgment. No believer on this forum can debate the 5 pillars of Islam - by your defensive response; asking who here still prays 5 times a day, you are implying that a piece of cloth determines our level of takwa and deen - and that if you see a sister without it you would assume that she does not pray. I believe that once you abandon the fard salat, you are no longer a believer --- NOT that if you abandon a piece of cloth that you are stripped of your faith. Please sister, if you are as pious as you claim to be, try and show it in your responses and keep composure. May Allah guide us all to Jannah inshAllah.
07/24/2009 03:56:33 AM
Dear Andrea... I admire you. I have similar beliefs too. I have seen how the Hijab has been misused and masked so many wrongful deeds it can make one shudder in disgust. What's the point in wearing the Hijab if you commit adultery, commit premarital sex that results in illegitimate children, commit thievery, commit hypocrisy? Wearing a Hijab does not show your piousness. Who are we, but mere mortals to judge abt piousness...its is Allah swt who would be the judge of that...its between us and Him...
07/24/2009 12:08:09 AM
I expected catty remarks after posting my comments here. I've never met any of the posters here. But I agree with what iman2004 wrote. Each of us is answerable to every single wordly deeds/things that do/say/think in our heart from the day we become baligh to Allah s.w.t. at Masyar during Judgement Day. I just want to know how many of you here pray the obligatory prayers 5 times a day. Or do you think that this regime is too rigid and you have a choice to either do it or not? Or do it when you think if suits you?
07/23/2009 09:44:40 PM
Brava, Andrea. I had the privilege of meeting you a few years ago, and it's amazing to see how you've grown as a believer.
07/23/2009 08:11:48 PM
Does Winter warn Summer that Autumn will pass into ice? On 7/23/2009 Wintervixen, the metaphorical implications of whose second morpheme seems to have been lost to the inclemency of the first, warns Andrea, whose article sparked her indignation, of the all too chilly CONSEQUENCES OF NOT WEARING A HIJAB. As an evangelist of the Muslim good news, the harbinger here appears to proclaim that Islam is a dominion whose women are to be garbed as completely as possible in order to protect them from the frigid severity of its rule over women. Totalitarianism necessitates the damnation of thinking for oneself and, while summer is conducive to intuitive revelation, winter lies frozen in dogma. I believe, however, that Andrea is closer to heart to Islam that Wintervixen will ever know, or ever care to know. Andrea, I applaud you.
07/23/2009 08:01:38 PM
My dear sister in Islam, I to am a revert in Islam I read your story and I too believe that we all make our choices but what I have read shocked me. I believe that we should follow what the quran says because these are the words of Allah. and this is what he is asking us to do to be modest. maybe I am different than you but to me it sounds as though you are second guessing your religion. yes its true we all have free will but in the end who do you answer to.
07/23/2009 05:39:24 PM
Humans have free-will, and in America, you can choose to practice any religion you want to, in accordance with your level of spiritual awareness. Thank God for choices. If fundamentalist Islam doesn't fit, don't tire from seeking the truth of your being. The choice is yours. Follow your heart.
07/23/2009 05:23:53 PM
(continued)...you say you are muslim, but from where i am standing, there is no way for me to know what is really in your heart. i don't know you and the only common ground i can assume we have is islam, the only appeal i can make is through islam. So as my sister in islam, understand with your intellect that our hearts should be united on this fact: that Allah is our lord and he alone is worthy of our love/worship. All others are loved for His sake and He competes with no one in our hearts. this fact, is the ideal for every muslim. something the intellect tells us a muslim must be inspite of the emotions that are not always aligned with that intellect properly. So when (not if) they are not aligned, that signal that goes off and radiates through our minds that something isn't right is A GIFT from Allah, something we shouldn't suffocate with rationalization. that signal, that guilt is a source of salvation (like a pain signal that remind us to pull away from the hot stove, saving us from further injury). emotions should always have to answer to our intellect, not the other way around. salaam
07/23/2009 04:49:02 PM
salaamu alaikum, your choices are your choices, and you are the only one who can answer for them in front of Allah. i guess the only thing i want you to be aware of is an addiction that plagues every single person on this planet, the human being's drug of choice: rationalization. our emotions will always play a role in the decisions we make, but the best decisions are made with an objective intellect rather than subjective emotions that come and go and differ form person to person. this fact, that intellect is our best decision maker, is known by all of us. and often times, to ease our discomfort with making deciding based on fickle emotions alone we rationalize our emotions to make our choices fair seeming and objectively concluded. so isolating only your intellect as best you can, answer these questions about the choice you made: what is it that is moving me to make this decision? is it to please Allah as best i can, or is it to make life easier in this world for me? (because the muslim is one who submits to Allah 100%, and in this submission finds true peace in this world, and more importantly, in the next.)
07/23/2009 03:49:07 PM
I am sure there are those who will disagree with me , but I think you took a brave stand. I, like you, had to make a similar decision one day and I have never looked back. I believe you can still be a good Muslima without covering as long as you are modest in dress and behavior and follow an Islamic lifestyle. Salaam.
07/23/2009 03:08:14 PM
When We forget the words of Our God and confuse the dogma of man as HIS gospel, that is when we are led to ruin. although the Qur'an does state a woman not display her physical beauty. In reading that and taking into consideration WHEN it was written , I am forced to re apply the meaning as "Be a lady at all times, Show modesty when it is due and proper" I have found myself at odds with the DOGMA of ISLAM almost as much as I find my self trying to be a better child of Allah. and I find it unsettling the Hard-lined right wing stance that permeates the faithful community. Islam as I discovered is about love and peace and submission to Allah , but the Dogma placed on it is borne more out of Time period specific edict , and has become so entrained that no one sees the time to adjust for the ages has come. I applaud you , you decison but I ask you to take care. Now is the time of temptation to abandon other aspects, and that could be devastating to you as a devout practitioner. Way the challenge well little sister, find the answers in your heart as you pray for guidance. Then use the mind HE gave you to go forward, in the end ALLAH wants us to love him and love this life. And I don't think being pressured (no matter how slight) is part of HIS plan. Especially when such COMMANDMENTS are handed down by Mortal men to fix some then impending social ill , and saying it was done in the name of ALLAH. Example : have you seen how many versions of the Bible there is ......Staggering. Allah will make HIS mind clear to you on what HE wants you to do. Stay the Path Mohammed took and you will be well met .
07/23/2009 03:01:45 PM
WIntervixen cites a good example of how the fear is cast into women's hearts. This is how cults operate. It is a dark place that requires inner-light to escape. Man-made "laws" are ascribed to Allah. There's so much that they don't understand about the Reality of the Universe.
07/23/2009 12:57:30 PM
(con't) The Muslim chaplain in Harvard whom the author consulted is correct. The 4 school of thoughts of Sunni law - Maliki, Hanafi, Hanbali and Syafi'e - agree that a woman should covered everything except for her hands, face (& feet) except when she is in the presence of her mahram. When it comes to the tafsir (the study of the meaning behind Al-Qur'an), one is strongly advised not to translate the meaning literally. Many Muslims deviated from the true teachings of Islam because they do their personal translation wituout the guidance of a certified religious teacher. It takes years of in-depth study of Al-Qur'an tafsir and mastery of the Arab language, sirah (history), hadeeth and Al-Qur'an recitation (amongst other fields) in order to translate the verses of the Al-Qur'an accurately. I wish to suggest to the author to study THE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT WEARING A HIJAB. The severe punishment for those who disobey Allah s.w.t.'s order awaits them in the afterlife (akhirat). May Allah s.w.t. Guide You to The Straight Path. Amin.
07/23/2009 12:57:00 PM
I am a practising Muslim-born lady and aghast to read the headline of this article. A practising and devout Muslim is required to obey the laws set down by Allah s.w.t. through Al-Qur'an (a compilation of wahyus received by Our Messeger, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. through Angel Jibril). These laws are never to be altered or compromised by us, human - His Servants, to suit our needs. Allah s.w.t. lay down these laws for He is All-Knowing. If only you can understand why Muslimahs are required to cover up, then you'll appreciate why we have to wear the hijab. (con't)
07/23/2009 12:42:44 PM
*final note - 2belove posted in the midst of my posting - I have 4 posts total that run consecutively (last one following hers), because apparently there is a length requirement for comments (they need to display just how long that is BTW). Sorry again about the length, but thanks so much for posting a topic I can relate to - this is officially the most I've ever posted on the Internet!!! :)
07/23/2009 12:39:35 PM
(my response - part 1) - sorry about the length!!! Mash'Allah sister for writing this article - I feel like we lived parallel lives - subpanAllah! I went through a very similar transition period (didn't cover initially when I took Shahadah, then started, then spent a great deal of time wearing it feeling, first loving it, ending up feeling oppressed in the scarf, but dealt with it because I felt I had come too far, and would be ostracized for taking it off). I spent some time in "limbo" - wearing it sometimes and not wearing it others. Needless to say, that was a very stressful period in my life. I had some sisters (supposedly friends) completely ostracize me for taking it off. I have always been of the mindset that hijab is a spiritual decision, and if done for the right reasons (because the woman feels this will help bring her closer to Allah (swt)), then great! But if it is as a result of oppression then the whole point is moot and it can actually cause feelings of resentment for the person and deter from their deen. To me, the main goal for me is to be accepted by Allah (swt). After taking off my hijab publicly to everyone, I lost a lot of "friends" - just like I lost a lot of "friends" when I decided to wear it. Reading this article makes me feel like I'm not so alone, because right now I feel like I am an alien - more non-Muslims accept me than Muslims - what is the deal with that???!!!! - I really want to meet more sisters that I can relate to and not judge me. I don't judge those in hijab that back-bite, curse, lie, not fulfill obligations, smoke, pray with "rocks", segregate themselves in sects, and do everything else under the sun that is supposed to all be validated by wearing a scarf - come on now. If you talk the talk, walk the walk. Many Muslims abroad are like Christians in the U.S. - their religion has been inherited, and they don't take the time to reaffirm why they adhere to the beliefs that they have. This allows culture to come into play and infuse many gray areas where people misconstrue culture for religion. I have met so many people quick to accuse of the haram, but unwilling to relinquish bidaa' practices, because they are believed to be mandatory and religious.
07/23/2009 12:39:05 PM
(my response - part 2) I do my best to fulfill my obligations in Islam without it feeling that it has become a rigor - it has to be a way of life that I can live for the rest of my life, without giving up, after all, and find it hard to believe that my hair showing - especially in the U.S. (I try my best to always still cover from the neck down) is going to negate everything else. Feeling a sense of suffocation and choking around my head and neck over the long haul left me feeling like I was being oppressed (initially it wasn't that way but that's how I felt after some years, and is one of the main reasons for my decision - I wanted to avoid anything that will deter my connection with Allah (swt). Mind you, I was previously married and wore hijab from the get-go, with him being the one to lean towards me taking it off after many years - go figure; he started getting "westernized" and felt uncomfortable with me standing out all the time. His discomfort of course made me uncomfortable, and undoubtedly also played a factor in my ultimate decision. And then there was the issue of, after reverting, putting every Muslim I met thereafter on a pedestal and expecting them to be pious. I was disheartened by how many "muslims by clothing ID" could turn their backs and hurt one another. I know for many sisters (and I used to be one of them) that hear of any "excuses" to take off the scarf, the immediate response is "haram!" and "this is only from Shaytan". (I used to be so proud of wearing the scarf that I had a license plate that said "Hijabi" - I wrote papers and gave speeches on the beauty of the hijab and prided myself for being the only hijabi in a huge government building- I had a "hijabi" mousepad, tried to always color coordinate and show people that the scarf didn't need to be something to be scared of.
07/23/2009 12:38:29 PM
(my response - part 2.5) This was all before 9-11, when I suddenly became an unwilling poster child, as I am not one who likes to deal with politics - my reversion to Islam is personal and spiritual and I will talk to anyone to this day on my reasonings, as I feel there is no other straight path - I also feel that this religion is an abrogation of all those that came before it - we weren't supposed to be segregated - we as people through our misinterpretations and inherent free will find reasons to disagree and judge just about anything - but Allah (God) is the only true judge! I pray that one day we can all become one true Ummah. Now, my current marriage is one where I need to work to support the family and do many things that the men are required in Islam to do - but Khadijah was a business woman and supported the prophet (pbuh), so I felt that decision was an optional one for me to make, and would help bring me closer to Allah (swt). Many sisters told me I was crazy for that, and I needed to find a man with money. I see more barters for marriage in Islam than I care to discuss and that subject alone is one for another thread or forum- sisters marrying for the wrong reason - I feel that my husband is pious, mash'Allah, and that is enough for me - sure it's hard at times, but I pray every day that Allah will see us through. For example, he is a firm believer that he needs to wear a beard, which I'm not fond of, and he believes in the hijab, and this almost kept us from getting married. But as he got to know me, and I stayed true to myself, he found that I was more sincere than many hijabis he met, and respects me and my decisions, alhumdulilah. I have also had the utmost compliment from one sister who told me, after getting to know me that she felt that I wore a hijab, even without one, based on the person I am - mash'Allah and jazakAllahkhair for that sister. Ultimately, I believe that it is a personal and spiritual decision, and just like staying married to a man that makes you unhappy can potentially take away from your deen is reason to consider evaluating adjusting that situation, so it is with the hijab (IMHO). Now, if I was in a Muslim country, I might feel differently, knowing that showing hair is often associated with being akin to "wearing a bikini", as I would not prance around here in the states in a bikini - I don't feel that is modest at all. It is not that way here, however. I know some may think I'm a complete loon or trying to find an "easy way out", but also as an educated American Muslim Revert (working on a doctorate currently, alhumdulilah), I feel the need to research and soul search. Research is what brought me to Islam, alhumdulilah, and for that I am grateful every day. Further research and soul searching brought me to wear I am, and I will keep seeking knowledge as is also mandated for us (The search of knowledge is an obligation laid on every Muslim - The Prophet Muhammad (saw))
07/23/2009 12:37:08 PM
By the way, Khadija was successful before the Qur'an was revealed. She was not granted rights to be a business woman by the Prophet of Islam. She was the affluent one and years older than him. While she was alive, he did not take multiple wives. Through historical text, there has been made an assumption that she also wore a veil -- but not tightly around the hair line and wrapped around her neck in fear a strand of hair might show, or to show the world that she is pious. That is a new invention. She wore this veil as a fashion statement of the times, countless YEARS before the "cover your beauty" verse was revealed after one of Muhammad's companions prompted him to tell his wives to cover up in front of others. Khadija was responsible for guiding Muhammad into prophethood. She was the one who took him to see her Christian cousin for insight on what he experienced in the cave. As a successful businesswoman with a young husband who worked for her, she was unlike any of M's other wives who were the inspiration behind that ever-controversial revelation. If women are to "cover their beauty", their hands and toes should be covered, too, because I think their fingers and feet are are beautiful, too.
07/23/2009 12:37:00 PM
(my response - part 3) I will close with two hadith that I had come across which made me feel more comfort in my decisions as well: Eat what you want and dress up as you desire, as long as extravagance and pride do not mislead you. - The Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reported by Abd’Allah ibn Abbas *A Bedouin came to the Prophet (pbuh) and said "Tell me of such a deed as will make me enter Paradise, if I do it." The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Worship Allah, and worship none along with Him, offer the (five) prescribed compulsory prayers perfectly, pay the compulsory Zakat, and fast the month of Ramadan." The Bedouin said, "By Him, in Whose Hands my life is, I will not do more than this." When he (the Bedouin) left, the Prophet said, "Whoever likes to see a man of Paradise, then he man look at this man." - Hadith narrated by Abu Huraira *this last hadith I would like to believe applies to women too. Perhaps we can connect offline sister - I really need positive and truly pious sisters in my life that I can relate to and vice versa. Also, I wish the best for all sisters (hijabis, non-hijabis, and nikabis, for that matter) and brothers in our Ummah, and pray that our good deeds are accepted, and that Allah grant Jannah to us all, inshAllah. Ameen.
07/23/2009 12:32:29 PM
Test - cannot seem to post my response
07/23/2009 12:10:30 PM
Finally, an article on the truth about hijab. Before this article, the only point of view represented on Beliefnet was that of theocratic cultures' opinions of hijab and burkha. Not all predominantly Muslim countries enforce the hijab as God's commandment through police action. It boils down to common sense, reading comprehension, literacy, cultural filtering and an understanding of the historical, political and social variables in which time the Qur'an was revealed and the context in which it is applied in varying cultures today. Theocratic cultures will always leave the "thinking" to their scholars and imams. For a woman to claim that the hijab is a woman's "choice" within a political system which simultaneously makes the removal of the hijab punishable by law is to say that cult-like fear indoctrination has successfully internalized. What women wear is up to them -- including the women who choose to wear hijab. The hijab is a fashion statement; nothing more.
05/19/2009 01:16:31 PM
I am a hijabi convert to Islam and most comfortable with that. As the Quran states 'no compulsion in religion', I do agree it is up to each individual to wear (and believe) what they want - as long as it's legal! Would personally not be happy with 'black-white' situation in several countries, but tha's more culture, than Islam. Re: "make a women’s legal testimony worth less than a man’s" - note this is not as simple as this; recently discussed it in depth on another group: it's more about chosing a witness who is knowledgeable. In the Quran the word is not 'woman', but literally more like 'leg', someone you can rely on when you need to make use of the witness (as relevant witness will be more able to convey what they've witnessed; see also 'expert witness' in court). If women in general would be less capable, then how come Khadija was such a successful businesswoman and women (co-)led defence operations? My 2p. In peace, globalnomad
12/08/2008 07:19:06 PM
I do not agree on not wearing a headscarf. it's a symbol of decency both within and in front of people and i like to see all muslims follow the right rules of Islam, not choosing some and leaving some. I do not see it is that hard to be wearing Hijab, its just a matter of habit, once u get used to putting it on, you will know how its not a problem at all.
11/25/2008 11:18:25 AM
I also agree with this article as well as the other commenters. What I love about Islam is that it is about my personal relationship with God. It is not about doing what a priesthood tells me to do. I also agree about the history mentioned by another poster.
11/23/2008 09:54:07 AM
I absoultely one hundred per cent agree with this article. Why do you have to cover your hair when you are completely modest in other aspects? I'm a convert, and because I'm black, I felt that I had to cover so people saw that I was a Muslim. But after studying the Qu'ran I see that God didn't say I had to cover my hair just what is "apparent". My belief is that God knows we all have different cultures/ beliefs etc.. as He says in Qu'ran, so to tell someone to cover their hair when its not their culture wouldn't be right in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, I think women who cover should be respected because they are being modest but telling women they have to cover like that, and they have to be seperated etc.. is wrong and I get really annoyed when I hear fatwas etc. telling people that when their daughter reaches pubutry they must cover like that- It's their choice!!
11/17/2008 08:09:08 AM
My problem is the opposite, I want to wear the hijab, but my family does not want me to wear it. My parents and husband are non practicing Christians (I converted after I was married), and I know they hate it when I just wear a scarf or something on my head, not even the full hijab scarf. They have been so abusive, saying this is just a phase, or "it just looks like one of your costumes" (I was a cosplayer). It hurts my feelings, because I am proud of what I am, and I want to respect God, myself, and be a proud Muslim. I dunno, it just sux... The only Muslims they see are the ones blowing themselves up on the TV, even though I told them that what they see is NOT ISLAM!!!! If anyone has any ideas on what to do, give me an e-mail... Much love,
10/12/2008 02:02:27 PM
Very interesting article and I admire her for following her newly found religion, but more on her own terms, instead of ancient ones that are in many ways, outdated.
10/11/2008 11:03:46 PM
BRAVO! As an American Muslim (born in to the religion), I applaud this article and your honesty. I also do not wear the hijab and neither do most women in my family. In fact, a historical study reveals that the prophet's wives were required to wear the headscarf - not all Muslim women. The verse you quoted is specific to covering your breasts in public - funny that it's obvious to us, but it wasn't obvious back then! :) And in regards to polygamy, again, a historical study shows that this was for purposes of war when women were displaced and had no none to take care of them. In today's world, this clearly has no place and is motivated by un-Islamic reasons. After my own spiritual struggles, I came to the conclusion that other things I had trouble with (more inheritance for boys than girls, etc.) can either be understood in the context of the time the Qu'ran was revealed (when men were responsible for women, which isn't exactly the case now) or the fact that this book has been passed down for centuries by man. God is perfect; man is not. And so, sister, I just encourage you to stay on your spiritual journey and focus on the beauty and simplicity of our religion. God never fails.
08/27/2008 12:51:18 PM
Wearing hijab is not easy. Sticking to convictions that aren't "comfortable" in the society in which you reside is not easy. However, when you begin to pick and choose among the myriad of choices to be made on a daily basis, you choose what's easy, if you are not doing the choosing for God's sake. If the author is struggling with the concept of hijab, fine, but don't portray it as something that is outdated. What's current about prayer FIVE times a day, fasting for a month straight, obligatory charity...all these things sound really outdated in these modern times in which we live. If the author goes back to following this divine command and sticks with it for more than a few years, she may begin to find the wisdom and beauty of the command, rather than focus on others' perceptions of it and the comfort factor. A mature Muslim would be able to separate the sometimes overly ridiculous gender separation norms of the middle east from the basic teachings of the faith.