Let’s not talk about it


The discussion of why women in Islam wear the Hijab is one which I have unfortunately been trying to avoid. To be honest I was scared to death to even start the conversation because every time I would imagine writing the post all I would think of was that I am not capable of responding to conflicting opinions and that It would be too much to handle. I would panic at the idea that I wouldn’t be able to explain my self correctly, that I would be attacked from those against the Hijab and that things would just get out of control.

Lets just keep it nice and quite, lets not talk about the one question that crosses everyone’s mind and pretend that I am doing and excellent job in raising awareness about REAL Muslim women. The irony of this all is that this is a blog about Hijab related issues but not one post is dedicated to actually discussing the religious/social and ethical reasons Muslim women wear the Hijab and for that I am truly sorry.

So lets not keep it nice and quite and lets actually start the conversation. I am writing this post in hopes that you will join me these couple of months in discussing, exploring and analyzing the real reasons women in Islam wear the Hijab and here is my proposal:

1. I will start my discussion by referring to a book titled ” Islamic Hijab, Modest Dress” which discusses the subject in depth. In the upcoming weeks I will be sharing and discussing certain chapters from the book in hopes that you share your thoughts to enrich the conversation. I am not here to convince you of the Hijab but to share with you the philosophy behind it.  I have a lot of questions my self and I think one of the ways to get answers is by starting the conversations that tackle the tricky questions most of us want to avoid.

2. I am also interested in interviewing scholars, thinkers, religious figures and anyone who can shed light on the topic. So if you have any one in mind I would really appreciate it if you connect me with them for an interview.

3.  If you or someone you know would like to discuss how they view the Hijab whether positively or negatively I would love to hear from you. I am specifically interested in contributions from men because I think it is crucial that they be included in this conversation.

Why is it important that we start this conversation you ask? Well it is because for years we have been going in circles pretending like we actually are talking about the Hijab when in reality we haven’t even scratched the surface of it. We have headlines that talk about what it is like to wear a Hijab and how there are successful Hijab wearing entrepreneurs and so on but we are not talking about the Hijab itslef.

I bet you a million bucks that if you ask any American, heck ask any Arab if they ever wondered why women wear the Hijab and I am pretty sure 90% of them will say yes, ask them if they have an answer to their question and I am pretty sure they will say no. We as a Muslim community must answer these questions, it is our responsibility to do so even if we are not scholars and experts in jurisprudence we must be able to convey our message and I hope you will join me on this journey.

Looking forward to hearing from you,


One response »

  1. Esraa,
    When I asked you about wearing the Hijab, back in Beirut, your answer and your story of how you met your husband moved me to tears. As a white, British, now atheist, I had no knowledge of why womwen would wear the hijab and if you remember, sitting on the other side of me was a muslem woman in western dress the same age as you. Her mother did wear the Hijab, and she chose not to.

    What I realised from that experience was two very important things. The first was one of choice and the second was how ignorance shapes prejudice. Nuns around the world wear similar clothing, and it is again a choice by them to be part of that community and the appropriate clothing goes with it.

    Prejudice is defined in its simplest form as an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason. Simply put prejudice is the result of laziness. Not making the effort to try to undertsand or see things from someone elses view point and just sticking with an aquired thought.

    Keep the conversation going. a Muslem woman or a Nun who choses to hear the Hijab or the Habbit has made a choice that is personal to them and it muts be respected if we are to become a civilised world.


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