Category Archives: Wearing the Veil/Hijab

Let’s not talk about it

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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,

Esraa

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Veiled at 24

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Our first guest blogger Loulwa Kalache talks about her experience of wearing the veil at the age of 24.

by: Loulwa Kalache

On May 20, 2012, I was putting the first touches on my crown. It was a coronation for a new Loulwa.

I was putting the Hijab.

It wasn’t just about a piece of cloth that I merely put, it was an actual transformation of my state.

Why did I become a “Mouhajaba” at age of 24?

In 2011, I was going through a lot of personal hardships. Yet it was during this time, that I found myself kneeling to Allah. I found myself fully submissive to His will only.

Although, earlier I was pious in following almost all basic duties of Islam, praying, saying the Shahadah, fasting, believing in judgment day and the prophets…etc However, I wasn’t feeling Islam properly. I wasn’t actually submissive fully to the will of Allah.  I put a lot of worldly things before Allah.
Thus, I started feeling a tiny growing feeling in my heart that made me create a long forgotten relationship with my God. Until there was a significant day, I decided what I want from this life. It was a day that I asked and prayed for God to guide me through, to show me the way, and to find me a solution to end this dispute and get rid of the worldly attachments. Indeed, a spiritual revolution occurred inside of me.

In that year, I planned to be a better Muslim; to perfect my prayers, to wake up and pray fajr, to read Quran every day, and to deliver the right message about Islam to others. I did my best to do all these. But there was something missing that I was not following. It was one basic element that God asked from women specifically, which was to cover their heads and bodies.
But what was hindering me?

Despite I was raised in an Islamic setting where my parents always wanted me to wear the veil, they never forced it on me. They used to explain to me the consequences of not putting it versus putting it. I never listened to them and I refused to put it at a young age.
Deep in my subconscious, I was afraid of being labeled as mouhajabah. I wanted to be “free” and not chained by a cover over my hair.

I created this mindset believing that mouhajabeh can’t do anything. And that a mouhajabah  is perceived as a “shy”, “behind the man”, and not outgoing persona. And that she will be labeled differently. What was I thinking back then? Indeed, I was blind, and ignorant with these stereotypes. Excuse me for that.

So society or people were never the hindering agent. The only struggle I was facing was my own self. So as soon as I let go of this foolish mindset, I decided to put the veil. I wanted to represent Islam properly. I want to show them what it is to be a Muslimah that can follow religion and at the same time be an activist, a hard worker, and a sociable person …A veil can never hinder me, nor my ambitions.
When I put it, there were no remarkable challenges. I remember clearly the moment I put it: I was walking in Beirut, and I didn’t feel any less different. On the contrary, I felt more confident and proud.

Of course family and friends were surprised and happy. No one criticized me or told me to remove it…They did question my motives and reasons, perhaps out of curiosity. And even if some didn’t like that change, I didn’t really care.
Because it was not something I did between me and my society. It was something I did between myself and the Almighty. Because when someone is doing something purely for Allah, he or she doesn’t wait for the world to approve.

 

loulwa