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to ask for a bit of handholding because I've taken my headscarf off and people are now pissed off with me

(64 Posts)
NoScarfOnMyHead Thu 08-Nov-12 19:34:36

Have worn it for quite a few years. Kept getting a niggling feeling something wasn't quite right, and tried to ignore it, carry on wearing it...

Took it upon myself to do a lot of research and study into the Qur'anic verses in the original Arabic language, as well as a few English translations to get different perspectives. Listened to some Islamic scholars who have secular views instead of the majority view (woman should apparently cover entire face as well as body/head) and finally after a lot of soul searching, discussion with my hubby and other muslim friends, I decided it was not mandatory and I have taken it off.

Rest of body will be covered very modestly as usual, but hair out. Reactions from mother in law and her close friend very upsetting along with very hurtful and unnecessary comments i can't even mention.

I'm not walking around with my tits out, or a face full of slap, or with my thighs and ass in an LBD with high heels, so why are people acting like this? I pray 5 times a day, have a strong faith in my religion, and am a wife and mum just getting on with my own business and trying to be a good person. sad i hope this gets easier for me soon. sorry to whinge, just needed to let it out.

LFCisTarkaDahl Thu 08-Nov-12 19:38:11

Ok, it's not mandatory - it never has been. It has become part of cultural identification though and if they're a bit older they may be a bit more set in their ways.

{{{hugs}}} - hope they get used to it and give you less grief soon smile

LFCisTarkaDahl Thu 08-Nov-12 19:39:00


Aren't you cold without it now? grin

amy175 Thu 08-Nov-12 19:39:09

dont let them get to you. It's your decision, and your head. You do what feels right for you. xxxx

CailinDana Thu 08-Nov-12 19:39:11

It is really, really hard to go against what people expect of you. You are doing a brave thing, and you are right to follow your heart. It will take some time but people will eventually give up giving you a hard time, though you will probably always face some level of nastiness from a few closed-minded people.

Would your DH agree to talk to his mother and tell her to back off?

ErikNorseman Thu 08-Nov-12 19:40:17

sad you should act in the way that your conscience tells you. You know it's not anyone else's business.

KatyPeril Thu 08-Nov-12 19:40:56

YANBU. Keep at it. I'm sure everyone will come round. smile

Glup Thu 08-Nov-12 19:42:06

Never worry about your MIL and friend. What about everybody else? To be honest, girls at my school seem to take it on and off as fashion dictates. I'm obviously not a Muslim, but am surrounded by Muslim girls. It's definitely your choice and there are arguments on both sides.

Some of the sluttiest girls in our school wear a head scarf (and loads of makeup), whilst so do some of the most liberated, thoughtful and independent. Similarly, some of the strictest Muslims go without.

MIL is being mean and possibly jealous.

CharlieUniformNovemberTango Thu 08-Nov-12 19:42:53

I don't know much about this but maybe it has just been a shock and things will die down with time.

I should imagine you've got a whole heap of your own feelings to process over this so try not to focus on other peoples just now. Figure out if you are comfortable with it. And if you are, then they will have to learn to live with it. There isn't a lot you can do about their reactions other then decide not to take them to heart.

Once they are over the shock then hopefully they will see it's not changed you as a person, it's a personal choice you have made and it shouldn't affect your relationship with them. I really hope they do come to terms with it.

StrawberrytallCAKE Thu 08-Nov-12 19:42:57

I'm not walking around with my tits out, or a face full of slap, or with my thighs and ass in an LBD with high heels

Even if you did all of these things it still wouldn't make you a bad person. Well done for doing what you believe in.

Curtsey Thu 08-Nov-12 19:42:59

Here's a hand.
Some people will always find something to gossip about or criticize. You made your decision in good faith, literally, along with your don't need to explain yourself to anyone now.
The novelty will wear off soon for the gossips.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 08-Nov-12 19:43:55

You have made a heart-felt and well thought out decision that is right for you and your family. Lots of people just go along with whatever is expected of them and want others to do the same. I think MIL will eventually get used to it if you and DH just keep a firm, polite and united stance.

Arion Thu 08-Nov-12 19:43:56

I've not studied the Koran, but what I understood was that men and women have to be dressed modestly. As far as I am aware it is a cultural thing to have a woman's head covered. I can never understand families where the man may be in shorts and the woman in a burka as I thought men have to have arms and legs covered to be 'dressed modestly'. I also find it annoying when young children have head coverings as,again, I understand that the covering is from 1st menstruation when the child is considered to become an adult.
As I said, I haven't studied the Koran, my knowledge has come from a religious studies course at uni.
Hope it gets better for you.

NoScarfOnMyHead Thu 08-Nov-12 19:44:35

we-e-ll i was a bit chilly today but it was really lovely feeling the wind in my hair blush

thankyou for your kind comments. Tbh, i spoke to dh and he said his dm isn't knowledgable/educated about Islam anyway so speaking to her about why I've done it won't really get us anywhere. He did advise me to ring her and tell her I will be coming over tomorrow without my scarf on because he thinks it might freak her out without a warning. I'm staggered at the fact that to so many people, a girl who wears a bit of cloth on her hea is better than one who doesn't, even though that one may fast/pray/give lots of charity etc.

desertgirl Thu 08-Nov-12 19:45:31

Maybe part of it is that they feel you are no longer dressing like them - perhaps they feel criticised, or they just feel that you aren't part of the 'club' any more (an awful lot of clothing signals seem to be ones of belonging to this or that group)?

have you talked to them about your reasons for doing so? do they engage with the actual discussion or just insult you?

Modularita Thu 08-Nov-12 19:45:56

See it this way: you probably put a lot more thought and research into this decision than most people put into their faith in the first place.

Molepom Thu 08-Nov-12 19:46:00

Your mother in law and her friends are a different generation to yours, they would not have even thought about it and just did as they were taught. It's natural for them to react badly to it because they see it as a huge..for lack of a better word, sin.

Are you close to them? Do they feature a lot in you and your families lives? Your husband and children and I assume your friends have been supportive of your decision. You have help there.

From what I gather, you have made a very big and brave decision, you've researched it at length and got many opinions from a wide range of people relevent to you and your faith. This was something you did lightly or on the spur of the moment. Maybe, in time, your Mother in Law and her friends will see this..until may just have to wait and bite your lip.

You have done something for you. You stoped doing something that you were not comfortable with. That in itself is a HUGE thing and something that people in general should do more of.

desertgirl Thu 08-Nov-12 19:46:36

sorry cross post. why not get dh to call and tell her?

Molepom Thu 08-Nov-12 19:47:22

Sorry, that should read:

This was not something you have done lightly or on the spur of the moment.

NoScarfOnMyHead Thu 08-Nov-12 19:47:55

oh godddddd

it's going to be majorly awkward seeing my bro in laws without my scarf and i just don't know how i'm going to keep a lid on it if mil makes a comment. I explained to her FULLY the other day why I'd done it but I genuinely do not believe she was listening properly. I love her dearly but I cannot follow something my heart tells me is wrong.

NoScarfOnMyHead Thu 08-Nov-12 19:52:11

desert girl that's a good idea. when he gets back from gym I'll ask him to inshaallah.

molepom yes this is true, it's a generation thing but what makes it harder is that mil only started wearing scarf in her late twenties, whereas her friend (the one who wasn't happy with me) started wearing it a couple of years ago. this friend listens to a lot of lectures by scholars with the same opinions on a woman's dress, I actually find her more intimidating to talk to because she will vehemenently deny and rebuff my evidence, purely because like i mentioned earlier, the majority of scholars say head/face should be covered.

ahhhhhh sad

Molepom Thu 08-Nov-12 19:52:40

Just tell them calmly that you thought about this at great length and sought advice from everyone you thought who could help. This wasn't a decision made lightly and it hasnt changed who you are or what you feel about your faith.

In time they will come round. Eventually. If she continues to refuse to listen to you, she will isten to a friend of her further down the line...have patience.

greenbananas Thu 08-Nov-12 19:53:15

You have researched this properly and are following your own conscience. I think that's brilliant, and it's great that your DH is being supportive. Your MIL will maybe come round in time, but this will no doubt be a huge cultural shock for her - not just seeing you without a headscarf, but also that you are questioning your society's expectations and the received wisdom of her generation.

Hope it goes well for you, tomorrow and in the future...

Molepom Thu 08-Nov-12 19:56:25

Your mother in laws friend will never listen to something she does not agree with or what goes against what she's been taught.

It may be best to try to avoid this person for a while if you can.

MammaTJ Thu 08-Nov-12 19:56:36

It sounds as though your DH is supportive of your decision and that is important.

You really could have picked a better time of year though!! grin

Don't worry about MIL. It sounds as though you are going to have to take time to get used to it anyway.

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