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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.

ripsishere Fri 09-Nov-12 23:33:23

smile smashing.
It's really annoying, for an outsider, that the accessories of your faith are so important to some people.
Well done for doing what makes you comfortable.
I am aware that accessories is the wrong word, but at 7.30am it's the best I can come up with.

NoScarfOnMyHead Fri 09-Nov-12 21:27:11

update: thanks everyone for your kind messages of support. Things have been better today alhamdulilah. Mil was absolutely fine with me when I turned up at hers without my scarf, and my bro in law was there too. I also told a very strict friend today, who although was understandably shocked, still wants to meet up for coffee next week to have a catch up. I feel so strong in my religion and really connected, which is just so lovely. smile

ithaka Fri 09-Nov-12 07:43:45

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

I have to comment on this as I think that is a horrible way to characterise young girls.

It is many years since I was at school and I had hoped girls who enjoyed sex or were sexually active would no longer be classed as 'sluts'. But it appears the dark ages still prevail for some.

flow4 Fri 09-Nov-12 07:34:04

You say your MiL only started covering in her 20s, and the friend a few years ago... I think that explains their hostility. They will themselves have gone through a similar process of thinking hard and changing what they do; and perhaps your decision feels threatening: maybe they feel you are challenging or even undermining their own decisions.
Also, I have noticed that people who change from one way of living to another are often the most outspoken. The friend, particularly, will be a particularly passionate advocate of the headscarf, because it's new to her... And so she's critical of your choice, in much the same way that people who have just given up smoking are often the most critical of smokers!

I hope it goes well for you smile

ripsishere Fri 09-Nov-12 03:04:49

of course it isn't your continence, your heart..

ripsishere Fri 09-Nov-12 03:03:37

Would your MiL listen to your Imam?
We are currently living in Malaysia where the state religion is Islam. At DDs school, half of the older girls cover their heads, the other half don't.
From what I have observed (and having spoken to DDs BFs Mum),it is a matter for your continence and quite often a fashion thing too.
Good luck and well done for thinking things through sensibly.

SomersetONeil Fri 09-Nov-12 02:21:14

As long as the rules of modesty only apply to women, then I suspect you will continue to feel discomfort over this.

If the same rules applied in an equal way to men, and everyone was obliged - or not - to cover their bodies to the same extent, then it would all be logical and fine, and a true nod to your religious requirements.

You've done a really brave thing, and this initial stage will be the most difficult. If you can get through this, they will evetually come to accept it (or at least get used to it) and it will be a lot easier.

sashh Fri 09-Nov-12 01:10:26

The notion of 'modesty' is different in different cultures. You will never see an authordox Jewish woman in trousers for instance.

A headscarf does not denote how holy or good you are. It is a cultural thing. I have worked with quite a few muslims, I have some muslim friends and between these people there are differences in what they wear. One considers herself to be modest in a short skirt and opaque tights, another wears a headscarf, long sleves and baggy trousers at all times, a third lives in jeans.

Some old women can be quite nasty. One of the nurses (who was Christian) I worked with would be called a prostitute, in Urdu, by some of the elderly women patients because she wore a nurse's uniform of a dress.

Your MIL is projecting her ideas of modesty onto you.

You have made a descision, based on study of the texts of your religeon and that, and you, should be respected.

dabdab Fri 09-Nov-12 00:18:25

Can I just congratulate you on researching and thinking things through for yourself, and being entirely conscious about your garments and how you wear them. This is more than can be said about 85% of the population (myself included!).

thebody Fri 09-Nov-12 00:08:27

Not sure I believe this thread.

but if you are genuinely just thrown off your head scarf then good on you and well done.

chunkymunk Fri 09-Nov-12 00:04:45

NoScarf I had became Muslim when I married my husband (who is Muslim) just over 4 years ago. After a lot of reading I decided I wanted to cover ( about a year into marriage) I found that I had the same sort of reaction, but in reverse, from my family and non-Muslim friends.

I now sometimes cover my hair, sometimes not it depends what I feel like on any particular day. I feel it does not in anyway weaken my deen.

My husbands parents live in the middle east and when we went to visit them the first time together I was worried they would think ill of me for not covering . I was relieved to see my sister in law didn't cover her hair and also a number of other women we saw out and about.

Do what you feel is best and comfortable. Inshalla your mother in law will realise covering/not covering does not change who YOU are.

PignutSalamander Thu 08-Nov-12 23:46:50


only avoid people if you do not want them in your life forever otherwise hold your head up high (shake it slightly and feel that beautiful feeling of freshly washed hair shoogling all over your scalp) You have made a rational decision based on a lot of soul searching so you KNOW it is right for you.

People (most especially you MIL) will always know how you should live your life better, raise your kids better, decorate your house better sort your underwear drawer better.

The best bit of advice I have been given about parenting so far is that whenever someone is telling you how to raise you kid, listen attentively (or not) smile, nod and do whatever you think.

I'm pleased you have you dp support in this don't underestimate the back up he can provide


griphook Thu 08-Nov-12 23:35:25

^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.^

I'd just like to second that

peacefuloptimist Thu 08-Nov-12 23:28:39

It is not mandatory, and it is a matter between you and your husband, it need not concern anyone else

Its not between you and your husband, its between you and God. You are doing something which you feel is right for you, but which differs from what most mainstream muslims believe. I am not sure how you have come to your decision but if you are convinced by the evidence you have found then you need to stand by it and just accept that the majority of people will not think like you and theres not much you can do about it.

Sallyingforth Thu 08-Nov-12 23:12:40

It is not mandatory, and it is a matter between you and your husband, it need not concern anyone else.

No, it's not between you and your husband. It's your choice alone. But it's good that he supports you.

rogersmellyonthetelly Thu 08-Nov-12 22:10:42

Good for you! I had similar negative comments from people for turning up to church in jeans. as I said then, Him upstairs, whatever you call
Him, and however you worship Him, doesn't give a squashed banana what you are wearing on the outside, it's what's on the inside that is important, that you are pure in your heart and in your obedience to Him. All the rest is just window dressing.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 08-Nov-12 22:04:35

YANBU - <extends hand>

I'm no expert on the Koran,but it does simply state both men and women must dress modestly,I know that much. You are clearly very dedicated to your faith and are finding a way to observe it that is right for you.

Hope everyone backs off and supports your choice.

MooncupGoddess Thu 08-Nov-12 22:03:15

Good for you for doing all the reading and coming to your own conclusions. In my experience people quite often twist religious texts to mean what they want them to mean.

If you get hassle from people, can you bore them into the ground with scholarship? 'Well, A says XXX, but it does depend on the precise meaning of Y Arabic word, personally I would translate it as XXX but maybe you would disagree? What books would you recommend I read on the subject?' Ten to 1 they will go a bit pale and start asking what you're having for dinner smile

Pictureperfect Thu 08-Nov-12 21:57:57

Good for you for sticking to what you feel is right for you. Some people do love to have something to judge people by and it's amazing the amount of 'good' religious people doing the judging yet don't stick to everything in their religion 100%, MiL are also a group known to like to judge!

I've not been in your situation but I'm sure it will get easier in time. Good luck coping with others

AdoraJingleBells Thu 08-Nov-12 21:50:55

You've done what you need to do for yourself. You have the support of your husband. Nothing else is needed. Some people will be shocked- that's their problem, some will try to tell you how to dress-it's none of their business. When MIL comments simply tell her it is your own decision. When her friend comments either tell her you're doing no worse than her daughters, or the same answer as MIL gets. This is a decision for you about you and you have made it.

Well done for taking the time to find out what didn't feel right, understand it and then change it.

GhostShip Thu 08-Nov-12 21:42:38

Well done for making a thoughout out conscious decision, and one that you probably knew would be met with disapproval. You're brave and I admire you smile

Peanutbutterfingers Thu 08-Nov-12 21:38:26

Well done for standing up for what is right for you and your body. For what it's worth I'd treat criticism exactly how you would with anything else where you have different opinions and beliefs. Keep smiling and say 'really? That's interesting' without offering counter arguments or feelings. It's hard to fight someone who is agreeing with you and you're not fuelling the fire.

Good luck!

SirBoobAlot Thu 08-Nov-12 21:27:59

Do what works for you. This isn't a decision you have rushed into, its something you have considered and looked at from every angle. You have come to the conclusion that is best for you as an individual.

Hand holding and lots of love. I think you're being very brave. Well done smile thanks

Softlysoftly Thu 08-Nov-12 21:23:47

Possibly you should point out to her the evil in talking badly about things that do not concern her. Point out that she should read and interpret the word of her god herself rather than through the filter of others.

"Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: "No servants of Allah's (SWT) belief will be correct until his heart is corrected, and his heart will never be corrected until his tongue is." The first phase of achieving this correctness is for a person to give up that which does not concern them and not to involve themselves in things that they were not asked about."

NoScarfOnMyHead Thu 08-Nov-12 20:46:28

thankyou everyone from the bottom of my heart. x

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