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Non hijabi Muslims...why don't you wear it?

(86 Posts)
WaynettaSlobsLover Sat 05-Jan-13 21:11:26

You may have read my previous thread. I'm interested to hear why you don't wear the headscarf personally, and also what others reactions to you not wearing it have been. Would really appreciate some feedback on this inshallah and to hear your personal opinions and views on it all

firawla Mon 07-Jan-13 16:40:19

I do wear hijab but thought I would reply anyway. think i have seen ur previous thread a while back too

People refering to non-hijab wearing muslims as kuffaar is out of order!!! that's not islamically justified either, they could tell you its sin but it doesn't take someone outside of islam so i do not know where people can get the cheek to say such things

I wear hijab myself but I have 'downgraded' a lot, I used to wear full niqaab but i took that off a few years back now, then I was still in abayah and hijab, and i've taken the abayah off now about 6 months ago. I do know that it's better to wear it but my reasons were that i started to feel fake, as though its a statement that im really religious but i know i have a lot of short comings in the religion so i just no longer felt comfy wearing it. which i think people would probably advise "dont listen to that, those thoughts are from the shaytan" but i just felt i want to take it off - so i did. although i dont see myself taking off the hijab fully, but i wouldnt judge someone who does.

there are quite a few of my friends who i havet seen since i stopped wearing the abayah and i dont know what their reaction would be (but i can guess it would be bad), others have just not said anything to me about it although i know they must have been wondering! but maybe felt its best not to comment. i know a lot of ppl do consider even this, not wearing abayah - as haraam.

you need to make your own decisions if u wear it just cos of what will people say, inlaws or whoever else, then its not sincere. the door is always open for u to go back to wearing in future if you wanted to (you & me both) but if this is what you are feeling at the moment then its up to you, we answer to allah for our own actions so ultimately it does not concern anyone else!!

WaynettaSlobsLover Mon 07-Jan-13 16:45:33

Thanks all for your perspectives, really interesting isn't it all? Yes you can be considered kafir if you don't wear hijab and when you become muslim (like I did) you put it on because everyone you know, the sheikhs, the imam at the masjid and all your friends say you have to, and what with reading the books on women's dress in the majority of bookshops and studying from a literal point of view, you do think its mandatory on you. It's only when you step back, study the actual Arabic, compare many tafsirs in English and see what other Muslim scholars have to say (historically and contextually) that you realise the issue is 1- a real non issue, I.e headscarf is not even one of the five pillars of islam, Mohammed (saw) if you study Hadith didn't give huge sermons on it like today's clerics, and 2- you get to make up your own mind in a nutshell.

WaynettaSlobsLover Mon 07-Jan-13 16:53:37

Fiirawla thanks for that insight about abaya. I used to wear it too and got told it was absolutely mandatory. It was only until I studied Quran and listened to the tafsir of surah al Azhab by numerous other scholars that it was explained how in the time of the prophet, his wives used to go to relieve themselves at night, but unfortunately would be harassed by men who assumed that because their bodies weren't appropriately covered, that they were equal to slave women and could thus be treated as such. This was the bad attitude back then but alhamdulilah the whole lowering the gaze and guarding modesty came in from islam so automatically people started to dress modestly and conduct themselves with dignity. Anyway I'm sure you already know all this, I'm just saying, when Quran is interpreted literally without any regard for historical or moral context, that's when the debates start. Sorry for the longggg posts

firefly11 Mon 07-Jan-13 19:31:01

I don't know if you've read this [[ Wikiislam's entry on the hijab]. Granted Wikiislam is a site that is not exactly pro or against Islam. I stumbled upon it as I was reading up about the hijab.

firefly11 Mon 07-Jan-13 19:31:48

link didn't work. should be

JellyBellies Tue 08-Jan-13 06:55:19

Hi. I wore the hijab for 10 years from the time u was 18 till I was 28. I took it off last year.

It was for a combination of reasons and I did go back and forth for a while. My family don't know yet... Eek!

My mum doesn't wear it anyway but my mil does.

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 07:28:40

Salaam jelly bellies, nice to hear from you :D can I possibly ask for what reasons did you take it off? And how did everyone react?

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 07:30:11

Let me change that do you think everyone will react?! I took mine off and felt like the whole world was looking at me, which of course they weren't.

Hanikam Tue 08-Jan-13 12:13:27

Woah, another hijab thread!
I wore hijab for 10years or so and decided against it about a year back. I've been flamed on Twitter for this by people who don't even know me, on the net or RL! I just felt I was wearing it for the wrong reasons, I.e. to please my husband. He prefers me to wear it, but admits he is old fashioned and respects my decision to uncover my hair. I do wear it when visiting in-laws, or the Mosque, and when praying of course.

Most of my in-laws also start wearing a burqa by the time they reach their mid-thirties, and I've had more than a few snide comments about this. Thank God they don't know I go around bare headed at home!

I've just posted on another thread about this issue, and what a cultural hangover it really is. If you want to wear, that's fine. Same goes for niqaab, jilbaab, or whatever you choose. If you don't want to wear it, that should be fine too. It's freedom of choice. In Leila Ahmed's book Women, Gender and Islam she looks at the history of hijab, dating back well before Islam when women wore it to show their high status in society. Slaves were forbidden to wear it. Today, it's treated as a fundamental precept of Islam, which clearly it is not.

The reaction I've had to removing it varies. At the most extreme I've been called kuffar, and warned that I'm facing certain hellfire ( the hijab might make you hot, but jahanaam is hotter!). Right, so I'm doomed now. As if a scrap of fabric could guarantee access to paradise!

Hanikam Tue 08-Jan-13 12:18:14

JellyBellies salaam! What were your reasons for deciding against it?
I've found that LESS people look at me ( here in rural Suffolk) and one of the reasons for removing it was that I was attracting attention to myself which is precisely the opposite of what it's alleged purpose is!

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 12:21:19

Oh yes that old chestnut about headscarf guaranteeing Jannah lol. I also found it drew attention to me, particularly as a white girl. I will be checking out leila Ahmeds book inshallah.

Hanikam Tue 08-Jan-13 13:58:44

waynettaslobslover it's hard to "win" as a white girl. Don't quite fit with the in-laws, or your own family.
When I wore hijab, everyone assumed I was foreign, even the doctor's receptionist asked me if I needed a translator. In my naievety, I asked why, doesn't the doctor speak English? Forgot it was me who was seen as hijabi therefore other.
With my in-laws Bengalism comes before everything else. My mil remarked to my DH well, at least she's fair cos neighbour's son married a Jamaican convert shock shock and their kids will be so dark no-one will marry them!

Oh yes, dear MNers racism is strong in Asian communities too!

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 14:14:30

"Most of my in-laws also start wearing a burqa by the time they reach their mid-thirties"

Is that because they get fat after a few babies?

Seriously, I can't imagine a reason why there would be an age to start wearing a burqa.

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 14:20:38

Hanikum. Oh yes don't worry I'm very very familiar with the racism in some Asian families. Weird though....they are desperate for the white skinned, soft haired and green/blue eyes grandchildren, but have a fit if their son or daughter marries a Caucasian!!! It's amusing to say the least. I agree, I've never fitted in as a white Muslim, and part of the reason why I donned headscarf was to fit in more. I look Turkish so I've been told many times so it wasn't hard, but it started to pee me off how people would openly slag the English off in front of me but somehow me being Muslim, hijabi and married to a non English guy it made it ok!!

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 14:45:25

What do you mean by "I look Turkish"? I'm curious because we don't even recognise each other abroad.

I hope that this incredibly strict group of people you live among are not Turkish.

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 18:01:38

Lol Cote no they are not Turkish. Actually the turks I know are pretty relaxed and very friendly, without the extreme attitudes. Well I've been told by a lot of Muslims and my mums Turkish friend that I look Turkish. I'm as baffled as you to be honest because as a result of being mixed with a few nationalities (though predominantly European) I can pass for a number of things. It's just something I've had said to me a lot and when waiting in a chemist last year a lady started speaking to me in Turkish. When she saw I was like confused she asked me if I was and obviously I said no lol. I've got slightly olive skin, green eyes and very dark curly ish hair. This all happened when I wore headscarf though so even stranger.

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 18:46:25

OK it's true that olive skin, green eyes and dark hair are quite common in Turkey. Still, I have to say that I can't think of a Turkish "type", especially for women. Men sometimes do look Turkish, but many Italians and almost all Greeks look the same, too. I think it is a Mediterranean look more than anything. Turks have come from Central Asia and we don't look anything like the flat & square faced Kazakhs with little slanted eyes, for example, so I'm sure there has been a lot of racial mixing in Ottoman times.

GetorfsaMotherfuckingMorrisMan Tue 08-Jan-13 18:55:20

What an interesting thread, for some daft reason I was thinking of this earlier and wondered why some muslim women wore hijab and some didn't.

I live in a city with a significant muslim population, and in the last few years have noticed a marked increase in the women who niqab (when I first moved here most women i saw wore hijab only).

It's interesting to read all the responses.

CoteDAzur Tue 08-Jan-13 19:16:34

GetOrf - It's not just your city. It is a general increase in fundamentalism and extremist ideology everywhere in the world.

Even here in the South of France. When I arrived over 10 years ago, you would go months without seeing even a headscarf and that would inevitably turn out to be a Saudi tourist. These days, there are several mums in both DCs' schools all covered up and wearing rain coats in blistering summer heat.

GetorfsaMotherfuckingMorrisMan Tue 08-Jan-13 19:21:25

It's bloody striking. I have only lived here 3 years, it has changed remarkably then.

It must be very difficult for women to remove it when they face pressure from their family (as said on this thread) as well as the general increase in fundamentalism.

I like what Nasser said in 1953.

GetorfsaMotherfuckingMorrisMan Tue 08-Jan-13 19:22:55

That said, I do find islam very interesting. I am a complete ignoramus about it, however from what little I do know, and from muslim people I know, there are a lot of admirable aspects of the faith.

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 19:27:11

I didn't actually know Turks originated from Central Asia, glad I know now, and I find for some reason that Turkish Cypriots seem to have a darker colouring than others. I agree there doesn't seem to be a specific 'look'', it's def more a Mediterranean thing. I'm pretty sure we are mixed with some sort of distant Mongolian blood like the Kazakhs, due to my paternal side possibly having originated from Russia, as a few relatives including myself and my father have a slightly oriental look. I love geneology lol. Are you Mediterranean looking Cote, or are you one of the light haired/eyed minority?

WaynettaSlobsLover Tue 08-Jan-13 19:30:17

Hi GetOrf smile. Nice to have another joining the thread. May have opened your eyes a bit to some things, I'm glad there has been an abundance of information and differing opinions rather than a long heated and pointless debate about hijab. What did Nasser sat in 1953 can I ask? Really need a bit of educating smile

GetorfsaMotherfuckingMorrisMan Tue 08-Jan-13 19:32:36

Sorry - I refer to what Cote said about Nasser upthread.

When I was thinking about the subject earlier I thought I would ask on MN, but then thought the thread would go down a sorry road so decided not to. So am glad this thread appeared conveniently!

saadia Tue 08-Jan-13 19:39:03

In answer to your question OP I am Muslim and do not wear the hijab probably because in my family, growing up, nobody wore it in this country. My mother' s and grandmother' s generation did wear the veil but I think that was mainly for cultural reasons in India.

We had Iranian friends who told us that their aged mother wore hijab when the Shah was in power but when it was banned by him she never left the house again.

My ds was told at school by a Muslim friend of his that I was not Muslim because I do not wear the hijab.

I do not really have a strong view but in my heart of hearts I do not think that my faith can be defined by it and part of me finds it ridiculous that men spend so much time telling women what to wear. I just feel that faith is more than this and encompasses how we live and how we treat others.

I also feel that Islam is big enough to accommodate different views and demonstrations of faith.

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