Finally, the Promised Words: To Hijab or Not to Hijab That is the Question; Wisdom Brought to You From a Book Entitled Muslims of the World; Wherein Women and a Man Discuss Their Decisions; Levity From New Yorker Cartoons

One decision to be make during these days of Ramadan Reflection is to decide whether or not I shall wear the hijab. The book, found on sale at Book Passage entitled Muslims of the World. This strident statement sings: “So if you don’t wear a hijab, stop telling me how and when to wear mine.” That is perfect – Western women with everything hanging out see the wearing of the hijab as restrictive, as a mark of oppression. Yasmin Mogahed speaks of female empowerment: “My value as a woman is not measured by the size of my waist or the number of men who like me. My worth as a human being is measured on a higher scale, a scale of righteousness and piety. And my purpose in life …despite what what fashion magazines may say…is something more sublime than just looking good for men.” Does that just not say it?? Of course Western women also dress for other Western women, to be competitive with them – in an indirect way of course. Goodness knows, women cannot be openly competitive with other women – it would look bad. Then this, about the struggle: Our fight as women has never been about discovering the power within us, because let’s be honest, we’ve always known it was there. It isn’t about asserting female dominance either, as a common misconception.”

This written by Inman Mahowl. “The Western narrative about Muslim women usually involves words like ‘oppression’ and ‘misogny”, yet Islam is the first thing to empower me. My religion taught me that paradise lie at the feet of my mother and that my worth as a woman did not come simply from being bearing children. In the Qur’an it is written. “Never will I allow to be lost the work of any among you, whether male or female, you are of one another. (Sarah Al Imran 3:195). My mother the first feminist in my life, reminded me every day that my worth did not stem from my appearance, but rather from my kindness, compassion, empathy and intellect. As Muslim women, our dreams of becoming artists, doctors, lawyers, businesswomen or politicians are validated by our faith.” Muslim women are constantly told by non-Muslims that their choice to be modest is antifeminist and that Islam only encourages women to become model housewives. Yet every Muslim is taught to seek knowledge, empowering both men and women with the importance of education. Knowledge is the greatest tool against ignorance, and Islam has liberated both women and girls in every walk of life through education. Muslim women have borne the brunt of Islamophobic rhetoric; one that perpetuates the notion of oppression in Islam. Perhaps this rhetoric would change if we listened to real Muslim women worldwide speak about their experiences with Islam.”

Rhetoric, by the way, is language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content. Its synonyms are bombast, loftiness, turgidity, grandiloquence, magniloquence, ornateness, portentousness, pomposity, boastfulness, boasting, bragging, heroics, hyperbole, extravagant language, purple prose, pompousness, sonorousness; windiness, wordiness, verbosity, prolixity; informal hot air. Islamophtobic speech is hot air, is pompousness, is purple prose, is verboise, is magniloquence. So there! So there, So there!

This encourages me to wear the hajib. “Muslim women are the most visible members of the Muslim community. When I walk into a room I know that the first thing anyone sees is my hijab, and that everything else comes second,” This was spoken by Shahad, a Canadian. She further spoke if an attack that took place in Canada on January 29, 2017. At a round table religious discussion held later to discuss and prevent further occurrences, no Muslim women were invited to express their views. She wrote: Why were those that face Islamophobia violence at disproportionately high rate not at the table, talking about their own experiences and suggesting ways to make change? Are we not true experts on the subject?”

Sara, from Dallas, Texas, who has been wearing the hijab for over ten years, most faithfully and happily does say: Wearing the hijab itself is not one of acts of worship that defines one as Muslim or not. She further avers: I have my own opinions about the hijab, and they have changed radically over the years, but wearing it is an act between myself and my Lord. I will practice what I believe while supporting other Muslim women who choose to practice hijab how they believe.

Adwaa, from Chicago was most conflicted about her faith and the wearing of the hijab. She made the decision: “During prayer on afternoon, it came to me that if I wanted to show Allah that I had forsaken the superficial things in life I should wear hijab. ”

Shabnam from Manchester, England completely covers her hair. “ I feel safer wearing the hijab. I think this is partially because I am doing what God has asked me to do, and I feel protected by his great power. “

Baraa lists four reasons why she wears the hijab: 1) I wear hijab because I want to. 2) I wear hajib as a feminist, as a woman, as a Canadian. 3) I wear hijab to hold myself morally accountable. 4) I wear hajib for God. She further recounts: “To wear hijab is not a simple or an easy choice. It is not an isolated act.” Her relationship to the hijab is not stagnant.

So what shall I do? I do not know at this moment, I do have the expectation that a decision will be made after the completion of Ramadan.

Shamas, a man from St. Louis, Missouri weighed in thoughtfully. chines in: “If one were to look up the meaning of hijab, one would find the following definition “ a head covering worn in public by some Muslim women.” Hijab is literally defined as something that is exclusive to women. But I am here to tell you that is not the case. He says to look behind this definition to find that the word translates to ‘barrier’ in classical Arabic. Why he questions, must a woman cover up while a man can do what he wishes? He points out that there is hijab for men as well, they also are instructed: “Modesty is good in its entirety” Men are not to wear tight fitting shirts or shorts. Have you ever seen some of the countless photographs of Fazza, the Crown Prince of Dubai?? Many of them not at all modest. Why is he doing that one can wonder? Modesty comes in many forms – a long white garment for men and an abaya – a long black garment worn by women. I have an abaya, wore it once around my complex. I was going to wear it when traveling to Qatar, but not going to Qatar now. The reason will be explained in a subsequent blog.

I do realize that this has not been a particularly funny blog so a couple of New Yorker cartoons will be attached to bring some laughter and joy. Spreading laughter and joy is one of my Muslim obligations.

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