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hijabi1822
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Quote hijabi1822 Replybullet Topic: Hijab
    Posted: 12 July 2010 at 9:05am
I would like to know if there are any sisters who are/have been facing real hardships because of your hijab, and are considering removing it? I reverted 13 years ago and have been covering full time for 4 years. In the beginning, it was great. I considered wearing hijab for years but was always too afraid of what my family and everyone was going to think. One day I just did it and at the time it was such a blessing. I felt great that I had finally done what I "thought" I was supposed to be doing. It felt wonderful to be seen as a muslim and it was the best decision I ever made. I became quite religious over the years and seemed to be studying Islam and reading Quran often. Problem is, is now I have hate glares from non-muslims AND muslims alike. Before I covered it was fine. Now muslims see me as a muslim and they (most) are very rude and mean to me. They make a point not to speak at me and turn their heads when they see me so as not to have to give salams. At the masjid where I was attending, not ONE singel solitary one sister has ever spoken to me or my daughters. They all group together and speak their languages. Arab with Arab, Pakistani with Pakistani and so forth. Where does that leave me, the blue eyed caucasian that is just as much a muslim as everyone else there? People stare at me, I have even been followed by a man who screamed terrible things at me while driving with my 7 children in the van. He ran us off of the road and fled and the police did not catch him. No one speaks to me in public, at the park the mothers all sit together while they just stare at me. Not even most cashiers at the store even speak to me, I even have to look at the total myself because they do  not even tell me. I hate being treated as a second or even a third class citizen. They look at me like I do not deserve the things other people deserve. It has been nothing but trouble and now I feel I despise my hijab rather than have good feelings about it. This is making me feel farther apart from my religion. I have read Quran many times and I always thought for some reason it said we have to wear hijab. I guess I didnt pay too much attention to what I was reading after all because anyone who knows Quran knows it does not say that at all. I even opened my eyes and studied for myself the origin of hijab and was surprised at what I found. I never wanted to do anything "cultural". And now here I am doing it!! Anyone else feel this way? Please only real life experiances, not what we "should" do according to man.
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Hayfa
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Quote Hayfa Replybullet Posted: 13 July 2010 at 5:05am
Salaams Sister,

I have no doubt that others in the Muslim world have experienced  this as well.

I think it varies where you live... that has been my experience. More diverse areas tend to be better for people.

Sometimes when we are feeling low, we project onto others. That person who tried to run you down, that is scary! And after an incident we can be "jumpy" for awhile. (Have you thought of taking self-defense?- on a side note).

And the stares from other Muslim sisters, from sisters you know? That is rather odd if they were already your friends. Or are you new to a specific area? I think it is important to not assume we know what they are staring at us. Sometimes other people Muslim or not, are just shocked by it.  Have you gone up to those Muslims and said Asalaam alaikum?


I do not think this has ANYTHING to do with hijab. It would matter little if you took it off. This is tribalism- a big problem for women in the Muslim community. They stick to their friends. They often do this cause its safer and more comfortable. They don't have a clue what it is like for you or I without a cultural group of "family" to belong to.  I think SOME are rude but I think most have not a clue. We are more used to western culture about how to intermingle but they really may not.

I can understand your feeling TOTALLY in regards to the struggle we face. For some they take it off, others wear only an underscarf or such. Only you can decide what you are capable of doing. We ARE human creature.. we need human friendship and feeling part of the human society. If we do not get it within the Muslim communities we are near, it can be very hard. Isolationism is not good.

But I can say taking it off will not suddenly make you "accepted" by the Arab and Pakistani sisters. Many of us find friends via the internet. I myself tend to get along with Muslim sisters about 20-30 years old, cause they are American and I relate to the way they talk, etc.

A good website in Muslim Mom Cafe http://muslimmomscafe.com/forums/index.php. The sisters are great there.

I have read Quran many times and I always thought for some reason it said we have to wear hijab. I guess I didn't pay too much attention to what I was reading after all because anyone who knows Quran knows it does not say that at all.

I did not understand the above. Most scholars agree we should wear it. What knowledge scholars have is not only religious but also knowledge of Arabic grammar. I have yet to hear of any well known scholar who says we are not required to wear it. What many say is the niqab is not required. But you'd have to give a source that says basic head covering is not required.  Others I am sure could discuss it further in more detail. But do ask: how can all those scholars be wrong? How can the four Imams be wrong? That would seem odd.

And I would further add, that there is a distinction between Arabic culture and Muslim culture. We can all wear a different type of clothing, but certain basic requirements are universal and yes are the Islamic culture.

Sister: you were attacked. Alhumdilah you and your kids are okay. Was it a hate crime.. quite possibly. If you take off your scarf you will lessen the chances of this happening again- probably yes. Will it change your relationships with other Muslim sister, probably not. And if it DID- honestly I'd not want to be friends with people so superficial.  I think many of us reverts tend to be rather independent. We "go our own way." 

And make friends with us! We are good people and its not boring around here..Smile

May Allah keep you and your family safe from harm.





When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi
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hijabi1822
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Quote hijabi1822 Replybullet Posted: 13 July 2010 at 6:07am
Wa laykum as saalam sister thanks for your reply.                                                                                                                                                                     
I think it varies where you live... that has been my experience. More diverse areas tend to be better for people.                                                                       I live in Orlando, Florida. It is really quite diverse here as we have people from all over the world here every day coming for their vacations. There is also a big diversity of people who live here as well. There are many different races that live here in my neighborhood alone.

And the stares from other Muslim sisters, from sisters you know? That is rather odd if they were already your friends.
 The people who I was reffering to are not my friends, but the general public, both muslim and non-muslim.

I do not think this has ANYTHING to do with hijab. It would matter little if you took it off.
I have been muslim for over 13 years, but only started wearing hijab 4 years ago. I have been on both sides of the fence, being both a non-covering muslim and and now a covering one as well. I can tell you that it is definatley the hijab. I have been incredibly isolated, not by my own means as I am an outgoing person and I myself do talk to people alot. When people get to know me it is different. If they are  people that I see everyday, they do talk to me and act that their is nothing "wrong". My family and I spend time overseas often, and I have even had people in an Islamic country ask me WHY I wear hijab. The people asking do not wear hijab of course, so I politely explain to them why I wear hijab and they still look disgusted. I have also had muslim family members tell me I should remove it and that I can stop wearing it because I live in America and in Islam we can bend the rules a bit to make life easier on us!! what?? Go figure! I have found through all these years that Islam is a very difficult religion for us reverts. The IMAM at our masjid in the city where we lived years ago, even said himself that he would not marry a girl(who happened to be a very good friend of mine) to her muslim fiance, even though she was muslim, a revert of course, before she met him. He said she was not "really" a muslim. He has told people that reverts are not the same. This is the imam. It is a whole whole lot of little things like that ( although I find that to be very substantial).


But I can say taking it off will not suddenly make you "accepted" by the Arab and Pakistani sisters.
I couldn't agree more. I was never "accepted" by Arabs or Pakistani's to begin with, before or after hijab. I have realized that the ones who do this to me are not worth the time and are mean-natured. There's not much I can do about that and am not going to waste my time trying anymore.

I did not understand the above. Most scholars agree we should wear it. What knowledge scholars have is not only religious but also knowledge of Arabic grammar. I have yet to hear of any well known scholar who says we are not required to wear it. What many say is the niqab is not required. But you'd have to give a source that says basic head covering is not required.  Others I am sure could discuss it further in more detail. But do ask: how can all those scholars be wrong? How can the four Imams be wrong? That would seem odd.


Yes, most scholars think we should wear it. The Quran says to cover the bosom. The bosom is the chest. It doesn't say anything about covering the hair. Nothing. You are right it is in the way the scholars "interpret" it. I would think that in Arabic, the bosom and hair are two different things. But I want to live according to the Quran, not the way man interprets things for the benefit of man. ALLAH swt knows best, always.


Sister: you were attacked. Alhumdilah you and your kids are okay. Was it a hate crime.. quite possibly.
Yes it was a hate crime. He pulled next to me and told me to "Go home you ******* arab" over and over while flipping the bird. I did nothing to provoke it. I was out on a nice drive with my children. He did this for more than 2 miles, and in the end he ran us off the road.


And make friends with us! We are good people and its not boring around here.
It's not everyone, but alot as I stated previously. I think that alot of the "born" muslims just feel they are better than us and do not want us reverts "intruding" on "their" religion. This is only what I personally have observed over the years. Alot of reverts I have spoken to feel exactly the same way. I do make friends, I do talk to people. I am outgoing and love being outside doing things. It's not like I sit inside and don't converse with people. Again, its not everyone. But most. There are still some good people around.

Jazak ALLAH for your reply.
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UmmFatima
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Quote UmmFatima Replybullet Posted: 13 July 2010 at 7:10am
Assalaamu alaykum

Sister, I too am a convert living in the West. I encounter many of the same problems as you, people staring, not talking to me, etc. I have a baby and husband but other than that I am totally alone, without even cultural Muslims around! Every day I have to think twice before putting on my hijab because it just doesn't seem normal here.

I agree with Hayfa in that Muslims won't treat you differently if you take off hijab, their issue is tribalism. It sounds to me like your community isn't really religious but more cultural. When I was going to a little mosque the women seemed to really respect me for coming to Islam, but then, i had to put my neck out and say salaam first and start conversation first because 1. they were uncomfortable speaking English and 2. they didn't know me. Once I introduced myself they were trying to get me to marry their relatives stuck in their homelands lol. Try introducng yourself, ask them where they're from, how old they are, what languages they speak. I think they'd be really friendly if you asked.

I don't know where you live but I have experienced, at least here in the Midwest, that a smile goes a long way. When I go grocery shopping and someone is staring at me I try to smile back. Usually they smile back and I feel like I've done good dawa. Of course if I get a dirty stare it's harder for me, but even then with a smile they can't stare at you long.

About the origins of hijab, it's not at all a cultural thing, unless you're talking about abaya or chador or burqa or the other regional Islamic womens dress. In fact, the covering of the head is just about a universal sign of feminine piety. The scholars who question the fundamental religious nature of hijab also question the authenticity of the Quran and sunna. That's not what I call reliable scholarship. The Arabs at the time of revelation didn't wear hijab as we see it today. They covered their hair sometimes and never their necks. The Quran commands women to take their scarves and wrap them over their chests. This is in reference to the scarves that were on their heads, and so it obviously means to cover hair and neck. This interpretation has been unquestioned by Islamic scholars for as long as Islam has been around. Sunni, Shia, Sufi, whatever all agree on this while other issues may be argued about all Muslims agree that hijab is required of a believing woman. You could make the same argument about the Kaaba, that the people of Arabia used to use that place to make pilgrimage and so it's an Arab thing and not applicable to us. Doesn't that sound silly? We know that Abraham (a) made the Kaaba as a house of worship for Allah and so we do too. We know that Allah made the hijab as a protection and honor for Muslim women and so we wear it.

On the other hand, I understand your frustration and even desperation about hijab. I swear this morning when I was about to go out I looked at my clothes before I put on my coat and hijab and thought I looked good, like it was pretty modest. Then I remembered Allah and put on my coat and hijab. It has to be for Allah. Then when I was in a parking lot I heard this guy's music in his car, it sounded like beeping noises and women moaning in a very provocative way. I was so glad I was wearing hijab as I was totally dissociated with him, his music, and his perverted view of women. I know hijab seems like a difficult thing at times, but it means so much. In the Muslim world most women put it on out of habit, or to get status, or to fit in. You and I have the unique opportunity to exclusively devote our hijab to Allah, since we know that there's no other reason to wear it here.

May Allah reward your for your patience and suffering.

احسب الناس ان يتركوا ان يقولوا امنا وهم لا يفتنون

Do the people think they will be left to say "We believe" and they won't be tried?

This is our trial, sister. Allah loves the patient ones.
“Our Lord! Grant us comfort in our spouses and descendants, and make us leaders of the God-fearing.” -Al-Furqan 74
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Quote Gibbs Replybullet Posted: 13 July 2010 at 8:40am
First let me apologize for my "gender intrusion" on this subject. I didn't realize that in the general forum clicking on the link brings you here. I read what your experiences were and felt compelled to write. I'm neither Muslim, nor a woman, but I do understand at least the feeling of isolation.

Most of the other ladies touched upon some crucial points that is, religious customs and ethnic customs. Assuming you live in the States wearing your hijab will always draw stares from non-muslims. This is a reality you must accept which you have quite obviously if you have done so for four years. If wearing hijab is apart of your faith then you must continue not for the sake of social acceptance but because its a principle you believe in.

As far as the stares coming from muslims apparently the environment you are in seems like an isolationist environment. Arab with Arab especially in a place of worship is counterproductive especially if muslims want to maintain the message that Islam is universal. However in their defense, there could be circumstances as to why they stick together. For one, they may not know good English. Two, if they do speak English but don't know you they may just be shy. Its one thing if its a few people but if its several or more then its a problem with them and not you and if you want to be socially inclusive then perhaps that is not the best environment.

I would definitely encourage you to continue to be who you are and wear your hijab.
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Edited by Gibbs - 13 July 2010 at 8:41am
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Quote martha Replybullet Posted: 13 July 2010 at 9:41am
Salaams SIster,

You raise a very interesting point here.
Like you and many others I reverted to Islam (7 years back). I knew little of Islam but wanted to do the right thing ..somehow it's even more important for a revert to get it right straight off.
So I did that. I felt comfortable, I was pleased with my efforts, but of course, like you, I had experiences not dissimilar to your own.
Within my own caucasian community I was shunned, called nasty names, spat at and life was unpleasant.
Moving to a multi-cultural area should have improved it...but it didn't. One day a black man shouted at me that God didn't want a white woman to be a muslim.
Back then it was very hurtful. The best way I have ever described it was that I felt like a refugee in my own country. (a lot happened...I lost my home too..all water under the bridge now)
ANd like other comments in previous posts, I stuck out like a sore thumb outside of my community. It can be very lonesome. Maybe I am right to say this, but asian women can feel intimidated by a white revert, though I don;t know why.

So, how did I handle it? I tried to understand as much about the hijab as possible. The Quran is not exactly clear is it. And Arabic culture back then probably meant arab woman covered their head anyway when outdoors. Men also did. So it would not have been a great change for these women. The only difference was that they wore it indoors also. This distinguished them apart from non-muslims. I am talking about the prophets wives here.(pbut)

I removed my hijab in 2005 after the London bombings. I had already struggling after the Beslan seige in Sept 2004. For me it was not a sign of being rebellious and I still practiced Islam. I did it to show others that I did not relate or join with those that support suicide bombings. Other muslimahs here in UK did the same.
I have heard it say somewhere that if a sister is in danger then removing the hijab is permitted. Many will agree or disagree with the subject of hijab.

There are many muslims in UK that don't wear hijab.

What I really want to say to you is that you must do what you feel comfortable with. I will not suggest you wear it or remove it. One very important issue here is that you have the freedom to make that decision. Many women of Islamic cultures do not. OThers, like in Pakistan or India, wear it more for culture rather than Islamic commitment. Sister, we are all different. Would removing hijab make you any less of a good muslim? Does wearing hijab mean you are a better practising muslim than another sister without? All these things perhaps you have already gone over in your mind. You have come here for clarification maybe, or perhaps you will pick up a sentence here or there that fits in with what you in fact have already concluded. Remember if there is no compulsion in religion then surely ALlah would not compel you to wear hijab? Show me where Allah has said that in the Quran.

Today, France has banned the wearing of the burka. It will affect only about 2 thousand women, most of whom are reverts. Imagine how they feel today.

Sister, do what is right for you. I did what was right for me and I am not unhappy about it at all.

Take care


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Quote UmmFatima Replybullet Posted: 13 July 2010 at 11:45am
Originally posted by martha

Remember if there is no compulsion in religion then surely ALlah would not compel you to wear hijab? Show me where Allah has said that in the Quran.


Dear sister Martha,

First I want to say that I respect you as a fellow Muslim and revert, but I just want to correct your above statement.

It is universally accepted (I mean by everyone who has studied the Quran thoroughly) that this ayah is in reference to those who are not Muslim. They are not to be forced to become Muslim. It doesn't mean that Islam is a religion without rules.




If you feel like your hijab poses a threat to your person of course you don't have to wear it. But if you're uncomfortable because of it and don't fit in then I personally, and I think most Muslims would agree with me, don't think that is justification to take it off.

Allah knows best.
“Our Lord! Grant us comfort in our spouses and descendants, and make us leaders of the God-fearing.” -Al-Furqan 74
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Quote martha Replybullet Posted: 14 July 2010 at 1:13am
Salam UmmFatima,

Thanks for your reply. I appreciate what you say about compulsion in religion and that it does not apply to the hijab.
But nowhere in the Quran does the term hijab apply to anyone else other than the Prophets wives(pbut). Then, they complained that they felt uncovered when men came to visit the prophet,(pbuh)and a curtain was put up so the men could not see them. This is how it originally started. Over time, with hadiths and so on, the hijab has evolved and information is unreliable.

I have no problem what any sister chooses to do. ANd you have taken it out of context when I said I felt uncomfortable weearing it. It did not feel physically uncomfortable at all. It looked rather beautiful tbh, but my heart told me something else. I did not and do not associate with any fundamentalist muslim, and it seems that the only women suicide bombers are veiled. It doesn't give the right impression to the rest of the world, so I disassociated myself from it. That was my choice and I will be judged by Allah and not anyone else.

Wearing hijab originally posed a threat to myself and my family and I lost my home and my children. That was before anything else that happened. I just tell it as it happened. You are new here and don;t know much of my circumstances, so that's ok in that sense.

You might think I sound rather cold with my reply today? BUt I am not, not at all. I just don't sugar coat everything and I relate stuff as it is.

I don;t trust hadiths so I rely on Quran only. Enough people have told me to be a proper muslim I have to rely on hadiths. I don;t agree. Hadith means 'hearsay', am I right? If there is any doubt then I don't use it.So I don;t follow hadiths. The Quran is true, I need nothing else other than my God. Hope you understand that sister.

Hope you are well sister.
Salams

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