Friday, February 25, 2005

Why the hijab makes perfect sense

Many girls feel that it is some sort of impediment to wear a headscarf (hijab) and that by wearing it they would reinforce the image of the oppressed muslim woman, that somehow NOT wearing it gives the image of a more modern progressive liberal woman who has rebelled against backward social norms. So u might not get into a nightclub with it on, or pull as many guys, but here I offer a few advantages, other than the fact that it is a religious obligation in Islam:

Ok so those were just the benefits of the bit of cloth on ur head. I would also add that how you carry yourself, your style, your presence, your charisma, your elegance are also as important for the image. The combination of all of these leads to the optimal solution.

The scarf is part of my identity. I’ve been wearing it since I was nine. Its not an issue. In fact, its not even something I give a second thought in the mornings. No thats a lie, I do take approximately 30 seconds to decide which colour matches my outfit. In my personal experience, being a 'mit7ajba' has only ever been a positive force of good in my life.

Posted by BB @ 2/25/2005 10:59:00 PM

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I just couldn't help leaving my comments re a topic like this -

1) "So u might not get into a nightclub with it on, or pull as many guys"

I haven't been to all the night clubs in Bahrain, but to the most that i've gone to, the bouncers at the door say nothin' if u wanna go in with a hijab. That doesn't mean that i've seen girls who dance with a hijab on.

Secondly, there's this newly-opened spot at Gulf Gate Hotel - its a kinda' hip hop club where DJ Outlaw usually plays at and i've seen chicks with hijabs on :-) - pretty awesome ones at that too!

2) "90% of heat escapes from your head, wearing a headscarf really does keep you warm in winter"

that might be quite true but my firends who wear hijabs = always complain that its so hot n the summer. Given that you see more of a hotter climate in Bahrain, i'd have to agree with them.

3) "Style- people look at it as a fashion accessory. I personally own over 200 scarves…I keep throwing some out but a continuous supply enters the wardrobe since it makes a popular gift".

I'm being honest here when i say "I AGREE WITH Bahrania". Actually, i'm totally attracted to those who wear hijabs - no, it doesn't mean i'm not to others who do not, however, the hijab or whoever's wearing the head scarf - kinda' gves off a mysterious feeling - something i enjoy very much.

4) "Versatility- a million and one ways in which you can wear a scarf, so there is scope for creativity. The way it is worn sends out many signals. "

I hear you! I see there are some ladies who even do it bedouin-style - which is really smashing! and others in college who wear a hijab just for the sake of wearing one and then you have the head scarf falling apart every 3 minutes - but hey i'm not the one to judge anyone else. i like the way people tie up their hijab - its fascinating!

5)"Wrinkles around the neck are best covered up using a headscarf even though most people don't know that you’re not even obliged to wear it after 50."

What's that supposed to mean? ie - once a lady passes the 50th age mark, she could take it off? WOW! This is some great info - i mean there's loads of women i know who are 50 but look younger - and hey if they dun need to wear a hijab - thats great! But how do i tell them its ok to take it off? - hmmmm.... i gotta' work on those take-it-off lines.

6) "Protection- against 80% of lustful perverts"

Again i gotta' agree with u - even guys aren't even thos some of them wear their white/red head gear (getra)

Thanks for the interesting article Bahrania! I wish someone had written about this ages ago - i always wanted to hear it from the view point of someone who 'emjoyed' wearing a 'hijab'.

Posted by Blogger Angelo Embuldeniya (Strav) @ 2/26/2005 12:42:00 AM #

i'm re-writing the 6th point cos i re-read it and it doesn't make senese so here goes:

6) "Protection- against 80% of lustful perverts"

Again i gotta' agree with u - even guys aren't save, although some of them wear their white/red head gear (getra)

Posted by Blogger Angelo Embuldeniya (Strav) @ 2/26/2005 12:45:00 AM #

Just yesterday i was thinking on writing about the Head Scarf - guess u beat me to it...

*al thinking new topic ;)*

a question u always get asked (me anyway)"so long is ur hair then?"

Posted by Blogger Preternatural_aL @ 2/26/2005 07:33:00 AM #

Strav- you reminded me, I think a better justification for a hijab in your case is that, your hair gets less oily, so u don't need to wash it as often, hence saving a lot of money on shampoo! eh...good one huh...i knew u'd like it ;)

Al- when i get asked that, I say, "last time I looked it was shoulder-length, its probably down to my waist now"

The point I was trying to make was that it is not worth making this whole 'covering up' thing such a big deal. There is a plus side too!

Posted by Blogger Bahrania @ 2/26/2005 05:19:00 PM #

I think one of the main problems facing girls in western societies is that they conform to the society by dressing and acting as the member of the society. All people judge one by the way they look and dress. But why should a Muslim girl let others judge her by her outer personality? I think Hijab lets a girl to be who she is and not what the society wants her to be. Sure, every girl wants to fit in, but wearing Hijab does not mean she cannot be in style. I agree with Bahrainia that a girl can buy all different appropriate cloths and the head garments come in. Verities of colours and designs, so instead of different hair style they have different head garments. But how can you manage over 200 scarves? I own about 50 – 70 ties and I find it really hard (although exciting) to pick one in the morning because there is always more than one that fit with my shirt.

An advantage that I would like to add is that Hijab is a way to show your religious dedication, some will learn to like to and respect you, but there are the occasional that will not. I find that showing religious dedication is an approach for the people to learn more about the muslims including the rules. They learn that we do not do certain things. Peer pressure, in this case becomes less of an issue. If they know we are not allowed to drink, they might offer a few times but once they realize we will not, they stop asking. If they know we do not ‘go out’ (as in boyfriend and girlfriend) they do not ask or pressure you to. These little minor things to us can create a lifelong of protection (especially for a girl).

Hijab help girls to conduct thier lives in modesty. I believe that simplicity is a person’s most valuable beauty. . The hijab cuts down on competition among girls. How many people in the West sacrifice financial savings and health in order to have plastic surgery - in a desperate attempt to meet up to an unrealistic standard of beauty. In islam, girls are appreciated for their knowledge, piety and contribution to society.. When girls wear hijab one finds that the most beautiful girls are not necessarily the most popular. Rather, a girl is assessed for her mind, and not just superficial physical traits.

And finally this is a funny statement I heard from someone trying to convince people to be muslims in Hide Park ages ago. He said that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) told ladies to wear hijab because he saw one of his wives flirting with another man :P

Posted by Blogger Bahraini by nature @ 2/26/2005 09:23:00 PM #

Well said bahrania, as good as always.. I've been a long time reader to your blog.. first time writer though.. ur doing good gurl.. keep it up!

Yet I would like to add another point to what you brought up:

Convenience: No more tiring hairdos! No need to blowdry after a morning shower! And if combined with a 3abaya, you don’t even have to bother thinking whether or not you wore this top last week!!

It’s just unfair, us guys get to struggle all morning to shave and look neat and clean, get a tie around our necks like we are some… high class noble members of the aristocracy from the 15th century, while.. all a girl has to do nowadays is to wash up, put the hijab and abaya on and.. hop in the car and hit the highway…!! as if thats not enough! they have a good excuse for being lousy drivers too!!

Posted by Blogger moodZ @ 2/27/2005 01:38:00 PM #

I dont want to add fuel to the fire but guess what:
I strongly believe that ALL the men of Bahrain should cover themselves with the hijab.
If we cannot be civilised enough to accept or even ignore opinion, I think we should cover ourselves with shame.

Posted by Blogger SillyBahrainiGirl @ 3/01/2005 09:12:00 AM #

SillyBahrainiGirl said...

"I dont want to add fuel to the fire but guess what:
I strongly believe that ALL the men of Bahrain should cover themselves with the hijab. "

Why not? :D - i think if we throw in the abaya [long back thingy] it would be great a s well! -

what better way to check out the chicks in Bahrain than thru the technique suggested by SBG - way to go & keep it up!

Posted by Blogger Angelo Embuldeniya (Strav) @ 3/12/2005 03:22:00 PM #

You describe wearing a hijab as a 'religious obligation'. I find this curious since there is nothing in the Quran that supports this view. Muslim women are expected to dress modestly, not to cover their hair.

There is a hadith which provides some support for this view, but it is widely viewed as being of dubious accuracy, not something which someone should base ones understanding of our religion on.

The hijab or burkah are infact a middle eastern tradition, that has been widely adopted by the islamic world, and you should see your obligation to wear it in that context.

Posted by Anonymous Muslim Brother @ 8/04/2005 12:02:00 PM #

Dear Brother,

Although I have stopped blogging, I will make an exception in responding to you're comment.

I don't except entering into a theological debate on the issue of hijab and its definition, as this isn't something I can do in a few lines. All islamic scholars agree on the concept of hijab and that includes the covering of hair. The fact that there isn't an explicit verse in the Quran on the 'form' that hijab takes is irrelevant. For me it is enough to see how the wives and the daughter of the prophet conducted and dressed themselves. Whether that is 'tradition' or an ancient arabian culture, the Quran did come in support of this dress in addressing the wives and muslim women in general.

This does not mean that I do not encourage the theological debate. If you can take the argument, further and deeper and use the epistomological tools in ur research to refute the 'hijab' then by all means go ahead. But a flippant comment like 'where does it say in the Quran blah blah' isn't a strong enough argument to reject a 1400 year old tradition.

cheers. Bahrania

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