Sunday, July 12, 2009

Muslim Couples Evoke Anger on Sight?

Anne on Burkas: "As an American woman, I’ve thought often about burqas and the women under the tent. In a rather dramatic scene at JFK a decade ago, my partner escorted me from the waiting room, because I was besides myself in anger, watching a Muslim woman suffer in 100-degree heat, while her husband sat next to her in Western dress, and a sleeveless shirt."

-taken from http://www.anneofcarversville.com/journal/2009/6/28/while-the-world-debates-burqas-fashion-designers-show-beauti.html

PIXIE: I personally usually wear long loose robes, sometimes more Western clothing like long skirts and loose fitting tops formulated to flow away from my body like long loose robes, a headscarf that drapes over my chest, and a face veil (if I can). I carry girly accessories, like bags, bracelets, rings, brooches... for style, because hey, I'm a woman, I like pretty things, I like to be individual on occasion... but I prefer to keep my sensuality, or full on formality, on the down lo, in public places.

I want my sexiness out for my man (who I love, and am attracted to, and who deserves me by being a hopeless romantic and honest and noble beyond reproach), but not men who I want nothing from but respect and help in society. I want my good hair days for my girlfriends, lol, I want to show them my blonde highlights, and new lipgloss, and pretty dresses. I don't want to get promoted for that, or have clients like me for that. I want my best clothes out for my family, who won't envy my fortune or beauty, and my parents, who certainly won't feel less as people, if I can afford Chanel, and they can't. I don't want to be all flash in public, making those who have less than me, feel less. I want to be judged for who I am (that IS my beliefs, my ideals, my intelligence, and courage, and paitence) not my facial expressions.

Yes, sometimes I wear a facial veil and loose fitting robe (which isn't hot compared to a baby tee and skinny jeans:D) when my husband stands beside me in a jeans and a t shirt. I am far braver than he is, that is the simple fact. I am willing to not just wear what I have to in the religion, but what is best to as well. If someone attacts me for wearing what I wear, well I believe my Creator had a purpose for that. My husband on the other hand, struggles with the have to of his own hijab (Muslim men are required to have beards if it is possible for them to grow one and to work with one the way I am to wear my jilbab), and I'd love to see him where a white robe and head wrap [because it is recommended for men to do so]. But then, I dress to please God, and care not what men think about me.

When I start to wear my niqab full-time, my husband will still be wearing jeans and a t-shirt, lol. I'll love him anyway, and he'll love me anyway, even if I make his life harder. He doesn't want, on the day of judgement, my Creator to look at him, and say it was his fault that I didn't do something I was supposed to do, so he won't tell me not to wear niqab, even if he thinks it is mustahaab, rather than fard.

As a Muslim woman, on the day of judgement, I won't care about my husband either, I'll only care for myself, and I'll stand there, and believe I'll have more reward (God-willing) at least in terms of clothing, than my husband will, should we both die at this point. InshaAllah, I need more time. I want to pray more on this earth before I leave it. I haven't been a Muslim for the whole of my life, and have alot of salat to catch up on.

But it is hard for him, to even have me dress in my clothes MY way, let alone wear such clothes of our religion as are required of him, because people see a suppression in my clothing, and blame it on him, and I see it as a freedom and a right for me. I love my clothes. My husband, certainly, does not see them as beautiful in terms of a physical impression, but as members of the same religion, he admires my bravery, and I hope, I inspire in him, some like-strength.

I am happy I have a husband who is modest in his gaze (he does not look on other women besides me except for the purpose of recognition) and hope he someday has the bravery to wear the clothes and the beard as well (but for him, he is allergic to his beard so I've never pressed that fard obligation). But in my religion (Islam) women have always been had the appearence of looking braver when it comes to representing Islam directly and pubically: the first Muslim follower of the Prophet Mohammed sallalahu alahi wa saaam brave enough to follow him, was a woman named Khadijah (and HE looked to HER for strength). The first martyr in Islam was a woman, named Sumaiyah. When the early Muslim men and this woman were being persecuted by their own tribe for their new-found faith, and tortured by having hot metal pressed against their bodies, all of the men said they gave up their religion. Sumaiyah did not, and would not, and was speared to death by her torturer because she would not do so. Maybe, like me, she was more stubborn than she was strong, but she would not lie and give up a truth that she believed in. And in a battle, where their harrassors came to wipe them out, when many Muslim men dropped their weapons and abandoned the Prophet Mohammed, and fled in confusion, a woman named Umm Imara picked up their abandoned weapons, and defended the Prophet during the Battle of Uhud after the Muslims were defeated. Umar ibn al-Khattab said "I heard the Prophet (PBUH) saying ‘On the day of Uhud, I never looked right or left without seeing Umm Imara fighting to defend me.’" And she was not a woman alone, so also picked up the abadoned weapons and fought, Nusaiba Bint Kaab and the Prophet praised her fighting by saying "Never did I look right or left but she was there defending me and fighting before me."

When you see a woman in a face veil, and her husband in jeans and a t-shirt, know that she might just be the braver of the two. She is not afraid to a be a Muslim, when the world tells her not to be. She is not afraid to say I am free in these clothes when the world tells her she is imprisoned and hot under them.

I have worn a face veil, and have worn stilletto shoes. Both are an expression of my femininty, both are a choice, and both have different meanings and purposes in my life. While you could argue the veil is uncomfortable (it can be for my husband, when everyone glares at him when I walk beside him), I can say, so are the shoes (lol, and the shoes more so). Both are part of me. What I want. Who I want to be. When, and where, I want to be what I am. Saudi Arabia can try and ban the stilletto. And France can try and ban the niqab. But a woman's choice is her freedom, is it not?

I'm a tough girl. My female heroes range from Sumaiya, Khadijah, Aisha, Nusaiba, and Um Imara, to Eowyn from Lord of the Rings, the Ventian Courtesan Veronica Franco, and Rosa Parks. They couldn't ban the heel in Saudi. They can't ban the "burka" in France. Like I said, I'll just wear a bridal veil by Mr. John Paul Gaultier:D and cut out a hole for the eyes:P Tres chique. Peace be upon you. -Love Pixie

21 comments:

Precious Muslimah said...

LOL I clicked on the link, skimmed through the text,and decided to read the comments....All I can say is wow u gave her enough info to think about for a couple of days.I have a ? though, I thought I heard of either an ayat or a hadith concerning the covering of the eyes (either 1 or both eyes) saying that you should (maybe it was in tafsir IDK) please tell me if u know of this.

Pixie said...

Precious Muslimah: Aisha R.A covered all but one eye to see the way one certain occasions. Never both eyes:P And it is in alot of tasfer, so you are correct. But all of the companions were of the opinion that the eyes were what is "apparent of".

NiDa said...

As'salam Aleykum,

Lovely post pixie darling. Those are the exact women we should aspire to, know of and appreciate - try to emulate! SubhanAllah, indeed Allah has given us great examples, strong women, modest women, and above all God fearing women who will do anything for Islam. Those are the women, in whose shoes id love to walk in.
Simply amazing!

Laura said...

as salamu aleiklum dear.

Mashallah, you found so nice words to express what we are feeling!!!
Many people assume that we are ashamed about our body and try to hide it... but the opposite is true, our beauty is to precious and expensive to share it with people that don't deserve to see it.

take care and ma salamah.
;)

Sarah Plain And Short said...

Pixie...welcome to America. I was once accused of 'dressing' like Osama while at work by a customer...guess what I was wearing? Black pants, a long sleeve shirt and a black scarf. LOL yeah...lets just say i don't miss it out there.

Umm Muhammad said...

Assalamu alaikum

Great Post! Insha'allah we all can emulate those noble women. I'm quite blessed my husband always wears a thobe and kufi, he definetly gets more stares:)

Gidds said...

Thank you for this wonderful food-for-thought. Sometimes it is hard for secular American women like me to tell when a Muslim woman is brave, modest, pious, and free and when she is under the influence/control of male relatives who might be mis-using the ideas Islam to further their personal agenda. I think it is wonderful when women like you choose the veil because it is what you know is right for your religion and want or when families encourage their daughters but I also know some women are forced to veil, and are otherwise abuse.
I think women like me are more likely to think of them first when we see a couple like that. In North America do you think most of the veiled women we see are like you or who are forced?
I think your answer to this question will help your non-Muslim readers get over their misconceptions.
Thank you again!

Umm Ibrahim said...

I think that women is a stupid dork. First off why was she getting "angry" over a women in a Niqab and abayah? Why does she assume she was sweating to death in 100f heat. People like that annoy me, I dispise them. They think they know how someone else feels. Nothing irks me more than having some no brained dorkbutt tell me I must be hot. I love then gettin in their face and giving them a nice good fabrics lesson and explaining how actually loose garments in lightweight material is actually cooler than the lycra-fied tank top and jeans they have on.

*rolls eyes*...

I love how shes talking about how her "partner" had to escort her out of there because she was so angry over something. Um, yeah...welcome to the world matie...not everyone is JUST LIKE YOU! I'm sure that women in niqab was equally angry that some half-witted waste of life found their manner of dressing offensive!

*harumph*

Pixie said...

Um Ibrihim: actually, she is alot more tolerant that that---in the whole article, I just took a part...:D

Om Rawda said...

I wish i married someone more pious than myself ..... i feel like you someitmes wishing to have married a man who can push me forward instead of trying to make him take baby steps..and u r so right , when a woman is religious , no one can stop her or deter her determination.

Coffee Catholic said...

"I was besides myself in anger, watching a Muslim woman suffer in 100-degree heat,..."

The "liberated" West is full of wanna-be heroes. "Liberated" women here behave as if anyone that is different then themselves is looking to be RESCUED.

Did this Muslim woman **ask** for your anger? Did she request that you become so childishly upset that you had to be removed from the lounge by your boyfriend?

Did she **say** that she was suffering in the heat? Was she whinking to you, begging for your pity? And why was it 100 degrees inside of the airport, especially JFK airport?

What this chicky needs to do is revert to the old fashioned ideal of MINDING YOUR OWN BUSINESS. Unless someone asks for your help and concern, don't go around shoving it in people's faces!!

(Maybe the Muslim woman was more angry about YOU being out and about with your **Partner**!! Ever think of that?)

Coffee Catholic said...

"I was once accused of 'dressing' like Osama while at work by a customer..."

Wuh...?!

One day, shortly after the attacks of 9/11, there was an apparently "arab man" walking down a street in North Pole, Alaska.

My friend was working at the police station there and she recieved a frantic, panicked call: "WE'RE UNDER ATTACK BY TERRORISTS!!!!"

An "arab man" (not even confirmed...) walks down the street and the local populace panicks.

As winter set upon us I resumed wearing my hat and then long shayla scarf wrapped around my head and across my face whenever I walked outside. (I revelled in these small chances to wear niqab!) I got so many threats screamed at me from red necks speeding past in their pickup trucks!!! Even wearing winter gear in the dead of winter IN ALASKA made you a target of Muslim-o-phobia!!

See why I didn't dare wear hijab in Alaska??? I bummed around in baggy jeans and baggy men's t-shirts and tried to, uh, not be noticed. It was too dangerous otherwise.

Coffee Catholic said...

I went to that website and here is a small part of what I wrote in my comment:

Your question can also be turned on its head: "How does one actually know that the woman photographed above actully enjoys her life under that **short skirt and plunging neckline shirt**? How do we determine who has chosen willingly and who is being severely pressured by society to don such clothing?"

Yes, indeed! Here in the West all that I hear endlessly coming out of the mouths of my fellow women is self-hatred. "I'm so fat! I'm so fat! I'm soooo ugly and fat!" They walk about **liberated** from long skirts and head coverings (not but 50 years ago, we women in the West covered our heads as well) and they go about everywhere with the freedom to expose thighs and breasts to the scorching heat instead of covering under a "tent"... and yet, how many of these women radiate the sheer joy that they were promised if they threw off modest clothing? HAH! That in and of itself is worthy of its own article. Have you written one or do you just become enraged at the sight of Muslim women in modest clothing?

NoortheNinjabi said...

Salaam Alykom wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

MashaAllah sister, this was amazing. JazakaAllah khairun!

Majda said...

To Gidds: All the ones I know do it by choice. They may have a bit of societal pressure but no more than a girl in high school feels the pressure to buy the most trendy cut of jeans.

To be perfectly honest with you, many of them are pressured by their families NOT to wear it.

Sarah Plain And Short said...

pixie, i'm building a post off of this topic hope you dont mind :) and call me sometime, we should hang out again inshaAllah

Pixie said...

Gidds: It is more often than not, that a woman is not allowed to wear niqab by her family, than she is forced to. Only in Afghan/Pakistan and parts of Saudi is there a cultural influence for a woman to do so. In the West, I hae to say I've never met a woman who was forced to wear it, though I have met women who told me their famileies/husbands wouldn't let them/would reject them if they did. That is my situation. My husband won't reject me, alhamdulilah, but he'll worry alot more about me.

Maryam said...

Mashallah, what a fantastic post :-) Allah bless you, you have such a well intentioned heart! I don't wear a face veil so far because my husband is putting too much pressure on me to wear it!! I know that sounds silly, but it makes me stressed and I feel like if I wear it, it's because I was under pressure, not because it was my choice. The daft thing is, I'm pretty sure if there wasn't so much pressure on me to wear it, and I was left to think about it for myself, I really think I'd be considering wearing it by now. Reading posts like yours makes me feel better, but I need to get my husband to zip his lip for a while so I can feel like I'm thinking for myself! :-)

However, in all other respects I dress as modestly as possible, and that's my choice and I love it. Before I was a muslim, wearing anything revealing only made me feel utterly self-concious - it this too tight? Is my cellulite showing? Are my thighs wobbling? Is my bra showing? Do I look like a tart? Am I overdressed or underdressed? Are my saddlebags that obvious? Does this top make my boobs a weird shape? etc etc etc... and I would start comparing myself to all the pretty thin girls around and not feel good enough.

Now I wear abayas and long loose flowing clothes and I feel elegant and beautiful. I never have to worry about my hair, and keeping my eyes away from men or anything haram makes me feel tremendously free and happy! When I see pretty girls wearing revealing clothes, I just feel a bit sorry for them because A) they're not muslim and B) they're probably feeling as self-concious as I used to. And seeing beautiful muslimas, niqab or no niqab, just makes my heart warm and I want to smile and say mashllah - no jealousy at all hamdulillah!

Our beauty is in our modesty, because it comes from purity, and it is a blessing from Allah.

Pixie said...

Maryam: do you live in the Gulf? If not, I will be totally surprised if not, unless your husband is an Imam or something:D Cuz I've never heard of a man asking his wife to wear niqab for any other reason but cultural (in the Gulf---so sh egets harrassed les sor passes for a local), or he knows the Islamic evidence for it and explains it in detail lol while a sister makes up her mind.

Maryam said...

No I don't live in the Gulf :-) actually I live in Wales LOL

But my husband is very devout mashallah - and he attends a Saudi-run mosque so I think some Saudi influence has rubbed off on him! There are actually quite a lot of sisters here in the capital who wear niqab, the large majority are reverts married to arab men... and I think some of the other brothers see that the wives of these men are wearing niqab and they think their own wives ought to do so too. My hubby's only trying to look after my deen, but he's darn insistent! I tell him to be patient and focus more on what my heart is wearing, rather than what my face is wearing ;-)

But if I lived in the Gulf I think I'd wear niqab, the hassle some siters get out there from men is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Pixe,

As salaamaualaikum warahmatuaallah!

Mashaallah this post is great!! Sadly alot of people do feel this way but as i always say "it is what it is"

I actually Know alot of women who wear the niqab being forced by their husbands but this example is so off putting its sad. They need to know for them selves islam that nothing can be forced with out purity in the heart to WANT to do these things :)

But i know alottttt of women who wear the niqab, as i myself used too i stopped for work and school, and i pray to allah i see the day where i can wear it again freely and not feel uncomfortable as i once did. But i loved it and i still love the niqb and i loook up to niqabis, and i myself am trying to get back in it soon inshaallah (make du'a for me inshaallah :)) but the majority of the women i know love their niqabs alhumdulilah, theres even in the state of philly here... subanaallah i wont judge all, but the niqab is so huge there that non muslim women wear it, even the non muslim men walking around mocking the Salaf (sunnah) wearing big beards and cutting there pants calling it the "salafi style" like its a trend!! subanaallah

Maryam:

Inshaallah allah will open your heart too it at your own time!! :), (ameen) but let me tell u, in the middle east men there hastle the women even WITH niqab. i lived in egypt and i got followed by pervs thinking i was a prostitute because alot of the prositutes there wear it, also in saudi i whitnessed a prostitue open her abaya and close it, and hop in the car with a man!! so pervs will be pervs wallah, id say take a bread stick in the local souqs and throw it at his head!! :D (make sure its hard) lol

-memo