UNCOVERED: Why More Women Are Taking Off Their Hijab

 

HIJAB

UNCOVERED! – Why More Women Are Taking Off Their Hijab
Posted on January 26, 2015 by Ink Of Faith

 

“Oh My GOD! You’re still wearing the veil! Congratulations!”

 

That’s the new greeting my friends and I share now. We joke about it, but coming to think of this newly disclosed trend, I suddenly realize it’s so NOT funny! Off the top of my head, I can name over twenty women who have removed their Hijab in the past year, and as one by one of my family and friends throw in their scarves, it gets harder to be amongst the few girls still standing.

 

This comes from nowhere near a high horse! I’m not here to judge or criticize. I know these ‘uncovered’ women. I love them and respect them and I’ve witnessed their struggles for years. I’ve seen them fight invisible battles before giving up, and if God didn’t give me the stamina and strength, perhaps I might have been one of them.

I make no condemnations, assumptions or speculations. I’m only here to unveil the truth shared by Muslim women brave and honest enough to explain why they took off their Hijab.

 

INSECURITY

 

Veiled women make the conscious decision to cover their beauty, and for the most part, feel like they’ve become unattractive in the process. It’s a feminine instinct to take pride in our looks. We go bankrupt buying anti-aging creams, designer outfits and high-heeled shoes because the way we present ourselves is part of who we are. We strive on compliments and hidden glances of admiration, and losing that makes us feel old, rejected or excluded. Deep down we all love attention and we all want to be noticed.

Letting down your hair and showing off the body you’ve been starving for the past month makes you feel powerful and sexy. It beats wrapping a scarf around your head and looking like Granma, doesn’t it?

Curvy, sensual, pouty, toned, with a full mane flowing around your perfectly made-up face…. Isn’t this the glamorous definition of beauty the media is slowly engraving in our minds?

 

Muslim women are taking off the Hijab because they have a suffocating need to ‘fit in’. They want to feel young and pretty and desirable. If uncovering themselves gets them the attention or the acceptance they yearn for, then that’s their choice, but does it really? All I know, me being a psychologist, is that self-confidence doesn’t derive from how others make you feel, but rather from how you feel about yourself, regardless what the rest of the world thinks. Confidence is the main source of attractiveness. I know veiled women who walk into the room and enthrall people with their elegance, and other women in provocative clothes who arouse disgust instead of splendor. If you think about it, covering up is actually the essence of confidence. I pray women would stop blaming Hijab for their insecurities, and develop the attitudes of ‘leaders’. We all seek admiration, and you would be lying to yourself if you disagree, but the question is, will you get that love if you displease your Lord?

 

The Prophet () said, “If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel saying, ‘Allah loves so and-so; O Gabriel! Love him.’ Gabriel would love him and make an announcement amongst the inhabitants of the Heaven. ‘Allah loves so-and-so, therefore you should love him also,’ and so all the inhabitants of the Heaven would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on the earth.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 6040)

 

DOUBT

 

Confession: I’ve been postponing writing this article for a while, fearing I wouldn’t be able to maintain my calm in this section, where we actually ‘DISCUSS’ and ‘PROVE’ whether Hijab is an Islamic obligation or not. Apparently, this is one of the reasons why Muslim women are taking off their headscarves. They doubt it’s a Quranic command to start with. Not only that, but they’re going around justifying and convincing others of their new ‘findings’. I’m sorry but I can’t help being horrified and a bit nauseated by this absurdness to be perfectly honest. Even my eleven-year-old daughter was appalled by the fabrication! She said, and I quote: “Like hello! Gag me with a spoon!”

Taking off the Hijab is between a woman and her Lord, but debating the clear requirement of it is between her and the rest of us Muslims! No one can force you to do something you’re not convinced of, but spreading that doubt and shaking the ground under other steadfast women isn’t something we can take lightly. I’m pleading with all the analytical, philosophical minds out there, keep your opinion of how you ‘choose’ to understand the Qur’an to yourself. Trust me, you don’t want to take responsibility for those who listen and follow. You don’t want to take other women down with you to feel better about your decision. We all have a huge load of sins to carry; we don’t need other people’s loads too! Ask Allah to guide you instead of guiding others away from Him.

 

 

Aisha (God be pleased with her) said: “May Allah have mercy on the early immigrant women. When the verse “That they should draw their veils (head covers) over their bosoms” was revealed, they tore their thick outer garments and made veils from them.“ (Sahih (Al-Albani)- Sunan Abi Dawud 4102)

 

 

 

FEAR

 

There’s a link today between the desire to get married and the decision to take off the headscarf. Women are starting to believe they’re out of the running if they’re veiled, because handsome, successful, rich Muslim men are looking for ‘hot babes’. Single women fear their lives would be doomed if they presented themselves as good, devout Muslim brides.

(Okay, I just heard someone slam the table and yell “OBJECTION”. I guess I hang out with too many lawyers LOL)

My apologies. Let me rephrase. Single women worry they’ll end up old and alone if they don’t step up and ‘flaunt’ what they’ve got. They think covering their beauty will slim down their chances of finding the ‘right’ guy. But where is the fear of attracting the wrong guy? The man who only cares about appearances and is embarrassed of his own religion? Isn’t ending up with a man like that worse than any other nightmare?

 

It’s not just single women; it’s the married ones too. Many husbands are making their wives’ lives miserable because they suddenly resent their veil. Instead of showering these women with love and compliments, they make them feel small and inadequate. I see beautiful veiled wives struggling every day, trying their best to look good for an outing with their husbands, hiding their tears and heartache of feeling like they’re not ‘good enough’. I’ve heard Islamic scholars advise some wives to take off their Hijab if their husband threaten them with divorce! This is as sad and shameful as it gets. The constant fear of being rejected or cast aside simply because you’re obeying God’s rules is beyond painful. Instead of taking pride in being modest and shielding their beauty like a precious gem, veiled wives are being emotionally blackmailed into taking off their Hijab to ‘save’ their marriage!

 

These are the battles happening in our Muslim homes, and I pray from the bottom of my heart for God to heal men’s hearts, and take the blindfolds off their eyes. Part of a man’s job is to protect his woman, make her feel loved and appreciated, and be possessive and jealous over her heart, soul and beauty. (Yes we find such men extremely charming by the way!)

 

 

 

FRUSTRATION

 

“It’s just not who I am!”

This is one of the common denominator for most uncovered women today. A woman innocently wraps a scarf around her head, eager to fulfill her obligation and please Allah, only to end up feeling like she’s becoming someone she’s not. Sometimes the aggravation of losing your identity or being stereotyped into a certain sector reaches a point of explosion. Let’s face it; some non-Muslims are losing sleep over their obsession with destroying Islam. It’s all carefully planned out and the poison is spreading subtly within us. Terrorists, narrow-minded, bigots, extremists, bombers… Aren’t these the labels many of us are constantly bombarded with nowadays?

The truth is, the frustration mostly arises from the lack of passion. A lot of Muslim women wear the headscarf for all the wrong reasons. Some of them were forced into it at a young age, and grew up detesting it. Others felt the need to dress up the part, not really pondering on why and how it affects them deep inside.

 

Like praying and giving charity and all the other beautiful Islamic practices that purify our souls, if you don’t let yourself fall in love with the act and the concept behind it, you’ll never find peace. Yes we seek love and appreciation, but it’s not through ‘fitting in’ that we will ever get what we are looking for. We need to live up to the teachings of our own religion, because even if the ‘wrong’ has become so normal, it still doesn’t make it ‘right’.

 

The Messenger of Allah () said: “Islam initiated as something strange, and it would revert to its (old position) of being strange. so good tidings for the stranger.” (Sahih Muslim 145)

 

 

Some of the lucky and blessed veiled women have made their Hijab part of who they are instead of what they’re not. The dress code blends in with their lives like a beautiful ray of light. They understand that the essence of Islam is acceptance, obedience and peaceful submission to the One and Only Creator. The struggle is subdued when they remember to take pride in being Allah’s slaves and in being representatives of Islam, not only through wearing a headscarf; but through kindness, compassion, modesty and humility. It’s not that piece of cloth they wrap around their heads that makes them better people; it’s the choice to stay on the right path, even if they have to do it alone. Allah looks at the heart, not the head cover. He looks at our intentions and the purity of our faith. Allah alone is the final Judge and that’s all that matters in the end.

 

To all the women who took off their Hijab because they couldn’t do it anymore… I ask your forgiveness if I have offended you in any way, and I pray you find the peace you are looking for… The kind of peace that brings you closer to the Most Merciful God….

 

To all the men who watch their women struggle day in and day out, I hope you’ll put that extra effort and time to show them your love and support, and make them feel special … The best husband is the one who makes his woman feel like the perfect wife…

 

And to all of the beautiful strangers, the true icons, the confident women who hold on to their faith and beliefs, and who still find peace in wearing the Hijab… I humbly applaud your strength and I pray God fills your lives with blessings and joy…

May you always shine….

And may we all see the light

Amen

Lilly S. Mohsen

 

14 thoughts on “UNCOVERED: Why More Women Are Taking Off Their Hijab

  1. Dalia

    Than u for the amazing article actually it is the I le one that I kept reading till the end about this issue (taking off Hijab)
    Am did wear Hijab after my mariage but not voluntary but coz my husband forced me to do it ! I kept convening my that I did the right thing and of course I know it’s the right thing but now after 8 years of Hijab am still struggling with it and I don’t like my self on hijab and I was like that the whole last 8 years !!
    Coz it was not my decision I know it’s my fault that I accepted to do it by force !!!!! I even told my husband few months a go that I want to take it off but made a big foss and and he told me if I chided to take it off he will divorce me and we have 2 kids !!!!!! So it ended up continuing wearing HIJAB and hating HIJAB & MY HUSBAND :((
    Am know in a very bad stage that I am not satisfied and relating everything to Hijab and happy with my husband am acting only happy for the kids and to avoid problems !
    As u said that lord look to our intention and heart and in my heart I don’t like hijab and I do t want it and I feel it is suffocating me ! Really don’t know what to do ?? My life is greeting me stable coz of somthing that should make me and my life better as u said!!
    Plz help me with ur advice as u are the only one I felt that I want to share my struggling with u ???thx a lot .

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    1. Asia

      Dear sister, I understand how you feel. 12 years ago I was in a similliar situation. I had recently got married and I was emotionally black mailed into wearing a hijab. I resented my husband for it. He held very little islamic values himself and I felt like he was a hypocrite. I wore the hijab for a few years but resented it. A few years went by where I did not wear hijab and husband accepted it.10 years later I took the step of wearing a hijab but for the right reasons. It is a command from my lord and I no longer wish to disobey him. I had become stronger in my faith. I had the confidence to stand up to the social problems one faces. Today, I wear the hijab and hibaya for the love of my creator, as islam is not a buffet, u can not pick and choose what commandments to follow. My suggestion is that you read about hijab in islam, further streathen your relation with Allah. Make a firm intention to wear hijab for the right reasons. How ever obeying your husband is very important for entry into jannah..mayb this may be the reason Allah gives you jannah… Allah knows best…. I hope and pray that it becomes easy for u…

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  2. lillymohsen Post author

    You must be really frustrated Dalia, I can’t imagine how hard this is. I know the psychological pressure of being forced into doing something. Sometimes even though you know it’s right, you just don’t wanna do it anymore. Now let’s look at your side: you said you understand that hijab is right. I wanna make sure we agree on that coz its a separate issue. Your struggle is that you’re starting not to like it coz it wasn’t your choice. Now it’s affecting your whole life, even your love for your husband. What about your husband’s side? He probably feels responsible coz he will be asked about your actions on the day of judgment, and doesn’t wanna carry this burden. Both your arguments are completely valid. As much as i wish I could make you feel better, I don’t see that either scenarios will help. You take it off and end up divorced, or you keep wearing it and remain hating it. Although I have talked to many women who took it off and they’re still not happy Dalia, trust me…. You will never be happy if you disobey Allah since you know hijab is an obligation. Submission gives us peace, no matter how hard the act is. Prophet Ibrahim was thrown in the fire and asked to kill his own son! He never got frustrated and said “I’m not convinced God I feel forced!” No… His love for God made him totally submit. I know we are not prophets, but if you’re looking for inner peace, you won’t find it in “hate” you’ll find it in “love”… Talk to your husband softly and explain your frustration…. Maybe he will understand and make you feel better. And in the end it’s your life, being happy and being miserable take the same amount of effort… It’s us who choose the path to take.
    Okay I talk a lot hhhhh. I hope my words helped and if you need to discuss your feelings or problem I’m here for you… Email me if you like to keep it private. Till then I hope God gives you the peace you need, and fills your life with happiness and joy as He brings you closer to Him 🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kirani1912

    Lily, I have a feeling that most of people who do not want to follow Allah’s way are those who do not really knows Allah. They cannot feel His existence as the teaching that they received does not establish their foundation of Tawheed. Rasulullah took so many years to establish this believe among Arabs before started with other teachings.

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    1. lillymohsen Post author

      You are so right Kirani… Thank you! This is exactly what we need to start with. The basics! It’s beautiful how you have such a blessed and lenient understand of Islam. Thanks again for your wonderful comment and advice.

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  4. Nur

    Asalam Alaikum. Subhanallah I was contemplating not wearing the veil anymore when Allah swt guided me to your article. Jazakallah khair what a wonderful reminder it was for my soul. I pray that Allah swt always guides me and all my muslim brothers and sisters towards the straight path and may my insincere desires of this world be washed away by my sincere desire to please my Creator. Allahumma Ameen. Thanks so much for this article Dearest Lilly.

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  5. lillymohsen Post author

    You are so lucky Nur mashAllah. I think people who get such direct messages from God are very blessed and very special to the One and Only Lord. May you find joy and peace in pleasing Him….

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  6. Sama

    You just know how to say the right things in just the right way! Amazing writing Ma shaa Allah,really impressed! Keep up the good work,we need more writers like you! JazakAllahu Khair for the article! 🙂

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  7. M

    I just came across your article and it really sums up the struggle im going through at the moment!
    I have been wearing the hijab since I was 8 years old but during my period at unversity I have been wearing it less frequently and am now considering taking it off altogether when I leave and start a new job. I try and justify it to myself saying I will wear it again once I get married but only god knows what will happen in the future!

    My reasons for taking it off, well they may seem trivial to everyone else but are real issues for me.
    1. I feel like a different person when I have the scarf on. People look at and treat you differently when you wear the hijab as it is a public declaration that you are a Muslim. Dont get me wrong I am proud to be a muslim alhamdulilah but I live in a pretty non-muslim part of the UK where you stand out like a sore thumb! And myself, I feel I have to act in a different way, more respectful, more conservative as I dont wish to disrespect the hijab. I feels as if im not as fun or cant have the same fun as my muslim non-hijabi friends. I dont know….

    2.I dont look as good looking in the scarf as i do without. Yes, I know looks are superficial and maybe i need to have more confidence in myself but it is a daily issue for many young women and only natural to want to be admired etc.

    3. Marriage: wearing a scarf puts alot of men off because they think you are extremely religious and therefore cannot approach you. I understand that is one of the reasons we wear the hijab, to protect us from the glares of men but as you get older and nearer to the time of marriage, it actually creates problems!

    4. I dont want to disrespect the hijab: As a ‘part-time’ hijabi I feel like I am disrespecting Islam by wearing it in this manner and you actually get a lot of slack off fellow muslim sisters. In my heart I believe that even wearing it a little is better than not wearing it at all as you are not committing sin during that period but I feel that I should either wear it full time or not at all.

    I think thats most of the things I am thinking about and considering at the moment. I just prays god gives me the strength to make the correct decision.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lillymohsen Post author

      I was very touched by your comment M
      This sums up all the reasons the women I interviewed gave me. And yes I understand that Hijab is becoming a big struggle for many women today.
      You sound like a lovely, honest and pure woman (I’m a psychologist and I’m trained to read people through their words. I feel like I’m a hacker sometimes lol) So in my heart I know Allah will not leave you sad or confused. Ask Him and He will guide you…
      And although many might disagree, I think wearing the hijab part-time is better than nothing (it’s just my personal opinion. I’m not a scholar or anything)
      Wishing you all the peace, love and joy in the world. May Allah guide us and bless us all….

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  8. msmudhut

    Loved a lot of bits that I could relate to. Wearing a hijab for me was a very liberating experience. I immediately felt dignified and true to myself. Alhamdulillah.

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