The Me & My Hijaab Blog- Why People Stay Away

17 Dec

Many a time I’ve heard or felt that sisters do not want to get involved with Me & My Hijaab because of some of the following reasons:

  1. They don’t wear the hijaab and think that we will judge / force them to wear it.
  2. They are not practising or not as practising as they think we are and again, think that we will judge them.
  3. They are of the belief that some Muslim women are obsessed with the hijaab or that we put too much emphasis on it.

Firstly, let me give you abit of background.

We started up Me & My Hijaab to create a central place where sisters can talk about why they started wearing the hijaab. This was to encourage sisters who were scared to wear it, to show non-Muslims that there are many Muslim women who choose to wear it, and to show both Muslims and non-Muslims who are sceptical about the Islamic dress of a woman.

We wanted to educate both Muslims and non-Muslims about the eclectic Muslim woman, to show that we are different but often have the same goals at heart. To show that we have different fears, personalities, loves. That we are not robots.

Furthermore, we wanted to discuss the reality of hijaab. Is it just a pashmina wrapped around the head? Is it an entire outfit? Is there such thing as inner hijaab? What responsibilities come with wearing the hijaab? Why are Muslim women who wear the hijaab and those who don’t treated differently? Do we not all have the same responsibilities as Muslim women, despite what we wear?

Me & My Hijaab soon became something more. As well as hijaab, we express our other passions: Sisterhood, Youth and female empowerment through faith, creativity and education, fundraising, getting closer to God, Hijaab from the point of view of non-Muslims and Muslim men, and bettering the community for all- which is how Me & My Community was ‘born’.

Our slogan sums us up well: Faith in Community: For those who live with faith and those who have faith in reviving their commUNITY. We are for those who have faith (hence the hijaab encompassing all different aspects as faith and not just being outer or physical) and also for those who believe we can revive and unite our community. The unease that people have with the name of the blog, or the assumptions that are made, are influenced by narrow definitions of hijaab, such as “Head Covering.” A hijaab doesn’t define a Muslim woman, but it plays a fairly big part in their lives as a Muslim woman, after all, it is something that most sisters feel most anxious about. We believe that hijaab, with regards to the Muslim woman and the Muslim man, represents more than a head covering or a way of dress, although we know that it is an obligation to dress in a certain way. It refers to the manners of the Muslim, the courtesy and respect we have towards the opposite sex, the way we carry ourselves in society, our desire to be recognised as a Muslim and to not be objectified as a sexual object.

Within the blog- we try to stay away from debates pertaining to the correct way to wear a hijaab. Is a turban correct or not? Are there particular colours we should wear? And so on. We don’t think we need to discuss it. We have defined from the Quran what hijaab is on the blog, but we know that everyone goes through different processes of outer hijaab and that our sisters are intelligent, thinking beings. We don’t need to patronize anyone.

We speak on sisterhood and manners, and we believe that no one should be judged or looked at negatively because they do not observe the hijaab. Many of us started wearing it later on in life so we understand the fears and struggles. No-one is born with hijaab or piety. It breaks my heart to know that some sisters shy away from us because they think they are not practising enough or because they don’t wear the hijaab, when our main objective is to bring people together.

In response to the obsession with hijaab that many sisters are accused of having: We believe that it needs to be emphasised and spoken about. It is constantly judged and stereotyped, so if we don’t keep speaking about it- we leave uneducated Muslims and non-Muslims to speak for us? To educate everyone else about the hijaab? No. Let us speak about it. Yes, the hijaab is only part of the journey, but unfortunately it is a part of the journey that is most scrutinised.

I think that the problem is more to do with why the hijaab is being emphasised and not that it is being emphasised in general.  If the hijaab is being spoken about in order to make others feel bad, in order to judge and criticise, in order to give the impression that it is the be all and end all of faith- then yes, we should shut up about the hijaab. That is not what we are about, in any way, shape or form. We don’t judge or pressure.

BUT– if it being spoken about in order to educate, to show why we wear it, to encourage, to make people think differently- then YES- keep talking about it.

The bottom line is that we are sisters. We are here for eachother. End of story. The bigger picture is that we need to revive our community and make it a better place for Muslims and non-Muslims. And we need your help. We celebrate the hijaab and modesty in a time when so many women are pressured to show skin.

We want the world to recognise that the hijaab is a choice of most Muslim women. But we also want to show the world our beautiful sisterhood despite what we wear. That we can all be productive members of society and we can all better ourselves Islamically and otherwise.

Please get to know us. Together we can make changes to how others see us, how we see eachother, and our relationship with God.

Peace.

Zara

Click here to read more about Zara

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