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aliyah21

Taking Off The Hijab

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Let's say someone close to you is deciding - after years of wearing the hijab - that she doesn't want to anymore. She justifies her decision by saying that it makes you a target for unneeded racism and hatred in this country, creates barriers for you later in life such as restricting your chances of getting a professional job, etc. But you personally believe that there's more to it; that she's taking off the hijab because she wants to be more fashionable and westernized. Other than the obvious narrations about wearing hijab, what would you say to her to convince her that she's making the wrong choices? 

Edited by aliyah21

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Assuming such things are happening, and her concerns are real, it would be more appropriate to make Hijra (migrate) to another location where you are not facing persecution on account of your religion than openly disobeying Allah and committing sin because obeying Him is either inconvenient or brings about discrimination. If I was in her position and had the means, I'd like to think I would relocate. But I'm neither a women nor someone experiencing these sorts of issues.

 

First you can show her that her concerns shes giving you are not valid (less you, too, believe otherwise). Give examples of yourself, perhaps, or other members of society who are successful but wear Hijab and arent facing issues. If you then can confirm her issues are not about being targeted but she is just making these excuses to justify removing hijab, then I'm not able to offer much help. I think some of the sisters here would be able to help much more than I could in this regard. 

 

Sure, some people will say things but all members of society from differnt racial and religious backgrounds will face some form discrimination as well. Part of the package deal of being a Muslim is you face difficulties. 

 

 

Do the people think that on their [mere] saying, "We have attained to faith", they will be left to themselves, and will not be put to a test? Yea, indeed, We did test those who lived before them; and so, [too, shall be tested the people now living: and] most certainly will God mark out those who prove themselves true, and most certainly will He mark out those who are lying. [29:2-3]

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I remember once my dad was talking about something like that, how now days some Muslim girls that live in Western countries want to take their hijab off, & that became a problem to so many families having their daughters want to take their hijab off & be able to do what they want without having it on & live their life.

 

My dads friend, was in a situation like that, were his daughters were getting worse in Islam, & one of them was about to do the same, my father advised him to take his daughters & move to a Muslim country, or a place were a hijab is a must, different environment, everything is just different & will be different, even if you were to find a job, you can easily find any job whilst being able to have your hijab on & nothing could happen, but his friend was saying that his daughters will not get use to it, & they basically want to work/study here, my fathers response was, that he better do something about it, before he loses everything & lose his daughters & their reputation, people will lose all their respect towards them if people were to see that their daughters are now like that, they will most likely look at their parents & blame it on them for not knowing how to their job.

 

So then my dad's friend, took his daughters & went & lived in a Muslim country, now they're all good & nothing from what was gonna happen, happened, they still have their hijab on & living happily, alhamdulilah.

 

But about the girl you are talking about, i don't the story, whether she lives with her parents or not, whatever the case is, she has to think twice before she does something, or before she takes her hijab off, because that's a big step leading herself to not a good thing even if she thinks it's good, & if she was to ever put it back on again, she won't be the same girl as she is now, & people won't see her the same as they see her now.

 

Moving to a Muslim country might not be a choice for her or her family (if she lives with them), but you could always find a way to stop it from happening, if you try.

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Thank you everyone for replying. 

 

If relocating was an option at this point, it may have helped her situation but that's not possible right now... She's kind of always been a fashionable person, she always wears makeup and likes to dress up whenever she goes out, which is fine. That's her choice. But she started wearing hijab because her parents wanted her to, it wasn't out her own choice, and she's been starting to resent that because it "hinders" her appearance. 

 

We've all tried telling her that wearing hijab is not a hindrance. I'm muhajjabe and I've gotten different jobs including working at a bank, etc. Alhamdulillah, and so have several of her friends. We've tried explaining to her that it's in her favour if people don't hire her because of her religion (I mean, why would someone want to work for a prejudiced employer like that in the first place?), but she always comes up with excuses. 

 

I feel like her school friends have been a bad influence on her as well...  Some of her friends saw a picture of her hair and keep telling her how nice she looks "without that thing on her head" and showed it to a guy who said the same thing  :unsure:  

 

It's not one thing that's making her feel this way; it seems like it's a build up of several factors that's pulling her towards this decision. It's so frustrating because we're giving her all these reasons why she should keep wearing hijab and she just keeps coming up with excuses. No good can come out of it; there are so many girls we know who took off the hijab (for these exact reasons) and have regretted it, but those arguments seem to fall on deaf ears. Her family is at a loss of what to do :( 

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your friend suffers from low self esteem and derives esteem from comments regarding her external appearance. Therefore, the path she is choosing is based on how she is perceived by other people, which in term means, that hijab is non issue, because the person will suffer similar internal consequences if they were to suffer poverty, - lack of materialism to avoid neglect. This is similar to good looking people who would look appropriate with modest clothing, yet express their insecurities by dressing inappropriately, but define it as freedom.

 

You mentioned the word regret, could you explain why you think this would lead to incorrect decisions and regret apart from breaking a religious law?.

 

If you cannot explain this to her rationally, such as observing a personality and behavioral change during a period of a year, such as, engaging in behavior that is not according to the islamic creed. That could be used as evidence against her, to show her real intent as apposed to the original expression of intent.

 

My comment should be void, if there is a real threat to living.

Edited by monad

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Notme, you're probably right. I'd just hate to see her make the wrong decisions and regret it later on if there was something I could have said or done to help her.

Just be a good, supportive friend.

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Salaam sister,

I would say.. Wearing the hijab in the West, no doubt, is quite a challenge for some women. Since your friend starting wearing the hijab because she was told to by her parents, then she really hasn't gotten the meaning of why she wears it. If right now, she takes a break from the hijab.. and later(inshaAllah) returns to it because she felt like putting it back on because she knew why she wore it, IMO, is much better. But taking off the hijab in the first place is a big step.. If I were you.. I would suggest her to really see who and why she wore it in the first place.. And its not always easy to be a hijabi living in the West.. but if she's trying to 'fit in' with her friends.. just let her know that it won't make things any better if she takes off her hijab. Just explain to her how she can honestly never please people.. and she shouldn't even be trying to. But then again.. it's her choice at the end of the day and all you can do is give her some advice and be supportive. InshaAllah she chooses the right decision. 

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First you can show her that her concerns shes giving you are not valid (less you, too, believe otherwise). Give examples of yourself, perhaps, or other members of society who are successful but wear Hijab and arent facing issues. If you then can confirm her issues are not about being targeted but she is just making these excuses to justify removing hijab, then I'm not able to offer much help. I think some of the sisters here would be able to help much more than I could in this regard. 

 

 

I agree that the OP should speak to her friend and encourage her to keep her hijab but I strongly disagree with going about it in the above manner. When someone is facing difficulties, the worst possible thing you can do is dismiss their concerns as not valid. Telling someone their concerns are not valid comes off as smug and condescending. In doing so, you're basically ensuring that they never approach you with anything again. 

 

From what the OP describes, her friend was quite vague about her reasons for wanting to take off her hijab and as such, the OP cannot know for certain what her friend's reasons for this are. For all the OP knows, her friend may have experienced an incident of prejudice/racism that really bothered and shook her. If this is the case (and it may not be, we don't know), telling her that her concerns are not valid comes across not only as condescending but terribly callous and mean spirited. We should remember that people aren't always forthcoming when something is bothering or upsetting them, so there may be more to it than the OP knows.

 

I thinking giving examples of people who wear hijab and aren't facing issues is rather pointless as well. What the OP or other people are or aren't facing has no bearing on the her friend's experience. People's experiences are different, even when living in the same area. Just because other people aren't facing experiencing any issues while wearing hijab, it doesn't mean that the OP's friend isn't. When you're ill and not feeling well, it doesn't exactly do you any good to hear that other people aren't ill and are feeling well.

 

Personally, I think it would be better for the OP to talk to her friend in a calm, understanding, and non-preachy manner. She should ask her friend what is bothering her to the point of wanting to take off her hijab and listen to what her friend's concerns actually are and, in a tactful and supportive manner, try to address her concerns.

Edited by alina92

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Personally, I think it would be better for the OP to talk to her friend in a calm, understanding, and non-preachy manner. She should ask her friend what is bothering her to the point of wanting to take off her hijab and listen to what her friend's concerns actually are and, in a tactful and supportive manner, try to address her concerns.

I think this should be done too, just listening to her could help her in some ways and then there is no need to state the obvious so I don't think she should be told that Hijab is good and should be worn, she knows that but is going against it so it would be best to not judge her or pressure her into something against her will rather let her come to agreement by her own thinking.

 

After all our experiences, views and characteristics are different.

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this is a difficult one. I think women like this need a mentality change. 

Hijab does hide beauty and for some women, seeing others being complimented while they're ignored hurts, knowing that they could outdo the other. However this is a shallow way of thinking and is exactly why the hijab is necessary. We shouldn't compete over limited things like appearance (genetics), but rather compete to develop ourselves spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Although many hijabis compete with another even with the hijab on. Many are also still judged on physical appearance. Suppose this is why plastic surgery rates are high in Iran. 

 

At times it's a little different. Wearing the hijab in the west, makes you much more approachable by muslim men and a bull's eye target for discrimination from others. This can leave you feeling vulnerable and alone.

 

What makes it worse, muslim women rarely help another out. Many rather gossip about trivial things, like the hijabi girl who laughed too loudly or wore too much make up. Sometimes it feels like muslim women who wear the hijab are not carrying a light scarf around their head but a large boulder across their backs. Every minute action can and mostly is judged. Being free of that, is comforting. Only, without these "judgements" you don't reflect on yourself as much and don't work to improve yourself. It could easily lead to more sinning. 

 

So I do understand why a women would want to take off the hijab. 

 

Your friend is on a journey, just like you and I. If she needs to take off the hijab to realise something, let her be. If God wills, she'll return to the true path. This is not your problem. As her friend, you can only advise her and help trigger a change in her mentality. Though change takes time, not days or weeks, but months or even years! Be blunt and tell her your thoughts. But don't make her feel attacked. Be kind and gentle with your words. Reassure her you mean to help and would support her either way. Be with her every step of the way and maybe you'll find a window to pull her back to a stronger submission to her Lord. 

 

I thought I might mention, taking off the hijab does not mean she's any less of a muslim. I believe it doesn't take away or add from iman. It's a little like a tool that helps you build a stronger iman :)

Regardless, your lord made it obligatory so you should practice it. Whether you do or don't, that's your free choice. 

Edited by Username95

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It's very sad when Muslim women go through this, I personally can't imagine what must be going on in their heads to even consider this idea. I mean I know all the things they say and their excuses but it is honestly nothing more than preferring to please people. I'm just not sure how they get to conclude and be so sure that their lives will be better without it because undoubtedly they may be attracting hypocrite people who would like them without hijab than with with hijab, it is like putting a mask on and try to fit among people that will judge you otherwise.

 

Anyway, this action emanates from within, from shaky faith, that is the root, so it should be taken care of from within. People with those thoughts start believing that you don't have to wear hijab to be good, I mean we all know that, we all know there are women with no hijab that are better than some with hijab etc... but that is not the point at all. The point is that if you really fear Allah swt you can't live a life of servitude to people and worry about what they think of you because then life becomes a nightmare...all that talk about hijab hindering your career, and being a target of racism is complete weak argument that again, emanates from weakness within. Life should be a path to progress and strengthening ourselves and by her removing the hijab, all she is doing is entering a fake comfort zone that will give her nothing but detriment to her soul due to all the consequences of living that lifestyle.

 

InshAllah women that have these types of thoughts can go sit by themselves and do a self assessment to figure out if they really prefer the life of this world. 

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I sometimes wonder if I was a woman, what I would do.  Are we complicating something simple here?  What's holding people back?  Even though I ask, deep down within ourselves, we all know.  There is weakness, doubt, insecurity, fear, and anxiety.  We feed on it, and will do anything that we feel assuages it, including not wearing it. 

 

We hate looking into our own souls, so why wear something that allows others to see our souls as well (since hijab has the effect of exposing and amplifying its visibility).  It's a desire to create a false harmony and conformity.  Everyone else is superficial, so I'll be superficial.  Everyone finds these things funny, so I find it funny.  These things are worthy of discussion, this brand of coffee is the best, and it just goes on.  Nobody wants to be "different".   It's wanting to fit into a dominant culture. 

 

Some hijabis themselves are victims of the same mentality.  They just replace one culture of conformity for another.  Now its hijab colors, designs, etc.  I'm sure there's many unwritten codes, and the feeling of not wanting to be "different" either. 

Edited by magma

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I sometimes wonder if I was a woman, what I would do.  Are we complicating something simple here?  What's holding people back?  Even though I ask, deep down within ourselves, we all know.  There is weakness, doubt, insecurity, fear, and anxiety.  We feed on it, and will do anything that we feel assuages it, including not wearing it. 

 

We hate looking into our own souls, so why wear something that allows others to see our souls as well (since hijab has the effect of exposing and amplifying its visibility).  It's a desire to create a false harmony and conformity.  Everyone else is superficial, so I'll be superficial.  Everyone finds these things funny, so I find it funny.  These things are worthy of discussion, this brand of coffee is the best, and it just goes on.  Nobody wants to be "different".   It's wanting to fit into a dominant culture. 

 

Some hijabis themselves are victims of the same mentality.  They just replace one culture of conformity for another.  Now its hijab colors, designs, etc.  I'm sure there's many unwritten codes, and the feeling of not wanting to be "different" either. 

 

These days you say some very wise things. The green seems to be doing you good :P

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Let's say someone close to you is deciding - after years of wearing the hijab - that she doesn't want to anymore. She justifies her decision by saying that it makes you a target for unneeded racism and hatred in this country, creates barriers for you later in life such as restricting your chances of getting a professional job, etc. But you personally believe that there's more to it; that she's taking off the hijab because she wants to be more fashionable and westernized. Other than the obvious narrations about wearing hijab, what would you say to her to convince her that she's making the wrong choices? 

I have experienced this exact situation recently actually. My good friend (who is also a convert) recently decided to stop wearing the hijab (she hasn't been a convert for too long though). And while, obviously it is best to tell the sister (though she already knows this) that Allah swt has decreed women to wear the scarf; this may unfortunately do nothing.  Honestly, I haven't scolded her for it because I know she is well aware that it is in the Qur'an.  Most of her reasons are because she hates the backbiting other sisters and brothers do, commenting on the "correctness" of a woman's hijab; she does not feel "good" enough for the scarf.  This very much hurts me because no woman should ever feel she is not good enough for the scarf.  We differ on how we converted, however.  I took almost a year to "fully" (shahadah) convert; and I worked my way up to the hijab: I started wearing no short/short skirts, long sleeves, tying my hair back, covering most of my hair with a headband.  I also learned to pray first, and even fasted before my shahadah.  I was a sort of one foot in the pool sort of convert.  She spoke to me a few days prior to converting on how she was thinking of converting. Unfortunately, she visited a sisters house and essentially this sister's husband said "convert you might die tomorrow!" She converted right then and there.  Now there isn't a "perfect" way one has to go about converting, but I feel when you are scared into Islam, that is generally not a good sign.  At this time, she was also getting information on Islam from a rather conservative brother (he is a good man, but he is Saudi and generally pretty conservative). She wore the hijab very quickly after her conversion.  The problem is (and she told me this) she never really enjoyed wearing the hijab; it always felt like something she "had" to do, rather than wanted to do.  Personally, I love the hijab, so I always make sure I speak on the greatness of the hijab in front of her.  Also, her reasoning behind the hijab was separate from the idea that we do so because of Allah s.w.t. She perceived the hijab as a sort of "statement" against female objectification; which, I mean, is also another good reason, but this should not be the foundation.  She considers herself a feminist as well.  

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