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thetwooceans

Hijab and Self Esteem

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Salaam everyone,

I'm a hijab-weaing muslimah living in the West. I was discussing this with a colleague who was saying that girls, specifically hijabis, encounter more difficulties in society than others. By society, I mean the general population. We are judged the moment people see the scarf on our heads. I don't know if it is my perception of myself in front of others, or if it's a general trend that people assume that hijabis are voiceless, powerless and weak. I personally know people get surprised when they find out I like sports, or I watch The Office. It's as if I'm not allowed to be a normal person?

I feel alienated sometimes, and I don't know if this is my own doing, or if it's because I am made to feel alienated. Do people make you feel like you are different, or is it our own perception of ourselves? Would love to hear some thoughts. 

 

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I've been wearing hijab in the United States since I was 8 and now I'm almost 24. My mom actually never asked me to put it on,and I was the one who told her I wanted to do it. 

I honestly don't think most people think we're powerless and weak. I mean I've never been approached about that being their perception except for when I'm online. But I do think we are judged, but we are not the only one's who get judged by our appearance in our society, so it doesn't bother me much at this point. I do think people may avoid hijabis because they are unsure about us, but getting to know others definitely helps clear up misconceptions. But I usually don't mind not being approached by people because I'm an introvert. 

As for your question about whether other people make me feel different or if my perception of myself makes me feel different... I would say both. When you're a hijabi, most of the time you aren't hit on by guys, and the people who do try to get to know you are open minded people, so you're experience is going to be different than the average woman here. BUT no one goes through life the same anyways. And I feel like I'm different because I perceive it as such. My characteristics are different from most people, even my own family. So, even though I enjoy "normal" things, even if I wasn't a hijabi, I would still consider myself different than others in terms of personality, interests, etc. 

All in all, I think we need to focus on the benefits of hijab,. The personal benefits of hijab to me is that it helps me be humble about my appearance, it helps hide my insecurities, I spend less time worrying how I look/getting ready, and it's a feminist statement for me as well because I live in a society obsessed with sexualizing women and squishing them into very specific molds.

I've also reached a point in my life, that I don't care too much about what strangers think about me, or people that I'm not close with. I'm happy with who I am, and I don't think it's worth worrying about the fact that I don't fit in all the time.

It's taken me a lot of struggle in high school ad middle school to get to this personal understanding regarding hijab though, but I'm glad I learned from it. 

 

Edited by Shala14

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Dear sisters: People say women are weak and passive, but trust me, I and most of us men out there respect you and are in awe of your bravery.

No one of us among men is strong minded enough to wear the attire of the Prophet S, I mean how many of us have you seen out in the middle of Manhattan with Aba' and Ammama.

But you sisters, many of you have the mind power of proverbial steel mashAllah, because many of you are proudly wearing the attire of Hz. Zainab AS and go by the society as if you have nothing to be fearful of.

Salawat for all of you brave Hijabis.

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I agree, the benefits outweigh everything else. I'm not saying I feel uncomfortable in it, it's a part of me now and I would never go without it. It's a daily reminder of the values that I aim at, modesty, respect, etc. Hijab is the flag of Islam, and I'm proud to wear that symbol. 

I'm just irritated at how we are perceived, but I think we can do something to help that. I think our duty is simply to be human, do good, forbid evil and let people observe the qualities that can come from Muslim women. I think we can change societies perception by being more active in our communities, and eventually that perception can be changed.

Just my 2 cents. 

 

 

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salam,

i just always have anxiety when my mother goes out wearing a hijab. Even though, i know it is gods command and is mention in the quran for woman to wear hijab and guys to lower their gaze. But, when you are living in a society of kuffars, and terrorists attacks are growing in the west. The westerners look suspiciously at our sisters who wear hijabs, whom  are specially prone to any sort of attacks.

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12 hours ago, thetwooceans said:

Salaam everyone,

I'm a hijab-weaing muslimah living in the West. I was discussing this with a colleague who was saying that girls, specifically hijabis, encounter more difficulties in society than others. By society, I mean the general population. We are judged the moment people see the scarf on our heads. I don't know if it is my perception of myself in front of others, or if it's a general trend that people assume that hijabis are voiceless, powerless and weak. I personally know people get surprised when they find out I like sports, or I watch The Office. It's as if I'm not allowed to be a normal person?

I feel alienated sometimes, and I don't know if this is my own doing, or if it's because I am made to feel alienated. Do people make you feel like you are different, or is it our own perception of ourselves? Would love to hear some thoughts. 

 

Hijab best information share for this post.

Nice post

Thanks.

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Salam

Sisters do not forget time, place and people you are dealing with are important factors. If you go to places like Arabia, Afganistan, Pakistan in any era (time), in areas other than metropolitan cities, Hijab only will not be sufficient. You would require an armoured Burqa to protect yourself from the dirty eyes of men in those countries. 

In North America it is different in most areas. You can walk without even Hijab unless you walk into immigrant communities compose of migrant Muslims and non Muslims. They will judge you even without knowing a bit about you.

Modesty does not require Hijab. It is in your attitude and modest dressing without Hijab. If every Muslim men follow Quran and respect women, then Hijab is not required even in Muslim countries.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Caliguy said:

salam,

i just always have anxiety when my mother goes out wearing a hijab. Even though, i know it is gods command and is mention in the quran for woman to wear hijab and guys to lower their gaze. But, when you are living in a society of kuffars, and terrorists attacks are growing in the west. The westerners look suspiciously at our sisters who wear hijabs, whom  are specially prone to any sort of attacks.

Honestly, I never fear like I'm in danger when I wear hijab in the U.S. So I would not worry over it too much. I just avoid going out alone walking at night, but many non-hijabi/non-muslim women do that too. 

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16 minutes ago, TheLoneStar said:

Salam

Sisters do not forget time, place and people you are dealing with are important factors. If you go to places like Arabia, Afganistan, Pakistan in any era (time), in areas other than metropolitan cities, Hijab only will not be sufficient. You would require an armoured Burqa to protect yourself from the dirty eyes of men in those countries. 

In North America it is different in most areas. You can walk without even Hijab unless you walk into immigrant communities compose of migrant Muslims and non Muslims. They will judge you even without knowing a bit about you.

Modesty does not require Hijab. It is in your attitude and modest dressing without Hijab. If every Muslim men follow Quran and respect women, then Hijab is not required even in Muslim countries.

 

 

Hijab is required for women in Islam, but just because you think it isn't required doesn't make it true.

But I do believe woman should not be forced to wear hijab if they don't want to, and reversely women should not be forced to take off their hijab. But I do agree that the majority of men in most societies do not respect women. Women should be respected whether they wear hijab or not. We are all humans. 

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6 hours ago, Shala14 said:

Hijab is required for women in Islam, but just because you think it isn't required doesn't make it true.

But I do believe woman should not be forced to wear hijab if they don't want to, and reversely women should not be forced to take off their hijab. But I do agree that the majority of men in most societies do not respect women. Women should be respected whether they wear hijab or not. We are all humans. 

Quran describes Allah's messages in two tones; one is absolute tone and other is suggestive tone. Absolute tone is a must and suggestive tone is subject to interpretation on basis of time and situation. Hijab is described in suggestive terms with explanation "so they won annoy you". Suggestive tone gives flexibility.

Besides it is a fact that there are countries where Hijab is useless and is not applicable. In those countries you need an armoured Bourqa, in those countries.

I prefer to respect all women Muslims or non-Muslims.

 

Edited by TheLoneStar
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19 hours ago, Caliguy said:

salam,

i just always have anxiety when my mother goes out wearing a hijab. Even though, i know it is gods command and is mention in the quran for woman to wear hijab and guys to lower their gaze. But, when you are living in a society of kuffars, and terrorists attacks are growing in the west. The westerners look suspiciously at our sisters who wear hijabs, whom  are specially prone to any sort of attacks.

I see where you are coming from, there have been reports of attacks to Muslim women wearing the headscarf but these events are thankfully rare. I've been called a towelhead before by some people, but thats the worst I've got. 

 

9 hours ago, TheLoneStar said:

Salam

Sisters do not forget time, place and people you are dealing with are important factors. If you go to places like Arabia, Afganistan, Pakistan in any era (time), in areas other than metropolitan cities, Hijab only will not be sufficient. You would require an armoured Burqa to protect yourself from the dirty eyes of men in those countries. 

In North America it is different in most areas. You can walk without even Hijab unless you walk into immigrant communities compose of migrant Muslims and non Muslims. They will judge you even without knowing a bit about you.

Modesty does not require Hijab. It is in your attitude and modest dressing without Hijab. If every Muslim men follow Quran and respect women, then Hijab is not required even in Muslim countries.

 

 

This asks the question whether or not hijab is relative to your environment. I disagree with cultural impositions held by different societies, wether they expect women to dress in little clothing or full clothing. I don't think one should follow what culture or society tells women what to wear, but women should make their own choices into what they are comfortable in  wearing. Hijab is hijab no matter where you go. Ideally, I would like to wear my regular hijab outfits to Saudi Arabia but I know that just isn't possible. So I would wear my abaya. I guess we do have to adjust, but not to extremes, like the armored burqa you mentioned. I think the men there should learn to lower their gaze.

I'm not going to get into whether or not Hijab is required, because I don't really know much about the suggestibility or flexibility of verses you mentioned. I just know that hijab is a practice of the ahlulbayt and if we strive to be like them, then hijab is included in the picture. Modesty is both internal and external. They are both equally important. 

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there is no doubt that hijab is compulsory and is part of islamic law, but how many sisters actually consider loosing garments. When they put on hijabs, half of the sisters who wear hijabs wear tight clothing and put on make up. For many hijab is just a fashion statement to stand out. Personally covering and wearing loose garment is as much important, with hijab.

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You sound as though you've done statistical research on hijabis in the West, Caliguy lol. Part of respecting women is respecting their decision of what they wear. Muslim men need to stop giving their opinion on the the hijab, lack of hijab, or what they deem to be the "improper" hijab of women, especially if they have no relation to those women. I think "improper" hijab is better than no hijab at all. And "improper" hijab is relative anyways, for some niqab is "proper" hijab, for others an abaya is "proper" hijab, etc. We can't and won't be able to satisfy everyone. Muslims and non-muslims BOTH enjoy telling hijabis what to wear and how it wear it. Let hijabis decide for themselves. At the end of the day, everyone will be accountable for their own actions. 

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8 hours ago, TheLoneStar said:

Quran describes Allah's messages in two tones; one is absolute tone and other is suggestive tone. Absolute tone is a must and suggestive tone is subject to interpretation on basis of time and situation. Hijab is described in suggestive terms with explanation "so they won annoy you". Suggestive tone gives flexibility.

Besides it is a fact that there are countries where Hijab is useless and is not applicable. In those countries you need an armoured Bourqa, in those countries.

I prefer to respect all women Muslims or non-Muslims.

 

Hijab is applicable wherever you go as a muslim woman who makes the commitment to wear hijab. Hijab does not become useless and not applicable suddenly when you go into a different country or society. Hijab does not put me in danger, nor does it annoy me, or cause me problems. You might think that Western men are more respecting towards women, but there are still many that will cat call even hijabi women believe it or not, and I know this from experience. And like I mentioned before, hijab for me is more than just covering my body from non-mahram men. 

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