Hijab: Pride and Freedom NOT Oppression

Hijabi at the beach
photo credit: me. ‘girl in hijab’

All over the world Muslim women from all walks of life choose to follow the religion of Allah and obey His command of the hijab

In doing so she is not only expressing her faith but her strength that one can only gain from submitting their will to the Creator of the heavens and the earth.

By donning the correct hijab she expresses her confidence in her choice to live a life undeterred by and often opposed to the ever changing trends of modern society.

I say correct hijab because yes, the hijab itself has requirements just like the salah and fasting have requirements in order for them to be valid. This in itself is only some of the knowledge of the way of Muslim life that is required for women especially to know. Without this knowledge we may find ourselves falling short or falling victim to peer pressure to make our hijab more trendy and ‘fit in’ .

Conditions of hijab

When we don’t understand these principles of why we wear the hijab and how to do it properly it’s easy to believe the stereotypes that are perpetuated. We may start to believe that it’s something to ‘hold us back’ from having a ‘life’, whether it’s getting an education, job or even a husband.

We should not allow ourselves to be brainwashed into thinking that we need to be liberated from anyone. Allah has already done that. If He commanded us to wear the hijab then how is it possible for there to be any other clothing that will benefit us? Don’t you believe that Allah knows what is best for us sister?

It saddens me when Muslim women who have abandoned hijab claim that hijab is a form of male oppression over women. Hijab has never been about that, not at the time of revelation and not now.

Allah told us to wear the hijab so that we would be recognised as Muslim women and not molested. Wearing the correct hijab is a sign from Allah. A statement that says: “yes I am a Muslim woman and this is my identity and way of living”. A symbol of Muslim pride that takes courage to wear.

Those of us Muslim women who choose to follow our faith and implement it to the best of our ability understand the blessing of hijab. Whatever the challenges that we may face in wearing it is nothing compared to the satisfaction we feel knowing that it is from Allah’s Mercy on us that we wear it with consciousness of Him. In Islam this is called sweetness of faith.

If we are struggling to wear the hijab it is no doubt because of the societal pressures that have told us what it means when you look like a Muslim woman. There are far too many negative connotations with hijab that have been ingrained into the minds of people in not only non Muslim countries but also Muslim lands.

So how did we get to this point in time when we see part of our religious identity as male oppression when in fact the reverse is true?

When the French came to Algeria and saw the Muslim women wearing the full hijab with face veil they were angry that they could not have free looks at those women they considered lesser human beings and their slaves. They would force the women to uncover, make them work in brothels as prostitutes and even pay their husbands to force the women to uncover.

And this is just one example. History in fact shows us many more. Removal of clothing does not equal freedom in any sense.

So when was it that the freedom or pride of women came to be expressed by her removing her clothes instead of putting them on? In the 60's when everyone was becoming so called sexually liberated while at the same time Muslim women in Algeria were being sexually abused by French soldiers?

Can someone tell me please what on earth does sex have to do with liberation?

Sleeping with every and several human beings does not increase our intelligence as human beings. Nor is it a positive contribution to society. It is purely fulfilling carnal and selfish desires that many of us wish we had not succumbed to later on when we think with clarity.

I would argue that in our society today more of us are in fact damaged by some of our sexual experiences rather than liberated because of them. Whether self inflicted or as the result of someone else many of us carry mental scars relating to varying types of sexual abuse. That’s really sad to think about.

As enjoyable as sex may (or may not be) for some it is one our most base desires that we were created with as human beings. In Islam it comes with rules. Rules which if adhered to can make it something of a spiritual experience and wholesomely fulfilling as a way to express love between husband and wife. This is for the betterment of not just the couple involved but the protection of the whole of society.

Islam is a holistic religion that not only focuses on the well-being of the individual and whats good for them but the collective society. We do not sacrifice a whole community for the temporary whims of one individual. Islam teaches us that in life every action has consequences good or bad.

Islam gives us a way of life which has been decreed by the One who created our life- Allah. He has set the standards and the boundaries and if we follow them we will have the highest standards of living and values in this life and a reward even greater in the next insha Allah.

The Niqabi Diaries is a podcast dedicated to sharing the stories of the Muslim women who have experience wearing the face veil.

Our experiences,

Our perspectives,

Our voices

Listen here.

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The Niqabi Diaries

The Niqabi Diaries Blog. All things niqab and other subjects related to Muslim women. Our Experiences, Our Perspectives, Our Choices.