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18) List: Hijab Pros and Cons

By umber76


I don't have to do my hair

When my stylist butchers my hair, it is not as much of a tragedy

It keeps my ears warm when it is cold

I can wear all those low-cut blouses that are in and use my hijab to cover up

I don't have to worry who I'm flashing when I bend over

I'm always appropriately attired for prayer

Random people say "salaam" to me

I have a lot of hijabs (would be a shame to waste them)

Slimey guys never hit on me or check me out (but the cute ones don't either! :-P)

I never have to deal with inappropriate attention at work (which can be very uncomfortable)

People don't swear around me

I can clean my glasses with it (my glasses are perpetually dirty and I usually wear soft cotton/knit hijabs)

It reminds me to be a better person and inspires me to live up to it

It is a form of dawah/political activism

If I feel ugly, I can blame it on my hijab

I never have to blend my make-up onto my neck -- you know how some women's faces look like they belong on a different body?..especially in pictures..

It keeps me from making too many compromises with my wardrobe -- I'm careful about skirt length, pant length, sleeve length, showing my chest, etc.

It kinda suits me -- or so I've been told

I wear it well -- I'm don't look sloppy and I usually keep it in place


It is hot

I feel as attractive as a middle-aged Eastern European woman -- except without the tree trunk legs

I induce guilt in everyone around me

I can't wear my necklaces or earrings.

I am perceived as either the perfect angel or a close-minded mulani about to spew religious dogma

When I'm with another hijabi and a guy, I feel like I need to wear a T-shirt saying "I'm not the other wife."

My mom worries I'll end up marrying a guy who will never let me leave the house

It makes trying on clothes in stores really annoying -- one more thing to take on and off

I miss my neck and collarbones

The collars of my shirts get covered up

It makes it harder to hear in a very noisy place -- and I've never been good at lip reading either

Guys "respect" me too much to talk to me normally.

I always have hijab head (you know, like hat head)

I hate having the stubborn fly-away hairs from underneath hijab

On windy days I have to worry about both my skirt and my hijab

I am always an object of curiosity

   Comments: 44     Raters: 13     January 26, 2004 at 1:58am         


The opinions expressed in this journal are of the author and not necessarily of Naseeb.

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  Comments on this journal

umber76 (November 8, 2004 at 7:29am)
MissDixon (June 8, 2004 at 6:57pm)
Can I just say that: I wear hijab because I read the Qur'an and Hadith and feel that Allah tells women to cover their head (i.e. head coverings) but, I don't make other people feel uncomfortable for feeling the opposite of me. And, I also wanna say that I did wear a low cut (well, keyhole cut at the bosom) top today that hid my Victoria's Secret-enhanced cleavage very well. :)
umber76 (May 23, 2004 at 9:59pm)
Salaams Ummati, thanks for the feedback... yes..it is true.. but I guess, I was never convinced hijab was fardh..and without that conviction...I didn't have what it took to keep me going..the biggest reason I wore it was *for* other people in the first place -- as social activism.. to show that women who wear hijab are not oppressed, brainless, voiceless, unAmerican, etc..
ummati (May 13, 2004 at 4:09pm)
Perhaps it's easier just to say this, but don't let ppl get to u, either way, with or without ur hijaab, ppl will still judge u or hold an impression of u which u may or may not like. Ignore them n do ur stuff. I can relate to ur wishing u were inconspicous.....hey went to the lengths of even wearing the niqaab (but that's a long n complicated story), what's similar is that i'm not convinced of it's (the niqaab's) fard-ness, but still do it, except at hospital. Also faced big personal n social probs, but i guess for me the pros weigh down the cons. My decision to wear it is a part of my individuality, n i know that.
umber76 (April 10, 2004 at 12:06am)
SillyBilly..good for you! I have the utmost respect for women who maintain their hijab...
sillybilly (April 7, 2004 at 2:54pm)
Khiladi I totally agree with your perspective. Nice to know there are men out there who can think:)
sillybilly (April 7, 2004 at 2:51pm)
I wear hij. Yes u nailed it right on the head. But the pros still have me going! I have gotten used to the cons..
saem (March 6, 2004 at 3:20am)

umber76 (March 3, 2004 at 7:59pm)
Hehe... well on a serious note..I do have a friend who started to wear hijab as a teenager when she had to have chemotherapy and lost all her hair..and she never took it off (even though her hair has grown back, of course)...
groovygirl (March 3, 2004 at 3:00pm)

if you are balding, aint nobody gotta know about it
ladylawyer (February 16, 2004 at 9:55am)
Khiladi: right on! I make this point often, Hijab is directed at MEN first!
Humanitarian (February 14, 2004 at 12:18am)
'not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof'- what is your interpretation of this?
umber76 (February 13, 2004 at 11:28pm)
Khiladi: Thanks for the clarification. That was a very thoughtful, thought-provoking, and insightful response. I wish more men realized that the concept of hijab is as much a man's responsibility as a woman's.
khiladi (February 12, 2004 at 10:48am)
The reason I brought this point up is, especially in this country, it is often argued that women wear the hijab so as to not be treated as a sex object, i.e. it serves as a symbol for others. If one closely examines the verse, it is related to male-female interraction and is directed PRIMARILY towards the individual. The CAUTION should lead to a moral transformation within the INDIVIDUAL.

1. The Quran first gives the directive to the man to lower his gaze and guard his private parts. Men often argue that women need to wear hijab so other's will not look at them, and they further spend their efforts to making sure females where hijab. I think they need to honestly ponder why men are mentioned first.

2. The Quran, in the verse quoted, is primarily discussing male-female interraction. The Quran is telling the woman to cover their HIDDEN ornaments, which include what is on their chests, but allows what is APPARENT. "And say to the believing women
that they restrain their looks and guard their private parts, and that they display not their beauty or their embellishment EXCEPT THAT WHICH IS APPARENT THEREOF, and that they draw their head-coverings over their bosoms..." Now it is obvious that hidden ornaments around the BOSOM draw attention to the BREATS, and further, ankle bracelets stamping against the ground have been used to incite passion in all countries. Thus, the Quran is not condoning beauty for women at all, but want's them to take care from exposing parts that induce sexual lust.

Thus, what is being spoken about is a very keen awareness of one's modesty when talking to another person of a different gender. All the hadeeth, such as women not wearing strong perfume, point to this phenomenon. That is why, in my opinion, the Prophet (S) allowed perfume for women that primarily COLOURED, i.e. makeup, but not strong scented one's as to draw attention int he same manner ankle bracelets would.

3. To argue the Quran is talking about a dress code misses the very nature of what the purpose it serves. But this problem infects Muslim thought in general, where the purpose of shareeah, what it wants to achieve, i.e moral transformation, is not taken into account, Thus religion becomes a form, a symbol, merely an identity. The Quran, whenever it gives an injucntion, alomst always gives the reason why, and further, if it does not, the answer becomes obvious from a study of the context.

Enough of the rant...
umber76 (February 11, 2004 at 4:06pm)
On the other hand, the Quran also says: O Children of Adam! wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: But waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters. Say: Who hath forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of Allah, which He hath produced for His servants, and the things, clean and pure, (which He hath provided) for sustenance? Say: They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) purely for them on the Day of Judgment. Thus do We explain the signs in detail for those who understand. (YusufAli 7.031-2)
umber76 (February 11, 2004 at 3:58pm)
Khiladi: I agree and disagree. There are hadith and verses of the Quran that talk about not displaying one's ornaments, or not drawing attention to oneself. But at the same time, things like jewelry and perfume are mentioned in halaal contexts (with the caveat of the hadith that describes a woman wearing perfume walking in public being the same as an adultress). The verse of the Quran that is most specific in terms of modesty (and also used to support hijab) is: And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss. (24.031 YusufAli)
khiladi (February 11, 2004 at 9:51am)
As a side comment, beautification DOES NOT MEAN immodesty. It seems this discussion is confusing the issues. The Quran makes this distinction very clearly even when discussing male-female interraction.
sadia202 (February 9, 2004 at 4:38pm)
Asalaamu alaykum...this is in response to Ladylawyer's entry on January 29, 2004 (I'm sure I'll be replying to other comments as well :P)...basically I just wanted to say that I agree with you on how some people think that before putting on the hijab, the sister needs to be perfect. A question that comes to mind is, do we say that we need to be perfect before we pray before Allah (swt) or fast during the month of Ramadan? No, rather those are commandments of Allah (swt) so we follow them because they are steps in becoming better followers of Islam. Hijab is just another commandment of Allah (swt) (the proof is found in the Qur'an, Sunnah, and Hadith...there is more than one example and insha'Allah I can post some references if anyone is interested) and it is just another step in being a better Muslim.
Gaber27 (February 4, 2004 at 2:30pm)
I agree with humanitarian that no one should discount or dismiss wearing hijab. It takes a huge amount of strength and courage especially in today's conditions. may Allah reward those women who do wear it. you're putting your necks out on the line while we muslim men have failed miserably. yeah, the sentiments about hijab related to prerequisites were expressed by egyptians(i guess it's an egyptian thang). it's hard enough for women to wear it as it is. i just wish the muslim community would not create additional obsticles to wearing it.
umber76 (February 4, 2004 at 2:52am)
I do agree, that in the desi community I have not heard of prerequisites of wearing hijab, but I think Wael's comments overall hold true across cultures and reflect the general Muslim attitude towards hijab -- some details may differ between cultures, of course.