A conversation with Muslim sisters:
"I am so tired."
"Tired of what?"
"Of all these people judging me."
"Who judged you?"
"Like that woman, every time I sit with her, she tells me to wear hijab."
"Oh, hijab and music! The mother of all topics!"
"Yeah! I listen to music without hijab…haha!"
"Maybe she was just giving you advise."
"I do not need her advice. I know my religion. Can`t she mind her own
"Maybe you misunderstood. She was just nice."
"Keeping out of my business, that would be nice..."
"But it is her duty to encourage you to do to good."
"Trust me. That was no encouragement. So what do you mean `good` ?"
"Well, wearing hijab, that would be a good thing to do."
"It is in the Qur'an, isn't it?"
"Yes. She did quote me something."
"She said Surah Nur and other places of the Qur'an."
"Yes, but it is not a big sin anyway. Helping people and praying is more
"True. However, big things start with small things."
"That is a good point, but what you wear is not important. What's important
is to have a good healthy heart."
"What you wear is not important?"
"That is what I said."
"Then why do you spend an hour every morning fixing up?"
"What do you mean?"
"You spend money on cosmetics, not to mention all the time you spend on
fixing your hair and low-carb dieting."
"So, your appearance IS important."
"No. I said wearing hijab is not an important thing in religion."
"If it is not an important thing in religion, why is it mentioned in the Holy
"You know I cannot follow all that is in Qur'an."
"You mean God tells you something to do, you disobey and then it is OK?"
"Yes. God is forgiving."
"God is forgiving to those who repent and do not repeat their mistakes."
"Says the same book that tells you to cover."
"But I do not like the hijab. It limits my freedom."
"But the lotions, lipsticks, mascara and other cosmetics set you free?!
What`s your definition of freedom anyway?"
"Freedom is in doing whatever you like to do."
"No. Freedom is in doing the right thing, not in doing whatever we wish to do."
"Look! I've seen so many people who do not wear hijab and are nice people, and so many who wear hijab and are bad people."
"So what? There are people who are nice to you but are alcoholic. Should we all be alcoholics? You made a st**id point."
"I do not want to be an extremist or a fanatic. I am OK the way I am without hijab."
"Then you are a secular fanatic. An extremist in disobeying God."
"You do not get it if I wear hijab, who would marry me?!"
"So all these people with hijab never get married?!"
"Okay! What if I get married and my husband does not like it? So wants me to remove it?"
"What if your husband wants you to go out with him on a bank robbery?!"
"That is irrelevant. Bank robbery is a crime."
"Disobeying your Creator is not a crime?"
"But then who would hire me?"
"A company that respects people for who they are."
"Not after 9-11."
"Yes. After 9-11. Don't you know about Hanan who just got into med school?
So the other one, what was her name, the girl who always wore a white hijab…ummm…"
"Yes. Yasmeen. She just finished her MBA and is now interning for GE."
"Why do you reduce religion to a piece of cloth anyway?"
"Why do you reduce womanhood to high heals and lipstick colours?"
"You did not answer my question."
"In fact, I did. Hijab is not just a piece of cloth. It is obeying God in a difficult environment. It is courage, faith in action, and true womanhood.
However, your short sleeves, tight pants…"
"That is called `fashion`. Do You live in a cave or something? First of all, hijab was founded by men who wanted to control
"Really? I did not know men could control women by hijab."
"Yes. That is what it is."
"What about the women who fight their husbands to wear hijab? So women in France who are forced to remove their hijab by men? What do you say about that?"
"Well, that is different."
"What difference? The woman who asked you to wear hijab…she was a woman, right?"
"But fashions that are designed and promoted by male-dominated corporations set you free? Men have no control on exposing women and using them as a commodity ? Give me a break!"
"Wait, let me finish, I was saying…"
"Saying what? You think that men control women by hijab?"
"By telling women how and what to wear, dummy!"
"Doesn't TV, magazines and movies tell you what to wear, and how to be `attractive'?"
"Of course, it is fashion."
"Isn't that control? Pressuring you to wear what they want you to wear?"
"Not just controlling you, but also controlling the market."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, you are told to look skinny and anorexic like that woman on the cover of the magazine, by men who design those magazines and sell those products."
"I do not get it. What does hijab have to do with products."
"It has everything to do with that. Don't you see? Hijab is a threat to consumerism, women who spend billions of dollars to look skinny and live by standards of fashion designed by men…so then here is Islam, saying trash all that nonsense and focus on your soul, not on your looks, and do not worry what men think of your looks."
"Like I do not have to buy hijab? Isn't hijab a product?"
"Yes, it is. It is a product that sets you free from male-dominated consumerism."
"Stop lecturing me! I WILL NOT WEAR HIJAB!
It is awkward, outdated, and totally not suitable for this society ... Moreover, I am only 20 and too young to wear hijab!"
"Fine. Say that to your Lord, when you face Him on Judgment Day."
"Shut up and I do not want to hear more about hijab niqab schmijab Punjab!"
She stared at the mirror, tired of arguing with herself all this time.
Successful enough, she managed to shut the voices in her head, with her opinions triumphant in victory on the matter, and a final modern decision accepted by the society - but rejected by the Faith:
"Yes!" - to curls on the hair - "No!" - to hijab!
"And he (/she) is indeed a failure who corrupts it [the soul]!"
[Holy Quran 91:10]
"Nay! You prefer the life of this world; While the hereafter is better and more lasting."
[Holy Quran: 87:16-17]
"You are the best community (Ummah) raised up for (the benefit of) humanity; enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong and believing in Allah."
[Holy Quran: 3:110]