Sunday, January 29, 2017
Going to da source!!
Previously, I published a post that totally free-styled my feelings on hijaab. But its become such a polarizing topic today b/c it is at once incredibly personal--how you feel about your body--and very public, b/c its how you are facing the world.
As a muhaajibah, I love to find solidarity with others b/c what we are doing, especially in this society in this current age, can be very challenging. Its challenging b/c the meaning of hijaab is being lost and forgotten as we peruse the latest hot pinterest outfit (oh those cute dresses and knee-high brown leather boots! oh those boho dresses with long tresses blowing freely in the wind!). I'm actually not sure what may or may not shake another woman's faith in hijaab, but knowing how beautiful AND comfortable I could be without it sometimes gets to me.
But another thing that gets to me is when I see fellow sisters who have removed the scarf-part (or sometimes, the other parts) of hijaab b/c they suddenly claim that they have decided there is no evidence that it is waajib. In other words, the rest of us are totally, unnecessarily, ging ourselves the hardship of living with MAN-made laws, when they are perfectly at their leiser. This, too, gets to me.
But after years of observing this trend in our communities, and observing my own relationship with hijaab, here is where I stand:
--every woman is on her own journey toward Allah and obeying His commands
--hijaab is a choice, like all the other aspects of worship and faith
--wearing hijaab HAS to come with the internal part of modesty, which is being willing to put Allah's pleasure before our own, and that can be tough but such a blessing!!
--seeing someone with the external part doesn't mean that the internal part is there yet, but...
--the external part is designed to HELP with the internal part!! :)
I have refrained from saying much on this topic b/c I don't want to alienate, ostracise, judge or condemn anyone. But that doesn't mean that I have to accept what others do, or refrain from using my own sense of judgement.
I ran across this awesome little bit, and what an AWESOME summary of what hijaab does! Mashallah, succinct and elegant. Feel free to watch the whole video but she discusses hijaab at 4:00.
Dalia Mogahed: Oppression specifically means taking away one's power. Hijaab privatizes a woman's sexuality. So what are we saying when we say that privatizing a woman's sexuality oppresses her?What does that say about the source of a woman's power?
Trevor Noah: We're saying a woman is only powerful if she is sexy in public!
BADASS yall!!! How's that for women's liberation and empowerment!!!! Dalia, I thank you for that awesome reminder!
This is important commentary about the society and times in which we live. Why is our sexuality being exploited? B/c :
#1 it is powerful
#2 it can be very lucrative
#3 it can be used to control society!!!
When I say it is powerful, I mean that it is a HUGE biological urge within us. That's how we were designed! Everyone wants to be found attractive and to have a mate. It can be INCREDIBLY lucrative b/c if our vulnerabilities are exploited by constantly being bombarded with air-brushed images of plastic people, we feel like the only way we can attract a mate, or be considered attractive and powerful, is to spend tons of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ to achieve a certain look, whether its breast enhancement or expensive hair and makeup and nail equipment and treatments we all know the costs can add up quick and that if we are not careful, we can waste entire paychecks on the beauty industry.
According to this figure published by the Economist in 2003, the beauty industry was estimated at raking in $95 billion a year, with a 7% growth each year. That includes, skin-care, hair, make-up, and perfume. Guess which of these constituted the largest percentage of earnings? Hair products! Hair care constituted 40% of this figure, making the most out of all the other categories at $38 billion. But keep in mind these are 14 year old stats!
But most importantly, if a society prioritizes sex drive above all else, then all the boundaries that create healthy and strong families vanish. There are more afairs, abortions, STD's. There is less trust, stability, and commitment. There is no more sacred. So privatizing sexuality makes wonderful sense if you want to protect families, which are the building blocks of society.
So WHO is benefiting if our sexuality is being exploited? WHO benefits when we spend literally billions on looking beautiful each year? WHO benefits from boundaries that are being crossed, from families falling apart, from sacred spaces becoming profane?
Its definitely not us!