23 September 2010
Hijab's hard y'all
A weekend at the beach when you're hijabified means looking like a frog themed superhero for the most part and weird tan lines. Clothing almost always looks ridiculous, especially when you're wearing at least 4 pieces of clothing in our hellish summers.
This isn't a diatribe to discourage anyone from wearing/practicing hijab. I believe that it's an obligation (this is not a discussion of that argument). To me it's not a choice, it's a duty. Some people oblige, others don't. I also believe it's a personal freedom, as in no one should be forced to wear it if they don't believe in the obligation.
This is a discussion of the sacrifices the practice demands. I think people who live in Muslim-majority countries become so accustomed to hijab that it becomes the default setting. It's not like people are running around naked here, how much can you be giving up? Hijab is challenging regardless of where we live. Our Nafs is unruly and it wants what it wants (to be comfortable, to look good, to get attention, to fit in...).
I get annoyed when people complain about inadequately covered hijabies-especially when the complaints come from men. You know what? Women in tight clothing, full makeup, some sort of attention-seeking ensemble who do manage to cover parts of their hair are at least trying. Maybe instead of tsk-tsking in their general direction we should accept that they're trying and try harder ourselves.
Hijab is but a snapshot of one way nafs can physically manifest for women. There is no equivalent for men. There's no way to judge a man's morality as he walks by.
It sometimes seems unfair that my personal fight with temptation--as a woman--takes place in the public sphere. (Although, public accountability is an invaluable part of my arsenal against nafs.)
What if all our shortcomings were visible to people?
Regardless of where we are, let's acknowledge that covering up isn't always the easiest option and commend those who are trying.