February 16, 2006

Five FAQ's on the Hijab*

  1. Did your father force you to wear it?
  2. Do you sleep with it on?
  3. Do you shower with it on?
  4. Those needles that you place to hold it up, do you push them into your skin as well?
  5. Doesn't your hair fall off because of lack of sunexposure?

To be derived from these questions is, that I have a dictator father, who forces me to sleep and shower with my hijab on, while pressing needles into my bald head, like a female Frankenstein.

Mind you, all of the above questions have been asked in all honesty by real people.

*Hijab is the traditional muslim headscarf, covering the hair and neck, not face, worn by many muslim women but indeed exists within other religions and cultures however with a different name.

38 comments:

jim said...

Are you serious Shaykspeara? Do they really ask such questions? I don't know that much about islam but I can sure tell that those questions are ignorant.

Anonymous said...

yaar yeh kya mazaaq hai?

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

very serious...

BuJ said...

i found it seriously funny that you had to explain what hijab was at the bottom!!!!!
i think after those 5 questions anyone can have a good idea what hijab is, even non-arabs or non-muslims :)

BuJ said...

oh yeah. i'm a guy so this hijab business does not apply.. but in my years in the uk.. i been asked why i don't drink and if it's ok to drink if u didn't know it was alcohol and if it's ok to drink if no one was watching, and if it's ok to drink if you didn't tell your family...

all these questions were serious questions.. but i found them quite funny...

khadijateri said...

I was asked all kinds of weird things when I lived in the US - like 'do you have cancer and lost your hair because of chemotherapy?' ' Were you in a fire?' 'Are you a gypsy?'

But most unusual is that now I live in a muslim country and people ask me things like: 'does your husband make you wear that?' and the one I find the strangest:' Are you a Muslim?'

Destitute Rebel said...

People who do not know are genuinely curious and ask these types of questions, even though some are quite stupud, I dont mind enlightning these people. I'v been asked my share of dumb questions while in the US but questiones are meant to be answered.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Indeed D. Rebel, and God knows I have answered them and many more, hopefully with patience...however one must be allowed to see the humour and irony in questions such as these an dlife in general wouldn't you say :)

lol buj and khadija! In both Syria and Pakistan I have been asked if I am muslim, and I have had teh gypsy thing thrown at me as well, mind you gypsies are cool so wouldn't mind being one... hillarious.

And buj, I never assume anymore, that people know what hijab is, even while staring at me, while I point to my head, saying h i j a b... lol

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

I was also asked if it's ok to drink, as long as you don't get drunk!
laish la.. '7alleena neshrab shwayyah! lol haraam

Arabized said...

i've been asked similar questions in the states, my favorite question was: but but but how can you hear??

A lot of people are ignorant about the hijab, a group of americans from the embassy came to our university . We got into a discussion of culture and religion, and i was telling them how i get confused when people in the states ask me about the hijab because im so use to the westerners living in the UAE, who already know about it. They looked soo embarassed, and one lady then said " This is very embarassing, i've been working here for such a long time, and i honestly don't know why muslim women wear a hijab?"

I turned soooooo red. I then told them why. I will never again assume that people know why i wear the hijab. :/

I have never been asked if i was a gypsy, thats a new one.

Hispanics think we are nuns, and everytime we pass by them, they are very respectful and they make the cross signal. I just nod and smile and walk away.

But i love it when little children look at me and exclaim to their mothers:

"mama, its mary poppins!!"
" mama, is she an angel?"
" mama, i want to to wear that!"

its the epitome of cuteness, or when I help out in the inner city community projects taking of care of children, and the little kids go put cloth or towels on their heads. Its soo cute!!

Hahah have you ever gone to the malls or supermarkets and little kids smile and wave at you and their mothers are just shocked that their own children are doing that?

:)

BuJ said...

biz, seems you wear the hijab.. good stuff!

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

lol mary poppins!

Yeah I get that reaction from kids sometimes, you know the shy, curious one with a big toothless grin... priceless!

Then again, there are many reasons why people wear the hijab so one can't really say there's one reason for wearing it, even if in a religious context there is...

Ah well, as long as people make independant choices...hoa al-mohim.

Buj, great derivatory skills!! loll

Arabized said...

yes buj i wear a hijab. do you wear a kufi?

BuJ said...

kufi is an arabic font. other arabic fonts are naskh, ruq3a and thuluth.

kufi originated in al-koofa of iraq.

what do u mean by kufi?

MD said...

LOL I went through that many time as well. People thought I was 'oppressed' just because I'm covered :P On the contrary, they really amuse me!

Arabized said...

buj,
its like the ga7fiya. You can wear it under the ghutra, but some men just wear it on their heads without the ghutra. The white cap.Our family calls it kufi. I mean i've always grown up calling it kufi, im not sure of the origin of the word. As long as people understand what im saying. :p

MJ said...

She meant 'ga7fiya'? or whatever it's the men here wear under Ghutra. The white cap kind of cap.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Deewani is also an arabic calligraphy form for those into that.

However, Kufi is also a hat worn in Africa and in the west by people of african decent to mark their heritage and religious roots.

However nowadays it is used generally to describe the hat covering muslim men's heads whilst praying or otherwise.

http://www.shukronline.com/mens-hats.html

BuJ said...

cute to see both of u use emarati-arabic...
i know very well what a ga7fiya is.. it's a 3gaal stabiliser.

indeed SS deewani is another form of calligraphy, but i thought 3 types would suffice to make the point.

very enlightening approach

kaya said...

My 2 cents. I must say I like your picture buj
Makes you look very much like an "Agha".

Arabized said...

well buj, do you wear a kufi?

:)

MJ said...

>>cute to see both of u use emarati-arabic...<<

Are you being sarcastic? ha?

and Biz,

He is not wearing it in his picture. ;)

BuJ said...

lol@kaya... it's a caricature i borrowed it from a politician hehe i look even worse.

biz: nop! i do not wear a kufi. i hate any kind of accessories. no hats, no watches, no ties of any sort...

mj: not sarcastic.

finally why the falalfel does it matter what i wear or not on my head?

Arabized said...

sheesh just asking :/

BuJ said...

nice day at uni?

Arabized said...

not really :/ i got called douba for wearing jeans that are a little baggy? do you see the irony? how in the world can i be called fat (when im tiny) and my jeans are too big on me? im sorry do you want me to wear skin tight pants and then have to cover myself with the abaya?

it just really hit a nerve today.

oh and because i sprained my ankle, therefor i cant drive, so a friend dropped me off and i didnt have my keys and nobody was home. i had to call someone to open the door, thus waiting an hour in the blazing hot sun listening to my ipod. i had enough time to wash my face and pray, then head back to university for another class.

...kind of a bad day.

did anybody ever read this book as a child
'a terrible, horrible,no good, very bad day'?

hahahah. :P

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

ya 3aini ya leil! poor biz. Wear what you want, I say.

Arabized said...

haha there was nothing wrong with what i was wearing,(i looked fine, any other university bum) i just lost weight, hence the jeans were big on me,and i was called douba. stupid people.

Arabized said...

but thanks SS, haha sorry for ranting on your blog. :/

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

laa bil 3aks! rant away as much as you like :)

Boo! said...

The best I've had was in the US: "Do you think you'll go to heaven because you don't eat meat?"

you know what? I really didn't have an answer for that one!

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Well boo!... yes I see what you mean lol never heard that one before.

Sometimes silence says more...

farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

Very good poll SS,

The 'hijab' is seen as a sign of oppression in the Western world because that's how it is portrayed in the media. The moment a Western person not in contact with the Muslim world sees hijab, he or she thinks "poor oppressed lady".

Very few people gather up the courage to go up to a hijabi woman and ask her whether she is wearing it by choice because they assume she been forced to wear it.

On the other side, hijabi women sometimes assume that everyone in the world knows they are wearig hijab for Allah, for modesty, not because they were forced by their brothers and husbands. That assumption is evident in some of the comments where people are surprised why there is such a poll.

It's a great opportunity to dispel myths about the hijab and the position of women in Islam when you see someone staring at your hijab. A good sense of humour will also help to break the ice. If there are children involved - wonderful!

I have total admiration for muhajabas, specially the ones who are proud to be and can tell others why.

farrukh
copywriter, journalist, potential blogging sensation

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Indeed one should avoid assuming things about other people in general. However there are many reasons people wear the hijab, like you said...some for an idea of modesty (which in itself in my opinion, entails more than just wearing a cloth on your head), some women to revolt against the ideals media have for girls, some for political reasons, some for cultural, some have no idea, some are forced...so yes..there are many reasons and more.

No matter what, the idea of thinking oneself to be something more or lesser, just because one wears a hijab should not be encouraged, ...

Then again it takes courage to make certain choices in life but above all, the most flattering dress any muslim man or woman could possibly wear is that of a humble person. Aware that wearing a cloth on ones head, or a beard on ones face does not equate to spiritual elevation in itself.

farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

I am reminded of a song of spiritual love where a person is ready to take on whatever garb or appearance pleases his or her beloved. That sort of appeals to me.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

A lot of people don't make the connection between a servant and God, and a beloved to another.

When people do, they perhaps see their actions differently, and their intentions perhaps change as well.

Instead of doing things out of fear of reprisal or repercussions they might do it out of love.
That is perhaps the ideal state of being we all should aspire to?

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