Removing the veil? To veil or not to veil.

I found this article on daily news Egypt about an allerged trend; that more and more egyptian women struggle with wearing their hijabs, and eventually end up removing it. Read more here.

Personally I feel like more and more girls and women of Egypt is putting on the hijab, but I could be wrong. Or maybe this is just a side effect of people putting on the hijab in large numbers because of the society, without being convinced about the importancy of the veil, and then end up denouncing it after some years, as something that doesn’t feel right.

I don’t have a problem with sisters not wearing hijab, they can be much better people than your average hijabi or niqabi sister. It’s just sad to see some sisters take it off because they are not convinced, and because they feel the double standards of the society. I believe that veiling for the sake of Allah (or even just wear really modest clothes), can help us on our way to become better, stronger muslims, but it doesn’t help at all if you don’t strive to work with the inside – who you are.

What’s your take?

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15 thoughts on “Removing the veil? To veil or not to veil.

  1. I wonder how much pressure to unveil that these Egyptian women are receiving from friends, family, and others they interact with? I know from first-hand experience that fellow women can be downright nasty when they decide that *you* need to change what you are doing and conform with *them*. ESPECIALLY if they are the rabid feminist type who rebel against God in every possible way ~ all while smiling so sweetly and giving to the Poor and acting like such Saints.

    I’m Catholic, not Muslim, but I’ve always been inspired to veil but ever since September 11th I’ve been afraid to veil in case people thought I was a terrorist. I know that sounds stupid but it’s a legitimate fear!! And so I’ve waited all these years to find non-Muslim style veils… not because I have anything against Muslims but because I always feared the racists that might go after me. The few times I went into public with hijab I was screamed at, glared at, and basically treated like… a terrorist. (I live in Scotland now but still…the racism is everywhere.) So it’s deffinately not something I’m imagining… Yet here I sit with a box from Al Hannah Islamic Clothing from America containing three Amira Hijab sets and all that I want to do is wear them! (I also bought about 6 different colours of square hijab veils and I’m trying to figure out how to wear them AND keep them in place on my head AND have the courage to leave the house with them…Oh boy, let the Racism begin!!)

    I tried veiling at one of my churches back home in America and I was promptly told by the Priest that I was not allowed to veil because… “It’s distracting.” Yeah, in other words ~ the bullying Feminists, in their low cut sleeveless dresses and skin-tight pants, couldn’t handle seeing a modest woman and so they whined about “being distracted” by my veil. Er… you know, it’s not as if we are in church to focus on GOD or anything. No, we are supposed to look around and be “distracted” by a chunk of cloth on another lady’s head ~ and then go persecute her because she’s wearing modest clothes!

    I’ve had to remove comments from my own blog because I wrote about how Catholic women are supposed to veil, that this rule ~ which is not only found in the Bible but has been a part of the Jewish faith as well long before there was a Bible ~ this rule was never changed or removed, no matter WHAT the Feminists say. And let me tell you! The Feminists sure have a lot of really nasty hateful things to say to us women who dare claim that veiling is expected of Womankind! Some ladies from my church actually sent another lady TO MY HOUSE to try and shut me up!! Talk about creepy. Ok, so, I might not be treated like a terrorist if I wear a Muslim-style hijab…. but if I wear any other kind of hijab I’ll be harassed at my own private home?!?!?!?!? Talk about “Gestapo.” This is so freaky! Today we had a harvest and so my husband had a crew of men in for dinner. I wore a small veil on my head and after I served up the men’s food I went and ate in the livingroom by myself where there were no men. My husband and the guys were like, “Huh? Where is she going?” but it felt like the proper thing to do… Later a friend visited. I wonder… will my head veils make me lose even MORE friends?? Sad isn’t it ~ that the very society that screams for “tolerance” can’t handle head veils on women??

    The whole thing kills me because the Vatican even came out in the late 1960’s and very clearly said that Catholic women must veil at Mass. Well, from what the Bible says and what the early Christian church taught for hundreds of years it’s very clear that women should veil all of the time, not just at church. It shouldn’t just be Muslim women who are veiled ~ it should be *all* women. And if some of those women do not believe in God then they should at least allow veiled women the freedom to veil without persecution. But hey, my fellow Catholic women can be the worst of the persecutors!!!

    I always hear the tired old line that “veiling was an old custom way back then…” but since when do people who love God allow themselves to adopt the customs of the godless world around them??????

    When I read this snippet of article on your blog I couldn’t help but wonder, “How many of these Egyptian (and other Muslim women!) are going through the same persecution and harassment that I am enduring ~ all because of a piece of cloth on the head???” Feminists do NOT like, or allow in others, submission to God…

  2. basbousa says:

    Wow! Thank you so much for your comment. Actually, after the first comment you left me, I checked your blog, and I wanted to ask you something, but thought you might be offended… I have read in the bible of one of my christian friends something about veiling when praying and stuff. So I think this is actually required (but somehow they forget this today)? Am I right or no? I think that in all ancient and older cultures the women of class wore veils that covered their hair. I really appreciate your comments 🙂 Keep checking in 🙂

  3. Alixianna says:

    Jazakallah kheir Basbousa for this post!!!!!!

    CoffeeCatholic: You remind me of some of the girls I lived with for a very long time. They were Christian and didn’t cover their hair but wore very modest long dresses in feminine fabrics, and usually kept their long cornsilk gold hair braided when we went out, and only took it out of it braids and wore it loose in the house. The most beautiful women, MAsha’Allah! I am always inspired by their mother, who is a true Godly woman. They were harrassed and picked on for dressing modestly, jsut as I am now for veiling. Allah will reward us all, I think, in fact, it is promised to us. And Yes Basbousa, Christian women are supposed to cover their hair and bosoms (not necks). Jewish women are supposed to cover their hair.

  4. basbousa says:

    I didn’t read the Bible in whole, but I’ve read something like this;

    Corinthians 11:5 But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved.

    And this

    Corinthians 11:6 International Standard Version (©2008)
    So if a woman does not cover her head, she should cut off her hair. If it is a disgrace for a woman to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her own head.

    At least it looks like it’s required when praying.

  5. basbousa says:

    Oooops, the number and the sign turned into a smiley… That was really not supposed to happen!

  6. Alixianna says:

    This is from the Old Testament (the Jewish Torah) of the Christian bible. I’ve heard it said before.

  7. “But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head…”

    I’m not sure if this is taught in Islam but in Christianity it is taught that we are to be praying all day long ~ in our work, our leisure, our everything, we should be thinking of God and loving God and praising God and that’s basically praying! And so a woman should have her head covered all of the time, not just in church. I am still in the process of covering my head all of the time ~ it’s a frightening thing to do when you’ve already had someone be sent to your house to harass you for just veiling in church!!!! I try not to be a coward…

    When I lived in Bahrain I loved how the man at the nearby mosque would call people to prayer throughout the day and night. We Catholics also pray throughout the day ~ we chant the Psalms from the Bible. This is supposed to take place every three hours… but I often mess up and lose track of time. How I wish we were still called to prayer! It used to be that the churches would ring their bells to call all to prayer (I remember this from when I was a child!) but sadly secularism has made that stop. Those who do not love God always try and remove God from everyone else’s life. It’s so frustrating!

    I once saw a clock in a shop in Bahrain and it had the same call to prayer recorded in the clock as was sung from the mosques. I think it was even shaped like a mosque! Do Muslims pray every three hours? If so, maybe I can find one of those clocks so I stop losing track of time!! I enjoyed living in Bahrain because you could openly love God and no one was allowed to try and make you stop.

    There is an amazing counter-revolution going on amongst Christians, at least in America. I’d say that in the past five years there has been a very large number of Christian women who are returning to modest dress and also head covering. There are many websites where Christian seamstresses sell basic modest dresses and head coverings. As you probably know, modesty is not just “not showing flesh and hair” but also living in moderation so that you can help the Poor *and* so that you are not full of pride and vanity! There’s to be modesty on the outside and also on the inside! My own wardrobe has undergone a lot of changes and I’ve added much more simple dresses that have been sewn by small, family-owned businesses rather then sweat shops and such.

    Here where I live now I do not see many Christian women at all, let alone ones that wear head coverings. I don’t judge women if they don’t have a head covering, I’m just saying that at least back home in America, Christian women are starting to fight back against the sex-soaked immodest culture that has sprung up in the West since the 1960’s cultural revolt. We’ve always said that the “Sexual Revolution” did not set women free ~ it enslaved women to sexual objectification and also severe disrespect by men!!! In the past 40+ years all that has resulted from this revolt against God is misery amongst women. I don’t judge the women who are caught up in this post-Sexual Revolution lifestyle… I feel very very sad for them. I can’t imagine trying to exist without God.

    Is the word “hijab” universal? Or is hijab only for Muslims? Before I learned about Christian women covering their heads I only knew about Islam, Hijab, and the Qu’ran. I had no faith when I first went to Bahrain. It was the Muslims around me in Bahrain who brought me to God. I think that the only reason I did not become Muslim was because I moved back to my home town in America where Islam did not exist at that time, about twelve years ago. But Catholic churches were everywhere and I became Catholic and I have been very happy, and much less confused about life, ever since!

  8. basbousa says:

    Dear sister, I admire your wanting to cover, despite the other women in your society. I admire your strong belief in God, because your God is my God too, and real, devouted christians are believers, the same way that we muslims are. May God guide you and me and all true believers to the right path.

    As a muslim you are required to pray 5 times a day (this is the minimum). This way of praying is a lot different than the way christians pray (you probably saw some of it living in Bahrain). It’s both physical and spiritual, you include all of you, and it feels very overwhelming, and you feel in touch with God on a whole other level.
    At the same time, as a muslim, you should always remember God, no matter where you are, no matter what you do. Islam is not just a religion, it is a lifestyle, including all every day actions, like saying “Bismillah” or “in the name of God” before you eat, before you enter the house, before every important action, – and to remember to thank the Lord for everything He has given you, for example saying “Elhamdolillah” og “Thanks to God” after eating and such.

    The word hijab, that we often use to describe the headcovering, is actually a word for all that you use to protect yourself, all your covering garnment, to your scarf, and to the modesty that is in your heart. It’s like protection, or to shelter, cover. This applies for women and men.

    I wish you the best of luck in following your religion. Don’t hesitate to ask more questions about Islam 🙂

  9. Ah! This is very much like the Catholic faith as well! We are always praying, always saying something to God when we go through the day like “Deo gratias…” (Thanks be to God…) or we pray before and after a meal or we say, “God willing” if we make a statement of something that is to happen like… “If I have more children, God willing, then I hope to do this or that…” (I’m actually 5 months pregnant with our *first* child and, God willing, he/she will be born healthy in November!) My faith is supposed to be my lifestyle. It is not something that is only lived on Sunday mornings inside of a church building!

    Yes, I agree ~ your God is my God too!

    I suppose our word “modesty” is very much like “hijab”! It’s not just a covering of the head or the body… it’s so much more. The hijab/modesty, the praying… it’s all part of the entire lifestyle of loving and worshiping God!

  10. basbousa says:

    You are so right 🙂 Good luck with your pregnancy, Insha’a Allah (God willing) everything will work out just perfect. Lucky you 🙂

  11. La Gitana says:

    The majority ARE veiled, but the trend isn’t to put it on anymore. More girls are taking it off because they put it on at a very young age. Also the reason the hijab grew so rapidly in recent years was the way it penetrated the upper class as well. Now the upper class is largely unveiled again, while the lower classes are still veiled. You wouldn’t notice a trend of unveiled girls walking around in the street but go to AUC or any sort of high-end eatery or hang out, and less and less girls are veiled.

    I’m not sure why this is honestly, but dress is often cyclical. At one point Egyptians were all veiled, then they took it off, then on again, now it’s off again. It isn’t a religious thing, it’s a culture thing. Those who veil for religious reasons will most likely keep it on if you know what I mean.

    This is the first time I stop by your blog and it’s great. I am not veiled myself but all my clothes are modest and long and loose. This inspires me on new ways to be modest without being frumpy!

  12. Sportymuslimah says:

    La Gitana… I think it depends. You would see in the mall alot of girls not wearing hijab. I suspect these are girls who come from villages to the city and try to be “city girl”. Some of them go all out and abandon religion altogether (religion only in name). Then there’s middle class to rich muslim ladies/girls who read up on modesty and decided hijab is the right thing to do and they are born and bred for generations in the cities and come from a highly educated background. Its a trend everywhere in “muslim” country now. Reversing roles. The city muslimahs wearing hijab eventhough nobody told them to, and the rural muslimahs abandoning their hijab and go all out because they dont want to be like “backward” or “low class” people.

  13. UK says:

    bear in mind the Quran and Hadith do not force the hijab or veil on women. The Hijab concept is encouranged for their safety and modesty. Force more within culture aspect. in some school of thought you have to wear the veil and other you do not. put i do understand what you mean that hijab has become more of fashion, but there are few things i dont agree on here also people who wear it for the right reason and its purpose you will see them keeping it on. there are girls who go through a phase issues or other things that they take their hijaab off, your imaan (faith) needs to be strong when your wear a hijab, jilbab or a veil. May Allah SWA guide every one and bring happiness and show you the right path brothersm and sisters.

  14. LittleJewishGirl says:

    I am a Jewish girl thinking of converting to Islam. Jewish women are supposed to cover their hair and wear modest clothing. I feel that if I was non-religious I would still cover up. Even though I consider myself a feminist, covering up gives people a chance to judge me by what I say and think, and not my body.

  15. muslimah says:

    Such a lovely article!!!! i had a very good time reading this!!!
    i wish all Christians were like Coffee Catholic!!!!
    i live among many catholics most of (but some do accept me as i am) who persecute me for wearing the hijab and when i tell them about the modest dress of the nuns and how Mother Mary used to wear the veil…..they act as if they cant hear me!!!!! How odd!!!!!
    May God guide them!!!!

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