Saturday, February 27, 2010
Nad says: Ah, the hijab question. It was bound to come up. As a person who has been on both sides of this issue, I can definitely relate. I think the reason this is such a controversial issue is because 1.) the Quran uses somewhat vague term to address clothing and doesn't state specifically that a woman's hair has to be covered and 2.) the hijab is such a noticable mark of Islam and has been misinterpreted by non Muslims.
I notice that when the topic of hijab is discussed, it usually become a heated debate over whether or not it is required. I don't want to get into that debate. (There are plenty of ahadith you can read for clarity on this issue.) I'd rather turn this into the type of discussion that we have about any other issue believers find themselves struggling with.
Despite your reasons, I love that you've covered for 5 years. I'd like to know more about that experience. I know you said you just did it to get out of doing your hair, but beyond that, did you like it? Do you have positive experiences/memories attached to wearing it? Do you like the way you feel when you wear it? Do you like what you see when you look in the mirror? These may sound like superficial questions, but they greatly affect the way a woman experiences the act of wearing hijab.
As Muslims, we know that hijab isn't a tool of oppression. It's a protection, a mercy, and a reminder of who we are and what we must do. Every time a hijabi woman sees herself, she is immediately reminded of her Islam. Every time another Muslim sees a hijabi, they are immediately reminded of their Islam. Every time a non-Muslim sees a hijabi, they are immediately made aware of Islam. We women have a hefty job. Quite literally, we carry Islam with us for the world to see. And depending on what you're feeling at the moment, that's not always easy to do.
Your statement that you "feel like a fake," stands out to me. Makes me wonder if there's more to it. 5 years is a long time. Even though you started for superficial reasons, you could have grown accustomed and attached to hijabing, but you didn't. That means something. I can't say what, because I don't know all the details, but a struggle in one area often denotes a similar struggle in another. No one part of us is separate from the others.
I know when I went through the same issue, it meant something. It actually had little to do with the wearing of the hijab and more to do with what that meant and how I felt about it. Now, after much prayer and self reflection, I've been able to pinpoint why I was feeling that way.
Examine that "fakeness" youre feeling. See if it goes deeper than the reason you named. I think if you get more in touch with what you're really feeling, uncovering those subconscious thoughts we don't even realize we have, you'll have more of an understanding about which way you want to go with this issue.
ALSO, sorry to make this response longer than it already it, but I can't close this out without addressing the fact that your husband likes that you cover. As a fellowed married woman, I gotta get in on this. Of course we never want to feel like we're living our lives for others, but marriage is about balance and compromise. If you continue to cover because your husband wants you to, there are blessings in that (in the same way that the sacrifices he makes for you are blessings for him).
The Qu'ran talks about guarding what he (your husband) would have you guard in his absence, <---paraphrase. I'm not saying this to force you in any one direction (I try never to give concrete, "you should do..." answers in these responses), but I am saying this to make the point that even if you only do it because he wants that of you, it wouldn't be "fake," but would actually speak to your devotion to and love for your husband.
Since he bought you a lot of beautiful scarves, I imagine him to be a kind man, one with whom you could discuss this issue. The last thing you want to do is make a decision without consultation and then end up with a lot of discord in your home. Talk to him about how you're feeling and see where the conversation goes. That way, you won't have to worry about him being caught off guard and feeling ignored. Sorry this is so long, but I really wanted to be thorough.
Hopefully, you'll find your way.